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Audio Slideshow: ChicagoStorytelling’s Forrest Davis and Kevin Dempsey interview street musicians Sheldon Harris and Kevin A. Martin about their experiences playing in the subway.
Story by Jake Scott
Many people walk by a street musician with a preconceived notion that the performers are homeless or drug addicts with no talent.
But that’s not true, says Chicago street performer Sheldon Harris.
Harris performs in the Jackson Red Line subway stop, often playing nineties acoustic rock. He doesn’t make much money, but he said it is better when he travels to Europe to play.
Harris said he does not play for the money. For him, misconceptions are placed aside and people go to play their music just to present it to an audience of commuters, tourists and passersby.
By Cheryl Waity and Camelia Rodriguez
Five-year-old Thomas stood with his mother waiting in front of the glass and mirror mosaic at the CTA Brown Line Sedgwick stop.
“I like the different colors,” Thomas said. “It’s like a rainbow.”
Thomas is just one of many El patrons who appreciate “The Countdown to a New Brown” program’s Arts In Transit initiative.
Arts In Transit is a combined project of the CTA and the City of Chicago’s Public Art Program, administered by the Department of Cultural Affairs. The Public Art Program hosted a competition to see which artists or artist teams would be featured in one of the 18 newly redesigned Brown Line stops.