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Thanks for the Lift!

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Thanks for joining us for last night’s Leverage benefit for the Community Design Collaborative! And thanks to our generous Leverage sponsors.

Your support means a lot to us. Proceeds from Leverage will help fund the Collaborative’s Design Grants program. Through our Design Grants, volunteer design teams work side-by-side with communities to put their visions down on paper and advance their projects—gaining support, raising funding, and building projects.
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“Our Design Grants provide leverage," Beth Miller explained last night, “They offer nonprofits a jump start, doing some of the ‘heavy lifting’ that goes into real neighborhood transformation.”

A vibrant mix of over 200 friends of community design renewed friendships and made new ones under a lofty canopy of trace paper. They were treated to a pop up exhibition of pro bono design work by our volunteers and a mix of music by DJ Teriyaki. Solve the mystery of how we created that canopy of trace, and see the rest of the evening unfold, via our #leverage2014 Storify post.

Carol Horne Penn spoke on the impact of our 2009 Design Grant to Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, "an exceptionally prepared schematic design that reflected our vision for new office space that provided dignity to our clients and... the quality of our legal work."

The Collaborative took the occasion to present its Leverage Award to the Office of Housing and Community Development. Beth Miller, the Collaborative’s executive director, recognized OHCD as an early champion of the Collaborative. The award recognizes leaders for their commitment to strengthening neighborhoods through design.

Deborah McColloch, OHCD’s director, accepted the award on behalf of the agency. She, in turn, recognized the volunteers at Leverage, “the pro bono work by so many of you has made a difference.”

Beth Miller and Deborah McColloch sat down with Plan Philly’s Ashley Hahn this week.  Hahn writes, “It may seem that OHCD, a city agency, and the Collaborative, a design group started by "anarchist architects", occupy different parts of the community development spectrum, but that's just what makes them excellent partners. While the Collaborative can be a proving ground, OHCD helps break ground.” Read more.


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