Thanks to all who stopped by during the Glenwood Avenue Arts Festival (GAAF) to say hello, some to give us donations, others to provide friendly and stimulating conversation, others
simply to pass part of an enjoyable afternoon. This was the most elaborate of all displays we have had over the past five years. As one veteran GAAF staffer pointed out, we have the hardest booth to set up and the hardest one to take down. Thankfully this year we had tremendous help from Nick McQuerrey for both parts of the battle. The result was a very successful fair.
One element of our success was that Chris Drew brought his portable screen-printing apparatus to our booth to produce, hand out and sell his free-speech art patches. He has done this for the past two years as well, and has always contributed to the atmosphere we hope to create with our booth. This year his presence was an even greater contribution, owing to his arrest for attempting to sell $1 art patches in the downtown area of Chicago (a misdemeanor); then his being charged with felonious evesdropping for audiorecording his own arrest; and now, with the ACLU taking on his case a major story appeared in the Chicago Tribune the week before.
You may have read about his experiences over the past year on this blog. Many people coming along Glenwood Ave. and by our booth were excited to meet Chris and to talk with him about his concerns. In turn, they got an education about the state of artists’ rights and the way in which his case impinges on everyone. If the Illinois eavesdropping law is upheld, it means that anyone with a cell phone recording device will be unable to protect him or herself in case of wrongful arrest by recording that arrest.
If you missed us this year, hold the dates for next year and plan to come by! Along with this post are pictures of our booth and the adjacent booth, the phoebemoon studio booth set up by Diana Berek.