Marwen Declares “We Are Here” at the 2022 Paintbrush Ball

In celebration of Marwen’s 35th anniversary, Leo Burnett developed creative designs to usher in new era for the Chicago-based non-profit’s annual fundraiser.

After a 2-year hiatus, Marwen, a Chicago-based non-profit and one of Leo Burnett’s long-time community partners, returned in person for its largest annual fundraising event on Friday, May 20. Proceeds will support free visual art courses, college planning, and career development programs for students grades 6-12. Leo Burnett partnered with the organization to design a memorable theme for the 35th-anniversary celebration.

Given the extended pause, Marwen’s approach to this year’s Ball was to capture the power of community, connection, and being present. To reflect that sentiment and help tell the 35-year Marwen story, Leo Burnett developed a design system, reflective of the “We Are Here” campaign platform. This included signage, décor elements, promotional materials, and event programs that also served a functional purpose in the Paddle Raise — which raised nearly $500,000.

The words “We Are Here” commemorate the journeys that students both past and present have taken to and from Marwen, including multiple internships at Leo Burnett. The creative assets were both purposeful and expressive, utilizing a colorful and inclusive palette spanning a full gamut of hues and tones. The free-flowing, doodle-like elements spoke to the journey that young people have taken to and from the organization since its founding in 1987 – representing Marwen as a source of connection, community, support, imagination, and inspiration for thousands of young people.

The 2022 Paintbrush Ball was a resounding success, with a fun-filled evening that benefited young people and their futures.