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photo credit: Shawna Kaiser
Some days are better than others when you're alive. It's tough being human. These days especially have a groundhog's day-esque feel. The grinding 24-hour news cycle, your job, relationships, taxes, heck don't forget, we all know what it's like. We're in this thing together. We can survive the uncertainty, the unknown. Because, every once in awhile, something catches your eye. A slight reminder life is grand. You're walking, and suddenly hey, I didn't know corn could grow anywhere. Or what about those signs springing up out of the blue with reminders that "you are beautiful." If you can relate, this week's Around Town: Inspired is dedicated to you. Take it easy out there, friends.
The work of Kenneth Wesbrooks in the Chicago community resounds in what holds the word together; unity. For over two decades, as the founder and chairman of A Work of Faith Ministries, Inc. (AWOFINC), he’s led a resourceful mission to meet the needs of families by empowering community members to “take back the village”.
It seems nothing can shake Wesbrooks’ vision. In a time when violence in the city can feel insurmountable he stands in the strength of people coming together, trusting in one another, creating relationships, and building success stories from the inside out.
When asked if he feels discouraged by one of the recent most violent weekends this summer, he said, “We partner our efforts with other organizations. We see violence as the primary symptom to greater community issues, such as housing or unemployment, and we reach out to organizations like Cure Violence who employ resources specific to gang-related violence.”
“Your opinion is your opinion, your perception is your perception–do not confuse them with ‘facts’ or ‘truth.’ Wars have been fought and millions have been killed because of the inability of men to understand the idea that everybody has a different viewpoint.” -John Moore
A young woman leaves her home country to live and work abroad for twelve months. It's her first time living in a foreign country alone and she feels out of place. For three months she finds her way making friends, learning the culture, language, exploring new foods, music, and traveling to neighboring towns. It's only when she reaches a city rich in history and war, told stories from a grieving generation of those lost, decades earlier, that she realizes she always understood the people in this strange and unfamiliar place. She deeply felt the undeniable human connection that was written long before she ever arrived.
A beautiful thing happens when we can bridge differences by sharing stories that resound with all of us.
What we see every day is framed within our perceptions. Perceptions built over the course of every day living, of the people in our lives, experiences in our community, and ourselves fitting amongst all of it. What is around you and how do you interpret it's meaning?
We want to see your perception through the lens of your eye. Bring us all the odd things, all the weird, can't look away, inspiring things. You're going to your favorite show and see something only you can understand, take out your camera (phone), shoot and send to firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you aware of what's around you? Tell the story of your perception through photos.
Photos by Shawna Kaiser at the Out of Chicago Photography Conference
Welcome to Music and Malt, a series that examines the intersections where music and beer meet in Chicago.
by Rebecca Suzan
In Chicago, music and beer are the cornerstones of a perfect summertime party. Fortunately, both were on hand to celebrate the 4th anniversary of Beermiscuous, Chicago’s craft beer café. I sat down with Andrew Hilsberg, Events Director at Beermiscuous, and Calvin Fredrickson, Account Manager at Spiteful Brewing and singer/guitarist for sewingneedle, at the celebration to talk about the artistry that goes into making and selling both beer and music.
RS: Andrew, how did you become involved with Beermiscuous?
AH: My entry into the beer world was marketing. I had worked in marketing in the music business and in print media. A couple months before it opened, I read a story on DNA Info about Beermiscuous, and I reached out to the owner. He hired me to start email newsletters, run social media, and make industry connections. I have an understanding of consumers, how to differentiate a brand, and how to get people to take notice and take action. I’ve always been at the intersection of commerce and culture, and I’m very fortunate that it’s been in music and beer. It becomes a lifestyle, not a job.
RS: I like that. It’s giving me hope that there are people out there doing things they love while I toil away at my day gig.
CF: Not every day is roses. There are tough days. There are some days you eat dirt. Not everybody wants to see you all the time, and some days you’re just not firing on all cylinders. Those days are discouraging, but most days are positive. I try to remember I’m lucky to do this. Very few people get this chance.