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I'm a Chicago-based writer and musician who stumbled into journalism during college when I realized I could make a profession out of being a dilettante. I advocate literacy, the humanities and arts, the DIY ethic and underground culture, public programming, and civic imagination.

I currently serve as Marketing & PR Coordinator for the arts organization Silk Road Rising, which focuses on promoting works by Asian and Middle Eastern American artists and working in both civic and educational programming. (Read the Chicago Reader piece on us here.)

During 2017, I've served on the communications team at Illinois Humanities, which included creating outreach and marketing strategies for our programs An Evening at the Pekin Theatre and the U.S. premiere of David Lang's crowd out, among others. I've also served as the curriculum editor for the green literacy organization Roots of Success, the reviews editor for the music site Pop 'stache, and I've formerly worked with the magazine Newcity as well as organizations Chicago Artists Resource, The News Literacy Project, and Pilot Light Chefs.

I have written about the arts, literature, and music for magazines and online publications, including Third Coast Review, VAM Studio, Off-Kilter Magazine, Buried Muse, Performer Magazine, Melted Magazine, POND Magazine, Gapers Block, and many more. When I write, I aspire to help document Chicago's ongoing and blooming cultural renaissance and to give music journalism a good name.

I've interviewed Waxahatchee, Patti Smith's son Jackson Smith, A Giant Dog, Sugar Candy Mountain, Dee Dee Bridgewater, The Walters, Japanther, and many, many more. I'm also an organizer for DIY festival Warble Daze., and have helped run shows with music companies Fifty50 Shows and Notion Presents.

Here are a few skills I'm currently learning or am curious about: photography and photo editing (concert photos, e.g. Sofar Sounds, and shooting on film), layout and graphic design, and narrative storytelling.

A few fun facts:

  • I debated in the Capitol Building for my high school's constitutional debate team,
  • I've led my college's paper,
  • I've written stories for a Nairobi-based magazine while I studied in Kenya,
  • I (proudly) got my writing torn apart by a New York Times reporter during an internship,
  • and one of my bands opened for Guster.

Sneak into my DM's on Twitter or email me at colinsaburosmith@gmail.com.