Walks to celebrate and unite Chicago Communities
CHICAGO – It’s hot. The virus crushes our hearts. Chicago’s problems simmer.
And yet, over six weeks dozens of neighbors, community leaders and artists from 12 Chicago South Side and West Side communities are taking part in hours-long walks celebrating their communities in an unprecedented message of a city coming together.
As far as we can tell, this has not taken place in any other major US city.
Their urban pilgrimage, called YOU ARE HERE, is led by Theatre Y, a veteran Chicago theatre group dedicated to free theatre that engages all of Chicago. The walks were inspired by the theatre group’s own walk and performances two years ago along the Camino or the pilgrim’s route in Spain. It led to a highly successful series of walks through and around Humboldt Park.
The focus of the four-mile, six-hour long walks is on the historic, social, cultural and religious sites and legacies proudly shared by the communities. Along the way there are rest breaks, performances by the Theatre Y Ensemble and artists from the communities, and a bonding among walkers through prompted conversations.
A Moving Assembly Of Who We Are
In preparing for the walks, Theatre Y spent months reaching out to activists and folks who care about their communities. Thus, the walks have become a traveling drama of a living city. Each walk ends with a picnic and chance for the walkers to share their reactions and stories.
The walks follow the city’s Emerald Necklace, the boulevards that give breath and life to the city. The Emerald Camino Project will be documented by Worldview Solutions, a non-profit inspired by WBEZ’s celebration of Chicago’s diversity, and National Geographic’s Out of Eden project, a global walk by former Chicago Tribune reporter Paul Salopek that reminds us to see and hear the world as we slowly pass by.
Guided by a Theatre Y ensemble member, each walker will be paired with someone from another Chicago neighborhood. Some of the neighborhoods, where the walk will take place, include the Back of the Yards, Englewood, Washington Park, Hyde Park, Woodlawn and Jackson Park.
Can you hear the people talking and walking?
“YOU ARE HERE” is a joyful pandemic experience that connects Chicago’s diverse communities through the intersection of conversation and art,” said Melissa Lorraine, Theatre Y’s artistic director. Working with the CDOT, Elevated Chicago and others, the theatre group is also committed to making these neighborhood stretches more walkable
For information about the locations and tickets: https://www.theatre-y.com. The walks have already started and will continue to Sept. 26. Theatre Y provides free performances sustained by its members.
Little Village Camino: 1-7 PM, Saturday 9/4/21
Back of the Yards Camino: 1-7 PM, Sunday 9/5/21
Englewood Camino: 1-7 PM, Saturday 9/11/21
Washington Park Camino: 1-7 PM, Sunday 9/12/21
Bronzeville Camino: 1-7 PM, Saturday 9/18/21
Hyde Park Camino: 1-7 PM, Sunday 9/19/21
Woodlawn Camino: 1-7 PM, Saturday 9/25/21
Jackson Park Camino/Project Closing Celebration: 1-7 PM, Sunday 9/26/21