hyde park dacha (2012 - 2014) is a live/work/create space which cultivates creative communities through dialogue, production, and restoration. We are a collective of women, people of color, queer, and migrant artists who utilize culture as a means of social transformation.

What's a dacha? The word dacha holds a mystical place in the hearts and minds of Soviet people. In a country known for political persecution, economic hardship, and social oppression, the dacha served as a safe haven. These rural allotments - often a shack and garden - provided sanctuary from surveillance and enabled self-sufficiency in a world where nothing was private. Dachas brought together family, friends, and neighbors who rolled up their sleeves and built a little piece of happiness among the chaos.

why Hyde Park? Abe and Irina moved back to chicago after stints in abe's native berkeley and irina's native belarus. We knew we wanted to put down roots and start a family but the question remained - where? Hyde Park seemed like the perfect mix of socioeconomic, cultural, and political life. a rare chicago neighborhood where true economic and ethnic diversity flourish. Where businesses and schools, community centers, and intellectual life are grassroots and corporate, activist and establishment. It's the home of the obamas and louis farrakhan; the University of Chicago and the largest private police force outside the vatican. Hyde Park is gentrifying and mobilizing and we're coming together with friends and neighbors to listen, learn, and build a better future.

Join us as we imagine a private/public domain where sharing is the norm. we're starting small with a few projects that make sense. This year we'll be hosting a daycare, weekly yoga classes, and quarterly salons. what's next? You tell us. Be our neighbor.

Photos courtesy of Riley Henderson.