Dividing Logan Square

Re: “Who Is Logan Square? A curator at the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival says the fest doesn’t represent the neighborhood” by Deanna Isaacs, July 15

It seems to me that although there are SOME valid points in this article as well as the OPINIONS of Mr. Montañez that it is almost as though you are trying to promote a greater divide and lack of diversity between the residents in the LS community.

$5.00 is nothing compared to what the other festivals around the city cost and besides who is going to pay for the festival in this economy when so many people are out of work and we have state, county and city budget issues?

This festival should cater to a wide range of residents in the CITY OF CHICAGO not only the Logan Square community. It’s about the art and making the venue fun for everyone and ANYONE that comes out. The reality is that Logan and the surrounding areas have an overwhelming majority of folks (LATINO INCLUDED and HIGHLY represented) that appreciate all of the music in the line-up for all three days.

Do the non-Puerto Rican residents of Humboldt Park complain that they are not represented during the PR fest? No because it’s a PR fest. This is an ART fest. And ART is the operative word. . . .

Are there enough Logan Square artists with “ties to the community” to fill the 1.5 miles of space? What is your interpretation of “ties to the community?” The fact is that LS needs the economic boost that all of the “non-organics” will bring to the area from the little mom and pop store selling bottled water and smokes to the restaurants . . . everything! While I understand somewhat the point you are trying to make it seems as though by trying to isolate yourself and the LS community you can potentially hurt it! And in some ways it seems as though your actions and opinions are provoked by a selfish desire to have more control over the event.

I don’t really see the point of writing this article when it is really a non-issue and promotes tension. We should be celebrating Humanity and Art and the fact that HUMAN BEINGS of all races live in Logan Square and the surrounding areas. . . . Do you hate hipsters? Do you hate “white” hipsters because there are plenty that are Latino? (Go to Wicker and stand at Damen and North if you don’t believe me.)

I have lived in Chicago all of my life (36 years) in a predominately Latino community and I have seen the North Side grow into something special that is rich in culture and diversity and has become relatively safe from what it used to be but when I see things like this it irritates me to no end because we are losing sight of what’s important and that’s bringing everyone together in one place to celebrate a thing WE ALL can appreciate.

I plan on attending the fest either way because I appreciate ART! —joecitizen4u

I am a curator at the MAAF under Victor Montañez and I feel that this article is skewed and unfair. I wish Deanna Isaacs had thought to interview a few of the other people working on the north side to get a bigger picture of what is going on here. Rather than a well rounded report, this article is simply the diary of one man’s frustrations and grievances in a very complex neighborhood that has many people putting efforts forth to bridge its gaps. This article belittles the work that is going here by over-simplifying the dynamics (white vs. latino; hipster vs. ethnic . . .) and by giving one person’s limited point of view way too much weight. I’m very disappointed. —anotherMAAFcurator

Great article, Deanna, and props to Victor for shining the cold light of truth on what is happening. This is not the first and will not be the last attempt to sideline the Latino community of Logan Square, as long as the gentrification machine has not yet completed the creation of yet another cookie-cutter non-neighborhood. For so many “progressive” people to take part in that without speaking out really says something. I advise paying close attention to the bizarre logic of “Joe Citizen” above for a primer in how to dismiss and degrade a community in 2010: 1. pretend not to understand, and dismiss, the original problem, 2. blame the victim, 3. call people of color racist for recognizing exclusion, 4. distract with details about process, and 5. always accuse social justice work of “promoting tension.” And then they openly wonder why Latino arts venues and projects are necessary. Sigue adelante. —Stewart8

I just wanted to say that I’m one of the leaders of the Blue Ribbon Glee Club and my father is Latino, though I resemble my Finnish mother and carry and Irish name. I’ve also been a resident of Chicago for 8 years, and have lived in Logan Square for 5 years. I understand the concerns brought up by this article, but I don’t think the way to address them is to fan the flames of cultural division, or paint the bands participating in this festival with one broad white stroke. The performers in my group come from diverse backgrounds and many have deep roots in Chicago. Our aim is to have fun and be creative, and to contribute to the culture of Chicago in a meaningful and considerate way. —KellyLR

Pimping Freddie Gibbs

Re: “The Self-Made MC: How Freddie Gibbs went from pimp to Pitchfork” by Miles Raymer, July 15, and “The Shoulda-Seen-It Set of Pitchfork: Freddie Gibbs” by Miles Raymer, July 19

I was at this show, one of the “couple hundred” who had listened to his music before (which would probably be a lot more than the number of people who actually seemed to know any Wu-Tang at the Raekwon performance), and agree completely that it was the best performance of the day. Gibbs definitely went out there to kill it and the crowd seemed totally into it from my point of view, which was in the second row.

A lot of media slept on this concert but I’m glad you all at the Reader caught what was definitely the most spirited performance of the whole day. —IA student

I imagine the reaction from the typical Chicago Reader reader might be a bit different were a white musician to move from the occupation of “pimp” (we’re supposed to take it literally that he managed—we assume, female—prostitutes) to musician. —Curious