New project puts spotlight on local ‘everyday’ heroes

Started in August, the “Everyday Activists” project entails interviewing and taking photos of West Side heroes who are too often unheard and overlooked. Once the pandemic has subsided, organizers plan to hold two in-person exhibits – one in Austin and the other in Oak Park. Another project titled “Austin has the Mic” also aims to empower Austin residents to share their stories and help depict the community in a more authentic and positive light.

Pop Courts will be popping up in Austin soon

An empty and under-utilized lot is being transformed into a vibrant space for residents and businesses to set up shop and relax. Once finished, the lot will have a basketball court, a plaza for pop-up markets, a lawn for seating, a spot for food trucks and a mural painted by local artists.

Men growing out their hair to spread cancer awareness

A “no shave” in November event will bring men together to talk about their health while raising awareness about cancer. Stop by AJ Styles Beauty & Barber Salon, 6624 W. North Ave., from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 22. Also this month, uninsured and underinsured Austin residents can get a free prostate screening at Loretto Hospital.

Racial reconciliation symposium focuses on changing the narrative

The event, held virtually and at the Kehrein Center for the Arts and presented by the Austin Renaissance Council, highlighted the importance of storytelling with panel discussions, poetry and musical guests. It prompted uncomfortable conversations, emphasizing the importance of Austin residents taking control of their narratives.

New mural brightens West Side building

A new 62-by-16-foot mural in Austin reminds the community of its roots, said David Rodriguez, program manager at Youth Outreach Services. The mural can be seen on the outside of YOS’ building at 5910 W. Division St. Stop by and check it out.

Sisterhood exhibit humanizes gun violence victims

An online, interactive exhibit called The Sisterhood explores ideas of grief, justice and healing through photographs and vignettes written by mothers who have lost a son to gun violence. The stories of 11 Chicago area women are shared in the free exhibit created by Unsilence.