It’s hard to beat the salt-of-the-earth bakery and underground café that takes place the last Sunday of every month at the South Loop’s Handsome Squid. Organized by social- and art-activist Susan Frame, the easily lovable Calamity Jane who hosts the Squid at her industrial loft, the address given out only to those on Frame’s email list and through the café’s Facebook group. That degree of responsiveness required of attendees ensures a socially engaged awareness that Frame funnels funds from at each café to support the art center she administers in Jacmel, Haiti. Aside from acting as a safe space for LGBT people persecuted by intolerance throughout the region, the center provides education and opportunities to artists. This lends the Squid its sense of participation, by attendance, in an art project to direct resources to a worthy, humanitarian cause. It’s social art with a traceable community benefit as its outcome.
Best of Chicago 2014