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LakeViewEast Festival of the Arts Chicago 2021 Artwork by: Kelsey Merkle -

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Business Marketing Q&A Hello Elizabeth, Dear Chad, I find myself not knowing what direction to go in. Should I wait and see what’s going to happen next or invest in advertising and marketing at this volatile time? I’m wondering how to use my financial resources wisely. From - Thomas Hello Thomas, There are several grants and incentives outside of the PPP for businesses because of the impact of covid. I encourage you to see what your business might qualify for. Each state is different as to what is available, but almost all states are offering some type of additional relief. These funds can then be put back into your business to ensure you stay afloat during these uncertain times. It is also very important to keep your business in front of potential customers/clients especially now. Just be cognizant of how much you are allocating towards potential marketing and or advertising. I would suggest cutting what you would normally spend on monthly marketing relative to where you are from a loss standpoint. If you are in the red from LY then look at what expenses you know are a must in the next 90 days to ensure anything you do above and beyond these set expenses will be covered no matter what. Then work backwards to ensure you don’t put yourself in a situation that will cause more harm than good. Be strategic and do your research on the type of advertising you are interested in pursing. If you spend too little because you are being over consecrative then you may not get any return on your investment. Dear Chad, What happens when your target market advertising doesn’t attract what’s expected and a whole other demographic comes in? I market to an upscale, mostly white audience, but have been supported more by the Latin community. Should I switch gears and go with what’s working? From- Elizabeth

We all have what we think is our primary target market. Sometimes we box ourselves in to this because of how we perceive our business when it is really only others perception that matters. Keep in mind that just because at one point your target audience seemed to have a certain pattern it does not at all mean that this will be the ongoing case. Look at the buying patterns to see if this is just a potential fluke or if there is a shift in your industry. Open yourself up to other advertising and marketing mediums to reach your potential new demographic. Every business must adapt and change to ensure ongoing success. Just make your you have a realistic pulse on what is driving your business for future success. Dear Chad, I own a fast food restaurant, is it important for the business to have a QR code? If so, where should I direct people to that use the code? Should it be to our website, to the menu, or somewhere else? From- Joe Hello Joe, QR codes have become an intrigual part of marketing especially in the restaurant industry this past year and a half because of Covid. Customers love being able to pull-up a menu from their phone, our society is all about convenience. If you have strong branding and if you have worked towards creating a visually stunning website that is userfriendly that showcases your menu and all you have to offer, I would utilize this functionality wherever and whenever you can. Posters, brochures and beyond. It allows for your customer to have a direct connect to your restaurant. This also increases your chances to keep your pricing and menu items upto-date without having to spend time and money designing and printing new menu updates. Chad Brittian is an experienced industry professional and CEO of NVS Design, Inc. To consult Chad for any of your business needs, call 877-578-2045 (Ext. 700) or email him at chad@

To submit your question to Ask Chad, email him at: 13

Reeling film festival

September 24th - 30th at Century Centre Cinemas The Reeling Film Festival will be opening on September 23, 2021 at the Music Box Theatre, located at 3733 N. Southport Ave., and will be running September 24th - 30th, 2021 at the Landmark Century Centre Cinemas, at 2828 N. Clark St., Chicago, and virtually from September 27 through October 7, 2021. There will be 42 shows including 33 feature films and 9 short film programs, this year’s festival includes films from more than 15 countries including Israel, Turkey, Iran, Australia, Italy, Romania, and Chile. Now in its 39th year, Reeling is the second-oldest LGBTQ+ film festival in the world and a beloved Chicago cultural institution. “Cinema is supposed to be communal, and after more than a year of social distancing and isolation it’s never been more important to experience independent film with one another,” said Reeling Film Festival founder and Executive Director of Chicago Filmmakers Brenda Webb. “Filmmakers interpret the world around them and bring us new perspectives and new ideas with stories of love and loss, bravery and struggle, humor and revelation, the tapestry of the human experience. Reeling’s 39th slate of films celebrates and embrace this crucial piece of our shared existence.” Opening night features Firebird, UK director Peeter Rebane’s epic story of forbidden queer love set against the backdrop of the 1970s Cold War in Estonia when two military men in the Soviet Air Force find their clandestine, illegal affair threatens their careers and their lives. Legendary drag performer Charles Busch (Psyco Beach Party; Die Mommy Die!) stars in Reeling’s closing night feature, the Midwest premiere of his tribute to movie mania The Sixth Reel. The film also stars Margaret Cho, Julie Halston, Tim Daly, and Broadway legend Andre DeShields. Other festival highlights include Jump, Darling, featuring the brilliant Cloris Leachman in one of her last roles, playing the sardonic grandmother of a down on his luck drag queen; Sweetheart, starring terrific newcomer Nell Barlow as a salty teenager dragged on a family vacation to a tacky seaside holiday park seemingly stuck in a bygone era; Saint-Narcisse, outrageous

queer filmmaker Bruce LaBruce’s love letter to psychosexual thrillers of the 70’s; and Potato Dreams of America, Wes Hurley’s whimsical autobiographical fantasia about his journey to American with his mother, who was a mail order bride from the Soviet Union. This year’s Reeling features four U.S. premieres, including the world premiere of Baja Come Down, following two women as they travel from Los Angeles to Mexico in a last-ditch effort to save their relationship. In Down In Paris, gay filmmaker Richard experiences a crippling crisis of confidence during his latest shoot, and walks off the set to wander Paris in search of the inspiration to continue. Documentary feature Mary Me However explores the lives of orthodox Jewish LGBTQ men and women who choose heterosexual spouses to raise a heteronormative family, denying their own identities to obey the rules of their society. Narrative films centering transgender stories include the award-winning Iranian film At The End Of Elvin, which tells the suspenseful story of a protagonist seeking gender reassignment surgery who is entrapped in an elaborate plot of identity exchange. Rising trans actress Mya Bollaers is the titular heroine in LOLA, about a young transgender woman who must put her gender re- assignment surgery on hold when her mother dies and finds herself on an emotional road trip with her estranged father. Trans director Mari Walker’s directorial debut, the two-hander See You Then, brings together two former lovers whose paths have gone in very different directions for a night of reckoning about their past. Documentary program highlights include Being Bebe, the awe-inspiring story of BeBe Zahara Benet, winner of the first season of RuPaul's Drag Race; Boulevard! A Hollywood Story, about Gloria Swanson’s attempt to turn Sunset Boulevard into a musical; Invisible Gay Women In Southern Music, which heralds the unsung lesbian songwriters behind the hits of many of country music’s biggest stars; and Reeling Documentary Centerpiece North By Current, in which trans filmmaker Angelo Madsen Minax’s returns to his rural Michigan family home following the death of his young niece. 17

TUNING IN House Is A Feeling by Nicky Roland In last months issue I interviewed Georgie Porgie, who at the birth of House, was one of the youngest producers/DJs on the scene. The other, is Kaay Alexi Shelby. With that in mind, I thought I’d chat with Kaay to get his perspective on the scene, and see what he’s been up to. Q: Kaay, you’ve mentioned to me in prior conversations that your mom would bring home boxes of records that you’d play with as a kid, and soon start mixing. At what point did you realize it was something you wanted to do professionally?   A: I believe I was around 12 years old when I started receiving these records. I was happy to get any gift for my mom, and still am even to this day, but I don’t think it was until age 14 that I realized how much I really enjoyed the music.   Q: What were some of the events that led you to that realization?   A: Seeing one of my musical heroes Ron Hardy at the Music Box and seeing his impact and just pure showmanship, how he took the crowd on a journey. Seeing that made me really want to be part of that movement, to be a full part of the culture.   Q: You started playing in clubs when you were still underage, how did you fly under the radar?   A: I didn’t “really” do a club until (I was still just a kid I guess) I was 20, but I played the community center and things like that in my younger years. Flying under the radar would only get you so far, sometimes I could get in, sometimes I couldn’t. It was very “interesting” and strict back then in certain ways.   Q: You progressed really quickly from playing the so-called downtime spots to headlining, can you tell our readers a bit about that journey and any especially fond memories that come to mind?  


A: By the time

I was older and realized this was no longer a hobby or a part-time job, but something that could actually be my career, I was maybe 20 to 23? I got taken under the wings of some of the greats, from Frankie Knuckles to Robert Owens, to Ron Hardy, to Larry Heard, to Mr. Lee, to even one of my fondest roommates and brothers (still to this day), Mike Dunn, who taught me then, and even now, that preparation is key paramount.   Q: DJ’ing aside, you’re also a prolific producer, who as I mentioned earlier helped shape the sound of numerous genres and subgenres of House. What are your thoughts on the ever-narrower classifications of music?   A: For us, it was just music. If it had a name, I didn’t really know what it was, I just knew that I had to be a part of it because the city was swarming and buzzing with energy over this new thing. It was taking hold of people here in the city. Later it would be called house music. Techno for us in Chicago wasn’t the same as what was made in Detroit. For us in Chicago, we still had that 4x4, with tracks like Circus Bells, by brother Robert Armani, and Acid Over by brother Tyree Cooper, Lost Control by my big brother Marshall Jefferson, or Washing Machine big brother Larry Heard or even the Acid Originators, brothers Spanky and DJ Pierre of Future & my own brand of tech. From Club MCM Stick Music to my Detroit debut album on Transmat with All for Lisa, Vertigo, and My Medusa - which would later be branded as a blueprint for many styles that I gave birth to around the world.   Q: You’ve been making a bunch of music, which we’ll get to in a minute, but before we do so, I’d love to ask how you’ve handled the pandemic, and how it’s shaped your performances and marketing over the last year.  

TUNING IN House Is A Feeling continued... A: I think being back home, as opposed to

living abroad. It was wild having your freedom just taken away from you like that without any warning, or forethought of what will come next, being close to my family as I am, was a huge challenge. Having music around me, as always, has helped me stay productive and sane.

A: I’m back

from your discography, what would they be?

out doing livestreams for now, which can be found all over the place, including Beatport and YouTube... but, let the record state, I didn’t get my shots just so I can be sitting around! I’m ready to get back out into the world.

A: All For Lisa, Essence Of A Dream and My

Q: Kaay, there’s so much more I’d love to chat

Q: If you had to pick your three favorite songs Medusa Q: What’s your favorite current song, from another artist or producer?   A: Mike Dunn “If I can’t get down“ it’s just a super fun song, it will lift your spirit!   Q: When I last spoke to you, God’s People was just about to come out, are there any other recent releases we should be checking out?   A: Many things are on the horizon that I hope to share with the world very soon. I’m doing waaay more collaborating with younger artists, and different artists. Males and females, just people that I deem can inspire each other, so I’ll keep a hush on that right now, but for those that know me, I’m always recording and there’s always something special in band-camp, or some things you can dig out of the past on me that you didn’t even know.   Q: What are some of your upcoming releases/collaborations, anything on the horizon that you can tell us about?   A: Well I just did a remix of Robert Owens and KC with Roy Davis Jr. added to the mix. A compilation that I’m putting together with music from Joe Smooth, Tyree Cooper, Roy Davis, Junior KC, Ryan Reynolds Glenn Underground, DJ Pierre, and fingers crossed, my brother Moody Man.   Q: Are you back out performing, and if so where can we see you? If not, are you doing any streams online?  

with you about, but I have limited space. Is there anything you’d like to share as a closing thought?

A: I would like for there to be way

more respect and more of a connection/ acknowledgment for those that came before. I’d like for there to be less sampling of those artists and more true collaborations. Because when you look down from the top of the mountain you’ll be standing on many shoulders of all the people that helped put you there. So remember that as you fist pump and talk about how great you are! One of Kaay’s more recent tunes, God’s People (mentioned above), also happens to be on the forthcoming Jack Master 7 album, from Chicago House record label, DJ International Records. This is arguably the most important house music collection in over a decade. I don’t just say that because I’m also featured artist on the album,  but due to the incredible selection of new and unreleased tunes from legendary House Music producers such as Frankie Knuckles, Rocky Jones, Chip-E, Chuck Roberts, Meechie, Sterling Void, State of Rhythm and Loleatta Holloway to name a few. If that wasn’t enough there are appearances from disco super stars The Richie Family, and music royalty, Bobby Willson.   The Jackmaster 7 compilation comes out in digital format on September 24th, with a three disc limited edition vinyl run to follow soon after.   Nicky Roland is a house music producer originally from the UK, now based in Denver, CO - Find him on Spotify and on Twitter @nickyrolandmusic 21


Finding Yourself: Finding Your Identity by: Dr. Charla Waxman BS, MBA, EdD

Director of Business Development

We’re all a little lost sometimes. A sense of self and having a real sense of identity is not always easy to achieve or easy to find. The hard part is no one can do this for you. You’re flying solo on this one. You can talk to friends, you can talk to family, and you can even talk to a counselor, but at the end of the day, it’s on you. Where and how do you find you? First, you find yourself among people you choose to spend time with at home, work and play. Remember when your parents said, “You are your friends”? Well, they weren’t too far off. The beliefs and values of each of these groups and a look at where they are and where they’re going might just give you some insight into you or a big push to make some changes and do some thinking. Second, know that who you are, your wants and needs can change with time. Circumstances, your environments, and life experiences, in general, can move you forward (or backward). All of these things help to identify you and shape you and your identity. 22

Next, look at what is the best of who you currently are? What makes you unique in the positive sense? Hang on to these and consider ways to do more and be more of the best part of you. Don’t hurry! Self-examination takes time. If you have really taken stock of the people in your life personally and professionally, you’ve shaken off the dust of past experiences, remembering them, but leaving them behind, and you’ve identified your best assets, then it is time to answer these questions: What really matters to me? Who am I willing to ask to support my process of searching and change? (Get ready for soulsearching feedback!) What dreams and aspirations have I put aside and need to revisit? We’re all a little lost sometimes. And that’s ok, as long as you find a way to get found. The team at Lake Behavioral Hospital knows that there are times when life can be confusing and you can feel really lost. If you feel like you need support and need to understand what level of care will help you feel better, please call us. We can be reached at 855 990 1900. We are waiting to help 24/7/365.

by Jack Santo

The Pleistocene Park Experiment Russian scientist Sergey Zimov hopes to recreate a 12,000-year-old environment in a wildlife park for herbivores like wild horse and bison, with extinct megafauna like mammoths replaced by modern hybrids. Zimov is studying the impact of the animals on environment and climate. Through the work spearheaded by one family, an ecosystem reengineering experiment is an effort to stop the thaw of permafrost and the impending, enormous release of its greenhouse gasses. Nearly 20,000 years ago, millions of woolly mammoths, bison, oxen, horse, and reindeer lived in the grassland steppe of northern Siberia. Today, the landscape is largely a barren tundra, a once-great grassland ecosystem ruined through hapless human activity. However, things are starting to change. In one corner of Siberia, Sergey Zimov and son Nikita are leading a charge to restore the lost mammoth steppe of the Pleistocene era.  The Zimov’s effort, called Pleistocene Park, is a 160-square-kilometer reserve located 3,300 miles (5,400 km) from Moscow and half that from Anchorage, Alaska. The family is going to great lengths to create this transformation and has started a Patreon campaign to build support. 

Their goal is to restore the variety and density of grazing animals that once roamed here. In June 2019 Nikita completed an expedition to deliver a group of 12 steppe bison from Denmark to Pleistocene Park, driving the entire width of Eurasia to do so. These bison joined reindeer, Yakutian horse, moose, musk ox, yak, Kalmykian cow, and sheep. Now there is a group of 100 different animals representing 8 major herbivore species. And, with help from the Church Lab at Harvard and Revive & Restore, advances are being made to de-extinct the Woolly Mammoth so that, it too, can join the enormous task of re-making grasslands.

The reason for all this effort? To counter the effects of climate change. That’s because a real worry in the Arctic involves the permafrost that sits underground. If temperatures increase just slightly in the permafrost, its thaw will release an enormous amount of methane and carbon dioxide into the air, to an extent that no other ecosystem source can compare. But the presence of megaherbivores can 25


actually lower ground temperatures and stop the thaw. By trampling across the ground in wintertime, the herbivores break up the snow and expose the ground directly to severe winter temperatures, thus re-chilling the permafrost below. By encouraging megafaunal activity upon the snowy grasslands, the Zimovs are enabling colder and deeper winter soil freezing. Other than the snow effect, the publication outlines the many ways that Arctic megafaunal ecological engineering can be a climate solution. It turns out that the replacement of forests with grassland has multiple benefits. For one, grasses reflect more light than today’s dominant woody shrubs, all year round.

This effect, called albedo, sends radiant energy back to space and lowers atmospheric temperatures. The grasses also work to transfer water out of the soil and into the atmosphere, further lowering ground temperatures and decreasing waterlogging. Plus, the deeper root structures of grasses do a better job of storing carbon in the soil than those of the shrubs and larch they replace. Altogether, the effects of a restored grassland tended to by megaherbivores, and implies an enhanced protection of the carbon-rich permafrost, with consequently reduced carbon emissions from permafrost thaw, increased carbon capture and an overall negative feedback to global warming. Institutional friction and the potential role of new technologies in the reintroductions are also in the future plans. 26


Fame for some can be a deep hole, a mind-blowing, backward experience. Jeanette was a Preacher’s kid from the West side of Chicago, who found herself a hood hero with trust issues, and not at all ready for the responsibilities fame would bring her. She struggled with depression, alcoholism, and the loss of her first husband. As a single parent, she had to deal with the demons of the past so that her child could see hope for the future. Jeanette fought to overcome her struggles to once again record. by Cre Thomas On my block in the eighties, every house with a basement at some time or another had a House party. People would come from blocks away to get in the dark basement with probably one red light for illumination, sometimes it would be to rub against the boys, and for boys to sneak a free feel from girls, but mostly it was for the music, the music known throughout the world as House music. At everyone’s House party, there was one classic song, much like the song “Family Reunion,” by the O’Jays. This song “Shake Your Body” by Jeanette Thomas on Chicago Connection Records was an underground, cult sensation, and is still a go-to jam for DJs today. The record was so hot in its day, pop mega-star, Madonna called it her “favorite song.” After the release of the song, Shake Your Body, Jeanette Thomas seemingly vanished from the scene for over 30 years.

In collaboration with FlameFire Music and production assistance from House music pioneers Vince Lawrence and K- Alexi, Jeanette Thomas steps back into the scene with a hot new single, “Not Mine,” which is the first song off her upcoming EPK “This Is My House” scheduled to be released in September of 2021. This song’s lyrics speak their truth pointing to the fact that Jeanette is an “old school queen” when it comes to House Music and chooses to stick close to her roots stylistically. “Get ready for this track to ignite dance floors everywhere,” says worldwide Pro-Motion’s Brad Lebeau. 29

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