Charles Joseph Smith
Rogers Park DIY
1224 W Loyola Ave, Chicago IL
September 2, 2023

Celebration Saturday, September 2 at 6 PM

As a profound lover of Chicago’s DIY life, Charles Joseph Smith will share a presentation about Rogers Park DIY spaces Mess Hall and the Heartland Café. Both sites created long-term vital creative and political spaces for artists in Rogers Park and across the City. In this spirit, Charles will also talk about War of the Martian Ghosts, his work-in-progress DIY opera. Following the discussion, we will celebrate and have pizza next door at our neighboring DIY music venue, Archie’s Café starting at 8 PM. Come and dance!

Dr. Charles Joseph Smith is a pianist, composer, accompanist, writer, and dancer based in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Smith has been a staple personality in the Chicago arts community for years. Among other works, he is currently publishing a multiple volume autobiography titled "I am Dr. Charles Joseph Smith," which details his experience in the arts as a person living with autism. For more information, visit thepianoforteandme and

The first image above are scans of research for this project; the second image is a photograph by Michael Gaylord James of Heartland Café in 1977, with text by Charles Joseph Smith; the third image is a photograph by Justin Goh at Mess Hall in 2008, with text by Charles Joseph Smith.

Heartland Cafe (PDF)
Mess Hall (PDF)