Studio Gang and AGC to Build a Net Positive Future (Video)

10 Jun

At our Chefs’ Playground event last week, we announced our partnership with Studio Gang to build the state’s first net positive energy school building, a replicable new model for public school building that will be built on the Southwest side.

“We are excited to share the news that Jeanne Gang and Studio Gang Architects will be leading the design of Chicago’s greenest campus. Not only will the space blaze a bright new trail for educating students, it will bridge vital needs of the community as well,” commented board member Amanda Hanley.

The future 60,000 square foot campus will include classrooms, an international learning laboratory, a teacher professional development center, an early childhood center, and an urban food production center.

The new campus will create spaces for learning that break down barriers between kids – barriers like ethnicity, national origin, gender identification, or income – vital in bringing about an equitable, sustainable society for future generations.

AGC’s Chefs’ Playground Gala news on NBC, Sun Times National and Chicago Tribune

9 Jun

We are thrilled by the follow up press from Chefs’ Playground on Thursday, including pieces from Sun Times National and the Chicago Tribune. An NBC 5 crew attended AGC’s Chefs’ Playground gala on Thursday and shot the following footage for the NBC 5 news at 10 that evening! Thanks to all who attended and supported this event.

3rd Annual Chefs’ Playground Wows Guests, Raises $340,000, Announces Studio Gang Net Positive Partnership

8 Jun


More than 23 Chefs and Mixologists, Actor Adrian Grenier and Guests Raise $340,000, Studio Gang Architects Announced to Design The Academy’s Future Campus

CHICAGO – June 5, 2015 – On Thursday, June 4, 2015 Chef Tony Mantuano and Bon Appétit Management Company CEO Fedele Bauccio hosted the third annual Chefs’ Playground presented by Lifeway to benefit the Academy for Global Citizenship (AGC), an innovative Chicago public charter school located in the underserved southwest side. With 500 guests in attendance, the event raised more than $340,000 thanks in part to a matching grant from the George and Amanda Hanley foundation. Funds will go towards the school’s general operating costs with portions earmarked for the development of the first net-positive energy school in Illinois, which will generate more energy than it uses in a year through clean and renewable resources.

The evening featured 23 of Chicago’s best chefs and mixologists – including Rick Bayless (Topolobampo, Frontera Grill, Xoco), Jeff Mauro (Host of the Food Network’s “The Kitchen and “The Sandwich King”), Sarah Grueneberg (Monteverde), Lee Wolen (Boka) and Gabriel Orta, Elad Zvi and Freddie Sarkis (The Broken Shaker Chicago) – who offered modern takes on their favorite childhood dishes and drinks. Guests also enjoyed music from DJ Matt Roan while taking in the view of the Chicago Skyline from Terzo Piano at the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago.

“We are so grateful to all of our sponsors, partners, chefs, mixologists, and our guests who once again have made this event such a success,” said Sarah Elizabeth Ippel, founder and executive director of the Academy for Global Citizenship. “Our vision for the future of public education is one step closer to being a reality because of the support of this amazing community.”

In addition to monies raised, AGC announced that award-winning, internationally renowned Studio Gang Architects, led by founder and principal Jeanne Gang, FAIA, has been chosen to design the future 60,000-square-foot campus. The new site will include classrooms, an international learning laboratory, a professional development and green job training center, an early childhood center and an urban food production center. Plans for the net-positive campus have been five years in the making, with the selection of Studio Gang the latest accomplishment. As one of the school’s newest partners, the Studio joins actor Adrian Grenier (“Entourage”), who attended the event to assist with the live auction as a new advocate for the school and will provide thought leadership towards the new campus’ creation.

“We are excited to share the news that Jeanne Gang and Studio Gang Architects will be leading the design of Chicago’s greenest campus. Not only will the space blaze a bright new trail for educating students, it will bridge vital needs of the community as well,” commented board member Amanda Hanley who served on the architect selection committee and, along with her husband George, issued a $1 Million Challenge Grant from the Hanley Foundation.

Fedele Bauccio, Bon Appétit co-founder and CEO, has recruited his designers to help imagine a stunning food experience for the new Studio Gang-designed campus, sketches of which were on view during the event. Bon Appétit is a leading on-site restaurant company, pioneering environmentally sound sourcing policies and offering full food-service management to 500 vibrant cafés on the campuses of our nation’s top companies, universities and museums, including Google, MIT and the Art Institute of Chicago. With help from Bauccio and his team of visionaries, students will dine, cook and learn in a dining hall that rivals those of our top universities.

The Academy for Global Citizenship is an authorized International Baccalaureate public charter school located on the underserved Southwest side of Chicago. AGC provides quality education to 400, K–7th grade low-income, predominately minority students. Environmental sustainability roots AGC’s education in the natural world. Their innovative and holistic approach to education aims to foster systemic change and inspire the way society educates our future generations. Moreover, AGC is producing a replicable model for learning in the 21st century. The school’s Net Positive capital campaign, driven by the Hanley Foundation’s early $1M gift, is the result of private partnerships formed by a group of passionate, visionary founding investors.

For more information on AGC and Chefs’ Playground, please visit Follow at @globalchicago and #ChefsPlayground.

High-resolution photos of the event are available here, with photo credit and captions.

Media Kit available for download at:

Media Contacts:

For Chefs’ Playground: David Semanoff,

For Studio Gang Architects: Samantha Snodgrass,

For AGC: Katherine Elmer-DeWitt,

About The Academy for Global Citizenship

The Academy for Global Citizenship (AGC) is a Chicago Public Charter School located on the city’s underserved southwest side. AGC’s mission is to develop mindful leaders who take action both now and in the future to positively impact their communities and the world beyond. AGC is committed to fostering environmental stewardship, nutrition and wellness, and an international perspective. AGC aims to inspire the way society educates by creating a replicable model for learning in the 21st century, including the construction of Chicago’s first net-positive energy school campus. For more information, please visit

About Studio Gang Architects

Founded by MacArthur Fellow Jeanne Gang in 1997, Studio Gang is an award-winning design practice based in Chicago and New York. A creative team of architects, designers, and thinkers, the Studio operates as a laboratory—identifying urban patterns; testing ideas and materials; and developing new models at various scales.

Studio Gang begins its work with a concentrated discovery process, developing ideas through research, collaboration, and the exploration of form. Embedded in this process is the conscious, ongoing effort to improve our communities and our environment. Each project aims to resonate with its locality while addressing global themes like urbanization, climate, and social justice.

Guided by this approach, Studio Gang has produced some of today’s most compelling architecture, including the Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo, the Columbia College Chicago Media Production Center, and Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership at Kalamazoo College. For more information, please visit

About Bon Appétit Management Company

Bon Appétit Management Company is an on-site restaurant company offering full food-service management to corporations, universities, and specialty venues. Based in Palo Alto, CA, Bon Appétit has more than 500 cafés in 33 states. Bon Appétit food is cooked from scratch, including sauces, stocks, and soups. A pioneer in environmentally sound sourcing policies, Bon Appétit has developed programs addressing local purchasing, the overuse of antibiotics, sustainable seafood, the food and climate change connection, humanely raised meat and eggs, and farmworker welfare. It has received numerous awards for its work, from organizations including the James Beard Foundation, Chefs Collaborative, Natural Resources Defense Council, Seafood Choices Alliance, The Humane Society of the United States, and Food Alliance.


Special Celebrity Guests and Auction Items for 3rd Annual Chefs’ Playground Next Week

29 May

In one week 19 celebrity chefs, including Tony Mantuano, Jeff Mauro, Rick Bayless, and Sarah Grueneberg, alongside 4 master mixologists, will gather at Terzo Piano for the 3rd annual Chefs’ Playground gala presented by Lifeway Kefir and created in collaboration with Bon Appétit Management Company.

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We are excited to announce that, in addition to our stunning chef lineup, we will be joined by Kathy Hart, co-host of Eric & Kathy on The Mix 101.9 fm and our friend Adrian Grenier (aka Mr. A,) fresh from the premier of the Entourage movie on Wednesday, June 3rd.

8796279031_cd0630c2f7_zAdrian, kids & #schoolyardchicken

Ms. Hart will lead the event’s live auction, with some help from Mr. Grenier, who has generously donated his time for one of our auction items. Ms. Hart, an advocate for holistic wellness, including mindfulness and the importance of nutrition, topics our students learn about at AGC. Mr. Grenier, a passionate advocate for sustainable food and lifestyles, visited AGC this winter and has joined our Net Positive energy campus campaign as an advisor.

Our live auction will feature a trip to a Southern weekend food festival, including flights and a stay in a hip new eco-hotel; a private dinner cooked in your home by a group of award winning chefs; and a trip for you and your friends to hang with celebrity food and sustainability advocates on the East Coast. Silent auction items include a year of good food from Chipotle, Izze and O.N.E Coconut water, custom clothing from Wilfred Newman and Frederick Lynn, designer furniture from Holly Hunt, and lots of great food experiences!

Currently, only 21 VIP and 41 General Admission tickets remain. Sets of 6 are sold out. Get your tickets today at Tickets will run out! 100% of ticket sales and funds raised at this event go directly to supporting innovation in education at the Academy for Global Citizenship.

Chefs Grueneberg, Neubeck & Pederson, Broken Shaker Mixologists Announced for Chefs’ Playground VIP hour | Additional Tickets Released

27 May

We are thrilled to announce that Sarah Grueneberg and Megan Neubeck will grace the terrace at Terzo Piano for the VIP hour that precedes next week’s Chef’s Playground gala.

Sarah Grueneberg, a Top Chef Texas finalist, served as the executive chef of Mantuano’s award-winning Spiaggia until 2013 to open her first restaurant. Grueneberg and business partner Meg Sahs, a fellow Spiaggia alumnus and former Terzo Piano Chef de Cuisine will open their first restaurant, Monteverde, at 1020 W. Madison this summer. This is Chef Grueneberg’s second Chefs’ Playground event.

Megan Neubeck has served as Terzo Piano’s Chef de Cuisine since 2012 and was also briefly on the line at Spiaggia alongside Grueneberg and Sahs. After a brief stint as a pastry assistant at BOKA, Megan returned to the Levy family of restaurants to help open Terzo Piano in 2009. Neubeck’s skill with both sweet and savory dishes has earned her praise from Time Out, the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Magazine, and more! This is Chef Neubeck’s third Chefs’ Playground event.

Nicole Pederson is the founding Executive Chef at Found Kitchen. Chef Pederson’s commitment to local and seasonal produce has hearkened comparisons to a young Alice Waters. A true global citizen, Pederson worked in acclaimed restaurants France, Vail, Colorado, and New York before returning to the Midwest to work at Lula Cafe and C-House, among others, before being recruited to open Found Kitchen in Evanston. Chef Pederson recently won the coveted Cochon 555. This is Chef Pederson’s second event with AGC.

These talented and accomplished chefs will cook exclusively for VIP ticket holders during a VIP cocktail hour between 6:00 and 7:00 pm. We are honored to have three such accomplished women cooking for our VIP guests. Chefs Neubeck and Grueneberg will be preparing vegetable-based dishes for this VIP hour.

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Chefs Grueneberg, Neubeck and Pederson will be joined during this VIP reception by three creative and celebrated mixologists from the Broken Shaker, a much anticipated new cocktail bar which opened last week inside the new Freehand Hotel. Founders Elad Zvi and Gabriel Ortega will be mixing up magic at Chefs’ Playground alongside Bar Manager Freddie Sarkis. Adam Seger will be pouring creativity inside for our main event.

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As of this afternoon, only a handful of VIP tickets remain. In celebration of these exciting announcements and in anticipation of even more exciting special guests to be announced this week, we’ve released an additional set of 25 VIP tickets and 25 General Admission tickets. We expect these to be gone within the week, so purchase yours today! Join these and many more celebrated chefs and mixologists next Thursday, June 4th at Terzo Piano in the Art Institute of Chicago.

Students Lead Screen Free Week at AGC for I.B. Exhibition Project

6 May
This year I have had the pleasure of working with a group of four 5th graders who are working on the culmination of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme through their Exhibition Project. The exhibition is a chance for students to study, research, and report out on a topic of their choosing. The students I am working with choose to take a look at the way technology (specifically screens) and social media impact humans. It has been a joy to work alongside 4 talented, motivated and well rounded students. As part of the exhibition (as with any unit of inquiry) the students needed to think of a way to act on the new knowledge they gained from their research. Enter screen free week.

Screen free week, May 4-10, 2015, is sponsored by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. According to the campaign the goal is to encourage “….children, families, communities around the world (to) swap digital entertainment for the joys of life beyond the screen.” After talking with the students I have been working with they decided to promote screen free week school wide.

Here is a look at an email they sent to our entire staff:

“We are asking classes to make a commitment to reduce their screen time this week. It can be as simple as not playing a single video game, or as hard as no screens for the whole week whatsoever. On Friday, we will be celebrate with a school wide screen free time at 2:30-3:00 for those that wish to participate. You can spend this time doing an outdoor activity, an art project, a read aloud, yoga, scavenger hunt, or other screen free activities.”
I would encourage you to join the movement. Think less about being completely “screen-free” but rather to have a conversation with your family about ways we can reduce our screen time this week. One of my student’s plan is to not watch any tv except the Bulls and Blackhawks games. Another student has chosen to not use their tablet at all this week. Another has chosen not to play “Clash of Clans.” I personally am doing no TV (except one Netflix a night.) Staff from all grade levels have jumped on board as well. School Coordinator Berenice Salas, whose daughter also attends AGC, told our student organizers “Our family does not have a tv in the living room because we play board games, dance or read together. I love this initiative your group is taking on! Violeta’s awesome teacher talked to her about screen-free week and our family committed to zero tablets all week. Keep up the incredible work… Your message is spreading and is impactful!” My fellow 4th grade teacher, Anna Krzyzanowski told the students “Fourth grade is loving the idea! We’ve come up with some goals for ourselves…and we even had someone say they would be screen free for an entire month! Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm for going screen free!”
On behalf of these four students, I encourage you to get away from the screen that you are inevitably using to read this post and go outside, do an art project, and swap digital entertainment for the joys of life beyond the screen!
– 4th Grade Teacher Trey Thompson

AGC and The Plant Help Vittum Park Celebrate Earth Day this Saturday

17 Apr

Our neighbors at Vittum Park (located at 5010 W. 50th Street) have invited AGC and the Plant to share our mission, vision and approach to fostering environmental stewardship at their Earth Day Event. Please join us this Saturday if you are in the area!

ED Flyer Vittum (1)


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