South East Chicago Commission Board of Directors
in SJN Beautification Program by

For more than 20 years, South East Chicago Commission has invested in neighborhood micro-grants used to preserve and improve the quality of life in Chicago’s Southside lakefront communities.

On Friday May 24, 2024, SECC was delighted to host its annual A Night at the Theatre event, a fundraiser in support of the Shirley J. Newsome Beautification Program that awards micro-grants to non-profit organizations seeking support for neighborhood enhancement projects.

The evening’s networking reception at Augustana Lutheran Church included live music from Charles Pryor and his son. Kaye Cooksey captured the event in photos (Facebook gallery). Guests were treated to a tasty bites from Rajun Cajun, Chant Restaurant and desserts from Buy the Pound Bakery.

Executive Director, Diane Burnham introduced insightful and inspiring testimonial stories and project updates from 2023 enhancement grant recipients:  The Muddy Waters MOJO Museum and Paradise Garden Project by Salaam Community Wellness Center.

After reviewing more than 20 applications, this year’s grant process is almost complete. The final decision on the 2024 enhancement grant recipients will be announced in June.

A special thanks to the Elizabeth Louise Smith Fund for their matching funds support and to Preservation of Affordable Housing Chicago (POAH) for continuous support of the SJN Beautification Program.

The SECC experience at Court Theatre’s award-winning performance of Stokely: The Unfinished Revolution was fantastic.

Congratulations to Phaedre Leslie, winner of the Grand Prize drawing for a stay at the Sophy Hotel with food and beverage gift certificate at Mesler.

Thanks to Diane Burnham, Raymonde Vance, Ticina Williams, and Rod Sawyer for producing this event on behalf of and in collaboration with the SECC Board of Directors. SECC also sends its appreciation to CEI Media Group for designing the event marketing, sponsorship poster and SJN Beautification Program art posters while also providing general administrative support.