Landmarks Illinois, Kennedy-King College and Vamonde partnership: Press Release

Landmarks Illinois, Kennedy-King College and Vamonde partner to share inspiring stories of people saving places

August 8, 2017

Media Contact:

Kaitlyn McAvoy
Communications Manager, Landmarks Illinois

CHICAGO- Landmarks Illinois, a membership-based nonprofit helping people save historic places that matter to them in their neighborhood, has partnered with the place-based storytelling platform Vamonde to share the inspiring stories included in a recent video project produced in collaboration with Kennedy-King College students.

The video project, “People Saving Places: Stories About the Importance of Place,” is a series of short films that feature local preservationists telling their own inspiring stories of preserving historic and special places within their communities. From Chicago to Carbondale, four Kennedy-King College students traveled more than 1,800 miles alongside Landmarks Illinois staff throughout the state during their spring semester to capture on film people dedicated to historic preservation and cultural heritage. The Kennedy-King College students created eight short videos on each preservation story.

These stories are now part of an interactive adventure called “People Saving Places in Illinois,” available for free on the Vamonde mobile app. The adventure uses video, text and images to take users on a multimedia tour of the eight communities highlighted in the Landmarks Illinois and Kennedy-King College video project.

“Through digital storytelling, we can showcase the passion behind people saving places and hopefully inspire more people to do the same within in their own communities,” said Bonnie McDonald, President & CEO of Landmarks Illinois. “These stories illuminate why places mean so much to our individual and collective identity and why they are part of what makes a place feel unique and livable.”

The partnership with Kennedy-King College and Vamonde marks many firsts for Landmarks Illinois. This was the first time the organization collaborated with college students for a video project of this scale. Through Vamonde, Landmarks Illinois is also able to present these stories through a new, fun digital medium that will introduce more people to Landmarks Illinois’ mission.

“We continue to be pleasantly surprised by this unique collaboration with Kennedy-King College and Vamonde,” said McDonald. “Landmarks Illinois was able to demonstrate the power of creative partnerships and the latest technology to achieve and even exceed our objectives. We received great digital content, Kennedy-King College students obtained real-world experience and the Vamonde app made it simple for us to share the stories of people saving places.”

The Landmarks Illinois Vamonde adventure “People Saving Places in Illinois,” is now available for free through the Vamonde app, which can be downloaded on both iOS and Android mobile devices.

“Vamonde empowers organizations to make visible that which is invisible,” said Anijo Mathew, an Associate Professor at IllinoisTech Institute of Design and the Founder of Vamonde. “By connecting these stories to a physical place, Vamonde helps you understand both the context of the story and why it means so much to these communities. Ultimately, the stories make the most sense when you visit these places, so we encourage you to visit these communities – it will completely change your perspective.”

Landmarks Illinois’ video project with Kennedy-King College was made possible with generous funding from Illinois Humanities and the Richard and Julia Moe Family Fund, a fund of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Marking another first, Landmarks Illinois was among the initial organizations that received a Multiplier Grant from Illinois Humanities, which aim to support collaborative projects.

About Landmarks Illinois

Landmarks Illinois is a membership-based nonprofit organization serving the people of Illinois. We inspire and empower stakeholders to save places that matter to them by providing free guidance, practical and financial resources and access to strategic partnerships. For more information, visit

About Vamonde

Vamonde is a highly curated network of storytellers who connect to the cultural explorer through hyper-local adventures. Vamonde empowers organizations like Landmark Illinois to extend their reach into neighborhoods and communities by embedding their stories in physical place. For more information, visit

Support our advocacy

Be a voice for the future of our communities by supporting Landmarks Illinois. Our work enhances communities, empowers citizens, promotes local economic development and offers environmentally sound solutions.

Become A Member