Tag Archives: WBEZ

Theaster Gates’ Rebuild Foundation Approved to Develop at 70th and Dante

Artist, Urban Planner, and Friend of Darkjive Theaster Gates is at it again. His plan (through the Rebuild Foundation) is to rebuild a CHA residence into a Collaborative Artists/Mixed Income community of 32 units. The preexisting structure is located at 70th Street between Dante and Harper on the South Side of Chicago. That plan the rehab the structure has recently been approved by the CHA, and groundbreaking begins in 2012. Righteous.

According to a recent interview for WBEZ’s Natalie Moore:

“The creative class that Richard Florida talks about [he says their role is to revitalize cities], I don’t think he’s actually talking about some of the folk that we have identified as creative or that live in this space,” Gates said. “It’s true that creatives and people who are interested in creativity and design and architecture have substantial impacts on neighborhoods. But I don’t think they’d necessarily be attracted to living on Dorchester”.

“…Part of what I’m excited about is that there’s a whole segment of the creative class that’s not been asked to be players in city. I’m talking about black artists, artists of color”.

He touches on some issues of inclusion and expansion of what the so-called Creative Class looks and feels like (as well how to harness creative energy for the greater good). Let’s crack the art world wide open… and build up our communities in the process. Word up and jive on!

UPDATE: for more details on the plan, click here.

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Bridgeport Neighborhood Sees Identity Shift

Detail of a larger mural created by Juan Chavez and located at Fellowship House, 32nd and Lituanica, Bridgeport. Image from Mad About The Mural.

Below is an interesting piece from WBEZ by reporter Natalie Moore that sheds light on changes that the Bridgeport neighborhood  (home base for the Version Fest [see below]… and the Daleys) has been going through in recent years.  As a new generation (among them an influx of artists and immigrants) are choosing to make Bridgeport their home, the older working-class roots and racially-charged reputation of the community seem to be fading away.  But are they?

Bridgeport Neighborhood Sees Identity Shift.


WORD: Across Generations

WORD: Across Generations Sunday, January 17 2:00pm – 3:30pm

Victory Gardens Biograph Theater 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. Chicago

 Join The Public Square and Chicago Public Radio for WORD: Across Generations with poets Carloyn Rodgers, John Murillo, and Aja Monet.

•Carolyn Rodgers (see poem below) emerged from the Black Arts Movement in Chicago in the 1960s as a “revolutionary poet,” creating a distinct and profound black aesthetic.

•John Murillo is an Afro-Chicano poet and playwright, a graduate of New York University’s MFA program, and a recent fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

•Aja Monet is a Cuban-Jamaican poet originally from Brooklyn, now residing in Chicago. At 22 years old, she is currently the youngest Grand Slam Champion of the Lower East side’s legendary Nuyorican Poet’s Café.

Each poet will perform their work and then participate in a post-performance conversation, followed by an Open Mic Showcase. This event is taking place as part of Chicago Public Radio Presents… The 2nd Annual Winter Block Party for Chicago’s Hip-Hop Arts.

 For more about this exciting day,visit chicagopublicradio.org.

“The Block Party is a tribute to the working artist of the hip-hop generation in Chicago and an opportunity for the city, traditionally segregated, to see each other across neighborhood and viaduct.” – Winter Block Party Artistic Director Kevin Coval.

It is Deep
(don’t never forget the bridge you crossed over on)
by Carolyn Rodgers [pictured above]

Having tried to use the
witch cord
that erases the stretch of
thirty-three blocks
and tuning in the voice which
woodenly stated that the
talk box was “disconnected”
My mother, religiously girdled in
her god, slipped on some love, and
laid on my bell like a truck,
blew through my door warm wind from the south
concern making her gruff and tight-lipped
and scared
that her “baby” was starving.
she, having learned, that disconnection results from
non-payment of bill (s).
She did not
recognize the poster of the
grand le-roi (al) cat on the wall
had never even seen the books of
Black poems that I have written
thinks that I am under the influence of
“communists”
when I talk about Black as anything
other than something ugly to kill it befo it grows
in any impression she would not be
considered “relevant” or “Black”
but
there she was, standing in my room
not loudly condemning that day and
not remembering that I grew hearing her
curse the factory where she “cut uh slave”
and the cheap j-boss wouldn’t allow a union,
not remembering that I heard the tears when
they told her a high school diploma was not enough,
and here now, not able to understand, what she had
been forced to deny, still–
she pushed into my kitchen so
she could open my refrigerator to see
what I had to eat, and pressed fifty
bills in my hand saying “pay the talk bill and buy
some food; you got folks who care about you . . .”
My mother, religious-negro, proud of
having waded through a storm, is very obviously,
a sturdy Black bridge that I
crossed over, on.


Iconic Johnson Hair Products back in Black Hands….

Johnson Products started a half-century ago in Chicago as an innovator in black hair care. The black-owned business sold to a white company (Proctor & Gamble), but it’s now back in black hands…. from Chicago Public Radio’s Natalie Moore: click here for the rest of the story…



WBEZ Creates Tee Envy

tee1This weekend, there’s an interesting experiment in media consumption going on.  Chicago Public Radio (WBEZ 91.5FM) is checking for their listeners who don’t touch their dials at all…but, rather, click their mouse.

From the good Folks at Chicago Public Radio:

Do you listen to public radio podcasts and streaming more than you listen on the actual radio? Buy a shirt to support it! We want to see how many t-shirts we can sell in support of WBEZ online radio – without saying a word about it on our actual airwaves. We are only talking about this online. If you have an extra $20, please buy a shirt – and definitely pass this around to your friends! Let’s see how far we can take this! Check it out…

NOTE: this push is for a limited time.  And I am VERY tempted….

update: This promotion is officially over… and it’s unclear whether the shirt will ever be sold in their regular online store.