CTA and Local DJs Are Back to Provide Riders a Harmonious Commute with Sounds from the AESOP DJ Booth

July 8, 2024

The interactive art installation at the 95th/Dan Ryan Terminal returns for another season with music now playing on three weekdays, through November 1

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is proud to announce that AESOP (An Extended Song of Our People), the public art project and DJ booth has returned to provide commuters with another season of lively music as they pass through the 95th/Dan Ryan Red Line station. This year’s programming schedule now includes three days of real-time programming by multiple local disc jockey (DJ) artists.

AESOP is an interactive public art installation created by world renowned artist and Chicago-based social innovator Theaster Gates, and is also the first known artist-designed and constructed broadcast studio/DJ booth in a transit facility.

Under the original agreement with artist Gates, programming for the DJ booth was to be provided for five years. Under a new two-year agreement with DJ Ayana Contreras, she returns as one of the performing DJs, as well as the creative program director. DJ Ayana Contreras’s programming will continue in the spirit of Theaster Gates’ vision for AESOP, which is to feature music of Chicago’s South Side – including Blues, R&B, Soul and Gospel. 

“It’s exciting to have DJ Ayana Contreras remain connected to the program serving as creative director while also bringing in other local DJs to provide weekly performances and showcase their talents,” said CTA President Dorval r. Carter, Jr. “AESOP provides South Side commuters with a public cultural amenity that celebrates shared history, showcases local talent, and centers the sonic histories and contributions of Black and Brown people.”

New this year will be the addition of other guest DJs performing, including Mr. Jaytoo and DJ Junius Paul. As in previous years, there will be live programming on Mondays (7-10 a.m.) and Fridays (3-6 p.m.), plus the addition of Wednesdays (3-6 p.m.). This season of music will run through Friday, November 1, except for Monday, September 2 (Labor Day).

CTA’s collection of public art has nearly doubled over the last decade to include roughly 90 permanent works of art and dozens of temporary art installations across all eight rail lines and multiple bus facilities. This dynamic and immersive collection of public art includes mosaics, art glass, sculptures and interactive installations created by nationally and internationally acclaimed artists, many of whom are local.

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