Welcome to the Neighborhood

In 2013, a woman named Rachel Hyman reached out to me on Twitter to talk neighborhoods.

We were both working in that space; me through this site, her through Anthology of Chicago. We combined forces to create “Welcome to the Neighborhood,” a reading series that would explore Chicago through its component elements.

An itinerant, homeless series, we go where we’re needed. We’ve raised funds for a literacy nonprofit at a Logan Square bar, feted Studs Terkel at the University of Chicago and packed the house twice at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Starting in 2014, we’ve had local artists illustrate the stories, turning each performance into a dynamic visual experience the Chicago Tribune called “a living graphic novel.”

Find out where we’re going next and see photos from past readings at our Facebook page.


Past events:

Printers Row Lit Fest, June 11, 2016

Nestor Gomez – Uptown
Britt Julious – Austin
Clarence Browley – Pilsen
Zoe Zolbrod – Wicker Park
Ben Tanzer – Gold Coast


MCA Live, Jan. 20, 2015

Psalm One, art by Dmitry Samarov - Englewood
Elaine Hegwood Bowen, art by Marine Tempels - Englewood
Steven Schroeder, own art – Hyde Park
Rachel Hyman, art by Sarah Zimmer - Hyde Park
Megan Stielstra, art by Camille Swift - Wicker Park


Chicago Book Expo, Dec. 6, 2014

Alexai Galaviz-Budziszewski – Pilsen and Heart of Chicago
Dan Campana – Wrigleyville
Megan Stielstra - Uptown
Oni Woods – Bronzeville
Kush Thompson – Austin


The Museum of Contemporary Art’s Word Weekend, July 26, 2014

Paul Dailing, art by Jamie Hibdon - Little Village
Don De Grazia, art by Dmitry Samarov – Wrigleyville
Irene Marquette, art by Rachel Foss – Andersonville
Oni Woods, art by Emily Torem – Bronzeville
Kari Lydersen, art by Chester Elvin - Pilsen


Let’s Get Working: Chicago Celebrates Studs Terkel, May 10, 2014

Lily Be – Humboldt Park
Kush Thompson – Austin
Malcolm London – Austin
Jim Padar – Near West Side
Kimberly Dixon-Mays – Hyde Park


Chi Lit: Tales of the Neighborhoods, Aug. 13, 2013

Dmitry Samarov – Beverly
Robert Loerzel – Lakeview
Shannon Cason – Bronzeville
Bill Savage – Rogers Park
Paul Durica – Pilsen
Melanie LaForce – Logan Square
Molly Meacham – Roscoe Village
Kimberly Dixon-Mays – Hyde Park
Sarah Gonzalez – Pilsen




Chicago Tribune, “Welcome to the Neighborhood aims to diversify Chicago live lit,” Jan. 29, 2015

Chicago Reader, “Welcome to the Neighborhood,” Jan. 15, 2015

Crain’s Chicago Business, “10 Things to Do,” Jan. 15, 2015

Chicago Reader, ”Assembling a picture of Chicago, neighborhood by neighborhood,” Aug. 9, 2013

Gapers Block, “Stories from Around the Way @ Cole’s Bar,” Aug. 9, 2013

Chicagoist, “Pencil This In: Chi Lit – Tales Of The Neighborhood,” Aug. 13, 2013

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