Partners and Funders
Smart Communities is a collaborative effort involving many partners at the neighborhood and citywide levels.
It is a project of the City of Chicago Department of Innovation and Technology, under its Digital Excellence Initiative. The Chicago Community Trust, as the program's fiscal agent, works with the City of Chicago to distribute funds to LISC/Chicago and the Chicago Public Library Foundation.
LISC/Chicago manages the collaborations in the five Smart Communities, working through a lead agency in each neighborhood and additional partners. Each neighborhood has a FamilyNet Center that provides training services and connects residents to employment and financial services. Some of the lead agencies use local consultants to support their Business Resource Network, Digital Youth Summer Jobs program and Community Portals.
Smart Communities is supported by several partners that support the core program, provide services across the neighborhoods, or follow program activities for evaluation purposes.
- The Digital Youth Network is managed by DePaul University's College of Computing and Digital Media, the Chicago Public Library Foundation and the Chicago Public Library. Its web site provides a private social learning network, called Remix World, where youth participants can share their work. Three new YouMedia centers are being developed at Chicago Public Library branches in the Smart Communities: the Richard M. Daley Branch in West Humboldt Park, the Lozano Branch in Pilsen, and the Thurgood Marshall Branch in Auburn Gresham.
- Blue Ocean Logic developed the curricula used at the FamilyNet Centers to teach use of the Internet and related programs. It works with LISC/Chicago and the program partners to implement the curricula and improve the lessons based on experiences in the classrooms.
- Common Sense Media provides curricula and training related to safe use of the internet for families and youth. It is a national organization dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in a world of media and technology.
- The University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of Public Administration, is conducting an evaluation of the Smart Communities Program. The program was designed in part to reflect the challenges outlined in a 2009 report (by Karen Mossberger of UIC and Caroline J. Tolbert of University of Iowa), Digital Excellence in Chicago, A Citywide View of Technology Use.
- Kym Abrams Design worked with LISC/Chicago and its partners to develop a marketing campaign that features program participants from the five neighborhoods.
Smart Chicago Collaborative
The Smart Chicago Collaborative is a joint project of the City of Chicago, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and The Chicago Community Trust. It envisions a world where all Chicagoans have equal opportunity to access, benefit from and fully participate in the information economy. The Collaborative provides cross-sector leadership and resources to support the city in its transition to a culture of "digital excellence." The Collaborative drives innovation in Chicago by investing in infrastructure, programs and applications that make the resources of high-speed Internet more accessible, useful and beneficial to low-income people and neighborhoods. Learn more.
Funders and Corporate Partners
Smart Communities is funded primarily by a grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's Broadband Technology Opportunities Program. It has also received grants from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and The Chicago Community Trust. LISC/Chicago provides matching funds and in-kind services.
The program has received donations of equipment, software and related services from Sprint and Cisco.
Find individual contact information in the Contact Us section.