For the past four years, Chicago has been the backdrop for Showtime’s hit series The Chi, and the network is paying it forward through the creation of a social good initiative that will empower Chicagoans who are embedded in the fabric of the city. According to the Chicago Defender, the television network recently donated $500,000 to support and advance grassroots initiatives.
A portion of the funding will financially back efforts being led by Greencorps Chicago. The city-run program was designed to create pathways within the environmental industry for those who reside in underserved neighborhoods. Greencorps Chicago provides job readiness training for sustainability careers. The endowment—which will also support the Chicago Public Art Group—covers the clean-up of areas in North Lawndale and Bronzeville. As part of the initiative, vibrant art installations will be added to these public spaces.
Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, The Chi cast members, Showtime’s Executive Vice President of Marketing and Strategy Puja Vohra and community leaders recently gathered to share the news about the network’s gift. “From vibrantly depicting our city’s neighborhoods on ‘The Chi’ to now investing in our city’s sustainability, employment, and art initiatives, SHOWTIME has demonstrated its commitment to supporting and uplifting our residents,” Mayor Lightfoot said in a statement, according to the news outlet. “This donation will make a real difference in our communities and strengthen two of our greatest community-based programs, which are doing incredible work to improve Chicago. I want to thank SHOWTIME for their investment and for continuing to play an important role in the resurgence of our city’s TV and film industry, which remains one of the largest and most diverse in the country.”
In 2019, Mayor Lightfoot unveiled an initiative dubbed INVEST South/West which was centered on the revitalization of the city’s neighborhoods.