Migrating to WordPress and modernizing the site is part of the Reader’s grand plan to keep being free and freaky for another 50 years. We couldn’t do it without you, and I want to thank everyone who’s supported us during our transition to nonprofit and our ongoing struggle—like everyone else—to successfully weather the upheavals of the last 18 months.
Journalists have historically amplified the state’s bizarre stories about Allen—it feels like high time to take stock of his stories about the state.
A charismatic person somehow emanates levity, intimacy, and self-assuredness, all at once. Charisma is talked about like it’s an inborn quality—but I think it’s something that’s summoned. My story this week is born, in part, from a desire to understand what charismatic people are like when they’re not being watched—and who gets hurt when image […]
Our fearless leader Karen Hawkins was honored with Public Narrative’s Studs Terkel Award—meanwhile the entire team earned bragging rights at the Local Media Association and Peter Lisagor Awards.
When I was seven I broke into a house with some older kids one summer. This was in Russia in the 90s, as the society around us was collapsing. The fall of the Soviet Union and the descent of the country into sudden, unregulated capitalism yielded the rapid development of inequality. Seemingly overnight a place […]
We have a tradition here at the Reader of tasking one of the city’s most talented illustrators, Jason Wyatt Frederick, with creating a Where’s Waldo-esque tableau every year for Pitchfork, filled with a who’s who of Chicago personalities and small visual puzzles spelling out the music fest’s lineup. When it seemed clear that we would […]
The positives of the year look different for everyone. The losses and gains have been very personal, so in turn the issue turned out that way too. It reads like group therapy—writers were given space to acknowledge what’s being left behind and then move forward with optimism, maybe even excitement about what the city still has to offer us. Reader poll results were determined by you, the readers!
This fall, more than ever, the artists are helping us through.
Letter from the publisher
A note from Reader editors on in-person events
Thoughts on the shuttered music venues in the city
Everything I need to know about coping with quarantine I learned from playing solitaire.
Figuring out what to put on the cover of each Reader issue is one of the most rewarding and at times most stressful aspects of my job. When a cover really comes together, it’s a beautiful thing: I rush into the office on Wednesday morning to see the newly printed copies, basking in the glow […]
A letter from Reader staff