Friday, March 27, 2009

The Last Supper

Hey guys (and girls of COURSE!!), this post is being brought to you live from the Hostel in Chicago. I'm your host for the day, Ella!

Today is our last full day here in Chi-Town, and let me tell you, we are going to miss it! From Little Black Pearl, Drama Girls, and Insight Arts, there were so many things going on this week. My feet are DEAD, but MAN do I feel good about it!

So, this morning we went on a tour with the Chicago Public Art Group, which is a group located a couple blocks away from our wonderful "home" that help fund and plan out public art pieces. Most of these are murals, with some being sculpture. We went around to 5 different sites in the city, to see some of the finished products. We saw a great one (and my favorite out of the ones that we saw) on the side of a transitional home for families. For anyone into politics, it's the place where the Ex-Senator Blagojevich's wife worked for a couple years. This mural, and some others that we saw, were done in a new style called bricolage, which is like a mosaic, but instead of planning out each piece of tile, it was all just done on the wall, and then filled in with colored grout. (the pic above is part of the one that we saw! It was taken from my phone... but it's still pretty good quality.) We saw some other great murals, including one done by a famous spray-paint artist, whose name I can't spell, but his tag name is Static. Then we came upon the last one that we talked about, which is located between two VERY racially different neighborhoods who are constantly in gang wars. This piece of art was done by Static, who is African-American, and also by a Hispanic lady. They are both from the different warring neighborhoods, and came together to collaborate on this mural. It was originally going to be a very poignant mural, but then 2 weeks before the production was going to start, the principal of the school where the mural was being placed changed her mind on the message she wanted to send. Instead, they had to weaken the image, and create a mural based off of education. It still had some racial issues, but it seemed very bubble-gum.

The next thing that we did today was to go back to Insight Arts. We started out the day by meeting with the founder, Craig, and hearing his story and how he started the organization back in 1992. We then participated in a staff meeting, which was pretty interesting. We saw how the everyone knew pretty much everything about the org, and how the organization of the org worked (lol, that was a weird statement). Then, we took a little break outside, by walking up and down the street in search of people who would come to the event that we helped host that night. The event was a great success in my opinion! It was an Open Mic night, but only for women. Aubrey and I acted as the MC's for the evening, and Simone and Randa collaborated to create a poem to perform. Then all the women who work at Insight Arts performed, along with a couple people from the street. The acts were so varied, from dance to poems. And the poems: from war to race. It was a great time!

I'm really sad that we now have to go home tomorrow... These girls have been a great inspiration to me. I can't believe how fantastic our reflections have been at night, and how much we've all connected. We can laugh about pretty much anything now!! I'm SOOOO happy that I chose to go on a CSI trip!!

Ok, signing off now! Peace Out Hens and Roosters! See ya on the flip side!

PS. For supper tonight we had soup. And bread. So it was very "last supper" ish. Just thought you'd ALL want to know what we've been eating. :-)

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