Ariel Parrella-Aureli

I am a freelance journalist in Chicago and the editor-in-chief of the hyperlocal news site LoganSquarist, dedicated to Logan Square. I am also a digital content producer at WBBM Newsradio. I write for Windy City Times, Block Club Chicago, Sojourners and have pieces published in the Chicago Reader, Psymposia, Univision Chicago, Streetsblog Chicago, Curbed and more.

Published Work

Festival Brings West Ridge Stories to the Stage

Ten weeks ago, Bina Mangattukattil didn’t think of herself as a writer. But the clinical social worker and West Ridge resident had a story: Growing up in Chicago in a traditional South Indian Catholic family, she converted to Islam after grad school, but she didn’t tell her parents until she was pregnant with her daughter. Now, her play “A Beautiful Path” is part of the first-ever West Ridge Story Festival, which highlights 11 original ten-minute plays written by immigrants, refugees, and longtime residents.

Yaba’s, A Family-Owned Middle Eastern Restaurant, Opens In Back Of Longtime Logan Square Corner Store

LOGAN SQUARE — Seeing the neighborhood’s continued influx of newcomers and pricey food options, longtime Logan Square resident Ghaleb Masoud wanted to offer neighbors a more affordable yet authentic place to grab a bite. Masoud, who has lived in the area for 30 years and runs the Plaza Food corner store at 3011 W. Armitage Ave., opened his family-run Yaba’s Middle Eastern Grill last week in the back of the grocery store.

Richard Costes Wants a Place for Deaf Actors in Chicago

When Richard Costes moved to Chicago in 2007, he hoped to start his own theater company with college friends. But as a deaf actor and playwright, he had a difficult time finding employment. Costes bounced around other cities seeking work, then moved back to Chicago in 2014 after securing a finance job. Now, he performs with companies like Victory Gardens, Chicago Shakespeare, Porchlight Music Theatre, and Red Tape Theatre.

WBEZ Teams Up With Comedy Central to Bring Real Talk, Humor to Chicago’s South Side in New Podcast

James “The Oil Man.” Arthur, the 72-year-old self-taught hip-hop producer. Midge, owner of a popular black hair salon. Chicago police officer Stephen Boyd, who works in the Englewood gang unit as a side hustle — but is also an actor and comedian. These are the people who make up Chicago’s South Side. Their stories come alive in a new podcast by WBEZ and Comedy Central called South Side Stories, created and hosted by Diallo Riddle and Bashir Salahuddin, the duo behind Comedy Central’s hit TV show “South Side.”

A New Radio Play Dramatizes the 1919 Race Riot

As the 100th anniversary of Chicago’s 1919 race riot approached, WBEZ reporter Natalie Y. Moore wanted to commemorate the occasion through the medium she knows best: radio. But instead of the sober reporting you’d see from traditional media outlets, Moore wrote an audio play recreating the events as they would have been heard and experienced. To do that, she teamed up with the Make-Believe Association, a local storytelling organization that creates socially-driven audio dramas.

Tired Of Pink And Blue Kids Clothing, Chicago Women Launch Earth-Friendly (And Non-Gendered) Children’s Clothing Line

CHICAGO — Parents know the drill: get grilled about the sex of your child during pregnancy, and expect an onslaught of pink or blue everything at the shower depending on the answer. Though gender stereotypes are decidedly less relevant in 2019, the kids clothing world remains hyper-gendered — and local fashion designer and mom Melissa Serpico Kamhout is out to change that.

New Criminal Justice Film Series from The Marshall Project Highlights Chicago Witnesses to System’s Injustices

Harold Washington Library’s Cindy Pritzker Auditorium was a full house at the opening screening of a new local series focusing on injustices in the criminal justice system. On Sept. 12, The Marshall Project released 15 video testimonies of Chicago voices affected by the justice system, “We Are Witnesses: Chicago,” is the latest installment of the nonprofit news organization’s award-winning short film series “We Are Witnesses” which explores the nature of crime, punishment and forgiveness.

More Than 2,000 High School Students Spread Scrutiny On Chicago Gun Violence Murders Since 2016

Thousands of hats perched on wooden sticks line a soccer field, stopping passersby, athletes, community members and coaches in Joliet to take in the scene. The 2,400 hats were donated from 2,400 student high school students from 72 Chicago-area schools who delivered one winter hat and $1 each to bring attention to the same amount of murders during a high school career in four years, from 2016 to 2019.
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