The Interview Issue 2016

Five interviews with artists, motivators, and city leaders

In this, the Weekly’s third annual Interview Issue, you’ll find five long, thoughtful interviews with artists, motivators, and city leaders.

For many of us at the Weekly, interviews mean Studs Terkel, the one-of-a-kind Chicago journalist and interviewer whose work has inspired us for years. All of these interviews are intended not only to inform and to entertain, but also to give voices to one of Studs’s essential beliefs—that if you sit down and listen, you’ll always be surprised by how much people have to say.

From the December 1993 issue of Chicago magazine, here is Studs’s answer to the question, “How do you get someone to open up about their life?”

They’ve got to believe you’re interested. If it’s a writer of a book, you’ve got to have read his book thoroughly. Or a person who is just an anonymous person—say for one of my books, say this guy is a carpenter—I’ll ask him about his life and as he’s talking I’m listening. I don’t have written questions. It’s a conversation, not an interview. “And then what did you do?” No! “Just tell me about…”—and you start, sort of like you’re having a cup of coffee or a drink, so it’s informal and very easy. Out of that things are revealed.

Policy In Practice | Theresa Mah on history, prejudice, and representing the 2nd District
Breaking Down the Electric Fence | Monika Neuland on socially engaged art
An Amazing School | Jessica Pope on poetry and Lindblom High School
Motivational Training Program | Fred Evans and Bob Valentine on swimming, coaching, and dreaming
Keeping the City Safe | Alicia Tate-Nadeau on emergency services in Chicago

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