Features | Labor | Politics

Cracks in the Foundation

Former employees of Theaster Gates’s Rebuild Foundation allege mistreatment

Jasmin Liang

In mid-March, the New York Times published a warm profile of Theaster Gates’s new exhibition at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., describing his creations as “monumental structures that echo abstract canvases elsewhere in the institution, but are embedded with unsung stories of black laborers and entrepreneurs.” Part of the piece also detailed how Gates’s Rebuild Foundation, a nonprofit organization that aims at neighborhood and community revitalization through arts-related projects, had acquired the dismantled pieces of the gazebo in Cleveland where twelve-year-old Tamir Rice was killed by a police officer in November 2014. Rebuild would use the pieces, the article said, to create a memorial for Rice later this year at the Stony Island Arts Bank, the organization’s South Shore home and exhibition space.

Politics

All Things Unequal

Fifty years of racial inequality from the UIC’s State of Racial Justice Report

Ellen Hao

On Monday, the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Institute for Research on Race & Public Policy (IRRPP) released “A Tale of Three Cities: The State of Racial Justice in Chicago Report,” a study that analyzes disparities in housing, economics, education, justice, and health between Black, Latinx, and white communities in Chicago. Using robust quantitative evidence from a variety of sources, each section delves deep into the history, causes, and consequences of these racial and ethnic inequities that “remain pervasive, persistent, and consequential” in Chicago’s institutions and neighborhoods.”

Nature | Stage & Screen

Green Thumbs and Concrete Steps

One Earth Film Festival hosts environmental films, dialogues across Chicago

WYCC PBS Chicago + Juneteenth Productions / Vimeo

One Earth Film Festival, Chicago’s premier environmental movie festival, put on its sixth run earlier this month, from March 3 to March 12. Aiming to raise awareness and facilitate dialogue about environmental issues and protections, One Earth screens films and hosts post-screening discussions for free. This year, they put on forty-seven showings of thirty films in thirty-nine locations throughout the Chicagoland area. The Weekly sent writers to three of these: Can You Dig This?, NaturePlay, and Chicago’s True Nature.

History | Housing | Woodlawn

Home Histories: The Strand

Natalie Gonzalez

Last November, when William and Jacqueline Lynch moved their art gallery into the recently reopened Strand Apartments on 63rd Street and Cottage Grove Avenue, they were unaware of their new building’s historical import. “I did know about the Grand Ballroom down the street,” said William. “I didn’t know anything about this building.”

Art | Development | Housing | Pilsen

All in the Family

A battle over a Pilsen real estate empire highlights the neighborhood’s uncertain future

Julie Xu

This past fall, perceptive Chicago art lovers may have noticed the absence of one long-standing tradition: after forty-five years, the Pilsen East Artists’ Open House wasn’t happening.

Lit

Becoming a Better Neighbor

UofC professor Bart Schultz talks about his work with the Civic Knowledge Project

Zelda Galewsky

“If people come back ten years from now, or fifteen years from now, and it looks as though what happened was urban renewal or gentrification under another name, well, you’ll be getting the same kinds of critical histories you got about urban renewal in the fifties and sixties, right?” – Bart Schultz

Development | Features | Pullman | Visual Arts

The More Things Change

Amid new arts development, Pullman seeks to preserve its sense of history

Ellen Hao

On January 11, Tom McMahon stood up to call to order a public meeting at the Pullman National Monument Visitor Center, introducing himself by simultaneously disavowing and affirming the importance of his own place in Pullman’s community: “I’m the president of the Pullman Civic Organization. I’m also a board member of Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives. Tonight, I’m just the moderator, here to ask questions and address concerns raised during the last meeting.”

Police | Politics

After the Video

Jasmin Liang

On November 24th, the City of Chicago released a 2014 video of CPD officer Jason Van Dyke fatally shooting seventeen-year-old Laquan McDonald. The video led to massive protests, and the resignations of key city officials. A second police shooting the day after Christmas resulted in the deaths of Quintonio LeGrier, a nineteen-year-old with a history of mental health issues, and Bettie Jones, a 55-year-old mother of five. The following timeline includes some of the most important moments of these past six weeks.

Lit

Spectacle in the Windy City

Slaughterhouse is a thorough, entertaining exploration of Chicago’s bloody past

At its most efficient, the bloody sea of workers at these packinghouses took a little over half an hour to process each of the 7,000 hogs that passed through their factories every day.