Monday, June 21, 2010

Front-Yard Signs Call Out Banks on Foreclosures

Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP) is "naming names" of banks that are foreclosing on properties on Chicago's Southwest Side, where 7,300 foreclosures have been filed over two years in four area ZIP Codes. The bank names are prominently featured on yard signs that say "Deutsch Bank (or Citibank or JP Morgan Chase or Bank of America) failed this neighborhood through foreclosures."

First Business News filed a news report on June 14, below.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Pro-quality Music Video from Crane High Students

Very impressive!

The music video below looks like something from a record-label's studio, but it was created and produced by 12 students at Crane Tech Prep High School in Chicago's West Haven neighborhood. The project was a joint effort between the students; their teacher "Gravity," owner of OOO Multimedium; After School Matters; and the Near West Side Community Development Corp.

"The idea was to do everything super high quality so that these kids could see themselves in a different light," said Gravity in an interview with Near West outreach coordinator Darvolis Robinson.

"We recorded the song, got a mix on the song, shot the video and got the edit all in just under TWO WEEKS! Amazing! We are talking about 12 kids (3 singers & 8 lyricists) who had very minimal or no prior studio experience and nailed all of the vocals in one session! I have been in the entertainment business for quite some time and trust me when I tell you that is nothing short of amazing!"

The video shows what can be accomplished when expectations are set high rather than low.

"When I told people of what I was planning to do with this class," said Gravity, "they all thought it was a fabulous idea until I told them I was doing it at Crane! I couldn’t believe that people were writing off an entire student body based on hearsay or bad press! I originally grew up in Harlem N.Y. and I remember how it felt for people to prejudge me and what I had to offer. Sadly I still deal with being prejudged today as an adult, but now I have the power and means to prove those people wrong all of the time. I decided to treat these kids the same way I so often wished and still wish to be treated, and give them the power to change people’s perspective of who they are and what they have to offer!"

Congrats to the students for a fine piece of work, and thanks to Near West for passing on the information.