Mike Stephen drops by The Levee in Hermosa as part of the OTL Winter Tavern Tour, discusses the future of The Old Town School of Folk Music with CEO Jim Newcomb, and learns about the struggle of life outside the Cook County Jail with author and sociologist Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve.  The local music this week is powered by Jan James. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

Mike Stephen stops by Cody’s bar in Lakeview to kick off the Winter Tavern Tour with @ChicagoBars, learns about Little Village’s fight for environmental justice, and discusses the statistics that show Chicago’s declining population with local demographer Rob Paral.  The local music this week is powered by Minor Moon. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

Mike Stephen hosts the annual Outside the Loop Chicago Podcasting Summit to talk about all things new and exciting in the world of local audio storytelling. Joining him for this summit are podcasters Robin Amer of The City, Laura Austin of Always Andersonville, and Shannon Cason of Homemade Stories and The Trouble. Special thanks to Flora for powering this week’s local music. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

Mike Stephen learns how the government shutdown canceled an EPA pollution hearing in East Chicago, previews the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival with artistic director Blair Thomas, and discusses a study analyzing increasing housing prices in Chicago neighborhoods and the impact of those price increases.  The local music this week is brought to you by Noiseferatu.  ALSO: Let us know about your favorite cozy winter neighborhood bars/taverns here! To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.