Tag Archives: bronzeville

An Evening at the Forum: Jive and Jitterbug on!

evening at the forum event flyer

I’ll be spinning a very special set on Wednesday, September 24th in Chicago’s Bronzeville Community. All 1920s through 1950s music (with a few copacetic newer tracks sprinkled in). All vinyl. Actually, I’m trying to figure out if I’m bringing my Victrola. Then it’d be vinyl and shellac.

Lil Green Chicago

The event is titled “An Evening at the Forum”, and I am very excited that this building, and all the culture it represents, will be celebrated. That’s especially true because, not long ago, The Forum building nearly perished.

The Forum was built around 1900, and was slated for demolition in 2011. That’s when Bernard Loyd’s final bid for the property was accepted. That’s also when the work to restore the building (that’s suffered from decades of neglect) really began. Chicagopatterns.com did a really though job documenting some of the history, imagery, and narratives surrounding the space. I highly recommend that you check out their work here.

from the organizers of the event:

“On September 24, The Forum will pay homage to the Golden Age of Bronzeville with An Evening at The Forum, a retro-themed block party. The evening will revive key elements of the era – notably music and dance – while drawing the attention of locals and visitors to major redevelopment projects slated for historic 43rd Street.

The event will feature sounds from the 20’s through the 50’s by DJ Ayana Contreras, dance lessons by Big City Blues, historical tours by Chicago Patterns, classic children’s tales by Jason Driver, old fashioned games for children & adults, prohibition-era “mocktails” and hors d’oeuvres, and a preview of CRib Productions‘ “Juke Joint” a short which was recently filmed at Forum Hall, the iconic centerpiece of The Forum.

forum-15-900x599

the particulars:

An Evening at the Forum

Wednesday, September 24th

6-9pm

The Forum

318-328 E 43rd St, Chicago, Illinois 60653

UPDATE! Here’s a couple of images from the event, courtesy of Urban Juncture.

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The House That Jive Built.

house that jive builtI collect records. All sorts of records. That includes eighty year old records that I play on my Victrola. Often, I am just as interested in the physical state of the record as I am in the music itself. For instance, the label affixed to this label is interesting. First off, it lets me know this 78rpm was bought during World War II (1942) in the heart of Bronzeville (4712 S. Parkway) at the Groove Record Shop (“The House that Jive Built”). Awesome. Interestingly enough 4712 S. Parkway was (and is) the location of an actual house. To be more precise, it’s the location of a Greystone two-flat.

Pretty cool. Also, Griff Williams played at the Stevens Hotel in Chicago, so there’s a rock solid Chicago connection.

The Groove Record Shop was located directly across the street from the original Regal Theater, a legendary venue that featured movies as well as marquee talent. The theater opened in 1928. Artists from Louis Armstrong to Jackie Wilson performed there. Today, another theater in Chicago bears the name “Regal”. Sadly, the original was demolished in 1970.

the-movies-are-popular-in-the-negro-section-of-chicago-illinois

Photo of Regal Theater: “Movie theater, Southside, Chicago, Illinois” (1941, Library of Congress)

The African-American Cultural Center (AACC) at UIC is currently presenting a Chicago Blues Museum exhibit “The Soul of Bronzeville.” See more images of the “Black Metropolis” and learn about how the Regal Theater played a significant role in the neighborhood development.

Now through August 2014
Time: Monday – Friday 10am to 5pm
Saturday and Sunday by appointment only
Where: UIC African-American Cultural Center,
Addams Hall, room 207
830 S. Halsted
Chicago, IL 60607


Tofu Chitlin Circuit presents: Black Thang

THE SYNOPSIS:

“Black Thang” by Ato Essandoh is the story of Sam, a black man, and Mattie, a white woman, and what happens when their relationship progresses from merely a one-night stand to something more…but not without some controversy.

Meanwhile, Keisha (Mattie’s best friend), struggles to hold onto her relationship with her long-time boyfriend Omar, and Jerome (Sam’s best friend), tries to “school” him on the ins-and-outs of interracial dating.

THE CREATIVE TEAM:

Come chat with the innovative and emerging director Sydney Chatman and The Tofu Chitlin’ Circuit as they explore location specific productions with a twist: adding technology to enhance the theatrical experience and to create interactive theater.

This is a MUST-SEE two-day event that’s sure to have you wanting more!

THE SPECIFICS:

WHEN: FRIDAY & SATURDAY, JANUARY 29 & 3O, 2010

WHERE: IVAN/CARLSON STUDIOS 2224 W. FULTON Chicago, IL
60612

TIME: RECEPTION 7:00 p.m. CURTAIN 7:30 p.m.

DONATION: until JANUARY 28TH-$15; DAY OF SHOW-$20

about the Tofu Chitlin Circuit: The Tofu Chitlin’ Circuit is a theater conservatory located in the Bronzeville district of Chicago that seeks to push the boundaries of staged productions through technology and the integration of a variety of media in their works.

UPDATE: This show has been postponed.  Stay tuned for forthcoming dates and times!


Tofu Chitlin Circuit Presents: A La Carte, Watermelon Edition (What’s the Funny)

Watermelon

This installment explores comedy through the lens of Stand-up comics & Improv/Sketch groups.

Join Tofu Chitlin Circuit at their monthly forum discussion on performance arts issues and controversies.  The Bronzeville-based Theatre Conservatory has put together a panel featuring Chicago Improv Festival producer Jonathan Pitts, comedian Meechie Hall, female Asian comic  Leah Eva, ‘King of Bronzeville’ Brian Babylon, Cameron Esposito, & Mpaact Theater Company.

When: Monday, August 31, 2009
Where: The Digital Youth Network
1050 E 47th Street
Chicago, IL 60653
Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Donation: $3


The Art of Development: Marguerite Horberg’s Portoluz

In the news: a whole new vision of performance, development, art, and change!  Originally published in CHICAGO WEEKLY…. partisan arts

By: Veronica Gonzales

Envision this: a creative haven for artists both local and global to come together and encourage the economic growth of a community. A neighborhood place where artists, intellectuals, community activists, students, and visitors can work collaboratively towards creative expression and community building. Marguerite Horberg, drawing on over 20 years of experience with the acclaimed performing arts center HotHouse, hopes to make this lofty vision a reality with Porto Luz, an arts and culture center scheduled to open on Chicago’s South Side within the next year. Through this venture, Horberg plans to show the world a model for responsible economic stimulation of a creative community.

As Horberg writes it, her resume reads like an invitation for a challenge: “Catalyst, Artist, Unrepetent [sic] Socialist and Innovator.” Go ahead, try me, I dare you, she seems to say. Since her start as a Chicago-based entrepreneur in the late ‘70s, Horberg has been responsible for the creation of two now-defunct artisan clothing boutiques, Studio V and the Salon of Modalisque, as well as HotHouse, an internationally recognized nightclub and cultural center. After nearly 20 years at HotHouse, Horberg departed from the venue in 2006, a move that fueled her fire to found Porto Luz. With this, her latest enterprise, she pushes forward by laying down a serious plan ahead of time, hoping to disprove previous notions that her talents with HotHouse lay only as proprietor of artistic vision and mission.

click here for the rest of the porto luz story


Tofu Chitlin Circuit presents The A La Carte: Carrot Cake Edition

tcc6

From The Tofu Chitlin Circuit (a theater conservatory located in the Bronzeville District of Chicago):

TONIGHT’s A La Carte (panel discussion) is sure to ruffle some feathers! We’re talking about the newest trend to hit the stage: White directors staging Black plays. Is this valid? Is this fair? Who cares? Let’s talk about it!

Featuring Panel Members:

Director of Outreach & Research for Second City Dionna Griffin-Irons


Elizabeth Margolius, Co-Founder & Co-Artistic Director of DirectorsLabChicago

Vaun Monroe, Assistant Professor of Film/Video at Columbia College

Derrick Sanders, Artistic Director of Congo Square Theatre

Adam Thurman, Director of Marketing for Court Theater

Harvey Young, Assistant Professor of Theatre at Northwestern University

and delicious Carrot Cake….

Need I say more?
Join us today:
Monday, April 27, 2009
The Digital Youth Network (Directly next to Little Black Pearl)

6:30pm – 9:30pm
1050 E 47th Street
Chicago, IL 60653
$3 suggested donation
photo by sydney chatman


Little Black Pearl presents: Portraits Carved in Black

billie-holiday_larry-collins-art

I am a big fan of the starkness of Linoleum printmaking, and it’s exciting to see such an exhibition in the Bronzeville community…

from Little Black Pearl:

Portraits in Print- Larry Winston Collins Exhibition

Saturday, February 28, 2009

“Portraits in Prints” Linoleum-Block Prints Exhibition by

Larry Winston Collins
sponsored by Citibank
Saturday, February 28th

Saturday, February 28, 2009, 2:00 – 4:00p.m. Join us for a Printmaking Demonstration, and a Talk & Discussion with Patric McCoy, Co-Founder of Diasporal Rhythms, a non-profit arts organization comprised of informed and passionate art collectors from Chicago’s African American communities

ABOUT THE ARTIST

While attending graduate school, Collins had the good fortune to study with master printmaker Robert Blackburn, Founder of the Printmakers Workshop located in New York City.

As a youth in the early 1960s, Collins recalls listening to a variety of Jazz, Soul, Blues and Gospel stars such as Ray Charles, Nina Simone and West Montgomery. Sidney Poitier, Bill Cosby, Muhammad Ali and Red Foxx was just a few of the personality that became very popular during his youth. With this in mind, Collins decided to create the linoleum block series as an dedication to these talented icons who helped shape the America’s culture, and to reintroduce them to today’s youth.

Larry Winston Collins Email: collinl3@muohio.edu Tel: 513.255.4646

Little Black Pearl Art and Design Center
1060 East 47th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60653
(773) 285-1211 Main


Coffee and Cigarettes

cafejumpingbean

Café Jumping Bean on 18th Street (near Laflin) in Pilsen has a lock on deliciousness.  Both of these thumbs are up.  Last time I was there, I had a scrumptious sandwich and (my joint) cafe con leche.  Sigh.

The only other café I feel at home at is Istria café (at Hyde Park Art Center, 50th & Cornell).  They make a Latte…..Double Sigh.  Not to mention the gelato.  Got hooked on both while taking a Screenprinting class at HPAC.

I lied.  I really dig Little Black Pearl and Bronzeville Coffee House (528 E. 43rd St.), too  [ Especially Bronzeville’s book exchange, and those muffins…].

There’s a song by Otis Redding called “Cigarettes and Coffee”:

It’s early in the morning

About a quarter til Three

I’m sittin’ here talkin’ with my baby

over cigarettes and coffee….

I’ve never smoked, but that song made me believe in the common luxury of both.  Remember when, if visiting someone’s house, the cupboards may have been bare…but they’d still offer you some coffee (even instant).  That’s why Starbucks bugs me.  It’s not just the “corporate cog” issue.  It’s the “make something as basic as coffee into a status symbol” issue.  Not cool.

“Coffee and Cigarettes” is also a film directed by Jim Jarmusch.  Here’s a clip, featuring GZA, RZA, and Bill Murray:

I’ll leave you with some (disjointed) words I inadvertently memorized in high school:

It is with the bitter lives

Of bitter people
that I sweeten my coffee
on this beautiful morning
in Ipanema

–Fierreira Gullar