[dropcap]F[/dropcap]ollowing in the wake of a tumultuous last summer, The I Am Logan Square Organization announced that its new Board of Directors has agreed to add two new members.
“I am proud to announce that the new board voted earlier today to add two more board members from the Logan Square’s creative community,” said IALS President Geary Yonker. The organization’s board now stands at eight members.
The two new members, Sam Lewis and Lindsey Meyers, are part of a rebranding strategy that the organization has undertaken after it was thrown into controversy last year.
At last year’s Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival, now former board member Mark Fishman forcefully removed an art exhibit that directly criticized his real estate business for gentrifying the Logan Square neighborhood. He did so without speaking to the board, said Yonker.
The artist, Amie Sell, redisplayed her piece “Home Sweet Home” at other venues and launched a campaign that targeted Fishman. He resigned from the board in the fall.
Prior to these two new members, the organization added Billy Helmkamp. He is the owner of bar The Whistler and a founding member of the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival.
New member Meyers has been living and working in Logan Square for more than 10 years. She opened the art gallery Beauty and Brawn in 2012, according to an IALS release. She recently participated and sponsored a 200-foot mural at the Logan Square Blue Line Station with artist Rachel Slotnik.
Lewis is the founder of the Elastic Arts Foundation, a group that presents different art mediums from literary readings to live music performances. He has also held music workshops for Chicago Public Schools and is another founding member of the Milwaukee Arts Festival.
“I think it’s kind of back to the future,” said Lewis about joining the board. Lewis said that he wants to bring the I Am Logan Square organization and arts festivals back to their roots.
He spoke of a “general feeling of excitement” and said now is a pivotal moment in involving the community and going back to community engagement.
He mentioned that this year’s Logan Square Arts Festival will have two stages to allow both popular well-known performers and new acts that he said are hungry to get on stage.
About the prior controversy, that the organization is happy to put behind them, he said, “There is bridge mending that needs to be done,” but cautioned that it is not a change that will happen overnight.