Arts & Culture

Buckingham Fountain: Own a Piece of History

By Mike Davis

Buckingham Fountain is turned on for the season and Chicagoans are celebrating the monument’s 90th anniversary. But that’s not the only excitement surrounding the fountain.

Stuart Grannen, an antiques dealer and owner of Architectural Artifacts Inc. in Ravenswood, is selling the thousand-pound piece of Georgia Green Marble for $22,000.

Grannen said he acquired the historic piece years ago from a descendant of Edward H. Bennett, the architect of Buckingham Fountain. He originally wanted the piece for a museum he was building but the venture fell through.

Now, he’d like to see the piece of history find a good home, preferably in Chicago.

Photo at top: The historic piece of Buckingham Fountain, newly for sale. (Mike Davis/MEDILL)

Chicago River enthusiasts take a group photo to focus on conservation

By Allie Burger

April is Overflow Action Month on the Chicago River. Because of how the city’s sewer system was designed, sewage can enter the river during heavy rains when the drains overflow.

To promote awareness of the issue, and to encourage water conservation, Friends of the Chicago River invited residents to “photobomb” the river.

Photo at top: The event included almost 200 participants downtown. (Friends of the Chicago River)

“Odysseo” combines equestrian and acrobatic skills in Chicago run

By Peter Jones

Sam Alvarez is one of 48 human cast members in the world’s largest touring production. A trained aerialist and coach, Alvarez works alongside 65 horses in “Odysseo,” which has been produced by the Montreal-based company Cavalia since 2011.

More than two million people in Canada, the United States and Mexico have seen the show so far, according to Cavalia. “Odysseo” began its run in Chicago April 1 and will run through May 21.

Photo at top: Sam Alvarez, an aerialist and coach for “Odysseo,” shows off his acrobatic skills. (Peter Jones/MEDILL)

Uptown summit brings together stakeholders in changing neighborhood

By Grace Austin

Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood faces challenges ranging from gang violence and homelessness to gentrification.

At the historic North Side neighborhood’s annual summit, State of Uptown, business owners, residents and local aldermen discussed how to maintain Uptown’s diversity and charm amid rapid development.

Photo at top: A mural by the “L” tracks shows the diversity of people and culture in Uptown. (Grace Austin/MEDILL)

Chi-Town Browns Backers keep fingers crossed for Cleveland

By Grace Austin

Cleveland Browns fans often speak of the “Factory of Sadness,” a nickname for FirstEnergy Stadium, where the often-losing NFL team plays. Since the team’s return to Cleveland in 1999, the Browns have made the playoffs only once, in 2002. Last season, they won only one game.

But in the heart of Wrigleyville, Chicago’s Chi-Town Dawg Pound brings together diehard fans that still root for the hometown team from “The Land.” The Chi-Town Dawg Pound was voted the No.1 Browns Backers Worldwide fan club in 2016, mostly due to a mix of attendance, enthusiasm and philanthropic efforts. And with a No. 1 pick in the draft this year, hope for this year’s team is brewing.

Photo at top: The Cleveland Browns chose defensive end Myles Garrett as its No.1 pick, breaking a long tradition of first-round quarterback picks. (Grace Austin/MEDILL)

AfriCaribe brings Chicagoans together with Puerto Rican music and dance

By Alissa Anderegg

On the last Saturday of each month, up to 200 Chicagoans gather in West Town to celebrate their community through song and dance. These musical gatherings called “bombazos” are held at the non-profit AfriCaribe. They give locals of all ages the opportunity to come together to take part in the traditional Puerto Rican music of bomba. Each bombazo is a “free for all” where participants can improvise together through singing, dancing and drumming. AfriCaribe founder Eravisto “Tito” Rodriguez says he hopes this will encourage both attendees and performers to learn more about the rich cultural background of bomba music.

Photo at top: Twelve-year-old bomba student Yanese Rolzan dances in AfriCaribe’s monthly bombazo gathering. (Alissa Anderegg/MEDILL)

LGBT artist uses art to express politics, gender identity

By Grace Austin and Zhu Zhu

Artist Brad Leslie is known for his landscape and portrait paintings. But following last November’s presidential election, his work has taken a more political turn.

Leslie’s latest work, on display at the Center on Halsted in Boystown, showcases a unique point of view as a gay man and working artist in a highly politicized climate.

Leslie uses Charles Atlas-esque, pre- and post-World War II imagery to delve into gender identity and what it meant to be a boy growing up in the 1960s.

Photo at top: Brad Leslie has steered into different styles of work as he grows as an artist. (Zhu Zhu/MEDILL)

Westinghouse senior builds a bright future with a best friend

By Allie Burger

Coreyoun Rushin’s got a lot going on.

He is one of the top high school basketball prospects in the city. He has multiple Division I offers. And he didn’t even play his freshman year or at a local basketball powerhouse.

Here’s how Rushin stuck to his promise to a best friend, in the process pursuing his dreams and changing the basketball culture at George Westinghouse College Prep in East Garfield Park:

Photo at top: Coreyoun Rushin and Jocke Fields helped Westinghouse win the 2017 IHSA Class 3A regional championship. (Allie Burger/MEDILL)

Pop-up venture unites local businesswomen for extended success

By Allie Burger

Local businesswomen are working together under the philosophy that no one individual is stronger than the group.

The Boss Babe pop-up shop at Block 37 in the Loop has given seven female entrepreneurs the opportunity to sell their products brick-and-mortar style under the same roof.

Photo at top: Boss Babe has been extended from Jan. 1 through the end of May due to its continued success. (Allie Burger/MEDILL)

Chicagoans preserve their Cambodian heritage

By Peter Jones

Khemarey Khoeun will become the first Cambodian-American woman to hold office in the U.S. after being elected to the Skokie Park District Board last Tuesday.

Cambodians first began arriving in Chicago as refugees escaping the brutal Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970s. Years later, the Cambodian community in Chicago continues to maintain its traditions and culture.

In Uptown, the Watt Khmer Metta Temple provides a peaceful place for Cambodians to gather and pray. The National Cambodian Heritage Museum and Killing Fields Memorial preserves the turbulent history of Cambodians and ensures that future generations will not forget their heritage.

Photo at top: Cambodian monks pray at the Watt Khmer Metta Temple in Uptown. (Peter Jones/MEDILL)