Street Smart Chicago

411: Too Many Pumpkins

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Two-hundred and sixteen children in Chicago were killed last year because of gun violence, a sad statistic that designer Aislinn Dewey wants to make sure isn’t ignored. To that end, she has organized flashLIGHT 10/30, a public light memorial to be held in Thompson Center Plaza in downtown Chicago Saturday night (8-9pm). 216 pumpkins, each one representing a child lost this past year due to gun violence, will be carved with the name and age of each victim, lit for one hour, and then symbolically blown out one by one. Dewey was inspired by a screening of the Chicago documentary on gun violence, “On the Frontline: Taking Back our Streets,” and the personal stories of the audience members who attended. “One woman forced herself to come [to the screening] a week after her daughter had been killed,” remembers Dewey. “All that emotion, you just can’t walk away after seeing that without some kind of response.” The pumpkins themselves will be made by the family and loved one of the victims; anyone wishing to volunteer should sign up at flashlight1030.com. Says Dewey, “Connecting individuals to both the uncovered data and the scale of the loss to this violence is the purpose of this event.” (Jonas Simon)

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