The Fight for Fruits & Veggies

How are gardens and distributors improving produce access on the South Side?

This year has seen three high-end grocery stores open their doors for residents on the South Side, with much fanfare and with varying discussions of food accessibility. These stores—Mariano’s in Bronzeville and two Whole Foods, one in Englewood, the other in Hyde Park—are undoubtedly welcome additions to neighborhoods that have in the past been categorized as food deserts, in the case of the first two, but the issue still remains that thousands of Chicago residents live without access to healthy foods, especially fresh produce. Currently, Chicago has what the Illinois Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights deems “low food access zones” in Washington Park, Greater Grand Crossing, Pullman, West Pullman, Roseland, South Deering, and South Chicago.


Have a Little Faith

Father Wolf Werling discusses faith, history, and his South Shore nonprofit

Jordan Jackson

“When you empathize with someone, those are the only answers that really make sense.”

Stage & Screen

From Chatham to Wonderland

Fifteen year-old Ariana Burks is a rising star in Chicago

Joe Mazza

“To play this role—it’s a triumph, because I think that color-blind casting is growing, and I think people are starting to see that Alice can be any race.”


Real Cops, Real Responsibility

UCPD accountability could change drastically with the passage of HB 3932

Ian Moore

Representatives Barbara Flynn Currie of the 25th District and Representative Christian L. Mitchell of the 26th District have introduced House Bill 3932, which would subject the University of Chicago Police Department (UCPD), one of the largest private police forces in the country, to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which requires government agencies to share internal information with inquiring citizens. Continue reading

Visual Arts

Art from All Corners

“Objects and Voices” at the Smart Museum

Attributed to Wassily Kandinsky, Composition, 1914, Oil on canvas. Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago, Gift of Dolores and Donn Shapiro in honor of Jory Shapiro, 2012.51.

There aren’t many places where a thin wall is the only boundary between the bodiless face of an angel from a medieval church and a large oil painting of six very hairy naked men. The seventeen micro-exhibitions that collectively make up the “Objects and Voices” exhibit at the Smart Museum of Art vary significantly in style, time period, and place of origin, but their curators all share a relationship to the Smart. In the museum’s special fortieth anniversary exhibit, the collection of voices is immense, ranging from professional museum curators who discovered their passions years ago, to Chicago schoolchildren still in search of theirs. Continue reading

Development | Education

Afro-Sino Chamber Seeks to Close a Culture Gap

Rasaan Liddell’s small room holds big plans

Byron Rivers

Rasaan Liddell, executive director of the newly founded Afro-Sino Chamber of Commerce, jokes that if someone were to run their fingers over the Chamber’s articles, their hand would come away smudged with ink. The Chamber’s headquarters on South Wabash Street were only completed last December, and consist of a multipurpose room and a medium-sized table where Liddell’s young son sometimes does his homework after school.  Continue reading

Food | Lit

At the Gates of a Plant-Based, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free Universe

Heather Crosby's cookbook caters to a select few

Heather Crosby’s new cookbook, YumUniverse, is visually delicious. Almost every page features pictures of well-dressed, skinny people laughing in the woods while snacking on vibrant and meticulously arranged raw fruits and vegetables. It was only after flipping through just over three hundred pages of bright photography that I began to notice the accompanying recipes and short essays.  Continue reading

Visual Arts

Barbershop Talk

"Black Eutopia" at Carter's

Jean Cochrane

It sounds like a bad joke à la Alice in Wonderland: “Why is a barbershop like an art gallery?” At Black Eutopia, the question is taken seriously. This past Friday, Carter’s Barbershop in North Lawndale briefly became an open forum for visual, performance, and auditory art. Continue reading