Blackstone Bicycle Works
Blackstone Bicycle Works is a community bike shop and youth education program of the Experimental Station. The mission of Blackstone is to provide educational and vocational opportunities to youth from some of Chicago's most underserved neighborhoods. Blackstone is structured as a retail, full-service bike shop that offers an "earn and learn," hands-on bicycle mechanics curriculum to its participants. Our year-round program teaches participating youths on-the-job training in mechanics and repair, customer service and management, and peer-education. Participation in our program is voluntary, free of charge, and open to any child, age 8 to 18.
Volunteers generally make a minimum weekly commitment of 3 hours per week for 3 months.
- Youth Bike Instruction
- School Year: Tu-Fr 3:15-6PM, Sa 10AM-1PM (Beginning of September - end of June)
- Summer Program: Tu-Fr 9AM-1PM, Sa 10AM-1PM (End of June - beginning of September)
- Other Youth Activities (bike rides, field trips, art, gardening)
- School Year: Fr 3:15-6PM
- Summer Program: Tu-Fr 1-4PM
- Homework Help/Tutoring
- School Year: Tu-Th 3:15-6PM (Beginning of September - end of June)
- Bike Repair/Refurbishment
- School Year: Tu-Fr 10:30-3:00PM, Sa 1-5PM (Beginning of September - end of June)
- Summer Program: Tu-Fr 1-6PM, Sa 1-5PM (End of June - beginning of September)
- Administrative Support and Special Projects:
- Monday-Friday 9AM-3PM (Year-round)
For more information contact Matthew Searle.
Arts / Administration / Facilities
A limited number of volunteers are taken on to assist with special projects related to the arts, administrative work, and facilities work. For more information, please contact Matthew Searle.
61st St. Farmers Market
Since founding the Market in 2008, Experimental Station has worked to increase access to and affordability of fresh and healthy food for all residents in Chicago's Woodlawn, Hyde Park and surrounding neighborhoods. All our farmers and food artisans are local (Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan) and grow, raise and produce their food following sustainable practices, with many being certified organic. Since the inception of the Market, Experimental Station has launched a variety of educational programs to share our passion for local seasonal food products, sustainability and the joy of cooking with friends and family. Every Saturday at the 61st Street Farmers Market, you can attend a chef demonstration and stop by the Market School tent to learn about responsible agriculture, health and nutrition, environmental preservation, gardening and much more. Through our garden to table food education curriculum, developed in partnership with Andrew Carnegie Elementary School and with funding from the Illinois Department of Agriculture, each year we teach approximately 180 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade students how to eat more healthfully, how to grow their own food, and how to prepare and enjoy the foods they grow.
Volunteers do not need to make a weekly commitment. They sign up for the shifts they would like.
- Set-up: Set-up involves arriving at the 61st Street Farmers Market at 7AM and assisting with preparing the area for the Market by setting up booths and helping vendors. Wear shoes and clothes that you don’t mind getting a little bit dirty.
- Info Booth: There are two shifts in the info booth: 8:30AM - 11:30AM and 11:30AM - 2:30PM. The main duties are to welcome market goers, provide information, managing the coffee, taking attendance, and selling 61st Street Farmers Market merchandise. We will provide you with information and background on the Market, and a current plan for each market's vendors and activities.
- Non-Market Day Tasks: We always need volunteers to assist with publicity and outreach - no orientation needed! Tagging @61Market on Instagram and Twitter, following us on Facebook or tagging #61stStreetFarmersMarket will help spread the word about our market. If you are a home cook, or good at following a recipe, we are attempting to cook through all the recipes of Chez Panisse Vegetables in one market season and posting the results online. Volunteers who have an interest in social media or a blogging presence should inquire about this role.
- Garden Help: Once or twice a month we need help starting seeds, weeding, mulching or harvesting in a garden space located at 60th and Stony Island. We will send out updates via email to alert you of these opportunities.
For more information contact Kelly Fitzpatrick.