Investing in the Economic Future of Chicago Communities

Chicago Prize 2020

The Pritzker Traubert Foundation is committed to supporting local leaders and placed-based initiatives investing in the economic future and vibrancy of Black and Brown communities across Chicago. Through investments such as the Hatchery, the Obama Presidential Center, Pullman National Monument, Take the Field, Chicago Prize 2020 recipient Always Growing Auburn Gresham and five Chicago Prize 2020 Finalists, Pritzker Traubert Foundation invests in a future where all Chicagoans can access the economic opportunities, services, and essential amenities they need to thrive within a few blocks of their homes. To achieve this vision, Pritzker Traubert Foundation uses its passion, resources, and networks to support collaborations of local leaders, communities, experts, public sector partners, and investors to design and launch catalytic projects in neighborhoods.

Chicago Prize 2020 was an open call competition to identify and invest $10 million in a single physical development initiative on the city’s South or West Sides to create economic opportunity for residents. In collaboration with civic partners, subject matter experts, and community leaders, “Always Growing Auburn Gresham” led by the Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corporation, Urban Growers Collective, and Green Era Partners was selected from among six Finalists as the inaugural recipient for its healthy, green, inclusive, and prosperous vision and projects for its community. Pritzker Traubert Foundation continues to work closely with Auburn Gresham and five Finalist teams from Austin, Englewood, Little Village, North Lawndale, and South Chicago to advance their projects. Learn more.

In order to help support their investment-ready ideas, the Foundation created the Chicago Prize 2020 Capital Matching Fund, offering up to $500,000 to each Finalist to support continued development of ideas and move one or more of each team’s projects “across the finish line” to create meaningful impact. We thank all the funders who have come forward to provide the match and much more. This effort has already increased the Chicago Prize 2020 commitment from $13 million made by the Foundation to over $35 million through the generosity of our funding partners and the City of Chicago.

Related Investments

  • Obama Presidential Center

    The Obama Presidential Center chose Chicago’s historic Jackson Park as its location after a national competition. In addition to empowering and connecting people from around the country and the world, the Obama Presidential Center will also be a boon to the local economy. During its construction and first ten years of operations, the Center is estimated to create thousands of new jobs and infuse $3.1 billion into the local Chicago economy. The Pritzker Traubert Foundation’s capital grant to the Obama Foundation will support the building of the Center. In addition, the Foundation is supporting a newly forming Obama Youth Jobs Corps, which aims to help youth on the southside of Chicago obtain internships and jobs connected to the Center.

  • Pullman National Monument

    The Pullman National Monument, located in Chicago’s Pullman District, is the first National Park Service unit within the city of Chicago. In addition to preserving the place where George Pullman revolutionized rail travel with the Pullman car, the monument recognizes that immigrants and African Americans were the core of Pullman’s workforce, bringing critical cultural contributions to the city and providing fertile ground for early social justice organizations and movements.

    Pritzker Traubert Foundation contributed a groundbreaking $5M grant to the National Park Foundation, largely promoting the US Department of Interior and President Obama to designate the factory district a national monument. This gift to the Centennial Campaign for America’s National Parks supported the planning, design, and construction of the Clock Tower Visitor Center, the “crowned jewel” of the site, and programs at the Monument. The grand opening of Pullman National Monument Visitor Center and Pullman State Historic Site Factory Grounds will take place over Labor Day Weekend 2021 and is open to the public.

  • WBEZ

    WBEZ ranks as one of the top 10 public radio stations nationally and serves as Chicago’s National Public Radio (NPR) station. WBEZ reaches more than 550,000 weekly listeners through broadcast, 100,000 listeners on digital platforms and has an individual membership base of 86,000 supporters. The Pritzker Traubert Foundation is providing support for WBEZ to launch an enterprise journalism desk to report on how race, class, and communities will shape the region’s future.

  • The Hatchery

    The Hatchery opened in East Garfield Park in 2018. The food and beverage business incubator, a 67,000-square-foot food facility, will spur economic activity in one of Chicago’s highest-need neighborhoods by creating over 900 new jobs by 2023 and providing access to fresh food to a city-designated food desert. The Pritzker Traubert Foundation provided funding to support the development of a Training Center at The Hatchery, designed to provide job training to 18 to 24-year-olds in East Garfield Park and access to jobs in the $32 billion food and beverage industry.

  • Take the Field

    Take the Field, a $13 million public-private partnership, was founded in 2010 to build public athletic fields throughout the city of Chicago to address the growing problem of childhood obesity and to promote healthy activities. The outcome was the creation of 12 state-of-the-art artificial turf fields in neighborhoods throughout Chicago. In addition, the Pritzker Traubert Foundation will support the renovation of a 13th field in 2019. The Chicago Park District was and continues to be an important Take the Field partner.