11/01/2011 01:28 pm ET | Updated Jan 01, 2012

Behind the Scenes at the Chicago Literary Awards

It is wonderful to live in a city so rich of history, so rich of character, so rich of talent and art. But do we celebrate it enough? Sometimes I think there isn't enough of an emphasis put on how exceptional our creative community is. When considered in totality -- dance, literature, theatre, culinary arts, etc. -- it is mind boggling! Highlighting our creative talent and acknowledging that it is on par with the coasts has always been the idea behind the Fear No ART TV and web series.

Luckily, I am not alone in my efforts to promote Chicago's creative geniuses. With the beloved Rick Kogan as EmCee, The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame kicked off the inaugural Chicago Literary Awards last year honoring posthumously such literary greats, and often social injustice champions, as Studs Terkel, Lorraine Hansberry, Saul Bellow, Gwendolyn Brooks, Richard Wright and Nelson Algren. Contemporary authors such as Dan Savage and Sara Paretsky presented the awards and many of the family members of the authors were there to receive them.

Click on the video to see incredible interviews with the 2010 awards presenters/authors Sara Paretsky on Gwendolyn Brooks and Haki Muhubuti on Richard Wright, and photographer Art Shay on Nelson Algren.

This year the 2nd Annual Chicago Literary Awards honoring Cyrus Colter, Theodore Dreiser, Harriet Monroe, Mike Royko, Carl Sandburg and Ida B. Wells will take place on November 15 at the Harold Washington Library. Again, it promises to be a fantastic event (almost the entire Monroe family will be in attendance!), acknowledging our city's incredible literary talent and importance. Click here for free, but limited, tickets and see you there.