Since 2005, AREA Chicago has been involved in researching and mapping Chicago’s alternative cultural landscape with a focus on grassroots activism and collective practices. Started by Daniel Tucker and comprising an ever-shifting body of people devoted to putting out a bi-annual magazine and an ongoing series of lectures, discussions, educational and activist events, AREA is a publication, a networking resource, a culture hub and a rhizomatic and centerless “community center” all rolled into one. AREA, whose latest issue deals with money and its affects on our work and lives, is having some money issues of its own. A few days ago they sent this message to members of their Facebook Group asking for small donations to help publish their Fall issue:

AREA needs YOUR help

On Labor Day 2005, AREA released our 1st issue. Since that time we’ve published 8 amazing issues of AREA and organized dozens of events and exhibitions throughout the city. No doubt if you are getting this note you’ve picked up an issue of AREA, written an article, or been to an event, so you know that we are highlighting voices and exploring issues that don’t normally get a lot of coverage in Chicago.

We are working hard to release our 9th issue this fall and need a push from our community. Each issue of AREA costs at least $5,000 to edit, design, and print. In addition to that, we raise money to pay rent on our office, and to organize public events and programs, mostly from small, grassroots donors like you!

If everyone who has written an article for AREA over the years kicked in just $20, we could pay for the whole issue! How much is a thoughtful, in depth, and original investigation of the arts, history, and politics of your city worth to you?

Donate to AREA by clicking here.

If you’re not already familiar with the work that AREA is involved in, spend some time clicking around their website — there’s quite a lot of archival and other material available to readers online. One of AREA’s most popular and well-known projects has been the People’s Atlas of Chicago, a collective exercise in subjective cartography; also check out 5 Questions about Art, in which Chicago-area artists are queried on the relationship between their art and social practice. Previous issues of AREA magazine are available in full on the website archives; issues are organized around themes and have included topics devoted to Justice; How We Learn, Privatization and Local Food Systems, among others.

If you like what you see, consider kicking in a few bucks to help these good guys keep on keeping on. You can donate to AREA here.