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Home Explore Newcity Chicago June 2019

Newcity Chicago June 2019

Published by Newcity, 2019-05-21 13:44:12

Description: Newcity's first issue of the summer (fingers crossed!) features our annual look at the city's influential writing community, The Lit 50: Who Really Books in Chicago. Outgoing Literary Editor Toni Nealie interviews our Literati of the Moment: Eve Ewing, the superhero lighting up Chicago's lit scene. Donald G. Evans interviews author and reporter Alex Kotlowitz about his difficult but essential new book "An American Summer: Love and Death In Chicago." Also: vegan soul food, a genre-defying arts festival, Out of Space returns to Evanston, the patron saints of storefront theater, and more!


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Nelly Agassi Spirit of the Waves May 23–August 3, 2019 Nelly Agassi, Plot, 2019. Courtesy of the artist. Graham Foundation Madlener House, 4 W Burton Place Gallery and Bookshop Hours: Wednesday to Saturday, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.

JUNE 2019 CONTENTS ARTS & CULTURE THE CONVERSATION ART Alex Kotlowitz discusses his heartbreaking The sublime Amanda Williams new book, “An American Summer” DANCE EASY TO BE GREEN The genre-defying Pivot Arts Festival Majani ups the vegan game DESIGN Parsing Mies from his blueprints and drawings WRITER OF THE MOMENT DINING & DRINKING Why Eve L. Ewing is everywhere right now Garn:t has a new take on events These folks keep the FILM bookshelves stocked, What's a cinematic memory in these digital days? literally and figuratively ART Rachel DeWoskin's “Banshee” howl MUSIC The wonders of Out of Space STAGE The patron saints of Chicago storefront theater JUNE 2019 Newcity 3

It’s this great American paradox: we like to think we’re all in this together and yet we lead incredibly disconnected lives, especially when it comes to race. Anita. Working on “The Interrupters,” I came to know Eddie and thought there show them previous work, to give them a by race. The matter of racial integration was so much more to his story still to tell. JUNE 2019 Newcity sense of what I’m after. And I spend a lot was completely absent from the public This book leaned some on reporting I’ve of time with people. How better to get to discourse around the razing of the public done in recent years, but for the most know them? Marcelo, for example, I housing high-rises. And so the high-rises part, the reporting for “An American visited every Sunday afternoon for a year- came down, but neighborhoods like Summer” was done specifically for the and-a-half. He was under house arrest, Englewood, North Lawndale, West book, reporting on stories I came across so I always knew where to find him. We’d Garfield Park, they feel just as distressed during the course of that summer. have lunch, play chess and then talk. I so now, if not more so, than they did relished those Sundays. It takes time to twenty-five years ago. The story I always “Block of Death,” 70th Place. Mount get to know people. And it takes time for tell is that a number of years ago I Hope Cemetery, where police search cars them to get to know me. screened “The Interrupters” at Danville before they enter due to the extremely prison. After the screening, I took common nature of the violence and Jimmie Lee brings us full circle from questions from inmates there. I retaliation. Harper High handing out “There Are No Children Here” to “An remember the first two men to ask honorary diplomas to Shakaki and other American Summer.” He provides a questions. One was from a guy who’d slain students. Police tape floating connective thread, as does Pharoah, been in prison twenty-three years, and around and sticking to the whom you discuss in the new book’s the other a gentleman who’d been there neighborhoods. These descriptions, prelude. A quarter-century has passed, for nineteen years. Both were near tears. these images, not only give context but and through Jimmie Lee we see the Both had grown up in Englewood, and place readers in these unfamiliar changes in his life. But what of the they couldn’t believe how much worse settings. What was the process of you conditions that produced Jimmie Lee? their neighborhood looked in the film acclimating yourself to these places so How different is Chicago now than then? than when they last lived there. that you were able to bring them to those readers who perhaps have never set Here’s what’s di erent, and it’s not In fact, this book seems like a foot there? insignificant: the public housing high- culmination of much of your work over rises are all gone. Talk about out of sight, the past several decades: The Harper I’ve been reporting from these out of mind. When “There Are No High School feature on “This American communities for thirty years now, and so Children” came out there were 927 Life”; “The Interrupters”; “There Are No I’ve accumulated all this experience. murders, twice what it is today. Those Children Here”; some of your There’s an old adage about storytelling: projects were so isolated from the rest of journalistic pieces…Characters and “God is in the details.” I look for these the city. My God, nobody—and I mean settings and situations recur here in “An moments that illuminate what I’m seeing. nobody—was paying any attention. In American Summer.” Was this by design, The cemetery where cars are getting 1999, the city announced they were or is it a byproduct of your immersion in searched: how does this speak to who coming down. And I think anyone who the subjects that these stories became we are? The police tape: it’s almost like had spent any time in the projects would part of this new story? party tape left after a party, you see it tell you they should’ve come down a long everywhere in summer. I’m looking for time ago. But it was a missed opportunity. It was a byproduct. After reporting the those details that surprise me and They did the easy part real quick, tearing Harper High series for “This American hopefully surprise my readers as well. I down the buildings. The intent was to Life” and after working on “The look for things that knock me o balance, rebuild communities that were mixed Interrupters,” I was still trying to make that upend what I think I know. income, but there was no conversation sense of all this. At Harper I was privy to about rebuilding communities integrated this beautiful and touching relationship An aspect of “An American Summer” between Thomas and his social worker that is unique and I think telling is your insistence on representing all sides of the violence. Why is it important to you that readers see all these dimensions? Because there is no one story out there. The numbers are staggering. In Chicago during the twenty years between 1990 11

The public housing and 2010, we’ve had 14,033 people killed, Alex Kotlowitz will be awarded the high-rises are all and another roughly 60,000 wounded by Harold Washington Literary gone. When “There gunfire. I wanted to understand the Award on June 6 and will speak at Are No Children” impact of that violence from all the Printers Row Lit Fest that came out there were perspectives: young and old, victims, weekend. 927 murders, twice perpetrators, grieving parents, survivors, what it is today. witnesses, the police, social workers. It’s ------------------------- Those projects were an acknowledgement that the violence so isolated from the has these long-reaching tentacles. “AN AMERICAN SUMMER: rest of the city. Moreover, I wanted to make clear that LOVE AND DEATH IN My God, nobody— there’s no single story. You hear about CHICAGO” and I mean nobody— somebody like Eddie who took BY ALEX KOTLOWITZ was paying any somebody’s life when he was eighteen: attention. you think you know the shape of his NAN A. TALESE DOUBLEDAY, journey, you think you know his story, but PAGES, . you don’t know it at all. Eddie, who I so deeply admire, runs probably the most creative violence-prevention program in the city. Or take Marcelo, who at the age of sixteen is shot and then one weekend robs people of cell phones. You think you know the shape of his narrative, but you’ll be knocked o balance by his journey. I know I was. That’s what I was trying to do: upend what people think they know. ----------------------------- Newcity JUNE 2019 12


Newcity JUNE 2019TO BE How Majani Is Redefining Vegan Food on the South Side by Molly Sprayregen 14

the corner of a quiet block in Chicago’s Diners can feast on Nasya and menu items like jerk Tsadakeeyah Emmanuel On South Shore neighborhood lies a quaint, bustling eatery full of light and life. Even tofu smothered in on a weekday at 3pm, long after the lunch- creamy chipotle sauce, a black eyed-pea burger with BBQ time rush should have died down, smiling customers sauce and garlic, sweet potato rolls with tahini sour crowd into the 950-square-foot space, chatting happily cream, cheesy grits with fresh tomato sauce, a lentil with the staff while ordering takeout or sitting down to mushroom burger mixed with secret spices, and lightly enjoy the “soulful vegan cuisine” provided by Majani. fried BBQ cauliflower that, if eaten with your eyes closed, For almost two years, Majani’s unique dishes have de- could trick you into believing you’re eating an extraor- lighted customers by proving just how flavorful vegan food can be. It has become of a vegan hotspot in Chicago, dinarily delicious version of chicken nuggets. as well as one beloved by non-vegans who simply wany to enjoy a healthy meal. JUNE 2019 Newcity 15

Located at 72nd and As such, Majani is truly a labor of love. “Having in less than two years,” says Nasya, “It’s a Exchange, Majani a restaurant, you’ve built from the ground up, testimony that this community can work for it’s your baby,” says Nasya. other businesses.” opened in May 2017. It’s clear the couple’s hearts and souls are South Shore has gained a reputation for vio- The restaurant was dreamed up by married built into every nook and cranny of the place. lence more than anything else these days, but head chefs and owners Nasya and Tsada- It feels comfortable, relaxing, homey. A curved the Emmanuels know the neighborhood has keeyah Emmanuel, who have been South wall made entirely of windows encircles half far more to offer. For one, it lies directly on Lake Shore residents for fifteen and twenty-five the space, allowing the sun to stream in and Michigan, and possesses stunning public years respectively. The couple had been run- cast a warm glow over the diners. Beside the beaches. The neighborhood, says Tsadakeeyah, ning Majani as a catering business and meal front counter, a wooden mantle emerges from “is one of the few places in the country where delivery service. Eventually, their frustration an exposed brick wall, mimicking the look there’s a community of African Americans that with their neighborhood’s lack of healthy eat- of a hearth. control prime real estate, right off Lake Michi- ing options reached a tipping point. gan. One of the largest freshwater systems in Whimsical wood-framed chalkboards dangle the world is in our backyard.” “We wanted a place where we could just sit on cords above the counter. One reads, “Proud- down and enjoy a good meal in our neighbor- ly Serving the South Shore Neighborhood.” South Shore, the former home of such legends hood,” says Tsadakeeyah. Another provides a list of urban farms diners as Michelle Obama, Jabari Parker, Jesse Jack- support when they eat at the restaurant, includ- son Jr. and Nobel Prize winner James Watson, ing Eden Place, Windy City Greens and Sweet is also the home of the South Shore Cultural Pea Farm. Another chalkboard declares, “Wel- Center, an architectural marvel that includes a come to Majani.” beach, gardens, facilities for art classes, event venues, a golf course and a nature center. Most of the tables are light-colored wood with a smooth, glossy finish, made from reclaimed oak flooring. In the back is a long community table made from reclaimed wood beams sal- vaged from a fire at a meatpacking factory. Majani means green in Swahili. The name was chosen by Nasya. For the Em- manuels, it symbolizes far more than green cui- sine and healthy eating. It also represents their devotion to supporting local farmers, to using reclaimed materials as much as possible, and to hiring local talent. Hiring South Shore residents, especially youth, is woven into the fabric of the Majani mission. The community was hit hard during the Great Recession. Many core businesses closed, household incomes fell and foreclosures sky- rocketed. According to the Chicago Tribune, South Shore has experienced 3,950 foreclo- sures in the decade following the recession. Newcity JUNE 2019 The journey to Many residents had to seek employment out- Despite these assets, the Emmanuels dream those bright and side of the neighborhood. When looking for em- of a day when South Shore residents will have crowded weekday ployees, Tsadakeeyah couldn’t believe the num- the opportunity to choose from a larger variety afternoons wasn’t easy. ber of South Shore residents he interviewed of restaurants. who were driving two hours each way to work “We stepped out of our comfort zone to start the a job that paid minimum wage. In addition to “If we can create a restaurant row here in South restaurant,” Tsadakeeyah says, citing both the Nasya and Tsadakeeyah, Majani has sixteen Shore,” says Tsadakeeyah, “we can create hun- physical and financial challenges the couple employees. Almost everyone walks to work. dreds of entry-level jobs that will boost the endured to get Majani up and running. economy, and if we can create an area in the “If we’re going to make change,” says Tsada- city that reflects Black cuisine broadly… That’s When they first found the space that would be- keeyah, “We have to believe in our neighbor- what we’d love to see happen here. Not only come Majani, they projected it would need only hood enough to know there’s enough resourc- would it uplift South Shore culturally, but eco- light remodeling work at an estimated cost of es here to support the business and there’s nomically, it would put us on the map for more $10,000-$20,000. But the more they explored enough talent here to work in our restaurant.” than just violence. So that’s part of our longterm the more work they realized needed to be done. vision, to inspire other businesses to come and Nasya and Tsadakeeyah hope other business uplift South Shore.” The remodel cost upwards of $100,000, owners will look to Majani and see that even though they did a large portion of the South Shore remains a vibrant community work themselves. worth investing in. “To see us continue to grow 16

When Majani opened, When he moved to Chicago, he started a ca- Majani is opening a new location in Pullman. the Emmanuels say, tering company that eventually became a Then comes Englewood. Then the West Side. restaurant, Vegetarian Express Gourmet. Tsa- They hope Majani will be a model that will investors and community dakeeyah owned it for three years and says it spread around the country. Eventually, they members alike were gave him a wealth of knowledge when it came want to franchise the restaurant and bring their time to launch Majani. dishes—and more jobs—to as many communi- not convinced a vegan ties as possible. restaurant could survive Nasya is Majani’s pastry chef. Her creations, delectable-looking cakes, cookies and cup- in the neighborhood. cakes line the counter at the front of the space. She discovered her love for cooking and baking Some wary investors even pulled out at the last while assisting Tsadakeeyah with his catering minute—although a few have returned after ob- and meal programs. She loved it so much, in serving Majani’s success. fact, that she quit her day job and went to pas- try school. The Emmanuels never let skeptics slow them down. They were determined to drown out the Majani currently haters. “When it’s on your heart and your mind serves between to do it, you have to do it,” says Tsadakeeyah. one hundred and 120 “You cannot be dissuaded by the naysayers. I customers each day. think that’s one thing we both were tenacious about, that we’re going to do this no matter what. Majani currently serves between one hundred I don’t care if it breaks us. We were committed and 120 customers each day. There are many to doing it and nothing was going to stop us.” regulars, but the restaurant also welcomes new customers every day. Word of mouth, they say, For the first six months after opening, Nasya is their biggest strength, but social media has and Tsadakeeyah would arrive every morning also been kind to them. at 5am and stay until midnight. It is only now, after working hard to build a reliable and well- In fact, the Majani Facebook page has more trained staff, that they are able to leave at a than 5,500 followers. Reviews on the page rave reasonable hour. about the taste of the food, the community at- mosphere the staff maintains, and the afford- “I’m still proud of myself to this day for just stick- ability of the dishes. ing to what we set out to do,” says Nasya, “be- cause there were many times I wanted to give up and get me a nine-to-five.” Still, the grind isn’t over yet. The Emmanuels One five-star review came from someone who As Majani grows, JUNE 2019 Newcity predict it’ll be at least five years of being open hadn’t even tasted the food: “While I did not the Emmanuels hope before they can fully relax and embrace some eat here,” it says, “I still feel the need to leave a their food will continue free time. They laugh at the thought of doing five-star review for everything being so sublime changing hearts and anything beyond restaurant-related work, but here. The staff were friendly, the bathroom was they do their best to take a break every once hands-down the nicest, cleanest I’ve ever used minds about what it in a while and see a show or visit friends. in a public place, the aesthetic and atmosphere means to be vegan was cozy and friendly, and they were playing The continued success they are having in South some quality OutKast at a perfect volume.” and eat healthy. Shore keeps them going. “Seeing the reaction we’ve gotten from the community I think is “My favorite place in Chicago!” reads another, Vegan food, Nasya and Tsadakeeyah say, is what is most gratifying for me,” says Tsada- “The staff is wonderful, the food is an absolute commonly misunderstood as boring, bland and keeyah. “Just the fact people said, ‘You can’t be dream, and the place itself has the most chill, unappetizing to even look at. But they know successful here in South Shore.’ That was false. cozy atmosphere ever.” what vegan cooking is really about. They know We have thrived here in South Shore and folks that whether or not someone eats meat, there here love our restaurant and really embrace us.” “Cozy” is the perfect word. The Emmanuels want- are vegan dishes that anyone can enjoy. ed to fit in as many customers as possible, so Neither Tsadakeeyah despite the small space, the restaurant seats For many, Majani’s BBQ cauliflower is the tick- nor Nasya ever intended thirty-four. The tables are close together, but the et. It’s a customer favorite, one of the dishes community atmosphere makes it feel intention- Majani is best known for. The Emmanuels have to become chefs. al. Not crowded, but full. Not awkward, but warm. seen it convert nonbelievers into lovers of vegan cuisine. A bite of the cauliflower, Tsada- For Tsadakeeyah, it began when he took a job Soon, they’ll squeeze in even more people. Last keeyah believes, can gain a staunch meat eat- as a prep cook in the mid-eighties and the chef summer, the Emmanuels received a $160,000 er’s trust and convince them to try other dishes. told him he should consider cooking as a ca- grant for expansion through Chicago’s Neigh- reer. He shook his head, barely giving it any borhood Opportunity Fund. They are moving “Those are things we really relish when people thought, but eventually, he came to agree. He their production kitchen to a new place down come here,” Tsadakeeyah says. “They have an was already a vegan, but at the time there the block, leaving space in the restaurant for a expectation that it’s going to be ‘rabbit food,’ as were no vegan cooking schools. So, he began juice bar with counter seating. they always say. We get the chance to blow to educate himself. He read as many cook- them away.” books as he could get his hands on before fi- Even beyond the new kitchen, expansion is nally landing a job at Soul Vegetarian Restau- high on their list of priorities. “Our goal is to go rant in Atlanta. into black neighborhoods,” says Tsadakeeyah. 17

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LITERATI JUNE 2019 Newcity OF THE MOMENT by Toni Nealie photos by Monica Kass Rogers Dr. Eve L. Ewing inspires, en- tertains, educates, confronts and challenges with her poetry, scholarship, teaching, public speaking and tweeting. The sociologist of education and writer has won a dizzying array of honors and awards for her work, including “Ghosts in the Schoolyard: Racism and School Closings on Chicago’s South Side” and her poetry collection “Electric Arches.” This year the Chicago Public Library awarded her the 21st Century Award. She is the co-author (with Nate Marshall) of the play “No Blue Memories: The Life of Gwendolyn Brooks” and writes the “Iron- heart” series for Marvel Comics. Ewing is an assistant professor at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Ad- ministration, is an instructor for the Prison + Neighborhood Art Project and serves on the board of youth poetry and social justice organization MassLEAP. 19

Newcity JUNE 2019 If you could have a superpower to use in the world, what would it be and why? I do have superpowers. I just keep them secret. Who do you most want to influence, why and how? Any directions for the rest of us in making your visions reality? That’s an interesting question. I don’t think of my work in quite that way. The only person that I know I have one-hundred-percent control over is myself. So I try to listen and learn as much as I can and be attentive to ways that I can do things that I think are helpful or important or good. Because I’m sort of a loud- mouth, I also speak up about those things, so maybe some other folks who are trying to do good things can hear about it. You are a sociologist, educator, poet, writer, playwright, public speaker and Twitter “shero”— do all these roles get equal billing? Do you feel that any are more important in the public domain? How do you manage to integrate them all? How do you switch from one mode to another— do you have tricks? This is what I am asked most often and I feel like I’m the most poorly equipped person to answer. I don’t have a good basis for comparison because I don’t know any other way to be. I don’t see those things as hav- ing neat partitions any more than I do, say, my identities as a black per- son, a woman, a Chicagoan, a Gem- 20

ini, a person who unapologetically puts sugar of our era—the minds and hearts that have “Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive in my grits. In my head, it’s all happening all at so much to give us, who are in danger of History of Racist Ideas in America,” by Ibram once. As I’ve often said, I see myself as having being forgotten or lost to us altogether. X. Kendi. one big project with many component parts— trying to live and create, with equal parts imag- What gives you hope in Chicago’s What does a week/day/month look like JUNE 2019 Newcity ination and critical questioning, trying to use literary scene? What do you love, what to you? How do you stay productive and those two lenses to make the world around would you like to see more of or change? sane? Any roadblocks? Any methods me marginally better in the limited time I have for getting beyond them? to be alive. Whenever I meet some of the writers that are coming up, I get so excited. They’re so talent- It’s always di erent. Looking at my calendar It seems that you are everywhere ed. I’m also in love with how we are always this past week, it was the first week of not in Chicago now. I know that is the looking for new ways to collaborate and sup- having class after teaching three courses for culmination of years of hard work. port and celebrate each other. I think I’d like ten weeks, so I was catching up with a lot of How is it paying o , both personally, in more opportunities to connect with the great things. Early morning swim class because I’m public discourse and in signs of change? nonfiction writers who are coming up. I’ve trying to get good enough to do a triathlon; also been brainstorming ways to build di er- meet with a student I’m advising for her dis- Hmm, that’s an interesting question. I don’t ent kinds of poetry communities for young sertation; lunch meeting with a colleague; actually feel like I’m everywhere. I still only people. I’m really excited with what we’ve phone call with W. Kamau Bell because I’m know how to be in one place at a time (un- done with the Emerging Poets Incubator and helping with the next season of his show on fortunately). But I do appreciate that people I want to extend some of that success to young CNN; meet with three more students; go out have been very kind to my work, very sup- folks. I also would like to see more literary ven- to the Breathing Room to host a panel of ac- portive, and given me a lot of opportunities ues that are truly ground-floor, entry-level, tivists in support of Jeanette Taylor’s run for to share it with the world. open to everyone, where people can learn the th Ward. That was Monday. Tuesday, and workshop and connect. When I talk to grading papers, trying to catch up on email, I What are you excited about with my mentors that are a bit older than me I get had two meetings and I got a haircut. your forthcoming books “1919” the sense that there aren’t as many of those Wednesday I got my monthly allergy shot, and “Maya and the Robot”? now as there were in the nineties. met with a colleague and gave a lecture at University of Illinois at Chicago. Then it was Thanks for asking! With “ ,” I am excited You write: “The work of the poet is my mom’s birthday, and she wanted me to because I’ve been working in partnership with not unlike the work of being black. / exercise with her and then she wanted to the Newberry Library for a year of program- Some days it is no work at all: have like a family game night. Then more ming related to the race riot, and my pub- only ease, cascading victory… grading papers, more emails. Friday I got my lisher Haymarket Books has also been work- Other days, you wonder if exile would be nails done, had a call with a publisher about ing to put together a really great teaching too lonely / and figure it can’t be worse a potential new project, and then I gave a talk guide for the book. So I’m excited for it to be a than thinking you won’t make it home…” at Dominican University. In between every- tool for folks to hopefully learn about a period Does it get any easier? How does thing, I have to find time to write, read, keep of history that is really important but that is collaboration help and what advice my house sort of not repulsively messy. I work often overlooked, I feel. And with “Maya and do you have for your audiences whenever and wherever I can. In line at CVS, the Robot”… I’m just in love with the story and and community? on the train. I have favorite work spots all over with the character. I don’t think I’ve ever felt the city, so that if I have a meeting in Pilsen such profound love for something I’ve written, That poem was inspired by a time on the road or Englewood or Woodlawn or Logan Square or had an experience writing like that. That when I felt really isolated, frustrated and dis- I can just post up and work before or after. I story just poured out of me. I wasn’t planning connected. Now I’m much, much better about am blessed to do work that I love, so that on writing it, in terms of my artistic trajectory protecting my time and my need to work and helps. I also am a big believer in therapy. And or my career or professional goals or anything my energy and my need to be around my I have really loving, supportive people in my like that. But it just came out. So I’m really ex- friends and family, my need for rest. I’ve learned life and I text them basically all day, every day cited for the world to see it. the hard way how to reinforce boundaries in just to check in and laugh about how ridicu- my life and that helps a lot. My advice to ev- lous everything is. How does it feel to be billed as eryone is that learning to say no is one of the “the Zora Neale Hurston of her best things you can do for yourself. I think of it It seems that earning a living and generation?” Who are your main as “saying no to say yes.” When I say no, I can’t gaining respect is hard for both influences/influencers and why? do this event, I’m saying yes, I’m gonna have teachers and creative artists these time to take my mom to see a movie; yes, I’m days. Why are educators and artists It feels very humbling and also complicated, going to have dinner at home with my husband; so threatening to those in power? probably more complicated than the person yes, I’m going to get a full night of sleep; yes, I’m How do we survive/thrive? who said that [the host of Studio ] real- going to have energy left to be a good mentor. ized. Zora Neale Hurston, like me, wrote People who speak truth to power and encour- across disciplines. But she also struggled Which Chicagoans past or present age others to do the same will always be dan- mightily toward the end of her life and only couldn’t you do without? gerous. We have to understand our lives as pre- began to get the level of recognition worthy carious and build mutual connections to try to of her tremendous talents years after she My whole family. Nate Marshall. Gwendolyn mitigate that precarity. We have to have each passed, thanks in no small part to Alice Walk- Brooks. The heating lamp on the CTA plat- other’s back with the understanding that some- er’s e orts to remember her and uplift her form. Svengoolie. one can be coming for us any time, any day, and legacy. So I am inspired by Zora, but it’s not our only chance is to have the systems and so much that I want to be Zora. Rather, I’m Who would you love for all Chicagoans structures in place to love and protect and sup- interested in keeping an eye out for the Zoras to read? port each other. We’re our only hope. 21

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APRIL 2019 Newcity 23

LIT50 WHO REALLY BOOKS IN CHICAGO hicago may be called the Second City, but it is C second to none when it comes to vibrancy and collegiality in the literary community. We cele- brate the power behind the scenes—influencers, publishers, booksellers, curators, educators, associations, museums, or- ganizers and activists who are primarily engaged with words. On alternate years, we recognize the dedicated work of those who make the ground fertile for creative work, shaping cul- ture and changing political conversations, in our city, the nation and the world beyond. Some here are also writers, but we emphasize the work that is less obviously apparent. A broad range of people in Chicago exert influence and con- tribute to the voices we read and hear; forming our collective thinking. Thanks to our Hall of Fame cast, who provide a solid foundation year in and year out, and to all those who made suggestions for 2019’s Lit 50. It has been a pleasure to work with you. (Toni Nealie) Newcity JUNE 2019 LIT is written by Toni Nealie with Amy Friedman, Jarrett Neal, and Kate Burns All photos by Monica Kass Rogers with photo assistance by Ryan Thomas Lay. Shot on location at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration 24

2 — Phillip Bahar and Alison Cuddy EVE L. EWING PHILLIP BAHAR Kennedy Center and has been the leading JUNE 2019 Newcity advocate for expanding accessibility for people Sociologist, Educator, Poet, Writer, AND ALISON CUDDY with disabilities and older adults at CHF. She's Playwright, Public Speaker, Twitter Shero a steering committee member of the Chicago Executive Director; Marilynn Cultural Accessibility Consortium. All-round inspirational dynamo Dr. Eve L. Ewing Thoma Artistic Director, Chicago won the Chicago Public Library’s 2019 21st Humanities Festival HENRY S. BIENEN Century Award. She is in demand for her evi- dence-based challenge to Chicago’s racist Writers agree: The Chicago Humanities Fes- AND YDALMI NORIEGA education system, outlined in her book tival literary lineup, in its thirtieth year, has been “Ghosts in the Schoolyard: Racism and School stronger than ever, with Phillip Bahar as exec- President; Community & Foundation Closings on Chicago's South Side.” As half of utive director, and artistic director Alison Cuddy Relations Director, The Poetry Foundation Crescendo Literary, with Nate Marshall, Ewing providing thematic vision and interview skills, “Poetry speaks to people all over the world, and created “No Blue Memories: The Life of Gwen- along with Rina Rinalli’s programming exper- does not belong to one language or generation” dolyn Brooks,” in partnership with Manual tise. “It's the perfect recipe for how our festival is a rationale provided by the Poetry Founda- Cinema and the Poetry Foundation; the first gets booked,” says publicist Joe Englemann. tion as its influence spins out well beyond Emerging Poets Incubator; and the Chicago Two rising stars include Ti Beatty, associate Chicago and the nation. Headed by Henry S. Poetry Block Party. She is part of the Echo director of programming, who hosts Art Is Bienen, the Foundation recently packed crowds Hotel writing collective and is an assistant Bonfire spoken-word poetry cypher at Prom- with readings from “Halal If You Hear Me”; professor at the University of Chicago; an ontory Point during the summer. She was co-sponsored the ChiTeen Lit Fest and hosted instructor for the Prison + Neighborhood Art named a Chicago United For Equity Fellow a roster of events that supported emerging Project and serves on the board of youth and received a 2019 Field Leader Award. Brit- poets as well as established artists. The Foun- poetry and social justice organization tany Pyle, director of audience experience and dation o ers dozens of free events every sea- MassLEAP. She published “Electric Arches” production, books more than forty venues son, including readings, film screenings, musi- to great acclaim last year, and “1919,” her annually for the Festival. She was honored with cal performances, book clubs and workshops, poetry collection about Chicago’s race riots, the Leadership Exchange in Arts & Disability while maintaining a library and gallery open is forthcoming. (LEAD) Award for Emerging Leaders from the 25

3 — Ydalmi Noriega and Henry S. Bienen to the public. In the community, it hosts the oped a public program schedule that 4 — Allison Sansone annual Chicago Poetry Block Party in Pilsen looks like American literature, with and Sonal Shukla in July; its poetry and activism initiative the more than sixty percent of our pro- Newcity JUNE 2019 Poetry Incubator; the Summer Poetry Teachers grams from women or writers of color,” Institute and the thousands of poems, articles says Allison Sansone. The organiza- and resources available free at PoetryFounda- tion, under the leadership of Carey \"The Poetry Foundation exists to serve Cranston, has celebrated sportswrit- writers and readers of poetry—including peo- ers, poets, scholars, songwriters and ple who don't know that they love poetry yet,\" many other writers from the front says Ydalmi Noriega. \"We aim to make poetry pages of America's newspapers to exciting and accessible to everyone: on the the inside of Chicago's homeless page, in performance, in community. We want shelters. “When U.S. Supreme Court people to use the resources we have to develop Justice Sonia Sotomayor came to us poetry that works for them because we know for a joint program with the Chicago that new ideas are how art moves forward.\" Public Library, front and center were our Write In students, asking her ALLISON SANSONE questions—some of them as tough as any put to her by journalists!” AND SONAL SHUKLA JIM DEROGATIS Program Director; Assistant Director of Programming & Education, Advocate, Music Journalist, American Writers Museum Author, Teacher and Critic Since the American Writers Museum opened The influence of Jim DeRogatis as a in 2017, more than 10,000 students have visited music critic and journalist is formi- at no charge, mostly through the subsidized dable. He is one of the favorite pro- Write In program. Students have discussed fessors of students at Columbia writing with renowned writers, including Jac- College Chicago, the author of ten queline Woodson, Ilan Stavans, Deepak books and the co-host of “Sound Unnikrishnan and Glory Edim. “We've devel- Opinions” on WBEZ. “The critic 26

doesn’t sit there to tell you everything you think is wrong; he or she just wants to start a con- versation,” DeRogatis has said, and his tireless investigative journalism about R. Kelly has done just that and more. He started on the story in 2000 after receiving an anonymous tip alleging the superstar had a problem with young girls. He broke his shocking report of grooming and sexual abuse, only to have it fall on deaf ears. Undeterred, he reported more than fifty stories and continued to advocate for young victims. His work spurred a docu- mentary series and saw Kelly indicted this year on ten counts of aggravated sexual abuse. DeRogatis’ book, “Soulless: The Case Against R. Kelly,” is published this summer. JULIE FAIN Co-Founder and Publisher, Haymarket Books “Our quest for ‘power’ is mostly in the political sphere,” says Julie Fain. “We are certainly looking to help push the conversation in pub- lishing and in political and social justice cir- cles.” This summer the radical independent 6 — Julie Fain 7 — Lynn Mooney and Sarah Hollenbeck SARAH HOLLENBECK AND LYNN MOONEY Co-Owners, Women & Children First Bookstore Valerie Jarrett packed the house this month as one of many guests that Women & Children First, Chicago’s premier feminist bookstore, draws into its beautiful, brilliantly stocked space. Co-owners Sarah Hollenbeck and Lynn Mooney open their doors for book launches for emerging indie writers as well as estab- lished literary icons. The store brims with works by feminists, and highlights books by women and marginalized writers including women of color and LGBTQ writers. Five years in as owners of the forty-year-old Chicago institution, Hollenbeck and Mooney believe the key to their success is focusing on femi- nism, and holding twelve to fifteen events each month to serve as a consistent gathering space for the Chicago lit community. nonprofit publisher moves into a building in Arundhati Roy, Noam Chomsky and Howard JOSÉ OLIVAREZ JUNE 2019 Newcity Uptown with space for 120 people to attend Zinn, Chicago authors such as Eve L. Ewing, cultural and literary events. The press pub- Kevin Coval, José Olivarez, Britteney Black AND KARA JACKSON lishes big names, including Rebecca Solnit, Rose Kapri and H. Melt, as well as the Break- Angela Davis, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Beat Poets anthologies. Teaching Artist, Mentor and National Youth Poet Laureate, Young Chicago Authors, Louder Than a Bomb In addition to “Citizen Illegal,” his debut poetry collection blowing up with awards, perfor- mances and workshops nationwide, poet and 27

teaching artist José Olivarez is co-editing the supporter and a participant in the 8 — Kara Jackson and fourth BreakBeat Poets anthology, “LatiNEXT” parallel Harold Washington Literary José Olivarez and is a co-host of the podcast the Poetry Award, which she also founded. All Gods. He is a mentor to younger poets—Luis that changed earlier this year when 10 — Jennifer Day Carranza, Kee Stein, Vicky Peralta and Sammy the Tribune decided to discontinue its Newcity JUNE 2019 Ortega—who came up through Louder Than ownership and management of the a Bomb and began organizing around poetry festival. HIll sprang into action, as the in the Back of the Yards and Little Village only way to save the fair was to return neighborhoods. Their collective, Line Break, it to the Near South Planning Board, promotes arts and culture through intergen- under the leadership of president erational experience while prioritizing the work and executive director Bonnie San- of people of color in Chicago. Inspiring young chez-Carlson. This required Hill to hit poets throughout the country, Kara Jackson the streets, convincing foundations is the National Youth Poet Laureate—the to put up hundreds of thousands of second Chicago recipient of the award after dollars to produce the event, and cor- Patricia Frazier held the honor in 2018. “When ralling a coalition of sponsors, volun- I share poetry, I am making an e ort to make teers and partners (including the Tri- sure it reaches everybody,” Jackson writes, “I bune and Newcity) to keep things am doing the work to make sure the fire moving. The fair will return some of doesn’t go out.” the more grass-roots elements this year that marked its pre-Tribune tenure, BETTE CERF HILL most notably making all events free of charge. Founder, Printers Row Lit Fest In 2002, when Bette Cerf Hill and her succes- JENNIFER DAY sors at the Near South Planning Board handed o the reigns of the book fair she'd founded Books Editor, back in 1985 to the Chicago Tribune, she Chicago Tribune assumed she was closing the final chapter An experienced journalist with more on this phase of her life for good, content to than twenty years experience, Jennifer remain close to what had become the biggest Day is a key influence on the reading literary event in the Midwest as a spectator, 28

fundraiser and the Chicago YA Book Festival. StoryStudio Chicago acquired the Chicago Review of Books and became a not-for-profit this year. Benson has a long record of pro- moting a love of words, through 826CHI, Story Week Festival of Writers and ProLiteracy Worldwide, and has dispatched volunteer Lit Squad ambassadors to bring writing and a love of literature to schools, libraries and part- ner organizations. He recently helped Stories Matter Foundation become a not-for-profit. JOE MATTHEWS CEO, Independent Publishers Group With a reputation as smart and forward-think- ing, Joe Matthews took the reins of IPG from his father Curt Matthews three years ago, acquired other businesses, brought on new clients and upgraded the company’s printing facilities. The nation’s second-largest indepen- dent press distributor, IPG recently began partnerships with publishers in Australia, Ger- many and the United Kingdom. Among addi- tions to IPG’s distribution list are Koenemann, which publishes spectacular photography, art and architecture books, and Omnibus Press, the world’s largest publisher of music-related books such as “The Beatles on the Roof” and “David Bowie: The Golden Years.” As another publisher says, “In the landscape of small dis- tributors who haven't been swallowed up by conglomerates, they have thrived.” 26 — Christian TeBordo rie Fires’; and celebrated Ron Chernow's entire PARNESHIA JONES JUNE 2019 Newcity 9 — Bette Cerf Hill body of work with a Literary Award.” Sales and Community Outreach habits of Chicago and Illinois residents. “In JILL POLLACK, Manager and Poetry Editor, 2018, I was delighted to produce the Chicago BARRY BENSON AND Northwestern University Press Tribune's ninety-eight-page summer reading REBECCA MAKKAI guide. It highlighted recommendations from Few successful writers spend their days notable Chicago authors, an early excerpt Founder; Executive Director; acquiring and promoting the works of others; from Rebecca Makkai's critically acclaimed Artistic Director, StoryStudio Chicago Parneshia Jones is a member of this rarefied ‘The Great Believers’ and the winning short Along with founder Jill Pollack, artistic direc- club. As poetry editor and community out- story from the Tribune's Nelson Algren Award tor Rebecca Makkai and the sta of StoryS- reach manager at Northwestern University contest. We're planning something similar this tudio, Barry Benson helped organize the first Press, Jones has a keen eye for talent. She year.” As well as moving books coverage into annual StoryStudio Writers Festival, featuring picked up the poetry collection \"Head O & the Arts & Entertainment section and shifting writers, agents, editors and 160 participants. Split: Poems\" by Nikky Finney, a book that focus to the vibrant local literary scene, Day He also helped host their first annual cocktail went on to win the National Book Award, as sees the Tribune’s literary awards as a high- well as \"Forest Primeval: Poems\" by Vievee light. “We welcomed home George Saunders Francis, which won the Kingsley Tufts Poetry with a Heartland Prize in fiction for ‘Lincoln Award, and \"Incendiary Art: Poems\" by Chi- in the Bardo’; recognized Caroline Fraser with cago native Patricia Smith, which won the a Heartland Prize in nonfiction for her mas- Kingsley Tufts and the Los Angeles Times terful portrait of Laura Ingalls Wilder in ‘Prai- Book Prizes. “I also acquired the visual poetry book, ‘neckbone: visual verses’ by Chicago artist avery r. young, which will be released this summer,” she says. Jones has taught in the Vermont College of Fine Arts Low Resi- dency program. She earned a Lannan Resi- dency Fellowship, a Ragdale Fellowship and received the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award for her own work. Milkweed Editions acquired Jones' first book, \"Vessel: Poems,\" which won the Midwest Book Award for Poetry. 29

14 — Reginald cultural and civic value, in addition to the great Gibbons value the author series provides.” Since Alex and Chris Houston began as marketing director, the Abani store hosted or supported more than 500 events last year, including Michael Ondaatje, Imani Perry, Eileen Myles, Timuel Black, Amit Chaudhuri, Hanif Abdurraqib and Michelle Obama's release party and publication day signing. It includes a podcast (over 50,000 downloads in over fifty countries), blog and a range of children's programming that won the Pannell Award from the WNBA, the most prestigious award in children's bookselling. “We carry and support books that receive lit- tle to no attention elsewhere, including robust selections of books by academic presses, small presses and writers of color. In recog- nition of this unique approach, we are actively working toward transitioning to a nonprofit bookstore—the first whose cultural mission is bookselling proper.” REBECCA AND KIMBERLY GEORGE Owners, Volumes Bookcafe If you value something in the modern economy, you have to pay for the service, lest it vanish. “Bookstores feeding and providing the foun- dation for strong literary community is the most important thing to combating corporate behemoths,” say Rebecca and Kimberly George, the owners of Volumes Bookcafe in Wicker Park. The store is one of more than twenty independent stores hosting the Annual 15 — Alex Houston and Jeff Deutsch 30 — Jeffrey Meeuwsen Newcity JUNE 2019 CHRIS ABANI poets of color through Northwestern and the Northwestern University Press. Abani AND REGINALD GIBBONS is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a founder Professors, Poetry and Poetics, of the African Poetry Book Fund and the Northwestern University Black Goat poetry series, an imprint of Akashic Books. Chris Abani and Reginald Gibbons have far more in common than roles as core faculty in JEFF DEUTSCH Northwestern’s Poetry and Poetics. They are each powerhouses and prolific writers in mul- AND ALEX HOUSTON tiple disciplines including poetry, fiction and translated work. Each have numerous awards, Director; Marketing Director, including a Guggenheim apiece. Gibbons runs Seminary Co-op Bookstore the Creative Writing Graduate MA and MFA The Seminary Co-op works to define the programs at NU, while Abani is Board of Trust- bookstore as a cultural institution, says ees Professor of English at the school. Both director Je Deutsch. “We firmly believe serve as series editors for the Drinking Gourd that the work of bookselling provides great Chapbook Poetry Prize, a first book award for 30

director, we added three new events to our programming with the intent of uniting book- sellers, authors and publishers in creative and interactive ways. When we gather to discuss books, hear directly from authors or experi- ence art first hand, we evolve. The talent, passion and strength of the Chicago literary scene, as well as that of the Great Lakes region, is undeniable. My goal is to encourage and foster this to the best of my abilities.\" 16 — Kimberly TONY TRIGILIO and Rebecca George Educator, Editor, Scholar, Poet Indie Bookstore Crawl on Independent Book- within our bookselling family,” says Larry store Day, highlighting vibrant local booksell- Law, who leads the Great Lakes Booksellers Tony Trigilio exudes warmth and human con- ers. Rebecca George was involved in creating Association. \"In my first year as executive nection, which explains why students love the Chicagoland Independent Booksellers him. This is the twentieth year of the annual Association. The store aims to be a community 17 — Fred Sasaki Columbia College Citywide Undergraduate hub by hosting regular events, from readings and Don Share Poetry Festival, featuring top student poets to comedy nights, to open mics, trivia and from ten area universities and colleges. An storytelling. It’s a location steeped in a culture of book loving and sharing. DON SHARE AND FRED SASAKI Editor; Art Director, Poetry Magazine 18 — Larry Law accomplished poet and musician, Trigilio co-founded and co-edits the poetry magazine The oldest monthly magazine devoted to verse Court Green, publishing local and national in the English language has been published poets and is associate editor for Tupelo Quar- in Chicago since 1912. Under the editorship terly. He hosted and produced the poetry of Don Share and art direction of Fred Sasaki, podcast Radio Free Albion and continues to the redesigned magazine, along with a pod- host national and local poets for Columbia cast and an app, continues founder Harriet College’s reading series as he has for twenty Monroe's \"open door\" policy to print the best years. A former director of the college’s BA poetry written, in any style. Poetry magazine and MFA poetry programs, he is proud that holds fast to its mission of bringing new voices his poetry students have published books of to the public alongside the most recog- their own, worked as interns, editors and nized poets. The Ruth Lilly and Dorothy curators at the Poetry Foundation, Poetry Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships magazine, the Chicago Poetry Center, and are in their thirtieth year of amplifying new venues such as the Dollhouse Reading Series voices in poetry. Poetry magazine holds (began by former students) and the Happy three National Magazine Awards, and this Gallery series. “My students also have gone year the ever-adapting magazine was on to start presses and magazines including nominated for two additional Ellie Awards, Switchback Books, The Lettered Streets Press, one for the magazine itself and one for Pinwheel and Ghost Proposal.” the weekly Poetry Magazine Podcast. It also connects the world through timely 31 translations, including these lines by Adonis: \"In your name, my land / That stands tall, enchanted and solitary / In your name, death, my friend.\" LARRY LAW JUNE 2019 Newcity Executive Director, Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association “We are a community built on relation- ships both within our neighborhoods and

13 — Parneshia Jones 19 — Tony Trigilio ERIKA L. SÁNCHEZ 20 — Erika L. Sánchez Newcity JUNE 2019 Educator, Poet, Novelist and Essayist Michigan, Wabash College, Northwestern ELIZABETH Since her novel “I Am Not Your Perfect Amer- University and the Poetry Foundation’s Poetry ican Daughter” hit bestseller lists and assigned Incubator. The always-gracious Marshall is a METZGER SAMPSON reading lists in schools around the country, frequent and enthusiastic supporter of poets educator and author Erika L. Sánchez has at readings. He co-directs Crescendo Literary Executive Director, The Chicago spent a lot of time with students. Some and co-wrote the theater production “No Blue Poetry Center schools have refused to assign the book. Memories: The Life of Gwendolyn Brooks.” “Creating more jobs for poets” is a large part “What a disservice to kids who are enduring He is part of the Dark Noise Collective and of Elizabeth Metzger Sampson’s role as exec- these traumas. They deserve to see them- makes music with Daily Lyrical Product. His utive director of the Chicago Poetry Center. selves in books,” Sánchez says.”This is so poetry collection “Wild Hundreds” won the The Center’s school programs, Hands on achingly clear to me every time a crying teen- Black Caucus of the American Library Asso- Stanzas and Poets with Class, encourage ager thanks me after a reading.” Sánchez, ciation’s best poetry award. His latest collec- literacy and love for poetry. As well as resi- formerly the sex and love advice columnist tion, \"FINNA,\" is due out in 2020. for the online Cosmopolitan for Latinas, is also a Princeton Arts Fellow, recipient of the 21st Century Award from the Chicago Public Library Foundation as well as a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry. She is the author of the acclaimed poetry collection “Lessons on Expulsion.” NATE MARSHALL Educator, Editor, Activist, MC and Poet Multitalented South Sider Nate Marshall makes poetry a welcoming home for young people. An editor of “The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop,” Marshall was the director of national programs for Louder Than A Bomb, the youth poetry festival, and has taught at the University of 32

22 — Elizabeth THE Metzger Sampson HALL dencies for fifteen teaching artists, the Center ecoast low residency program based at the OF FAME presents workshops on poetry writing and University of Southern Maine. A dedicated performance in Chicago Public Schools. The literary citizen, she works with Another Chi- These folks, or the roles they Center organizes the roving Six Points Read- cago Magazine and The Langston Hughes inhabit, are so well-established and ing Series, and has an online archive featuring Review as poetry editor. She interviews and foundational to the literary world streaming audio and reading information. moderates conversations with authors, such Sampson is also a poet, essayist and collab- as Alison C. Rollins at Seminary Co-op Book- of Chicago that they are always orates with visual artists. store. A Cave Canem fellow, she is the author near the top of the list. of “Break the Habit,” “Arc & Hue” and two TARA BETTS chapbooks. She is completing her third poetry BRIAN BANNON collection, \"Refuse to Disappear.\" Her poem Commissioner and CEO, Educator and Poet “Hip Hop Analogies” appeared in the program Chicago Public Library “Art urges voyages,” says the Gwendolyn for “For Colored Girls” at the Court Theater. Brooks Youth Advocacy Award bestowed on NINA BARRETT Tara Betts for promoting justice, equity and DANA KAYE Writer and Owner, literacy through the arts. Dr. Betts’ many activ- Bookends & Beginnings ities take people on journeys of discovery, AND LORI RADER-DAY whether young people at the Chicago High KEVIN COVAL School for the Arts or men at maximum secu- Co-Founders, Murder and Writer, Poet, Artistic Director rity prison through the Prison + Neighborhood Mayhem in Chicago Arts Project, MFA students at Chicago State Dana Kaye and Lori Rader-Day are in their Young Chicago Authors University where she is on faculty, or the Ston- third year of Murder and Mayhem in Chicago, AMANDA DELHEIMER DIMOND 23 — Tara Betts Artistic and Executive Director, 2nd Story DONALD G. EVANS Founder, Chicago Literary Hall of Fame ERIC KIRSAMMER Owner, Quimby's and Chicago Comics HAKI R. MADHUBUTI Publisher, Third World Press BILL OTT AND DONNA SEAMAN Publisher-Editor; Editor-Adult Books, Booklist DOMINIQUE RACCAH Founder, Publisher, CEO, Sourcebooks STACY RATNER Co-Founder, Open Books KATHLEEN ROONEY Author, Poet and Co-Founder, Rose Metal Press DOUG SEIBOLD Publisher, Agate Publishing SUZY TAKACS Owner, The Book Cellar ELIZABETH TAYLOR Literary Editor, Chicago Tribune SAM WELLER Writer and Associate Professor, Columbia College Chicago

nstein and Alta Price, organize informal read- ings and formal events to unite the literary community. They have advocated for the Guild's Fair Contract Initiative, addressing issues such as copyright and piracy in the digital age, where authors' works are often stolen and distributed free online; Controlled Digital Lending, which increasingly under- mines writers' incomes; authors' legal rights in contract negotiations with publishers and the broader opportunities and formidable chal- lenges that arise alongside industry behemoths Amazon and Google. “We have ambitious plans for the upcoming year, ready to help our comrades continue championing Chicago as one of the most literary and engaged cities in the United States,” they say. 24 — CHRISTIAN TEBORDO Dana Kaye Director, Creative Writing Program, Roosevelt University The writing program at Roosevelt University has produced writers and editors including crime writer Lori Rader-Day, author and host of Lit Crawl Chicago Jessica Anne and founder of the Chicago Review of Books Adam Morgan. \"Roosevelt's MFA program is small and close- knit by design, but we're extensively engaged with the greater Chicago literary community, collaborating with other organizations includ- ing Featherproof Books, Make Magazine's Lit & Luz Festival and the Murder and Mayhem in Chicago Conference, providing our students with access to a range of experience while a one-day event celebrating crime fiction. This 25 — Alta Price and year's event featured Sophie Hannah and Scott Arnie Bernstein Turow. Kaye also runs Kaye Publicity, building author brands and marketing books such as ecoterrorism thriller \"False Horizon\" by Joseph Reid and the forthcoming historical romance \"Emmie and the Tudor King\" by Natalie Murray. \"My goal is to convert more people into avid readers by connecting them to books they'll really love,” Kaye says. Award-winning novelist Day is about to become the national president of Sisters in Crime, a 4,000-member interna- tional organization begun by Sara Paretsky in 1986 to promote the development of women crime writers. ARNIE BERNSTEINNewcity JUNE 2019 AND ALTA PRICE Regional Ambassadors, The Authors Guild and Author and Translator, Publishing Consultant The Authors Guild supports working writers and their ability to earn a living from their work. Chicago’s regional ambassadors, Arnie Ber- 34

Celebrating 40 years SimplySince 1970 as Chicago’s feminist great books bookstore! 20-80% off retail everyday Visit our booth at Printers Row Lit Fest June 8th & 9th. You may know what you want, but you don’t know what you’ll find! Hyde Park 1501 E. 57th St. 773-955-7780 Open 9am until 11pm everyday IN THE FORMER BOOKMAN’S ALLEY SPACE AT 1712 SHERMAN AVE, EVANSTON 224.999.7722 Independent. Thursday, June 6, 6 pm Local. Linda Gates Book Launch Speaking in Shakespeare’s Voice: A Guide for American Actors Family-owned. Friday, June 7, 6 pm Tim Cresswell: Maxwell Street: Writing and Thinking Place You’ll find great books Thursday, June 20, 5-8 pm year-round here in the Downtown Evanston Sip & Stroll heart of Printers Row. Wednesday, June 26, 6 pm Catherine Chung: The Tenth Muse Be sure to stop by and see us AND HELP US CELEBRATE during Lit Fest TURNING 5 YEARS OLD ON JUNE 14 & 15 June 8-9 For details on these and other June events, visit our website at Sandmeyer’s Bookstore WWW.BOOKENDSANDBEGINNINGS.COM 714 S. Dearborn St. Chicago, IL 60605 Tel: 312-922-2104 M-W, F 11-6:30, Th 11-8 Sat 11-5, Sun 11-4

28 — Sandra Law, Brian Wilson, Bridget Piekarz, Anne Hellman sharing our resources with the city.\" TeBordo SANDRA LAW, BRIDGET four of the publishing-house book reps who has also written five books, and this year won PIEKARZ, BRIAN WILSON, advocate for authors and books in Chicago. the Bridge Eight fiction prize for his short story ANNE HELLMAN Not only do they persuade booksellers to stock collection “Ghost Engine.” their authors’ work, they recommend book- Publishing House Book Reps stores as venues for book tours. Sarah Hol- RANDY RICHARDSON Sandra Law (Abraham Associates), Bridget lenbeck of Women and Children First Book- Piekarz (Random House), Brian Wilson (Pen- store says that back when writers were not President, Chicago Writers Association guin) and Anne Hellman (MacMillan) are just sure if the now-famous store was a going As president of the Chicago Writers Associ- concern, reps helped convince writers such ation, attorney, journalist and lauded novel- 27 — Randy as Maya Angelou to read. Anne Hellman says ist-essayist Randy Richardson strives to Richardson she feels lucky to be part of such a passionate cultivate our local literary garden, shedding Newcity JUNE 2019 light where change is wanting, all the while thinking about connection, brokenness, Little League and the Cubs. Through his work with the nonprofit creative-writing community, Richardson helped foster the launch of the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame and guided the birth of the group's popular writers' conference, Let's Just Write! In just over ten years at the helm, he has been a steady force for the mem- bership of more than 700 Chicago-area writ- ers. CWA boasts its own speakers' bureau, book review service, literary journal and annual book awards. He has also played a pivotal role in the development of the social justice writing workshop, Hypertext Magazine & Studio, and its storytelling aims to increase awareness of a troubled status quo and direct energy into positive outcomes. 36

community. “No one owns or works in a book- 29 — avery r. young store in the hopes of getting rich. They do it because they love it.” covering at least ninety percent of all residency costs, last year we o ered $56,000 in grants AVERY R. YOUNG and stipends,” Meeuwsen says. “To nurture inclusive, equitable access, we've reduced Organizer, Educator, Mentor, Poet, application fees, established a financial-aid Songwriter and Performer fund to support lower-income artists, avery r. young inhabits Venn diagram of roles increased fellowships and expanded our cura- within Chicago literature's sphere, including torial board to thirty-two members.“ Recent winning the Gwendolyn Brooks Youth Advo- Ragdale success stories include three 2018 cacy Award.  “I am so proud of so many I have National Book Award finalists (Lauren Gro , taught and mentored,” he says. Many younger Jamel Brinkley and Rebecca Makkai);  the poets cite him as their guide. A mentor, poet, 2018 Lambda Literary Award for Transgender songwriter, and performer and Cave Canem Poetry (Ching-In Chen); the 2018 PEN/Mal- alum, he uses his considerable talent to amud Award for Excellence in the Short Story address racism, queerphobia, class inequities, (Amina Gautier); a 2018 TED Fellow (writ- body consciousness and other ills. A true er-journalist Yasin Kakande) and the 2018 interdisciplinary artist, young calls upon text, Pulitzer Prize for Drama (Martyna Majok). sound and visual art to launch his art into Chicago's multifaceted lit scene. His new book, EILEEN FAVORITE “neckbone: visual verses” arrives in June. Co-Founder, Her Chapter JEFFREY MEEUWSEN Eileen spreads her influence through Her Chapter, a collaborative gathering for women Executive Director, Ragdale in literature to share knowledge about writing, Ragdale o ers residencies and fellowships to celebrate achievements and encourage mem- writers requiring creative retreat. “We're rais- bers. “Our Cheers and Challenges are always ing more dollars to give away in support of my favorite events. Women are trained to artists' and writers' projects. In addition to self-deprecate and minimize their accom- plishments, so it's vital to announce what's 49 — Rachel Wiseman going well and have it witnessed by others. 31 — Eileen Favorite 37 JUNE 2019 Newcity

33 — Javier Geronimo Johnson, Don DeGrazia, John Ramirez McNally and Joe Meno. \"Being a writer is one of the hardest jobs in the world. When I com- 38 mit to an author, it's not just about promoting the book. The ultimate goal is to help further that person's career,\" Johnston says. For eigh- teen years, Johnston was an artistic consultant and producer of the beloved Story Week Fes- tival of Writers, formerly held by Columbia College Chicago. 11 — Barry Benson Then we discuss what's chal- JAVIER RAMIREZ 32 — Sheryl Johnston lenging us, and we brainstorm 44 — Syed Afzal Haider strategies on where to publish, Host, Judge and Manager, how to promote, how to get the The Book Table Newcity JUNE 2019 work done while juggling jobs, \"It was an honor to be selected this year as a children, spouses, health issues. fiction judge for the seventieth-annual Airing all of this creates greater National Book Award, but when my fourteen- transparency and combats the year-old son Diego told me that he'd shared competitive jealousies that keep the news with his reading teacher without most writers in their silos.” Top- prompting, that's when it really hit home for ics include social media pres- me,\" Javier Ramirez says. The manager of The ence, residencies, time manage- Book Table, Ramirez is also the founder and ment, being a better reader, host of Authors on Tap, featuring lively con- publicity, self-publishing, edi- versations with Ben Austen, Rebecca Makkai, tor's visits and writing prompts. Augustus Rose, Charles Finch and Camille An upcoming workshop will Bordas. He co-hosts Publishing Cocktails, a focus on failure and rejection. semiannual gathering of book industry pro- Favorite, a novelist, also teaches fessionals and authors, coordinates publisher at the School of the Art Institute rep nights for Chicagoland booksellers, is on and the Graham School at the the ABC Advisory Council for the American University of Chicago. Booksellers Association and was a judge for the 2017 Kirkus Prize for nonfiction. SHERYL JOHNSTON NESTOR GOMEZ AND Literary Publicist Publicists are not always good JOYCE KIM at tooting their own horns but some can't help but attract our Founder, 80 Minutes Around the World; attention for a body of work. Producer, The Moth Sheryl Johnston has worked Live storytelling has thrived since humans quietly but powerfully behind first gathered around a campfire. One of the the scenes to promote authors, most successful long-standing modern-day including Chicago Library Foun- storytelling successes is The Moth, which dation 21st Century Award win- hosts international storytelling competitions, ners Christine Sneed, Eric called SLAMs; curated shows on The Moth Charles May and Amina Gautier; Mainstage; The Moth Radio Hour (which airs as well as Cris Mazza, Jeremy T. on 500 public radio stations including WBEZ); Wilson, Bonnie Jo Campbell, T. The Moth Podcast; and community workshops for educators and young people. The Moth has also published a few books.\"There is something magical about listening to a story told in front of a live audience—the way peo- ple connect to a story and the emotions that a story can evoke is sometimes so palpable in the room,” says Joyce Kim, producer of The Moth in Chicago. “Chicago is such a rich and vibrant storytelling community, and I feel very fortunate to be a part of preserving and grow- ing this art form.\" Each month, Chicagoans bring their true personal stories to share at StorySLAMs. In mid-May, The Moth also held its first-ever Spanish language StorySLAM in Chicago, hosted by Nestor Gomez. who

also created, produces and hosts a series, “80 36 — Natalia Nebel, Minutes Around the World,” highlighting immi- Betsy Haberl and grant stories. After immigrating undocu- mented from Guatemala to Chicago in the Ignatius Valentine Aloysius 1980s, Nestor told his first story at a Moth story slam to get over the stuttering that a licted his childhood. Since then he has won close to forty Moth slams and several Grand slams. His stories have been featured at national radio shows such as The Moth Radio Hour and Snap Judgment. “I never imagined I would share stories in front of an audience and provide a platform to other immigrants to share their stories.” This is one of the big- gest honors of his life, he says. H. MELT Poet, Artist, Editor, Educator, Organizer \"The purpose of my work is to help trans peo- ple live,\" says H. Melt. By building relationships and community, documenting the experiences of trans people and making art centering trans people, they hope to challenge ideas about 34 — Nestor Gomez and Joyce Kim NATALIA NEBEL, BETSY HABERL AND IGNATIUS VALENTINE ALOYSIUS Curators, Sunday Salon Chicago If, during a polar vortex there are no seats left at a bimonthly reading series, it is a sign the recipe is right. For eight years, the curated series Sunday Salon Chicago has featured literary prose and poetry in a cozy Roscoe Village pub, previously the Riverside Tavern, now known as The Reveler. “We're driven by our passion for literature in Chicago and are thrilled that the series has evolved into a dynamic community,” curators Natalia Nebel, Betsy Haberl and Igna- tius Valentine Aloysius say. Recent readers include Simone Muench, Kenyatta Rogers, Ian Morris, Kathleen Rooney, Rebecca Makkai, Eric Charles May, Nina Sudhakar, Will Boast, Faisal Mohyuddin and Alex Higley. what is \"normal\" and celebrate trans liberation. editor of \"Subject to Change: Trans Poetry & CHRISTINE MAUL RICE JUNE 2019 Newcity \"You have to find ways of supporting people Conversation,\" which allows a variety of trans and actively showing that you care about them people to converse with each other, and  the Author, Founder & Executive Director, in your everyday life.\" Melt co-founded Quee- author of \"On My Way to Liberation\" and \"The Hypertext Magazine & Studio riosity at Young Chicago Authors and cham- Plural, The Blurring.\" Lambda Literary awarded pions the work of many writers at Women & Melt the Judith A. Markowitz Award for Emerg- Hypertext Magazine, a print and online jour- Children First, where Melt works. Melt is the ing LGBTQ Writers. nal, expanded last year into a not-for-profit with a social justice calling, teaching creative storytelling techniques to marginalized Chicago adults and publishing their work online and in print. “I asked myself, 'What about the voices and stories of Chicago's adults—people who might not have had the opportunity to play around in a writing work- 39

shop, folks rebuilding their lives after being incarcerated or recovering from substance use disorders or the elderly?’ Who's listening to them?” says Christine Maul Rice. Hyper- text Magazine & Studio works with social service partners Above & Beyond Family Recovery Center and St. Leonard's Ministries, among other agencies. “Each workshop reveals such grit and beauty. Their bravery inspires me.\" Rice is the author of the novel \"Swarm Theory,\" and a former teacher and editor at Columbia College Chicago Fiction Writing Department. Since 2010, Hypertext has published over 700 established and emerging writers online and in their biannual print journal since 2017. SIMONE MUENCH 37 — Christine Maul Rice his wife Teri Boyd, in 2009 and ran it until he 38 — Kenyatta Rogers and Simone Muench departed for Princeton in 2018. Today, the AND KENYATTA ROGERS Salon is run by Nami Mun, who teaches cre- NAMI MUN, AUGUSTUS ROSE ative writing and won a Whiting Award and Founder and Organizers, AND REBECCA MAKKAI Pushcart Prize for her book “Miles From Sunday Series Nowhere.” She shares duties with her novel- Organizers, Chicago Lit Salon ist and screenwriter husband, Augustus Rose, Grab a drink and pull up a stool at Hungry Andersonville gastropub Hopleaf hosts one who wrote “The Readymade Thief” and Brain in Chicago on the third Sunday of each of Chicago’s most beloved writerly gatherings, teaches fiction at The University of Chicago, month to hear some of Chicago’s best prose the Chicago Lit Salon. Its founder Aleksandar as well as Rebecca Makkai, who is artistic and poetry. You can catch up with Simone Hemon, a PEN/W.G. Sebald Award-winning director at StoryStudio, is on the faculty of Muench, founder and organizer of the series, fiction writer, started the series, along with Northwestern and whose “The Great Believ- who seems to be everywhere at once; author ers” won the Andrew Carnegie Medal and the of five books, professor of English at Lewis 39 — Augustus Rose, Nami Mun Stonewall Award from the American Library University, NEA Fellow and faculty advisor and Rebecca Makkai Association, as well as being a finalist for the for the literary journal Jet Fuel Review. Ken- National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. yatta Rogers, fellow series organizer and Mun says, “Teri and Sasha have gifted us a equally prodigious creative force, is a Cave great tradition and really, all we're doing is Canem Fellow, Breadloaf conference schol- maintaining it.” arship recipient, associate editor of RHINO Poetry and a widely published poet. JERRY BRENNANNewcity JUNE 2019 Founder, Tortoise Books “A highlight has been getting a few manuscripts that were so enjoyable that they made me forget about all the traditionally published books and neglected classics in my to-read pile,” says Jerry Brennan of Tortoise Books. The press has published short-story collec- tions such as Christine Sneed’s award-win- ning “The Virginity of Famous Men” and “Adult Teeth” by Jeremy T. Wilson; and novels includ- ing “The Fugue” by Gint Aras. “It's a real treat to realize you'll get a chance to put something like that in front of a wider audience—and it's especially nice when it's an author you've already published, who trusts you enough to come back for another book.” 40

SAHAR MUSAFAR Teacher, Editor, Writer “I hope my writing and teaching experiences contribute to the urgent work others have engaged to dismantle bigotry and hatred—this as a sitting president continues to incite vio- lence against our communities,” Sahar Musa- far says. “We need to create and expand spaces for Arab and Muslim Americans, as well as other marginalized groups—spaces where we can cultivate our own narratives, empower our youth, where we can raise our voices against hateful noise. White Americans must enter these spaces, too, and support us.” Sahar is a member of the Radius of Arab American Writers (RAWI), part of the PEN American Prison Writing Program and a facil- itator with the Arab American Action Network. She has collaborated with Guild Literary Com- plex of Chicago’s \"Voices of Protest\" and with Story Studio Chicago, 2nd Story Chicago, Tuesday Funk and The Frunchroom. Her sec- ond novel is due out this year. NELL TAYLOR Near South Planning Board Executive Director, Read/Write Library The Read/Write Library has an awe-inspiring collection of 6,000 books, zines and other media about Chicago. It can bring them to you by way of a pop-up library or the Biblio- Treka, its mobile tricycle library. Alternatively, Chicagoans can visit the library center to look at specific collections, or arrange a field trip. “We just hosted a field trip for forty from the Human Geography department at the UK's Durham University that was pretty amazing. We also began working with Chicago Public Schools last year,” says Nell Taylor. “We'll be presenting a series of pop-up libraries on work by Chicagoans who are incarcerated this year through Illinois Humanities' Envisioning Jus- tice program.” AMY DANZER Illustration by Steve MusgraveJUNE 2019 Newcity Assistant Director of Graduate 41 Programs in the School of Professional Studies, Northwestern University Amy Danzer gives the Chicago lit scene some of the grit, savvy and sparkle that makes it a powerhouse. Northwestern University's assis- tant director of Graduate Programs in the School of Professional Studies, Danzer man- ages an active cluster of writing and literary programs for NU, among them the MA in Writing and NU's annual Summer Writers Conference. Danzer organizes readings and literary events throughout Chicago. “I patho- logically attend lit events,” she says. From bookstores in Andersonville to bars in Logan Square, if any book-related event is happen-

41 — Sahar Musafar 42 — Nell Taylor Newcity JUNE 2019 ing in Chicago, Danzer is likely to be there, EMILY VICTORSON bringing together writers, readers, agents and game-changers. Her next endeavor, serving Co-Founder, Publisher, on the board of the Chicago Literary Hall of Allium Press of Chicago Fame, will only boost her rep as a major influ- \"Rescuing Chicago from Capone, encer among Chicago literati. one book at a time\" is the tagline of this independent press, celebrat- SYED AFZAL HAIDER ing its tenth anniversary this year. Allium Press publishes historical Founder and Senior Editor, and literary fiction, thrillers, mys- Chicago Quarterly Review teries and young adult fiction, The twenty-fifth anniversary issue of the Chi- all with a Chicago connection. cago Quarterly Review is due this year. “From Founder and publisher Emily Vic- a very humble beginning it is gratifying that torson says, “\"I'm honored to have in the past few years the Chicago Quarterly the opportunity to bring to print Review has been honored by inclusion in ‘Best the works of authors from across American Short Stories,’ ‘The O. Henry Prize the country who write great Stories,’ the Pushcart Prize anthology, and novels featuring Chicago and then ‘Best American Essays,’” founder Syed Haider to share those books with new says. “We owe much to our lively and devoted readers.\" She regularly shares editorial sta , past and present.” Current sta her publishing insights at work- includes senior editor Elizabeth McKenzie, shops and panels including the fiction editor John Blades and managing edi- Northwestern University Summer tor Gary Houston. Special issues include a Writers Conference. Chicago issue and 2017’s South Asian Amer- ican issue guest-edited by Moazzam Sheikh. ADA CHENG The nonfiction content in each earned cita- tions as a \"notable\" special issue of its year Storyteller and Producer by “Best American Essays.” In the works are In a twist of Mary Oliver’s dictum, Australian and South American issues. “We “What is it you plan to do with your are proud of the growth of our magazine cre- one wild and precious life?” Ada atively and thrilled by our expanding reader- Cheng’s motto is “Make Your Life ship all over the world.” Haider just published the Best Story You Tell.” The former his second novel, “Life of Ganesh.” 42

tenured sociology professor reinvented herself 40 — Jerry Brennan as a storyteller and uses her personal stories to illustrate universal social experiences. She hosts the monthly storytelling show “Pour One Out” at Volumes Bookcafe. She also produces and hosts “Am I Man Enough?” a post #metoo storytelling podcast, a critical look at \"the culture of toxic masculinity and the construction of masculinity and manhood.\" She co-produces “Talk Stories,” an Asian American-Asian diaspora storytelling show and has performed solo shows before audi- ences around Chicago and the nation. RACHEL WEAVER AND JASON SMITH Owners, The Book Table Not merely independent, but “fiercely” so, The Book Table in Oak Park has expanded twice since 2003 when Rachel Weaver and Jason 46 — Ada Cheng 43 — Amy Danzer Smith began their winning formula of best- events for authors including Lives Matter buttons, the entire proceeds of JUNE 2019 Newcity sellers, publishers’ overstock and used books. Pete Souza, Alex Kotlowitz, which are donated to BLM Chicago. After the Aside from the latest expansion to double the Jo Nesbo and Patti Smith. election, they expanded their activism section size of their store, they have organized large “I'm also proud of the ways and moved it to the front of the store. “I also we evolve and respond to gave out a lot of free hugs on November 9,” community needs,” Weaver says Weaver. says. “For example, we started selling pride flags and RUBEN QUESADA pins after the Pulse shooting. It started out that I just Poet, Professor and Founding Member, wanted to buy a rainbow flag Latino Writers Conference to hang in the store window, Ruben Quesada, a founding member of the but when I realized I had to Latino Writers Conference, is always in motion. drive all the way to Boystown to buy one, I In addition to crafting soulful poems, Quesa- sourced a supplier and we started selling da's writing and teaching—at Columbia Col- them.” Similarly, they started a Black Lives Matter window display and sourced Black 43

45 — Emily Victorson 47 — Jason Smith and Rachel Weaver lege, Northwestern and the School of the Art Books to Women in Prison, understands this in Chicago; the organization sends books Institute—keeps pace with our frenetic city in her bones. White leads this volunteer non- “from New England to California, Florida to and channels its energy into the variegated profit, tasked with sending three free books Honolulu.” Each package contains a personal mosaic of the nation's poetic tapestry. His to each woman, trans or non-binary prisoner note, and the recipients keep the books. So latest collection, “Revelations,” is a small book who wants them, matching specific requests far, 1,417 packages of books have been sent that contains a spectrum of emotions, obser- with donated paperbacks. White is quick to out in 2019, with dictionaries and GED books vations and reflections. Wherever he's going, note that this service is not just for prisoners among the most popular. Chicago's lit scene needs to follow. 50 — Vicki White JON BASKIN AND RACHEL WISEMAN Editor; Managing Editor, The Point If you've ever picked up a copy of The Point magazine and prized both its physical heft and the weight of the eloquent, trenchant essays and reviews within, you have Rachel Wiseman to thank for it. As managing editor, Wiseman curates writings worthy of sustained, avid readership, especially in a hulking city like Chicago where readers’ hunger for tren- chant yet cerebral print is never satisfied. Wiseman and her sta keep Chicagoans informed with an ear to the zeitgeist and writ- ing so polished and insightful the scene would be poorer without it. Newcity JUNE 2019VICKI WHITE President, Chicago Books to Women in Prison Books keep us connected to each other, and to ourselves. Vicki White, president of Chicago 44

\"The Three Escapes of Hannah Arendt\" Drawing:KenKrimsteinrts & Culture New York cartoonist Ken Krimstein illustrates Hannah Arendt’s encounters with the artists, writers and thinkers of pre-WW II Europe. At the Spertus Institute through June 23.

Admission is always free. All are welcome. June 14–September 22, 2019 | Opening reception: June 13, 7–8:30 pm TARA DONOVAN FIELDWORK Tara Donovan: Fieldwork is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. Image: Tara Donovan, Untitled (Mylar), 2011/2013. Mylar and hot glue, dimensions variable, site-specific installation. Photo: Mick Vincenz. Courtesy of the artist and Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck.

Art \"The Love I Vibrate,\" mural by Sandra Antongioegi, Andy Bellomo and Sam Kirk. Ward 44. /Photo: Ji Yang Art in Everyday Life a park or an El station. It’s just that we could ask so much more of our public art. Sublime Moments in the Work of Amanda Williams One spectacular example is the recently announced “Our Destiny, Our Democracy,” a By Kerry Cardoza public monument honoring Shirley Chisholm that will be erected in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. The monument to Chisholm, the first “The playground for experimental art is These were some of the aims of Chicago’s black woman to serve in Congress, was ordinary life,” Allan Kaprow, the late American 2017 Year of Public Art, an initiative which designed by Chicago artist Amanda Williams performance artist, once wrote. In the late invested over one-million dollars in new art and the New York-based Olalekan Jeyifous. fifties and early sixties, Kaprow was known for projects in each of Chicago’s fifty wards. Some The project was funded by She Built NYC, an were temporary—biodegradable sculptures by initiative that seeks “to correct the gender staging “Happenings,” interactive and participatory events meant to break down the Jenny Kendler, a performance by Erica Mott, imbalance in the city’s public art and monu- storefront signage by Alberto Aguilar—and ments.” boundaries between art and life, between many projects were murals. It was an artist and viewer. Kaprow’s artworks led ambitious project, to be sure, and the diversity Chicago shares this problem with New York participants through a variety of activities— of the participating artists was commendable. and other major cities. As WBEZ reported, from the bizarre (licking jam off a car) to the Chicago doesn’t have “a single statue or bust JUNE 2019 Newcity poetic (walking on another person’s shadow)— But while Mark Kelly, the commissioner of but all were readily accessible to the public. By Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and of a historically significant woman in any of the taking art out of the white cube and engaging Special Events, admits that public art can city’s 580 parks.” The Washington Post the audience in creating the work, Kaprow “spark dialogue and even controversy,” the goal reported that less than eight percent of public outdoor sculptures of individuals in this country succeeded in what museums and other of most of the 50×50 Neighborhood Arts institutions continually strive for: to engage a Project contributions seemed to be to beautify are of women. broad audience, to inspire, to create meaning- the spaces they are within. Not that there’s ful connections, to understand the value of art anything wrong with beauty—or the desire to “Our Destiny, Our Democracy” will not be a add color or aesthetically pleasing elements to traditional figurative statue. It will combine in everyday life. 47

ART TOP 5 Rendering of “Our Destiny, Our Democracy,” courtesy of Amanda Williams Newcity JUNE 2019 1 Virgil Abloh: “Figures Chisholm’s portrait with a silhouette of the anyone, a tenet found at the heart of of Speech”. Museum of United States Capitol, as well as the outlines of Kaprow’s work. And Kaprow’s inquisitive spirit Contemporary Art. Abloh's leaves and vines. The monument is intended lives on in the work of Williams, who clearly first museum exhibition features to reflect both the greenery of the surrounding thinks deeply about the human connection in selections from the Rockford park and the legacy that Chisholm left to our her work. Williams often uses everyday native's forays into art, design, country’s democracy. Williams, a trained elements in her work, but puts them in a music and fashion. Opens architect, is sensitive to the complexities of context where the viewer can’t help but see June 10 space and place, and how cities and things in a different light. In “Follow the Fair neighborhoods are valued. She’s perhaps best Weather Roads” (2019), Williams painted 2 Amy Sillman: The known for her “Color(ed) Theory” project, cracks in the Smart Museum’s floor red, to Nervous System. Arts which took South Side homes slated for shed light on Chicago’s history of “redlining,” Club of Chicago. Two-sided, demolition and painted them in the vibrant which she describes as “the systematic denial free-hanging works on paper colors of cultural signifiers in those communi- of various services to neighborhoods and make up this solo show from ties: Currency Exchange yellow, Flamin’ Red communities” in ways that were often racially the smart, irreverent artist. Hots orange. motivated. In the 2017 piece “She’s Mighty Through August 3 Mighty, Just Lettin’ It All Hang Out,” Williams Williams told the New York Times that the painted salvaged bricks from the city gold, 3 Mie Kongo and Chisholm monument is particularly meaningful raising questions about the value of neighbor- Norman W. Long: during this moment in our nation’s history. hoods left to deteriorate and what dreams are Without Within. Roman Susan. “What does it mean to offer public art in this lost in the process. Williams can clearly A new sound installation from moment?” she posited. It’s a question worthy conceive of great works for public enjoyment Long is paired with ceramic of constant investigation. and thoughtful engagement. Let’s hope our sculptures by Kongo, inspired own city thinks to make permanent use of the by surrounding environments. Public art, like art in any other context, works brilliance of this artist, while righting historical Through August 17 best when it functions on a level accessible to wrongs along the way. 4 Seth Bogart: 100 Toothbrushes. Soccer Club Club. Bogart's queer ceramic toothbrush sculptures are \"a subversive way to start and end your day.\" Opens May 31 5 Anne Imhof: Sex. Art Institute of Chicago. The German artist's exhibition opens with three days of performances, set inside an installation concerned with the fluidity of feeling, desire, gender, life and death. Opens May 30 48

Derrick Adams The Ins and Outs: New Figures in the Urban Landscape THROUGH JULY 6, 2019 May 22 - August 3 Free and open to the public. 1711 WEST CHICAGO AVENUE CHICAGO ILLINOIS 60622 @artsclubchicago W W W. R H O F F M A NGAL L E RY.COM DONNAA’NTMTHESSAVE A2n6nthual MFA THESIS SHOWS 2019 May 10-26 May 31-June 16 JUNE 2019 Newcity Opening Reception: Opening Reception: May 10, 6-8pm May 31, 6-8pm Maggie Jensen Jazmine Harris Michal Koszycki Brandon Sherrod Cristen Leifheit Krista Varsbergs Kevin Pang Terence Wong University of Chicago . Department of Visual Art June L5o2-g69a4n6,TN2hMe0ailtw1rea9ukee Ave. Logan Center for the Arts . 915 E 60th St . Chicago 49

EXHIBITIONS THE ARTS CLUB OF CHICAGO DEPAUL ART MUSEUM 201 East Ontario Street At DePaul University 312 787 3997 935 W. Fullerton Avenue [email protected] / 773 325 7506 Tues–Fri 11-6, Sat 11-3 [email protected] / Through August 3 Amy Sillman: The Nervous System Mon–Tues closed, Wed–Thurs 11-7, Fri–Sun 11-5 Through June Jeremiah Hulsebos-Spofford: Garden Gipsoteca Through August 11 New Age, New Age: Strategies for Survival Through August 11 Eric J. Garcia: The Bald Eagle’s Toupee THE BLOCK MUSEUM OF ART MONIQUE MELOCHE GALLERY At Northwestern University 40 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston, IL 451 N. Paulina Street 847 491 4000 312 243 2129 [email protected] / [email protected] / Tues, Sat–Sun 10-5, Wed–Fri 10-8, Mon closed Tues–Sat 11-6 Through July 21 Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time: June 6–August 17 Cheryl Pope: BASKING NEVER HURT NO ONE June 6–August 17 Brittney Leeanne Williams, Jake Troyli, Art, Culture, and Exchange across Medieval Saharan Africa Through June 23 Colorless Green Ideas Sleep Furiously: Bianca Nemelc: Show Me Yours 2019 Art Theory and Practice MFA Thesis Exhibition MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY PHOTOGRAPHY CARL HAMMER GALLERY At Columbia College Chicago 740 N. Wells Street 600 S. Michigan Avenue 312 266 8512 312 663 5554 [email protected] / [email protected] / Tues–Sat 11-5:30 Mon–Wed 10-5, Thurs 10-8, Fri–Sat 10-5, Sun 12-5 Closed August 18–September 6 Through July 7 Birmingham, Alabama, 1963: May 17–August 17 LEGENDARY: Traylor, Yoakum, Darger, Paschke, Dawoud Bey/Black Star Rosofsky, S.L. Jones, others Through July 7 Chicago Stories: Carlos Javier Ortiz DEPARTMENT OF VISUAL ARTS and David Schalliol AND LOGAN CENTER EXHIBITIONS THE NEUBAUER COLLEGIUM At the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts FOR CULTURE AND SOCIETY 915 E. 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637 773 702 2787 At the University of Chicago [email protected] / 5701 South Woodlawn Avenue Tues–Sat 9-9, Sun 11-9, Mon closed 773 795 2329 May 31–June 16 MFA Thesis Exhibition, Part II [email protected] / Mon–Fri 10-5 Through September 6 HUTOPIA: Alec Finlay, Patrick Lakey, Goshka Macuga, Guy Moreton, John Preus, Ewan Telford

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