Entries by BAPA Intern

Think Before You Click: Ten Years Running  

By Brittany Wiley  BAPA Business Liaison  Ten years ago, a specialty running store, Running Excels, 10328 S. Western, opened their doors to our community.  Since then, Beverly Lynch has been providing us with a personalized shopping experience and quality products to ensure comfort, fit and support.    But you don’t have to be a runner to shop there.    “Many people are now walking […]

New Neighbors Enter the Art Scene

By Kristin Boza  Dance and art are passions of new neighbors Megan Wright and Nate Otto.   Wright grew up in Beverly/Morgan Park and built a dance and art career on the foundation she learned at the Beverly Arts Center.   Otto, who grew up between Deerfield and Michigan, is a talented artist seeking to leave his mark in Beverly/Morgan Park. Along with their toddler […]

Business Spotlight: A Hopping Place for Families 

By Brittany Wiley  Michelle Bryant-Smith and her husband Maurice Smith opened Little Hoppers Play Café, 2670 W 111th St., in August.  It’s an interactive and creative boutique style play space for kids age seven and under and a café for families.    The idea for the Play Café was birthed out of Bryant-Smith’s frustration as a new mom and the lack of family-focused offerings on the South Side.   Most of […]

Rallying for Maple Morgan Park Food Pantry 

By Kristin Boza  Many people have organized to help others in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Soon after the city began its shelter-in-place orders, the Maple Morgan Park Food Pantry, 11030 S. Longwood Dr., noted that the demand for food assistance in our neighborhood rose dramatically.   One neighbor, Colleen Loehr, heard the pleas and took the initiative to organize the neighborhood via […]

Meet MPHS New Boys’ Basketball Coach, Chris Gardner 

By: Tina Jenkins Bell  Morgan Park High School’s new boys’ basketball coach Chris Gardner has a plan. A family man who is married to wife Tia and father to one-year old daughter Dylan, Coach Gardner says he has a commitment to rear teams of responsible young men who understand their greatness does not start nor end on a basketball court. […]

Alt Walk and Pandemograms: How The Alliance is Transforming Art Appreciation in a Pandemic 

By Kristin Boza  Everyone is feeling the pinch in this pandemic, but artists, musicians, and service industry workers have seen every avenue to promote their livelihood eliminated in recent months. Festivals are cancelled, music venues and art galleries are closed, and restaurants and bars — the ‘day job’ of many professionals in the arts community — have […]

Area Principals Develop Parent-Centered Online Training and Leadership Alliance to Promote Quality, Equitable Education Across the 19th Ward 

By Tina Jenkins Bell  BAPA School Liaison  Six principals representing elementary schools across the Beverly/Morgan Park community recently forged an alliance to share resources, schedules, and ideas to assure equitable, quality educations for students, no matter their school.   “We heard from parents via surveys and emails. Their chief concerns were that they wanted to help their students but […]

AND Provides Critical Support to Domestic Violence Clients 

By Kristin Boza  A New Direction (AND) is the only domestic violence organization in Beverly/Morgan Park. Their mission is to provide counseling, education, support, and advocacy to those affected by domestic violence and to provide confidential counseling and advocacy services at no charge.   Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, AND staff has seen nearly double the number of clients […]

Introducing CAPS Community Organizer Belinda Washington 

By Gary Jenkins  Belinda J. Washington is not a Chicago Police Officer, she is a civilian, yet she serves in a vital role as the 22nd District’s Community Organizer.  As much as it important for the community to get know the officers who serve the Beverly/Morgan Park and Mount Greenwood neighborhoods, it is also important to get to […]