Imagine this particular setting. A child on the south side of Chicago is sitting down watching TV and they turn the channel to watch the Chicago Bears play for Sunday night football. During the game, they hear the bios of one of the players read with fact after fact presented to them. While listening to all the stats and the career highlights, their ears perk up when they hear that the player whose poster also hangs proudly on their wall; is also from the south side. From that similarity, that child from the south side now has an image of someone who is like them that made it. Because of the image they represent, many influential Chicagoans have taken it upon themselves to give back to their communities and be an example. They are the reason so many of Chicago’s youth have a newfound sense of hope even though misfortune may surround them. One person who certainly has not hesitated to use his image for good and instilling hope is Chicago Bear’s running back Matt Forte.
Matt Forte’s What’s Your Forte Foundation not only instills hope to Chicago youth, but raises funds year-round providing educational resources to exceptional Chicago students. Because of What’s Your Forte, scholarships are awarded easing the burden of college tuition for hard working students. In conjunction with his What’s Your Forte Foundation and World Sport Chicago, Matt Forte along with his wife Danielle created a celebration of art and Chicago with Chicago Paints the World. The exclusive event emceed by CBS’s Ryan Baker hosted 120 guest where one of a kind art pieces created by Chicago celebrities were auctioned off for charity. Tons of celebrities lent their artistic talents to the cause including Matt Forte, Martellus Bennet, Lupe Fiasco, Chicago PD’s LaRoyce Hawkins, Olympian Aja Evans, Israel Idonije and Bill & Giuliana Rancic just to name a few.
Since art was the unifying theme of the night, many of the works carried a sentimental value making it truly one of a kind. Chicago artist and designer P. Scott helped curate the event, even leaving his signature red triangle in each of the works he created. According to P. Scott, the triangle guides the viewer to the direction the artist wants you to look in. While some of the celebrities P. Scott assisted may have dabbled in the arts at one point or another, with P. Scott’s expertise even beginners got the hang of expressing their artistic vision.
Bill and Giuliana Rancic displayed their love of travel with a collage of plane tickets, Matt Forte’s painting displayed the theme of hope for the future, LaRoyce Hawkins’s Mic displayed the powerful message of speaking up, Aja Evans memorialized her goggles that she wore in the 2014 Winter Olympics, and Kelvin Hayden parted with sentimental gear from his winning days.
As guests perused about the art decorated space, they nibbled on lite bites and sipped on champagne. After the party-goers satisfied their appetite, it was then time to satisfy their wallets by bidding on the valuable works of art. The liveli Bears tight end Martellus Bennett grabbed the mic and became the auctioneer for the evening. Through his salesman abilities and his knack for storytelling, $30,000 was raised that night.
The top works of the night were auctioned off to some impassioned bidders. The top 25 bidders of the night would also be treated to a Louis XIII tasting. While each of the works were strong contenders, the crowd favorite was P. Scott’s Chicago Roots which displays the iconic Chicago skyline in the roots of a grand tree.
Continuing with the art theme, attendees were treated to an exclusive performance from Elliot of Artbeat Live. He created a magnificent Chicago Black Hawks creation to the tune of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. And for those who were in awe of the live creation created merely in minutes, Elliot’s works were up for grabs as well.
Overall the night was a success and some lucky bidders can now proudly display the one of a kind works in their home. Because of Chicago Paints the World, the lives of some lucky kids just got a whole lot brighter.