Saturday, October 15, 2011

Urban Art Retreat News Flash--Volunteer Position Youth Issues Youth Solutions Program.

For everyone that attend the Urban Jungle Fundraiser at Rumble Art Center it was a huge success, and Thank you so much for your support.

I am writing to you, in the hope, that you will respond whether you are interested in a volunteer opportunity working with a small group of children who live in this area (North Lawndale). I would like to be able to refer you to our Children's Program Coordinator.

Gretchen is a volunteer who coordinates other volunteers who are interested in working with UAR's -  Youth Issues Youth Solutions program. The children are 6-12yrs. old for
the most part. On any given session we offer there might be 4-10 children participating.

We are looking to find 2 volunteer teachers for 3 days a week (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays from 3-5pm) now through end of March 2012. Volunteers can schedule once a month, or 2X a month, once a week,    or for special activities only.

For example, we are offering a Halloween Party for adults & kids on Oct. 31 (4-8p.m.) and we are looking for volunteers to help with costumes, answer the door to trick or treaters, help kids to roast marshmallows and bob for apples, and hand out treats and refreshments.

We also need volunteers to go on field trips seasonally.

Here are your choices:
1.  volunteer once a month to work with children as a volunteer teacher
2.  volunteer once a week to work with children as a volunteer teacher
3.  volunteer to present a special program of your choosing to the children once
4.  volunteer to substitute when someone else cannot make it to work with the children
5.  volunteer for UAR in some other capacity, not with children.
6.  ask to be taken off our email list and receive no more emails from UAR

PLEASE, respond to this email letting me know which choice you make for yourself.

I sure do appreciate your cooperation!

Dianna C. Long
1957 S. Spaulding Ave.
Chicago, Il. 60623
(773) 542-9126

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Enjoy a night of fashion, art and entertainment.

Chicago Fashion Shows

A VIP reception will be held from 6 - 7PM followed by a fashion show & entertainment.

Tickets: $25 - VIP; $10 - General admission*

*Includes 2 drink tickets. Open bar. Must be 21 and over to attend.

In addition, the organization has opportunities for the following:

- Program Book Advertising

- Silent Auction Donations

- Event Sponsorships

If you are interested in purchasing tickets (or any of the opportunities listed above), contact LaShon' Anthony at Forms will be emailed promptly after receipt of your interest.

Proceeds from this event will benefit Urban Art Retreat, a 501(c) 3 non-profit based in the North Lawndale community. Their mission promotes non-violence through art programs and provides a residence for women in need.

Date: Friday, Sept. 30

Location: Rumble Arts Center, 3413 W. North Ave., Chicago

Rumble Arts Gallery Space available for Rentals

Monday, August 1, 2011

Re:guideli​nes for emerging artists show coming right up!

Guidelines to enter Emerging Artists Show at URBAN ART RETREAT:

1. Send images of your art that is available to show via email.

Do not send website addresses.

2. You will receive a return email very soon. Be prepared to deliver your art

or send art to gallery to be rec'd on August 22-27 by appt.

3. No art more than 32" in any direction.

4. Art must be signed on the front and be display ready with a wire on the back.

5. Artist should write only their name and title of piece on the back of each piece.

6. Artist should create an inventory sheet with their name and contact info. at top. followed by a list of the art for the show. Title, media, size with frame, price to sell for or NFS.

Two inventory sheets should be presented when delivering art to gallery. The gallery person signs and so does the artist. One copy to gallery and one copy to artist. Artist brings the signed inventory sheet when they come to pick up their art after show closes.

7. Artist receives 70% of any sale of their art with 30% going to non profit.

8. Artist must pick up their art promptly after the show closes or pay a storage fee.

You can pick up art at 4p.m. on September 24 or make an appt. to pick up art

on Sept. 25, 26, 27, or 29.

Sept.3-Sept.24 the show will be on display with art reception 1-4 p.m. on Sept. 3, Saturdays 11-3p.m. and by appt. by calling and leaving a message on 773-542-9126 or by email at

Artists are encouraged to invite their friends, family, and co-workers to the receptiom

Dianna C. Long


1957 S. Spaulding Ave.

Chicago, Il. 60623

(773) 542-9126

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Visiting Artist: James V. Allen

The Hull of a Ship- James V. Allen

James V. Allen has traveled long and far to be here at this time and in this place

to share with you his art. While showing you his art, he is telling you where he

comes from, and his brotherhood with people, and the dark history his forebearers

came through. Now he is standing here to bring you in, to share with you, to try to

communicate with us, his journey and his own success being here via his art making.

Liz Long Gallery at URBAN ART RETREAT presents:

1957 S. Spaulding Ave. Chicago, IL. 60623
July 2 from 1-4 Reception for Art Lovers
Gallery is just 2 blocks west of Kedzie stop on pink line!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Liz Long Gallery Celebrations of Lesbian & Gay Pride

This exhibit displays art by adults who love people of the same gender as themselves. The show will be on display at Liz Long Gallery at

URBAN ART RETREAT, 1957-59 S. Spaulding Ave. Chicago, IL. 60623

The art show will feature good art of substance and talent. Due to open at the very beginning of June, with a discussion of the art planned for the middle of the month, it will close on the last Saturday of June.

For a great celebration of Lesbian & Gay Pride, plan to attend the opening reception on June 4 from 1-4 p.m. Attend on June 12 from 1-3 p.m. for a stimulating discussion of the art in the show. This is followed by a discussion of how people can become more aware of and supportive of issues of importance to people of color homosexuals and of the transgender community. This is planned as a positive and informative conversation.

During the month of June Pride, the exhibit will be open to the public on Saturdays from 11-5p.m. and by appt. 773-542-9126.

If you identify as a lesbian or gay artist and would like to tell your story on camera as part of a documentary process that will be included on the URBAN ART RETREAT website, and on CAN-TV, please show up to the reception to sign up and receive your Interview Questionnaire and appt. for your camera shoot.

Dianna Long, Director

Monday, April 4, 2011

Please support URBAN ART RETREAT

Urban Art Retreat 1957 S. Spaulding Ave. Chicago, IL. 60623

Dear Friend,

I am writing on behalf of a very deserving non-profit organization that really deserves your attention. Urban Art Retreat provides a very unique opportunity for people from all walks of life to interact & communicate with each other in a supportive environment where people can be heard and accepted. Often, along with our programming, we offer discussion times for people who are non-artists & artists, with a mental illness & without a mental illness, low income & middle income, educated & not educated, survivors of trauma & those who would like to understand the issues survivors of trauma have gone through to come together & just be people discussing various topics.

We offer an art gallery program for under-represented artists, an art studio program for adults with mental illnesses, a women's residence for women going through transition, & an off site program providing therapeutic art experiences for under-served populations at other organizations who don't have an art program.

We help those who come to our door with children's programs, food, bus fare, referrals for housing & other services, & offer a listening ear for those who need it. We serve all of Chicago, especially the N. Lawndale neighborhood we are located in. An over abundance of people in N. Lawndale are unemployed, low income, & falling through the cracks. We are trying to make a difference here & for people who frequent other organizations that serve people in need. We need your help.

Please support URBAN ART RETREAT by taking one or more of the following actions:

• go to our website, browse, learn about our wonderful programs for diverse populations.

• “friend” UAR on Facebook and “like” some of the UAR inserts.

• Write on your Facebook page re: UAR, urge friends to support UAR also....spread the word about UAR on any websites you frequent. Help us to reach more people.

• Please consider either making a donation on our website using JUST GIVE or purchasing tickets on UAR website link for the upcoming fundraiser- Socially Aware which takes place April 15 from 6-9 p.m. in a swanky hotel downtown to support Chicago non-profits.

Sincerely, Dianna

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Robert N. Hinerer: Great Question

Helen Mayers Jones forwarded me this Great Question to forward on to others who are activist or see social justice. The Great Question:

No one has been able to explain to me why young men and women serve in the U.S. Military for 20 years, risking their lives protecting freedom, and only get 50% of their pay. While politicians hold their political positions in the safe confines of the capital, protected by these same men and women, and receive full pay retirement after serving one term. It just does not make any sense.

Monday on Fox news they learned that the staffers of Congress family members are exempt from having to pay back student loans. This will get national attention if other news networks will broadcast it. When you add this to the below, just where will all of it stop?

35 States file lawsuit against the Federal Government

Governors of 35 states have filed suit against the Federal Government for imposing unlawful burdens upon them. It only takes 38 (of the 50) States to convene a Constitutional Convention.

This will take less than thirty seconds to read. If you agree, please pass it on.

This is an idea that we should address.

For too long we have been too complacent about the workings of Congress. Many citizens had no idea that members of Congress could retire with the same pay after only one term, that they specifically exempted themselves from many of the laws they have passed (such as being exempt from any fear of prosecution for sexual harassment) while ordinary citizens must live under those laws. The latest is to exempt themselves from the Healthcare Reform... in all of its forms. Somehow, that doesn't seem logical. We do not have an elite that is above the law. I truly don't care if they are Democrat, Republican, Independent or whatever. The self-serving must stop.

If each person that receives this will forward it on to 20 people, in three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message.. This is one proposal that really should be passed around

Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution: "Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States ."

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

NEIGHBORHOOD PAINTING MURALS on boarded up building!

The Murals program began on  MARCH 12, 2011, and will go through May 31st, 2011.

Every Saturdays from 3-5pm

No experience needed to participate!
All ages wanted- 6 years to 90 years old!

What should our murals say about North Lawndale?

Register by callling 773-542-9126 or send email to contact
leave your name and contact information.

North Lawndale

Plenty of history is packed into this West Side neighborhood. Former Israeli Prime Minister, Golda Meir, lived and worked here when it was Chicago’s largest Jewish community. Legendary musician, Benny Goodman, made his debut in a local theater. This was also the home base of Dr. Martin Luther King’s northern civil rights movement. The heart of North Lawndale beats today in Homan Square, whose residences, businesses and a high school and technology learning center were raised from the historic ruins of Sears Roebuck’s world headquarters.

North Lawndale: Chicago’s Jewish and African-American Histories Meet Along Route 66

Written by Alan Solomon, with research assistance from the Chicago Neighborhood Tourism Project

Old Route 66 went right through North Lawndale on the way to Santa Monica. But aside from the small, brown "Historic Route 66" sign on Ogden Avenue and what's left of a castle-shaped car wash at Ogden and Independence Avenue, it's hard to tell the Mother Road was here.  By the late 1920s, when the Illinois section of Route 66 was completed, nearly 50,000 Jews lived in North Lawndale, Chicago's largest Jewish community. That community has long scattered, but even 80-plus years later, it's easy to tell they were here. - Cached - Similar

Liz Long Gallery at URBAN ART RETREAT

Do you know an artist who would like to show their art in a Chicago art gallery?

Well Liz Long Gallery at URBAN ART RETREAT is looking for emerging artists who live anywhere but Illinois to be a part of a group show that opens here on April 8 with a reception from 4-9 p.m. (the show will be on display until May 26.)

This art show will feature artists who live in other states and in other countries.

To make it easy and affordable, there will be a section of the show for unframed artworks. All the person needs to do is email the curator some images of art they could send to the gallery whether framed or unframed. Then the curator will email back the instructions on how to enter the show.

The artist will be asked to get their art to the gallery by the latest on March 31!

They should send all their contact information and a list of the artworks sent. Alongside

the titles of all the works, they should write a description of the works, the media, size, and how much they would like the art to sell for (or NFS). On the back of each piece we would like them to write their name and the title of the piece only. (no other information on the back, please)

If you know someone, please forward this message to them right away.

Thanks for helping artists find places to show their art!

Illinois artists are not eligible.

Dianna C. Long


1957 S. Spaulding Ave.

Chicago, Il. 60623

(773) 542-9126

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Join students, parents, staff, community members on March 25th, 2011, 2:45pm
Jacob Beidler Elementary School, 3151 w. Walnut, in a rally to


I’m really taken aback by the way the Smalls Schools movement, and privatizing schools are making this move to take over Beidler. Beidler is not on the list for closure and consolidation because it isn't an achieving school, the Charter wants the campus! Beidler has been in the East Garfield Park neighborhood since 1914, and only in 1959 were upgrades made to the school. In 1999 addtional construction was made to convert the school to its current modification, as we speak a campus park is being installed (Lake/Kedzie/Albany).

This school is beyond bricks and mortar; it has a family of administrators, educators, teachers, and parent volunteers that on Wednesday rallied at the CPS Board of Education to keep their school open. We are talking here about teachers and support staff that have been in service to CPS, some at the school for 35 years. I have met adults that went to school at Beidler and are now raising grand-children that attend the school.

I’ve been an independent contractor and vendor for Chicago Public Schools since 2002, some time spent at Small Schools, contracting through art organizations to services schools. Beidler has contracted my services for five years now, finding money where they can as their school budget gets ever tighter ever year. But, they have made allowances to expose their students to the arts, music, a vibrant after-school drama program, and other safety net programs. The school currently offers its parents a food closet program.

Am I a walking bill board for “Jacob Beidler” Yes! I think that the Board of Education needs to rethink its strategy on deleting history; to booster the notion of “Charter Education".  Is it better to dismantle and remove 457 students, 60 employees, and a wealth of community and parent volunteers to bring in Urban Prep?

Key Findings:

Faradays data’s is lower than Beidler’s in all areas except for Math,

Beidler has a higher enrollment and attendance rated than Cather and Faraday

Beidler’s mobility rate is lower than Cather, meaning that despite Cather’s “higher scores”, they have more transfer outs than we Beidler.

Faraday’s mobility is shockingly high.

Student’s participation in extracurricular activities at Beidler far exceeds Cather and Faraday’s students (Cather actually had a huge drop from 08 to 09)

Parent satisfaction is considerably lower at Cather and Faraday compared to Beidler.


Move Faraday into Cather and combine Urban Prep (enroll 125) and Garfield Charter (enroll 118)

Walking Distance ---

Beidler to Cather 1.5 miles

Faraday to Cather 1.8 miles
Combined Enrollment--

Cather and Beidler 678, this consolidation would be too crowed for students.

Faraday and Cather 427 Beidler’s enrollment still higher

Urban and Garfield 233 Good size for current Faraday

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

CPS brass considers school consolidation - Chicago Sun-Times

CPS brass considers school consolidation - Chicago Sun-Times

Another action being discussed is moving Cather Elementary into Beidler Elementary, sources said.

Principals at some of the affected schools hadn’t been informed of the plans as of Sunday. Carpenter principal Duane Pitts Sr. said his school was marked for closure three years ago but he wasn’t aware of any consolidation plans. LaSalle principal Suzanne Velasquez also said she had heard nothing about the proposed merger with Andersen, which was the unsuccessful target for a phased closure in 2008.

The discussion comes as Andrew Broy, head of the Illinois Network of Charter Schools, complained that one dozen to 18 charter schools that share buildings with traditional public schools “are on the cusp of outgrowing their facilities and need a solution.” Consolidating an underused school into another school would theoretically free up a building for a charter.

Mazany said he favored a one-year moratorium on new charter operators until facilities could be identified over the summer and fall for existing “high performing charters.”

Mayor-Elect Rahm Emanuel is a charter proponent and has packed his education transition team with charter operators, funders and supporters.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

CPS wants to consolidate Beidler School

We need your help to save our school. Please write a letter of support and email it to Show your support Wednesday morning at the Chicago Public Schools Board of Education, 125 Clark Street, wear green and white in support of Beidler School.

Dr. Shirley A. Ewing

Dr. Shirley A. Ewing, Principal

Jacob Beidler Elementary School

Home of the Beidler Bulls

Office: 773 - 534 - 6811

Fax: 773 - 534 - 6817

Cell: 773 841-2903

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sinai Tomorrow Project

From the desk of Tondalaya Shepard-Turner Director of Volunteer & Service Mt. Sinai Hospital.
Sinai is holding a community meeting on Thursday, March 10th to discuss the Sinai Tomorrow Project (the building of the new hospital). First of all you are invited. Second of all we need people to distribute flyers to the homes surrounding Sinai.

Sinai and the CHA recently finalized a historic land transfer agreement that will enable the construction of up to 300 new units of mixed-income housing in North Lawndale, with the first 137 rental housing units scheduled for completion in fall 2011.

The Sinai Tomorrow Project is now progressing through key parts of the planning and design process. Concurrently, Sinai Board Chairman Steve Koch is cycling across the southern United States to heighten awareness of Sinai, our remarkable caregivers and our legacy of healing.

The primary area of distribution would be two blocks south of Sinai…north to Roosevelt on California and east to Talman or Fairfield (which ever is the furthest east).

We would like to have the flyers distributed on Monday starting at 10:00 am. Can you meet me in my office at 10:00 am to assist?

Your help is greatly appreciated!

Thank you!

Tondalaya Shepard-Turner


Tondalaya Shepard-Turner
Director of Volunteer & Service
773-257-2635 office

Sinai Health System
Room M-314
Chicago IL 60608-1797


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Cycling across the United States for Sinai

The Sinai Tomorrow Project is now progressing through key parts of the planning and design process. Concurrently, Sinai Board Chairman Steve Koch is cycling across the southern United States to heighten awareness of Sinai, our remarkable caregivers and our legacy of healing.

Steve Koch, chairman of the board of Sinai Health System, began a 3,100-mile cross-country bicycle ride with his son Jacob on September 6 in order to raise money for The Sinai Tomorrow Project and awareness of the Sinai story.

Koch has been a member of Sinai's board for 24 years, continuing the legacy of his grandfather, Morris Kurtzon, who opened Mount Sinai Hospital in 1919.

Known as the Southern Tier route, the ride from San Diego, California, to St. Augustine, Florida, is an arduous one with a variety of challenging terrain, including crossing desert, two mountain ranges, the Texas Hill Country and the bayous of Louisiana.

"Many people have asked me why I am doing this," said Koch. "Cycling for Sinai is the realization of three dreams of mine — doing something to raise money for one of the nation's best models for urban healthcare serving needy populations, riding a bicycle across America and riding with my son Jacob."
Throughout the journey, which concluded November 1, 2010, individuals, groups and organizations  signed up as sponsors of the ride and to support The Sinai Tomorrow Project through a web site designed for the trip:

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Murphy Hill Gallery

Presently, Murphy Hill Gallery is being faced with relocation from Homan Square. As a beacon of light, the gallery has provided a unique cultural experience for our youth, family members and community leaders. Your support is critical to the preservation of art and culture in Lawndale and the greater community of Chicago area.

Murphy Hill Gallery was proudly named among the top ten galleries to watch in 2007 by the Chicago Tribune. The gallery is also the recipient of the African American Alliance 2010 Curator Award for black excellence. Leading business consultant Ralph Murphy and curator Bill Hill showcase contemporary art that reflect nature, architecture, gender and cultural diversity.

Approximately 10,000 square feet, Murphy Hill Gallery displays an array of art in the media of painting, photography, sculpture, film, video and performance art. We are conveniently located on the 3rd floor of Historic Sears and Roebuck's building 3333 W. Arthington St. (Homan Square) Chicago, Illinois. Hour of operation are Monday thru Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Murphy Hill Gallery has recently exhibited its 1st international show on surrealism and fantasy art, which featured 30 artists from around the globe. Currently we have an amazing show on urban art titled "Polymetric". Four major artists Rahmaan Statik, Max Sansing, Terrance Byas and Angel Pagan display the eclectic styles, personalities and "non linear dynamic" that defines the RK design collective.

Opening date is February 19 - April 2, 2011.

Scheduled for spring 2011 Murphy Hill Gallery will present "East Meets West." The exhibition includes the work of Chinese and Western artists. The work will range from traditional Chinese watercolor brush paintings to western style impressionism
as well as realism.

The East Meets West show opens on April 9th and ends on May 20th.
Opening reception is Saturday, April 9, 2011 6 PM - 11 PM.

Information regarding, corporate sponsorship to assist the gallery, it would be greatly appreciated.

If you have any questions or need more info please contact Bill Hill at 312.351.0573 or Ralph Murphy at 773.457.4185

Contact Information:


Murphy Hill Gallery

3333 West Arthington Avenue

Third Floor

Chicago, Illinois 60624


E mail - Murphy Hill

Living with dead weight of body bags.

The Wagon 4/08/2010
By Martin Preib
Sanya, Newcity Artist

It has taken me months to respond to this article, not because I was just too busy, but because I didn’t know how to put this into words. I do wonder how CPD officers feel when they are retrieving the dead from alleyways, under bridges, behind dumpsters, we are watching and we have seen you remove bodies, seen you kick bodies to see if they have any movement.

I watched once, from my window as an emergency response team, removed a man from the alley below my third floor window in East Garfield Park (Switching Station Artist Lofts Homan/Madison/Adams). I was on the phone talking to an administrator at Alain Locke Charter Academy; she was dismissing students so the time was about 5pm. I stood up and watched an officer with rubber gloved hands nudge then kick at a lifeless body to see if the man that was laying there in a fetal position was alive. The man had bleed out, the blood stain was on the asphalt around him, and he was motionless.

They went to the ambulance to pull out the gurney, I ran to my back window to see a fire truck in the alley way as well. But, what I also saw was a little boy about three or four frozen in fear watching from the gated apartment fence, he froze in a “I want to see”, but yet “I’m so scared” position as the ERT lifted the man up, tossed him on the gurney, covered him with a white sheet, rolled him to the ambulance, tossed him inside, closed the door. They stood around talking to one another; the little boy was called by someone, he ran. When the ERT left the alley way, a man came and stood by the dumpsters, held up a beer bottle and poured some on the ground, before he took his drink, pouring a libation to the dead spirit.

That scene that I witness, I felt at the moment that the ERT treated him worse than a dead dog, the way they threw him into the back of the ambulance. I felt at the time that because he was another black man DOA, that is why he was tossed into that ambulance that way. I couldn’t do much the rest of the afternoon because this was the first time I’ve witness something like this, it was reality, not paid for TV. I watched his life force exit this body, I saw this man shaking before he went still, and I was troubled. This was the straw that broke the camel’s back, I could not, and would not live another year in this neighborhood, I didn’t want to be privileged to urban-ism, if there is such a thing. I couldn’t hold back to tears, I cried for this man, I cried for the little boy that was an eye witness to this, knowing that this scene would play over and over in his mind, like it will do mines.

I called other neighbors in the building to let them know what I had just witnessed, we all sit around shaking our heads to be so close to knowing a human life is worth nothing to those that take it. This man was tossed in the alley way, it was a mistaken identity, but before they had the right man, the gangster had killed him tossed him out of the car and left him to die, right there. When I'd look out the window that faces this alley way, you can still see the blood where he bleed out.

That was late September of 2009, yes I did move out of that building in December of 2009. Now in April of 2010 Newcity published this article. But, my response goes past this episode, because I found myself connected to it bringing it full circle in May of 2010. I was contracting for Beidler Elementary School, creating a theatre set for the school play, one of the 8th grade students that came to my class, was a tall 6’4” young-man, quite, serious new to the art department. I gave him a task to do, and watched him work, figuring out stuff. I didn’t have to orchestrate every step of the task I gave him. After a few weeks I listened to him talking to his cousin, it seems this was the son of the man I had seen die in that alley in 2009. The principal of the school, not even the vice-principal of the school knew his story. They knew that he and his family were going through the loss of their father, but didn't know how he was taken.

His teacher came into the room one afternoon, and saw him working, engaged in the art making process, she hadn’t seen this student talk, interact all year, but he had found himself in that art workshop. She knew he had talent, he had won first place in the Young Authors in his eight grade division, but he didn't talk to any of his fellow classmates. She told me that I had been placed to stand in front of him and make a difference in his life. I gave him responsibility, made him feel proud and showed him off to the school, let him shine during the school play, by putting him in charge of stage craft, and teaching him about installation, and how to create the environment through the visual arts. He stood in front of the entire school with a role, had responsibility, and saw how proud his teacher, principal, and peers were of him.

You see people are watching, we are aware that there are dead bodies in the back of your wagons, and it is without the eye contact that we are affected. It took me a while to write this, it is not a composition, but a story that plays over and over in my “minds-eye”, and I do wonder how you go home at night after seeing death, over and over again, for sure it is not a play.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Struggle Continues

The Struggle Continues

Art instructor's painting removed from a faculty art exhibit amid controversy about the piece, which features a Confederate flag. The flag is superimposed on images that include a hanged black man and a hooded Ku Klux Klansman, the Athens Banner-Herald reported. (AP)

Civil rights
Evanston’s first African-American female alderman passes away at 89 When she became an Evanston alderman, Spencer made fair housing her priority. Prior to the city’s fair housing ordinance, African-Americans were systematically denied housing in certain areas of Evanston, Fitzsimmons said. (CT)

BLACK Art in America

Black Art in America is considering having guest curators to curate the BAIA home page. The guest curator will be responsible for the feature, focus, perspective, spotlight, people and places, the featured blog and forum. We are hoping this will give an opportunity for curators, artist, collectors, galleriest, art educators and museum professionals to expose deserving artist and those making their mark in the
industry to the BAIA audience.
If you have interest, email an outline of what you propose to Najee Dorsey at . With the subject CURATE BAIA PAGE

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sonic Aesonic

With the ever increasing ability to be anywhere and everywhere else, now remains an elusive destination.

Reconciling the past with the future, JayVe Montgomery’s work is time traveling to the pre(-)sent, the gift of now.

His work reveals his adherence to improvisation and chance as a way to explore evolutionary learning and unintended subjective meaning through random being.

Of Jamaican and Louisiana Creole descent, Montgomery was born at Ft. Hood, Texas on the last day of 1979 and raised a dependent of the department of defense in Berlin, Germany, before and after the wall; Rayne, Louisiana, before the frogs left; Columbia, SC, home of the confederate flag; and Ft. Campbell, KY, home of the 101st Airborne Division. Montgomery received a double BA in Japanese Studies and Anthropology from Centre College of KY and has also studied sound at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is Senior Program Specialist for the Chicago Park District’s Inferno Mobile Recording Studio, a hip hop revitalization program. He is also a curator and artist-in-residence at Brown Rice, an art space for listening in Chicago, IL.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Urban Art Retreats Launch Neighborhood Beautification Project

Posted by Alpha Bruton for UAR

Can you help get the word out?

Can you help URBAN ART RETREAT on a mural project Saturdays 3-5 beginning March 12, 2011. We are painting murals on large boards to be used to board up vacant buildings in the hood.

Let us beautify where we can. Please let me know.

Chicago Gallery News has informed us that they want to write a feature story about URBAN ART RETREAT and it's work in the community.

Won't you please support us by attending the Differently Minded Art Studio program March 12, no art experience is needed. We will provide a fun and easy project for you to participate in. Please be a part of this important day for UAR.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The 24th Ward Aldermanic Forum of ALL FORUMS

“I HAVE A little DREAM too”…That the 24th Ward was a vibrant, safe community in ALL people were free to live, build and dream !!


The 24th Ward Aldermanic Forum of ALL FORUMS

Saturday February 12, 2011
Collins Academy High School (Auditorium),
1313 S. Sacramento Drive, Chicago, IL 60623
(Meet and Greet immediately after)’s Kathy Chaney and WVON’s Kendall Moore moderate and get down to the bottom of Chicago’s most contested ballot

Candidates will be asked the tough questions as voters decide who to support

**Giveaways include: Flat Screen TV, Laptop, Customized SuitsTuxedos and Dresses by Barbara Bates Designs, VIP Movie Passes, Gift Certificates, and much, much more*

Complimentary Refreshments Available- All you need to do is SHOW UP!!

Community High Schools students participating in the “Beyond the Classroom Experience Initiative” will receive academic incentives and a chance to have their Prom Dress or Suit/Tuxedo Custom designed by World Famous Barbara Bates of Barbara Bates Designs

"It's a most Beautiful Thing When Democracy Sings"


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Union League Civic & Arts Foundation

The Union League Civic & Arts Foundation

2011 Visual Arts Competition

Submission Deadline:

About the Competition:

March 15th, 2011 by 11:59pm

The Union League Civic and Arts Foundation will award up to $17,000 for excellence in the 2011

Visual Arts Competition. There is a general category and a photograpy category

Who: Visual Arts students between the ages of 18 and 30 in Undergraduate or Graduate Academic Arts Programs in the Chicago Metro Area.

Location: Union League Civic & Arts Foundation

65 W. Jackson Blvd

Chicago, IL 60604

Questions: Email us at

Call us at (312) 435-5916



Monday, January 24, 2011

2011Creative Chicago Survey

Please contact Barbara Koenen at
The 2011Creative Chicago Survey, available online in Spanish and English from February 4 - 25, will invite creative practitioners who live and work in Chicago to describe who they are and what they need to thrive, including specific space and business assistance information. This information will help the City determine policies and programs to support its Creative Sector, and be shared with interested organizations, research and advocacy efforts. The Creative Chicago Survey is unique because it invites the creative community to opt-in and define itself, rather than working from a pre-determined list.

To have the greatest impact, our goal is to hear from all creative people who live and/or work in Chicago. We are enlisting your organization's help to cast a wide net by inviting your creative community to opt-in and participate.

Who is a creative? An artist or an architect, a chef or DJ, a member of a church choir or a fashion designer, a teaching artist or playwright, an arts administrator or a filmmaker, a knitter or an industrial designer. Not just professional artists, but every person who engages in a creative practice as their job or their hobby is considered "a creative."

Many members of your staff, your audience, your board, your neighbors all engage in creative practice, and we'd like your help to invite them to take this online survey.

Here's How Your Organization Can Help:

LINK - Add a Logo and Link for the Creative Chicago Survey to your website. Download it here

EMAIL - Send emails to your entire list throughout the month of February - either as dedicated eblast or simply add a section about the survey to your existing email. We'll send you several messages in the next few weeks, and you can download the logo here

SHARE - If you'd rather not send out several emails, and would prefer to share your list with us, DCA will use it for survey purposes only.

FACEBOOK - Share the Creative Chicago Survey Facebook page with your group.

SOCIAL MEDIA - In addition to Facebook, share the link via your Twitter, Myspace, blog and other social media.

OTHER IDEAS? - Let us know if you have other ideas for getting the word out.

Survey Dates are February 4 - 25, 2011.

Project Background and Goals

In 2000, the City conducted the Chicago Artists Survey, which led to the development of the Chicago Artists Resource (CAR) website and the Creative Chicago Expo, and informed numerous artist housing developments and other policies and programs. Alot has transpired in the past decade, and results of the 2011 Creative Chicago Survey will help support and grow Chicago's current creative sector, and be an important resource for advocacy and planning. Survey results will be presented at a public meeting later this year, and disseminated online. Additional reporting and targeted analysis of specific sectors are available options.

The Creative Chicago Survey research is being conducted by Slover-Linett Strategies, a highly regarded research consultancy, while DCA is spearheading the marketing and outreach. The 2011 Creative Chicago Survey is funded by Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC).

Your questions and suggestions are welcome.

Please contact Barbara Koenen at

Thank you for your support and assistance

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Annual Dinner Party for Newcomers & UAR Volunteers

Urban Art Retreat 1957 S. Spaulding, Chicago


I am writing you today to remind you that the URBAN ART RETREAT Annual Dinner for Newcomers is coming up soon! I am also writing to ask you to consider nominating a deserving and talented person with much to offer to the UAR board of Directors.

Annual Dinner Party for Newcomers & UAR Volunteers

January 29, 2011 (Saturday), at Lou Malnati's Restaurant

Corner of Cermak & Ogden in N. Lawndale neighborhood of Chicago

Time: 5:30 p.m.

$7.00 per person plus tip.

Each year UAR volunteers, members, and interested new comers gather to break bread and share our stories, find out what UAR did in the past year and what UAR has planned for the upcoming year. before.

Nominating UAR Board Members

UAR volunteers, board members, & general members, meet weekly at a 3 p.m.

Saturdays at UAR to keep informed about UAR goals & objectives. Board members are required to attend a minimum of one organizational meeting per month. Each board member is asked to contribute in some way on a monthly basis or more if they can. Some things they can contribute are - helping with fundraising, helping with grant writing, and representing the UAR at off-site and during outreach activities.

URBAN ART RETREAT is an all-volunteer organization. UAR relies on volunteers to provide programming, raise money for operation costs, and ensure the future of UAR. UAR offers great opportunities for volunteers to gain access to terrific on the job training & work experiences. Our volunteers do the work of UAR, not just stuffing envelopes. For those looking for a meaningful volunteer experience- look no further than UAR.

Please visit our website and check out our programming and mission. We offer, among other things -

1. Women’s resident, furnished bedrooms, library, kitchen, full bath, on the 2nd floor of our building, onsite laundry.

2. Art studio program specially minded artists, (both artists and non-artists are welcome)

3. Off-site program that provides therapeutic art programming for all populations at
other sites who don't have an art program. We serve diverse peoples with diverse issues.

4. On-site art gallery program providing exhibition and consultation services for under-represented people. We call it a steppingstone art gallery and include both novice artists and artists with extensive resumes in each show. We show art by local artists, artists around the country, and artists from around the world.

5. Children's program after school in fall/winter and weekly in spring/summer. In addition to helping neighborhood children with their homework, reading, writing, spelling; we provide a healthy snack. We also provide a fun art experience each time the children attend. We take children on fieldtrips to see other parts of Chicago outside of their neighborhood.

6. During the nice weather, we offer a gardening program that includes learning to value nature, relaxing outside, and participating in gardening tasks.

Communication and Interaction Aspects of UAR

We provide various discussion formats so that people can express themselves and be heard, listen to and learn from others, hone their social skills, and become a better-rounded person. All of our programs include communication and interaction.

In all our programs there are some central themes. Some are about learning and expressing oneself about social justice issues, treating each other with kindness and respect, banning violence from our programs and property, working on improving ourselves and others regarding racism/sexism/homophobia/abelism, and other "isms". We value diversity, peace, tolerance and acceptance for all.

URBAN--Although we are located in an Urban environment, we make connections with the earth, and treat each other with the trust and kindness of country folks.

ART--Our middle name is Art and yes, plenty of what we do is about art and art-making for all (not just for artists), however, we are so much more than only art.

RETREAT---In addition to these themes and issues, we offer Retreat, relaxation and de-stress options for those who come to our site and/or off-site programs.Please consider attending, spread the word about this unique place; and take some time for yourself in the stressful, fast paced world we live in.

Dianna C. Long, is the Executive Director, of

Monday, January 17, 2011

14th Chicago Bike Winter Art Show

As previously announced, we are very excited to have the 14th Chicago Bike Winter Art Show at Chicago Urban Art Society located at 2229 S. Halsted.

Please review the following and contact us as soon as possible with details of the work you wish to submit in order to secure a spot in this year's show.
Opening Reception: Friday March 11, 6pm - Midnight
Coinciding with Pilsen's popular 2nd Friday gallery scene.
Closing Party: Friday March 11, 2011 6pm - 1am
Bike fashion show and live music following the Critical Mass ride.

Deadline for submissions Feb.19th, selection completed Feb. 25th

Art drop off Mar. 1st thru Mar. 5th.

We are looking for art in all media — painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, video, interactive, and fashion. Our only stipulation is that it be bicycle related. If you need extra time, we can be flexible as long as you communicate your plans with sketches, dimensions, and photos of work in progress.

We will be relying on CUAS Creative Director Peter Kepha to jury the show this year. Anyone with site specific art with special installation requirements is invited to visit the Chicago Urban Art Society gallery at 2229 S. Halsted to take a look at the space and meet the curators Saturday January 22, 2-5pm.

For each piece, email the following to:

1. Your Name

2. Title

3. Media

4. Dimensions

5. Installation requirements

6. Well lit high-res photo of work

At a time of Chicago's political transition away from the pro-bike Daley administration, we encourage work that explores our city's rich bicycle history and promotes a dialogue on improving our city's cycling future. We will be creating an informational space in the gallery to highlight recent developments in bike infrastructure and preview progressive plans yet to be implemented in Chicago. Please feel free to offer suggestions and consider collaborating with us on the following initiatives.

Mind the Gap: New street signs for the blind spots in Chicago's bike grid.
Bike lanes have made cycling in Chicago safer, but bridges and underpasses often have no space marked for bike traffic and make it dangerous for cyclists to cross the rivers, train lines, and highways that divide our neighborhoods. Join us in creating street signage that establishes a new visual vocabulary for motorists and cyclists negotiating critical gaps in our city's bike lane network. Contact us to contribute!

In 2009 we had a graffiti artist trick out some helmets. We have helmets available to paint if anyone wants to lend their artistic talents to making safety stylish. Stuart is planning a lightbox installation displaying x-rays from bike accidents, let us know if you have an x-ray of a bike related injury to contribute.

There are many initiatives looking to design and install sculptural bike racks throughout the city. We would love to have prototypes installed in front of the gallery on opening and closing night, and it's a great opportunity to promote creative solutions for bike parking. Contact us if you would like to create bike racks for the show.

Please pass this message along to any artists you know that fit the bill. As the time nears, we will be publishing more details, so stay tuned.

We look forward to your submissions —

Curators: Peter Kepha, Stuart Hall, and Steven Lane
14th Chicago Bike Winter Art Show
Chicago Urban Arts Society
March 11 - 25, 2011

Media Contact:
Lauren Pacheco, Executive Director + Co-Founder
T: 773.318.9407

overstocked arts pond: fish too big & fish too many

overstocked arts pond: fish too big & fish too many

Sunday, January 16, 2011