Chicago skyline looking east with Lake Michigan in the background

Two Self-Guided Neighborhood Sound Trails for Open House Chicago 2022

Chicago’s North Lawndale and Near West Side neighborhoods • October 1–31, 2022

The economic disparities between different Chicago neighborhoods have been clearly identified and publicly displayed in community activist and photographer Tonika Johnson’s Folded Map Project. Are these inequalities equally perceivable in the world of sound? What are the sonic characteristics of different neighborhoods? How are they the same, how do they differ, and how can these questions help understand matters of difference, agency, and power?

NON:op Open Opera Works and Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology partner with Chicago Architecture Center’s Open House Chicago to present a second season of Aural Neighborhoods—two soundwalks that reveal the aural characteristics within the built environment of diverse Chicago neighborhoods. This year, teaching artists Veronica Anne Salinas and Jeanette Dominguez encounter North Lawndale and Little Italy on the Near West Side, two neighborhoods on either end of Chicago’s Douglas Boulevard. Similar to last year, they will create a sound trail in each neighborhood—with a complete audio recording and sonic points of interest clearly identified on a map. Each point of interest will include one or more photos, background and listening cues, and a brief audio sample.

Aural Neighborhoods is part of the Chicago Architecture Center’s app available for download on October 1 from the Apple App Store or Google Play. The app uses geolocation in both neighborhoods to identify Sound Trails and Sonic Points of Interest. Sound Trails and additional content, including the complete audio recording and information on our teaching artists, is available below and on the pages for North Lawndale and Near West Side. Audiences may interact on site or virtually with one or both sound trails, and they may submit their own recordings, short videos, photos, and written responses to our community archive HERE.

Guided Soundwalk in North Lawndale
Saturday, October 15
2022 9:00 am
Douglass (Anne and Frederick) Park – 1401 S Sacramento Dr, Chicago IL 60623

Join Veronica Anne Salinas for a guided soundwalk in the historic North Lawndale neighborhood. Meet at the east entrance of steps of the Douglass Anna and Frederick Park Cultural and Community Center, located directly in front of an empty fenced in pool. The walk follows the North Lawndale Sound Trail south where Veronica and Jeanette will lead a discussion at the end.

Guided Soundwalk in the Near West Side
Sunday, October 16, 2022 | 9:00 am 
Arrigo (Victor) Park – 801 S Loomis St, Chicago, IL 60607 

Join Jeanette Dominguez for a guided soundwalk in the historic Near West Side neighborhood. Meet at the east entrance of Victor Arrigo Park, located on S. Lytle St. between S. Ada St and W. Cabrini St. Veronica and Jeanette will provide an orientation, breathing exercise, and lead participants on the soundwalk. The walk follows the North Lawndale Sound Trail south where Veronica and Jeanette will lead a discussion at the end.

Each guided soundwalk is limited to 20 participants. Click HERE to reserve your spot today.

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Do you have a FAVORITE SOUND in North Lawndale or Near West Side?
Would you like to share it with us? Upload your audio files HERE

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Walk one or both trails using the Chicago Architecture Center app with or without headphones, listen to complete recordings of each soundwalk below, and share your recordings, short videos, photos, and written responses to our community archive HERE.

ACCESSIBILITY:  Both Aural Neighborhoods Sound Trails are wheelchair accessible.

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GO TO the North Lawndale Sound Trail
GO TO the Near West Side Sound Trail
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NON:op Open Opera Works and Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology are excited to be Community Partners with Open House Chicago (OHC) 2022! OHC is a free annual architecture festival presented by the Chicago Architecture Center (CAC). In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, CAC transformed Open House Chicago in 2020 to prioritize the community’s health and safety by creating an online and outdoor festival. To access OHC 2022 events, programs and tours, visit the Open House Chicago website or download the Chicago Architecture Center app, which will be available on October 1.

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Land Acknowledgement

As you walk through North Lawndale and Near West Side neighborhoods, keep in mind that these soundwalks take place on the ancestral homelands of the Council of the Three Fires: the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi Nations. Many other tribes such as the Miami, Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Sac, and Fox also called this area home. This region has long been a center for Indigenous people to gather, trade, and maintain kinship ties. Today, one of the largest urban American Indian communities in the United States resides in Chicago. Members of this community continue to contribute to the life of Chicago and to celebrate their heritage, practice traditions, and care for the land and waterways. Try to imagine the natural features and characteristics of these geographies, and try to hear in your minds ear what this land might have sounded like 100, 300, or 500 years ago.

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Aural Neighborhoods Sound Trail Designers

Veronica Anne SalinasVeronica Anne Salinas
Veronica Anne Salinas is a Chicago-based artist, writer, editor, and Deep Listener. Her work explores artistic research through sound, text scores, performance, improvisation, geomancy, field recordings, archives, soundwalks, and experimental narratives. She is currently studying at the Center for Deep Listening at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and holds an MFA in Sound from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is a teaching artist with the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology (MWSAE) and the digital editor at the Oxford American. Her writing on sound has been featured in the American Religious Soundscapes Project (ARSP), in the anthology Latina Outsiders: Remaking Latina Identity (Routledge, 2019), Decoder Magazine, Bitch Magazine, and also at the 2nd International Conference on Sonorities Research (II CIPS Sonoridades Fronteriças). She has exhibited sound work at Northwestern University (Evanston, IL), Campbient (Seattle, WA), Omaha Under the Radar Festival (Omaha, NE), Elastic Arts (Chicago, IL), Gene Siskel Film Center (Chicago, IL), Experimental Sound Studio (Chicago, IL), Chicago Design Museum (Chicago, IL), Megapolis Audio Festival (PA), Lawndale Arts Center (Houston, TX), Art League Houston (Houston, TX), Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, VT), Sala Diaz (San Antonio, TX), and Cities and Memory (UK).

Jeanette DominguezJeanette Dominguez
Jeanette is a graduate student in the MA in Sound Arts and Industries program at Northwestern University, where she is expanding and utilizing her skillset to develop dynamic media in public programming. She is especially interested in using sound design and composition to amplify narratives via digital storytelling that is focused on family dynamics, placemaking, identity, and eco-identity formation. She has been a musician her whole life and during her free time, enjoys all things outdoors while capturing and blending field recordings with original music. She finds inspiration through her hard-working family, changing seasons, and by tuning in to the sonic accompaniment of our daily lives.

Christophe PreissingChristophe Preissing
Mr. Preissing is the founder and artistic director of NON:op Open Opera Works whose mission it is to engage and enable lost, neglected, and suppressed voices to be heard through participatory, immersive, and interactive programs that welcome creative contributions from all who choose to create. Christophe is a sound composer, intermedia artist, curator, and producer, who creates sound that focuses on the space between and among art forms and artists. His work investigates non-hierarchical relationships among materials, co-creators, and audiences. An avid field recordist, Christophe may be found audio spelunking in abandoned industrial buildings, collecting sound in field and vale, or dumpster diving for sound objects. Christophe has been Artist-in-Residence and Fellow at Beloit College, Indiana University, Millay Colony, Ragdale, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Djerrassi, Atlantic Center for the Arts, and has received support and recognition from the Pritzker Foundation, Jerome Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, American Composers Forum, Meet the Composer, Illinois Arts Council, and Illinois Humanities. He has produced shows at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago Cultural Center, Illinois Institute of Technology, Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, among others. Recent projects include Memoria de Memoria: Remembering Keith Cooper and Chicago’s 794 Homice Victims in 2021; Blood Lines: Remembering the 1919 Chicago Race Riots at Augustana Lutheran Church of Hyde Park, Chicago; Portrait of Carrie Sandahl with painter Riva Lehrer at the Evanston Art Center; SUS: the long thin wire, and Street Sheets in collaboration with Hugh Sato and Mario Gonzalez, Jr. at Columbia University in New York.

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This program is partially supported by grants from the Illinois Arts Council Agency
and the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.