Last May, the Creative Chicago Reuse Exchange (CCRx) and Envision Unlimited held an "On the Table" meal with fellow Chicago-area artists, teachers and nonprofit professionals to discuss how they could help each other with supplies and inspiration.
“We focused on teachers. They’re extremely creative and generous,” said Barbara Koenen, CCRx's Executive Director. “And they need materials for their classrooms. We wanted to lighten the financial burden on Chicago teachers, who routinely spend their own money to provide classroom supplies. "
As a result of that On the Table gathering, CCRx created the Swap Circle for Teachers to provide teachers with classroom supplies and other materials donated by local businesses. CCRx submitted the idea of a Swap Circle to the Acting Up Awards—a grant program of the Chicago Community Trust that helps great ideas from On the Table conversations spring into reality.