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The Earth Month party on April 1 boasted art-making, games, music and drinks. (Photo by Adina Keeling)

To kick off Earth Month, five local organizations collaborated to host a celebration for the whole community. 

The Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse, a nonprofit that collects and sells used building materials, partnered with Citizens’ Greener Evanston, the WasteShed Evanston, Evanston Made and the Art Maker’s Outpost, to promote sustainability while offering the community art-making, games, music and drinks. 

The event was hosted at the Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse, at 1245 Hartrey Ave.

More than 200 people registered for the free Friday event, hosted at the Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse at 1245 Hartrey Ave. 

Those in the mood to shop perused goods at the WasteShed Evanston, a center located within the Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse that accepts and sells used art materials

The Art Maker’s Outpost, an art studio also dedicated to reusing art materials, invited community members to decorate their own pins using bottle caps, sparkles, glue, pens, colored paper and corks. 

“We just really want people to rally around sustainability,” said Valerie Kahan, cofounder and creative director at the Art Maker’s Outpost. 

The executive directors of the five involved organizations sought to join forces and felt that with declining COVID-19 rates, it would be a good time to host an event for the community, Kahan said. 

Typically, Citizens’ Greener Evanston organizes more educational programming, said Rachel Rosner, President of the CGE board of directors. This time, the nonprofit, which works to make the city more sustainable, felt the community just needed a fun event to help Evanstonians stay connected. 

“The volume of replies for this event really indicate how hungry people are to get together in community with other people who care about the planet,” Rosner said. 

The celebration also featured a book reading and signing with local author Susie Pratt. DJ Kate Walsh played music and two bartenders served drinks. 

Ruby Desjardins of Birds & B-sides DJs plays lively music. (Photo by Adina Keeling)

Evanston Made, a nonprofit arts organization, invited local artists to set up tables within the warehouse to create and showcase their sustainable art. Local artist Lisa Plefka Haskin, for example, made coasters from tiles and old stamps. 

The Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse provided the perfect space for a party, said Liz Cramer, Co-Director of Evanston Made. 

“We [Evanston Made] had wanted to connect with the WasteShed Evanston and the Rebuilding Warehouse because we felt like a lot of people in town don’t really know what they have to offer, and we wanted to bring awareness to them,” said Cramer. 

Joy and Chris Joyce, members of the Evanston Lighthouse Rotary Club, learned about the event at a Rotary meeting. Joy Joyce said the event helped her learn more about local organizations in Evanston and their sustainability initiatives. 

“I think it’s just great to bring the community together,” she added.

Adina Keeling

Adina Keeling is a photojournalist and reporter, covering city news, sustainability, schools, and art. She also investigates mental health systems and environmental injustices in Evanston, and puts together...

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