We are pleased to announce our new programming partner, Rebuild Foundation, a platform for art, cultural development, and neighborhood transformation. Founded and led by artist Theaster Gates, Rebuild supports artists and strengthens communities by providing free arts programming, creating new cultural amenities, and developing affordable housing, studio, and live-work space.
In partnership with Rebuild Foundation, 826CHI is hosting "Writing Through the Unthinkable: Spaces of Change," a multi-part writing workshop for people ages 14+ at the Stony Island Arts Bank April 2nd-23rd. The workshops are open to all, regardless of writing experience. These workshops will use objects curated from the Arts Bank collections for investigations of race, past and present, material culture, and the act of preserving painful objects. Pulling from the long tradition of arts and literature as vehicles for protest and healing, such as the Black Arts Movement and Black Lives Matter, these workshops center creativity as a method of restorative justice. These workshops are free and open to all people 14+ who are interested in a deep exploration of these topics.
The workshop is free, but registration is required. Please fill out the application here. We strongly encourage that you attend all workshops. However, if there are 1-2 sessions you cannot make, we would still love you to join us. Refreshments and snacks will be provided at each workshop session.
Session 1 – Ed J Williams Collection
Tuesday, April 2, 6-7PM
Stony Island Arts Bank
The Edward J Williams Collection at Stony Island Arts Bank holds 4,000 objects of “negrobilia”—mass cultural objects and artifacts that feature stereotypical images of black people. This workshop invites participants to investigate these objects, interrogate their purpose and meaning, and write as a way of collecting. Participants will be asked to think of what objects they would like to “own” and will learn creative writing techniques that will help them write about these objects.
Session 2 – Tamir Rice Gazebo
Dorchester Art & Housing Collaborative, 3:30-5:30PM
Tuesday, April 9
Tuesday, April 16
Tuesday, April 23* (*This session will be held at the Stony Island Arts Bank.)
In the Fall of 2016, Rebuild Foundation received the Gazebo from the Cudell Recreation Center in Cleveland, Ohio, where twelve-year-old Tamir Rice was murdered by the Cleveland Police. Samaria Rice, Tamir’s mother, intends to preserve the structure as a place for care, public interaction and engagement. In this workshop, participants will take part in conversations that will cover questions such as the gazebo’s meaning, it’s placement in Chicago, and it’s connection to other acts of police brutality. We will write letters to Tamir Rice and anyone else who has suffered from oppression. These letters will be buried in the ground that the gazebo occupies on plantable paper. Once they have been planted and the ground has been watered, the seeds that are enmeshed in the paper will bloom flowers, creating new joy and life for the unjust passing of Tamir.
We hope you'll join us at the Stony Island Arts Bank in March for this four-part workshop, as we're anticipating a rich discussion between teens and adults on the role of art in restorative justice. Register today, and add your voice to the conversation.