As We Say Good-bye To Our Public Art Intern We Invite Lily Pook-Ryan To Reflect On Her Time With Us!
In mid-May, I began the ‘Public Art Internship’ with the David L. Hoyt Education Foundation. The role was to assist with the planning, installation, and execution of Word Play Way in Douglas Park, North Lawndale in collaboration with the Chicago Poetry Center. During my time as the ‘Public Art Intern’, I was welcomed as a member of the David L. Hoyt and the Chicago Poetry Center Team. My superiors actively involved me throughout the entire planning process, and genuinely sought my thoughts and feedback during the preparation of the project. The expectation to contribute as a member of the group was a warmly appreciated challenge. Far exceeding my expectations of what an Internship would look like!
The experience has taught me the importance of community and inclusion, first and foremost. Building rapport with members of the North Lawndale community, as well as its neighborhoods' organizations, with partners at the Chicago Literacy Alliance, the staff at the Chicago Poetry Center and, of course, with the David Hoyt Foundation has been incredibly rewarding. The opportunity to work within these relationships has widened my perspective and understanding of the socio-political environment within Chicago. Giving me the tools to navigate this with humility and awareness.
Now, I have a rich knowledge of the inner-workings of non-profits within Chicago, and how to establish connections with like-minded community organizations. With the guidance of my Executive Directors, I was free to open-up discussion with figureheads, and groups to form ways to collaborate with the Word Play Way Project in North Lawndale.
Lily Pook-Ryan and Barbara Stewart at the Word Play Way Kick-Off Event, Douglas Park 2018. Photo by John Booze of the Acting Up Award Foundation.
This experience has helped me to better understand how to implement a community-minded public art project such as Word Play Way. Particularly, it has equipped me with the skills to bridge the gap between community members and public art in a mindful and collaborative manner.
The 'Public Art Internship' has allowed me to immerse myself in new cultural, practical and professional experiences while coordinating professional expectations alongside my own changing understanding of my role in the community I was working with, and the project as a whole. I’d like to thank my Superiors Claire Hassl and Ashley Elsmo of the David L. Hoyt Foundation and Natasha Mijares and Beth Sampson of the Poetry Center for their leadership. As well as all the incredible people of North Lawndale who welcomed me into their community and lives. You will all be sorely missed! - Lily Pook-Ryan
The David L. Hoyt Team and Volunteers at the Word Play Way Kick-Off Event, Douglas Park 2018. Photo by John Booze of the Acting Up Award Foundation.
On the anniversary of our GUINNESS WORLD RECORD setting event with the Chicago Public Library, we wanted to post a special shout out to CPL and a little story of how and why we are here today doing what we do. Summer is a special time for the DLHEF and for David himself. He spends a whole month traveling the city visiting over 20 libraries playing with kids and teaching them how to be better team players. Our programming reinforces important literacy and math skills and David loves to cheer kids on and help them feel their potential. But the real goal behind our programs is to teach social-emotional skills like teamwork, leadership, and critical thinking to kids of all ages. David really believes in collaboration; its a part of who he is at his core. He loves to team up with people and he realizes that teamwork really does make the dream work. Because of this, teamwork is at the core of what we teach during GIANT Word Winder and GIANT Math Winder programming. When teams work together to make a decision about their move, on the oversized floor game, it's usually the best move strategically and it most likely helps them towards their goal of winning the game. Our intent with this play-based education is that little by little children will learn that when they talk with each other about decisions they have at school or at home, they gain multiple perspectives, allowing them to have a broader view of the impact their decisions could make on themselves and others. We hear from employers all around the city and the nation that the job market is flooded with young people who do not know how to work together or communicate well. Through our programs and with amazing partners like the Chicago Public Library we hope to teach soft skills like empathy and understanding for each other, ways to encourage others on how to see personal points of view so that everyone is understood, and the ability to work together toward common goals at work, home, and in the community. Thank you to the Chicago Public Library and the especially the Children's Department for being one of our favorite teammates! Let's keep dreaming together!
Join us to learn about Word Play Way, a public art mural to be installed in Douglas Park this August. Hear from David L. Hoyt, author and designer of Word Play Way. And read the poem written specifically for the installation by Chicago Poet Roger Reeves.
I'm Lily, and as Public Art Intern with the David L. Hoyt Education Foundation, I look forward to working with the community of North Lawndale to install Word Play Way in Douglas Park.
I originally hail from Adelaide, Australia where I worked in Arts and Cultural Events for a number of years. In January of 2018, I came to Chicago to study at Columbia College in an exchange program in a BA in Visual Arts.
I’m a practicing sculptor and printmaker, who is passionate about contributing back to society in a meaningful and positive way!
Hello all! I just wanted to introduce myself. My name is Jessica Dailey, and I am very excited to be a part of the David L Hoyt Foundation team for the summer. I am a rising senior at Loyola University Chicago majoring in English with minors in Spanish and Psychology.
Before becoming the administrative intern here at the foundation, I spent time interning with both the Modern Language Association’s Midwest division, helping to prepare for and host the association’s annual conference in Ohio, and refugeeONE, organizing after school activities and tutoring for the children of refugee families who were placed in housing around the city.
I am passionate about engaging children and the community with literature and the power of education. The David L Hoyt Foundation allows me to facilitate this throughout the city of Chicago, planning and implementing academic tools that foster growth for students outside of the classroom. Children are the futures of our communities and of our country, and I am passionate about working to build a better foundation for them to grow upon.
The David L Hoyt Foundation’s mission is focused in the learning that derives from interactive, play-based communication and teamwork, which is something that I am proud to help advance during my time here!