The Living News Project SHELTER/CHICAGO

23 3Arts supporters
$4,255 raised of $4,200 goal
0 Days 0:00:00 LEFT
Funded on March 23, 2014
    • 101% contributed

Inspired by early work by the WPA, "The Living News Project" is a new journalistic theater piece investigating homelessness in Chicago.

About This Project

The Living News Project SHELTER/CHICAGO

A journalistic theater piece investigating homelessness in Chicago.

Inspired by the WPA Federal Theater Project’s “Living Newspapers” of the 1930’s–when the federal government put theater artists to work with journalists to create large-scale theater pieces focusing on social and political issues–this project is focused locally and speaks to national issues. The original Living Newspapers toured the country, met by writing “units” in each city, ready to adapt the scripts to keep them local, changing them as the news unfolded. They were always hot off the press!

THE LIVING NEWS PROJECT’s “SHELTER/CHICAGO” mirrors the work of the Federal Theater Project, and makes it brand new! Chicago theater artists, students and faculty at Columbia College and reporters from the Chicago Tribune, are working with staff and residents at Cornerstone Community Outreach (CCO), a homeless shelter in Uptown, to create a theater piece that investigates the tangled knot of causes leading to homelessness by listening to the stories of the men, women and children who are living on our streets. SHELTER/CHICAGO also challenges us to consider how we get our news, how the media reports on homelessness, and what we label as “news” in our time.

SHELTER/CHICAGO is theater designed to spark civic dialogue–to invite community conversation. It does what theater does best: invites us to walk in each other’s shoes. Over the past year, SHELTER/CHICAGO has had raw readings that have given the creative team a tremendous amount of information. 

Funds from 3AP will be used for productions costs to realize a more fully staged public workshop / conversation including; camera and rear screen projection set up, script copying costs, lighting and sound equipment rental, modest stipends for participants to cover transportation costs, etc. 


Monday, April 28 5:00 pm at Cornerstone Community Outreach
4628 Clifton Avenue, Chicago
Tuesday, April 29 5:30 pm at the Chicago Cultural Center
78 E. Washington Street, Chicago-followed by a public dialogue

This project is partially supported by an Individual Artists Program Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Illinois Arts Council, a stage agency, and The Illinois Humanities Council is a co-sponsor of the April 29 event at The Chicago Cultural Center

Thank yous

Contribute any amount or choose from the levels below.

  • $25
    Thank You ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $50
    Everything above plus acknowledgement in the program for the reading ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $100
    Everything above plus acknowledgement on the screen at the events ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $250
    Everything above plus a field report from the project ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $500
    Everything above plus guaranteed seats in the first 3 rows at the Chicago Cultural Center event ($0.00 is tax deductible.)

Lisa DiFranza

3AP DCASE Artist

3AP is expanding to serve even more Chicago artists. In addition to past 3Arts awardees and residency fellows, 3AP is now open to individual artists who have received grants from the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special …

View Lisa DiFranza's profile
  • Update 1: THE LIVING NEWS PROJECT is on it's way!
    Posted on March 09, 2014


    A huge thank you to all supporters! We have met our goal!

    The writing team is busy adapting, musicians are signed on, auditions will happen in two weeks, and energy is gathering!

    The latest news is that the Illinois Humanities Council is starting a new project called MEDIA REMIX, examining the stories in the City that are not written about – the invisible stories. Our Post-Play Discussion on April 29th will be aMEDIA REMIX event.  This collaboration is especially exciting because the goal of SHELTER/CHICAGO is to spark dialogue, to create a public forum to host conversations that wouldn’t otherwise happen.

    Again, it’s your support that will allow us to do all of this. I’m very grateful.

    Contributions will be accepted for two more weeks!  Any funds we gather, above the goal, will enable us to document the staged readings next month with better quality and more fully.

     More news as it happens.

    Thank you.

    Lisa DiFranza


    • Thank you to the following for contributing to 3Arts with the recommendation that we support this project.

    • Roberta Bass

    • Eileen Daily

    • penelope reilly

    • Margaret Savage

    • Jacqueline Firkins

    • David Bass-Clark

    • Elizabeth Savage

    • Nik Bronder

    • Fereshteh Toosi

    • Michael Lawrence

    • Bess Welden

    • Scott Lerman

    • Melissa Cooper

    • James Bratton

    • Caroline Greenleaf

    • Jon Satrom

    • Madeleine Corson

    • Cheryl Shuttleworth

    • Lisa Schlesinger

    • Douglas Reichert Powell

    • Helen Rasmussen

    • Ellen Oak

    • Robin Jensen

make it work


3AP Presenting Partner:

  Joyce Logo

 Additional support provided by: 

Department of Cultural Affairs logo  Illinois Arts Council