Author Archive for Claire Withycombe

Lost in Transition

Clara Kirk’s West Englewood United Organization had begun with two feet firmly planted in the community, and maintained a good reputation across Chicago. Yet the very force that propelled the organization from its founding–its neighborhood spirit–may have been its downfall.

The Long Thoughts

“We use language for legal cases, we use it to put children to sleep, to wake them up, to write down our grocery lists. We do everything with it, in a way we don’t with dance, with music, or with painting.”

Passing Through

Visitors at Sunday’s Renaissance Society opening of “Passing Through the Opposite of What It Approaches, Chapter 25” walked right up to the paintings, their noses nearly brushing wood.

A Public Self

While the imminent possibility of the end of the Obama presidency was not widely welcome on the South Side, it raised another: namely, the chance to host a presidential library. Since election night 2008, Hyde Park has been widely considered…

Taking the Stairs

When I suggest to Bill Michel, executive director of the University of Chicago’s Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, that we walk and talk, he hesitates, fiddling with the cuffs on his lilac dress shirt and glancing at…

Black Magic Women

“Collective Magnetism,” by Sara Mosk, is an appropriate introduction to “Black Arts,” both for the magnetic pull of its sounds and images, and for its place in the collective spirit of this group exhibit at Pilsen’s Roxaboxen Minicastle.

Teacher-teacher conference

Rambunctious cheers, noisy chatter, and a fidgety audience filled the cafeteria of Pilsen’s Orozco Community School. This wasn’t the prelude to a mandatory assembly, but the beginning of the eleventh annual Teachers for Social Justice (TSJ) Curriculum Fair.

Turning the Dial

“Oh, I’m not proud,” George Kagan says. “I don’t like the idea of pride.” But it’s hard not to imagine a justified hint of it as he weaves the tale of his 62 handcrafted radios, which are now on display at Hyde Park’s Southside Hub of Production (SHoP).