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growing community and creativity in gardens

Green Scene Chicago's mission . . .

To link community members across generations and cultures by using urban gardening to inspire story performances and by using urban school and community gardens as theaters.

a garden as an artistic home . . .

The  Winthrop Harmony Arts Garden was once an abandoned lot in Chicago, but in 2013 Green Scene Chicago rallied a neighborhood to transform it into a community garden. It is now tended collectively by partners that include 7 families, 3 community based organizations and Green Scene Chicago. Each spring Green Scene Chicago recruits and offers teenagers gainful summer employment. They learn healthy growing practices while unearthing healthy self-expression through writing, storytelling, theater, music and dance. These young people produce food and produce free performances for the neighborhood at Winthrop Harmony Arts Garden. Growing Our Community Day launched the garden and the before/after shots are here: http://vimeo.com/114483198


This play imparts the wisdom of planting corn, beans and squash together and tells the Iroquois legend around this growing system.
With pageantry and a theater set grown from plants, this play will enchant, educate and welcome audiences and their participation. Make your group reservation by emailing Martie@greenscenechicago.org

BELOW: Teens on May 21,  planting the set for their show! Come see them perform it on August 10 and 11, 2017

Teens are paid $10 per hour with wages made possible by an Individual Artist Grant from the City Of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. The Three Sisters Tale will be presented as part of the Year of Public Art.

created and performed in 2016 by
Green Scene 
Summer Stock Teens 

pictured below with the bean teepee that they grew as a theater set.
Catherine Kannah, Liliane Tran,
Devene Parker, Chisom Chima, Abub
akar Ayuba, and Aida zeleke  

In their adaptation the age old tale,
13-year-old Jacklyn who has a fear of heights must climb a giant beanstalk to save her family. She encounters Giant Baby Ju Ju, who fears dirt and eating fresh foods that grow in it. Ju Ju gobbles only candy as her steady diet!  “Fee-fi-fo-fum. Will I get a Smartie or will I get a Dum Dum?” With the help of the audience, Jacklyn and Ju Ju conquer their fears. Audience members sample fresh beans and learn about good nutrition.  T
hanks to ALDI, each attendee takes home a can of beans!

CLICK HERE -- to see 2 minutes of the performance! Link to VIMEO!

Giant Baby Ju Ju demands candy, while "Jello" the
Golden Cello plays a soothing lullaby.

CLICK here Chicago Sun Times to see great press 

BELOW:   Jacklyn and the Beanstalk ensemble introduces themselves 
to audience members from Chinese Mutual Aid Association.  
Production photographs courtesy of: Hani Moustafa


Green Scene's dynamic arts residency explores botany with theater-making
. 4th and 5th graders at Nathanael Greene Elementary performed in their school garden. This was the culminating event of Green Scene's "Seed to Fruit" cross-pollination of science, literacy and theater arts.
NGSS and ELA core alignment.
Bring Green Scene to your school.
Check out:

CPS Curriculum 

  Green Scene Chicago is conceived and created by Martie Sanders,
a Chicago actress,monologist, and Master Gardener.
  Contact: martie@greenscenechicago.org

Green Scene Chicago programming is endorsed by Alderman Harry Osterman of the 48th Ward.
Funding awards have come from: The Illinois Arts Council, City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, After School Matters, ALDI Corporation, Openlands, Crop Science Society of America, Whole Kids Foundation,
Muhammad Ali Peace Center, and
The Puffin Foundation Ltd.

The garden is protected and supported by a community land trust through NeighborSpace.

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