Backstory Cafe and Social Center, 2008-11

S_Black_Backstory_web02Backstory Cafe and Social Center, 2008-11 [Co-owner and Organizer]
Experimental Station, Chicago, IL

Backstory Cafe and Social Center was founded in 2008 and cooperatively owned by Sara Black, Saadia Shah and Robin Hewlett at the intersection of Chicago’s Hyde Park and Woodlawn neighborhoods in the Experimental Station. Backstory was: a RESOURCE CENTER providing a meeting place for local non-profit initiatives, neighborhood-based projects, and individuals; an EDUCATIONAL SPACE for local residents and children to participate in cooking classes or talks by local artists and artisans over a meal; an INFOSHOP in which we facilitated the archiving and presentation of promotional materials allowing a broader audience to access local, social service, cultural, and educational initiatives; an INDEPENDENT VENUE for independent media, literary readings and live music; all supported by a COFFEE/TEA HOUSE AND CAFÉ serving fresh pastries, homemade soups, sandwiches, slow-filtered micro-roasted coffee, loose-leaf teas, and fresh-squeezed juice and lemonade. Backstory’s aim was to support individuals or groups that wished to reclaim control over the events that shape their lives. Backstory was in operation from 2008 through 2011.