News RoundUp • Pitchfork Fest Announces Chicago Talent, CPS Students Pen Open Letter to Chance The Rapper & More

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Winter decided to pop back in for one last go around as much of the city's artist class escaped down to Texas for the annual South by Southwest retreat. While the cold definitely put a damper on the regular movement in and around Chicago, the news kept churning and, true to form lately, Chance found himself in the center of things with additional donations to CPS and plenty of praise for it. Meanwhile, Pitchfork unveiled their full lineup which includes several locals again, the city offered up some jobs for teens and much more on our latest News Round Up. 


CPS Students Pen Open Letter to Chance The Rapper

Over the course of the last few weeks, Chance The Rapper has emerged as perhaps the biggest and most visible proponent for the Chicago Public School system. Between sparring with Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, donating $1 million to the public school system and announcing a subsequent $10,000 for nine additional schools, Chance has proven to be a catalyst for the positivity our city sorely needs. It seems as though his efforts aren't going unnoticed by those he has aimed to affect, either, as the students in CPS have been quick to show their gratitude in the form of drawings, thank you letters and plenty of high-fives and hugs. Three Lakeview students however decided to pen their thoughts, taking time to underline just how important the 23-year-old Grammy winners actions have been to them personally. Check the whole thing out below.

Alex Rojas, Alondra Cerros, and Annelisse Betancourt from Lake View High School.

Alex Rojas, Alondra Cerros, and Annelisse Betancourt from Lake View High School.

"First and foremost, we as Chicago Public School students would like to thank you for the supportive donation to our schools. As we all know, CPS has been struggling financially, and your donation has really given us a push to get to where we need to be and possibly motivate others to give back to the community as well. This is only one of the many things that you have done to improve our Chicago.

After you gave CPS the push that was needed to help give us students what we deserve, you encouraged other celebrities such as Derrick Rose to do so as well. If this goes on, CPS could be saved and our schools could receive the best educational experience we are worthy of. You are one of the reasons this can be made possible.

All of the things that you do for our city never go unnoticed. All of the free concerts you host and all the time you spend here in the city really show you care. We notice it. We look up to you because the fame usually takes humility away from artists, but it hasn’t changed you.

There are many big celebrities from Chicago, but you are one of the few that really give back. It is evident that you sincerely care for the youth here. This is why you are an inspiration to us. We appreciate you for not only representing us through your music, but also through your actions.

In Chicago, a person is shot every 2 hours and 48 minutes. A person is murdered every 14 hours and 27 minutes, and you helped stop gun violence in Chicago for 42 hours with the help of your Twitter account and various Chicago radio stations. Even though this was three years ago, the fact you had such a tremendous impact on Chicago shows how much the people of this city look up to you.

You're more than just an artist to us, you are a way of life. You make music that we can relate to on many levels, because you know what living in Chicago is like, and you want to make changes in the city. We may not be from the same side but we come from the same city. We just want to thank you for not forgetting where you came from and helping the city of Chicago in more ways than just being an inspirational rapper. You’re using your fame for good and not just to look good. You gave $1 million dollars of your personal money to Chicago schools and that's something no one has done for us.

We thank you for supporting Chicago's minority youth when not many others have put time to think about the kids. As minority students we feel ignored and as though we don’t have enough support from bigger influences like you. Being born and raised in Chicago is not easy at all. There are so many stereotypes and restrictions we have as teenagers due to the frequent violence and crimes. Your music puts some at ease because we know that someone cares and someone has experienced these daily struggles too. You and your music have taught us that you can be true to yourself and still be successful, still be self-made.

Once again, thank you for aiding us and giving something back to the city we know and love, Chicago. "

Sincerely,
Alex Rojas, Alondra Cerros, and Annelisse Betancourt
Lake View High School Students
Chicago, Illinois


Pitchfork Selects A Handful of Chicagoans to Perform In Their Own Backyard

Chicago's own NE-HI will perform Sunday at Pitchfork Music Festival

Chicago's own NE-HI will perform Sunday at Pitchfork Music Festival

Pitchfork has officially announced their full festival lineup after announcing headliners A Tribe Called Quest, Solange and LCD Soundsystem last week. Additional acts include Danny Brown, Vince Staples, Kamaiyah, Isiah Rashad, Frances and the Lights, Madlib on the hip-hop side. Pinegrove, Dirty Projectors, Angel Olsen, Nicolas Jaar, and the Avalanches round off other genres. In good tradition, Pitchfork has a handful of Chicago talents featured throughout the lineup like rapper Joey Purp, singer Jamila Woods, rock band NE-HI and house legend Derrick Carter. The festival itself is held at Union Park, home to other festivals like North Coast Music Festival in the fall.

The full line-up can be found at Pitchfork.com/festival/chicago. Tickets and 3-day passes are on-sale now! Single day passes are $75 and 3-day passes are $175.


One Summer Chicago Offers Summer Jobs for Chicago Teens

While the snow outside might now have one's mind squarely on the summer months just yet, the city of Chicago is looking to fill some positions ahead of the annual thawing and has roughly 30,000 positions for seasonal work available to Chicago teens. The jobs are currently being offered as part of the city's "One Summer Chicago' intiative. Teens and young adults ages 14-24 can apply online at onesummerchicago.org by May 15, officials said. 

If you're looking to follow suit of recent Chicagoans like Chance above, the city is also allowing residents to donate to the Robert R. McCormick Foundation to expand the opportunities for the teens and young adults which began in 2011 offering 700 jobs. 

While the evolution of the program is certainly a positive for the city, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been frustrated by the lack of federal and state funding put forward. While the jobs are widely available to teens and young adults, roughly 2,000 will be set aside for the city's "most at-risk teens and young adults" who will also receive ""intensive mentoring and cognitive therapy" as part of an effort designed to reduce crime."

"Every year, One Summer Chicago opens the doorway of opportunity to a valuable work experience and a summer paycheck today, leading our children to realize their full potential and a brighter future tomorrow," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. "The federal government and the state government [are] A.W.O.L. on supporting our kids."

According to DNAInfo, "Also on Tuesday, Emanuel endorsed an effort by Thrive Chicago, a non-profit group, to help 10,000 16- to 24-year-old Chicagoans find work or go back to school by 2020."


Wormhole Coffee Coming to Logan Square

As Logan Square quickly transforms into a semblance of Wicker Park, it seems the staples from one neighborhood are quickly bleeding into another as the iconic Wormhole Coffeeshop in Wicker announced that it would be opening a new location, its second, just northwest on Milwaukee ave.

According to DNAInfo, "Travis Schaffner was issued a city permit to convert a medical office at 3431 W. Fullerton Ave. into a coffee shop/cafe with on-site bean roasting. The cost of construction was listed at $215,000, according to the permit."

The new location will contain a new concept and not be a furtherance of the 80's video game-themed decor of the location at 1462 N. Milwaukee Ave. 

"The Logan Square project is a cafe/roasterie with very, VERY new and fancy equipment which I am hesitant to discuss but it's going to create quite a serious windfall of goodness for the quality of our beans," Schaffner wrote in an email.

The move is the latest in a series of migrations to the newly-minted hipster-enclave that has changed dramatically over the course of the last five years. Recently, the Double Door and American Apparel joined a quickly-rising list of longtime commercial residents that have since left the neighborhood, which is quickly becoming overrun by over-priced condos and chic new moms with baby carriages. 

Jake Krez

Side By Side PR, 2248 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL, 60616, United States