About Us

The Site of Big Shoulders is a not-for-profit online publication that features original Chicago arts content.  Continually published on the Web since 1996, The Site of Big Shoulders is Chicago's oldest online arts magazine, showcasing innovative art, writing, photography, music and other media with a connection to the greater Chicagoland region.

An all-volunteer staff publishes The Site of Big Shoulders and manages its activities, which include publishing the Web site at http://sobs.org and hosting art exhibition and performance events. Regular Thursday meetings at our Wicker Park headquarters allow for production and planning sessions, and a virtual office environment lets staffers work remotely.

The Site of Big Shoulders follows an irregular publishing schedule which typically includes monthly updates. Content submissions of all types – from visual art to writing to music – receive staff deliberation, with all publishing decisions based on the content's originality and artistic, literary and social merits.  Our core publishing criteria are that content must 1) relate to the arts and 2) be connected to the greater Chicagland region, either by authorship or subject matter.

Based on the idea that profit can corrupt the creative process, The Site of Big Shoulders has retained a non-commercial focus since its founding. All content is freely available to the Internet-using public, the staff is all-volunteer, and no money changes hands between The Site of Big Shoulders and its contributors. In 2002, The Site of Big Shoulders received its formal designation as a federally recognized 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

The Site of Big Shoulders' name hearkens to "City of the Big Shoulders" from Carl Sandberg's poem "Chicago" – lines of grit, determination and good humor which apply as equally to Chicago's current creative community as they did to the Chicago of a century ago. As home to a tremendous base of often under-recognized creativity and talent, Chicago is a wellspring of independent arts activities, and The Site of Big Shoulders strives to bring the best of them to our audience.

To learn more about The Site of Big Shoulders, click through any of the links on this Web site, from featured editorial content in our site's departments (Art, Chicago Local, Fiction, Music, Photography and Poetry) to background information like our HistoryLatest News and Press areas. Our Staff page details the individuals behind The Site of Big Shoulders, our Contributors page lists the people who have provided their content for our publishing purposes. Our Supporters page showcases the individuals and organizations who have given us support over the years.

If you like what you see, consider making a donation to The Site of Big Shoulders to support our not-for-profit publishing efforts. If you have any questions or wish to get in touch, see our Contact page, or send e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..