"Often at-risk youth are robbed from their innocence without them knowing. I think art is a way in which we can bear witness to what they have gone through" -Eddie Bocanegra (above, with one of his students)
Eddie Bocanegra, one of three violence interrupters with CeaseFire Chicago featured in 2011’s The Interrupters, has worked tirelessly to curb the violence on the city’s streets and provide alternatives to at-risk youth. In addition to his work as a violence interrupter, he’s worked as an educator and an advocate for ex-offenders, all while earning a bachelors in social work from Northern Illinois University.
This summer he’s collaborated with the National Museum of Mexican Art to put together “Stop the Violence with Art”, a program designed to give young people whose lives have been affected by violence a creative outlet to express their feelings.
The exhibit opens tomorrow (July 6th) with a screening of The Interrupters followed by a conversation with Eddie Bocanegra and the young artists featured.
We hear everyday about the lives lost to street violence; come by tomorrow to support some of the people working hard to make a change.
Author and Chicago Sun-Times columnist John Fountain has been writing about violence in Chicago since he was a cub reporter at the Chicago Tribune in 1989—though he’d been living the beat long before that. Fountain grew up on Chicago’s West Side, in K-Town. There, he was exposed to poverty and its symptoms: drugs, broken homes, gang violence and crime. But he knew he wanted to make a difference. Part of that, he says, was his Pentecostal upbringing; Fountain’s grandfather was the pastor of the True Vine church. Fountain went on to become a deacon in the church and maintains that faith holds the answer to so many problems.
Fountain spoke with Father Chuck Dahm, of Pilsen and Pastor Phil Jackson, of Lawndale about getting kids “off the corners and back to church” as part of the Long Hot Summer series on Steve Edwards’ Afternoon Shift.