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Folk and Blues: The Tribulations of The Old Town School
"The school’s economic crisis, detractors say, is largely of its own making, due to a decade of mismanagement, lost opportunities, misguided priorities and poorly timed decisions. For its part, the school argues that enrollment is down because guitar playing is out of fashion and because YouTube videos and School of Rock have crowded the marketplace."

...

A financial endowment is a donation of money or property to a nonprofit organization which uses the resulting investment income for a specific purpose.

Usually the endowment is structured so that the principal amount is kept intact, while the investment income is available for use, or part of the principal is released each year, which allows for their donation to have an impact over a longer period than if it were spent all at once. An endowment may come with stipulations regarding its usage.
Music  chicago  Money  race  labor 
7 weeks ago by oripsolob
Chicago’s pension crisis isn’t really about pensions — it’s about debt
Why would the city so dramatically underfund its pensions? The answer is that “borrowing” from pension funds can appeal to elected officials for the same reason borrowing from other sources does: It allows the city to spend more money without asking residents to pay higher taxes. Essentially, Chicago has been borrowing from pension funds in order to pay for other priorities while keeping taxes artificially low. But as the debt payments on that pension borrowing have grown, the city has historically proven unwilling to pay them in full either, creating a spiral of rising costs.
chicago  Money  education  labor  mythology 
january 2019 by oripsolob
Save Old Town School
We’d seen the school increase prices for group classes by 25 to 30 percent over several years, and for individual lessons by more than 40 percent. We also had heard that enrollment was declining. But until recently, we didn’t realize how bad things had gotten.

Now, though, we’ve dug into the data. Student enrollment (group classes and private lessons) peaked in 2011 and has been heading downhill since then — starting just after the school went into debt (since repaid) to open an additional Lincoln Square building so it could expand class offerings.

Group class enrollment declined 28 percent from 2011 to 2017. Private lesson enrollment was down almost 7 percent.

We believe turning enrollment around must be the school’s top priority. Student tuition provides more than half of the Old Town School’s revenue — and enables the school to pay our wonderful musician-teachers. But we’ve seen little evidence that the school knows how to market its programs effectively.
chicago  Music  education 
january 2019 by oripsolob
Displaced: When the Eisenhower Expressway Moved in, Who Was Forced Out?
Mom lived at 623 S. Halsted.

Eisenhower Expressway built between 1949 and 1961. Displaced 13,000 people and 400 businesses.

Near West Side: "the community population of 50,000 includes chiefly persons of Italian, Mexican, Greek, Jewish, and Negro ancestry.”

“There was a tight-knit Greek community,” says Harry Lalagos, who was born in 1944 and lived at 642 S. Blue Island Ave. “Everybody knew everybody, and everybody had cousins and relatives that all lived in the same area. … My dad had a store down there, a grocery store and a restaurant.”

“Our doors were always open,” says Harry’s younger sister, Demetra Lalagos. “People were just popping in and out. … Everybody got along.”

But then came the expressway. “I remember the construction equipment digging down and putting in the overpasses,” Harry says. “If you were standing on the Halsted Street overpass and looking west, you would see the overpasses at Morgan Street and Racine, but it was just all dirt. And every one of the underpasses would flood from the rain. … We'd build a raft and just float around in there.”

The expressway wasn’t the only project that tore up Greektown and Little Italy. A decade later, even more people — including the Lalagos family — were forced out when the University of Illinois built a campus there. “That is what really broke up the Greektown area,” Demetra says. “It was a sad time.”

Their father was forced to close his business around 1959, and the family moved near North and Harlem avenues. “It broke his heart to move out of there, because it was his life,” Harry says.

Greektown’s surviving businesses shifted north of where they had been. “As far as the residential part of it, pretty much all of the people had scattered to different parts of the city,” Harry says.
history  chicago  sociology  inequalities 
december 2018 by oripsolob
Opening Weekend Celebration: Aug. 31—Sept. 3 · Tours · Chicago Architecture Center - CAC
During the weekend (Friday, Aug. 31 thru Monday, Sept. 3), we will have a contest open to anyone who takes a photo of the CAC and posts it to social media using the hashtag #GetToTheCenter. Prizes include a 2-night stay at LondonHouse Chicago, free CAC Friends & Family memberships, free river cruise tickets, a gift certificate to Land & Lake Kitchen and more!
chicago  architecture  Contest  2018 
august 2018 by oripsolob
Five Questions with the team behind THE AREA – Gene Siskel Film Center – Medium
"Thinking about The Area as an example, during testimony in City Hall, an activist noted that the development proposals for “the area” (the targeted property, bounded on the north and south by Garfield Boulevard and on the east and west by Steward Avenue and Wallace Street) identified it as blighted, but the proposals didn’t acknowledge how and *why* it came to be that way. The official documents didn’t explain what the train company and city set into motion years before."

"It clarifies how international economic dynamics combined with structural disadvantage and racism produce the problems that plague the city."

"And the longer we worked on the project, the more my reactions weren’t just that shock of change, but also the erasure of memories."

"I hope each person who sees The Area can reflect in their own way on the communities that made and shaped their own lives, and that they can consider the ways American society did or didn’t allow those communities to thrive, or even to exist."
sociology  Corporation  chicago  Video  inequalities  race  Movie 
august 2018 by oripsolob
Lessons — TRANSISTOR
About the Teacher

The owner of Transistor, Andy Miles started playing drums in the fourth grade, going on to join junior and high school orchestras and a long series of rock bands from the mid-'80s on. He has also written for various publications on the arts, history & culture, made audio documentaries, worked in radio and public television, owned and operated a company specializing in congressional hearing transcripts.  He Born near Chicago and currently residing in Chicago’s Ravenswood neighborhood, he has also called Madison, Washington, D.C., and Berlin home. He holds a bachelors degree in history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
chicago  Music 
august 2018 by oripsolob
Nicholas Pinto
Street and documentary photography in Chicago
photos  photography  chicago  design 
july 2018 by oripsolob
Lemmings Tavern
Bucktown bar that features local artists
chicago  restaurants  art  photography 
june 2018 by oripsolob
Search: chicago | Flickr
Use Library of Congress links for high resolution TIFF
photos  history  chicago 
june 2018 by oripsolob
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