What Does “Chucky Ar La” Mean? Chucky Ar La is a rough phonetic translation of “Tiocfaidh ar la”, meaning “Our day will come” in the Irish language. Charlie Sullivan chose Chucky Ar La as his stage name as a solo musical artist for three reasons. First, some of his friends were already calling him Chuck. Second, he liked the idea of acknowledging his own roots as an Irish American. And third, he fully believed in the cause of social equity and justice. He thought “Our day will come” was a powerful, positive message.
Who We Are
The Chucky Ar La Foundation promotes social justice, peace and understanding through support of musical expression. Our vision is to offer grants to diverse, socially aware, young Chicago-based musical artists, to help defray the costs of performance, recording, and education. We strive for a more inclusive society through music and art, leading by the example of our late friend, brother, and son, Charlie Sullivan, aka Chucky Ar La.
Who Was Charlie? Charlie Sullivan was a Chicago-based musician and social activist. He performed on stage and recorded original music with his bands, The Boxers and Thy Neighbors as well as on his own as Chucky Ar La. Charlie performed at Chicago venues such as Metro, The House Of Blues, Subterranean, Martyr’s, Heartland Café, and many others.
Charlie was also an active voice for social justice, teaching young people how to peacefully demonstrate, marching with No Cop Academy, Black Lives Matter, and other groups promoting equality and justice. Among other actions, Charlie helped develop community gardens in underserved Chicago neighborhoods and traveled to national conferences discussing social and political activism. He had also been a leader at the Neighborhood Boys and Girls Club and a youth league baseball umpire. Charlie led teams of teenagers in cleaning Chicago forest preserves. He also cleared invasive species from areas around the Grand Canyon through AmeriCorps. Charlie was working toward his bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies at the University of Illinois Chicago.
Charlie died suddenly, just a few days short of his 24th birthday, on Feb 1, 2020. Charlie died accidently, the victim of fentanyl poisoning. Charlie was a casual, occasional drug user. We encourage anyone reading this to take heed. Dealers lace drugs with fentanyl, usually without the user having any idea. And fentanyl will kill you.
We choose to celebrate how Charlie lived, and not dwell on how he died. He led a short, remarkable life. We hope to honor him and continue Charlie’s good work. He never thought of himself and was always there when a friend needed him.
Charlie is survived by his mother and father, three younger siblings, a large extended family and his large, diverse network of friends. Charlie had a lot of friends.