Listening Through the Walls - KIPP Chicago Public Schools

Listening Through the Walls

Fall 2017

Chicago is one of the most influential architectural hubs in the country. However, even the briefest examination will reveal the striking differences between the gilded skyscrapers of downtown and other bustling historic neighborhoods. This exhibition seeks to highlight a view from those not often featured.

Listening Through the Walls is an examination of neighborhoods from children ages 5-13 about how the housing and urban developments around Chicago shape their lives. KIPP Ascend 7th graders listened to city developers discuss plans for a vacant lot across the street. Then, students created their own visions for the many vacant lots in North Lawndale. KIPP Bloom 6th graders went on a photo tour, snapping pictures to capture the color of Englewood, much like Chicago artist Amanda Williams. KIPP Ascend 5th graders wrote poetry from the perspective of historic homes.

These and other projects created around ideas of home, architecture, urban planning, and visual culture ask us to join in a dialogue to ask: who has a seat at the table when it comes to urban development and maintenance? How do the colors we see illustrate a neighborhood? What stories are hidden in the homes we inhabit?

Come Visit Us

Admission is free for all ages. Donations are gladly accepted.


Monday – Friday | 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Saturday – Sunday | By appointment only
Every second Friday of the month
6:00 to 10:00 PM


2007 S. Halsted, Chicago, Illinois 60608

Located in the Pilsen Neighborhood on the southern border of the historic Chicago Arts District.

How to book a group tour

A one-hour tour includes a conversation around each art exhibit, a short video, and an activist button-making activity. We are a small, one-room museum inside the KIPP Chicago regional office, so we can only accommodate groups of 25 people or fewer. Students in grades K-12 are welcome! Email to schedule a tour.