This week's cover story | Youth violence

Here's a sneak peek at what's coming up in this week's Time Out Chicago, on newsstands tomorrow:

Youth violence in Chicago has become such an epidemic that Barack Obama made an impassioned plea to pass a gun-control bill during his State of the Union address last night. Anyone who watched, and saw sitting next to the First Lady the parents of Hadiya Pendleton, a Chicago teenager who was killed just a week after performing at Obama's inauguration, couldn't help but be moved. But what can we Chicagoans do to stop this terrible killing spree on our South and West Sides? The answer: plenty.

Alex Kotlowitz, renowned author and producer of the documentary The Interrupters, writes an emotional essay about just how bad it's gotten for Chicago kids and their parents; we present a month's worth of opportunities to help stop the violence, from volunteering to donating money to great causes; and our Theater editor Kris Vire talkes to DePaul professor Miles Harvey about taking stories from real Chicago kids affected by gun violence and turning them into a gripping play called How Long Will I Cry?, premiering this month at Steppenwolf.

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Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)