Three million hearts, awake and dreaming.

Our Story

What's Your Dream?

“For everyone to feel loved and cared for.”

Ana, Glendale Heights

Dream Chicago began in 2012 as Heather Treadway’s dream to help others find a voice and language for the dreams on their hearts. With a passion to help others discover possibility and pursue their dreams with courage and creativity, she took her heart (and art) to the streets. Turning public places, such as sidewalks and parks, into participatory “studio spaces,” she began to engage with a city and its dreamers with one question: what’s YOUR dream? A life-long lover of story and song, she is insatiably curious about the dreams of friends and strangers alike, convinced that the power of collective dreaming releases hope, changes lives, and transforms communities.  

She began with a handful of friends and initiated a series of pop up studio and community events designed to playfully stir up dreams and dreamers in Chicago’s 77+ neighborhoods. Using her love languages of art and creativity, she piloted opportunities to engage, experiment and catalyze joy through music, movement, and multi-disciplinary art-making. She named the effort “Dream Chicago” as a declaration and invitation to her beloved city.  

Since its inception, Dream Chicago has partnered with dreamers of all ages, at all stages of their lives and dream journeys, in a variety of places such as schools, studios, parks and streets. We’ve dreamed with community based organizations, not for profits, faith-based institutions, local businesses and more. We’ve written countless songs, poems, stories and dream lists with youth and adults. We’ve collected thousands of dreams (and counting) as part of our “Community Dream Assessment,” and continue to hear stories of how our efforts make an impact in the hearts and lives of those we meet.

We can’t wait to dream with you!