CAPE Dialogue: What is a Community?

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You are invited to join us for CAPE Dialogue: What is a Community? on Thursday, March 7, 2024 from 5:30 to 7 PM at CAPE, 1010 W 35th Street, Suite 697.

Though a pervasive term, communities are dynamic and complex; their constitutions, as shaped by similarities as they are by differences. 

The CAPE Dialogue: What is a Community examines the formation of community in our schools, neighborhoods, and city spaces. A panel of CAPE teachers and artists, and guest artivists will explore the intersection of arts, community building, and advocacy in learning.

Join us in exploring how we address local needs and foster inclusive spaces!

This dialogue includes:

  • CAPE’s Community Class at Arthur R. Ashe Elementary School, composed of
    • Chef Nyah Griffin, Eating to Live,
    • Joseph Spilberg, Teaching Artist,
    • Ebony Isaac, Teacher;
  • Rhoda Rosen, Executive Director, Red Line Service; and
  • Sara Phalen, Executive Director, West Chicago History Museum, Co-founder, People Made Visible, and outgoing Board Chair, Mexican Cultural Center of Dupage County. Panel moderated by Teju Adesida, Associate Director of Education, Community Programs and Research, CAPE. 

This event is part of the public programming in support of the exhibition The Art of Gathering (El arte del convivio), on view up until March 15th, Tuesday-Friday, 11am-4pm at CAPE.

This exhibition celebrates culture, community, and belonging through art created by CAPE’s Community Classes for adults in Chicago from Arthur Ashe Elementary, George Washington High School, Taylor Elementary, Telpochcalli School, Waters Elementary, New Sullivan Elementary; as well as in West Chicago from Currier Elementary, Gary Elementary, Leman Middle School, Pioneer Elementary, and Turner Elementary.

Special thanks to the Albert & Anne Mansfield Foundation for supporting after-school community programming.

CAPE Dialogue: What is a Community?

Chef Nyah Griffin

CAPE Community Class at Arthur Ashe Elementary

Nyah Griffin – Chef, Eating to Live

Chef Nyah was born and raised on the southeast side of Chicago by a single mother and what Chef affectionately calls the blood, sweat, tears and prayers of her Village. With an emphasis on her culture, Chef Nyah puts her heart and soul into educating and feeding her community! With over 13 years of experience working with youth through social justice efforts and a shifting pandemic’ now on a daily basis goes around to schools in underserved neighborhoods and teaches the importance of healthy eating and fresh foods. When she is not teaching you can find her in Greater Grand Crossing feeding family and the community through ministry at New Memorial Church. Fostering her passion for culinary arts for over 15 years and counting, our professional chef aspires to provide delicious quality food that inspires your taste buds with each bite. With a heart for her culture, community, service, and food Chef Nyah gives you Pamoja which translates to “Altogether” in Swahili. The Pamoja Experience is Chef Nyah’s gift back to her village and community! You better believe that with Chef Nyah’s endless creativity and heart for feeding the Village, TPE is only beginning! *She’s given permission to edit as necessary.

Eating to Live

Eating To Live (ETL)  LLC is a manufacturing and training consultancy which specializes in health conscious comfort food solutions for retail and foodservice.  Eating To Live has had partnerships with some of the best retailers in the business, including Whole Foods, Mariano’s Fresh Market, and currently Jewel Osco.

Joseph SpilbergJoseph Spilberg 

Joseph Spilberg is a musician, arts educator and administrator who has worked with CAPE since 2008 in various roles including Intern, Teaching Artist, and Associate Director of Education. Joseph is a founding member of The Snail Band and Lamajamal and WAW and currently hosts The WAW Open Stage at The Atlantic in Lincoln Square.





Ebony IsaacEbony Isaac

Ebony Isaac grew up in Chicago and now works as a Math Tutor at Ashe Elementary. She tutors the middle schoolers during the day and helps coach their basketball practice after-school. She is currently earning her degree in physical education at CSU so that she can become a gym teacher full time. Although Ms. Isaac has only been at Ashe for one year, she has become a wonderful mentor and support system for her students during that time.




Rhoda RosenRhoda Rosen – Executive Director, Red Line Service

Rhoda Rosen is an experienced museum and higher ed. professional with a passion for and knowledge of the current intellectual conversation regarding art and community engagement. She is committed to contemporary socially engaged art practice, and understanding how it operates on-the-ground in our rich cultural landscape.

Red Line Service Mission 

Led by people with a lived experience of homelessness, Red Line Service wields art world resources to build community, generating the sense of belonging and mutual care essential to securing and retaining housing. We collaborate with artists and cultural institutions to expand access to the art world, avowing that art can break the bonds of ingrained social roles and structures and forge new realities in which all can flourish.

Red Line Service is the only art organization in Chicago—and one of the only art organizations world-wide—led by people experiencing homelessness.

Sara PhalenSara Phalen–Executive Director, West Chicago History Museum; Co-founder, People Made Visible; Outgoing Board Chair of the Mexican Cultural Center Dupage

Sara Phalen is a Chicana community organizer,non-profit attorney and museum professional advocating for equity in local history and small museums. She has worked in the West Chicago community, where she also lives, since 2006.

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