In the middle of November 2009, my friend Leslie Perrine called me and asked what I was doing the following weekend. She and three friends had reserved a table at the Milwaukee Zine Fest, but one of them had bailed. Would I be interested in the vacant spot?
Artists in Conversation:
Groves of olive trees, Russian tanks, and radio broadcasts in Arabic—these are some of the things I think of when I think of “childhood,” but they're also things I think about everyday, even now, at 37.
I don’t believe in some sharp divide between “childhood” and “adulthood”—some cliff that, once surpassed, remains there
I’m in the Hollywood home of William Fraker, the six-time Oscar-nominated cinematographer of such legendary movies as Rosemary’s Baby, Bullitt, and WarGames. My crew is shooting our conversation for Old School New School, a documentary on the nature of creativity.
Back in June of 2000, sitting expectantly behind our Printers Row Book Fair table, one whole issue of After Hours under our belts, my co-editor Pat Hertel and I really didn’t know what lay ahead. We began with a vision of showcasing Chicago-area writers and artists, of presenting an outlet for the “Chicago voice.” Over the past 11 years, we’ve learned that there is not one voice, but many voices that together have created the style for which After Hours is known
A self-released song will never suddenly be a hit. It will shamble through the universe for a while. It will be ignored. It will be dismissed. It will be embraced. With “Adult Things,” I tried to position myself for luck.
You, reader, are looking at this sentence. You know the letters. You recognize the words. You understand the flow of the paragraph. By now, perhaps, you are wondering where it is going.
Because you can do all of these things, you are in the 47% of Chicago’s adult population who read at or above the fourth grade level.
Consider, for a moment, what it is like to be in the 53% that do not.
Last week, I was contacted by one of our art partners from the South Chicago community who had noticed a fallen tree in a vacant lot near the 92nd Street Bridge, the site of the earliest European settlement (established in 1813). This person sent me an email suggesting or asking about the possibility of preserving a fallen tree limb because it looked like South Chicago emerging from the earth, revitalizing itself.
The creator of the notorious Twitter feed, @MayorEmanuel, Daniel Sinker is an Assistant Professor at Columbia College Chicago, where he has a focus in entrepreneurial journalism and the mobile web. A writer, designer, and programmer, he is the founder and developer of the local election tracker
Tanya Saracho was born in Sinaloa, México and moved to Texas in the late 80s. She is a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists and Teatro Vista, a Goodman Theater Fellow at the Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Media, an artistic associate with AboutFace Theater, and the co-founder and former artistic director of Teatro Luna.
Dr. Carrie Sandahl is an Associate Professor in the Department of Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is the head of the new Program on Disability Art, Culture, and Humanities, which is devoted to research on and the creation of disability art. Beginning in 2010, this program is the new administrative home for Chicago’s Bodies of Work, an organization that supports city-wide disability arts festivals and that promotes disability arts and culture year-round.
I grew up in Logan Square back in the 1970s, when the neighborhood was predominately populated by first-generation Latino immigrants. My parents came here from Mexico and Guatemala.
If you want to build an audience, you have to put in the work. I nurse Essay Fiesta like a baby. I spend hours a week working on the series. I do all our marketing, from press releases to Facebook to the blog and newsletter. I love doing it, but it's not something that runs itself.
I moved to Chicago from NE Ohio six years ago to get an education. And I got it. My laminated degree says so. But as I was leaving Columbia College Chicago’s journalism program, I was readily smacked in the face by the transformative climate we are all living in now.
I am not currently living in the publishing stage of my creative writing life. I’m not submitting to publishers and magazines and polishing my collection of rejection slips. I’m not fighting with an agent, trying to figure out what my genre is. Right now I’m just generating short work for live readings, meeting other independent writers and publishers at those readings, and trying to contribute to the thriving writing community in the city.
In your book, you write that "A proposal is a creative act like any other." Can you expand upon this comment?
Proposal writing takes time away from all the other things you should be doing like making art, marketing, and grocery shopping. For this reason, I encourage my students to ensure they will benefit from the process of writing a proposal or grant application, even if they don’t win.
My mentor once told me the trick will be to keep a balance between public art and private art, that my work with the Guild is my public art and it’s important, but don’t neglect my private art. My mentor was dead right.
Sometimes you come up with a great idea, and sometimes a great idea happens to you. This is a story about the latter. In 2004, I was director of the Guild Complex, and we’d received a National Endowment for the Arts grant to produce a festival of poetry theater. Festival was ambitious.
In 2009, Kris Vire became only the second Theater Editor of Time Out Chicago when inaugural editor Christopher Piatt decided to step down. Since its debut in 2005, TOC has become a major source of reviews and news for Chicago's theatre community, quickly earning a reputation on par with much more established publications for its breadth of coverage.