#5 How We Learn

Chicago Teaching Artist Collective

By Sarah Atlas — In the summer of 2004, born out of lack of support and networking available for teaching artists in the city, eight Chicago artists created the Chicago Teaching Artist Collective (CTAC). The group wanted an organizing body to address the specific concerns in the field of artist as teacher.     These concerns consist of lacking art […]

Inheriting the Grid #5

By Daniel Tucker — How We Learn? Healthy social movements need spaces for learning and experimentation, healthy democracies need wise citizens to make wise decisions about resources and politics, and healthy people need outlets for dialogue in order to learn about new ideas and form cooperative tendencies to help one another. (from the Call For Proposals for Issue#5) In […]

Ellen Gates Starr

By Sarah Alford — How did an activist, labor organiser, teacher, and artist, especially one with a name like Ellen Gates Starr (1859-1940), manage to escape everlasting renown in Chicago history? She made headlines in her own day; she ran for political office, was arrested on the picket line, was a bookbinder, and co-founded some of Chicago’s most important […]

Can Experimental Cultural Centers Replace MFA Programs?

By Mike Wolf — While it starts in a place relatively remote from Chicago, this text focuses on Mess Hall, an experimental cultural center in the city’s Rogers Park neighborhood.    In June 2006, I was on a long walk in southern Minnesota. While spending a luxurious night at a Best Western in Cannon Falls, I caught a brief report […]

Ferd Eggan 1946-2007

By Debbie Gould — Ferd Eggan, a writer, activist, teacher, and tireless advocate for people with HIV/AIDS, died in Los Angeles on July 7 at age 60 after a six-month bout with liver cancer, complicated by HIV and hepatitis C infections. For the past twenty years, Eggan’s leadership and his multifaceted strategic and organizing skills have had an enormous […]

Guest Editorial Introduction

By Dave Stovall — I for one believe that if you give people a thorough understanding of what it is that confronts them, and the basic causes that produce it, they’ll create their own program; and when the people create a program, you get action.                    —Malcom X (El Hajj Malik El Shabazz), 1964 As you […]

Health Care, Self Care

By Lisa Sousa — Alison, one of the founding members of the Pomegranate Health Collective, lists possible workshop topics for a health conference scheduled for the fall: pain management, nutrition, tattoo care, safer sex, herbalism, gardening, abortion rights, and prisoners’ health. But the list doesn’t stop there; Alison continues naming topics, so many topics that she has to stop […]

Introducing: The Pomegranate Radical Health Collective

By Pomegranate Radical Health Collective — The Pomegranate Health Collective are a group of d.i.y. (do it yourself) health activists in Chicago, IL dedicated to making health information accessible to everyone. The group is devoted to issues of health from a feminist, non-hierarchical perspective, and addresses issues of physical, mental, reproductive, and sexual health in a women-friendly, queer-friendly and trans-friendly framework. […]

How Real Does it Get? Editorializing on Critical Pedagogy, Wankstas, and the Fear of Teaching Like a Girl

By Erica Meiners and Therese Quinn — Critical pedagogy can and often does make invisible the daily labors of the primarily female force teaching in our public schools and in many of the teacher education programs at colleges and universities, while glorifying the work of a few, mostly male and white academicians. Just like the highly paid male chefs (when the majority of the world’s unpaid daily preparers of food are women) or the valorized male artists (when everyday domestic arts are overwhelmingly practiced, uncompensated, by women), the critical pedagogue is only possible through the erasure of the intersections of gender, race, power and privilege.

Interview with Mia Henry

By AREA — AREA Chicago interviews Mia Henry, the Director of Youth Led Social Change at the Chicago Freedom School (CFS), an exciting new city-wide initiative to provide political and cultural education for Chicago teenagers. The CFS is based on a legacy of “Freedom Schools” developed in 1964 to address racial segregation and economic inequality in the US […]

Interview with Aaron Hughes

By AREA — AREA Chicago interviewed Aaron Hughes, President of the Chicago chapter of Iraq Veterans Against The War about their approach to education, both internally and with the public. Interviewed by Daniel Tucker. IVAW is an organization that is constantly growing and changing due to new members joining as they return home from service in Iraq, developments […]

Interview with Jesse Senechal and Maura Nugent

By AREA — Daniel Tucker interviews Chicago Public School (CPS) teachers Jesse Senechal (js) and Maura Nugent (mn) about their teaching and research at Kelvyn Park High School (KP) on the Northwest side. Your research was inspired by Arne Duncan‘s (CPS’s CEO) assertion that schools should be like a market, where the student is a consumer and makes […]

An inteview with Nance Klehm

By Aaron Sarver — Nance Klehm has many different projects going on at any given time, so I won’t even attempt to list them all here. Instead, I’ll simply describe her as an urban forager and gardener. Klehm shares her knowledge of plants and natural processes by offering workshops usually held in her kitchen, and lecturing in more conventional […]

Street Lessons

By Euan Hague — In Eastern Europe, one of the earliest efforts to reclaim a sense of national identity in the post-Soviet era was to remove street names that honored <b>Lenin, Stalin</b> and other Communists. Elsewhere, post-colonial societies typically changed street names upon independence, erasing the presence of imperial powers from maps and road signs. The names that a […]

Introducing: Popular Education Alliance

By Popular Education Alliance — Our Beliefs and Our Mission The Popular Education Alliance (the PEA) is a group of community educators, organizers, university educators and researchers, students, and activists who believe that popular education and the action it inspires are effective means of promoting self-determination and empowerment among marginalized people—and in this way, serves as a catalyst for systemic […]

Introducing: Fire This Time Fund

By Kristen Cox — Radicalization, nourished by a critical spirit, is always creative. – Paulo Frieire Lessons Learned In Year One  I thought it would be an interesting experiment to invite peers in my larger social network, whose activist work—in anti-prison, education, media, LBGTQ health, and community arts circles—I admired and respected, to join me in devising a process […]

Introducing: InCubate

By AREAChicago — Institute for Community Understanding Between Art and The Everyday (InCUBATE) is a research institute and residency program dedicated to challenging current infrastructures, specifically those which affect artistic production. As art historians and arts administrators, our goal is to explore the possibility of developing financial models that could be relevant to contemporary art institutions, as well […]

Introducing: Green Lantern Gallery and Press

By Caroline Picard — I began The Green Lantern Gallery and Press in 2005. I host monthly exhibitions, publish limited edition original fiction and incorporate other performance events. Through these varied modes of communication, I hope to engage a wider audience than is possible with just one medium. Though I’ve embraced the white-cube gallery model to an extent, the […]

Local and National Organizing by Radical Teachers

By Faith Agostinone-Wilson — A kindly first grade teacher is not most people’s idea of a revolutionary, but that may be because the radical history of teacher organizing has been forgotten. In Chicago during the early 1900s, teacher and activist Margaret Haley led a fight for teachers’ rights as Vice President of the Chicago Federation of Teachers (CFT) with […]

Love Over Fear: A Lesson in Community

By Irina Zadov — Upon my arrival to Chicago, a friend drove me through Cabrini Green. He explained its infamy, as well the city’s plan to demolish the decrepit public housing and turn the area into a mixed income community. A year later, I would set foot into this neighborhood for the first time, as I embarked on my […]

Learning to Ride a Bike: Mechanic Skillshares

By Beth Gutelius & Sarah Miller — It’s difficult to know whether or not the number of people riding bikes in Chicago is growing, since no one counts or keeps track. Anecdotally, cyclists—including those writing this article—will tell you they see more and more folks, especially in the spring. Also growing rapidly are the number of places in Chicago where cyclists can […]

On a Field Trip to the US Social Forum: An Interview with Anne Rapp

By Daniel Tucker & Anne Rapp — This summer, Anne Rapp of DePaul University took a class of four undergraduate students to the first ever United States Social Forum (USSF) in Atlanta, Georgia. AREA Chicago interviewed Rapp via email about the link between the classroom and the social movements that make up and support the USSF. You have said that the way […]

On Teachers for Social Justice: An Interview with Pauline Lipman and Rico Gustein

By Daniel Tucker, Rico Gutstein & Pauline Lipman — AREA Chicago Interviews Rico Gutstein and Pauline Lipman (of Teachers for Social Justice) about some recent developments in social justice teacher networking in Chicago. This has been an incredible year already for radical education gatherings and networking opportunities in Chicago. There was the new Social Justice Student Expo at UIC, the Education for Liberation conference […]

On Special Education in CPS: An interview with Paula Ladin

By Nance Klehm & Paula Ladin — Paula Ladin is a special ed. teacher and a mother of three young children. She has recently taught at Columbia College in the Special Ed. Teacher Certification Program. She is currently trying to convince her husband to get some egg-laying chickens in their backyard and is looking for a job. (During our interview, Paula was […]

On the Latino Union: An interview with Eric Rodriguez

By Daniel Tucker & Eric Rodriquez — In July AREA Chicago interviewed Eric Rodriguez, an organizer on the Northwest side in Albany Park with Latino Union’s worker center at 3416 W. Bryn Mawr. Can you describe the process of how LU spreads information both internally and externally about a new challenges or policies? How does that internal spreading of information then develop […]

DIY Education: Talking with homeschooling parents

By Jessica Pupovac & Families — In a city where school shootings are cause for nationwide alarm, where teachers complain of policing more than educating and, in some neighborhoods, where the graduation rate hovers just over fifty percent, parents of all income levels, races and backgrounds are taking the reigns back from the public school system and deciding to teach their […]

How We Learn: Building an Educated City

By Members of Area, Mess Hall, Platypus, Free greek, Chicagoland/Calumet Underground Railroad Efforts, Bronzeville Historical Society, Chicago Women's Health Center, The Odyssey Project, Neighborhood Writing Alliance — Daniel Tucker, AREA Chicago: This exhibition, just to give you a little context, is called The Pedagogical Factory: Exploring Strategies for an Educated City. It was organized by the Stockyard Institute. Area decided to initiate a series of programs entitled How We Learn that would go along with the exhibitions. The way this particular forum […]

Contested Space

By Joanie Friedman — This essay was originally published in the summer 2007 issue of Critical Planning, the UCLA Journal of Urban Planning. (Vol. 14: Spatial Justice) Introduction Education theorists such as Michael Apple and Henry Giroux analyze education’s role in the perpetuation of the economic status quo in urban America (Giroux 1988; Apple 1991; 2001). Often called “reproduction […]