Chicago Tribune (Sunday) - - A+E - By Greg Kot [email protected]

Hide­out co-own­ers Tim and Katie Tuten and Jim and Mike Hinch­sliff,

The Hide­out is the lit­tle club that could. It’s one of the smaller clubs in a city sat­u­rated with mu­sic venues, but few have had a big­ger im­pact on their com­mu­nity, a com­mu­nity that’s like fam­ily.

Hide­out co-own­ers Tim and Katie Tuten are a mar­ried cou­ple, and fel­low own­ers Jim and Mike Hinch­sliff are twins. They have watched mu­si­cians who have per­formed at the club in their 23-year history be­come par­ents whose chil­dren have also come of age on its stage. They’ve thrown fundraiser­s for count­less char­i­ties, staged po­lit­i­cal ral­lies, spear­headed civic or­ga­ni­za­tions and hosted every­one from Chicago stal­warts (Mavis Sta­ples, Jeff Tweedy, Mayor Lori Light­foot, the Mekons, Eleventh Dream Day, Billy Cor­gan) to upand-com­ers-turned-stars (Neko Case, An­drew Bird, jazz lu­mi­nar­ies Ken Van­der­mark and Makaya McCraven).

In ad­di­tion, the club may be the only bar in Chicago with an in-house “class­room” — which makes sense, be­cause Tim Tuten is a long­time Chicago school­teacher. The Hide­out High School pro­vides in­for­mal classes on civic is­sues, from pot le­gal­iza­tion to ger­ry­man­der­ing.

“Lit­tle mi­cro-com­mu­ni­ties have sprouted out of the club, like (the sci­ence­meets-com­edy talk show) ‘A Sci­en­tist Walks into a Bar’ and the Soup and Bread pro­gram that has gen­er­ated $90,000 for food panties and two cook­books (by three Hide­out reg­u­lars: au­thor Martha Bayne, de­signer Sheila Sachs and il­lus­tra­tor Paul Dolan),” Katie Tuten says.

In that sense the Hide­out em­bod­ies the vi­tal role that clubs play in Chicago: in­de­pen­dent, civic-minded plat­forms for cre­ativ­ity and self-ex­pres­sion. The club’s own­ers were key in or­ga­niz­ing the Chicago In­de­pen­dent Venue League (CIVL) with some of their peers in the mu­sic scene. It arose in re­sponse to the pro­posed Lin­coln Yards de­vel­op­ment that ini­tially aimed to bring in Live Na­tion venues as part of a $5 bil­lion pro­gram to gen­trify the Hide­out’s for­merly in­dus­trial neigh­bor­hood. The or­ga­ni­za­tion staged ral­lies and brought re­newed scru­tiny to the project and the ad­verse im­pact it would have on the city’s mu­sic scene.

“I see it as a good thing that the clubs or­ga­nized them­selves to push back,” Mayor Lori Light­foot told the Tri­bune a few weeks af­ter as­sum­ing of­fice. The Lin­coln Yards devel­op­ers “made a com­mit­ment to the clubs in re­sponse to CIVL, led by Katie and Tim Tuten of the Hide­out. What­ever is put in there, and as long as I’m mayor, we’re go­ing to make sure that noth­ing there has an ad­verse im­pact on those lo­cal clubs.”

Tim Tuten re­al­izes that de­vel­op­ment is in­evitable, but that the clubs are turn­ing the tide in mak­ing the city newly aware of the in­de­pen­dent mu­sic scene’s vi­tal­ity and its piv­otal role in defin­ing Chicago’s cul­tural iden­tity.

“We’re not the next cool thing, be­cause the Hide­out (build­ing) goes back 100 years,” Tim Tuten says. “It’s part of a tra­di­tion. It’s a city of neigh­bor­hoods, not a city of mega de­vel­op­ments. We sent a mes­sage to the city that we’re mod­els of how a city can grow through the clubs.”

For the 2019 Chicagoans of the Year, the Tri­bune asked each re­cip­i­ent the fol­low­ing ques­tions about the decade of arts in Chicago:

Q: Looking back over the last decade, what do you think was the most im­por­tant event that im­pacted the Chicago arts scene?

Tim Tuten: “The ‘event’ that keeps com­ing to mind for me is that our punkrock friends now have grown-up kids that are now the rock­ers. Jeff Tweedy and (his son) Spencer,Jon Lang­ford and (his sons) James and Tommy,Sima and Liam Cun­ning­ham (the chil­dren of Peter Cun­ning­ham), Twin Peaks, Whit­ney, Spun Out, Matt Rizzo (son of Eleventh Dream Day’s Rick Rizzo and Janet Bean), and all of the Kids Th­ese Days (band mem­bers) who have grown up: Vic Mensa, Ma­cie Stewart, Greg (Land­fair), Don­nie (Nico Se­gal). Even Chance (the Rap­per) would pop in once in a while. I love that Chicago has pro­duced some of the great­est ta­lent in Amer­ica, in the last decade. And so many of the ‘kids’ went to CPS and started play­ing in our clubs. The sup­port and nur­tur­ing that our com­mu­nity pro­vided has ac­tu­ally worked.”

Q: Looking ahead to 2020, what is the most crit­i­cal is­sue that needs to be ad­dressed for Chicago arts and what per­son or in­sti­tu­tions are best equipped now to have an im­pact on this is­sue?

Tim Tuten: “Chicago has to deal with the ma­jor ques­tion of sus­tain­able, green, neigh­bor­hood de­vel­op­ment, in­stead of the past de­pen­dence, or sub­mis­sion to mega-de­vel­op­ments that al­ways in­clude ‘en­ter­tain­ment zones’ that are run by (na­tional con­cert pro­mot­ers) AEG or Live Na­tion. Chicago needs to stand up to this ba­nal on­slaught of Star­bucks-style mu­sic venue fran­chises, and sup­port its lo­cal legacy venues and owner-op­er­ated the­aters, restau­rants and clubs. Mayor Light­foot un­der­stands the nu­ance of our cul­tural and eco­nomic iden­tity, but she needs to show lead­er­ship by fully em­brac­ing and pro­mot­ing it.”



Hide­out co-owner Tim Tuten (front cen­ter, in red), flanked by fel­low owner (and wife) Katie Tuten and co-owner Jim Hinch­sliff, are joined by club reg­u­lars from the mu­sic and arts com­mu­nity out­side the venue. The club plays a piv­otal role in the city as a civic-minded plat­form for self-ex­pres­sion.

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