We speak "Chicago."

 By Plij  CC BY-SA 3.0

By Plij CC BY-SA 3.0

Chicago can speak for itself.

Every day, it seems like someone else is trying to tell Chicago's story without us. Washington, Hollywood, and every newspaper in between has been telling stories about Chicago that always feel woefully incomplete. We believe it's up to us to tell the full story of who we are.

The full story of Chicago isn't told by statistics, numbers, and headlines. It's told by our people. That's why we want to connect Chicago playwrights to neighborhoods. To help tell the full story of our city: our fears and struggles, our dreams and triumphs. We want to build a new body of plays in which every Chicagoan can see themselves, no matter who they are, where they live, or what language they speak.

This video is subtitled in Spanish and Closed Captioned for those who are Deaf or hard of hearing.

Chicago speaks many different languages.

It's estimated that around 30% of Chicagoans speak a language other than English at home. Did you notice that our video above has Spanish subtitles? That's because, of the roughly 2.5 million Chicagoans who speak a second language, 60% speak Spanish.

Depending on where you live in Chicago, you might hear many different languages spoken around you. You might see them in the signs on your block, like this sign in Chicago's Polish Village. Russian, Ukrainian, Chinese, Italian... the languages we speak as a city are testament to the diversity that makes Chicago unique.

There's another language that Chicagoans use every day, but you might not hear: American Sign Language. Chicago has a large and diverse d/Deaf population, many of whom use ASL to communicate every day. In our commitment to include all of Chicago in our programming, Step Up will be hiring ASL interpreters for all of our events and programs. You can read more about our commitment to Inclusion & Accessibility by clicking here.

Brad Akin