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About


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About


What is the
FrankenToyMobile?

Launched in June 2015, the FrankenToyMobile is a pedal-powered maker space that encourages imagination and curiosity by providing free, hands-on workshops where youth and adults reuse toys as raw material for original creations. By inviting youth to modify “junk” toys into objects that they feel express their identity and personality, we encourage them to experiment, challenge dominant ideas about gendered toys, and see the world as being full of possibility. To date, we have served 2700 people through more than 40 workshops in public spaces around Chicago.

The FrankenToyMobile was created by artists Andrés Lemus-Spont, Marya Spont-Lemus, Louis Fernandez, and Michael Pecirno. Learn more about the team and other contributors.

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How It Works


 

Encouraging creativity, curiosity, and criticality

 

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How It Works


 

Encouraging creativity, curiosity, and criticality

 

How does it work?

Through our workshops, the FrankenToyMobile turns public spaces into opportunities for community-based creative experiences. Our custom-designed tricycle is a traveling studio with counter-style workspace, the mobility of which enables us to go to people, lowering barriers to access. At each FrankenToyMobile event, participants are provided with minimal directions: grab a tray, select toy parts, and decide what they want to make. A FrankenToy can be anything you imagine! Teen workshop facilitators support participants’ creative process as needed, teaching sewing and other fastening skills and serving as technical assistants to help make participants’ visions reality. 

Our project is as much about bringing people together to share creative experiences and discover new talents as it is about the toys that are made.

Learn more about why this work matters.

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Events


 

Make a
FrankenToy
with the
FrankenToyMobile

 

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Events


 

Make a
FrankenToy
with the
FrankenToyMobile

 

Where will the FrankenToyMobile be next?

Come see the FrankenToyMobile at the following free, public events! You'll find us at parks, libraries, and public spaces across Chicago doing stand alone workshops with neighborhood partners.

Also this year, the FrankenToyMobile is joining forces with the Mobile Street Art Cart and the Mobile Music Box to create the Mobilize Creative Collaborative! These events will have all three of our workshops in the same space so you can make a toy, create a button, screen print on a t-shirt, or make a homemade musical instrument.

March

Thursday, March 9
7:30-9:30pm
Navy Pier
600 E. Grand
THAWALLS

April

Sunday, April 2
12-3pm
Hyde Park Art Center
5020 S. Cornell Ave.
A Mobilize Creative Collaborative Event!
"Public School" exhibition

May

Wednesday, May 24
5-7pm
Marwen
833 N. Orleans St.

June

Tuesday, June 20
6-8pm
Park No. 567
1801 N. Milwaukee Ave.
A Mobilize Creative Collaborative Event!
Chicago Park District

Sunday, June 4
12-3pm
Hyde Park Art Center
5020 S. Cornell Ave.
A Mobilize Creative Collaborative Event!
"Public School" exhibition

July

Saturday, July 15
1-3pm
Little Village Branch Library
2311 S. Kedzie Ave. 
Chicago Public Library



Saturday, July 22
1-3pm
Kelly Branch Library
6151 S. Normal Blvd.
Chicago Public Library


Saturday, July 29
1-3pm
West Belmont Branch Library
3104 N. Narragansett Ave.
Chicago Public Library

Wednesday, July 12
6-8pm
Cornell Square Park
1809 W. 50th St. 
A Mobilize Creative Collaborative Event!
Chicago Park District
 

Friday, July 21
6-8pm
Harris Park
6200 S. Drexel Ave.
A Mobilize Creative Collaborative Event!
Chicago Park District

Friday, July 28
4-6pm
13464 S. Baltimore Ave.
Activate Chicago


Saturday, July 29
2-6pm
Second Annual Chicago Poetry Block Party
1852 W. 19th St.
A Mobilize Creative Collaborative Event!
Presented by the Poetry Foundation, Crescendo Literary, and the National Museum of Mexican Art

 

August

Saturday, August 12
1-4pm
Marwen Family Fest
833 N. Orleans St.
A Mobilize Creative Collaborative Event!
Chicago Park District

Friday, August 11
6-8pm
La Villita Park
2800 S. Sacramento Ave.
A Mobilize Creative Collaborative Event!
Chicago Park District

Wednesday, August 30
6-8pm
Washington Park
5531 S. Martin Luther King Dr.
A Mobilize Creative Collaborative Event!
Chicago Park District


 

September

Friday, September 29
4-6pm
Veterans' Memorial
4234 W. 51st St.
Activate Chicago

Saturday, September 2
2-4pm
Piotrowski Park
4247 W. 31st St.
A Mobilize Creative Collaborative Event!
Chicago Park District

October


Saturday, October 22
3-6pm
Rags to Witches
1260 Green Bay Rd.
Ragdale

Saturday, October 28
12-3pm
Eugene Field Park
5100 N. Ridgeway Ave. 
A Mobilize Creative Collaborative Event!
Albany Park Theater Project

Sunday, October 1
11am-2pm
Jardincito
2300 S Whipple St. 
A Mobilize Creative Collaborative Event!
Neighborspace

Friday, October 27
6-8pm
Calumet Park Cultural Center
9801 S. Avenue G
Chicago Park District

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Contact


Go for it!

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Contact


Go for it!

Get in touch!

We hope you join us at a workshop and share your own FrankenToy creations (#FrankenToy)!

Use the form below to:

  • Invite us to your community

  • Give your old toys a second life by donating them

  • Provide financial support to make more workshops happen

  • Get in touch for another reason

Name *
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