Stress Relief can be Ridiculously Convenient: Or, Tea & Pipes Etc

October 2nd, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Inside Rockefeller Chapel.

You’ve probably heard the MAPH advice (rant) on the importance of taking breaks, being healthy, and leaving Hyde Park at least once by now. But you may be wondering: how can you possible fit in a luxurious escape from Hyde Park to dinner/a movie/shopping/escapades when you live off of student loans and have an endless number of impending papers? Sometimes, you just can’t. But that doesn’t mean you can stop taking breaks!

Fact: It is possible to get some stress relief in with very little time and absolutely no money, with no more than about a hundred yards of walking. Where is this mysterious place, you ask? Rockefeller Chapel, but a few brief steps from the MAPH office.

Here are a few of their excellent, brief, and relaxing programs:

» Read the rest of this entry «

Colloquium Features MAPH 2013 Thesis Awards!

September 23rd, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Screen Shot 2013-09-23 at 9.38.36 AMWell, MAPH 2014, here’s your first chance to look at some excellent thesis work done by members of last year’s class. From the editors of Colloquium:

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***Learnapalooza in Logan Square***

September 5th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

learnapalooza

What is Learnapalooza? It’s a community-based festival offering free workshops and classes lead by volunteers and hosted by local businesses. You’re about to go deep into a specific kind of learning, so if you’re looking for different–perhaps more relaxing–ways to use your brain and get to know Chicago/Chicagoans beforehand, consider volunteering for or attending the festival.  This year’s Logan Square Learnapalooza takes place on Sunday, September 22 all day in various Logan Square locations.  Classes include:  » Read the rest of this entry «

We’re Famous!

August 8th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

humbly grateful hedgehog

Bookforum’s Omnivore blog linked to Issue 2 of Colloquium yesterday!  

***UPDATED: “The Serpent, Subtle and Brazen: Idolatory, Imagemaking, and the Hebrew Bible,” an essay from Issue 2 by Carina Del Valle Schorske (MAPH ’13) was one of today’s Editor’s Picks over at Mosaic Mag. She’s in great company with writers from The Times Literary Supplement, Commentary, Middle East Quarterly, and Moment. Exciting stuff!***

 

10 Things You Really Rather Ought to Do Before Classes Start

July 24th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

So you’ve rolled into Chicago (or you’re about to in the near future). You’re probably wondering, what do I do with all my time? Classes don’t start until mid-September, summer is at its finest (this 70 degree weather is MAGICAL), and you’re starting to explore the city—what’s next? Here’s a list of things that I wish I had done before starting my MAPH year.

 

10 Things You Really Rather Ought to Do Before Classes Start:

1. Get a CTA card. Unless you’ve devised a teleportation device, you will use transit. Often. Even if you have a bike. Even if you have a car. Parking downtown is a nightmare, and sometimes it just makes more sense to take the train (like if you say want to go to the bar and have more than one drink per hour). Got your card? Now hop on the 6 and head downtown! And don’t forget: the Metra Electric isn’t covered by your card, although it is very fast and sitting on the second floor of a train is always a delight.

2. Get a public library card. There are lots and lots of locations, and if you’re already exploring downtown Chicago, Harold Washington is right there on State Street. There may come a time when you haven’t purchased or borrowed a book for class in time, and the UChicago library will have no copies available, and you will need an alternate source. » Read the rest of this entry «

Planning to work in or study the arts sector? Look up the Cultural Policy Center

July 23rd, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

You do not have to be in a specific program option while in MAPH, but many students find program options a useful way to develop their interests during the year. Even those of you who are not in the option might want to check out the cultural policy course options and workshop sessions if you think you might want to work for cultural organizations.

Incoming MAPHers interested in working in the arts sector, or going on for doctoral work involving the policy aspects of cultural studies, should look into the resources at the Cultural Policy Center. The CPC is an interdisciplinary research center that is situated in the Harris School of Public Policy and the independent research organization NORC, but it has strong ties to the Humanities Division, and MAPH in particular. It focuses on three activities: research; public programming; and teaching, including overseeing the Cultural Policy Studies MAPH option.

Cultural Policy Studies MAPH option

The cultural policy option is of particular interest to MAPH students who are considering careers in cultural organizations; in public service agencies within the cultural sector, such as foundations or government agencies that support the arts; or doctoral work with a focus on the policy dimensions of cultural studies, cultural theory, or cultural history.

It requires an introductory course, a research project-based course, and at least two cultural policy-related electives, as well as the Foundations of Interpretive Theory course (the “Core” course) required of all MAPH students and a final thesis on a topic broadly related to cultural policy studies.

Further reading:

Public programming

The Cultural Policy Center’s workshops mix theory and practice: speakers include practitioners as well as academics, and the events always draw visitors from cultural organizations around the city as well as students from several different academic divisions. (Students don’t have to be in the MAPH option to attend the workshops.) See a list of past workshops, and some videos, here.

Research

In addition to its events and curriculum, the CPC conducts its own research, and the biggest research project in its history was released this summer. Set in Stone is a study of a major building boom of museums, performing arts centers, and theaters in the United States from 1994 to 2008. Among the discoveries:

  • Cities in the South had the greatest increase in cultural buildings. The region had lagged behind the rest of the country prior to the building boom — the Northeast and West had twice the number of cultural facilities per capita in 1990 than did the South.
  • More than 80 percent of the projects studied ran over budget, some by as much as 200 percent.
  • Smaller cities with fewer than 500,000 people were building as well, and many of these cities were building for the first time.
  • More performing arts centers were built than any other kind of arts facility.
  • There is substantial evidence that there was overinvestment during the building boom—especially when coupled with the number of organizations that experienced financial difficulties post-building.

Further reading:

Connect with the Cultural Policy Center by signing up for their mailing list.

Have questions? Contact the CPC’s assistant director, Will Anderson, MAPH’09, at willcanderson@uchicago.edu.

 

Jane Hanna, MAPH ’11, discusses the MAPH Cultural Policy Option

July 2nd, 2012 § 1 comment § permalink

Incoming MAPH students, while you do not have to choose one of the program options to be in MAPH, many students do choose an option. If you are at all interested in working with arts organizations, non-profits, or galleries you may want to take some classes in cultural policy or consider being part of the Cultural Policy Option.  Jane Hanna, MAPH ’11, talks about her experience in the option and the nifty job she has now as Social Media Strategist for the Field Museum. Also, the Cultural Policy Center has a released a big study that was recently featured in the New York Times. It is worth reading the article if you are interested in cultural policy and some of the work CPC has been doing at the University of Chicago.

How were you involved in the Cultural Policy Center?

I worked as a Graduate Research Assistant in CPC while I completed the Master of Arts Program in the Humanities in 2010-11. As a MAPH student, I chose the Cultural Policy option, and much of my coursework was taken at the Harris School and Law School. I was looking for an academic program which would allow me to have an interdisciplinary focus, combining my interest in the arts and humanities with my career experience in marketing, and assist me in my aspirations towards a career in museum administration. I’m also a technologist and gamer and my research areas included mobile and social media and the ways in which these complicate traditional museum exhibition, education, and marketing strategies. At CPC, I helped with the preparations for the CultureLab Emerging Practice Seminar 2011, which was focused in part on engaging arts audiences through the use of technology.

Additionally, I was involved with the lunchtime workshop series as both an employee of CPC and an enthusiastic attendee. After graduating, I also participated in the marvelous Future of the City: The Arts Symposium by virtue of my association with CPC. Betty Farrell served as my supervisor as well as my thesis advisor and professor.

What do you do now?

I am the Social Media Strategist for The Field Museum of Natural History here in Chicago. In this capacity, I am responsible for maintaining a broad and ever-growing portfolio of social media pages for the Museum, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, FourSquare, Flickr, YouTube, Vimeo, Yelp, and many more. I work closely with the scientific staff to develop engaging content that educates and entertains our digital community of fans and supporters.

I also deliver up-to-the-minute news about exhibitions, educational programs, special events, and promotions to the public several times per day, seven days per week. I monitor and evaluate the performance of these pages using Google Analytics and other tracking tools, and continually look for short- and long-term ways through which the Museum can leverage these properties for various strategic purposes. I think I have one of the best jobs at the Field not only because I am uniquely positioned to collaborate with staff working in all of the Museum’s departments, but also because I spend a large portion of my time interacting with our enthusiastic public, answering their questions, inviting them to participate in dialogues and citizen scientist activities, and learning valuable insights from their feedback.

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Free or Cheap Summer Activities in Chicago

June 7th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

It is somehow always the case that one can have time or money but never both at the same time. So now that you do not have to read 1000 pages every week what are you going to do in Chicago that doesn’t cost much money? Well the lakefront, the parks and biking are all great options, but below are a few more you might have missed.

Museum free days

Most of the museums in Chicago have free or discounted days or offer student discounts

You can still use your Artspass, check the link for the discounts and partner institutions.

The Museum of Science and Industry is free for Illinois residents on June  7, 8, 11.

Field Museum check back here for discount days. They list them throughout the summer.

Adler Planetarium has discount days on June 7th and 8th perfect if your family is arriving early for convocation.

The Shedd Aquarium has Illinois resident discount days on  June 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22.  If you bank with Bank of America you get discounts on July 7-8 and Aug. 4-5 by showing your bank card.

The Museum of Contemporary Art is $7 with your Student ID.

While you are in that neighborhood you could visit the City Gallery at the Water Tower which is always free.

The Chicago Cultural Center has free exhibits, concerts and gallery talks all year round.

Students get into the Art Institute of Chicago for $12 any day and the first and second Wednesday of every month are free for Illinois residents.

On Navy Pier there is actually a free Stained Glass Museum which has great works and is not as populated as the rest of the pier.  You could stay for the free fireworks if you are braving a day on the tourist-y pier.

Also did you know that if you have a Chicago Public Library card you can check out museum passes from any branch?  Just make sure you get to the library early. The passes go quickly. The library also has lectures, readings and performances so check their calendar.

Outdoor events after the jump . . .

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Eeek…my parents are coming!

June 4th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Very soon your parents, siblings, grandparents, friends, lovers, etc. will be descending on Chicago like a swarm of buzzards, ready to spend the last weekend of your MAPH career asking you about job searches, moving plans, and your love life. Even those of you who are secretly (or outwardly) excited to have your parents here in a few days might just be clamoring for them to leave by the end of the weekend, especially if you don’t plan ahead. Chicago is a bustling city and it’s going to be even more bustling this weekend with the huge annual Blues Festival and the CPAC conference (which is why we were bugging you to book hotels so early).

So, our advice is to start thinking now about how to entertain your guests this weekend during the actually extensive downtime between convocation events. Oh, and right off the bat, if you haven’t made reservations for dinner Friday or Saturday yet, DO IT NOW. We put some restaurant recommendations in the Convocation timeline post, but come see us if you’re still deciding.

In the meantime, here are some helpful ideas for actual places to go and things to do (not restaurants) around town with your folks this weekend:

1. Chicago Blues Festival: The festival runs from June 8th-10th in Grant Park and is phenomenal for so many reasons. First, it’s FREE. You can wander into Grant Park pretty much anytime between 10:00AM and 9:00PM any day of the festival, pop-a-squat on a plot of grass and listen to some high quality blues music. Or, if you do feel like spending some money, you can buy some food tickets to get Robinson’s Ribs (Remember that delicious food we served you during the Opening BBQ last summer? Yeah. That was Robinson’s.), complete with corn on the cob and mac and cheese. Yum. Or, go classy and bring a blanket and a little cooler with a bottle of wine, some brie, and some baguette for your very own “outdoor mini-Social Hour” with your folks. They’ll be so impressed.

2. Green City Market: Hands down one of the best farmer’s markets in the area. It runs on Saturdays from 7:00AM-1:00PM and it located at the south end of Lincoln Park (approximately 1790 N. Clark if you want to map it). Seriously the best thing about the market is the location because there are so many other great things to do in the Lincoln Park area. Go to the market and grab a crepe or some pizza bread, maybe some fresh, local strawberries (just out as of last week) then sit and listen to the little jazz band that plays in the late morning. Then, you can wander over to the Lincoln Park Zoo or the little shops that line Armitage in Lincoln Park (Francesca’s, Paper Source, Art Effect, just to name a few). Oh, and if you’re stopping at Art Effect on Armitage, you HAVE to go to Annette’s right across the way. They have peanut better cup cookie dough ice cream. Yes, it’s all one flavor.

3. The Lichtenstein Exhibit at the Art Institute: You really can’t beat the Art Institute in terms of impressing your parents. It’s in the heart of downtown Chicago, right by Millennium Park and the building alone is worth a 15-minute ogle. Add the fact that they currently have an amazing Roy Lichtenstein retrospective up right now and you can get in for free with your UChicago ID. Your parents will marvel at their little cultured, frugal child. And, if you want the icing on the cake, hit the Chicago Architecture Foundation gift shop afterwards (right across the street on Michigan Ave.) for some early holiday shopping. Yes, I think about Christmas all the time.

4. Old Town Art Fair: This is one of the better summer art shows that comes through Chicago. First, it’s pretty huge (as in over 260 artists). Second, it’s in one of the cute, ritzy, old Chicago neighborhoods so it’s fun just to wander and look at the architecture, even if you’re not shopping for art. The main entrance is at the intersection of Lincoln and Wisconsin and it runs both Saturday and Sunday of this coming weekend.

Hopefully these suggestions will give you a jump start on plans this weekend. Don’t forget that Chicago is also home to a ton of amazing museums and a fantastic theater scene, so we’re always happy to give you more ideas if you need them!

Art. Institutions. Discuss.

September 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Here’s a guest post from indispensible preceptor Anna Lee, who will be your virtual guide to the Art Institute and art institutions in Chicago in general. We’ll be visiting the Art Institute as a MAPH horde on Thursday evening (meet at MAPHCentral at 4:15 PM or at the Modern Wing entrance at 5:00 PM). Anna’s intro gives you a great overview of some of the museum’s highlights–and of other places you’ll want to check out around town.

Although the Art Institute of Chicago’s collection is strong in various areas, the Impressionist holdings tend to be particularly popular. In the last few years, the newly-opened Modern Wing has also been a major draw. But since you’ll have the entire year to explore the museum, here are a few of the most “famous” members of the collection to start you off. It’s great to view these in person, no matter how many reproductions you’ve already seen, and it’s nice to know where they are when relatives visit. The links below will take you to each work’s official AIC description, which includes an image as well as its location in the museum:

GEORGES SEURAT, A Sunday on La Grande Jatte:

Seurat, "A Sunday on La Grande Jatte." Just like Promontory Point, n'est ce pas?

More Art to dazzle your senses after the jump » Read the rest of this entry «