The Chicago Stories Project is the community engagement arm of Stories Matter Foundation. Encompassing our “classes on the road” framework, as well as library partnerships, scholarships, and sponsorships, the Chicago Stories Project works to amplify voices from underserved communities in Chicago and the region. 

Our vision is to help others first see value in their stories, then acquire the skills and confidence to document and share them with others. Through a love of writing and storytelling, we also foster respect and appreciation for the lives and experiences of others.

Illinois Prison Project
Chicago Public Library

We bring workshops for children, teens, and adults to neighborhoods and communities throughout Chicagoland. These classes include creative writing, live storytelling, therapeutic writing, bilingual writing skills, or a custom-designed program delivered at your location, on Zoom, or at our Ravenswood studio. Funding options are available.

If your organization would like to partner together for either a one-off writing program, or a longer partnership, please contact us to discuss what your organization’s needs are, and we will work together to find or create a program that fits.

Here’s some recent press about our long-term programming with StreetWise, a writing group we’ve been so proud to work with for multiple years.

We are proud to have partnered with organizations throughout the past few years by bringing writing classes to their audiences, including:

  • Illinois Prison Project
  • American Marketing Association
  • My Block My Hood My City
  • Big Brothers, Big Sisters
  • The Village
  • Gilda’s Club
  • StreetWise
  • Chicago Public Libraries
  • Northbrook Public Library
  • GirlForward
  • empowerHER
  • Chinese American Service League

Our programming ranges from single-session creative writing courses, to year-long continuous programming. We have go-to, pre-built classes ranging from generic generative creative writing, to specified genre-based curriculum.

For organizations like StreetWise, we have been providing programming for nearly two years. Our facilitator works closely with the members of StreetWise, crafting curriculum specifically geared toward building upon previous skills with the ultimate goal to publish work in their magazine. The program has seen a dedicated, returning group of members week after week.

Our youth partnerships have seen tremendous growth to the extent that we created an online literary journal, Stella Nova, to showcase the talented work being produced by the young writers from organizations like My Block, My Hood, My City, and GirlForward. Even with our one-off sessions, these writers have produced beautiful poems and stories.

Highwood Library
My Block, My Hood, My City
Chinese American Service League

Want to Get Involved?

Help us continue providing storytelling access to communities in Chicago and the surrounding region.

Let’s work together! Contact the Director of Signature Programs, Sara Cutaia, to learn more about partnering together.

Because of the Chicago Stories Project, Stories Matter Foundation is proud to offer financial assistance for many of our classes and events. The Doro Boehme and Dana Wood Chaney funds book writers, and the Youth fund helps bring kids to summer camp. We are also pleased to sponsor, support, and partner with organizations, workshops, and events whose mission and purpose we believe in.

The Chicago Stories Project programs are partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.