Arts & Culture

VIDEO: Flatts & Sharpe Co. keeps music real in Rogers Park

By Beth Werge

Despite the rise of software instruments, Flatts & Sharpe Music Co. is a locally-owned music shop that’s making sure real instruments aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

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Lunar New Year celebrations kick off in Chicago

By Beth Lawrence

Lunar New Year, also called Chinese New Year, is one of the most celebrated holidays in China. The Chinese Fine Arts Society is bringing that celebration to Chicago with the city’s second annual Chinese New Year celebration.

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Love, peace and soul — on gig posters

By Antoinette Isama

Chicago’s nightlife scene peddles its wares through posters that are pasted on poles, thumbtacked on cork boards and attached to messages on the Internet. It’s a must that these posters pop; they are vital to drawing a crowd for live performers and shindigs alike.

A monthly dance party at Wicker Park’s Double Door has been practicing that art of attraction through its posters since its first night on the turntables.

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VIDEO: “Ash and dash” hits Chicago

By Abigail Hodgson

One Chicago parish is taking Ash Wednesday outside church walls and onto the streets of Chicago.

For people too busy to attend an Ash Wednesday service, Urban Village Church volunteers positioned around the city – from CTA stations to popular lunch stops – spreading ashes on foreheads in a visible cross accompanied by the words “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” Continue reading

President to dedicate Pullman Park as Chicago’s first national monument

By Matt Yurus

President Barack Obama heads home Thursday to designate America’s next national monument: Chicago’s historic Pullman Park, a site that was home to unprecedented advances in industrialization and impacted African-American and labor history.

In 1879, George Pullman, the man who gave America the luxurious Pullman railcar, built his factory and America’s first “company town” on the Far South Side of Chicago. Continue reading

Archbishop Cupich celebrates first Ash Wednesday in the Loop

By Ellen Kobe

Archbishop Blase Cupich presided over Mass Wednesday, giving ashes to guests at St. Peter’s in the Loop.

Cupich was installed as the leader of the Archdiocese of Chicago in November, and this service marked the start of his first Lenten season in the city.

Beginning at 6 a.m., hundreds of people filed in and out of St. Peter’s. Nylon coats shuffled and boots squeaked on the marble floor as people entered the lobby with clean foreheads. They went to one of six stations in the lower auditorium, and within minutes, left with a cross of dark ashes above their eyebrows.
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VIDEO: Nazi bomber lands at Museum of Science and Industry

By Beth Lawrence

This month the Museum of Science and Industry is offering a rare and up-close look at a piece of history that’s usually out of reach. The German Stuka, one of only two remaining in the world, normally hangs in the rafters. For now, the museum has landed the bomber on its main floor to be viewed, cleaned and scanned with new 3D technology.

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Chicago Celiac Catholics celebrate communion in the low-gluten way

By Ellen Kobe

On a Saturday evening in January, Carol Shilson, a parishioner at St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Lincoln Park participated in a common experience among Roman Catholics: the Eucharist. As the sun went down and the church’s stained glass windows turned from vibrant colors to darkness, the Rev. Jeremy Dixon consecrated the communion — turning the bread and the wine into what Catholics believe is the actual body and blood of Christ.

From the left-side pews, Shilson made her way down the main aisle with the rest of the congregation, which sang a hymn, folded their hands and strode back to their seats while the wafers melted in their mouths and the burning sensation of wine seeped down their throats.

Holy Communion is a shared experience for Shilson and other Catholics. They are only required to go through these motions once a year, although the sacrament is more routine for many who go to Mass every Sunday or even daily.

But for Shilson, receiving traditional communion is a health hazard. She has Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder activated by ingesting a gluten protein in wheat. Continue reading

Chicago comic school artists react to Charlie Hebdo massacre

By Taylor Mullaney

In 2013, the Europe-based International School of Comics opened a new campus in Chicago. Six weeks after the Charlie Hebdo attacks, Annalisa Vicari, Emma Rand and Christopher Kutz, teaching artists from the school, said they do not fully excuse the publication’s drawings. Vicari, 29, Rand, 23, and Kutz, 41, shared how they think the attacks will affect art education and artists’ limitations moving forward.

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Still time to apply for Top Chef Season 13

By Karin Vandraiss

Bravo’s hit series, “Top Chef,” wastes no time lining up new talent. On Wednesday LA chef Mei Lin won the title honors for Season 12, but the show has already started its annual, nation-wide scouting trip to cast the  upcoming season. Chicago’s live casting call was earlier this week, but even if you missed it, there’s still time to apply.

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