Chicago Alderman Project 50 Alderman/50 Artist

22 03 2010

If you’re looking at that headline and are always thinking about urban art, it’s difficult to deny the correlation. But boy did I try.

I have no respect for Chicago’s City Council. They do not deserve to be saluted through art. There I said it.

I can’t deny that some have made good moves. Former Alderman of the 24th ward, Michael Chandler did an outstanding job revitalizing North Lawndale. At one time the poverty stricken area had a Starbucks, with a drive-thru! It was also home to a movie theater that employed neighborhood youth, a Dominicks with a fresh produce section and newly built and rehabbed condominiums. Chandler was defeated in 2007. If you happen to ride down Roosevelt near Kedzie, you will a close dilapidated movie theater, a closed Starbucks and the other the economic effects as well, both in the store windows and the pothole ridden street. Chandler is the only city councilman of distinction who I can recall.

Conversely, there is  Issac Carothers formerly of the 29th ward who wore a wire tap during meetings with real estate developers for a year in order to create a plea bargain for when he was to be called to trial for his fraud and bribery charges.  His trial is set to begin this month. According to the May 29, 2009 online edition of the Chicago Sun-Times “Daley issued a carefully worded statement calling the charges against Carothers “sad and surprising news to those of us who have worked with him.”” Carothers was the second councilman to plead guilty to federal charges, following in the footsteps of his co-worker, former Ald. Arenda Troutman of the 20th ward who admitted to misconduct in 2008. According to the February 1, 2010 online edition of the Chicago Sun-Times, Troutman said that all Aldermen are hoes.

On Thursday, March 15, 2010, Deborah Graham was appointed to takes Carothers seat. Lets see how that goes. By the way, Carothers’ father, a former Alderman was also charged and convicted of fraud and bribery in 1983.

But back to the art.

Johalla Projects decided to get an even better look at our elected officials. Located at 1561 N. Milwaukee, “Johalla Projects was established in the fall of 2009 by Anna Cerniglia as a venue for emerging and mid-career artists,” says their blog at

50 Aldermen/50 Artists curated by Jeremy Scheuch and Lauri Apple runs Friday, March 19 – April 2, 2010. The gallery is open on Saturdays from 12-5pm or by appointment during the week. For more information, contact the good folks at Johalla Projects at V


3rd Annual Humboldt Park Arts Festival

13 06 2009

When: Sat., June 13, 10 a.m.-9pm

This two day event is truly a celebration of the urban arts. Humboldt Park is on the west side of Chicago. The skyline is in plain site but the urban plight the neighborhood sits in the midst of takes center stage. According to Points 2 Home, Humboldt Park is made up of blue collar, Bachelor degreed, unmarried, families with an average income of nearly $62,000. Those are not bad stats; however, the same site report that the personal crime risk is 148 points above the national average with the risk of robbery being 437 points above the national average.
This area in Chicago lacks the political leadership who is vested in the cultural and economic growth in this zip code. Which makes the Annual Arts Festival so important.
Each year they have a film competition among the community. They only accept submissions from filmmakers who live in the 60622. There will be poetry readings, comedy, performance art, and music by The Blah, Blah, Blahs; Phillip Morris, The Minneapolis Henry’s, Agents of Change, Los Vicios de Papa. This is a Free Event so if you attend be sure to buy something from a vendor. The fesitval proceeds benefit Graffiti Zone’s after school arts program.
A wrap-up post about the event is to come.