Artists in Conversation:

Dina Rabadi

Global Alliance of Artists: Where Art Meets Action

Groves of olive trees, Russian tanks, and radio broadcasts in Arabic—these are some of the things I think of when I think of “childhood,” but they're also things I think about everyday, even now, at 37.

I don’t believe in some sharp divide between “childhood” and “adulthood”—some cliff that, once surpassed, remains there

Jan Bartoszek

Hedwig Dances: Ascending to New Heights

My goal as a dance artist is to explore essential aspects of the human experience through movement, and to create dances that transform/illuminate my explorations for the audience. Nature is a constant inspiration to me. Growing up in Michigan, I was able to explore the woods and creek

Charles Joseph Smith

My Yearlong Celebration of Franz Liszt


2011 marked the bicentennial of the birth of Franz Liszt, the 19th-century Hungarian composer who claimed to have invented the solo piano recital. Charles Joseph Smith, a Chicago-based classical pianist, shared with CAR how he paid homage to Liszt this year.

Steven Fischer

Old School New School: Exploring the Nature of Creativity

I’m in the Hollywood home of William Fraker, the six-time Oscar-nominated cinematographer of such legendary movies as Rosemary’s Baby, Bullitt, and WarGames. My crew is shooting our conversation for Old School New School, a documentary on the nature of creativity.

Laura Shaeffer

Setting Up SHoP: Find Things That Aren't Happening and Make Them Happen

SHoP (Southside Hub of Production) is a collective of artists, writers, filmmakers, craftspeople, educators, and local civic organizations who have come together to create a local cultural hub space in Hyde Park, Chicago. SHoP’s main aim is to stimulate local creative activity and to foster artistic and cultural enrichment of all kinds in the neighborhood.

Timothy Douglas

On Chicago, Community, and U.S. Theatre

Timothy Douglas is Artistic Director at Remy Bumppo Theatre Company. Following a brief stint as an actor in Chicago in the late 1980s, he moved on to a prolific directing career during which he has worked at many of the most renowned theatres across the country, as well as internationally.

Erin Rehberg

Core Project Chicago: Sustaining Interdisciplinary Opportunities for Dance

Growing up around Chicago, it never occurred to me that the artists my parents took me to see were self-produced or had ever worked to create their own opportunities. Hubbard Street had to have always been HUBBARD STREET, Second City had to have always been SECOND CITY, and the artists in the galleries? I was sure those were their first paintings

Elizabeth Myers

Women and Leadership Archives: Providing Care, Preservation and Access to Women Artists' Papers


If people think of archives at all, they usually conjure up images of long-dead authors of dusty tomes, brittle paper, and strange attic smells. In a medieval, historic sense of the profession, that is not far from the truth.

You've Cott Mail

Delivering the news to arts professionals around the world

For more than a decade, Thomas Cott has been providing an invaluable service to the arts community by compiling a digest of arts-related articles in an easy-to-read email every morning. After scouring the Internet for the hottest topics of the day, Thomas delivers his newsletter “You’ve Cott Mail” to the inboxes of colleagues around the world,

Chris McAvoy - Awesome Foundation

Philanthropic Micro-granting for the Arts

The Awesome Foundation was founded in 2009 as an alternative to conventional forms of philanthropy. The basic idea is simple: ten trustees commit to a pool of $1000 per month. The trustees give away the $1000 as a grant to an "awesome"project.

Jennifer Sprowl

Duncan Technique: Classical Modern Dance at Its Core

I was on a year hiatus from dance, because I didn't feel content or fulfilled in body, heart, or soul while dancing, when a friend took me to my first Duncan class. I was captivated by the structure and approach and recall crying at the barre. Pachelbel's Canon in D accompanied our plies.

Albert DeGenova

After Hours: Showcasing Chicago Voices

Back in June of 2000, sitting expectantly behind our Printers Row Book Fair table, one whole issue of After Hours under our belts, my co-editor Pat Hertel and I really didn’t know what lay ahead. We began with a vision of showcasing Chicago-area writers and artists, of presenting an outlet for the “Chicago voice.” Over the past 11 years, we’ve learned that there is not one voice, but many voices that together have created the style for which After Hours is known

Stevie Greco

What Does a Gallery Director Do?

What's involved in your position as director of Carrie Secrist Gallery?
I think the term "gallery director" carries a substantial semiotic weight and in order to understand what I do, it's important to understand what gallery work entails more generally. Because, for the most part, art galleries are small businesses, the work of each gallery's staff will differ slightly.

Abigail Satinsky, Hand-in-Glove Conference

Conversations About Grassroots Creative Activity


This past July (2011), Common Practice commissioned a position paper, by Creative Industries consultant Sarah Thelwall, entitled “Size Matters: Notes Towards a Better Understanding of the Value, Operation, and Potential of Small Visual Arts Organisations.”

Linda Beierle Bullen

Spotlight on Linda Beierle Bullen

Chicago is the touchstone for me of childhood sights, sounds, and smells,
of adolescent experiences and of adult transformations. From fishing in
the dark with my parents on Montrose Pier, to sitting in the stacks at
the grand Chicago Public Library, to discovering myself at the dusty,
hidden, original School of the Art Institute, Chicago is the city that
created me.

Thomas Lucas

Creating New Relationships & Art Through Collaboration

I started pulling prints for artists when I was an undergrad. Initially,
I was all about getting the printing experience, but then it was more
about the spirit of collaboration. Creating a new relationship is what
it’s all about for me. My drawing, printmaking, painting, and ceramics is inspired by the history of art and the connection art has to people and objects.

Christine Simpson Forni

When the Anvil Strikes, Answer It


For me, art is my life. It’s the way I communicate ideas, understand
nature, and learn about life. I enjoy drawing, painting, sculpture,
printmaking ,and photography, but I love the engineering and intellectual
challenges of metalsmithing and making jewelry. I enjoy the sound and
power of the hammer hitting the anvil.

Anders Brekhus Nilsen

Seeing the Familiar in New Ways

My last book, Big Questions, reflects my fascination with the fact that people look out on the same world and yet come to radically different conclusions about what it is and what it means and why. I try to nudge my readers, and myself, really, to see familiar things in new ways.

Carlos Javier Ortiz

I photograph in other parts of the world, but there are issues that need
to come to light in my own backyard of Chicago. My current project,
Too Young to Die,
examines youth violence in the U.S. and Central America and documents
both the lives of young victims of violence as well as the teenage
perpetrators of these crimes.

Sharon Okee-Chee Skolnick

Championing Native American Arts

My mother was a dollmaker and inspired me to develop my art and champion
Native American arts. In Chicago, I raised my four children, opened
Okee-Chee’s Wild Horse Gallery and helped organize over 100 exhibits of
Native American Arts at the American Indian Center. This area has
allowed me to express my feelings and aesthetics in the arts.

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