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The Firehouse Community Arts Center

Leveraging the Arts and a Hyperlocal Approach

The Firehouse Community Arts Center

The Firehouse Community Arts Center uses a hyperlocal approach to interrupt cycles of violence in the North Lawndale community and engage young people through the arts. The Cook County supported VIP program works with at-risk young men, providing mentorship, therapeutic services, workforce development opportunities and access to the arts. Outreach teams form connections with young people and a supportive environment and keeps them engaged. Young men in the program are exposed to fields with high placement rates including culinary arts and construction.


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"The Firehouse changed my life for the better. If it wasn't for their outreach team not giving up on me, ain't no telling where I would be. I've lost a lot of friends and two brothers to gun violence. Waking up everyday not knowing if today is gonna be your last just didn't sit right with me so I made a decision I didn't want to be a part of that life anymore. The Firehouse outreach team came to me once again and I was finally ready. I told myself that I was going to stand out in the program and that's exactly what I did. Now I am proud to say that I am a Firehouse employee, working with and mentoring guys like me."

Preston Baldwin, a professional mentor at the Firehouse Community Arts Center

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