Friday, August 25, 2023

What's Going On With JASC?

As we posted last October, the Black Ensemble Theater group has bought the large building and parking lot at 4427 North Clark, with plans to revitalize that block. 

The seller of the building is the Japanese American Service Committee, whose presence in Uptown goes back 76 years. JASC announced its new home will be 5700 North Lincoln.

Recently there was heavy equipment seen on Clark Street, with rumors flying that demolition of the building was underway.

We can say with full confidence that this is untrue. Both Jackie Taylor of Black Ensemble Theater and JASC state that JASC is still in possession of the building, at least through 2023, and its programs are continuing there.

From the Japanese American Service Committee in an email blast:

"Keep Saturday, November 11 open for the 2023 Holiday Delight & Kodomo Matsuri! 

Be part of the fun, food, cultural performances, and shop the unique vendors at Holiday Delight. Let’s celebrate before the big move to 5700 N. Lincoln in 2024.

Interested in being a vendor? Fill out an online application by clicking here.

Interested in helping the planning committee? Click here to email Jenn.

Questions? Contact Jenn Trautvetter at the JASC office (773-275-0097, ext. 228) or by email to"

And in a recent statement, Jackie Taylor wrote:

"It has come to my attention that there are thoughts in the community that Black Ensemble Theater has started demolition on the Japanese American Service Center (JASC). I want to dispel that thought. 

There is no demolition or construction of any kind going on and it will not commence without proper community engagement and input. Let me be clear, Black Ensemble Theater has absolutely no intention of starting construction or demolition of any kind until we have gone through a thorough process of listening to our communities issues and concerns and addressing them as best we can. 

What some thought was a demolition was not. We were conducting a geotech exploration which is a requirement of the City. We will go through the proper procedures as it relates to the process to be dictated by the Alderman's office as well as meeting with neighborhood community groups at their request. 

We will keep you updated on our website as we move forward and of course, I'm easy to reach at Let's move forward together in clarity and transparency."

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