The Valentine’s Day event launches the partnership of the Skyline Council of Landmarks Illinois and Donda’s House, the Arts Incubator nonprofit founded on Chicago’s South Side.
The Skyline Council, the young and emerging professionals committee of the statewide historic preservation nonprofit Landmarks Illinois, has joined with Donda’s House, the arts incubator that provides education, access and programs for creative youths in Chicago, to “Heart Bomb” Kanye West’s childhood home on Valentine’s Day. “Heart bombing” is a public show of love to historic sites and local landmarks by showering the site with physical expressions of affection, such as paper hearts. It is an activation of space that is often vacant or underutilized giving a new perspective on its potential.
The “Heart Bomb” is part of Donda’s House HeARTS Matter Week – its annual advocacy and education campaign. Landmarks Illinois’ Skyline Council works to identify places that need the support from their members’ wide range of expertise to restore historic properties and sustain healthy communities. The “heart bombing” will serve as a physical reminder to the community that a property is valuable and deserves our attention and investment.
“We are thrilled to be working with Landmarks Illinois’ Skyline Council,” said Donnie Smith, Executive Director of Donda’s House. “Landmarks Illinois came out to the site recently to give us an assessment of the house, with recommendations for renovating and repairing the property. We were pleasantly surprised to learn that the house is, overall, in pretty good shape.”
Kanye West’s childhood home located in the South Shore Community was purchased in 2016 by Donda’s House Inc., named after West’s mother, educator Dr. Donda West. Che “Rhymefest” Smith spent much of his youth at the West home, and wants to use it now as an art center that will encourage young people in Chicago’s underserved communities to consider careers in the arts.
The Skyline Council and Donda’s House are hosting “Craft Making” activities in February prior to the “heart bombing” event where participants, including Donda’s House Alumni and Skyline Council members, will create hearts and other objects that will be displayed at the site of the property.
Skyline Council and Landmarks Illinois representatives will join volunteers and Donda’s House members at 4:15 p.m. February 14, 2018, at Kanye West’s former home, 7815 S. South Shore Drive, Chicago, for the heart bombing event to install the artwork created. Skyline Council members will educate those who attend on the value of preservation while Donda’s House will share its plans for the space with the community.