American Indian Center of Chicago-4/30/15.thurs 6pm: Special Screening of “Chris Drew-Free Speech” Film!

“Chris Drew, Street Artist comes home to American Indian Center” by @nztwitt on @LinkedIn

 ©Nancy Bechtol, APA photojournalistChris Drew, Street Artist comes home to American Indian Center

Chris Drew, Street Artist comes home to American Indian Center



*A very special Benefit screening for the American Indian Center Open to the Public. Donations go to the Center.

Free Speech & the Transcendent Journey of Chris Drew, Street Artist” (99 min) 2014, an indie film by Nancy Bechtol.

  • Event Location: AMERICAN INDIAN CENTER in Tribal Hall

1630 W. Wilson Ave. Chicago

  • When: Thursday, APRIL 30th, 2015  6:00 doors open — 6:30 p.m. film starts

* Cost:  Donation – all proceeds go to benefit the American Indian Center

Chris Drew was the Executive Director of The Uptown Multi-Cultural Arts Center (UM-CAC) located for 25 years in the American Indian Center of Chicago. Trailer is on and is listed on IMDb.

Indie music in the film courtesy of Hey Now Records,

Behind the Sun: Andy Alton & David Mansfield. “Paper Airplane”

Background: Chris was arrested for selling Art Patches for $1 (in an act of civil disobedience to protest the Peddlers License since “Art is Speech”a 1st Amendment Right) but unexpectantly those charges were dropped and changed to a  Class 1 Felony Eavesdropping under the Illinois Eavesdropping Law , one of the strictest in the nation, with 4-15 years in prison if convicted.

In 2009 this law was generally unknown.

Two pro bono attorneys defended him from 2009-2012.  First, Mark Weinberg challenged on the free speech constitutional ground; then Joshua Kutnick, criminal defense, defended and won in the courtroom of Judge Sacks 2012, citing the Illinois Eavesdropping Law Unconstitutional.

News/posts on Chris Drew

Epilogue: The Illinois Supreme Court overturned the Illinois Eavesdropping Law, March 2014.  But, Dec 30, 2014 a NEW Illinois Eavesdropping law was passed. As Chris would say, “when it comes to your rights, the struggle is never over.” Chris Drew ( RIP  1950-2012 )

Contact information: or the American Indian Center.


“Free Speech & the Transcendent Journey of Chris Drew, Street Artist

is not your typical narrative documentary,

but rather a mesmerizing, experiential—and experimental—film more akin to an art film,

which is appropriate considering that its subject is an artist.

Chris Drew set out to challenge Chicago’s street vending laws,

but ended up being a champion of free speech

when he was charged with felony eavesdropping for recording his arrest.

His fight to then overturn the eavesdropping law

became a true David-versus-Goliath tale,

with the efforts of the maverick Drew captured by maverick filmmaker Nancy Bechtol.

The result is an engrossing and timely film.

~ Bruce Scivally, Documentary Filmmaker & Author

“Superman on Film, Television, Radio and Broadway”

and co-author of the book “James Bond: The Legacy” with John Cork

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