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Bronzeville, Near South Side

Rebuild Foundation Looking For More Artists-in-Residence For Retreat At Currency Exchange Cafe

The six-month program allows local entrepreneurs to gain brick-and-mortar experience while earning an honorarium up to $10,000.

Retreat at the Currency Exchange Cafe is now accepting applications for its next Artists-In-Residence Incubator now through July 26.
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WASHINGTON PARK — Black and Brown entrepreneurs in need of mentorship and professional development are invited to apply for Retreat at Currency Exchange Cafe’s Artists-In-Residency program through July 26.

The program relaunched in 2021 in response to COVID-19-related bar and restaurant closures. In addition to mentoring, participants get to experience brick and mortar ownership, taking over the space at Currency Exchange Cafe for six months.

Participants can also receive an honorarium up to $10,000.

The program was created by Rebuild Foundation founder Theaster Gates.

Retreat’s third cohort of artists and entrepreneurs will be in residence Sept. 1-Jan. 31. Applicants must have catering or commercial kitchen experience, an LLC, or licensed business/organization and kitchen safety certifications, like ServSafe.

Those interested are invited to email their resume, biography, a sample menu and cover letter to

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Felton Kizer and Amanda Christine Harth are the cofounders of Monday Coffee.

The program has helped nearly a half-dozen Black and Brown business owners, including Pour Souls Cocktails, CTRL Z Coffee, Dozzy’s Grill and Monday Coffee.

Monday Coffee wrapped up its residency late last year, but co-owner Amanda Harth said she and partner Felton Kizer still receive support from Rebuild staff, who pass along opportunities that may be of interest.

“The biggest takeaway is the feeling of community and connection with the organization,” said Harth, who started Monday Coffee with her best friend during the pandemic. “Connecting with people who became regulars and were excited to try our products, or other people’s products … more people are learning about the space and understanding how it functions now. It’s great to see it continue to evolve.”

The speciality brew makers, who recently had their current residency at Garfield Park Conservatory extended through August, also keep in touch with their fellow cohorts, like Dozzy’s owner Dozzy Ibekwe. Harth said sharing their experiences with others who have gone through the trenches has been vital.

The experience definitely solidified their position as a “non-traditional” coffee company, Harth said.

“We enjoy the part where we get to experiment, creating coffee flights, getting people to try something different even if they just came in for a cappuccino,” said Harth. “We’re figuring out more as we continue to evolve.”

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