There is one thing that Susan Nussbaum thinks is very important for you to understand: “This is not about outsider art,” says the Access Living spokesperson. “This is about people with disabilities who are artists and are concerned about disability oppression and disability rights.” Founded in 1980, Access Living is a cross-disability organization that fosters dignity and self-esteem among those with disabilities enabling them to maintain satisfying, individualized lifestyles. “Contagious: A Disability Cabaret” will mark the official launch of the organization’s “Arts and Culture” project, December 7 at 115 West Chicago. In an effort to “raise visibility around Chicago’s disability culture and give voice to artists with disabilities,” the cabaret will feature a slide-talk by accomplished multimedia artists Brooke Lanier and Marcos Raya and painter Katie Miller. Excerpts of poems and plays written by artists with disabilities will also be performed. “This is just a fun, relaxing way to check out what people with disabilities can do,” says Nussbaum.
It certainly feels like a typical night at Y Bar on Ontario—young, clean-shaven twentysomethings gyrate their asses, throw napkins into the air, dance around gleaming bottles of Grey Goose. The partiers flirt aimlessly, armed with every kind of drink the bar has to offer, most of them unaware that the club is concealing a secret, and there’s only one clue: orange and navy-blue balloons filled with helium stacked across the ceiling. Little do the clubbers know that they are minutes away from being in the midst of a surprise 30th birthday party (one that was well publicized online) for the Chicago Bears’ strong safety, Adam Archuleta, organized by his Playboy Playmate girlfriend Jennifer Walcott.
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By Margaret Wappler
In the middle aisle of Holy Name Cathedral, a man wearing all black is on his knees, crawling toward the altar, throwing his hands up in the air. Behind him, gathering for an impromptu noontime mass after Tuesday morning’s catastrophic events, is a congregation of people by themselves or in couples. They’re praying, cupping rosary beads, crying, clutching each other’s hands. TV news cameras are off to the side and outside the church, but no one is talking to them. Read the rest of this entry »