NewCity Chicago : Street Smart Chicago - July 19, 2001
411 - Newcity's Seven Days in Chicago
By NewCity Staff Writers
In the continuing saga of 45th Ward Ald. Patrick Levar versus the Charybdis Multi-Arts Complex, two Charybdis events were disrupted over the weekend when city officials showed up. Charybdis, which does have a valid business license to sell art, held an opening for its new visual art show FRAMEd July 14 (viewings by appointment through July 31), only to be visited by agents from the City of Chicago Department of Revenue. On the menu were cease-and-desist orders prohibiting them from holding any performances within Chicago city limits, and from auctioneering both in their space at 4423 North Milwaukee, or anywhere else in the city—effectively killing the next day's Heroes benefit at Coyle's Tippling House and plans for a silent auction to raise funds. (Donations can be sent to Charybdis, c/o Gregor Tatro, 4423 N. Milwaukee, Chicago, IL 60630.) In an e-mail to friends and supporters, Charybdis head Gregor Mortis had this to say: "It looks to us like Alderman Patrick Levar and his attack dogs are trying to stop us from holding any fund-raisers within Chicago city limits. Maybe they're afraid of any legal representation stepping up to bat for us. ... They may be able to stop us from having this event, but they can't stop us from making art." As it stands, the alderman is still blocking a zoning change on the building where Charybdis rents space. That in turn blocks the group's ability to apply for the necessary public place of amusement (PPA) license, which would allow it to hold performances and other events in its 14,000-square-foot space. Previous visits from the Department of Revenue in late May resulted in cease-and-desist orders and citations for operating without the PPA license, and Charybdis heads back to court, July 31, on charges stemming from these citations. A June 22 hearing was postponed to allow "amendment" (read: strengthening) of the charges and, apparently, the city says they're facing the same charges used against illegal rave parties. Check out www.charybdisarts.com for more info.