About the Project

The Southeast Chicago Archive and Storytelling Project is a collaboration between the Exit Zero Project and the Southeast Chicago Historical Society, a volunteer organization run by current and former residents. The collaboration began in 2014, and has been supported with generous funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly Foundation, the Anthropology Program and School of Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Illinois State Historical Records Advisory Board.

The Exit Zero Project (exitzeroproject.org) is the work of anthropologist Christine Walley and filmmaker Chris Boebel and includes a book and documentary film about Southeast Chicago, both entitled Exit Zero. Walley grew up on the East Side in a steelworking family. The website was designed by creative director Jeff Soyk, an award-winning leader in online documentary work and former fellow at MIT’s Open Documentary Lab. The archivist for the project is Derek Potts. The project is overseen by an advisory board that includes representatives from the Chicago History Museum and Field Museum. 

Funded by:

The Project Team

The following individuals’ hard work, creativity, and dedication made this website come to life.

Christine Walley, Project Director
Chris Boebel, Project Co-Director
Jeff Soyk, Creative Director, UX + UI Designer, Front End Developer (Storylines)

Rod Sellers, Director, Southeast Chicago Historical Museum
Karen Brozynski, President Southeast Chicago Historical Society
Carolyn Mulac, Secretary and Treasurer, Southeast Chicago Historical Society

Derek Potts, Archivist
Jared Kerschner, Back End Developer
Krispin Dolbear, Front End Developer

Peter Alter, Advisory Committee, Chicago History Museum
Madeleine Tudor, Advisory Committee, Field Museum
Dominic Pacyga, Advisory Committee (emeritus), Columbia College
Alberto Rincon, Advisory Committee, Community Representative
Steven Walsh, Advisory Committee, Community Representative
Olga Bautista, Advisory Committee, Community Representative

MIT Libraries (Nancy McGovern, Ellen Finnie, Anne Marie Willer, Katie Zimmerman)
Paige Mazurek, Video Editor, Assistant UX + UI Designer (Storylines)
Billy Wirasnik, Sound Artist
Diane Pugh, Secondary Archivist
Maya Rodriguez, Research Assistant
Lauren Kapsalakis, Archival Assistant
Chris Boebel, Videographer/Photographer
Hannah Waleaver, Videographer/Photographer
Anna Vold, Student Assistant
Jocelyn Yu, Student Assistant
Gabby Ballard, Student Assistant
Hans Han, Student Assistant
Kate Hansen, Student Assistant
Tyler White, Student Assistant

Our deep gratitude for support and assistance from: the Board and Volunteers of the Southeast Chicago Historical Society & Museum; the collaborators in the 1980s Southeast Chicago Historical Project, including the late Ed Sadlowski and Jim Fitzgibbons (both life-long Southeast Chicago residents) as well as Columbia College’s Jim Martin and Dominic Pacyga; MIT’s SHASS Dean’s Office and Anthropology Department; MIT’s Open Documentary Lab; and the MIT Program in Digital Humanities.