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Culture

Greeks among Those Featured in Photos of Chicago in the 1970s

CHICAGO – Photographs from the Chicago Ethnic Arts Project were featured in the UK’s Daily Mail on March 5, highlighting the diversity of the city in 1977 with images of “street artists, Italian bakers, and Greek musicians.”

The John Georganas Family Orchestra at the home of Angelos Kontaxis in Chicago is among the Greek community photos in the collection.

Also included is Mrs. Apostolopoulos, manager of the Greek needlework shop called Yarn and Canvas in Chicago. She is shown behind the counter of the store, while other photos in the collection show customers browsing.

According to the Library of Congress (LOC) website, the Chicago Ethnic Arts Project survey was conducted in 1977 by the American Folklife Center at the request of the Illinois Arts Council to assess and document the status of ethnic art traditions in more than twenty ethnic communities in Chicago, and was jointly sponsored by both organizations.

The collection consists of approximately 344 sound recordings, 14,141 photographs, 269 folders of manuscript materials, 2 video recordings, publications, ephemera, administrative files, and field notes produced and collected during the 1977 Chicago Ethnic Arts Project field survey from 1976-1981; but primarily during fieldwork conducted by fourteen folklorists directed by the American Folklife Center in 1977. The final project report presented to the Illinois Arts Council summarized the current conditions and folk arts needs in a number of Chicago's ethnic communities. Materials from post-project activities such as workshops in the ethnic communities and a traveling photographic exhibit by Jonas Dovydenas are also included.

The online presentation on the LOC website includes the majority of the sound recordings and photographs. Selected manuscripts include those materials created by the fieldworkers, the audio and photo logs, field notes, and final reports. The remainder of the collection is available in the Folklife Reading Room at the LOC.

More information is available online: https://www.loc.gov/collections/chicago-ethnic-arts-project/about-this-collection/.

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