It was a Friday morning. I was on my way to the Union Station carrying two oversized bags for just a week in Michigan. I got an Uber because my weak privileged arms couldn’t carry my luggage on the CTA. With some last minute packing while rushing to my Uber, I wasn’t in the mood to chat it up. I wanted a silent drive that would balance my previous angst of trying to get ready in the last minute. However, Lydell Smith, my Uber driver complimented my shoes right when I got in. So I couldn’t resist throwing a compliment back about his neat coily hair-do. That exchange initiated the un-silent long conversation about life of course. Towards the end of the car ride I felt unsatisfied with the limited information and decided he was someone to know. Someone Chicago Rises needed to share. Therefore, we set up a day to meet up and get to the core of how he is a Chicagoan with a story.
Founder of Row Cypher Inc. “Redefining Our World Cypher”
Roosevelt University criminal justice student and spoken word artist, Ted Weissberg, is using performance arts as a way to “bring people together peacefully from different backgrounds” with Row Cypher Inc., an organization he founded in 2011.
Row Cypher, which stands for “Redefining Our World Cypher” hosts open mics, plays, concerts and offers services to schools and youth centers in Chicago.
Weissberg talks with Chicago Rises about how Row Cypher started out as a dorm room open mic on the campus of Roosevelt University, and grew into a performing arts organization.