Jan 9th 2020

As the January 13, 2020 deadline to apply for the new L1 Creative Business Accelerator fellowship nears, creative entrepreneurs interested in applying for the inaugural two-year cohort are invited to learn more about the program, ask questions in person, and tour the new L1 space, scheduled to open in Spring 2020.

The L1 information session, led by Arts + Public Life staff and Proximity, The Silver Room Foundation’s urban planning and social impact arm, will provide interested applicants with a detailed overview of this new shared storefront retail space and collaborative learning opportunity for creative entrepreneurs. Guests will also have the opportunity to tour the L1 facility, housed inside the historic first “L” station built in 1892 on Garfield Boulevard in Washington Park. The 700 square feet of flexible storefront space, operated and managed by Arts + Public Life, will house three South Side entrepreneurs committed to scaling their creative businesses over the next two years.

Preference is given to creative entrepreneurs that:
– Are highly-motivated creative business owners.
– Already have legally established businesses.
– Are looking to expand their early stage to long-term in-home, online, or consignment businesses to operate out of a bricks and mortar location.
– Have a creative retail, service, and other arts-based business that serves a predominantly South Side customer base.

Arts + Public Life is partnering with Proximity to facilitate the accelerator program. In the spirit of one of Chicago’s earliest ‘L’ station facilities, L1 is designed to support an elevation-focused transformative process for participants. By providing over 700 square feet of flexible storefront space and 20-month curriculum-based, cohort model of services, L1 will provide creative entrepreneurs the unique opportunity to learn, launch, and build their networks in a structured and supportive manner. Through additional partnerships, including The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago, L1 will work to eliminate some of the traditional barriers of entry to business ownership for creative entrepreneurs, while successfully diversifying the small business and employment options available for Washington Park and residents of Chicago’s South Side.

As Arts + Public Life continues to support opportunities for creative entrepreneurs to flourish on Chicago’s South Side, we are excited for you to learn more about this new opportunity and hope that you can attend the information session.

Learn more about the new L1 Creative Business Accelerator at https://arts.uchicago.edu/L1

The L1 Creative Business Accelerator is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and Raymond J. Iwanowski. More details about additional accelerator partnerships and program specifics will be shared in 2020. Please stay tuned.

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