Valerie F. Leonard was one of the winners of the EveryBlock Chicago Very Important Neighbors contest in 2011. She used the $1,000.00 prize to produce the Artist for a Day event on October 15, 2011, at the North Lawndale African Heritage Garden, 1245 South Central Park Avenue in Chicago.
Participants had the opportunity to participate in one of six projects, including mosaic stepping stones, jewelry making, mosaic picture frames, mosaic wall hangings, baseball picture frames and painting piggy banks.
The stepping stones were named in honor of community gardeners who passed away, including Jerry Kelly, Ulysses S. Johnson, Velma Johnson, Annie Lott, Pauline Person, Kenneth Nelson, Marion Adams, Annie Anderson, Cleodia O’Quinn, Savannah Binford, Vernell McFadden, Leola Hardesty, Ray Maxey. The stones were dedicated by Rev. Walter Harris, Pastor of Carey Tercentenary AME Church, and Rev. Jeanifer Kimbrough, his assistant. Participants had lunch and showed off their projects.
Financial and In-Kind assistance was provided by EveryBlock Chicago, the North Lawndale Greening Commmittee, Carey Tercentenary AME Church, 3400 West 12th Place Block Club, 1200 South Central Park Block Club, friends, family and neighbors.