Activism | Visual Arts | Woodlawn

Embodying Fear

"Concealed Carry" at the Experimental Station

Audrey Green, "American Stand-Off."

Audrey Green, “American Stand-Off.”

Inside the Experimental Station, silence is punctuated by the piercing sound of gunshots. As part of its exhibit “Concealed Carry,” the Station has installed a mechanically operated shotgun that fires blanks every time a housefly crosses its path. Continue reading

Woodlawn

Reclaiming the Parks

New CPD initiatives attempt to combine policing with a claim to community

ISABEL OCHOA GOLD

ISABEL OCHOA GOLD

As the clock counts down to the end of the first quarter, a three-point shot by a player in red bounces off the rim and the blue team gains possession. But they do not have enough time to carry the ball back down the court, and the buzzer sounds just as their Hail Mary from half-court falls short. The players hustle back to their respective benches, with the blue team up by four. Continue reading

Housing | Politics | Woodlawn

Investing in West Woodlawn

Blacks in Green envisions a future for West Woodlawn community development

JON BROZDOWSKI

JON BROZDOWSKI

West Woodlawn was granted tax increment financing (TIF) district status by the city in 2010. Yet TIF-directed development has been poorly received by the local nonprofit environmental group Blacks in Green, which has been advocating for community-based development projects since 2007. On November 21, the group held a forum entitled “Who Owns West Woodlawn?” to publicize the results of an extensive survey of the neighborhood’s development potential. Continue reading

Back of the Yards | Blurbs | Englewood | Woodlawn

Farms in the City

Remedies for Chicago eats and neighborhood streets

PLANT CHICAGO, NFP/RACHEL SWENIE. Mayor Rahm Emanuel tours the growing system at The Plant, an urban agriculture organization in Back of the Yards.

PLANT CHICAGO, NFP/RACHEL SWENIE. Mayor Rahm Emanuel tours the growing system at The Plant, an urban agriculture organization in Back of the Yards.

We believe that if you have a whole system problem, only a whole system solution can transform it,” announced Naomi Davis, founder and president of the grassroots community development organization Blacks in Green, to an auditorium full of Chicago Humanities Festival patrons on Sunday afternoon. Continue reading

Music | Woodlawn

Johnny Twist

"You don’t think they call me the Elusive Johnny Twist for nothing, do you?" SHARON LURYE, courtesy of JOHNNY TWIST.

“You don’t think they call me the Elusive Johnny Twist for nothing, do you?” SHARON LURYE, courtesy of JOHNNY TWIST.

On a storefront in Woodlawn there’s a faded, almost illegible green sign that reads “Old Dusty’s Records.” Inside that store, there are probably records. Somewhere. But when you knock on the door, and the owner lets you in, what you’ll step into is not so much a record store as another dimension. There are racks of CDs and videotapes, toy cars, children’s shows, necklaces, African art, Afrocentric books, a rice cooker, body oils and soap, an iron, and an organ piano. And there are rows and rows of framed, black-and-white photographs depicting blues legends like Ma Rainey, Ike and Tina Turner, Elmore James, and Hound Dog Taylor.  Visitors are greeted by a colorful sign: “Hotep, welcome to JT’s old dusty, Mississippi/Chicago Museum and Culture Center of Afro-centric/heritage and rhythmic urban, delta, rocka boogie blues!” Continue reading