Lumpen Radio’s 2023 Year in Review: Celebrating Voices, Sounds, and Community



2023 has been a remarkable year for Lumpen Radio, and as we close this chapter, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to all our hosts, DJs, staff, volunteers, and, crucially, our listeners, who have all played pivotal roles in this journey. Your support and contributions have been instrumental in our mission to shine a light on the overlooked corners of our city, elevating its diverse voices and sounds.

Lumpen Radio is committed to promoting open media, fostering community unity, and spotlighting the extraordinary efforts of artists, musicians, activists, and cultural workers in our communities. This year, we’re thrilled to have introduced 15 diverse new shows. Our music-based programming, featuring shows like “Buen Viaje,” “Dusty Sparkles’ Spectacular Soundhouse,” “Trqpiteca FM,” “Enchufate,” “Radio Muévelo,” and “Spiritworld,” has captivated audiences with its rich variety. Meanwhile, our talk shows, interviews, and conversations, including “City Dreams,” “Halftone Radio Supershow,” “Perceptions of the Real,” “Queer And,” “Lumpen FC,” “Mutual Aid Report,” and “Sala,” have stimulated thought-provoking discussions. Our new Spanish language programming, including “Entre Sonidos y Almas” and “Neta,” have further broadened our multilingual radio efforts.



In addition, we’ve hosted 15 special conversations and panel discussions in our “Lumpen Specials” series. Highlights include the “2023 Chicago Local Elections Coverage,” with Jamie Trecker, Mario Smith and John Daley. We’ve also delved into the local independent media landscape and its community impact featuring insights from esteemed journalists Tracy Baim, Justin Kerr, and Sandra Treviño. A standout moment was the engaging discussion between Edra Soto and Esmeralda M. Guerrero about Soto’s solo exhibition “Destination/El Destino: A Decade of GRAFT” at the Hyde Park Art Center. And we had the privilege of interviewing Jonathan D. Katz, curator of “The First Homosexuals: Global Depictions of a New Identity, 1869-1930” at Wrightwood 659, exploring themes of identity, queer art, and its historical and future perspectives.



Our collaborations this year have been groundbreaking. In partnership with La Pocha Nostra, we produced “Gómez Peña’s Mex Files – 2023 Season,” a multi-lingual live radio and archived audio program by the renowned artist Guillermo Gómez-Peña. We also continued with the fifth season of “Pocket Guide to Hell,” where host Paul Durica delves into the intersections of art, politics, and culture through Chicago’s historical lens.

Community engagement has been a cornerstone of our work. Our pop-up events at Hyde Park Art Center with “South Side Stories” was a platform for community members, artists and youth to share their cherished memories and stories. At the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Family Day, we captured the voices of children and families, enriching our collective narrative.



Additionally, we’ve hosted enriching Spanish conversations with celebrated 19 Indigenous Chilean artists, providing an intimate glimpse into the region’s ancient cultural legacy and artistic traditions.

Our “Tomorrow is Listening” event, a 24-hour transmission takeover in collaboration with International Anthem, was a global celebration of music and unity. This event, inspired by Damon Locks & Rob Mazurek’s album “New Future City Radio,” featured curated mixes and a grand finale performance, exemplifying the power of collaborative art.



Looking ahead to 2024, we’re excited about projects like the Neighborhood Access Program, which will bring to life “Neighborhood Audio Portraits” in communities like New City, Little Village, and Bronzeville. Our “Art Design Chicago Talks” will explore art exhibitions focusing on Latinx and Native American narratives, among other exciting initiatives.

As we step into 2024, we’re filled with optimism and eagerness to continue our journey of connecting communities through the power of radio. Thank you for being part of this incredible journey, and here’s to an even more impactful year ahead!