Over two days in Chicago this July, we hosted events to celebrate the success of public cash programs, and to tell the story through the eyes of participants, working with local artists through our Power of Cash Narrative Change Fellowship.
Chicago is a foundational part of the story of guaranteed income in the US. From the multitude of guaranteed income programs in the area, to the leadership from County and City electeds, to our innovative Narrative Change Fellowship, to the wider advocacy around cash in the state: Chicago has pushed the guaranteed income movement forward and has set an example for what is possible across the country.Photo Gallery
For a full photo gallery of the weekend’s events, click here.Event Recap
Community members, artists, policymakers and more came together in Chicago for two sold-out events celebrating the power of guaranteed income and the Power of Cash Narrative Change Fellowship, a project started by Economic Security for Illinois before our teams merged in January 2021.
On Friday night, July 14th, attendees gathered for a panel on the newly debuted GUARANTEED podcast, featuring podcast host, writer and scholar Dr. Eve L. Ewing, members of the production team from AirGo/Respair Media, and Topaz Steele, a participant in the Cook County Promise guaranteed income pilot. The panel was moderated by Morgan Elise Johnson, the publisher of the Black Chicago news site The TRiiBE.
Saturday July 15th was a family affair centered around the premier of art pieces from our artist fellows, including paintings, photography, collage, original music, and films that told the stories of guaranteed income recipients, alongside Chicago street food, paletas, screenprinting, a DJ, and outdoor games for the whole family.
The events offered new cultural narratives around cash, rooted in human stories of dignity and self-determination. These narratives allowed attendees to understand in a tangible way why Chicagoans deserve not just to survive, but also to thrive.Fellows
Creator In Residence, Writer, Scholar, And Cultural Organizer
Performance Art and Music
Founders, Respair Production and Media
The Power of Cash Narrative Change Fellowship is an effort to reshape the narrative around direct cash solutions and promote economic justice. It was initiated by Economic Security for Illinois, an affiliate of Economic Security Project. We set out with a goal of partnering with artists to replace harmful narratives about “deservedness,” inequality and poverty — the myths that keep policymakers from giving people the direct cash support they need to survive and thrive — with stories of dignity, self-determination, and justice. By directly investing in artists’ capacity for creative expression, the fellowship aims to change the cultural conversation around cash and guaranteed income as public policy.
Our Power of Cash Narrative Change Fellows include: Damon A. Williams and Daniel Kisslinger (AirGo), Audio/Podcast; Anwulika Anigbo, Photography; Matt Muse, Music; Fantasia Graham, Paint/Portraits; Jade Williams, Prints/Collages; Sean Sankalp Raju, Documentary Film; David Johnson, Video. Our Creator in Residence is Dr. Eve L. Ewing.