March 13, 2011; Source: Chicago Tribune | Unlike other events Chicago artists may participate in, the Creative Chicago Expo is apparently a little different in that it is designed to connect artists to a wealth of tools and venues to help them get their work seen . . . and paid for.
The expo brings artists together with resources and people of all kinds. Julie Burros, the city’s director of cultural planning, says "We're here to give tools to people trying to make a living doing artwork . . . Artists are defacto businesses.” This year, among other ways of getting paid, artists learned about “crowdfunding,” or raising money online for their work, and pop-up art galleries, in which vacant storefronts or abandoned lots are transformed into temporary art galleries.
Lauren Pacheco, the executive director of the Chicago Urban Arts Society, said "(These galleries) encourage people to interact with spaces. They engage the community." Kurt Heintz the founder of the e-poets network said of his effort, "We give poets a voice. We stand against oblivion."—Ruth McCambridge