As one of the regular hosts of The Moth here in Chicago (the incomparable Brian Babylon being the other), I like to open the show with a Ken Nordine-inspired piece of word jazz that sets up the theme for the night. All of the stories are required to utilize the theme in the telling so I like to try and cover a multitude of angles tellers can approach.
Hip-hop has long brought people together who've fought for social justice.
The FREE daytime schedule includes:
On December 7, we produced a live version of Tony Sarabia's popular music radio show, Radio M, at the equally popular SPACE in Evanston. Over 150 WBEZ members gathered to celebrate how different musical cultures celebrate the holidays.
We opened the show with a curated round of trivia inspired by the music that Tony features on his show. Prizes included two tickets to our WBEZ New Year's Eve Party, as well as passes to The Moth live events.
At 7 p.m., our engineer hit record and we began the taping of Tony's show. Tony hand-picked three groups to perform that night. Saraswathi Ranganathan, "a Veena artiste with a dynamic track record of individual and collaborative performances" started the show by performing beautiful, atmospheric Veena music. After that, Ted Sirota and his band Heavyweight Dub took it up a notch with Roots-inspired Reggae/Ska/Rocksteady.
The neighborhood is home to arguably the best cheap burger and fries in the city. Beverly’s beauty is visible in its hilly streets and oversized lots, with homes designed by this legendary architect among others. Mansions snake along Longwood Drive and the neighborhood’s interior boasts an array of architectural styles, from Tudor to Italianate to Queen Anne to Spanish Colonial.
It isn't a WBEZ event.
It does, however, fit all the criteria behind the nature of gathering smart people in a room and sharing food while hearing stories.
The Live Lit scene has exploded (in a tiny, artsy sort of way) in Chicago since The Moth came in four years ago with the StorySlam at Martyrs (host Brian Babylon celebrated his fourth year in that venue just last Tuesday and I will be celebrating my second year hosting The Moth at Haymarket Pub & Brewery on November 11th). Lately, Live Lit nights like StoryClub, WRITE Club and Guts & Glory have been getting a lot of press and audiences hungry for the thrill of seeing live stories in bookstores and bars are growing in number.
None of them, however, invite the hungry audiences to bring food for each other and feed both their bellies as well as their minds. None except Janna Sobel's Here's the Story.
Last week - from Wednesday to Saturday - hundreds of WBEZ and Vocalo listeners banded together with our partners at Chicago Cares and 18 other Champions to participate in our very first Day of Service. Volunteers paved new areas for beautification, painted school murals and displays, planted gardens in needed areas, cleaned community homes and had a party for a group of assisted living seniors. It was astounding.
We live in a world of technology where a click on a thumbs up icon is a signifier of activity. A retweeting tells the world that we support specific communities or ideas. Commenting on a blog post or an online article counts, on some level, as joining the discussion.
While there is nothing wrong (and everything right) about digital activism, nothing can replace actually showing up and digging in. A FaceBook share will not paint a mural; an Instagram photo of a garden cannot replace planting the seeds.
With that in mind, WBEZ and Chicago Cares is hosting our first ever Day of Service event. Yes - it takes place on multiple days and the culminating performance party takes place in the evening but "WBEZ's A Coupla Day's of Service with a Performance in the Evening" just didn't have the same ring, right?
Unlike the Chef Battle, the Winter Block Party or the Global Activism Expo, this particular event cannot happen without YOU.
The recent White House Correspondence Dinner was referred to as a "nerd prom" which, from my vantage point, is a bit of an insult to both nerds AND proms. No Daliks, no lightsabers, no taped glasses or dweebs sitting in the corner sniffing Sharpies. Not in Washington.
In Chicago, however, there are events that fit far more comfortably in the "nerd prom" category and I'm here to clue you in on a few.
Chicago poets, Robbie Q. Telfer and Shanny Jean Maney, founded The Encyclopedia Show in 2008. In five short years, these two co-hosts (along with a plethora of collaborators) have peeled back the veneer of polite research and exposed their audience to detailed (and often funny) live encyclopedia entries about Fungi, Cheerleading, Skyscrapers, Puberty and Punctuation among many, many other topics you were dying to know about without ever asking the question.
Tomorrow night (Thursday, May 2) The Encylopedia Show (with the help of Nina Coombs, George Decelles, and others) presents everything you could possibly want to know about The Origins of Life. Cheap tickets, a great time and you might be a tad smarter when you leave.