Official Release: MINI USA is pleased to announce a partnership with the Little Black Pearl Art & Design Academy and Saatchi Art to help promote literacy in Chicago, IL.

The partnership, called the Library Project, will bring artistically painted mobile library units to public parks in Chicago’s South, West and North Division. The library units are painted by local area students as well as Local and International artists from Saatchi Art, as part of the Chicago Park District’s Library Reading Initiative. The libraries will provide children in these communites with access to books by creating a space where books can be donated and shared for free.

“We understand that many children in urban communities do not have access to books to help them build their literary skills and inspire them,” said Terri Evans, Metro Marketing Manager, MINI USA Central Region. “By providing access to creativity and art, MINI USA is helping to make urban life better by enabling local students to think big and dream bigger through storytelling.”

A press conference to unveil the mobil library units will be held on Friday, September 28, at 1pm CT at MANA Contemporary Chicago gallery in Pilsen. A special VIP Afternoon preview will follow at 2pm CT, which will include first access to the fair’s 120 talented exhibitors and an engaging program of talks and curator-led tours.

The first panel discussion, from 2:00pm – 2:45pm CT, is titled “The Business of Art – The MINI Library Project,” featuring Monica Haslip, Founder, Little Black Pearl, Terri Evans , MINI USA, Rebecca Wilson , Chief Curator & VP Art Advisory, Saatchi Art and students from Little Black Pearl Art & Design Academy. The Little Black Pearl Art & Design Academy, a high school that serves students from all over the city, began working closely with MINI USA in February developing a design that would be inspiring in communities and grab the attention of young readers.

Saatchi Art, a leading online art gallery, partnered with MINI and Little Black Pearl to help highlight the initiative by creating a limited collection of artist-designed mobile libraries that will be showcased during The Other Art Fair at the MANA Contemporary Chicago gallery from September 28 – 30. This special collection will be available for purchase both at The Other Art Fair and on 100% of the proceeds will support Little Black Pearl’s mission of furthering art education on the South Side of Chicago.

Saatchi Art artists from Chicago to Nigeria are featured in the collection and include:

– Eric Stefanski
– William LaChance
– Jonas Fisch
– Paul Richard
– Bryan Valenzuela
– Ruben Aguirre
– Sarah Edwards
– Barry Johnson
– Raul De La Torre
– Dennis Osadebe

Later this year, from October through December, MINI USA will also host a Book Drive at the five Chicago Area MINI Dealerships. Mobile Library Units will be placed in each dealership for book collections.

For every book that is donated, MINI USA will match the book donation to a local Chicago Park District (or local Park or School in the area). The five dealers participating in the Book Drive include,Patrick MINI in Schaumberg, Bill Jacobs MINI in Naperville, Knauz MINI in Lake Bluff, MINI of Orland Park and MINI of Chicago. Click here for more information about MINI USA’s support in the Chicagoland area.

Chicago-based artist Hebru Brantley also is committed to supporting efforts for Little Black Pearl by donating one of his sculptures and a limited print for sale on Friday, September 28, with 100% of the proceeds going to Little Black Pearl.