Outside the Loop Radio is a weekly audio magazine featuring fun segments and interviews with local newsmakers, artists, musicians, and others who are doing some cool stuff around the Chicago area. The show covers topics that don’t always get the proper attention in the media, all with a strong and independent Chicago slant. OTL provides for discussion that goes beyond just the headlines in our local papers.


Recent Articles
  • OTL #687: All About Andersonville

    Mike Stephen heads up to the Andersonville neighborhood and takes the show to Simon’s Tavern on Clark Street.  We hear conversations from members of the community about what makes the neighborhood tick.  Mike and OTL producer Collin Seaman welcome Laura Austin of the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce to talk about the strength of the community.  Simon’s Tavern owner Scott Martin sits down to discuss the importance of that bar in the neighborhood.  Next, we enjoy an architecture conversation with Thom […]

  • OTL #686: The 50th Anniversary of Fred Hampton’s murder, Transportation equity for the disabled, The Secret History of Eardance

    Mike Stephen discusses the significance of the murder of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark with Chicago Tribune reporter William Lee, learns about recommendations for providing better transportation access for the disabled, and discovers the Secret History of 80s prog-rockers Eardance.  This week’s local music is brought to you by Violet Mice. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

  • OTL #685: The photos of gentrification, Local government transparency, Girls on the Run Chicago

    Mike Stephen learns about an upcoming book about gentrification in Logan Square with sociologist and photographer David Schalliol, discusses a City Bureau analysis of local government transparency, and plays back the sounds of the Girls on the Run Chicago 5k.  The local music this week is brought to us by Batteries Not Included. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

  • OTL #684: Teaching for change, An Ode to the Green Line, The Secret History of Pieces of Peace

    Mike Stephen learns about a new high school class on the Holocaust and genocide at Oak Park & River Forest High School, discusses the community importance of the Green Line, and discovers the Secret History of local funk band Pieces of Peace.  This week’s local music is brought to you by Catho. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

  • OTL #683: New edition of Fooditor 99, Life in a Sundown Town, Mapping media and development

    Mike Stephen previews the new edition of local food guide Fooditor 99, learns about the history of Sundown Towns with ProPublica Illinois’ Logan Jaffe, and discusses a new tool that maps media coverage of local development.  The local music this week is brought to us by Hood Smoke. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

  • OTL #682: Young Feminist Conference, Connecting journalists and their communities, The Secret History of 4 Taus

    Mike Stephen previews the Young Feminist Conference with Cause the Effect Chicago’s founder Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer, learns about another conference aimed at connecting journalists and their communities called the People-Powered Publishing Conference, and discovers the Secret History of 60s frat-rockers 4 Taus.  This week’s local music is brought to you by Jason Valley. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

  • OTL #681: Sr. Helen Prejean on a life of activism, Live Bluegrass performance from Cox’s Army

    Mike Stephen talks to longtime activist Sister Helen Prejean about her life of activism, new book, and her upcoming talk at Dominican University.  Cox’s Army, a tremendous local Bluegrass Band, stops by the studio to perform live and preview their upcoming record release show at The Hideout! To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

  • OTL #680: New life for closed schools, Community organizing in Chicago, The Secret History of Alvin Fielder

    Mike Stephen learns about a project to give new life to shuttered Chicago schools called Creative Grounds, discusses the impact of local community organizing, and gets the Secret History of the late jazz drummer Alvin Fielder.  This week’s local music is brought to you by The Artist Formerly Known as Vince. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

  • OTL #679: Real-life stories of disability, Letter to the Mayor about mobility justice in Chicago

    Mike Stephen talks to Pia Justesen, author of a new book called From the Periphery: Real-Life Stories of Disability that is an oral history of those living with disabilities and then discusses mobility justice with Anton Seals, the lead steward of Grow Greater Englewood.  This week’s local music is brought to us by LagPass. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

  • OTL #678: Rev. Bonnie Perry on a life of community building, The Secret History of Possum River

    Mike Stephen chats the outgoing rector of Ravenswood’s All Saints Episcopal Church and bishop-elect of The Episcopal Diocese of Michigan, Rev. Bonnie Perry, about community-building and a life of service and then discovers the Secret History of 70s local country-rockers Possum River.  This week’s local music is brought to you by Alex Ellsworth. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

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