Chicago’s Red Line 95th Street Station has just completed a $280 million overhaul. As a finishing touch on the new bus and train station, acclaimed artist Theaster Gates has unveiled multiple public art pieces, including tapestries made out of decommissioned fire hoses and a “first of its kind” performance space and radio station inside the terminal itself.

An Extended Song of Our People (AESOP) is located in the North Terminal and features a public broadcast studio and DJ booth. Above is our Mayor, Rahm Emanuel, admiring the torque and belt drive of the turntable, and here he argues that a one hour set is not nearly long enough for a DJ to really “tell a story”:

“AESOP will provide riders with real-time programming, plus an on-site DJ,” Emanuel said.

Gates told Curbed Chicago he wants to “set up with a roster of DJs that are invested in black music so that soul, funk, house and gospel pump through the station.”

“Residents can get a little house music Friday evenings, like Frankie Knuckles, and for the morning commute some Sonny Rollins, he said… When music isn’t playing, Gates wants to broadcast stories from community members in a podcast style. It’s an engaging and comprehensive way to showcase the daily ideas, interests, and stories of South Side residents. Currently, he’s working on finding more DJs and a public partner that can run the storytelling aspect of “AESOP.”


Theaster Gates also presides over the Stony Island Arts Bank (among many other projects) which houses Frankie Knuckles’ record collection.


  1. Above is our Mayor, Rahm Emanuel, admiring the torque and belt drive of the turntable… Those tables are Direct Drive and have NO belt.

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