WBEZ | Neighborhood Writing Alliance http://www.wbez.org/tags/neighborhood-writing-alliance-0 Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Morning Shift: A look back at essential Americana music http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-12-05/morning-shift-look-back-essential-americana-music <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Flickr dave_hensley.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Morning Shift delves into some classic Americana music with two pioneers of the genre, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock. We also hear about the impact of the Neighborhood Writing Alliance closing its doors.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-a-look-back-at-classic-americana-mus/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-a-look-back-at-classic-americana-mus.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-a-look-back-at-classic-americana-mus" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: A look back at essential Americana music" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Thu, 05 Dec 2013 10:13:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-12-05/morning-shift-look-back-essential-americana-music When We Listen: JOT Writers on Body Wisdom http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/when-we-listen-jot-writers-body-wisdom-106974 <p><p>Join writers from the Neighborhood Writing Alliance in celebration of the release of &nbsp;<em>W</em><em>hen We Listen: JOT Writers on Body Wisdom</em>&nbsp;the Winter 2013 issue of the <em>Journal of Ordinary Thought</em>. This issue features writing from St. Leonard&#39;s House, and the Bezazian, Budlong Woods, Daley, Hall, King, and Mabel Manning Branch Library workshops. This issue also features mixed media collages by Chicago artist <strong>Krista Franklin</strong>. The <em>Journal of Ordinary Thought</em> publishes reflections people make on their personal histories and everyday experiences. It is founded on the proposition that every Every Person Is a Philosopher.</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/NWA-webstory_6.jpg" style="float: left;" title="" /></div><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><br /><br />Recorded live, Monday, April 8, 2013 at the Harold Washington Library Center.&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 08 Apr 2013 10:53:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/when-we-listen-jot-writers-body-wisdom-106974 The wisdom of bodies, on stage http://www.wbez.org/series/dynamic-range/wisdom-bodies-stage-105035 <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/body%20wisdom%20photo%20jennifer%20girard%202.jpg" title="Writers Donna Pecore and D. Kucha Brownlee in the Neighborhood Writing Alliance’s performance ‘Body Wisdom.’ (Photo by Jennifer Girard)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F75510179" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Our bodies store all kinds of knowledge and information, whether it&rsquo;s an old knee injury that flares up when it rains, muscles that develop their own memory, or the healing touch of a loved one.&nbsp;</p><p>The members of Chicago&rsquo;s Neighborhood Writing Alliance know this. For the last half year, the non-profit group &ndash; which helps adults in underserved neighborhoods write, publish and perform their own stories &ndash; has been focused on the topic of &ldquo;body wisdom.&rdquo; It&rsquo;s the theme of the forthcoming issue of their publication, <em>The Journal of Ordinary Thought</em>, and of a performance they staged back in December at Chicago Public Library. (More on that in a minute.)</p><p>You can think of body wisdom, loosely, as what our bodies know, although the NWA staged many brainstorming sessions and discarded many giant pads of white paper trying to come up with a shared definition, according to programming director Rachael Hudak.</p><p>&ldquo;There were different interpretations of what wisdom is and where it comes from, whether [it comes from] your ancestors, the house you grew up in, or physical interactions with your environment,&rdquo; she said in an interview.</p><p>These conversations led the group to some powerful, but often uncomfortable, places. Not all of the meanings carried by our bodies are pleasant or pain-free, nor are the judgments others can bring to our physical selves.</p><p>&ldquo;I could definitely see writers at the start of the workshops being shy writing about particular issues &ndash; illness and terminal cancer, weight issues and unemployment,&rdquo; Hudak said. &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t think [these issues] felt safe to present on stage.&rdquo;</p><p>But, she said, that changed as they talked and collaborated more and worked with storytelling artist Glenda Zahra Baker to plan their December performance. &nbsp;</p><p>For that event, Hudak and her colleagues created a mash-up of the work submitted by participating writers, then assigned lines to people who hadn&rsquo;t written them. That created a group identity and support structure, which Hudak thinks helped the participants build confidence.</p><p>&ldquo;People talked about being judged as fat and not feeling comfortable in their bodies,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;They felt incredibly brave to be up on stage talking about that and to have 12 writers around [them] supporting that.&rdquo;</p><p>You can hear and excerpt of the Neighborhood Writing Alliance&rsquo;s &ldquo;Body Wisdom&rdquo; performance in the audio above.</p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/dynamic-range"><em>Dynamic Range</em></a></em>&nbsp;<em>showcases hidden gems unearthed from Chicago Amplified&rsquo;s vast archive of public events and appears on weekends. The Neighborhood Writing Alliance performed at an event presented by Chicago Public Library in December of 2012. </em><em>Performers included Pennie Brinson,&nbsp;Baba Tony Brown,&nbsp;Debra Brown,&nbsp;Kucha Brownlee, Helena Marie Carnes-Jeffries,&nbsp;Robert Hare, Alfred Klinger,&nbsp;Allen McNair,&nbsp;Jeanette Moton, David Nekimken,&nbsp;Donna Pecore,&nbsp;Tinamaria Penn,&nbsp;Phyllis Roker,&nbsp;Delores Tolliver</em> <em>and Sharon Warner.</em> <em>Click</em>&nbsp;<em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/neighborhood-writing-alliance-body-wisdom-104432"><em>here</em></a></em><em>&nbsp;<em>to hear the event in its entirety.</em></em></p></p> Sat, 19 Jan 2013 08:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/dynamic-range/wisdom-bodies-stage-105035 In one week: Funny Ha-Ha: Live Forever http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-04/one-week-funny-ha-ha-live-forever-97866 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/hahasmall_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/hahasmall.jpg" style="width: 620px; height: 958px; " title="Funny Ha-Ha: Live Forever April 10 2012"></p><p>The <em>Tribune</em>'s Steve Johnson had a nice piece today about <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/ct-ent-0403-focus-variety-shows-20120402,0,6979059.column">Chicago's live variety show scene</a> and mentioned the literary humor show I host and produce, Funny Ha-Ha. Our next show happens to be in a week, so I hope you come check us out!</p><p><b>Funny Ha-Ha: Live Forever</b></p><p><b>Date:</b> Tuesday, April 10, 2012<br><b>Time:</b> 7-8:30 PM<br><b>Place:</b> <a href="http://www.hideoutchicago.com/">The Hideout</a><br>1354 W Wabansia Ave<br>Chicago, IL 60622<br>(773) 227-4433</p><p>Featuring readings and performances from:</p><p>The AV Club's <a href="http://www.avclub.com/">Marcus Gilmer</a></p><p>Essay Fiesta host <a href="http://keithecker.com/">Keith Ecker</a></p><p>Beloved comedian <a href="http://therealcameronesposito.com/">Cameron Esposito</a></p><p>Chicago magazine's <a href="https://twitter.com/#%21/cassiewalker77">Cassie Walker</a></p><p>Kates host <a href="http://www.kelsiehuff.com/">Kelsie Huff</a></p><p>Filmmaker man <a href="http://www.youtube.com/user/sdelahoyde/featured">Steve Delahoyde</a></p><p>$5 suggested donation. Proceeds benefit the <a href="http://www.jot.org/"><span class="il">Neighborhood</span> <span class="il">Writing</span> <span class="il">Alliance</span></a>.</p></p> Tue, 03 Apr 2012 10:11:10 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-04/one-week-funny-ha-ha-live-forever-97866 Local poet uses her words to get noticed http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-25/local-poet-uses-her-words-get-noticed-85638 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-April/2011-04-25/poet shot.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In honor of<a href="http://www.poets.org/page.php/prmID/41" target="_blank"> National Poetry Month</a>, <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> has been showcasing poems from everyday people with a passion for writing.</p><p>You may have seen Betsy Benefield around town, but Chicago is a big, busy city. Everyday we encounter people we’re likely to never actually meet. We’ll never know their triumphs, their difficulties or their hidden talents.<br> <br> Producer Melissa Townsend introduces Betsy Benefield. Townsend met Benefield through the <a href="http://www.jot.org/" target="_blank">Neighborhood Writing Alliance</a>.<br> &nbsp;</p><p><iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/22837981?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0&amp;color=cc0422" frameborder="0" height="340" width="440"></iframe><br> (Photos by Cristina Rutter)</p><p><em>Music Button: Sven Barth, "InterLewd 6", from the CD The Blow Sven Theory, (The Wonderful Sound)</em></p></p> Mon, 25 Apr 2011 13:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-25/local-poet-uses-her-words-get-noticed-85638 Local poet uses writing to combat stereotypes http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-11/local-poet-uses-writing-combat-stereotypes-85013 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-April/2011-04-11/James Rushing Flickr NWA.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In honor of April being <a href="http://www.poets.org/page.php/prmID/41" target="_blank">National Poetry Month</a>, <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> is taking a look at local every day folks immersed in the poetry world. James Rushing is one such poet. Rushing says writing helps him deal with the stereotypes swirling around our culture about black men.<br> <br> Rushing is part of the <a href="http://www.jot.org/" target="_blank">Neighborhood Writing Alliance</a>.</p></p> Mon, 11 Apr 2011 13:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-11/local-poet-uses-writing-combat-stereotypes-85013