So many big changes have taken place at the Reader in recent years, from minor masthead shifts to several handovers in ownership. We have new print facilities. (Do you like the new cover stock?) We made new T-shirts. Few changes are likely to be as impactful, however, as the one we’re about to make: the Reader is headed to the south side.
Our new offices will allow for many splendiferous wonders, such as the entire workforce of the paper being under one roof and able to communicate without scheduling meetings days in advance, convenient parking facilities, and not having to walk through another newsroom to get to our newsroom, a path that always made me feel a bit like I was walking past the adults’ table at Thanksgiving to get to the kids’ table in the back. Most exciting to me, however, is that we’ll be operating from such a vibrant historical center of Chicago culture.
It’s not a history or a culture everyone is familiar with—inside or outside of the city—so I’m thrilled we were able to work with the curators of “The Time Is Now” exhibition at the Smart Museum of Art to bring you some oral histories of the Alley, an event for spontaneous music, art, and literary production that took place for about 30 years, every Sunday, in Bronzeville. Excerpts from audio recordings, transcribed and edited for clarity and style, will give you a peek into this moment of Chicago’s past that still informs our present.
Also, we have an inside peek at Philip Glass’s first-ever collaboration with a percussion ensemble—Third Coast Percussion—premiering as part of the Chicago Humanities Festival on November 9; a preview of the Eyeworks Festival of Animation—the best experimental animation series around; and a look at “Night of the Stripping Dead,” a horror-themed adult show, as our comics journalism feature. Maya Dukmasova gets us into the electoral mood with her journey to the heart of Mike Madigan’s home turf, and Ben Joravsky offers a slew of hopeful election predictions.
A mea culpa for an error in the last print edition: we misidentified the Door as a branding firm; in fact, it’s a PR firm. The company did not name the Saint Jane Hotel and was not involved in the branding of the hotel. And cheers are due to our very own board president, Dorothy R. Leavell, who was recently honored with the Chicago Urban League’s Lester H. McKeever, Jr. Individual Service Award. According to the Urban League, the award “recognizes an individual who has demonstrated a strong commitment to improving the quality of life for African Americans in Chicago through volunteerism and embodies excellence through community service.” v