WBEZ | Auburn Gresham, Chicago http://www.wbez.org/series/auburn-gresham-chicago Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Auburn Gresham man turns empty lot into a work of art http://www.wbez.org/content/auburn-gresham-man-turns-empty-lot-work-art <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-December/2011-12-15/EDDIE HARRIS 010.JPG" alt="" /><p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" mozallowfullscreen="" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/33773177?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0&amp;color=b30000" webkitallowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="338" width="601"></iframe></p><p>“What’s gonna happen when I die?” Eddie Harris asks. “What are they gonna do with all my art?”</p><p>Harris is 76 years old and he’s got a lifetime’s worth of art at his home.</p><p>He’s skilled in many different media – painting, carving and drawing, to start. And he’ll use anything he can find to make his unique style of art: empty milk cartons, glitter, puff paints.</p><p>Many of his paintings highlight African-American icons – Ray Charles and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., for instance. But there are lesser-knowns too – Fred Hampton and Shirley Chisholm.</p><p>For Harris, the whole world is a blank canvas.</p><p>Auburn Gresham, though, is where he finds his inspiration.</p><p>Hang around Harris for even a couple of minutes, and you’re likely to absorb all sorts of wisdom.</p><p>Now, for the final story in our series <em>Auburn Gresham, Chicago</em> - Eddie Harris.</p><p>Auburn Gresham, Chicago <em>received support from the Chicago Community Trust’s Local Reporting Initiative.</em></p></p> Fri, 16 Dec 2011 14:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/content/auburn-gresham-man-turns-empty-lot-work-art Neighborhood pushes, pulls Auburn Gresham teenager toward adulthood http://www.wbez.org/content/neighborhood-pushes-pulls-auburn-gresham-teenager-toward-adulthood <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-December/2011-12-15/JUSTIN IRVING 001.JPG" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" mozallowfullscreen="" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/33727518?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0&amp;color=b30000" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="601" frameborder="0" height="338"></iframe></p><p>At 17, Justin Irving is an Auburn Gresham transplant. He and his mother and sisters moved to the South Side neighborhood four years ago. Justin’s mom works long hours to support their family, and Justin says that’s given him an appreciation for how strong many women are. Stronger than a lot of men, he says.</p><p>But there are times when all her efforts haven’t been enough to keep everything going at home—like last year when the electricity was shut off.</p><p>That family dilemma had Justin seeking out the help of St. Sabina Church at 79th and Racine. The church is one of the most visible landmarks in the neighborhood, and its pastor, Father Michael Pfleger, is a community institution in his own right.&nbsp;</p><p>“Father Mike” helped the family with the power problem, and offered something even more important to Justin—his support and advice.</p><p>We hear them both reflecting on the community and their relationship in this story.</p><p><em>Auburn Gresham, Chicago&nbsp; received support from the Chicago Community Trust’s Local Reporting initiative.</em></p></p> Thu, 15 Dec 2011 14:57:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/content/neighborhood-pushes-pulls-auburn-gresham-teenager-toward-adulthood Women build muscles and connections in Auburn Gresham http://www.wbez.org/content/women-build-muscles-and-connections-auburn-gresham <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-December/2011-12-14/Curves aburn gresham_bill healy.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" mozallowfullscreen="" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/33661019?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0&amp;color=b30000" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="601" frameborder="0" height="338"></iframe></p><p>All week long we’ve been meeting characters in the city’s little-known South Side Auburn Gresham neighborhood. Today we’re continuing our series <em>Auburn Gresham, Chicago</em> with a small business owner who was born in Auburn Gresham but now lives in nearby Beverly.</p><p>When Kimberley Rudd set out six years ago to open a small workout facility in Auburn Gresham, she knew she wanted it to be sort of like the old TV show <em>Cheers</em>: a place where everybody knows your name.&nbsp;</p><p>These days, her Curves Auburn Gresham is a place where women of a variety of ages go to help each other get stronger, physically and emotionally.</p><p>But at first, it was a hard sell. When she was trying to get her business off the ground, Rudd would walk the streets of Auburn Gresham, handing out fliers.</p><p>Some women balked at her invitation to join the gym. “What are you trying to say? You saying I'm fat?" was the response.</p><p>Finding new members is still a constant pressure for Rudd. But so too is catering to the women who arrive to workout at the facility each day.</p><p>Rudd handles it with grace, answering the phone, helping women use the equipment, even sweeping the floors when necessary.</p><p>Here, Rudd talks about being a small business owner in a minority neighborhood, and how she feels compelled to help the women of Auburn Gresham stay strong.</p><p>Auburn Gresham, Chicago <em>received support from the Chicago Community Trust's Local Reporting Initiative.</em></p></p> Wed, 14 Dec 2011 14:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/content/women-build-muscles-and-connections-auburn-gresham Young, gay and black in Auburn Gresham http://www.wbez.org/content/young-gay-and-black-auburn-gresham <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-December/2011-12-12/TERRENCE CHAPPELL 008.JPG" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" mozallowfullscreen="" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/33597616?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="601" frameborder="0" height="338" scrolling="no"></iframe></p><p>The trip on public transportation from Auburn Gresham on the South Side to North Side Boystown can be long and tedious. But as Terrence Chappell rides from 79th Street to Belmont and back home again, he uses the time to think.</p><p>Chappell is a nightlife and society columnist for <a href="http://chicago.gopride.com/index.cfm">ChicagoPride.com</a>. He travels this route frequently – between his apartment in Auburn Gresham and the gay nightlife in Boystown. But in both places, he feels misunderstood.</p><p>In Auburn Gresham, he says, there are no bars that he would hang out at more than once. And in Boystown, he can sometimes feel like an outsider because of the stereotypes he hears from people about the South Side.</p><p>A few months back, a woman, upon learning where he was from, asked him, “Are you from one of those ghetto families?” Chappell laughs as he recounts the story now. But it’s not the first time someone has had a notion about Auburn Gresham, where he grew up and still lives.</p><p>“People are very scared of what they don’t know about,” he says.</p><p>All this week we're spending time in Auburn Gresham, getting to know a few of the people who live, work, and play there. Our series <em>Auburn Gresham, Chicago</em> continues today with Terrence Chappell and his mother Marilyn talking about what it's like to be young, gay, and black there.</p><p>Auburn Gresham, Chicago<em> received support from the Chicago Community Trust's Local Reporting Initiative.</em></p></p> Tue, 13 Dec 2011 14:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/content/young-gay-and-black-auburn-gresham New series takes a closer look at Chicago's Auburn Gresham neighborhood http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-12-12/new-series-takes-closer-look-chicagos-auburn-gresham-neighborhood-94821 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-December/2011-12-12/auburn gresham healy.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago is a city of neighborhoods. But as important as they are to the city’s economy, politics and culture, Chicagoans do not always see them as distinct places. Take Auburn Gresham, a South Side neighborhood centered around 79th Street. The community is rich in character and characters; but Auburn Gresham generally flies under the radar for Chicagoans who do not live there. Journalist Bill Healy set out to change that. All this week, <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> will get to know the people who live and work in Auburn Gresham through the photographs and stories Healy collected for the new series, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/auburn-gresham-chicago" target="_blank"><em>Auburn Gresham, Chicago</em></a>. <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> sat down for a brief chat with Bill Healy to find out what drew him to Auburn Gresham.</p></p> Mon, 12 Dec 2011 15:25:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-12-12/new-series-takes-closer-look-chicagos-auburn-gresham-neighborhood-94821 House music legend shaped by childhood in Auburn Gresham http://www.wbez.org/content/house-music-legend-shaped-childhood-auburn-gresham <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-December/2011-12-12/DJ-AG.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" mozallowfullscreen="" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/33533410?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="601" frameborder="0" height="338" scrolling="no"></iframe></p><p>Growing up in Chicago’s Auburn Gresham neighborhood, DJ Farley "Jackmaster" Funk says he and his friends would sneak into bars and taverns like the Green Bunny on 77<sup>th</sup> and Halsted to see the “grown ladies in high heels” and smell the cigarette smoke and liquor. “We didn’t know what the smell was,” he recalls. “But we knew it was a grown-folks smell.”</p><p>Funk is now a house music legend and sought-after entertainer, filling clubs and headlining a show at Millennium Park earlier this year. He credits the neighborhood of his youth with shaping his musical tastes and helping him forge the professional connections that would later help him break into the music biz. “Auburn Gresham was the place we were able to hone our skills in so many different areas,” he says.</p><p>All this week, we're spending time in the South Side community, getting to know a few of the people who live, work, and play there. We get started with DJ Jackmaster Funk, who describes how his upbringing in Auburn Gresham planted the seeds of his musical future.</p><p>Auburn Gresham, Chicago <em>received support from the Chicago Community Trust's Local Reporting Initiative.</em></p></p> Mon, 12 Dec 2011 14:27:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/content/house-music-legend-shaped-childhood-auburn-gresham Change and challenge in Auburn Gresham http://www.wbez.org/content/change-and-challenge-auburn-gresham <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-December/2011-12-08/auburn gresham.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" mozallowfullscreen="" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/33321296?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0&amp;color=b30000" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="601" frameborder="0" height="338"></iframe></p><p>There are signs of distress in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood on Chicago’s Southwest Side: boarded-up corner shops, beauty salons, and foreclosed homes. But so too are there signs of hope: restaurants whose customers spill onto the sidewalks on Sunday afternoons, teenagers scouring the library for the right book, and a football team practicing in the park at sunset.<br> <br> But like lots of places, Auburn Gresham is often lost in a blur of the South Side.<br> <br> When was the last time you heard about Washington Heights? Morgan Park? And in what context?<br> <br> I am guilty of lumping neighborhoods together in my mind, too.<br> <br> I grew up in Orland Park, a suburb southwest of the city, and my grandparents live in North Beverly and Evergreen Park. For as long as I can remember, Auburn Gresham to me was little more than a series of traffic lights on my way down 87th Street to the Dan Ryan.<br> <br> But the South Side is a patchwork of distinct neighborhoods, filled with the kinds of characters and day-to-day stories that don’t always make headlines.<br> <br> Auburn Gresham is one of those neighborhoods that is sometimes overlooked. Today we begin a series from Auburn Gresham, told through the stories of people who live, work, and play there.<br> <br> The preview video here begins on the corner of 79th and Ashland, with students in an after-school program looking out onto a busy intersection.<br> <br> Through this video – and personal stories you’ll hear and see next week – I’ve tried to bring you into Auburn Gresham to see what it looks like, to hear what it sounds like, and to begin to get an appreciation for life there.<br> <br> I believe what the late Chicago journalist Grant Pick said about his work is also true in a broader sense - “the people are the news.”<br> <br> Auburn Gresham comes alive here through the stories of five people: a high school student, a fitness club owner, a House music legend, a 20-something journalist, and an elderly disabled artist.<br> <br> This video is narrated by Alden Loury, former editor of the <em>Chicago Reporter</em>, who grew up and still resides in the neighborhood.<br> <br> Welcome to <em>Auburn Gresham, Chicago</em>.<br> <br> <em>Those stories will air on WBEZ next week and will appear here on the blog with more photos.</em></p></p> Thu, 08 Dec 2011 02:15:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/content/change-and-challenge-auburn-gresham