WBEZ | Art http://www.wbez.org/sections/art Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Hip-hop artist Common announces Chicago youth job program http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/hip-hop-artist-common-announces-chicago-youth-job-program-110003 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/common_140409_nm.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">Hip-hop artist Common and the Chicago Urban League are teaming up for a youth jobs initiative as a way to prevent violence and whittle down a high teen unemployment rate in the city.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I see what&rsquo;s going on in the city. We all see it. Anytime I hear about anybody getting shot, young people with guns, it hurts me,&rdquo; Common said Wednesday at the Museum of Contemporary Art. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m not proud to be like, yeah, we&rsquo;re &lsquo;<a href="http://www.theroot.com/articles/culture/2014/01/chiraq_war_in_chicago_prevents_solutions.html">Chiraq</a>.&rsquo; At certain points I feel like I have to do more.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">The Chicago Youth Jobs Collaborative will focus on securing year-found jobs for people ages 16-24. The target is 15,000 youth over the next five years. The program is set to launch this fall with 1,000 young people.</p><p dir="ltr">Private money will be raised to subsidize salaries for some of the jobs. A key piece of the collaborative is engaging the private sector to identify jobs, from corporate to manufacturing to nonprofit. Organizers don&rsquo;t want jobs to end when the summer ends. Employing 1,000 youth would cost approximately $2.4 million, according to the Chicago Urban League.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It&rsquo;s not just jobs, it&rsquo;s mentoring and support so they [young people] know that there&rsquo;s a group around them supporting their success so they know there&rsquo;s a future for them in this city,&rdquo; said Andrea Zopp, CEO of the Chicago Urban League.</p><p dir="ltr">Teen unemployment in Illinois is among the highest in the United States, and for low-income minorities the rates are even higher.</p><p dir="ltr">Researchers at Northeastern University released a <a href="http://www.wbez.org/stagnant-employment-picture-illinois-teens-105108">report </a>last year noting that teens&#39; lack work of experience adversely affects their future employability and wages. The conclusions mirror previous studies that suggest job experience can help deter teens from involvement in the criminal justice system.</p><p dir="ltr">The report&rsquo;s authors found only 8.7 percent of black teens in Chicago were employed in 2010-2011. The rate for Asians, though, was 15.5 percent. Twenty percent of the city&rsquo;s Hispanic teens were employed, and the rate for whites stood at 21 percent.</p><p dir="ltr">Meanwhile, across Illinois, the teen employment rate fell from just under 50 percent in 2000 to 28 percent in 2012 &mdash; the lowest rate in the 42 years for which such data exist. If Illinois teens had been able to maintain their 1999-2000 employment rates during the past year, there would have been another 151,000 teens at work in Illinois in 2011-2012, the report said.</p><p dir="ltr">Native son Common, whose mother Mahalia Hines is an educator and Chicago Public Schools board member, recalled meeting with young people in Englewood, a neighborhood with high crime and unemployment.</p><p dir="ltr">They told the rapper they needed money and jobs, underscoring the link between poverty and violence.</p><p>&ldquo;What do they want? They want opportunity and a chance,&rdquo; Common said.</p><p>This summer The AAHH! FEST, a two-day concert in September, will kick off. Common&rsquo;s foundation will partner with Kanye West&rsquo;s <a href="http://dondashouseinc.org/">Donda&rsquo;s House</a> in which emcee Rhymefest is the creative director. Part of the money will fund the year-round jobs initiatives.</p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/nmoore-0" rel="author">Natalie Moore</a> is a WBEZ reporter. <a href="mailto:nmoore@wbez.org">nmoore@wbez.org</a></em></p><p><em>Follow Natalie on <a href="https://plus.google.com//104033432051539426343" rel="me">Google+</a>, &nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/natalieymoore">Twitter</a></em></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 17:14:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/hip-hop-artist-common-announces-chicago-youth-job-program-110003 New exhibit takes unique look at death, food and remembrance http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/new-exhibit-takes-unique-look-death-food-and-remembrance-109974 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/death exhibit.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>When someone passes away today, it&rsquo;s pretty common for friends and family to reminisce about them over food and drink. Just think about all those casseroles and cookies that pile up or about hoisting a glass at an Irish wake.</p><p>It turns out, in some ancient cultures, that use of food went, well, further.</p><p>A new show at the University of Chicago&rsquo;s Oriental Institute opens Tuesday, and it takes an unusual look at death. The show&rsquo;s called <a href="http://oi.uchicago.edu/museum/special/remembrance/" target="_blank">&ldquo;In Remembrance of Me: Feasting with the Dead in the Ancient Middle East</a>.&rdquo;</p><p>It examines how we&rsquo;ve remembered our loved ones across cultures and time, and the ways people have tried to control how they&rsquo;ll be thought of too. It highlights some ancient Middle Eastern cultures that believed souls lived on in monuments and needed to be fed so later generations could just come and hang out with them.</p><p>&ldquo;Cultures all over world, in all different periods in all areas of the world have done this, have had some way of maintaining contact their deceased ancestors,&rdquo; said Emily Teeter, a research associate and special exhibits coordinator at the Oriental Institute.</p><p>&ldquo;In Egyptian theology, they thought they would live forever, as long as they were remembered by the living,&rdquo; she said, adding that this ancient culture believed part of the soul lived on in monuments, and keeping those souls alive required lots and lots of food.</p><p>She pointed to a stone slab with an engraving of a couple who were unmistakably Egyptian, with angular black wigs, jeweled collars.</p><p>All over the monument, there are tiny carvings of birds, oxen, bread, even beer. Teeter said those are instructions on what to bring the couple to keep them alive: They wanted a thousand each of oxen, birds, bread and beer.</p><p>&ldquo;The Egyptian dead were apparently constantly hungry,&rdquo; Teeter said. &ldquo;...To stay alive you need to eat, and their whole goal with mummification, with creating these monuments, is to live eternally.&rdquo;</p><p>Teeter said the couple - who died more than 4,000 years ago -- even planned ahead on what to do once all their descendants had passed away, and there was no one to bring them food anymore. The engraving says that if visitors don&rsquo;t happen to have 1,000 oxen on them, it&rsquo;s enough to just pray for the food.</p><p>And it&rsquo;s not just the ancient Middle East where rites like this happened. At an excavation site in Vatican City, University of Chicago Divinity School Dean Margaret Mitchell saw tubes sticking out of burial sites. She said that was so people could pour in beverages to share with their dead loved ones.</p><p>Mitchell said some Roman catacombs had tables for people to eat between rows of burial urns.</p><p>&ldquo;Whether the dead can still eat a Twinkie or can still drink a good glass of merlot, it&rsquo;s a way of tenderly caring for the dead,&rdquo; Mitchell said.</p><p>The monuments go beyond providing the living with that connection to the dead, or assuring the dead will keep getting fed. In some cases, these statues and stones let people control how they&rsquo;ll be remembered.</p><p>The exhibit&rsquo;s showpiece is a replica of an ornately carved memorial stone of a man named Katumuwa. He&rsquo;s in fancy dress, sitting at a banquet table full of food, looking relaxed and happy in the afterlife. Before he died, commissioned it himself.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s not just &lsquo;Pete was here,&rsquo; but it&rsquo;s even bigger,&rdquo; Mitchell said. She likened this memorial stone to the huge monument Illinois politician Roland Burris has had built, even though he&rsquo;s still very much alive.</p><p>It&rsquo;s like saying, &ldquo;I&rsquo;m not going to leave it to the winds or your children to decide how you&rsquo;re going to be remembered, but I want to steer that process myself,&rdquo; Mitchell said. &ldquo;In some ways, the monuments are like a fist to the sky that says, I refuse to be forgotten.&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p><em>Lynette Kalsnes is a WBEZ producer/reporter covering religion, culture and science. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/LynetteKalsnes">@LynetteKalsnes</a>.</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 05:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/new-exhibit-takes-unique-look-death-food-and-remembrance-109974 Art takes on street harassment of women http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/art-takes-street-harassment-women-109953 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/street-harassment_140402_nm_crop_0.jpg" title="An illustration from the “Stop Telling Women to Smile” art campaign. (WBEZ/Natalie Moore)" /></div><p>&ldquo;Hey, girl. Why you look mad? Smile!&rdquo;</p><p>I hear this from men on a regular basis. Walking in any neighborhood. Waiting in line anywhere. Standing on an &lsquo;el&rsquo; platform. But mostly minding my own business. So I roll my eyes, ignore them, and am okay with being pegged as an Evil Black Woman. These men think telling me to smile is a flirty pick-up line uttered with innocent intentions.</p><p>Comments telling me to smile may on the surface seem benign, but the words are intrusive and a form of street harassment. I&rsquo;m not here to pleasure strangers by smiling.</p><p>A provocative arts series addresses these remarks and lets women know these are not isolated experiences.</p><p><a href="http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fstoptellingwomentosmile.com%2FAbout&amp;sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNE8CqkQXSJj6a9Vs3HebBnw6A-onw">&ldquo;Stop Telling Women to Smile&rdquo;</a> has adorned buildings in cities across the country. Pieces feature drawings of women with phrases underneath: &ldquo;My name is not baby,&rdquo; &ldquo;Women are not outside for your entertainment,&rdquo; &ldquo;Women do not owe you their time or conversation,&rdquo; and &ldquo;My outfit is not an invitation.&rdquo;</p><p>Brooklyn-based artist Tatyan Falalizadeh&rsquo;s wheat paste illustrations have made it to Chicago -- just in time for <a href="http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.stopstreetharassment.org%2Four-work%2Fmeetusonthestreet%2F&amp;sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNE2bU_8hA7DKeiAIL6Z93L_gaGUPQ">International Anti-Street Harassment Week</a>, which runs through Saturday. I caught a glimpse of one poster on Garfield Blvd. and Indiana Ave.</p><p>Local advocates from <a href="http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fchicago.ihollaback.org%2Fabout%2F&amp;sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNHX1Pyde2qRxwd15XsJly-IsnzMiQ">Hollaback Chicago!</a> , which uses mobile technology and social media to raise awareness, will paste these illustrations in other neighborhoods later this week.</p><p>&ldquo;We hope that the posters would bring awareness and see that it&rsquo;s not okay,&rdquo; said Katie Davis, Hollaback Chicago! site leader. &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t need to smile at you on the street.&rdquo;</p><p>Davis said the images are relatable and are thoughts that many women have had when it comes to offensive language.</p><p>One counter-argument is that men who tell women to smile are being complimentary, not using it as precursor to physical violence.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m willing to kind of go there with that reasoning, but the problem with that is that it ignores the context within which those type of comments happen,&rdquo; said Sharmili Majmudar, executive director of the Chicago-based <a href="http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rapevictimadvocates.org%2F&amp;sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNHykZz4wsAn2Ecj3ZWkTaLH2UmRXA">Rape Victim Advocates</a>.</p><p>The larger context essentially says womens&rsquo; bodies are for entertainment and unsolicited commentary. Women are bombarded by street harassment on a daily basis and therefore are not allowed to be out in public in peace.</p><p>And that can go a step further when someone is assaulted. The appearances of victims are critiqued, and victim-blaming is the fallback.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s part and parcel of this larger way in which it&rsquo;s up to a woman to always be the one that&rsquo;s on the defensive,&rdquo; Majmudar said. &ldquo;You see that at the street harassment level and then you also see that considering the wide range of sexual violence -- you see that at workplace sexual harassment, you see that in sexual assault as well.&rdquo;</p><p>The posters offer a way for women to share harassment stories and also broaden the conversation so people know this seemingly mild form of harassment is bothersome.</p><p>Maybe next time I&rsquo;m harassed on the bus, I&rsquo;ll have to confidence to retort: &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t need to smile at you.&rdquo;</p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/nmoore-0" rel="author">Natalie Moore</a> is a WBEZ reporter. <a href="mailto:nmoore@wbez.org">nmoore@wbez.org</a>&nbsp;Follow Natalie on <a href="https://plus.google.com//104033432051539426343" rel="me">Google+</a>, &nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/natalieymoore">Twitter</a></em></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 01 Apr 2014 15:29:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/art-takes-street-harassment-women-109953 South Chicago Art Center expands space, programming for youth http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/south-chicago-art-center-expands-space-programming-youth-109860 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/South Chicago Art Center.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><a href="http://www.happyartcenter.org/" target="_blank">The South Chicago Art Center</a>, all 800 square feet of it, is tucked away in a small storefront on East 91st Street. But not for long. This spring the center will break ground on a new 6,000-sq. ft. space a few blocks away.</p><p>&ldquo;Having this space will engage kids on a more intensive level and it will also be a respite for kids who want to be off the street in a safe space,&rdquo; said executive director Sarah Ward.</p><p>Established in 2001, the center today serves 3,200 youth not only in the storefront but in area schools. Visual arts programming ranges from painting to photography.</p><p>The new building will cost $650,000 and about $100,000 is from the Small Business Incremental Fund&nbsp; program using Tax Increment Financing (TIF) revenues. The new building -- a former dry cleaners -- will be at 91st and Commercial near businesses, a library and YMCA. Along with higher visibility, the new center will be in neutral gang territory.</p><p>The South Chicago neighborhood is racially mixed with mostly blacks and Latinos. Almost a third of residents live in poverty and the area is divided by splintered gangs and block-by-block street crews.</p><p>&ldquo;We run a scrappy group here but we run a really effective intensive program through our school program,&rdquo; Ward said. &ldquo;Just revitalizing a space in a neighborhood is so important. It gives life and respect and makes the people in the neighborhood feel like someone cares about them.&rdquo;</p><p>Arinique Allen, 19, started making art at the center when she was five years old. Now she&rsquo;s an intern and freshman at Columbia College.</p><p>&ldquo;It was fun growing up here. I made a lot of friends here,&rdquo; Allen said. &ldquo;It made me more creative. It made me think more out the box.</p><p>Likewise, Anthony Steele remembers coming to the center and &ldquo;getting up under the table and painting on our back like Michelangelo.&rdquo;</p><p>Now 24, Steele says the center cultivated his love of art, and led him to become a painter and sculptor. He eventually came back to run the art studio -- a space that&rsquo;s about to get a lot bigger.</p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/nmoore-0" rel="author">Natalie Moore</a> is a WBEZ reporter. <a href="mailto:nmoore@wbez.org">nmoore@wbez.org</a>&nbsp;Follow Natalie on <a href="https://plus.google.com//104033432051539426343" rel="me">Google+</a>, &nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/natalieymoore">Twitter</a></em></p></p> Fri, 14 Mar 2014 11:57:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/south-chicago-art-center-expands-space-programming-youth-109860 A fresh look at Freedom Wall http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/fresh-look-freedom-wall-109771 <p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/136868066&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><em>(Editor&#39;s note: The current episode of Curious City&#39;s podcast includes the interview portion of this story about Freedom Wall. That interview begins at 4 minutes, 55 seconds. Also, we&#39;re <a href="#form">taking your suggestions</a> about who should be included in a contemporary, digital Freedom Wall.)</em></p><p>If you ride the Brown Line or the Purple Line through Chicago&rsquo;s River North neighborhood, you&rsquo;ve probably seen this <a href="#list">list of names</a>. It&rsquo;s on the side of a brick building on Huron Street, where the Nacional 27 restaurant is located. The black banner stretches 72 feet high. Martin Luther King is at the top. Farther down, you&rsquo;ll see Harriet Tubman, the Dalai Lama, Frank Zappa, Ayn Rand and more.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/question%20asker%20and%20artist%20FOR%20WEB.jpg" style="height: 180px; width: 250px; float: right;" title="Dominique Lewis asked about the large banner of names on the city's Near North Side. Artist Adam Brooks, right, explained what's behind the piece called Freedom Wall. (WBEZ/Shawn Allee)" />Dominique Lewis caught glimpses of those 69 names in white letters &mdash; as well as one mysterious blank line &mdash; as she rode the Purple Line to work every day. &ldquo;I thought, &lsquo;That&rsquo;s weird. Why is Rush Limbaugh on a list with Martin Luther King Jr.?&rsquo;&rdquo; she says. So <a href="http://curiouscity.wbez.org/questions/1189" target="_blank">she asked Curious City to investigate</a> the list&#39;s history and whether there&#39;s a common theme that connects those names.</p><p>Well, it&rsquo;s called <em>Freedom Wall</em>, and all of the names represent freedom ... or someone&rsquo;s idea of freedom, anyway. The artist who created it &nbsp;&mdash; Adam Brooks, a <a href="http://www.colum.edu/Academics/Art_and_Design/Faculty_Staff/FT_Faculty/Adam_Brook.php">Columbia College professor</a> who grew up in London &mdash; says he didn&rsquo;t have a partisan political agenda when he put up the list 20 years ago this August. In fact, he went out of his way to include conservative as well as liberal opinions about who represents freedom. And he avoided spelling out the word &ldquo;freedom&rdquo; on the banner because he wanted to make people think. He certainly got Lewis thinking.</p><p>Brooks acknowledges that <em>Freedom Wall</em> prompts some people to ask, &ldquo;Wait, that&rsquo;s supposed to be art?&rdquo; But he appears to have very little ego about his artwork, not even bothering to sign it. Brooks is trying to engage the public with his public art, not to dazzle people with his artistic prowess.</p><p>We invited Brooks to the WBEZ studios to discuss <em>Freedom Wall</em>. Lewis joined us for the conversation and added some questions of her own. Here&rsquo;s an edited transcript of our discussion.</p><p><strong>Why did you create <em>Freedom Wall</em>?</strong></p><p><strong>Brooks:</strong> In 1992 and the lead-up to the presidential election that year, I heard the candidates really ramping up the idea of freedom. Of course, who&rsquo;s going to be against freedom? America is the land of the free. I was interested in exploring that word a little bit further.</p><p><strong>Why did you seek other people&rsquo;s opinions?</strong></p><p><strong>Brooks: </strong>It would&rsquo;ve been very easy for me to sit down and draw up a list of names of people that I felt embodied the idea of freedom, but that would&rsquo;ve been rather boring. And so what I did was essentially ask the question, &ldquo;Give me the names of up to three people that you feel embody the concept of freedom, whatever that means to you.&rdquo;</p><p>The Internet was really in its infancy then as a communicative medium. I posted this question on America Online, and in relatively short order, people started responding &mdash; particularly teachers, who were early adopters of the technology in their classrooms. The rank of the names on the list is essentially reflective of the frequency of nomination of those names. So Martin Luther King received the most votes.</p><p><strong>Lewis: </strong>Did you have favorite names on the list, people who stood out for you for exemplifying freedom?</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/freedom%20wall%20vertical%20for%20WEB%20cred%20robert%20loerzel.jpg" style="margin: 5px; float: left; height: 330px; width: 220px;" title="The names listed on Freedom Wall were hand-lettered by a single craftsman from northern Indiana. (WBEZ/Robert Loerzel)" /><strong>Brooks:</strong> As far as I&rsquo;m concerned, that question is not pertinent to the project. Undoubtedly, personally I do, but because of the way that I work I don&rsquo;t take an ideological or other particular stance. I&rsquo;m interested in asking questions, and not posing answers. That, to me, is what art making is about &mdash; is to ask questions. And so, while certainly there are some people that I feel affinity with on the list more than others, I don&rsquo;t feel that it&rsquo;s really important for me to give you a specific answer.</p><p>I consciously did a search for conservatives and sent out hundreds of email requests to those people that themselves identified as conservatives. Because one of the things that I didn&rsquo;t want to end up happening was for someone like Rush Limbaugh to look at a project like this, and say, &ldquo;Oh, it&rsquo;s just another piece of liberal claptrap.&rdquo;</p><p>It was very important to me that there was no alteration, omission or any other kind of tampering with the results on my part. The only thing that I had to make decisions about was when specific names got the same number of nominations &mdash; how to rank them next to each other. So putting Anita Hill and Rush Limbaugh together, because they did get the same number of nominations, was quite delicious to me. Other than that, it&rsquo;s completely straight.</p><p><strong>Lewis: </strong>Did any of the names you received shape or change your ideas of freedom?</p><p><strong>Brooks: </strong>There was one set of answers from a German artist who was living in Chicago at that point in time, who was always a bit of a jokester. His three names were Stalin, Louis XIV and Hitler. And his rationale was that those three individuals created worlds in which they had absolute freedom to do whatever they wanted to do. And while that&rsquo;s an extreme response, I think that it&rsquo;s just as valid as any of the other responses that I received.<a name="list"></a></p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="400" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" msallowfullscreen="msallowfullscreen" oallowfullscreen="oallowfullscreen" src="http://cf.datawrapper.de/VaCQr/1/" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" width="200"></iframe><br /><a href="https://docs.google.com/a/chicagopublicradio.org/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ai7E2pZ6aCZtdF9xNXo4RlNZbFZuV3JTbDNWWUNkX1E&amp;usp=drive_web#gid=0" target="_blank">(view / download list)</a></p><p><strong>Why is there a blank line under Frank Zappa?</strong></p><p><strong>Brooks: </strong>I think six people responded saying that they really didn&rsquo;t feel that one name could sufficiently embody the idea of freedom. And in fact, one respondent actually said she didn&rsquo;t know what freedom was and seriously doubted that it existed. And so it was important to me to recognize the fact that actually some people refuse to participate. In hindsight, it also functioned as a space into which passersby could potentially, mentally, insert their own choice.</p><p><strong>How did <em>Freedom Wall</em> end up at this location on Huron Street?</strong></p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/wide%20shot%20FOR%20WEB%20cred%20mickey%20capper.jpg" style="height: 213px; width: 320px; margin: 5px; float: right;" title="Adam Brooks' Freedom Wall is set against a building that's the home of the Nacional 27 restaurant. (WBEZ/Mickey Capper)" /><strong>Brooks:</strong> The building at that time was owned by Buzz Ruttenberg, who has been a longtime supporter of the arts in Chicago. And the gallery that I was affiliated with at that time, the Rhona Hoffman Gallery, was actually in that building. Rhona and Buzz and I sat down and talked about the project, and without any hesitation, Buzz said, &ldquo;Yeah, it&rsquo;s fine, just make sure that it doesn&rsquo;t deteriorate.&rdquo; And I assured him that the technology had reached a point where it would not be peeling off &mdash; and indeed, it still looks pristine 20 years later, which is kind of amazing to me.</p><p>This was the second mooted location for the project. The original location, not too far away, was all set to go. The landlord of the building took a look at the long list, and saw Hitler on it, and said, &ldquo;There&rsquo;s gonna be crowds of people throwing bricks through my window if Hitler makes it onto the list. So unfortunately, I can&rsquo;t work with you on this project.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Lewis: Did the train [The CTA Brown Line] pass by the original site?</strong></p><p><strong>Brooks: </strong>No. So in the end, it worked out very well for everyone concerned. Because being able to see it from the train is a huge advantage in its visibility, and I&rsquo;ve always liked the idea that it&rsquo;s a fleeting experience.</p><p><strong>How did you choose the font?</strong></p><p><strong>Brooks: </strong>The font is Helvetica, which is one of the most common sans-serif fonts. Helvetica is probably the most ordinary font there is. I want people to look at the information and not think about the font at all.</p><p><strong>Why did you put this list of names up without any explanation on the wall? You don&rsquo;t have the word &ldquo;freedom&rdquo; anywhere to explain what this is all about.</strong></p><p><strong>Brooks: </strong>I believe that art should not be a spoon-feeding process &mdash; that people should do some work, at least, to gain access to the kind of work that I make. Neither do I want it to be purposefully opaque or obscure, but asking passersby and viewers to do a bit of work to make connections between all of the names on that list is one of the essential components of the project for me.</p><p><strong>Lewis:</strong> I think it stood out more because it didn&rsquo;t have a title on it. I couldn&rsquo;t just Google what it was. I&rsquo;m on the train every morning, kind of staring out the window, so I have the time to think about it. There are some names I wasn&rsquo;t familiar with, so I went and looked some people up. There were some names that I thought, you know, &ldquo;These are kind of incongruent. I don&rsquo;t know what they have to do with each other.&rdquo; I&rsquo;ve talked to people about it, too. I&rsquo;ve talked to my friends, like: &ldquo;Hey, you&rsquo;ve seen that sign, right? What&rsquo;s the deal with that? What&rsquo;s going on?&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Brooks: </strong>And that&rsquo;s all I can really ask for. And if in some small way, I can lodge a question in people&rsquo;s heads and make them think a little bit, that&rsquo;s quite sufficient for me.</p><p><strong>Lewis: </strong>I don&rsquo;t see your name anywhere on there. Was that on purpose &mdash; is it somewhere hidden?</p><p><strong>Brooks: </strong>It&rsquo;s not hidden. It&rsquo;s not there. The idea of signing one&rsquo;s work is a modernist conceit, and I&rsquo;ve never signed my work &mdash; except maybe when I was in college 30-plus years ago, because that&rsquo;s what I was told I needed to do. But in pretty short order, I realized that that wasn&rsquo;t important, that the work itself was the signature. And if people are interested enough, they will find out who made the work.</p><p><strong>Lewis: </strong>That&rsquo;s what I did.</p><p><strong>Brooks:</strong> For me, one of the most fascinating things about this whole project was going to northern Indiana, into a huge sign-painting warehouse and spending a day watching the one late-middle-aged man hand-letter each one of these names with a 3-inch-wide brush. Because he had been making these letters on billboards for 30 years, it was amazing watching him do it &mdash; absolutely precise and really fast. He did six names an hour. This painter&rsquo;s name was Bob Morales.</p><p><strong>How does <em>Freedom Wall</em> relate to the art you&rsquo;ve done recently with <a href="http://www.industryoftheordinary.com">Industry of the Ordinary</a>, your collaboration with Mathew Wilson?</strong></p><p><strong>Brooks:</strong><em> Freedom Wall</em> was the first open acknowledgement that I&rsquo;m interested in reaching as wide an audience as possible &mdash; and presenting work that often does not even appear to be art. Asking questions about what art is &mdash; and whether it can function outside of the confines of the white-walled gallery.</p><p><em>Who represents freedom to you? Which names would you put on a new version of Freedom Wall? Suggest names here.<a name="form"></a>&nbsp;</em></p><p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p><div id="wufoo-rhfbmej1nd9yf0">Fill out my <a href="https://thecuriouscity.wufoo.com/forms/rhfbmej1nd9yf0">online form</a>.</div><script type="text/javascript">var rhfbmej1nd9yf0;(function(d, t) { var s = d.createElement(t), options = { 'userName':'thecuriouscity', 'formHash':'rhfbmej1nd9yf0', 'autoResize':true, 'height':'617', 'async':true, 'host':'wufoo.com', 'header':'show', 'ssl':true}; s.src = ('https:' == d.location.protocol ? 'https://' : 'http://') + 'wufoo.com/scripts/embed/form.js'; s.onload = s.onreadystatechange = function() { var rs = this.readyState; if (rs) if (rs != 'complete') if (rs != 'loaded') return; try { rhfbmej1nd9yf0 = new WufooForm();rhfbmej1nd9yf0.initialize(options);rhfbmej1nd9yf0.display(); } catch (e) {}}; var scr = d.getElementsByTagName(t)[0], par = scr.parentNode; par.insertBefore(s, scr); })(document, 'script');</script><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><br /><p style=" margin: 12px auto 6px auto; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; -x-system-font: none; display: block;"><a href="http://www.scribd.com/doc/209578749/Freedom-Wall-A-project-by-Chicago-artist-Adam-Brooks" style="text-decoration: underline;" title="View Freedom Wall: A project by Chicago artist Adam Brooks on Scribd">Freedom Wall: A project by Chicago artist Adam Brooks</a></p><p style="text-align: center;"><a name="pdf"></a><iframe class="scribd_iframe_embed" data-aspect-ratio="undefined" data-auto-height="false" frameborder="0" height="600" id="doc_53845" scrolling="no" src="//www.scribd.com/embeds/209578749/content?start_page=1&amp;view_mode=scroll&amp;show_recommendations=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><em>Robert Loerzel is a freelance journalist. You can follow him on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/robertloerzel">@robertloerzel</a></em></p><p><em>Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled the name of Adam Brooks&#39; collaborator. The correct spelling is Mathew Wilson.&nbsp;</em></p><p><em>Additional editor&#39;s note: After reporting this story, Curious City was informed that the current owner of the building that Freedom wall is installed upon is the Conant family. That family is the backer of the&nbsp;Doris and Howard Conant Fund for Journalism, which supports Curious City through contributions to WBEZ.</em>&nbsp;&nbsp;<em>&nbsp;</em></p></p> Tue, 25 Feb 2014 19:09:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/fresh-look-freedom-wall-109771 Beverly Arts Center hires new executive director http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/beverly-arts-center-hires-new-executive-director-109725 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/beverly arts center.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.beverlyartcenter.org/" target="_blank">Beverly Arts Center</a> has tapped a city native and performer as its new executive director.</p><p>Heather Robinson, 44, currently heads the <a href="http://www.southsidecommunityartcenter.com/" target="_blank">South Side Community Arts Center</a>. She starts at BAC on Monday.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s time to start thinking about regionally drawing in more zip codes, diversifying programming, and just solidifying the programming that&rsquo;s already there,&rdquo; Robinson said.</p><p>She previously worked for<a href="http://www.afterschoolmatters.org/" target="_blank"> After School Matters</a>, <a href="http://advancedarts.cps.edu/index.html" target="_blank">Gallery 37</a> and the <a href="http://www.jazzinchicago.org/" target="_blank">Jazz Institute of Chicago</a>. Her acting credits include performances at the Goodman Theatre and on the NBC television series &ldquo;ER.&rdquo;</p><p>BAC offers theater, music, and fine arts classes for all ages. Located on the corner of 111th and Western, the center shows indie films and rotates arts exhibitions throughout the year.</p><p>But BAC has also run into financial trouble. Last fall the city announced a challenge to reduce the center&rsquo;s debt. Officials say they are on track.</p><p>Robinson says she plans to expand programming so BAC will be a destination for families.</p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/nmoore-0" rel="author">Natalie Moore</a> is a WBEZ reporter. <a href="mailto:nmoore@wbez.org">nmoore@wbez.org</a> Follow Natalie on <a href="https://plus.google.com//104033432051539426343" rel="me">Google+</a>, &nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/natalieymoore">Twitter</a></em></p></p> Tue, 18 Feb 2014 11:16:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/beverly-arts-center-hires-new-executive-director-109725 'Great art is about guilt and longing' http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2014-02/great-art-about-guilt-and-longing-109623 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><strong><u>UPDATED TUESDAY MORNING</u></strong></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Hoffman%20Bangs.jpg" title="Philip Seymour Hoffman as Lester Bangs." /></div><p>From the brilliant writer and title character in <em>Capote</em>, to the insecure soundman in <em>Boogie Nights</em>, to the stand-in for cult leader/con man L. Rob Hubbard in <em>The Master, </em>Philip Seymour&nbsp;Hoffman owned any role he took on, earning every accolade he received as one of the finest actors of his generation. For many music lovers, however, he never played a better part or did a role more justice than his turn as the great rock critic Lester Bangs in Cameron Crowe&rsquo;s <em>Almost Famous.</em></p><p>As was often the case (and never more than with Truman Capote), Hoffman&mdash;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/03/movies/philip-seymour-hoffman-actor-dies-at-46.html">who was found dead Sunday morning of an apparent drug overdose at the age of 46</a>&mdash;looked nothing like the tall, gangly, and dark-haired Bangs. But he grasped the soul of the writer, whether in the manic mode of Lester-as-preacher doing a hyped-up radio interview (&ldquo;Jim Morrison? He&#39;s a drunken buffoon posing as a poet!&rdquo;), or serving as the wise, sensitive, and encouraging mentor who delivers the most moving monologue, the original title, and the <em>raison d&#39;être</em> of Crowe&rsquo;s 2000 bildungsroman.</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;Oh man, you made friends with &rsquo;em. See, friendship is the booze they feed you. They want you to get drunk on feeling like you belong&hellip;.Because they make you feel cool. And, hey, I met you: You are not cool... We are uncool. Women will always be a problem for guys like us. Most of the great art in the world is about that very problem. Good-looking people, they got no spine. Their art never lasts. They get the girls, but we&rsquo;re smarter&hellip; Great art is about guilt and longing. Love disguised as sex and sex disguised as love. Let&rsquo;s face, you got a big head start&hellip; I&rsquo;m always home, I&rsquo;m uncool&hellip; The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you&rsquo;re uncool. My advice to you&mdash;I know you think these guys are your friends; if you want to be a true friend to &rsquo;em?&mdash;be honest and unmerciful.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>Initially, many people in the rock world who knew Bangs thought that Crowe was nuts for casting Hoffman. For most, that changed when they saw the film.</p><p>As with any actor, part of Hoffman&rsquo;s success was capturing the way his subject moved, talked, and thought. He prepped to become Bangs by reading the manuscript of my biography a few months before it was published, watching videotapes I sent to Crowe, and studying a cassette of me as a high-school student interviewing the famous critic. Crowe told me that the actor walked up and down the street in San Diego where they filmed the radio station scene for an hour before shooting, listening to that tape on a Walkman to get Lester&rsquo;s speech patterns and his weird El Cajon drawl <em>just right</em>.</p><p>There was more to it than mimicry, though. When I visited the set on the last day of sound editing, Crowe took me aside and showed me Hoffman&rsquo;s scenes as Bangs, including a few outtakes. We both agreed that somehow, magically, we weren&rsquo;t watching an actor, but once again were seeing the hero we met when we each were 17&mdash;the director in 1972, and me in 1982. There was no way Hoffman could have done that without having some Lester inside him. From then on, whenever I saw him on screen again, I suspected the same was true to some degree of every character he played.</p><p>I always wanted to thank Hoffman for getting Bangs right. Unfortunately, I never met him.</p><p>Then again, having seen all of his most celebrated movies, maybe I did.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/WzY2pWrXB_0" width="420"></iframe></p><p><u><strong>UPDATE</strong></u>: <em>Almost Famous </em>director Cameron Crowe has paid tribute to Hoffman on his Web site, <a href="http://www.theuncool.com/">The Uncool.</a> Here is what he wrote:</p><blockquote><p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">My original take on this scene was a loud, late night pronouncement from Lester Bangs. &nbsp;A call to arms. &nbsp;In Phil&rsquo;s hands it became something different. &nbsp;A scene about quiet truths shared between two guys, both at the crossroads, both hurting, and both up too late. &nbsp;It became the soul of the movie. &nbsp;In between takes, Hoffman spoke to no one. &nbsp;He listened only to his headset, only to the words of Lester himself. &nbsp;(His Walkman was filled with rare Lester interviews.) When the scene was over, I realized that Hoffman had pulled off a magic trick. &nbsp;He&rsquo;d leapt over the words and the script, and gone hunting for the soul and compassion of the private Lester, the one only a few of us had ever met. &nbsp;Suddenly the portrait was complete. The crew and I will always be grateful for that front row seat to his genius.</span></p></blockquote><p><em><strong>Follow me on Twitter </strong></em><a href="https://twitter.com/JimDeRogatis"><em><strike>@</strike>JimDeRogatis</em></a><em><strong> or join me on </strong></em><a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jim-DeRo/254753087340"><em>Facebook</em></a><em><strong>.</strong></em></p></p> Sun, 02 Feb 2014 14:32:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2014-02/great-art-about-guilt-and-longing-109623 Hammond hardware store mixes art, food and music to help revitalize a struggling downtown http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/hammond-hardware-store-mixes-art-food-and-music-help-revitalize-struggling-downtown <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Screen Shot 2014-01-02 at 4.29.52 PM.png" alt="" /><p><p>Hammond, Indiana, is just a short drive from downtown Chicago. The city&rsquo;s had its ups and downs. But it&rsquo;s slowly building a reputation for arts and entertainment. And helping to fuel that is a place that mixes art, music, food and hardware the Paul Henry&rsquo;s Art Gallery.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 02 Jan 2014 16:26:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/hammond-hardware-store-mixes-art-food-and-music-help-revitalize-struggling-downtown School's beloved orchestra survives closing, but future budget cuts loom http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/schools-beloved-orchestra-survives-closing-future-budget-cuts-loom-109456 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Screen Shot 2014-01-02 at 11.32.08 AM.png" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-607daf24-53ff-fdef-8dc6-9adf8da2275c">It was a year of change for the Chicago Public Schools&mdash;nearly 50 schools shut their doors over the summer, leaving behind <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/what-happened-all-stuff-chicagos-closed-schools-109360">books, desks, and even, an orange pick-up truck</a>.</p><p dir="ltr">But what happened to the less tangible things inside the closing schools? WBEZ&rsquo;s Becky Vevea visited a school that managed to save a popular program from a nearby closed school.</p><p dir="ltr">The orchestra at Lafayette Elementary <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/lafayette-elementary-string-orchestra-tunes-despite-uncertain-future-107255">grabbed headlines</a> last spring when the Chicago Board of Education was deciding what schools to shutter.</p><p dir="ltr">Just four days before the Board <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/cps-board-votes-close-50-schools-107294">voted to shutter Lafayette and 49 other schools</a>, Artus Weible, the music teacher at Lafayette, directed his string ensemble on the sidewalk along Augusta Boulevard in Humboldt Park.</p><p dir="ltr">It was a Saturday in May and Weible still had no idea what would happen to the program after the closings.</p><p dir="ltr">But just before the holiday break, Weible stood on the stage in front of a standing-room-only crowd at the Chopin Elementary auditorium.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;This is one of our favorites we brought over from Lafayette, here to Chopin, and we&rsquo;ve had a great time putting it together for you,&rdquo; Weible said.</p><p dir="ltr">At the school&rsquo;s holiday concert, about 25 students lined up shoulder-to-shoulder across the front of the stage clutching their violins. Another 40 students&mdash;the older and more experienced group&mdash;sat in a semi-circle behind the beginners. Across the back of each black music stand is the word &ldquo;Lafayette&rdquo; scrawled in white paint.</p><p dir="ltr">Chopin was the official &ldquo;welcoming school&rdquo; for students at Lafayette. A <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/education/closing-schools-diaspora-108518">WBEZ analysis</a> earlier this year found that Lafayette students enrolled at 26 different schools across CPS, but the bulk of them&mdash;more than 200 children&mdash;landed at Chopin.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;There was so much uncertainty and people going through the halls and classrooms before we got the news even that we were closing, they were inventorying all the supplies. It was pretty traumatic,&rdquo; said Beth Bistrow. Bistrow is with the Merit School of Music and helped Weible start the string orchestra at Lafayette 13 years ago.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;When we found out the news. What was it the end of July or something? I was, I was totally flabbergasted. I got a call and said we&rsquo;re having the program. And I was so happy to get here. I thought, maybe, I&rsquo;d never see these kids again.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">One of those kids was seventh grader Anayse Soto.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;When I found out that Merit was going to be here, I begged my mom to sign me in here just for the program,&rdquo; Soto said.</p><p dir="ltr">But there are still big challenges.</p><p>For one, merging two school cultures hasn&rsquo;t been easy. There are still hallway spats and one third grader tells me the &ldquo;other kids&rdquo; swear too much.</p><p dir="ltr">Then, there&rsquo;s the issue of space. Chopin elementary now has an enrollment of nearly 600 students, up from about 250 last year. The Chopin building is meant to hold 720 students, according to CPS&rsquo;s space utilization guidelines.</p><p dir="ltr">Bistrow said that&rsquo;s way less than Lafayette, which has a capacity of 1,320 students. (Next year, Chicago High School for the Arts, a contract school with about 600 students, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/arts-school-take-over-one-chicagos-43-closed-school-buildings-109075">will move into the Lafayette building</a>.)</p><p>&ldquo;We don&rsquo;t have any classrooms and we don&rsquo;t have any storage space, which is true of everyone in the school,&rdquo; Bistro said. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re just jammed in.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We use every classroom,&rdquo; said Fredrick Williams, the new principal at Chopin. He came from Near North Elementary&mdash;a special education school that was also shut down last year. &ldquo;We use every space. We use what used to be storage space for some of our office space.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Williams said he used Chopin&rsquo;s special welcoming school funds to pay for the orchestra program.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Once I had an opportunity to talk about this transition and think about pieces that we could keep for sure, Merit was always something that was going to be there from day one,&rdquo; Williams said.</p><p dir="ltr">But next year&rsquo;s budget is a different story.</p><p dir="ltr">We used a lot of one-time-only funds to make this year happen,&rdquo; Weible, the music teacher, said. &ldquo;Those funds will not be available next year.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">And that&rsquo;s an issue for schools in every corner of Chicago, not just Chopin.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;How many worthy programs are out there and some will not get the funding they deserve?&rdquo; Weible said. &ldquo;I can only say this: The arts are not a luxury.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Becky Vevea is a producer for WBEZ. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZeducation">@WBEZeducation</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 02 Jan 2014 10:58:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/schools-beloved-orchestra-survives-closing-future-budget-cuts-loom-109456 Sign of the times: Chicago's Drake Hotel gets a new look http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2014-03/sign-times-chicagos-drake-hotel-gets-new-look-109438 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/4601885551_0179fb699c_z.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Afternoon tea at the Palm Court in the Drake Hotel is a Chicago ritual, especially during the holidays.</p><p>This year, visitors may notice one sign of change. The hotel&rsquo;s historic sign, all bright pink neon and gothic script, has been renovated.</p><p>The sign is now LED instead of neon. Its font has changed slightly. But the biggest difference is its color. The new sign is light purple - almost a lavender shade.</p><p>Hank Hawerbier is the Director of Property Operations at the Drake. He says the old sign was tough to maintain. Ice, strong winds, even rain could cause a letter to short out. And every time that happened, Hawerbier says nearby residents would let them know.</p><p>Hawerbier said they tried their best to match the old sign.</p><p>&ldquo;We took months and months with three different LED sign companies and this was the closest we could get,&rdquo; said Hawerbier. &ldquo;It looks crisper, it looks brighter. But the color is off a few shades.&rdquo;</p><p>Despite appearances, Hawerbier says much of the old sign remains, including the frame and background of the letters. It&rsquo;s an enormous structure. Upper case letters are between 10 and 11 feet tall, while the lower case run around 8 feet.</p><p>Hawerbier said reaction to the new sign so far has been mostly positive.</p><p>&ldquo;A couple traditional people didn&rsquo;t like that we took the iconic sign and changed the format and technology,&rdquo; said Hawerbier. &ldquo;But mostly everyone says we did it for the right reasons.&rdquo;</p><p>Chicagoans don&rsquo;t much like change - many people still call Macy&rsquo;s, Marshall Field&rsquo;s, or refer to Sears Tower rather than the Willis Tower.</p><p>That&rsquo;s also been the case at The Drake. Though the hotel has undergone a lot of renovation over the past 13 years, Hawerbier says when it came time to makeover the hotel&rsquo;s famous Coq D&rsquo;Or lounge, some people weren&rsquo;t happy.</p><p>&ldquo;Literally I would walk through with the designers and regulars would go &lsquo;You&rsquo;re not changing anything, please don&rsquo;t change anything!&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p>Time does have a way of standing still at the Drake. The Coq D&rsquo;Or has the second liquor license ever issued in Chicago - the first went to the Berghoff. The hotel itself was founded in 1920. But no one at the hotel is sure of the iconic sign&#39;s age - Hawerbier guesses it went up in the late 40s or early 50s.</p><p>And even he has mixed emotions about the change.</p><p>&ldquo;Every third movie you see, the sign is in it,&rdquo; said Hawerbier. &ldquo;Maybe that&rsquo;s a little exaggeration. But I was a bit apprehensive.&rdquo;</p><p><em><a class="underlined" href="http://www.wbez.org/users/acuddy-0" rel="author">Alison Cuddy </a> is the Arts and Culture reporter at WBEZ. You can follow her on <a href="https://twitter.com/wbezacuddy"> Twitter </a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/cuddyalison"> Facebook </a> and <a href="http://instagram.com/cuddyreport"> Instagram</a>. </em></p></p> Thu, 26 Dec 2013 07:26:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2014-03/sign-times-chicagos-drake-hotel-gets-new-look-109438