Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.—Mark Twain

Compass Rose Cultural Crossroads is a small, not-for-profit publisher with specialties in history, mythology, culinary lore, and the preservation of folk traditions.

Young Boy, Nepal

Sherpa boy along the trail to the Tangboche Monastery in the Himalayan Mountains of Nepal. © 1996–2012 Joanne Asala.

About Us

Compass Rose Cultural Crossroads, Inc., an Illinois not-for-profit corporation, is an educational, publishing, and information distribution company located in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago. Specifically, Compass Rose conducts research, teaches, and disseminates educational materials to the public including, but not limited to, material relating to history, cultural understanding, and global awareness through publications, lectures, seminars, and field encounters. We are currently in the process of applying for our 501(c)(3) with the IRS and hope to have the paperwork completed and approved later this year.

Our long-range goals and objectives include:

  • To establish a publishing company that will provide free research materials and original books at modest prices. Topics include travel information, history (including local history guides), cooking (including ethnic and American regional), folklore, and related topics. All proceeds sponsor our non-profit activities. Visit our Now Available and Upcoming Releases pages to learn more about some of our publishing projects, as well as the Folklore, Fairy Tales, & Myths section to see our growing collection of legends and tales from around the world.
  • To work hand-in-hand with other non-government organizations (NGO’s), local governments, communities, corporations, and other non-profit organizations that share our goals. Go to Uptown Theatre News to see what we’re doing with other Uptown groups to promote the restoration and reuse of the Uptown Theatre.
  • To engage the public at community and international levels.
  • To provide financial and volunteer support for research in cultural understanding and the preservation of cultural heritage.
  • To promote and sponsor educational and research field encounter teams.
  • To promote education beyond the classroom.
  • To promote cultural understanding, engender hope, and wage peace.
  • To establish an Internet presence which allows the public to learn about our organization, to participate in our activities, to sponsor our endeavors, and to obtain information on folklore, cooking, history, and travel. We are particularly proud of our growing collection of Uptown Chicago Resources.
Ted in Peru

With a little help from his new friends, Ted figures out which bus will take him to Cuzco. Peru, 2002.

Meet Our Directors

Robert “Ted” Calhoun

Born in Ohio, Ted was raised in Missouri and Kansas and earned a dual major in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Kansas. He is an experienced software developer and an Oracle® Certified Internet Applications Developer with extensive knowledge of Java programming. His clients range from small companies to Fortune 500 corporations. Additionally, Ted has supervised and mentored development teams overseas and lived in Chennai, India. Ted now resides in Chicago and is the president of Compass Rose Technologies, Inc., a full-service software development, custom programming, and Web design company. He has volunteered his expertise for the development and maintenance of the Compass Rose Cultural Crossroads site. For fun, he is restoring a vintage VW camper van.

Backpacking Jo

On the pilgrim’s trail up Croagh Patrick, 2004. St. Patrick banished Ireland’s snakes, dragons, and demonic forces from atop this mountain. To the early Celts, the mountain was home to the god Crom Dubh.

Joanne Asala

Joanne, a native Chicagoan, is an accomplished author and editor with more than 20 years of experience in book, magazine, educational, and business publishing. She holds a Bachelor’s in English from the University of Iowa with an emphasis in Medieval Literature, and has written more than forty books on traditional folktales, customs, and cooking, including The Piper Came to Our Town: Bagpipe Folklore, Legends, and Fairy Tales; Words of Wisdom from the Vikings; The Legend of St. Urho; Trolls Remembering Norway; and Celtic Folklore Cooking. She is the senior editor of Compass Rose Horizons, an editorial and transcription services company. She has traveled extensively throughout Europe, Asia, and Central and South America in order to collect folk material firsthand. Some of her most recent trips include hiking the Incan trail to Machu Picchu, backpacking through Vietnam and Cambodia, and traveling to remote villages in the Sierra Mazateca of Oaxaca. In her spare time, she works at restoring her vintage two flat.

Joanne is responsible for maintaining all editorial content on the Compass Rose Cultural Crossroads site. If you are interested in contributing material for any of the sections on this Web site, you may contact her at

To reach any of our directors, go to the Contact Page.

Cultural Crossroads
About Us
Now Available
Upcoming Releases
Contact Us
Cultural Resources
Folklore, Fairy Tales, & Myths
Uptown Chicago Resources
Table of Contents
About This Collection
Submit Your Photos and Stories
Uptown Theatre
Uptown Community Portrait 2005
Read Petition
Sign Petition
Compass Rose Cultural Crossroads