I thank the Chicago Parks Foundation for the interview and post on June 1st, “Soundwalking in Chicago Parks,” highlighting the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology’s Night Out In the Parks soundwalk series, employing local teaching artists with support of the Chicago Park District.
I describe how our thematically-focused soundwalks can serve as immersive, mindful ways to entertain, research, and discover a rich variety of meanings and interrelationships in one’s soundscape.
Soundwalks are free events, held across Chicago by various artists who have relationships with music, dance, socially engaged art and technology, black history, citizen science, nature, and landscape architecture. Teaching artists, many who are alumni of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, have their own relationships with the residents of Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods, and with local staff and volunteers, actively engage residents in the care and use of these parks. Given our focus on the ecological practice of soundwalking and listening, residents gain a unique and enhanced understanding of their soundscape that builds deeper relationships with individuals and community.