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CHIRP Radio feature stories cover current affairs, culture and the arts from all over Chicagoland.

News Chicago’s Cajun Connoisseur Serves Deliciousness and Opportunity

Kyle Kelly is the co-owner and head chef of The Cajun Connoisseur. He's a self-taught Cajun chef starting out his second winter in the “deliciousness business” of Chicago’s food truck scene. With his crew of family on board, Kelly serves grits, jambalaya and po'boys, makes plans for his brick-and-mortar restaurant, and offers opportunities to young people from his Englewood neighborhood. But his mantra of good food and forgiveness can't prevent gun violence from touching his business and his life.

This story was produced as part of new collaboration between CHIRP Radio and City Bureau, a Chicago journalism lab. City Bureau reporter Sarah Conway worked with CHIRP producer Dan Epstein to create this day-in-the life radio portrait as part of City Bureau's fall 2016 cycle on Englewood's food desert.

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Topics: cajun connoisseur, cajun cooking, chicago, chicago food trucks, chicago foodie, city bureau, creole cooking, englewood, englewood businesses, englewood food desert, family business, food, food trucks, gun violence, hyde park businesses, opportunity, street food

News Sonnenzimmer

In this three-part interview, CHIRP's Dylan Peterson visits the studio of Nick Butcher and Nadine Nakanishi to talk about the art, history, and philosophies of Sonnenzimmer. Butcher and Nakanishi discuss their origins and working relationship as visual artists, the audio/visual/literature project Graphic Arts Future, and the importance of Chicago as a setting for creative work.

Sonnenzimmer's solo show Vector Sculptures runs until May 21st at Elastic Arts in Chicago, with a live discussion on April 21st with curator Jordan Martins.

produced by Dylan Peterson (@tdvsbl)

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Topics: chicago, dylan peterson, elastic arts, graphic arts future, local artists, nadine nakanishi, nick butcher, screenprinting, sonnenzimmer, vector sculptures, visual arts

News Amelia Gray

CHIRP DJ Bobby Evers caught up with author Amelia Gray during her recent stop through Chicago for her book tour in support of her new collection of short stories, Gutshot. They discuss the tour, sign some books, and admire Chicago style hotdogs.

Produced by Bobby Evers

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Topics: amelia gray, authors, bobby evers, gutshot

News Psychfest and VCSR

CHIRP's Eve Szokolai attended The Hideout's Summer Psych Fest where she talked to organizers about what the festival means for Chicago as well as other cities that celebrate psychedelic music. Before their performance at the fest, Chicago's VCSR talked about the experimental synth recordings they made over 30 years ago, and finally distributing their music via Permanent Records in 2015.

produced by Eve Szokolai

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Topics: chicago bands, eve szokolai, hideout, psych fest, psychedelic, vcsr

News Intense Seeing - The Cognitive Art of Feynman Diagrams

If you’re into infographics, then you probably know about Edward Tufte. He’s arguably the world’s foremost expert in the visual presentation of data, and leader of the campaign against “chartjunk,” the gimmicks and gadgets that frequently adorn and confuse the graphs, tables and charts we see online, in print and at work. When he’s not working on a new book or teaching his one-day course on presenting data and information, Tufte spends his time making sculptures.

A collection of his sculptures is devoted to what Tufte himself calls “maybe the greatest data visualization ever done,” a way of graphically depicting sub-atomic particle behavior developed by physicist and Nobel laureate, Richard Feynman. Appropriately enough, an exhibit of that collection is on display at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) until June 26th.

CHIRP’s Dan Epstein went to Fermilab recently to talk with Tufte, and with physicist John Campbell, about Feynman diagrams, and the “intense seeing” that art and science have in common.


Special thanks to Don Lincoln of Fermilab for providing additional background and a Feynman diagram calculation.

produced by Dan Epstein

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Topics: data visualizations, edward tufte, fermilab, higgs boson, national accelerator laboratory, particle accelerator, physics, pioneer space plaque, richard feynman, sub-atomic particles

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