Our Mission



archi-treasures is an arts-based community development organization reducing social isolation by creating grassroots partnerships to build public spaces, empowering individuals to shape their future and the future of their community.

Our History

Founded in 1996, archi-treasures was largely formed by architects and members of community development organizations around Chicago, who recognized the urgent need for Chicago communities to organize, build capacity and participate in the redevelopment of their neighborhoods.

Core Values

  • The skills and training of artists, architects, and designers can be mobilized for the benefit of communities, in order to implement community ideas.
  • Useful, accessible and attractive public space is critical to the process of successful community building.
  • Community ideas can be accessed through a participatory design process which is central to every archi-treasures project.
  • archi-treasures projects begin with identifying, activating, and supplementing community assets and resources.
  • archi-treasures projects are developed in partnership with a strong community-based organization that can and will contribute resources to the project.
  • The step-by-step process of planning and making things brings people together.
  • All communities, even the poorest, should have critical input into how their environment looks, feels and is used.
  • Everyone has something to contribute.

We value our relationships with community leaders and organizations, volunteers, corporate partners, and residents, for it is through our work together that we truly make a difference. Learn more about how you can get involved.