One of the country’s oldest outdoor murals covers a storefront on Chicago’s Northwest Side. People who care about the 40-year-old painting are finishing a facelift. The mural restoration is doing more than brightening up a gritty stretch of North Avenue.
The idea behind a referendum is to give voters a direct voice in making their community better. These ballot questions can cover anything from stem-cell research to the fate of an empty lot. They may be binding or just advisory. Last month, referenda were on ballots in nine Chicago precincts.
When 23-year-old Darmika Ford looks out her home window, she imagines a community garden brimming with flowers, produce and community cooperation, but what she actually sees is nothing like that vision. Instead, she sees a vacant lot.
Ten sculptors have put up outdoor pieces in Chicago’s East Garfield Park neighborhood. The installation’s supposed to stay up for a year. The group says the purpose is to expose people to art that they might not be able to see otherwise.