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 neighborhood from children, ages 5-13, about how the housing and urban developments around Chicago shape their lives. The structures and neighborhoods we live in were created by designers with perspectives, inspiration, and often blind spots that can lead to larger human rights issues.

Every structure holds the history of every family that lived there before you. Walls are added and redacted with shifts in family needs and landlord motives, creating a living history that is not always visible.

This show is designed to highlight questions that we asked the students about architecture in their neighborhoods. This is their show, about their perspectives on their homes and communities. As we display their work we invite you to discuss these same questions and help us build a dialogue on how architecture and urban planning can shape and mold a community.

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.