Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Art @ the Y presents "Growing Community," Photographs by Erich Adickes and Partnering Community Gardens

Art @ the Y presents

"Growing Community": Photographs by Erich Adickes, and Partnering Community Gardens

On view in Murphy Gallery of the University YMCA
from April 28, 2016 through August 2016.

Nearly fifty million Americans don’t know where their next meal is coming from. According to Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap project, Champaign County suffers from a 16.7% food insecurity rate, higher than the 15.3% food insecurity rate of Cook County, where Chicago and much of the surrounding metropolitan area is located. One of the problems contributing to both hunger and obesity in our communities is poor access to healthy, affordable foods. Addressing local hunger and lack of access to fresh produce is one of the major problems that Sola Gratia Farm, Prosperity Gardens, and Randolph Community Garden are missioned to solve.

The farm and gardens featured in Growing Community document the work of several local community efforts to grow good, healthy food close to home and to make it accessible to everyone.This local foods movement creates new bridges and partnerships between people of shared values and community commitment.  As individuals and groups work together, they reveal a new and deeper community of shared hopes, values and commitment to our neighbors.

Exhibition & Event Details: Please join us for the opening reception of Growing Community at the University YMCA, 1001 S. Wright St, Champaign on Thursday, April 28, 2016 from 5pm to 7pm. Viewing will begin at 5pm, followed by a Gallery Talk at 5:30pm. Light refreshments will be provided.

Growing Community will be on view in the Y’s Murphy Gallery from 9am to 9pm, Mondays through Thursdays and from 9am to 5pm on Fridays through August 2016. Please note that during the summer months, Murphy Gallery will be open Mondays through Fridays from 9am to 4pm. Art @ the Y is a cause-driven, public arts initiative of the University YMCA, 1001 S. Wright St, Champaign, IL 61820. All Art @ the Y events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit:

Who: Prosperity Gardens, a Champaign non-profit, was created in 2010 to address the growing problems of youth obesity and limited nutrition knowledge, while providing job training and employment opportunities in agricultural sciences and food production. Its urban gardening programming, currently centered on two city-owned lots on North First Street, provides hands-on garden-based education and green business employment opportunities and offers affordable, locally grown produce for Champaign-Urbana’s low-income residents. Prosperity Gardens’ services target urban neighborhoods that are considered “food deserts” by the USDA, where access to healthy foods is limited by a lack of resources and full service grocery options.

Randolph Street Community Garden is a volunteer run project committed to providing an opportunity for the residents of the North-end of Champaign to grow their own fresh organic produce. Their goals are to improve the access of fresh foods to the North-end of Champaign; provide educational programming to the youth and adults about the benefits of gardening; establish a mini-market to sell extra produce; create a venue for outdoor activities for neighborhood families; and establish an honor garden to recognize those who have done significant work towards making the community a better place.

Sola Gratia Farm is a four-acre produce farm started as a project of St. Matthew Lutheran Church and Faith in Place in Urbana, IL.This small-scale urban vegetable farm was established with the overall goal of building a regional food system where high-quality, locally grown produce is available to everyone, especially those at an economic disadvantage.  As a church project, Sola Gratia Farm is required to provide at least 10% of the produce grown to hunger abatement programs. Since 2012, Sola Gratia Farm has donated nearly 30% of its total harvest (over 32,000 pounds). Sola Gratia Farm is a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program with shares available to the public for purchase. For more information, please visit: or call 217-417-1330.

Press Release/PSA
For Immediate Release
April 13, 2016

For media inquiries contact:
Megan Flowers, University YMCA Communications Director


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