Greek American media entrepreneur, artist, and philanthropist Anthe Mitrakos has spent most of her life living in Chicago and enjoying summer holidays in Greece. Captivated by the magnificence the country has to offer she combined her all-encompassing love for Greece with her business and journalism backgrounds to create a publication that was the first of its kind. One that celebrates noteworthy Greek people, places, and projects. A vessel in which she is able to pour her passion for documenting and sharing the finest things that make Greece a muse to the world.
This publication, fittingly titled Portes Magazine, in addition to serving up quality, aesthetically pleasing content to its adoring fans also serves as a fundraiser for university merit scholarships for students of Hellenic descent who wish to pursue higher education in the United States.
With Mitrakis, who is in her mid-twenties, operating as editor, the publication has been enjoying increasing popularity and praise from readers all around the world. GCT recently chatted to Mitrakos about all things Portes Magazine, her love of Greece and Chicago’s Greek community.
Where were you born and raised and where do you live now?
I am an authentic Chicagoan...but I also spent some time in beautiful Athens, and I’m now back in the Windy City!
Where in Greece is your family from?
My roots are from the Peloponnese and the Argo-Saronic, so I have both the sea and mountains in my blood.
How did your love of Greece lead you to establish Portes Magazine?
I first visited Greece when I was too young to remember, and I would visit frequently during the summertime thereafter...but I would say Greece has made the strongest impression on me in most recent years. The country is beautiful all around, but the city of Athens really is something else.
Like the unique light and sea, beautiful doors are a trademark of Greece. I have always
enjoyed photographing the doors of Greece. We decided to name the publication "Portes" to reflect how its contents "open doors" to the world of Greece, but also as a tribute to one of the country's most unique characteristics.
The content and aesthetic of Portes Magazine embodies the city’s unparalleled allure and reflects the impression it has made on me. Athens exudes a mysterious and difficult to grasp element of attraction. I adore this city.
What do you love most about Greece?
There is so much to love about Greece. I like to say that Greece is the perfect host. She is interesting, kind, welcoming, and very beautiful. What I love the most about Greece are the fine details that make the country so unique, and the inspiration Greece gives people to explore, discover and create.
What does Portes Magazine set out to achieve?
Portes Magazine is an artistic expression celebrating the finest elements that makeup Greece and the Hellenic culture. Our content is carefully collected and crafted to tell the stories of people, art & design, cuisine, destinations, history, architecture, ecology, entrepreneurship & business, philanthropy, and noteworthy events.
Portes Magazine celebrates the interesting, innovative and inspirational through a collection of images and stories created by those to whom Greece is a muse. Our editorial team consists of editors, writers, designers, photographers, and artists. These individuals are Greeks, diaspora Greeks, expats, and philhellenes...all passionate creatives who share a craze for Greece and Greek ideas.
Everyone has something to learn from Portes Magazine, and that’s how we curate content - around the notion that it can “open doors” to inspiration. Our most loyal readers, however, are individuals who fancy the unparalleled essence, spontaneity, intellect, allure, and magic of Greece and the Hellenic spirit worldwide.
It’s a concept that has been born of pure admiration for Greece, and it is the very first publication of its kind. A coffee-table publication created for a good cause, we publish Portes Magazine both in print and online at portesmagazine.com, twice a year.
Aside from being a niche publication celebrating Greece, Portes Magazine acts as a fundraiser for merit-based academic scholarships awarded to students with a Greek background who want to study in America.
Those interested in enjoying, supporting or and contributing to the project are welcome to visit portesmagazine.com.
What is your favourite part about being at the helm of Portes Magazine?
Being at the helm of any project has its challenges, but also its merits. On one hand, you have the freedom to be creative, and on the other, you bear the greatest responsibilities. What I enjoy the most as editor of Portes Magazine is discovering interesting elements we can develop into stories we share with the world and hopefully inspire something great.
Working on Portes Magazine has introduced me to many interesting people, and I love being able to learn from their experiences and unique perspectives.
Tell us about the Greek community in Chicago?
Chicago’s Greek community is, according to sources, the third largest in terms of the Greek-American population. Though things are changing, we still have a famous Greektown lined with some great restaurants and a museum. And while it may not be the largest, I believe Chicago’s Greek community is one of the oldest and most closely knit across the U.S.
Do you feel like you have two patrides?
I like to say I have one foot in the U.S. and one in Greece. When in Greece, I am the “Amerikana,” and when in the U.S., I’m the “Greek girl.” It’s great to have experienced two very different cultures, but also the mix of both, being part of the Greek-American community in the U.S. and part of the American-Greek community in Greece.
What is your wish for Greece?
My wish for Greece is to remain a unique and welcoming country and people, despite all odds.