Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Mayor Lightfoot Appoints New Members to the Cultural Advisory Council of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (Chicago, IL.)


CHICAGO—Chicago City Council today approved the appointments made by Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot to the Cultural Advisory Council of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), including Council Chair Amina J. Dickerson and Vice Chair Alison Cuddy.

“A robust Chicago arts community inspires us, engages us, questions the status quo, and has the power to bring our diverse city together in conversation around the critical challenges of our day,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “I am grateful to the outgoing members of the Council and excited to bring these new voices to the table, who will work with us to ensure that Chicago remains a vibrant and innovative cultural hub – and that all Chicagoans have equitable access to the arts.”

The entirely new slate of Cultural Advisory Council members will advocate for a vital Chicago arts community and help advance the Mayor’s arts and culture priorities, which include making Chicago livable and affordable for artists and creative professionals, expanding public arts programming to help drive the economic life of our neighborhoods, collaborating with communities and creative industries to engage our artists and expand quality jobs, and expanding equitable access to high-quality arts education for all young people in Chicago.

The appointees are a diverse group of Chicagoans from across the city representing a broad cross-section of arts genres. They include practicing artists, representatives from major cultural organizations, neighborhood and community organizations, and the community at large.

“Mayor Lightfoot has appointed an incredible group of Chicagoans to serve on the reinvigorated Cultural Advisory Council and I am looking forward to working closely with all of them to strengthen the cultural landscape,” said DCASE Commissioner Mark Kelly.

The new Cultural Advisory Council will be comprised of the following individuals:
  • Paola Aguirre Serrano, Founding Principal, Borderless Studio
  • Alison Cuddy, Artistic Director, Chicago Humanities Festival
  • Sandra Delgado, Theatre Artist, Writer, Actor and Producer
  • Amina J. Dickerson, President, Dickerson Global Advisors
  • Juan Díes, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Sones de México Ensemble
  • Bob Faust, Owner, Faust and Special Projects Director, Nick Cave Studio
  • Robert Gomez, Owner, Subterranean/Beat Kitchen/Underbar
  • Esther Grisham Grimm, Executive Director, 3Arts
  • Tracie D. Hall, Director, Culture Program, Joyce Foundation
  • Akilah S. Halley, Executive Director, Marwen
  • Tempestt Hazel, Arts Program Officer, Field Foundation of Illinois
  • Kevin Iega Jeff, Creative Director, Deeply Rooted Productions
  • Ginger Lane, Arts & Culture Project Director, Access Living
  • Josephine Lee, President & Artistic Director, Chicago Children’s Choir
  • Tonika Lewis Johnson, Artist, Folded Map Project
  • Bill Michel, Associate Vice President and Executive Director of UChicago Arts and the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, University of Chicago
  • Heather A. Miller, Executive Director, American Indian Center
  • Cesáreo J. Moreno, Chief Curator & Visual Arts Director, National Museum of Mexican Art
  • Margaret C. Murphy-Webb, Executive Director & Co-Founder, South Side Jazz Coalition
  • Coya Paz, Artistic Director, Free Street Theater
  • Claire C. Rice, Executive Director, Arts Alliance Illinois
  • Silvia Rivera, Managing Director, Vocalo
  • Myrna Salazar, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Chicago Latino Theater Alliance
  • David Schmitz, Executive Director, Steppenwolf Theatre Company
  • Jennifer A. Scott, Director & Chief Curator, Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Paul J. Sznewajs, Executive Director, Ingenuity
  • Vivian Teng, Managing Director, Cinema/Chicago and the Chicago International Film Festival
  • Omar Torres-Kortright, Executive Director, Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center
  • Tanner Woodford, Founder & Executive Director, Design Museum of Chicago
  • One additional member to be named later

Nation's First Plant-based Radio Show has launched!



Nation's First Plant-based Radio Show
Launches with Elysabeth Alfano

    The nation's first plant-based radio show, The Elysabeth Alfano Show, launched January 12, 3-4 p.m. CST on Chicago's WCGO and the Smart Talk Radio Network.  A veteran media personality, plant-based news and lifestyle expert and frequent guest host and expert on Chicago's WGN Radio, Alfano is excited to host her own show. 
"I am over the moon to be hosting the nation's first plant-based radio show and I can't think of a better home than the Smart Talk Radio Network and WCGO.  With more and more plant-based products hitting the market and more people turning to a plant-based diet for their health and for the health of the planet, the timing couldn't be more perfect and the content couldn't be more in demand," Alfano notes.

The Elysabeth Alfano Show airs every Sunday from 3-4 p.m. CST and opens withs breaking news (business, health, environment, celebrity), featuring in-depth interviews with the leaders in the plant-based arena (doctors, entrepreneurs, celebrities, politicians, scientists, athletes, authors) and wraps with recipe and lifestyle tips. The tagline for the show is Taking Back Our Health and the Health of the Planet.

Once over, each live show will become a podcast on iTunes and other podcast outlets.

Elysabeth kicked off the show with the following guests (bios below):

January 12: Voice-over Actress (SpongeBob: Squarepants, Family Guy, Toy Story 4), Lori Alan
January 19: Shark Tank Success and Entrepreneur, Jenny Goldfarb (Mrs. Goldfarb's Plant-based Corned Beef)

Future guests include COO, Cook County Department of Public Health, Dr. Terry Mason, the cast of the hit movie, The Game Changers, renowned author (The Joyful Vegan) Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, and CEO/Founder of Before The Butcher, Danny O'Malley.

For questions or interview requests, contact Andy Miles, WCGO, GAB Radio Network, Smart Talk Radio Network,

Elysabeth Alfano (images below): After completing an MBA and spending many years with Fortune 500 companies, Elysabeth turned to journalism. With 9 years in radio, TV, podcasting and print journalism, and winning awards for same, Elysabeth Alfano launched the Awesome Vegans Podcast and Video Series on WGN Radio. She is also a plant-based news, food and lifestyle expert on radio stations around the nation including iHeart Radio's The Fork Report, WGN Radio, Mancow in the Morning on WLS, The Mark Thompson Show on KGO and 870AM The Answer. She has a recurring segment on WCPT Radio entitled, Food and Politics, reports for the #JaneUnChained Digital News Network and contributes to NPR's KCRW (Los Angeles) as a plant-based reporter. Her weekly radio show, The Elysabeth Alfano Show, is the first mainstream plant-based radio show in the U.S. and launches on WCGO January 12.

Elysabeth develops recipes for restaurants and food companies looking to enter the plant-based market.  She also helps people and corporate employees start a plant-based lifestyle with private coaching and group classes and recipe meal plans. Elysabeth spices things up as The Silver-Chic Chef in her on-line cooking series and has done plant-based cooking demonstrations on WCIU-TV, Good Morning LALALand and WGN-TV.

She is a public speaker at food festivals and summits on the physical, mental, business, political and environmental benefits of a plant-based lifestyle. For the full bio, click here.

WCGO: WCGO Radio has been carving its legacy into Chicago's radio landscape since its first broadcast in 1947, through radio pioneer Frank Kovas. Maintaining a close focus on Chicago's diverse communities, WCGO is the flagship station for the nationally syndicated SmartTalk Radio Network. WCGO's coverage footprint runs from northwestern Indiana to southeastern Wisconsin, including all of Chicagoland, via its 10,000/2,500 watt day/night 1590 AM signal, and its 95.9 FM signal. One of the few independently minded radio stations in Chicago,  For more information, click, here.

Smart Talk Radio Network: The Smart Talk Radio Network (STRN), a subsidiary of Pollack Companies, is headquartered in Evanston, IL, and co-located within the same studio complex as the GAB Radio Network and WCGO Radio, operating at AM1590 and FM95.9, providing SmartTalk flagship coverage throughout Chicagoland.
Launched in 2019, the Smart Talk Radio Network provides an intelligent alternative to mainstream Talk Radio. Through its carefully blended non-political infotainment focus, Smart Talk Radio provides a market-exclusive, turnkey satellite-delivered 24/7/365 radio network through its exclusive sales, clearance and content alliance with Envision Networks. Cleveland, Ohio-based Envision has grown into one of the industry's leading network Sales, Affiliate Relations and Content Development entities. STRN is committed to developing compelling terrestrial content for the national and international syndication arena, as well as new, innovative and impactful podcast production and distribution through its multiple distribution platforms. For more information, click here
Lori Alan: Lori is perhaps best known for her award-winning voice-over work. She stars on the Emmy Award winning, SpongeBob: Squarepants as Pearl Krabs, Diane Simmons on Family Guy, and The Boss in the Metal Gear Solid video game trilogy. She’s proud to be a part of the Academy Award Winning Pixar Family. Voicing characters in Wall-e, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Monster’s University, Inside Out, and Bonnie’s Mom in the academy awarding, Toy Story 3 and Toy Story 4. On camera, you can catch her in season 9 of Showtime’s, Shameless and Grey’s Anatomy.

Lori’s animal activism started when she become aware of the horrific dog and cat meat trade. Happily not eating animals or animal products, she supports the Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM), a national nonprofit organization working to end the use of animals for food through public education and grassroots activism. Find more information and images, visit

Jenny Goldfarb: Jenny Goldfarb, aka Mrs. Goldfarb, is quickly becoming a central player in the plant-based food explosion. Where Beyond Meat and Impossible have largely monopolized the burger landscape, Jenny is the  primary player in the plant-based Deli sector. Born out of compassion for animals and concern for the environment, Jenny took on a vegan lifestyle several years ago, inspiring her food blog, Count Your Colors, where she cooked up different plant-based recipes every week. In 2019, she launched UNREAL DELI, and her debut product, Mrs. Goldfarb’s Unreal Corned Beef, which has exploded in the major delis & restaurants in LA (Canter’s, Factor’s, Art’s, move studio lots & now Whole Foods). She famously won the hearts of America on Shark Tank in November, scoring a deal with newly vegetarian Mark Cuban. Keep a look out for Unreal Corned Beef, coming to grocery stores and national chains across the country in 2020 or order a box online today at

Copyright © 2020 Elysabeth Alfano, All rights reserved.
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DJ Nights at Millennium Park Ice Rink (Chicago, IL.)

Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, 78 E. Washington St., 4th Fl., Chicago, IL 60602

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

One Eyeland Photography Awards 2019 >> Recent images entered

Monday, January 13, 2020

Meryl Streep: On the Couch - An Intimate Look At Hollywood Icon

The widely popular On the Couch series by Alma Bond, Ph.D., has given readers unique and revealing perspectives into the lives of Marilyn Monroe, Jackie O, Hillary Clinton and Barbara Streisand as seen through the eyes of fictitious New York psychoanalyst Dr. Darcy Dale.

Dr. Bond’s latest, Meryl Streep: On the Couch , takes us inside the life of this Hollywood icon and political activist who’s been nominated for more than 20 Oscars. Her film-ography reads like a greatest hits from the past 40 years, from Kramer v. Kramer to The Devil Wears Prada and the enchanting Mama Mia! ― Streep has seemingly checked every box. But who is she when the cameras aren’t rolling? Readers are about to find out!

When Streep decides to pay Dr. Darcy Dale a visit, it isn’t for treatment. Streep is preparing for her next role, and she’s come to observe and study Manhattan’s most successful psychoanalyst. The two women strike a deal: Streep will have to undergo psychoanalytic treatment herself as part of her research. What follows is a tale that explores the journey and the psyche of a character whose spell never wears off on fans.
Author Alma H. Bond received her Ph.D. from Columbia University and became a highly successful psychoanalyst in private practice for 37 years in New York City. She "retired" to become a full-time writer. She has written more than 26 books, including her On the Couch Series, Camille Claudel, a Novel; The Autobiography of Maria Callas, a Novel; Old Age is a Terminal Illness; I Married Dr. Jekyll and Woke Up Mrs. Hyde; On Becoming a Grandparent; and a children's book, The Tree That Could Fly . Dr. Bond also wrote the play, Maria , about the life of Maria Callas.

Her late husband, Rudy Bond, was a well-known actor, appearing in many films such as A Streetcar Named Desire , top Broadway shows and in more than 100 TV shows. He also wrote the book I Rode a Streetcar Named Desire. The Bonds have three children, all of whom have published books, and eight grandchildren, none of whom have published books … yet.

Meryl Streep: On the Couch
Publisher: Bancroft Press
Release Date: December 2019
ISBN-10: 161088499X
ISBN-13: 978-1610884990
Available from, and