Amores, this morning Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune published an article on the Green Line Performing Arts Center Grand Opening. It came with an outrageously misleading headline: “Finally, a Chicago-style Storefront for the Southside,” which received such passionate response from people who are Team Free Street that the Trib changed the headline. I want to thank all of you who jumped in to insist on Free Street’s existence, on the work we have been doing to uplift the stories and experiences of Black, Brown, POC, Queer, and working-class voices in the city, and to build space (LITERALLY – Free Street’s Storyfront in Back of the Yards) to tell our stories. I encourage you to read Ricardo Gamboa‘s careful analysis, on their personal page and on Chris Jones’s, as to why the Trib’s (lack of) coverage of our work is so profoundly dangerous. Please also read this article in Sacpi Magazine.
I think it is important to note that we CELEBRATE the opening of the GLPAC. Not only is it a very different kind of space than the Storyfront, but it is also MUCH NEEDED. The Southside is HUGE! We need dozens and dozens more theaters across the city, in places that are easy and comfortable for the millions of Black and Brown people in this city to access. I personally have sat on the planning committee for the space, and met with staff on several occasions. Free Street will be one of the first companies doing programming at the space. I TRUST and LOVE the staff there – people like Quenna Lené and Nikki Patin are The REAL DEAL. We refuse to be divided by the representational whims of the mainstream media (jajajajajajaja -I know I sound like one of those people shouting “Fake News!”). We are in this together – making space for OUR stories, IN our communities.
Free Street is doing important and vital work and we are doing it with very few resources. We need those of you who believe that what we are doing is important to continue to support us, both with your passionate words and by helping us build for our future. We are in the middle of a campaign to raise $10,000 to meet a matching grant and every little bit helps send an importantmessage about the kind of theater we value in this city (value in the “oh, yeah, free theater isn’t free to make” kind of way.) Please join our#BeFreeStreet campaign here: https://freestreet.z2systems.com/…/clients/fr…/donation.jsp…&