WBEZ | Chicago Cultural Center http://www.wbez.org/tags/chicago-cultural-center Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Year 25: Chicago seniors reflect on an 'eventful' year http://www.wbez.org/series/year-25/year-25-chicago-seniors-reflect-eventful-year-106288 <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F85190477" width="100%"></iframe></p><div class="image-insert-image "><br /><div class="image-insert-image ">As we&#39;ve learned thus far through the Year 25 series, a single year can really influence how the rest of your life shakes out. And that is really evident within the walls of a large room in the Chicago Cultural Center, where every week, a group of ladies gather for a senior citizens memoir writing class.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div></div><p dir="ltr" style="margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">Each week, they&#39;re given a new assignment by their editor and teacher Beth Finke, a local writer you may have heard on WBEZ before. She&#39;s been teaching the class for almost 10 years now, so she&#39;s always on the lookout for new assignment ideas. When she heard about our Year 25 series, she thought it might be fun to ask her students where they were at 25.</p><p dir="ltr" style="margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr" style="margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">Well, of course, I had to be there.</p><p dir="ltr" style="margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr" style="margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">The class of about dozen older ladies meets in a wing of the Cultural Center named, pretty aptly, I think, Renaissance Court. The writers are in their mid-60s to early 90s: You can imagine the stories they have to tell.</p><p>They all sit around a long table littered with lipstick-stained coffee cups, a few<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/wanda.JPG" style="width: 442px; height: 300px; float: right;" title="Wanda Bridgeforth, pictured at left, celebrates her birthday (Courtesy of Darlene Schweitzer) " />&nbsp;pairs of reading glasses and small stacks of paper.&nbsp;</p><p>Wanda Bridgeworth always sits in the same seat - at the head of the table, on the left side. You&#39;d think at 91 years old,&nbsp;it might be difficult to match memories with specific years of a long, full life. But as she begins to read her essay, it&#39;s clear that 25 really sticks out.</p><p>&quot;The VMAIL letter read VJ Day! Our unit alerted to head for home,&quot; she read. &quot;I could hardly contain myself. I hugged my daughter and shouted, &#39;Daddy is coming home.&#39;&quot;</p><p dir="ltr" style="margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">It was October 1946. Wanda&#39;s husband was coming home from war, just in time for her 25th birthday. She says she remembers a big party at the house, with family and friends, celebrating both his arrival and her birthday. This would also be the first time Wanda&#39;s husband would meet their daughter, who was born after he left.</p><p dir="ltr" style="margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr" style="margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">All went well, Wanda writes, until bedtime.</p><p dir="ltr" style="margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr" style="margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">&quot;When he started to get into bed, she jumped over the side of her crib and grabbed his pajama shirt screaming, &#39;You get out of this bed! This is my mama&#39;s bed! And you don&#39;t belong here!&quot; Wanda read, while all her classmates burst out laughing.</p><p dir="ltr" style="margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr" style="margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">Wanda writes how that year brought lots of changes: she was diagnosed with hearing loss, lost her new home to the railroad and on and on.</p><p dir="ltr" style="margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr" style="margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">Another reminder of how unpredictable 25 can be, no matter what generation you&#39;re born into.&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr" style="margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr" style="margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">For some of these writers, the adventures were of their own making. For Nancy Walker, all it took was one decision to kickstart a year of self-discovery. The year was 1963 -- she had been teaching in Mount Prospect for three years.&nbsp;</p><br /><p dir="ltr" style="margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">&quot;I loved teaching,&quot; Nancy read, &quot;But I wasn&#39;t meeting any new people in my 2nd grade classroom. So I decided to resign from my job and look for a glamorous job downtown.&quot;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/nancy.JPG" style="float: left; width: 257px; height: 300px;" title="Nancy Walker, one of the students in the class (Courtesy of Darlene Schweitzer) " /></p><p>So off she went, submitting applications for the few female-wanted ads in the newspaper. Turns out, her search ended up bringing her right back where she started -- she was hired later that year to teach at a school in Skokie. And she stayed there for the next 31 years.&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr" style="margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">&quot;The decision to resign from a good job when I was 25, could have been disastrous,&quot; she went on. &quot;But now, I view it as one of the best decisions of my life.&quot;</p><p dir="ltr" style="margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr" style="margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">And that&rsquo;s the thing about this class: 25 was so long ago, that the lens these ladies are looking through often lets them see quite clearly how that one year fits in the span of their whole lives. That&#39;s something I learned from Hanna Bratman, who was 25 almost seven decades ago. It was that year that she gained her U.S. citizenship.</p><p dir="ltr" style="margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr" style="margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">&quot;It meant that I now could say I&#39;m an American. I no longer had to identify myself as a German Jew,&quot; Hanna told me after class.&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr" style="margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr" style="margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">Hanna says that new identity was very important to her. She calls herself a &quot;Holocaust person&quot; and told me some of the stories from her young life in Germany. She was thrown out of school when Hitler came to power, she recalls. And then there was the time she broke her leg and had to drive for hours in the middle of the night to find a doctor who would treat her.<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/hanna.JPG" style="float: right; width: 350px; height: 300px;" title="Hanna Bratman, celebrating Wanda's birthday (Courtesy of Darlene Schweitzer) " /></p><p dir="ltr" style="margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr" style="margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">&quot;I think you grow up pretty fast when you&#39;re really on your own,&quot; she says.</p><p dir="ltr" style="margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr" style="margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">But yet, she says, she&#39;s always been a positive person. And today, at 93 years old, she&#39;s still keeping busy. She leads a support group for people with vision loss, she leads a midlife group, and as she puts it, &quot;I help all the way around.&quot;</p><p dir="ltr" style="margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr" style="margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">And she also shows up for this class, every week, to listen to her peers tell their own stories.&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr" style="margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr" style="margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">But there&#39;s another story here that was not shared in the class. A 25th year that has rippled out from one person to all of these students. For Beth Finke, the woman who is teaching them, 25 started out with a lot of excitement. Her now-husband, Mike, proposed to her on her birthday.</p><p dir="ltr" style="margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr" style="margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">&quot;We looked forward to having all our friends come in town...we got married in my sister&rsquo;s back yard. [We] all went to a White Sox game the day after, just, fun, fun, fun,&quot; Beth recounted.</p><p dir="ltr">But things took a sudden turn on her honeymoon in Scotland. She recalls that she started seeing strange spots.</p><p dir="ltr">&quot;I took my contacts out and cleaned them and put them back in,&quot; Finke said. &quot;And I knew right away.&quot;</p><p dir="ltr"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/BigCrop%20from%20scan.jpg" style="width: 441px; height: 300px; float: left;" title="25 year old Beth Finke at her wedding (Courtesy of Beth Finke)" />Beth had been diagnosed with diabetes when she was seven, so she knew issues with her eyes were a possibility, but she didn&rsquo;t think she&rsquo;d lose her sight altogether.</p><p dir="ltr">For the next few months, her 25th year would be spent going back and forth between downstate Champaign and Chicago for surgeries and doctors&rsquo; visits.</p><p dir="ltr">&quot;We tried really hard to save my eyesight,&quot; she said. &quot;But by July of my 26th year I was totally blind.&quot;</p><p dir="ltr">So the things Beth saw during her 25th year - her wedding, her family members&rsquo; faces, the White Sox stadium - those are the images she still has in her head today.</p><p dir="ltr">Of course, the following years were transitional ones; she had to learn how to read Braille, how to use a cane, but with all of these changes came a gift: writing. She says there was something therapeutic about putting all her feelings and life changes on paper.</p><p dir="ltr">It&rsquo;s a gift she&rsquo;s now able to pass on to her students.</p><p dir="ltr">&quot;I give them 500 words. That&rsquo;s all they have to write these essays, so if you only have 500 words to work with you have to use really strong words. You have to really think about what you&rsquo;re writing,&quot; Finke said.</p><p dir="ltr">And as many of her students near the end of their years, it&rsquo;s these strong words that give them a chance to honor the lives that they&rsquo;ve lived.</p><p dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 26 Mar 2013 10:46:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/year-25/year-25-chicago-seniors-reflect-eventful-year-106288 Helping keep dancers on their (healthy) toes http://www.wbez.org/sections/art/helping-keep-dancers-their-healthy-toes-100857 <p><p>A social service group for performers is trying to increase the number of dancers with health insurance in Chicago.</p><p>The Actors Fund says nearly one in every three dancers is uninsured. &nbsp;</p><p>Christina Gonzalez-Gillett is assistant director of The Seldoms, a small dance company here that can&rsquo;t afford to provide health insurance.</p><p>&ldquo;If there is coverage for individuals, I think the dancers would be really happy about that because we have to work so many jobs just to be able to afford stuff,&quot; Gonzalez-Gillett said. &quot;Starbucks is like the ultimate &#39;dream job&#39; because they offer health insurance.&rdquo;</p><p>The Actors Fund is holding a <a href="http://eighteenthstreet.org/blog/2012/07/12/at-work-forum-health-insurance-options-in-chicago/">forum</a> Monday evening at the Chicago Cultural Center to talk about new options under health care reform and how to get insurance here.</p><p>James Brown, who directs the Fund&#39;s Artists&#39; Health Insurance Resource Center, said health care coverage would allow dancers to focus on their art. He said by 2014, insurance companies won&#39;t be allowed to deny coverage because of old dance injuries.</p><p>&quot;Just a few days in the hospital could put them a few thousand dollars in debt,&quot; Brown said. &quot;So that anxiety and that threat that&rsquo;s there from being uninsured is removed.&rdquo;</p><p>Brown said dancers are more likely to be uninsured because they are young and often have low incomes.</p></p> Mon, 16 Jul 2012 05:14:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/sections/art/helping-keep-dancers-their-healthy-toes-100857 World Theatre Day needs more than actor John Malkovich http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-03-19/world-theatre-day-needs-more-actor-john-malkovich-97447 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2012-March/2012-03-20/AP111027124804.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-March/2012-03-20/AP111027124804.jpg" style="width: 512px; height: 341px;" title="The International Theatre Institute selected actor John Malkovich as its spokesman for this year's celebration of World Theatre Day. (AP/Karel Navarro, file)"></p><p>Next Tuesday March 27 is World Theatre Day. You didn't know? You mean you are among the tiny minority of 7 billion people unfamiliar with World Theatre Day? How strange! After all, it's been celebrated for 50 years.</p><p>Truth be told, you won't get any robo-calls about World Theatre Day, but maybe you should. Because in terms of public awareness it ranks up there with Global Don't-Step-on-an-Aunt Day and International Mashed Potato Week (we mean the dance, of course). Still, it's been going on for a half-century, thanks to the International Theatre Institute (ITI), a global NGO established by UNESCO in 1948. Believe it or not, the ITI is the world's largest performing arts organization.</p><p>Each year, the ITI declares World Theatre Day, names an international spokesperson and solicits its various national sections to come up with ways to celebrate and publicize it. In the United States, that means coordinating numerous local celebrations, as theater always is a local phenomenon as opposed to a nationwide one. Unlike movies, which can be released everywhere at the same time, live theater is one production at a time in your own city, or even in your own neighborhood.</p><p>For us, the League of Chicago Theatres is the local agency promoting World Theatre Day in partnership with the Chicago Cultural Center, and several free public events are planned, some involving international theater artists who happen to be with visiting the Windy City just now.</p><p>There will be programs at the Cultural Center at 4 p.m. (panel discussion, "Artistic Dialogue Across Borders"), 5:30 p.m. (lecture/demonstration by Jaroslaw Fret of Poland's Teatr ZAR, "Pneumatics of the Actor: Theatre Out of the Spirit of Music"), and 7 p.m. (British-born playwright/director/singer Kwame Kwei-Armah in an untitled talk). These events, all in the Claudia Cassidy Theater of the Cultural Center, will be followed at 8 p.m. by a World Theatre Day Reception in GAR Hall. More info is available <a href="http://www.chicagoplays.com">here</a>.</p><p>This year there's an even stronger local tie-in, as the ITI has selected John Malkovich as author of this year's World Theatre Day Statement, "Reflections about the Art, Craft and Value of Theatre." Born and raised in Downstate Illinois, and still a member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Ensemble, Johnny joins the likes of Judi Dench, Arthur Miller and Vaclav Havel as World Theatre Day spokesperson. His words will be translated into 20-some languages.</p><p>In his statement, Malkovich addresses his brief message "to my fellow theater workers, peers and comrades." I guess that leaves audiences and critics out, which is most of us:</p><p style="margin-left: 40px;">"May your work be compelling and original. May it be profound, touching, contemplative and unique. May it help us to reflect on the question of what it means to be human, and may that reflection be blessed with heart, sincerity, candor, and grace. May you overcome adversity, censorship, poverty and nihilism, as many of you will most certainly be obliged to do. May you be blessed with the talent and rigor to teach us about the beating of the human heart in all its complexity, and the humility and curiosity to make it your life’s work. And may the best of you – for it will only be the best of you, and even then only in the rarest and briefest moments – succeed in framing that most basic of questions, 'how do we live?' Godspeed."</p><p>So, OK, World Theatre Day is all well and good and I'm all for it and it occurs to me that even, maybe, probably, Rick Santorum could support it 'cause it doesn't advocate anything political or even anything specific, just theater, and it doesn't cost the taxpayers a penny.</p><p>But it could be better. A lot better.</p><p>First of all, what the hell is it doing on Tuesday??!! It's a day when thousands of theaters around the world are dark. The only theaters with shows on Tuesdays are BIG commercial and institutional enterprises. The majority of small, local, neighborhood, youthful and experimental theater troupes only operate three or four nights a week, and Tuesday ain't one o' them. World Theatre Day should be an occasion on which theater folk, in their natural habitats, should be able to make a little curtain speech to their audiences and maybe pass out something with Johnny Malk's warm words. Tuesday is stooopid and the ITI needs to think hard about this in the future.</p><p>Next, why the hell March 27? If the ITI<em> must</em> pick a date arbitrarily, it should be—as I say above—a day when far more theaters are up-and-running. But why pick an arbitrary date? Why not leverage awareness and public interest by making it, say, Shakespeare's birthday, April 23? He won't mind, you know. Or perhaps the birthday of some other great theater artist, living or dead. Samuel Beckett's is April 13, for example, and Sarah Bernhardt's is October 22 and Wole Soyinka's is July 13 and he's still alive!!! Hey, there's an idea, honor the birthday of a great, living theater artist by making it World Theatre Day and having <em>that artist</em> as Statement Maker!</p><p>Finally, John Malkovich always has been a man of few public words and recently he has been a man of little theater. He hasn't done a play at Steppenwolf in seven years and that was only his second since 1999. Indeed, I'm not aware that he's acted or directed in live theater in quite some time. He is a great actor, a fine artist, a singular and riveting presence on stage . . . but there are many other artists of his stature who ARE still engaged as theater artists. An obvious American candidate who jumps to mind is Kevin Spacey, who remains engaged in live theater as well as film.</p><p>So, World Theatre Day, next Tuesday, y'all pay some attention! Theater is a Good Thing. World Theatre Day is a Good Thing.</p><p>But there's definitely room to improve.</p><p>PS. I'll be celebrating World Theatre Day in truly global fashion: I'll be in Warsaw, Poland as one of three U.S. delegates to the World Congress of the International Association of Theatre Critics which, like the ITI, is a UNESCO-established global NGO. Watch for my blog post from Poland!</p></p> Mon, 19 Mar 2012 23:36:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-03-19/world-theatre-day-needs-more-actor-john-malkovich-97447 Daily Rehearsal: ComedySportz celebrates 25 years http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-02-13/daily-rehearsal-comedysportz-celebrates-25-years-96352 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2012-February/2012-02-13/10BestComedySportz.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-February/2012-02-13/10BestComedySportz.jpg" style="margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: left; width: 300px; height: 208px; " title=""><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>1.&nbsp;Chicago Children's Theatre&nbsp;<em>The Hundred Dresses </em></strong></span></span>has been picked up to run in New York&nbsp;by Atlantic Theater Company, opening February 19. It has a strong anti-bullying message, and&nbsp;"As a theater devoted to tackling important social issues impacting today's youth, we think <em>The Hundred Dresses</em> is the ideal production to introduce our work to audiences outside of Chicago and to add to the children's theater canon nationally," said Jacqueline Russell, Co-Founder and Artistic Director, Chicago Children's Theatre. &nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>2. ComedySportz has been around 25 years</strong></span></span>, and their anniversary show will be more than that -- it'll be a summer of fun fun fun.&nbsp;<em>25 Yearz:</em> <em>Competing. Celebrating. Giving Back&nbsp;</em>starts in July, and will include "a tournament of 21ComedySportz clubs to include 19 clubs from across the US and two from Europe." August will have themed shows and cast reunions, and in September, money from the shows will go to select charities benefitting Lakeview (the club is on Belmont).&nbsp;“We couldn’t have made it 25 years without the support of our local community. This will be a great way to not only thank our neighbors, but also acknowledge and celebrate our community’s diversity,” said Matt Elwell, CEO of ComedySportz Chicago.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>3. <em>Hard Headed Heart</em> opens</strong></span></span> at the Chicago Cultural Center, by way of Blair Thomas &amp; Company. It's puppetry for adults, performed on three stages in two acts. And it's free! (Though make a reservation.)</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>4. The Joffrey Ballet has released </strong></span></span><a href="http://joffrey.com/2012-2013-season"><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>their 2012-13</strong></span></span> rundown</a>; the<em> <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/stage/10516918-421/contemporary-choreographers-set-joffrey-ballet-on-fire.html">Sun-Times</a></em><a href="http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/stage/10516918-421/contemporary-choreographers-set-joffrey-ballet-on-fire.html"> is calling <em>Winter Fire</em> </a>"a major coup" because of the use of choreographers Wayne McGregor, William Forsythe and Christopher Wheeldon.&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>5. Something to do tomorrow</strong></span></span>: <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/PromotionsMismatched/Page">The Third Annual Anti-Valentine's Day Party</a>, courtesy of the <em>Chicago Reader </em>(and WBEZ sponsoring). Seth &amp; Kellen are hosting (and destroying your stuff from relationships past), the first 150 ticket buyers are getting free sexy gifts from the Pleasure Chest, and if you want, you can buy a valentine for someone who catches your eye. 2nd Story is working with them, and the best of your bad dates will be shared.&nbsp;It's $14 (GET IT?!) and at the Logan Square Auditorium; money goes to Barrel of Monkeys.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Mon, 13 Feb 2012 18:49:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-02-13/daily-rehearsal-comedysportz-celebrates-25-years-96352 Art as a vehicle for social change http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-08/art-vehicle-social-change-83426 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/AWFC_Laylah_Ali_LA_087.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>An exhibition currently at the <a href="http://www.explorechicago.org/city/en/things_see_do/event_landing/events/dca_tourism/OffTheBeatenPath.html" target="_blank">Chicago Cultural Center</a> explores the nature of violence against women. <em>Off the Beaten Path: Violence, Women and Art</em><b> </b>is also an example of how artists work toward social change.<br /><br />It begs the question: Is art an effective tool for advocacy?<em> Eight Forty-Eight</em> invited two guests to discuss this issue. <a href="http://www.invisibleinstitute.com/node/40" target="_blank">Patricia Evans</a> is a photographer in the exhibition. Her recent work looks at the aftermath of rape.&nbsp;She&rsquo;s also documented Chicago&rsquo;s public housing and public works projects.<br /><br />Abraham Ritchie is Senior City Editor of <a href="http://www.artslant.com/" target="_blank">ArtSlant<b> </b></a>in Chicago. Tuesday, Evans and other artists in the show will take part in a panel discussion Art and Civic Engagement. The panel is presented by <a href="http://www.colum.edu/Academics/Institute_for_the_Study_of_Women_and_Gender_in_the_Arts_and_Media/" target="_blank">The Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media</a>. <em>Off the Beaten&nbsp;Path: Violence, Women and Art</em> was created and produced by <a href="http://www.artworksforchange.org/default.htm" target="_blank">Art Works for Change</a>.</p></p> Tue, 08 Mar 2011 14:52:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-08/art-vehicle-social-change-83426 Chicago's secret photographer: Vivian Maier http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/chicagos-secret-photographer-vivian-maier <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Vivian Maier self portrait.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The streets of Chicago have been documented by many famous photographers, including Art Shay and Harry Callahan. But during the 1950s and '60s, another shutterbug was busy at work.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><a target="_blank" href="http://vivianmaierphotography.com/">Vivian Maier</a> was a nanny in Chicago&rsquo;s northern suburbs. Equipped with a keen eye and a camera, she took tens of thousands of photographs on frequent trips into the city. Maier died in 2009 but thanks to the curiosity of a local man, her photos are now being discovered around the world.</p><p>Nora O&rsquo;Donnell writes about Vivan Maier&rsquo;s life and work in the latest <a target="_blank" href="http://www.chicagomag.com/">Chicago Magazine</a>.</p><p>She joined &quot;Eight Forty-Eight&quot; in studio to share more. O&rsquo;Donnell is the author of&nbsp; &quot;<a target="_blank" href="http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/January-2011/Vivian-Maier-Street-Photographer/">The Life and Work of Street Photographer Vivian Maier</a>&quot; which is in the latest Chicago magazine.<br /><br />Some of Maier&rsquo;s photos are on display at <a target="_blank" href="http://www.explorechicago.org/city/en/things_see_do/event_landing/events/dca_tourism/FindingVivianMaier_ChicagoStreetPhotographer.html">Chicago&rsquo;s Cultural Center</a> through April 3.</p></p> Tue, 11 Jan 2011 14:14:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/chicagos-secret-photographer-vivian-maier Hitting a high note with the Chicago Children's Choir http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/hitting-high-note-chicago-childrens-choir <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/CCC.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The globetrotting <a href="http://www.ccchoir.org/" target="_blank">Chicago Children&rsquo;s Choir</a> is back home this weekend for a concert program that celebrates both the season and choir&rsquo;s mission. WBEZ&rsquo;s Jason Mark gleefully shared the story on &quot;Eight Forty-Eight.&quot;</p><p>In 1956, the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.harvardsquarelibrary.org/unitarians/MOORE.html">Reverend Christopher Moore</a> brought a diverse group of young people together at the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.firstuchicago.org/">Hyde Park First Unitarian Church</a>. Moore believed that kids could learn to understand each other; that through music they could build a better world.</p><p>Less than a year after Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat in Montgomery, Ala., Chicago was still one of the country's most segregated cities. Despite racial tensions, Moore&rsquo;s idea flourished and now the Chicago Children&rsquo;s Choir is the largest youth choral education program in the United States.</p><p>Now, Chicago native Josephine Lee is in charge of Moore's musical dream. Lee feels it's her responsibility to shape the future because she belives that creating a legacy for the organization is a worth while cause.</p><p><br />In 1999, Lee became the youngest person ever to serve as the choir&rsquo;s artistic director. She says the organization carried her through the death of her parents and birth of her children.</p><p>&quot;They are my family. I&rsquo;m an only child and for me, this is my life,&quot; Lee said. <br /><br />Seventeen-year-old Terry Henderson also appreciaties the choir and its original mission.&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;It&rsquo;s actually humbled me as a person. I think I have a better appreciation for how connected the world actually is,&quot; Henderson said. &quot;The choir has shaped me, to be a better man in this society; allowed me to grow. I will continue to grow and take the things that I&rsquo;ve learned here out to my job, my own family, my life, and it&rsquo;s a great place to start,&quot; he told Marck.<br /><br />Lee says she upholds the choir&rsquo;s mission with a heavy dose of two key ingredients: Set high expectations and discipline.&nbsp; Her motto is: Expect the best.<br /><br />Choir member Jahan DuBose,16, took the idea to heart and found that the best motivation comes from within. DuBose started in the choir when she was seven and recognized that conductors naturally push youngsters when they might not know as much as more seasoned members.</p><p>&quot;But at a point, it doesn&rsquo;t matter whether you&rsquo;re older or not. You just reach a point where you say:'This is something I like to do, I&rsquo;m enthusiastic and I&rsquo;m going to use that enthusiasm to push myself,'&quot; DuBose observed.<br /><br />Lee concedes that sometimes the quest for perfection can be mentally, and even physically, draining. Sometimes she must learn to take a step back so that she doesn't obsess over every note, tone and cutoff.</p><p>But the obsession's payoff, she says, is huge.</p><p>&quot;If that chord locks then you can really transcend people&rsquo;s minds and souls,&quot; Lee explained.<br /><br />Caroline Kagen, 17, is inspired by her director's dedication. She told Marck that she and her fellow choir members look up to Lee, knowing that someday they could be in her shoes.&nbsp; And even though Lee drives the choir hard, Kagan says the director tailors both her praise and critiques to each voice in order to get the very best from each member.<br /><br />Lee began playing the piano and violin at five years old and had her grip on a conductor's wand by 15; music consumed her. More than any other language, she understands music.&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;I just feel sounds. It&rsquo;s just something that, I&rsquo;ve innately been born with; it&rsquo;s very visceral. You know, for instance, when we were rehearsing and we hit this powerful chord, <br />it just hits me in my gut!&nbsp; And yeah, I do see colors&hellip;I see&hellip;just&hellip;spirits,&quot; she told Marck.<br /><br />Lee is the mother of two small children, and surprisingly, motherhood feeds her pride for the choir. When she began, she didn't differentiate between children and adults. Suddenly, as a mother, she awoke to the choir's immense potential.</p><p>&quot;I can&rsquo;t even get my child to sing 'A-B-C-D' with me, without him shutting me up. You know it&rsquo;s 'Mommy no; don&rsquo;t sing!,' and here I&rsquo;m working with hundreds of children who are producing unbelievable sonorous air at the drop of a hat,&quot; Lee remarked.<br />&nbsp;</p><p>Lee's amazed at the choir's ability to blend children from diverse backgrounds. Its allows them to breathe and sing together, which Lee says, is magical.</p><p><br />Lee is sure to pull a rabbit from her hat when The Chicago Children&rsquo;s Choir performs its &quot;<a target="_blank" href="http://www.ccchoir.org/events/songs-of-the-season.html">Songs of the Season</a>&quot; concert Sunday afternoon at the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.harristheaterchicago.org/">Harris Theater for Music and Dance</a> at 3:00 p.m.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:AllowPNG/> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves/> <w:TrackFormatting/> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:DoNotPromoteQF/> <w:LidThemeOther>EN-US</w:LidThemeOther> 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Name="Bibliography"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" QFormat="true" Name="TOC Heading"/> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <style> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } </style> <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";} </style> <![endif]--><p><br />&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 10 Dec 2010 14:26:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/hitting-high-note-chicago-childrens-choir