The Frunchroom, Vol. XX: Twenty to start 2020 edition

Did the organizers of The Frunchroom intend to start 2020 with its 20th show? Nope. But as luck and the calendar would have it, that’s exactly what happened with five new storytellers to warm up your winter.

theFrunchroom-volXX-Jan2020The Beverly Area Arts Alliance presents:

The Frunchroom, Volume XX

Sponsored by: Beverly Arts Center

Thursday, January 16th
730pm
Beverly Arts Center,  2407 W. 111th St.

$5 donation requested

Our storytellers:

Ada Cheng
Recovering academic turned hopeful artist

Lisa Colleen
Lover of stories 

Tonika Johnson
Creator, Folded Map Project

Madeline O’Malley
Southside transplant, comedian, #BeverlyFamous mom 

Jessica Scheller
Mom, wife, neighbor, undercover revolutionary  

Hosted by: Scott Smith

Visit BeverlyArts.org for more information on the Beverly Area Arts Alliance.

Posted in Lineups | Tagged | Leave a comment

Podcast: Vol. 9, The 2nd Anniversary Shows; Parts I and II (plus show notes)

frunchroom

Subscribe to The Frunchroom podcast in iTunes here

It’s the next two episodes of The Frunchroom podcast…18 months later. You can listen to the podcast for an explanation of why it’s been so long. Together they make up Volume 9 of The Frunchroom.

These are our 2nd anniversary shows from April 2017.

Our readers are (their descriptions reflect their lives at the time of their reading):

NIGHT ONE

Ayana Contreras
Radio host/producer, DJ and writer

Rodney Walker
Author, educator, South Side native

Tom Cramer
Blogger, 70s kid, craft beer geek, native South Sider

Daniel Kay Hertz
Writer, reader, mapper, spreadsheeter

Sue Sadlowski Garza
Alderwoman 10th Ward, CPS Counselor, Progressive Activist, Grandma

NIGHT TWO

Jahmal Cole
Founder of My Block, My Hood, My City

Kim Bellware
Huffington Post reporter, bike adventurer and full-city wanderer

Lendon Sadler
Activist & actor; performer, raconteur, unabashed lover

Bridget Gainer
Part-time pol, full-time Chicagoan, reader, mother & dual citizen 

Kevin Coval
Poet; community builder; artistic director, Young Chicago Authors

Our next Frunchroom live show is on Thursday, January 16th at Beverly Arts Center at 730pm. Details to follow, but click here to RSVP for the event on Facebook.

Night One:

Night Two:

 

 

Posted in Podcast | Leave a comment

Everything you need to know about The Frunchroom, Vol. 19

Another Art Walk Week is upon us and with it comes a Tuesday Frunchroom – on September 17th.

We’re also welcoming Bookie’s back for some pre-and-post-show book sales. They’ll be selling copies of The Chicago Neighborhood Guidebook and other books by Frunchroom readers, including Soulless, The Case Against R. Kelly, How To Speak Midwestern, A Few Red Drops, and more.

Here are our storytellers:

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

What’s the time? And where?
730pm. But show up to the Beverly Arts Center (2407 W. 111th St.) by 7-715pm to guarantee yourself a seat, chat with friends, get a drink from the bar, check out the art, and settle in. We usually close the balcony at BAC to keep things a bit more intimate and cozy unless the crowd size demands it.

Wait, there’s art?
Yes! It’s Art Walk Week! Arrive early to preview two Beverly Art Walk exhibitions from St. Xavier University and the Beverly Arts Center’s Drawn to Humor: National Cartoonist Society.

Where do I park?
Beverly Arts Center has parking just west of the building and another lot on the south.

How do I get there via transit?
Take the Metra Rock Island Line which departs from the LaSalle Street Station in the Loop. Get off at 111th Street. Head west up the hill for about three blocks. The BAC is the big red building on the corner.

Where can I eat?
Places nearby include Manzo’s Burgers and Waldo Cooney’s Pizza on 111th Street and AmericanosOpen Outcry Brewing and Horse Thief Hollow on Western Avenue.

You mentioned drinks?
Beer, wine and liquor will be available at the cash bar before and during the show. The post-Frunchroom festivities will continue at Open Outcry Brewing.

What are the stories like?
Some are sincere, some are tongue-in-cheek. One may be a call-to-action, another might make you think. One might be historical, one might make you remember a place you haven’t been since childhood. Basically, like having a conversation with someone you haven’t seen in a while. This review from South Side Weekly really captures what we’re about.

Who’s helping you with this?
I’m producing this in partnership with The Beverly Area Arts Alliance (or The Alliance, for short).

A big thanks to Monica Wilczak, Sal Campbell, David Barsotti, Jane Zia, Chris Wilczak, Lizzy Benner, Chris Castaneda, Corinne Rose and Cicely Harris who’ve given this event material, financial and moral support. And a huge thanks to Beverly Arts Center for sponsoring the show.

See you there!

The Frunchroom is presented by The Beverly Area Arts Alliance and sponsored by Beverly Arts Center. 

Posted in Lineups | Tagged | Leave a comment

In the Frunchroom: Evelyn Venegas

Evelyn Venegas Cuzco, is the Family Support Network Coordinator at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR). In her current role, Ms. Venegas oversees the family support network hotline and conducts training and presentations about current immigration issues and policy.

Evelyn was born in Quito, Ecuador. She grew up in the north side of Chicago in the neighborhood of Irving Park. Ms. Venegas earned a B.A in Political Science with a focus in urban studies and a minor in Anthropology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Before joining ICIRR, Ms. Venegas served as a youth leader at the Logan Square Neighborhood Association, focusing on immigrant trauma in DACA youth. In her previous role, she also helped pass Online Voter Registration and Election Day Registration while a Democracy Corp fellow at Chicago Votes.

Evelyn enjoys helping her community on her free time, she volunteers to help Legal Permanent Residents fill out their citizenship application at Erie Neighborhood House.

Join Evelyn 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.

RSVP on Facebook here

Posted in Lineups | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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.

RSVP on Facebook here

Posted in Lineups | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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. He’ll read an excerpt from Binga at The Frunchroom.

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.

RSVP on Facebook here

Photo by Scott Stewart/Sun-Times

Posted in Lineups | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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.

A resident of Washington Park, Karen will tell a story about being a transplant to Chicago and the South Side.

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.

RSVP on Facebook here

Posted in Lineups | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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.

RSVP on Facebook here

Posted in Lineups | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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.

RSVP on Facebook here

Posted in Lineups | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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.

RSVP on Facebook here

Posted in Lineups | Tagged , | Leave a comment