Tuesday, June 20, 2006

benefit announced

August 13th at the Empty Bottle there will be a benefit show for Voluntarios de la Esperanza (VE), the non-profit with which I'm going to volunteer. With a solid independent music line-up, a print sale featuring the work of local visual artists, and a table of information with an array of buckets for the loads of contributions that are sure to pile in, the evening is set to be the best thing happening on a hot sunday night in Chicago.

If you've never been to the Bottle, it's a few dark rooms of exposed brick with a stage placed on an angle to the long bar where PBR's are cheap and stools never enough. A Ukrianian Village favorite, this cove of a venue has housed many a great show and keeps their calendar full of both bigger names and fresh releases. Our benefit, "Hello Chile", will feature Shelley Short, Modern Temper, Big Buildings, and Beardog, which means you'll be coming early and staying until the end.

What: Hello Chile, a benefit show for disadvantaged youth in Santiago
Who: Shelley Short, Modern Temper, Big Buildings, Beardog
Cost: $10
Note of Interest: I am starting a photography program for children at social risk in Santiago, Chile. Please bring any used / new digital cameras to the event (with their cords). If we get a photo printer before the event (see article below) ink cartridges will become a requested donation-- will keep posted.

Please tell everyone you know-- thanks.

Monday, June 19, 2006

photo printer fund

Attention all photographers, all image aficionados, all visually minded people and all those who wish they were more inclined to be so: let's pool our resources and purchase a photo printer for a soon-to-be digital photography program in Chile.

Your donation could be $1, it could be $20. Maybe you write a check, maybe you empty your change jar. If you are looking to aid a cause that expands the creativity, skill set and confidence of disadvantaged youth, this is the cause for you. If you are looking for an organization you can trust, where you can watch your contribution in action having a positive affect on real people, this is the cause for you. The truth is, it's a numbers game. The more people that give a small donation, the bigger the end result.

You can visit this donations page to make a contribution-- a big thank you in advance.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

polish the chrome, head for the porch

Summer has taken hold of Chicago: cafes and restaurants have spilled onto the sidewalks, porches and stoops have once again become gathering spots for hours on end, and parks are near capacity with softball, soccer, block parties, picnics, and the like. This will be my third summer living in the city proper, and while I keep saying that I'm going to get out my neighborhood more often, I keep getting pulled into my favorite local rituals-- it's hard to find reasons not to sit under the palm trees at Sultan's market or to stroll around the quiet tree-lined streets of the Ukrainian Village visiting the local dogs. Working full time with projects on the side will do that to you: you get so busy, by the time the weekend comes around, all you'd really like to do is slow down and enjoy your neighborhood.

The season has a different tone to it this year, with nostalgia settling in the creases. I know I'll live in Chicago again, but for now it's a great excuse to keep myself moving about the city. As of last week I've announced to my company that I'll be leaving, a situation saturated with both anxiety and anticipation. I find myself explaining my pending transition to many people, and they offer me mixed reactions. Some are genuinely pleased, many have wished me well, several have been silenced by befuddlement or what seems to be general apathy. The idea of quitting a job and seeking experiences abroad doesn't match up to what some people think of as secure, but I don't know if I've ever had the same definition of security-- besides the fact that their idea of it may have been shattered awhile ago. I do know that perceiving myself in a position where I feel I have options for my future, where I sense an amount of choice in the direction I am pursuing, is one of privilege: up until two years ago, this trip or any like it would have been absolutely out of the question. The plans are in motion, but until August, there's much to do in Chicago.