All posts by wenyeelee2017

89-year-old Japanese American recalls internment camp memory

By Wen-Yee Lee

President Donald Trump’s travel ban is not the first time the commander in chief  used an executive order to restrict a certain group of people. In 1942, during World War II, more than 120,000 of Japanese Americans were singled out from one executive order. They were sent to ten internment camps in the U.S. Eighty-night-year-old Japanese American Yuki Hiyama was one of them.

Photo at top: Yuki Hiyama, 89-year-old Japanese American, enjoys cooking in her kitchen. (Wen-Yee Lee/MEDILL)

Some UIC Workers Working Without a Contract

By Wen-Yee Lee

On campus resistance day, workers held simultaneous nationwide rallies. Workers from University of Illinois Chicago, who picketed outside the hospital, are calling for a new contract.

Photo at top: University of Illinois Chicago Hospital is criticized by their workers who are working without a contract. (Wen-Yee Lee/MEDILL)

South Side Washington Park Businesses Boosted

By Wen-Yee Lee

When you think about Chicago’s south side, you may think of its high crime rate, but thriving businesses in Washington Park are changing that stereotype.

Photo at top: In cooperation with the University of Chicago, Currency Exchange Cafe in Washington Park plans to expand as an art block. (Wen-Yee Lee/MEDILL)

Immigrants Protested Trump’s Executive Orders

By Wen-Yee Lee

President Donald Trump signed executive orders to build a wall along the southern border with Mexico and deport illegal immigrants. Chicago’s immigrant communities protested his actions in front of the Chicago Immigration Court Jan. 25.

Jude Ssempungu, Board Member at the United African Organization, is speaking for immigrant communities in Chicago. (Wen-Yee Lee/MEDILL)

Downtown Street Performers Ban Deferred

By Wen-Yee Lee

Street performers have become a staple along Michigan Avenue, but that could change if one Chicago alderman has his way. Chicago City Council voted Feb. 22, deferring the proposed ordinance led by the 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly, which restricts street performers on Michigan Ave. and State Street.

Photo at top: Street musicians play in a band in front of the Chicago City Council Feb. 22, decision day on whether to ban street performers.(Wen-Yee Lee/MEDILL)

Student Artists Finish Their First Public Art Project

By Wen-Yee Lee

Fifteen student artists are working with artists from Chicago Public Art Group to design a mosaic fountain for ChiCAT Arts School, Chicago Center for Arts and Technology. This will be these students’ first public art project with an agency.

Photo at top: Mosaic patterns that were made by student artists at Chicago Public Art Group. (Wen-Yee Lee/MEDILL)

Mother daughter puppet team performs as part of international puppet theater festival

By Wen-Yee Lee

The International Puppet Theater Festival is welcoming hundreds of puppeteers from January 19-29.  Founder and puppeteer of Jabberwocky Marionettes, a Chicago-based puppet theater, Lolly Extract and her daughter performed their own show at the Chicago Cultural Center. “Jabberwock” was a dragon in the book Alice in Wonderland, from which she named her theater “Jabberwocky”.

Photo at top: Puppeteer Lolly Extract presents her hand-made puppets on display at her home. (Wen-Yee Lee/MEDILL)

Mural project in Little Village showcases Chicago’s coming “Year of Public Art”

By Wen-Yee Lee

Max Sansing was spray-painting a ragged wall of an underpass between Little Village and North Lawndale — a border that separates Mexican-American and African-American communities.

Soon, images unfolded of Mexican culture and experiences in Chicago, West African symbols of strength and unity, and portraits of community residents. As a core artist for the Chicago Public Art Group, Sansing led this mural project with his partner Rahmaan Statik Barnes.

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Republican women voters believe Trump’s action plan for America outweighs his sexist comments

By Wen-Yee Lee

Barbara Trautman, campaign committee chair for the National Federation of Republican Women,  supports Donald Trump regardless of his sexual comments. “He is our nominee. That’s the bottom line for me,” Trautman said firmly. “A true Republican is not gonna vote for Hillary.”

Trump’s 2005 Access Hollywood video, in which he boasted about groping women, triggered a heated debate among women voters. But there are still many Republican women like Trautman who think Trump’s action plan for America outweighs his sexist comments. They believe Trump will be the ideal president who will appoint the right conservative judges for the Supreme Court and take any action for this country.

Ninety-three percent of Republican women voted for Mitt Romney in 2012, according to New York Times in a recent article. Although the percentage of the Republican women supporters has dropped for 2016, 79 percent of them support Trump, according to the Times. Continue reading

Musicians from 17 countries honored black migration with OneBeat music tour

By Wen-Yee Lee

To honor the 100-year anniversary of the Great Migration of African Americans to northern states, OneBeat followed the migration route, touring from New Orleans through Chattanooga to Chicago to present the world music they created.

Every year, thousands of musicians apply for the 25 spots on OneBeat that represented 17 countries this year. Themes for the performances change each year, with this year devoted to musical migration.

“We also take care to have representation from different regions, representation from different backgrounds,” said Elena Park, OneBeat Director, “The premise of the project is music-based cultural diplomacy.”

Collaborating with a New York-based music organization called Found Sound Nation, OneBeat is an initiative of the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Since 2012, more than 100 musicians from 38 countries have been joined this project.

Photo at top: OneBeat performance features a world tour of music at the Old Town School of Folk Music in October.  (Wen-Yee Lee/MEDILL)