Digital Media Studies Final Project, March 2018
How to support the local music scene without leaving your nice, warm home
Chicago Reader, February 2019
I conducted an informal weeklong survey to see how Chicagoans support the underground music scene when they can't be physically present for shows. I circulated an online form via various Facebook groups that focus on local music (most notably DIY Chicago), gathering responses from music-business professionals, fans, and artists from hip-hop, jazz, punk, hardcore, indie rock, and more.
14 East, December 2018
I would search all those awkward, teenager-esque keywords, from unrequited love to depression to college how-to’s. I read through the personal diary entries like they were letters from my best friends. I had my first encounter with zines through Rookie, when a contributor personally mailed me theirs from Switzerland (I still have the detachable collage hanging on my bedroom wall). I patiently waited for their weekly Friday playlists and combed through articles hoping to find some sense of myself, some larger understanding that made me feel less alone.
Justice for Laquan: After Van Dyke Verdict, Activists, Protesters Close Mag Mile
14 East, October 2018
2019 College Media Association Pinnacle Award for Best Multimedia Breaking News Story, Third Place
2019 Associated Collegiate Press Multimedia Story of the Year, Honorable Mention
Almost four years after the death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was convicted of second-degree murder on Friday, October 5. McDonald would have been 21 this year.
DePaul's Secret Zine Scene
14 East, October 2018
Like any artistic movement, it wasn’t meant to last. After two years at DePaul, and one at the Chicago Cultural Center, the Underground Press Conference disbanded. While short-lived, it became a paper trail to an arts and zine movement now memorialized in DePaul’s library catalogues and followed by trendy zine fests nationwide.
Programs teach Minnesota's American Indian youth the warning signs of suicide
Star Tribune, September 2018
Art, kids and suicide can seem like a perplexing, and troubling, mix. But members of the indigenous Peoples Task Force, who organize peer-based suicide prevention groups like Keep the Fire Alive, are helping to start an urgent conversation. Through meetings and training, Native youth are being schooled in warning signs of someone considering suicide, and why it’s important to reach out to caring adults and other resources.
According to the 2015 Minnesota State Suicide Prevention Plan, Native youth ages 10 to 24 had the highest rate of suicide of any age group in Minnesota, 28 per 100,000 residents from 2010 to 2013. The rate was more than three times that of white youth (8.8 per 100,000).
Riot Fest inches toward gender balance
Chicago Reader, September 2018
I crunched the numbers for every Riot Fest lineup since its founding in 2005, including the Chicago, Toronto, and Denver festivals as well as the one-off 2012 events in Philadelphia, Dallas, and Brooklyn. The Chicago fest has never topped 25 percent female-inclusive acts—that is, acts with at least one woman involved. The 2018 lineup hits that one-quarter mark, though the four headliners—Weezer, Beck, Run the Jewels, and Incubus—are entirely male. The previous female-inclusive headliner was No Doubt in 2015.
Minneapolis' last movie rental store is calling it quits
Star Tribune, September 2018
Movies on 35th Street opened in 2003, when the movie rental business was thriving. At-home movie nights were the highlight of the week for many families, and DVD rentals accounted for more than half of Hollywood’s revenue. The Twin Cities was home to independent rental stores as well as the chains, Mr. Movies and Blockbuster, which had more than 9,000 stores nationwide in 2004.
But the convenience of streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video made for stiff competition, and rental stores across the country started folding. Blockbuster now has only one storefront that remains open, in Bend, Ore.
Minneapolis punk trio Gully Boys: 'We're not faking it anymore'
Star Tribune, August 2018
Sometimes bravery takes vulnerability. For Gully Boys, it was acknowledging that they really had no idea what they were doing when they decided to start a band two years ago.
"I think we basically invented 'fake it till you make it,'" said the trio's singer/guitarist, Kaytee Callahan. "Now we're there and we're not faking it anymore."
Drag Story Hour brings glitz and kid lit to St. Paul's public libraries
Star Tribune, July 2018
Fiona Fierce wore her sparkliest dress to the Riverview library in St. Paul.
“I try to get, as I call it, as princess-y looking as possible,” she said.
With big lavender hair, spiraled silver sequins and a mermaid fit-and-flare skirt, she was ready to read.
Fierce, 24, is one of six drag performers to participate in the St. Paul Public Library’s Drag Story Hour program, which invites them to public libraries around St. Paul to read a book of their choosing, followed by a musical performance.
Neil Hilborn’s poems have reached millions of viewers on YouTube
Chicago Reader, February 2018
YouTube is known for creating Internet sensations-makeup gurus, live-action gamers, teenage heartthrobs, and now, poets. With more than 100 million overall page views, 13 million of them on his poem "OCD," Neil Hilborn is the most-watched poet on YouTube.
DACA Repeal Puts Medical Students in Murky Waters
Chicago Tonight, November 2017
Today, Arreola is pursuing an M.D. at the Loyola Stritch School of Medicine in the Chicago suburb of Maywood. Higher education would have been unthinkable for an undocumented person when she arrived in the U.S., but Arreola is a participant in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Introduced by the Obama administration in 2012, this executive order gave Arreola the opportunity to not only to pursue higher education, but chase her dream at one of the most competitive medical schools in the nation.
In September, however, the Trump administration officially announced plans to rescind the program indefinitely, and her future — along with the rest of the nation’s 800,000 DACA recipients — became far from certain.
Four Disasters, Two Places, One City
14 East, October 2017
Four separate disasters, two different locations but with similar aftermaths. Two countries working to rebuild, their call to action making its way across borders and oceans, through cities and prairieland, up the Mississippi and to the hearts of Chicago communities.
Defeater push their conceptual melodic hardcore into newer, darker chapters
Chicago Reader, September 2019
Literary-minded listeners can follow the storyline chronologically, but that’s by no means necessary to enjoy Defeater’s music. In May the band put out their self-titled fifth full-length, the only release in their catalog that tackles multiple character arcs at once. It might seem odd for a band to release their first self-titled album so late in the game, but they seem to be proudly claiming it as their magnum opus—and if they are, they have good reason.
Meme Through the Emotions
14 East, June 2017
Social media allows memes to be reached many users, while still offering an air of humor and individualism of the creator.
Using humor as a mask, some meme subgenres have evolved as a way to laugh about not-so-funny feelings. Memes, and social media generally, have become a mechanism to cope with mental illness, relying on harsh humor to relate personal emotions. With sensitive issues, though, memes can become a double-edged sword, with sharp comedy bordering between humorous and offensive.
The Shoes on the Sidelines
14 East, April 2017
2018 Mark of Excellence Award for Online Feature Sports Reporting
Jake attends every game. Every practice. He’s there to set up before, he’s there to clean up after. Wash the uniforms, take stats, grab breakfast and set up the gym for practice. Jake Gatziolis is a student manager, dedicating almost 40 hours a week to the sport that’s shaped his life.
Pilsen's Changing Landscape has Mixed Effects on Artist Community
Chicago Gallery News, November 2017
The Pilsen neighborhood has been receiving increased attention recently, even outside of the realm of art. For the community, it’s a give and take: with increased exposure comes increased interest. Art and artists in Pilsen are being recognized, but rent is rising. Where attention goes, money, and the opportunity to make money, follows.
Navigating Chicago's Urban Chaos: Photographer Clarissa Bonet's New Work
Chicago Gallery News, October 2017
Bonet currently has two photography series, City Space and Stray Light, on display at the Catherine Edelman Gallery in the River North neighborhood. The two exhibitions are actually separate but work cohesively, offering unique insight to urban life, space and its interaction with the physical world.