Artreach / First Slice


Artreach is Lillstreet’s nonprofit sister organization that serves those with limited access to art education and resources. We seek to transform individuals and their communities through the provision of high quality and innovative art instruction. Whether your community is an elementary or high school, a senior center, a social service agency, a hospital, or something completely different, we are there for you. Artreach at Lillstreet is a 501(c)3 organization, providing low-cost, high-quality arts education and public art programs, especially to groups who often lack a voice in our society.

Founded in 1989, we now provide over 6,000 hands-on art experiences per year in ceramics, painting & drawing, puppet & mask making, metalsmithing, textiles, and more. Artreach programs are funded in part by generous support from: Artist and Craftsman Supply, The Athena fund at Chicago Community Trust; The Dana Corman Foundation, The DEW Foundation, Lillstreet Art Center; Riehn Insurance, The Wrightwood Neighbors Conservation Association; Whole Foods; and many generous individual donors. Facebook Icon Twitter Icon Email

First Slice

More than one in ten households in the US experience hunger or the risk of hunger. Many of the affected are children. Studies show that an early childhood spent in hunger creates a higher risk of chronic illness and mental and behavioral problems—often leading to a self-perpetuating cycle of need later in life.

Chef Mary Ellen Diaz knows firsthand about the power of food. Trained at l’Ecole des Arts Culinaires, Diaz loves food for its ability to create connections and memories. She also values nutrition at its purest: comfort food and local organics.