2018, 2019, 2020


Chicago, IL

Chicago Maritime Arts Center

Chicago Boat Building Program

Ambassador Grant: Dave Rearick

The Chicago Maritime Arts Center (CMAC) is a newly formed 501(c)(3), established in 2017 with the mission to increase access, respect, understanding, and appreciation for maritime arts, local waterways, and the environment among communities throughout the City of Chicago. This program is the first youth boat building program in the city, and its afterschool and summer camp programs are quickly gaining popularity. By connecting local kids to the Chicago River and Lake Michigan, teaching ecology and the maritime arts, CMAC aims to help kids develop new skills and find new pathways for the future.

Scope 2019 & 2020
  • Students will build small boats and learn boating skills to support and develop Chicago’s youth and families, emphasizing responsible use of waterways.  
  • Expand the organization’s programming and instructor base to develop additional programming and broaden its reach into Chicago communities.
  • Encourage a diverse range of 85-100 students to experience hands-on learning, develop a connection with the water, life-skills, and environmental responsibility through after-school programs and summer camps in partnership with schools and other civic organizations.
Scope 2018
  • Partner with 11th Hour Racing Ambassador Dave Rearick.
  • Support Boat Building Programs in 2018 & 2019, reaching 40-60 youths, targeting 11-14-year-olds with an emphasis on diversity (gender, ethnic, socioeconomic, geographic, etc.) of participants and under-resourced neighborhoods across Chicago.
  • Build participant’s skills in carpentry, teamwork, communication, and problem-solving to instill confidence, understanding, and self-reliance. Programming will also include lessons on local ecology and water resources encouraging personal responsibility, respect, and conservation in their daily lives.

About Chicago Maritime Arts Center

Their mission is to bring people back to the Lake and River that created Chicago, to teach marine ecology and the maritime arts, and to help kids find themselves and new pathways by learning to build boats.

Header image photo credit: Chicago Maritime Arts Center

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