In the Frunchroom: Lee Bey

Lee Bey is a photographer, writer, lecturer and consultant whose work deals in the documentation and interpretation of the built environment—and the often complex political, social and racial forces that shape spaces and places.

His architectural photography has appeared in magazines such as the New York Times, Architectural Digest, Chicago Architect, Architect, Old House Journal, CITE, and in international design publications such as Bauwelt, and Modulør, both published in Germany.

A former Chicago Sun-Times architecture critic, Bey’s writing and reporting on architecture and urban design have been featured in Architect, Chicago magazine, Architectural Record, the Houston Chronicle, Crain’s Chicago Business, WBEZ Chicago Public Radio, Fox News Chicago, Guardian Cities, Monocle Radio, and CBS2 News Chicago.

A resident of Pullman, Bey is the author of Southern Exposure: The Overlooked Architecture of Chicago’s South Side, a forthcoming book that showcases his writing and photography.

Bey, who served as deputy chief of staff for architecture and urban planning under former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, is also a sought-after expert on architecture, architectural history and the development of cities.

Join Lee as we kick off Beverly Art Walk Week with the next Frunchroom this Tuesday at 730pm at Beverly Arts Center. A $5 donation is requested, which goes to fund more Beverly Area Arts Alliance events.

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In the Frunchroom: Don Hayner

Storytelling is often about documenting the world around us. One of the readers at this week’s Frunchroom knows all about that.

Don Hayner is the retired editor in chief of the Chicago Sun-Times where he managed and directed coverage of a broad range of urban issues. Hayner managed a staff of up to several hundred with responsibility for all departments as managing editor and editor in chief.

He earlier worked as a general assignment reporter, a feature writer and business reporter. During his tenure as editor and managing editor the Sun-Times won multiple general news and investigative reporting awards including the George Polk Award for local reporting (2004) and a Pulitzer Prize for local reporting in 2011.

He also co-hosted a Saturday morning talk show with Tom McNamee on WLS radio (890). He was co-author with McNamee of three books: Streetwise Chicago, A History of Chicago Street Names, The Metro Chicago Almanac: Fascinating Facts and Offbeat Offerings about the Windy City, and The Stadium: 1929-1994, The Official Commemorative History of the Chicago Stadium. Hayner recently finished Binga: The Rise and Fall of Chicago’s First Black Banker, which will be published by Northwestern University Press this fall.

Join Don as we kick off Beverly Art Walk Week with the next Frunchroom this Tuesday at 730pm at Beverly Arts Center. A $5 donation is requested, which goes to fund more Beverly Area Arts Alliance events.

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Photo by Scott Stewart/Sun-Times

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In the Frunchroom: Karen Clanton

We’ve had our fair share of lawyers at Frunchroom. Perhaps because lawyers know how to weave a narrative and reveal something from a different perspective than the conventional wisdom.

Karen Clanton is an attorney whose law degree did not stifle the English major lurking within. She has forged a career as a writer in the legal profession, where she has led complex editorial projects in securities law, women’s history and diversity & inclusion.

Karen currently works in a large law firm in the area of Diversity & Inclusion. She is a single mom living on the South Side of Chicago chronicling her adventures through stories told on her back porch that end up being heard on stages across the city.

Join Karen as we kick off Beverly Art Walk Week with the next Frunchroom this Tuesday at 730pm at Beverly Arts Center. A $5 donation is requested, which goes to fund more Beverly Area Arts Alliance events.

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In the Frunchroom: Veronica Arreola

If you remember nothing else about this week’s Frunchroom, remember this: It’s on Tuesday, not Thursday.

But there are lots of other things to remember like Tuesday is the 17th of September. And the show starts at 730pm. And it’s at Beverly Arts Center. And we have five more readers with South Side stories, including … a North Sider!

Veronica I. Arreola is a professional feminist, writer, and mom. Her writing has been featured in USA Today, New York Times, as well as Bitch Media where she serves on the board of directors. By day she works on diversity in science issues at UIC, currently as director of their Latinx in Science office, L@S GANAS.

Veronica hates treadmills and running, so she gets her gym on by indoor rock climbing. She’s always looking for a climbing partner, so if you are ready to tackle your fear of heights, hit her up.

She’s performed at Feminist Happy Hour, Miss Spoken, Tuesday Funk, and the Marrow (RIP). You can find her online at her blog Viva la Feminista or on Twitter & Instagram at @veronicaeye.

Veronica lives in West Rogers Park and has a story to tell about how soccer brought her to South Side coffee shops.

Join Veronica as we kick off Beverly Art Walk Week with the next Frunchroom this Tuesday at 730pm at Beverly Arts Center. A $5 donation is requested, which goes to fund more Beverly Area Arts Alliance events.

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The Frunchroom, Vol. 19: Beverly Art Walk Week edition

Join us Tuesday, September 17th at 730pm at Beverly Arts Center (2407 W. 111th St.) for another evening of South Sider storytelling.

Here’s our lineup:

Veronica Arreola
Professional feminist, rookie rock climber

Lee Bey
Author, photographer, Sam Cooke fanatic

Karen Clanton
Owning my story, stepping into my voice

Don Hayner
Author, editor, South sider

Evelyn Venegas
Realistic, always keeping it real

$5 donation requested. Proceeds go to support the work of the Beverly Area Arts Alliance.

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In the Frunchroom: John Tolley

As often as possible, we bring Frunchroom audience members onto the stage to tell their own stories – often to bring a new perspective to a common narrative.

John Tolley is a Chicagoan who’s spent most of his life living on the Southwest Side of Chicago. He’s had many occupations and experiences, one of which is being a Chicago Police Officer. He’s currently a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) instructor and Critical Response Unit (CRU) officer. As an instructor, his team teaches fellow police officers from Chicago, neighboring suburbs and local universities communication skills designed to help build rapport and calm an individual in mental crisis. As a CRU member, his team will respond to situations that call for more teamwork or communication skills, such as a hostage barricade situation, assisting the negotiator. 

Married to his high school sweetheart for the past 30 years, he has four children, all boys. One of his sons lives with schizophrenia. He is one of four children, two of whom live with bi-polar disease – including him. 

Here’s what John says about his work with mental health – his own and others’:

I work with people living in crisis because of their mental illnesses and I, myself, live with one as well. I see the stigma everywhere I go. I see the way people deal with the homeless on the streets of Chicago. I see people refusing to accept the fact that a family member or loved one may have a mental illness. I see people afraid to seek help because of fear or intimidation caused by stigma. One in five people live with a major mental illness. Mental illness effects all our lives, yet people are frightened by it. People are ashamed to have it. People refuse to accept it. And the stigma grows.

In 2017, we had 17 suicides in the department. It is my hope that by sharing my life, by “outing” myself to other officers, they may see there is hope in recovery. That we can still live with a mental illness and remain officers. 

John is the author of Disturbance With A Mental, which features his short stories and poems about mental illness. He’ll read two poems and a short story about his son son living with schizophrenia.

Join John and the rest of our readers this Thursday, July 25th at 730pm at Beverly Arts Center.

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In the Frunchroom: James Gordon

If you’ve watched a show with the word “Chicago” in the title, you’ve probably seen our next storyteller.

James Gordon is an international award winning poet and author, champion storyteller, and acclaimed actor.

He is a member of the talent conglomerate known as The Act Pack, which comprises talented individuals across many genres of entertainment.

James will play Nathaniel in the upcoming play “He Answered Me” on August 24th and 25th at Christ Tabernacle Church and can be heard and seen as the introductory voice of Amazon’s The G, as well as Detective Smiley.

James grew up in Windsor Park and Englewood and now lives in Marquette Park. He’ll tell a story about getting caught in gang warfare on the South Side – a story he performed and won with at The Moth.

Join James and the rest of our readers this Thursday, July 25th at 730pm at Beverly Arts Center.

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