WBEZ | East Garfield Park http://www.wbez.org/tags/east-garfield-park Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en A Chicago teen's murder goes largely untold http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-teens-murder-goes-largely-untold-105510 <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F79222881" width="100%"></iframe></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/chicago%20flag%20half%20mast_0.jpg" style="float: right; height: 192px; width: 300px;" title="File: American and Chicago flags at half mast. (Flickr/Andy Phelan)" />There may be more similarities that unite Antonio Fenner and <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/cops-honor-student-killed-chicago-gang-members-105472">Hadiya Pendleton</a> than differences that divide them.</div><p>Both were teens, Antonio 16, Hadiya 15; both were black; both were Chicago Public Schools students.</p><p>And there&#39;s this one fact that will connect them always: both were killed in the final week of a historically bloody January in Chicago.</p><p>Perhaps the biggest difference between them is what&rsquo;s happened since their murders.</p><p>Hadiya was killed Jan. 29 in the 4500 block of South Oakenwald Avenue in Kenwood. Within days there was a $40,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of her killer.</p><p>Police set up a hotline for people to call with tips, and Supt. Garry McCarthy pledged a speedy investigation, which led to the arrest of two men on Feb. 11.</p><p>President Barack Obama, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Gov. Pat Quinn have all weighed in on Hadiya&rsquo;s death. The mayor and governor attended Hadiya&rsquo;s funeral. Her parents were guests of Mrs. Obama at the State of the Union address when the president spoke of Hadiya&rsquo;s murder.</p><p>Antonio was shot to death Jan. 26 in the 4200 block of West Congress Parkway in Garfield Park. So far, police have made no arrests.</p><p>Antonio&rsquo;s family said they have not heard from officers since their son was killed, and no one from the police department or mayor&rsquo;s office has made a public statement on his death. There is no reward being offered for help finding his killer.</p><p>Antonio lived in an apartment building about a mile south from where he died, with his mother, stepfather and four younger siblings, ages 9, 7, 5 and 4.</p><p>His stepdad Clarence Steen said Antonio often looked after his brothers and sisters, and enjoyed sports and hanging out with friends. Antonio was popular in the area, friendly with everyone.</p><p>&ldquo;He was 16, trying to do good in the neighborhood,&rdquo; Steen said. &ldquo;He was going to school, hanging out with the fellas every day, typical kid.&rdquo;</p><p>Antonio was a freshman at <a href="http://www.manleyhighschool.org/">Manley Career Academy</a>.</p><p>Christopher Boyd, 15 and one of Antonio&rsquo;s closest friends, said most days he and Antonio would join a group of friends at a park just two blocks from Antonio&rsquo;s house to play basketball or football.</p><p>&ldquo;He knew everybody, he was cool with everybody, so everybody is going to be down about this,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Antonio was shot in the neck in front of an empty lot at the corner of South Kildare Avenue and West Congress Parkway.</p><p>He was found unresponsive on the sidewalk and pronounced dead at 6:45 in the evening.</p><p>The next day, friends, Manley students and family members decorated the perimeter of the lot with a handmade memorial that still stands, although the balloons, Bible passages and messages scrawled on poster board have been battered by winter weather.</p><p>Antonio&rsquo;s funeral at Miracle Temple Church, 4645 W. Madison Ave., was standing-room only and included a bus full of teachers who came from Manley.</p><p>&ldquo;He has four little brothers and sisters that he can&rsquo;t take care of,&rdquo; Steen said through tears. &ldquo;But we gotta move on, we gotta move on.&rdquo;</p><p>Steen said he has no idea why his stepson was killed, that &ldquo;he was just walking past the corner&rdquo; when someone opened fire. Police, too, have no idea of the motive, nor any leads on who may have done the shooting that also left 32-year-old Dimitri Buford dead, said Officer Robert Perez of the police news affairs department. Steen said Antonio did not know Buford.</p><p>Steen is not optimistic they will catch his stepson&rsquo;s killer and questioned if the police would even make an effort. Of his neighborhood, Steen said police think &ldquo;whatever they&rsquo;re doing, they&rsquo;re going to kill each other and our job is just to come by and clean up.&rdquo;</p><p>Police Officer Joshua Purkiss, also of news affairs, said he has no reason to believe the shooting was gang or drug related. As for Steen&rsquo;s claim that no one from the department had spoken with the family, Purkiss said because detectives do not note every action they take in an investigation, he has no way of knowing if anyone had spoken with the family.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m not authorized to make assessments regarding if it was appropriate or necessary for them to speak with the family. Even though they are the grieving family it might not be pertinent to the investigation,&rdquo; Purkiss said. &ldquo;There are hundreds of murder investigations going on in Chicago every day &hellip; there is no way for me to ascertain if they have been out there.&rdquo;</p><p>West Garfield Park and Antonio&rsquo;s stretch of the neighborhood along its border with Lawndale is not an easy place to grow up.</p><p>Households in <a href="http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_11_5YR_DP03&amp;prodType=table">Antonio&rsquo;s census tract has a median income of $22,833</a>, less than half of the average for Chicago as a whole, according to 2011 American Community Survey estimates. And about one-third of the households have an annual income under $10,000.</p><p>&ldquo;This is highway central for drugs, for prostitutes,&rdquo; Steen said. &ldquo;They come down here, do what they do, and then they throw their condoms and needles out the window. And me and the landlord are out here cleaning up because I got four more babies I need to take care of.&rdquo;</p><p>As Steen talked, a car stopped and idled in the middle of the intersection in front of his apartment building, and a young woman stepped out of the passenger door and walked slowly toward Steen and Christopher.</p><p>&ldquo;Hey, do you guys know the time?&rdquo; she called out from a few feet away. When given it she paused for a moment, then trudged back to the car.</p><p>&ldquo;She didn&rsquo;t want to know the ... time; she wanted to know if we were [selling drugs],&quot; Steen says after the young woman leaves.&nbsp; &quot;See, that&rsquo;s the problem with this neighborhood right there.&rdquo;</p><p>Patrick Smith is a graduate journalism student at Columbia College in Chicago.</p><p>He&rsquo;s part of a collaboration between WBEZ and a Columbia College project tracking homicides under the direction of Columbia faculty members Suzanne McBride and Dan Weissmann. Their project is funded with a grant from the Chicago Community Trust.</p></p> Wed, 13 Feb 2013 17:50:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-teens-murder-goes-largely-untold-105510 When someone else’s art lands in your neighborhood http://www.wbez.org/story/abductions/when-someone-else%E2%80%99s-art-lands-your-neighborhood <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Sculpture2.JPG" alt="" /><p><p><b>Ten sculptors have put up outdoor pieces in Chicago&rsquo;s East Garfield Park neighborhood. The installation&rsquo;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. But, then again, residents never asked for the opportunity. So what happens when someone else&rsquo;s art lands in your neighborhood? We report from our West Side bureau.</b><br /><br />Before looking into how the 10 pieces are going over in East Garfield Park, I ask Chicago sculptor Terrence Karpowicz to show them to me. He led the installation.<br /><br />MITCHELL: To me it looks like a huge, three-fingered claw. What is this?<br />KARPOWICZ: This is a sculpture by Fisher Stoltz titled &ldquo;Moonbench.&rdquo; I see it as a rendezvous point for the local community. They can actually come and sit down and converse.<br />MITCHELL: Yeah, there&rsquo;s a marble bench here.<br />KARPOWICZ: Actually it&rsquo;s granite. There is an electrical element that lights up at night so that the white marble sphere glows. Come on and sit down.<br />MITCHELL: Yeah, now that we&rsquo;re sitting down, this granite is very cold on my fat rear end.<br />KARPOWICZ: It warms up in summertime.<br /><br />The sculptures stand as high as 14 feet. They&rsquo;re spanning a half-mile boulevard called West Franklin for the next year. The artists are all members of a group called Chicago Sculpture International.<br /><br />Karpowicz takes me to a pile of rings made of industrial tubing.<br /><br />KARPOWICZ: That&rsquo;s a sculpture by Dusty Falwarczny. The title of the sculpture is &ldquo;Scrap.&rdquo; I measure that one as, probably, a three-shopping-cart operation.<br />MITCHELL: You measure the volume by shopping carts?<br />KARPOWICZ: That&rsquo;s how many shopping carts it&rsquo;ll take to get that to a scrap yard. Because you see a lot of hardworking men with shopping carts and they pick up debris and take it to recycling places.<br />MITCHELL: Have you ever lost one of your works to shopping carts?<br />KARPOWICZ: No, thank goodness.<br /><br />And there&rsquo;s more to see. Karpowicz shows me a giant, spiky sphere made of orange traffic cones. And there&rsquo;s a stainless-steel piece called &ldquo;Abduction.&rdquo;<br /><br />The installation is definitely capturing attention in the neighborhood.<br /><br />MAN: Oh, man, that&rsquo;s cool. Who did that?<br />WOMAN: It beautifies the neighborhood.<br />MAN: It&rsquo;s really nice for the block.<br />GRANT: I like them.<br />MITCHELL: What&rsquo;s your name?<br />GRANT: My name is Felincia Grant.<br />MITCHELL: Do any of the pieces stick out to you -- that you can really relate to?<br />GRANT: The one that&rsquo;s all the way down on Franklin and Kedzie. It looks like a hook. Actually, to be honest with you, I had a nephew that was--there used to be a tree there. My nephew ran into this tree. And that&rsquo;s where he died. And that piece, right there, it was put where the tree was.<br />MITCHELL: Does it remind you of him?<br />GRANT: Yeah. He had these hooked attitudes at times. He made a lot of bad choices. But he was a good kid.<br /><br />It&rsquo;s easy to find people who admire at least some of the 10 new sculptures in East Garfield Park. It&rsquo;s harder to find folks who have a beef with the installation, but they are around.<br /><br />FIELDS: My name is Cy Fields.<br /><br />Fields is pastor of New Landmark Missionary Baptist Church, a few blocks southeast of the parkway.<br /><br />FIELDS: It seems like they just plopped artwork in the community and just sort of said, &lsquo;Well, here it is and, surprise, I hope you enjoy it.&rsquo; I&rsquo;m not against community beautification and artwork, but I think the process and the end goal are very important. Many schools are struggling to have art classes in the schools. Can the artists come and teach the kids in East Garfield Park? Communities of color--African American and Latino--have their share of capable artists. Will their artwork be able to go to the North Side or to other communities as well? Let&rsquo;s have a cultural exchange.<br /><br />Fields isn&rsquo;t the only one talking about race. An unemployed interior decorator named Tony Green wants to know why the sculptures ended up in his neighborhood.<br /><br />GREEN: Only in the black community with no blacks involved. That&rsquo;s not personal, is it?<br /><br />These are fair questions. Karpowicz&rsquo;s group got an alderman&rsquo;s approval to put the sculptures up. But the group did not work with residents to choose the art or get them involved any other way.<br /><br />MITCHELL: How about helping artists in this community display their art here on the boulevard?<br />KARPOWICZ: Well, if those artists were members of Chicago Sculpture International, which they certainly can become part of, they&rsquo;d be the first ones on the list. It&rsquo;s not about shutting anybody out. It&rsquo;s about inclusivity.<br /><br />But then Karpowicz tells me the group&rsquo;s got a hundred and forty-nine members and not one is African American.<br /><br />MITCHELL: Why is that? Something like a third or 40 percent of the population here in the city is African American. <br />KARPOWICZ: We don&rsquo;t reach out, we don&rsquo;t publicize. As a result of an exhibition like this, if there are sculptors out there who happen to be African American [and] they want to be sculptors, the door is open. It&rsquo;s always open.<br /><br />He points out annual memberships cost only 25 dollars.<br /><br />Karpowicz and I keep talking as he shows me some sculptures toward the end of the parkway. He reminds me they&rsquo;ll be up in East Garfield Park only a year.<br /><br />KARPOWICZ: A lot of the people who live around here probably wouldn&rsquo;t venture downtown to see sculpture. And this is our opportunity, as part of the sculpture community of Chicago, to bring art to the communities.<br />MITCHELL: Where we&rsquo;re standing right now, we&rsquo;ve got a vacant lot on this side and we&rsquo;ve got another vacant lot we&rsquo;re standing in right now. The population here--they&rsquo;re not going to be buying these pieces afterwards.<br />KARPOWICZ: No, they probably won&rsquo;t, Chip, but I think they&rsquo;ll appreciate art a lot more. They&rsquo;ll appreciate sculpture. Next time they see a piece of art, they&rsquo;ll say, &lsquo;Oh yeah, we had one of those in our neighborhood once.&rsquo;<br /><br />If this installation works out, Karpowicz says his group&rsquo;ll try to bring sculptures to other Chicago boulevards. Next time, he says, the artists will try harder to get the neighborhood involved.</p></p> Wed, 08 Dec 2010 22:46:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/abductions/when-someone-else%E2%80%99s-art-lands-your-neighborhood