Chicago Artists attacked by the Dark Side
Charybdis in the Media
NBC NEWS primetime - Independence Day, Friday-July 4th, 2001
Video Capture LO-RES - 2.26MB (QUICKTIME)
FOX NEWS primetime - Walter Jacobs perspective, Tuesday-June 24th, 2001
Video Capture HI-RES - 8.55MB (MPEG)
FOX NEWS primetime - Walter Jacobs perspective, Tuesday-June 24th, 2001
Video Capture LO-RES - 2.81MB (MPEG)
(Thank you Walter Jacobsen for ignoring the porn nonsense completely and ending your segment on that innuendo of political corruption).
City/Nationwide Print Coverage
CHICAGO TRIBUNE - September 7, 2001 - Front Page - Section 2 - Chicago Metro
FEELING UNWANTED, ARTS CENTER TO MOVE - By Lynette Kalsnes
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES - September 9, 2001
CONTROVERSIAL ART STUDIO CLOSES - By Abdon M. Pallasch
CRAIN'S CHICAGO BUSINESS - August 27, 2001 - News
ART CENTER TO MOVE - By Crain Communications Inc.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE - July 22, 2001 - Front Page - Section 2 - Chicago Metro
DISPUTE RAGING OVER ART CENTER - By Lynette Kalsnes
NEWCITY CHICAGO - July 19, 2001 - 411 - Newcity's Seven Days in Chicago
HASSLED - By NewCity Staff Writers
NEWCITY CHICAGO - July 5, 2001 - 411 - Newcity's Seven Days in Chicago
BLOCKED - By NewCity Staff Writers
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES - July 4th, 2001 - Front Page
WHAT'S CONDIDERED ART IN JEFFERSON PARK? - By Abdon M. Pallasch
NEWCITY CHICAGO - June 21, 2001 - 411 - Newcity's Seven Days in Chicago
CHARYBDIS BLUES - By NewCity Staff Writers
CHICAGO READER - June 8, 2001 - Culture Club - Section 2 - Front Page
SUCKED IN - By Deanna Isaacs
NEWCITY CHICAGO - May 10, 2001 - Feature Article
MADE IN CHICAGO (excerpted)
- By Dave Chamberlain, Michael Bulka, Elaine Richardson, Margaret Wappler, Michael Weinstein and Chris Wiersema
NEWCITY CHICAGO - March 15, 2001 - Raw Material (feature)
MORE VIRUS - recommended event - By Dave Chamberlain
CHICAGO ARTIST'S NEWS - July/August 2001 - Art News - An Opinionated Look at What's Happening (online artist news source)
ALDERMAN HAS IT OUT FOR CHARYBDIS? - By Shag
Local/Community Print Coverage
LERNER TIMES - September 13, 2001
CHARYBDIS CLOSES DOORS - By Mike Gunderson
NADIG PRESS - September 12, 2001
CHARYBDIS CLOSES, CHARGES SETTLED - By Brian Nadig
NADIG REPORTER - July 29, 2001 - Front Page
HEARING SLATED ON CHARYBDIS CITATIONS - By Brian Nadig
LERNER TIMES - July 26, 2001 - Front Page
LEVAR CONTINUES TO MULL CHARYBDIS ZONING - By Mike Gunderson
EDISON-NORWOOD / EDGEBROOK TIMES REVIEW - July 19, 2001 - Front Page
ARTS COMPLEX HITS ZONING HURDLES - By Alan Schmidt
NADIG PRESS - July 18, 2001 - Front Page
CHARYBDIS RECEIVES MORE DESIST ORDERS - By Brian Nadig
NADIG PRESS - July 11, 2001 - Front Page
CHAMBER SUPPORTS CHANGE IN ZONING - By Brian Nadig
LERNER TIMES - July 5, 2001 - Front Page
ARTS COMPLEX PAINTED WITH CHARGES AT MEETING - By Mike Gunderson
NADIG PRESS - July 4th, 2001 - Front Page
ARTS CENTER SPARKS DEBATE - By Brian Nadig
NADIG PRESS - June 6, 2001 - Front Page
CHARYBDIS RAIDED SECOND TIME FOR LACK OF REQUIRED LICENSES - By Brian Nadig
NADIG PRESS - May 23, 2001 - Front Page
CITY INSPECTORS RAID CHARYBDIS - By Brian Nadig
NADIG PRESS - May 23, 2001 - Front Page
BENEFIT AUCTION SCHEDULED OF WORKS BY VAUGHN HS ARTISTS - By Brian Nadig
LERNER TIMES - March 29, 2001 - Front Page
BETWEEN A ROCK AND AN ART PLACE - By Mike Gunnerson
LERNER TIMES - March 29, 2001 - Front Page
ARTISTS' GROUP SEEKS ZONING CHANGE TO HOLD SHOWS IN STUDIO - By Mike Gunnerson
NADIG PRESS - March 21, 2001 - Front Page
ZONING CHANGE REQUESTED FOR PERFORMANCES AT ARTS CENTER - By Jennifer Larsen
NADIG PRESS - November 11, 2000 - Front Page
ARTISTS HAVE NEW SPACE IN JEFFERSON PARK - By Jennifer Larsen
Charybdis Press Releases / Journal Entries
SAT. - JULY 14th, 2001
CHICAGO ARTISTS AND BAR OWNER GET THE SHAKEDOWN
Alderman Levar & City Revenue Agents escalate intimidation tactics
The Charybdis benefit "HEROES" scheduled for Sunday, July 15th at Coyle’s Tippling House, was cancelled.
We held a gallery opening for our visual art show, FRAMEd. (Thanks to the many of you who showed up to help us celebrate!) The event was visited by City of Chicago Dept. of Revenue agents who gave us three more Cease and Desist orders for things we hadn't even done.
The first stops us from holding any performances in the city limits of Chicago, which halts the event at Coyle’s. The other two were for auctioneering in our space and at any location in the city, which thwarted our plans to hold a silent auction at Coyle's to help raise funds.
Since Charybdis has a valid business license, the art opening itself was undisturbed.
It looks to us, like Alderman Patrick Levar (45th) and his attack dogs are trying to
stop us from holding any fundraisers within Chicago city limits.
Maybe they're afraid of any legal representation stepping up to bat for us.
After Revenue Agents left Charybdis, they headed over to Coyle's Tippling House to get mean. Arriving in arrest Cruisers with lots of back-up officers wearing Kevlar vests, they "strongly advised" the bar manager to cancel the Charybdis benefit and to not help us in the future. The Revenue Agents then proceeded to write Coyle's numerous citations & fines, then closed down their beer garden for the rest of the summer. Coyle's makes most of their summer business with that beer garden...
All this, despite the fact that the benefit hadn't even happened yet! Jim Coyle and his establishment isn't affiliated with Charybdis. He is an innocent bystander who wanted to do something good for the arts.
This is sheer harassment. In gangster talk, they call this a "shakedown".
WED. - JUNE 27th, 2001
CHICAGO ARTS GROUP HARASSED BY CITY ALDERMAN
The case for or against Charybdis Multi-Arts Complex
A community public zoning forum was held on Wednesday, June 27th. We were wedged into a stifling hot room, selected by Alderman Patrick Levar (45th), with a sign that read: "Occupancy by more than 103 people is unlawful and dangerous." There was easily over 200 people crammed in.
Thank you to all who attended this 3 1/2 hour meeting, we appreciate the tremendous number of people who showed up to voice their support. Just think how many more supporters we could have had, given the proper advance notice!
Realaudio clips from the 6-27 zoning meeting.
(please note) - how quickly the meeting went from a discussion on zoning with the Alderman stating 'Expression is art' and that he wasn't going to decide on the merits of the business in question to a discussion about the merits and moral character of the business in question. Also how often Levar and the police said misinforming things regarding activities depicted on the website (or as Levar likes to call it, 'Gregor's Internet') and where/when those activities took place.
Levar explains his reasons for the meeting
Levar: porn on the internet
Volunteer activites explained
Gregor: how Charybdis began
Gregor: we want to up the ante
Revenue Agent: porn is okay for some neighborhoods
Revenue Agent: more internet misinformation
More confusion regarding age restrictions at the Charybdis building vs. their website
Levar: I reserve the right to promote my constituents' misinformation
Gregor's rebuttal to Mr. Mayberry
Bottom line: Your kids are safe
Another resident mischaracterization of Gregor.
The entire meeting can be summed up by an 11-year-old resident of Jefferson Park that we met while participating in the JEFF FEST Community festival on June 23rd & 24th.
FROM SARA, AN 11 YEAR-OLD JEFFERSON PARK RESIDENT WHO ATTENDED THE WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27TH PUBLIC ZONING HEARING:
I am sorry I left your meeting early. Everyone was being so rude and I knew you would never call on me to speak. You asked so many times that everyone be polite and respect everyone else's opinion. They did not.
I came to the meeting with my parents because Charybdis is important to me and because I believed that every voice in the community needed to and would be heard on the subject. I was told this was why there are town meetings, so every voice can be heard and valued. I was told that town meetings were so our elected officials could better represent us. I was told that every voice, no matter how small, or who it belonged to was important.
If this is how adults behave and this is how things get done, it doesn't surprise me why not a lot gets done.
I found out after, that my mom read the speech I took the time to write, that I wanted to say myself, but as I said, you never would have called on me and the adults were behaving so badly and had you called on me, no one would have heard me over the adults who were booing and hissing.
I learned a lot last night. First I learned that even when asked many times to respect one another and let everyone speak, adults behave much worse than children. I learned that with politics you hide issues under other issues and call it something else and discuss things that don't seem to relate to what you even write down that you are going to talk about like the zoning and the Amusement License. I learned that with adults, it always comes down to sex. No matter what, adults always have to turn things to sex and the internet. Do adults really have no other real points to ever make?
To the parents that were talking about their kids being able to see things on the internet. I think this is another issue all together, but I also want to know why these parents don't know what their kids are doing. Mine do. Everything. They see everything, hear everything, know everything.
To the man who said we live in Mayberry. I don't know where that is, but my parents told me about the TV show it came from, and sir, I live at Montrose and Milwaukee, and that image isn't what I think of. If I walk my dog, or go to the Lucky Pantry, I am always looking over my shoulder.
I enclosed my speech for you to read and think about because I still want to believe every voice is important to you.
*(ACTUAL SPEECH READ AT THE PUBLIC ZONING HEARING BY SARA'S PARENT)
Thank you for letting me speak.
I am 11 years old, I am part of this community. I am one of those you are trying to protect. I do not know about zoning laws or politics. I know what I enjoy, I know what is fun, and I know what is safe. I am a knitter in pursuit of a Master knitters title from the Knitting Guild of America. I design my own creations, I select the fiber, the stitch, the colors. All of this I could not have even tried if adults who enjoy knitting hadn't taken the time to teach me about all aspects of the art of knitting.
I am at an age where peer pressure is becoming intense. My mom says it will get worse. To not have a place like Charybdis, locally, leaves me no where within walking distance to go to explore and learn about and enjoy all forms of art. It means a great deal to me to have something so wonderful so close. I don't drive, my parents work, so getting to the Art Institute isn't possible on my own.
The artists I have met from Charybdis have been so nice and helpful. They have never offered me drugs or alcohol. I feel completely safe when with them. I can learn about things that my mom and dad don't know and I can't get from a book, but can learn from other adults who are willing to share their time and talent with me. If you close Charybdis, where am I to learn about all the wonderful and different aspects art has to offer? As a child, I need your protection. From drug dealers, from unsafe neighborhoods, from gangs, from internet predators. Please focus on that rather than shutting down what is important and safe and fun and educational
And the Children Shall Lead Them
SAT/SUN. - JUNE 23rd/24th, 2001
CHARYBDIS PARTICIPATES IN JEFF FEST
Local Festival allows Charybdis to connect with the community
In Jefferson Park on Higgins between Milwaukee Ave & Lawrence Ave.
Interactive Art Corner
Print Making with Charybdis Member CATHY HAIBACH
Portraits by Charybdis Member MIKE BROWARSKI
Airbrush Designs by Charybdis Member MIKEL SAMSON
Affordable Artwork for sale
Charybdis Photo & Poster Retrospective
FRI. - JUNE 22nd, 2001
CHARYBDIS GOES TO COURT
Prosecuter wants to ammend the charges
We went to court on Friday, June 22nd. The prosecutor asked for an extension to amend the charges against us. We've been given no information on what these amendments are. We believe this is a ploy to manufacture a harder case to beat. The city law office stated that the charges against Charybdis are the exact same charges used against illegal Rave parties. Since we do not hold raves, we feel confident in beating the charges. The new court date is Tuesday, July 31st at 10:00 AM. It's become obvious that they're trying to sweat us out and drive us into extinction.
THURS. - MAY 31st, 2001
CHICAGO ARTS GROUP HARRASED BY CITY
Film screening, benefit raided by Department of Revenue, police
On Thursday, May 31, representatives from Chicago's Department of Revenue and police from Chicago's 16th Precinct raided Charybdis Multi-Arts Complex, during the screening of a film. Eight officers accosted the 20 guests in attendance and arrested Gregor Mortis Tatro, visionary of Charybdis and leaseholder for the space, and Rachel Decker, a volunteer for the organization. The two were detained overnight. Police also confiscated $55.16 in donations.
This marks the third time in as many weeks that authorities have raided Charybdis, located in the Jefferson Park neighborhood.
One event during the past three weeks remained conspicuously unaffected. On Wednesday, May 29, Charybdis held a silent art auction and student performance to benefit Jefferson Park's Jacqueline Vaughn High School. The event raised money to help the school's arts program. No authorities appeared that evening.
"We're clearly being harassed by the Department of Revenue and Alderman (Patrick) Levar," said Mortis. "We've built a great relationship with the area police, who have visited almost every event we've held since last September and have indicated their support of our mission. The authorities are aware that we're going through the process of seeking our rezoning so we can get the required permits, but that process takes time. It's only since the Department of Revenue, urged on by Alderman Patrick Levar (45th), has been targeting us that we've had a problem."
At issue is a permit for public performance, which cannot be granted until the zoning for the building in which Charybdis resides is upgraded from B2-1 to B4-2. This can only happen with the permission of the ward's alderman, Patrick Levar (45th). Charybdis holds a valid business license (Lic. #1142775) to operate within the city of Chicago.
"We need the zoning change to obtain all of the proper licenses, and our hands are tied until that happens," continued Mortis, "Alderman Levar refuses to help or listen. He told us we needed to help him, before he'll help us. What does that mean?"
MON. - MAY 28th, 2001
CHARYBDIS HASSLED FOR HELPING LOCAL ARTIST
Benefit for Chicago Artist Joe Foust shut down by police
Local Authorities shut down a benefit event held to raise money for medical bills recently incurred by Chicago resident artist and actor Joe Foust.
SAT/SUN. - MAY 19th/20th, 2001
CHICAGO ARTISTS UNDER ATTACK
On Saturday night (early Sunday), May 19/20, Chicago’s Department of Revenue, under orders from Alderman Patrick Levar, shut down a popular event at Charybdis Multi-Arts Complex, 4423 N. Milwaukee Ave., at which almost 150 people were in attendance. The events culminated in the arrest of Gregor Mortis Tatro, visionary of Charybdis and leaseholder for the space.
Charybdis is a multi-arts complex in the Jefferson Park neighborhood, dedicated to the advancement of all art forms in Chicago and nationwide.
Mortis was detained overnight and all cash, donations and personal monies were confiscated. Police also confiscated three unopened bottles of alcohol brought in by attendees over 21 years of age, a bowl of Charms Blow Pops of various flavors, and a videotape of the evening's art events. In addition, the police photographed the space in detail. The mascots for the space, a white and orange tabby cat and three goldfish, were frazzled but fine.
The Chicago Department of Revenue issued orders to cease and desist for the following activities: public place of amusement (Y010425), public place of amusement primarily intended for use by minors (Y010428), food, retail establishment (pop, beverages) (Y05567), and liquor, consumption on premises – incidental activity (Y010033). These orders refer to codes 4-156 section 300, 4-156 section 300 (P), 4-8 section 020A, and 4-60 section 020A, respectively.
“All of the cease and desist orders were flawed, especially with regard to the issue of minors – to the best of our knowledge there were no minors in attendance,” said Mortis. “As for the public place of amusement for adults, this remains an issue because the zoning change we were promised has not been put into effect.”
Charybdis holds a valid business license (Lic. #1142775) within the city of Chicago. At issue is a permit for public performance, which cannot be granted until the zoning for the building in which Charybdis resides is upgraded from B2-1 to B4-2. This can only happen with the permission of the ward’s alderman, Patrick Levar (45th).
“We need the zoning change to obtain all of the proper licenses, and our hands are tied until that happens,” continued Mortis. “When we met with Levar, he led us to believe that he would assist in our efforts, but we’ve seen no results.”
Charybdis has been operating at its current location and status since September 2000, hosting a variety of public events from music and theater to visual arts and installations. Charybdis has also hosted several community gatherings, which drew residents of the neighborhood aged 3 to
93. Events planned through the end of May include a Memorial Day weekend barbeque for community residents and their families; a benefit to support the medical expenses of a local theater artist; and Perception: Exceptional Art, a showcase of artwork done by students at Jacqueline Vaughn High School in the Jefferson Park neighborhood.
Mortis added, “Arts organizations such as Charybdis revitalize communities and bring businesses of all kinds to the area. Jefferson Park could definitely benefit from our presence, considering all of the empty storefronts on the blocks surrounding us. What’s up with that?”
FRI. - SEPTEMBER 8th, 2000
To kick off the celebration, Charybdis offered a multi-media interactive event
RECESS! - An Interactive Playground For Adults
Just like when we were in grade-school, recess was about fun and socializing.
The members of Charybdis created a playground atmosphere in the 14,000 Sq. Ft. space.
Anything artists could think of or wanted to do.
RECESS was a time for play.
The 16th district police, under orders from above, raided Charybdis on their opening night. They had been staking-out Charybdis from across the street at a local bar called Babe's.
After surrounding the place, approximately 30 police, outfitted in Kevlar vests and accompanied by paddy wagons, stormed in to take down the alleged "rave."
After making a thorough inspection of the premesis, the police realized that they had been led astray with the rave complaint. Some of the officers offered their apologies
and left, making no arrests.
SAT. - JULY 1st, 2000
CHARYBDIS STARTS BUILDING MOMENTUM
The move rekindles excitement by members
Charybdis' 5-year lease begins. Thanks to the many individuals who made this move, into the new space, possible.
For the next two months, members worked around the clock to prepare for the grand opening in September.
FRI. - JUNE 30th, 2000
CHARYBDIS HAS A NEW HOME!
Gregor "Mortis" Tatro signs a 5-year lease
On Gregor's golden 30th birthday, he signed a five-year lease for the space located at 4423 N. Milwaukee Ave. & paid a two month security deposit.
Contained in the lease was a rider specifically guaranteeing the needed zoning change by the signing owner of the property.