NewCity Chicago : Street Smart Chicago - June 21, 2001
411 - Newcity's Seven Days in Chicago

Charybdis blues

By NewCity Staff Writers

It's looking like curtains for the Charybdis Multi-Arts Complex. Gregor Mortis, Charybdis founder/visionary, has been thrown in jail twice in eleven days, slapped with cease and desist orders issued by the Chicago Department of Revenue. Seems Mortis doesn't have the proper permits for a public place of amusement. He's currently applying for them, but he can't obtain the permits, Mortis says, until 49th Ward Alderman Patrick Levar changes the zoning of Charybdis' resident building. Despite strong support from police and residents of the Jefferson Park neighborhood, Mortis says, "We're meeting strong opposition from our alderman, yet he's never set foot in here. He's got some sort of agenda... he [Levar] changed the zoning for an identical building across the street without consulting the community. Yet, he told us he doesn't have the power to change our zoning until he holds a community meeting, something he promised us, but never followed through on." Mortis goes to court June 22, and plans to fight to keep Charybdis in its current space. "All's I want to do is comply, but [Levar] won't tell us what to do. He underestimates the power of the support we have in our community, and arts communities all over the nation."