Community Code:  A Series of Web-Based Interactive Stories with local artist Jiaqi Zhang

December 8, 2021

Community Code is a series of interactive stories of small business owners in the Evanston neighborhood. The project was inspired by a Facebook group that supports Evanston’s businesses during challenges of the pandemic.

To access the digital exhibit click here.


  1. Click on the business owner’s name to open the book.
  2. With a cell phone, scan the QR code on the computer screen with a QR reader on your cell phone.
  3. This will prompt an interactive story (with audio and games) on your phone. Click to close when completed.
  4. Repeat with the next business’ story.

Zhang invited some small business owners from that group for interviews, and afterward,  made a story for each of them.  Among them, some are over 30 year old businesses like Prairie Joe’s, while some like Mack’s Bikes and Goods just opened right before the March lockdown in 2020. They shared their background, business journeys, and how they handled the pandemic.

Collaborator: Pamela Sue Fox (SNAP), Anne McKeown (Anne’s Irish Knits), Rebecca Abraham (Acute on Chronic), Sam Mack (Mack’s Bike and Goods), Aydin Dincer (Prairie Joe’s), Valerie Kahan (Art Makers Outpost), Lisa Degliantoni (Evanston Made).

COMING SOON: Jiaqi Zhang will be hosting an in person artist workshop at the Evanston Public Library in January. Please stay tuned for details.


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