We had the good fortune of connecting with Jordan Campbell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jordan, what do you attribute your success to?
The most important factor behind our success is belief. Belief is a tool that we use to create, collaborate and lead. Alt Space Chicago originated with the belief that we could be a faith based artists driven NPO. With this uncommon merger we looked to our talents and faith in God to reclaim the narrative of Chicago. Through this merger we have created original functional art installations such as alt_Market and alt_[b.in]. Our projects are a testament to the relationships we have developed with our neighbors and enterprises. We believe that each partner is special and necessary to our overall success; and that is nurtured with transparency and integrity.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Our art begins with listening. Something so simple, but essential to the core of our company. The idea behind listening is that it is a tool we use to respond. When you serve in a community with over 5000 vacant properties, stifled dreams and scarce economic opportunities we focus on the outcry of the people. This outcry varies within its forms, nonetheless the need for compassion and direction remain. Art has given us the ability to see these spaces of disinvestment as spaces of opportunity. Through the transformation of space with our installations we inspire, uplift and challenge our neighbors to fight for hope and success. Success that leads to independence, dignity and holistic health of the individual and community. The challenges are many, but we understand they only make us stronger. In our efforts to revitalize our communities we have seen areas of growth needed internally. One being time management; being a young and thriving company we have charted many grounds leading to us being overworked and exhausted. What we’ve learned is the importance saying no. As creatives we love taking on new projects and meeting deadlines, but at some point you get tired and need a break. We learned this the hard way, and now we utilize our scheduling tools to help us plan more efficiently.
What we want the world to know is that you don’t have to compromise your gifts or faith to live out your purpose. Many challenges come, but they can produce perseverance and endurance. Hopefully, through your experiences you gain more knowledge that leads to understanding and wisdom. We believe that Alt Space Chicago reflects this belief, through tangible acts of service and meaningful collaborations we create alternatives to the narrative.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Food: With its diverse cultural makeup, Chicago has a plethora to offer in terms of food. After a long days work, you might find us at Arigato Market off of Grand & Noble they specialize in Japanese American fusion Tacos.
With so many Breweries, we would be remiss if we didn’t take you to On Tour Brewing Company on West Hubbard St.
If your looking for a place to find tranquility and marvel at the beauty of its sacred architecture you must go to the Baha’i Temple located in Wilmette. With only seven of them in the world and only one on each continent it’s a must see.
St. Lucas, alt_’s new locational of W. Lake St. If your looking for a place to chill, dance, eat, create, meet amazing people, watch films, see performances and have fun it’s a great space for
[D.] all the above.
The Silver Room on 53rd. Great space for books, fashion, art and live performances.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Tricky question… We have been moved by so many people this past year. We have been moved by our first participants within our education program Creating Live Art For The Youth[C.L.A.Y.] in collaboration with Chicago Park District Teens Reimagining Art Community & Environment. All of our partners and collaborators on various projects and initiatives. But none of this would be possible without the support and belief of our volunteers and followers. The pulse of our volunteers and following gives us life. The work we do in the community wouldn’t be as impactful without them. Our volunteers and followers have helped us to serve 10,000 families, helped us register communities to vote and spread awareness about COVID-19. The gap has always been wide for disinvested communities, but with their efforts we have built bridges utilizing art, hope and compassion. In the words of late Al Jarreau “. We Got By”.
Photos taken by Tyler McClelland Jordan Campbell Jon Veal