Chicago native Joe Freshgoods is known for blending historical and cultural references in his sneaker, apparel, and accessories designs. His work continues to offer relevant social commentary and speak authentically to streetwear lovers worldwide. Though Joe’s success is undeniable, he is no stranger to the barriers that exist for minority artists within the creative industry.
To break down these barriers, Joe founded Community Goods, a non-profit that provides after-school programs that focus on arts education in underserved Chicago communities. The purpose of Community Goods is to close the art education gap, while bringing artists of color and their crafts into the spotlight. This goal is what inspired Community Goods and 1800 Tequila to partner up at a recent event in Chicago to further Joe’s mission of using his voice to give back to his community.
“I remember being 23, I can even remember finding old tweets being like ‘I can’t wait until I get on so I can put other people on,’” Joe says. The gallery event featured art from up-and-coming creatives Matoe, Myles Wright, and Anieya Cauthen. At the event, community and collaboration were overwhelmingly evident–messages that all the featured artwork also echoed.
“I try to put elements of community and collaboration in my work because I don’t want to forget where I’m from.” Chicago artist Matoe says. “I wouldn’t be here without the input and the help from the community and people I surround myself with.”
At the gallery, Community Goods and 1800 Tequila challenged the status quo within the industry by offering opportunities to rising minority creatives. They need to know there is opportunity and space for them within the art industry.
“This opportunity has definitely given me more confidence to understand that there’s a lane for me,” featured artist Myles Wright says. “That there are opportunities for me wherever I seek it.”
As a leader in the creative space with programs including 1800 Seconds and Essential 1800 Artist Series, 1800 Tequila was a natural fit as an event sponsor for Joe, aligning with his designs and mission where authenticity always comes first.
“It is key to have a partner that listens, that actually tries to make sure we are both on the same page to give back,” Joe says. “Any partnership I do now, I always gotta find ways to give back to the community.”
Though you may have missed the gallery show, Community Goods and 1800 Tequila’s commitment to the community is still in full swing. Hit the Joe Freshgoods website to learn more.