Creating Artistic Platforms for Youth Responses to Living in Communities Confronting Violence

Beverly Arts Center, Diasporal Rhythms, Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, and South Side Community Arts Center host exhibitions, talks, forums, and events through January 2017.

The Promise of Peace Project: Creating Artistic Platforms for Youth Responses to Living in Communities Confronting Violence brings together professional artists, and civic leaders to support the artistic voices of youth often absent from contemporary images of American life. Organized by the Beverly Arts Center, Diasporal Rhythms, the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, and the South Side Community Arts Center, the collaborative project brings communities from across the South Side of Chicago together to explore violence through the youth perspective and how the arts provide a crucial pathway for the future.

The Promise of Peace Project will engage youth and adults in a variety of school-based and public programs including exhibitions, spoken word events, artist talks, school matinee performances, community forums, and a student art competition, October 2016–January 2017.

Each community forum includes civic leaders, artists and community members in an intentional conversation regarding creative ways to react to what is happening in our communities. The outcome is to designate artists and cultural workers to work with youth to develop art projects and programs in the that will have a lasting beautification  and mentorship impact in our neighborhoods. The key is youth input and the offering of a lasting and creative mode of expression for this pressing and vital topic of peace and violence
 
The three art exhibitions will display both professional artist and student work from schools in the Beverly, Bronzeville, Woodlawn and Hyde Park neighborhoods and surrounding communities, bringing diverse voices together under the common theme of creativity and peace. 

Diasporal Rhythms Artist Talks, led by members of this influential Bronzeville-based art collectors group will be held on Thursday evenings at the three partnering organizations’’ locations with artists whose work is in the shows.

The Project features the work of several artists, including Makeba Kedem-Dubose, Raymond Thomas, Alexandra Antoine, Douglas Ewart, Walter Kitundu, Theodore Feaster, Juarez Hawkins, Ruby Simmons and Sekani K. Reed. Each exhibition will display both professional artists and student work from schools and Beverly, Bronzeville, Woodlawn and Hyde Park and surrounding communities including Beacon Therapeutic Elementary School, Beacon Therapeutic High School, George Washington High School, Peace and Education Coalition - 2nd Chance and Village Leadership Academy and J Def Peace Project.

A heated luxury coach will make stops at all three exhibitions sites for an all exhibition bus tour on Saturday, December 10, 3–7 pm. Refreshments will be served at select sites. Sign up at the UChicago Arts Box Office.

The Promise of Peace Project will be anchored by exhibitions at:

South Side Community Art Center

Exhibition: October 1–December 17, 2016
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 1, 2016, 2 pm
Community Forum: Saturday, November 5, 2016, 2 pm

The Beverly Arts Center

Exhibition: November 10, 2016–January 8, 2017
Opening Reception: Sunday, November 12, 2016, 6-8 pm
Community Forum: Saturday, December 3, 2016, 2 pm

The Logan Center for the Arts

Exhibition: December 10, 2016–January 29, 2017    
Opening Reception: Saturday, December 10, 2016 6-8 pm
Community Forum: Saturday, January 7, 2017 2 pm

Diasporal Rhythms Artists’ Talks

Artists' Talks will be held on Thursday evenings from October 13, 2016–January 12, 2017 at the following locations:

  • South Side Community Art Center – October 13 and 27, 2016, 7pm
  • Beverly Art Center – November 17 and December 1, 2016, 7 pm
  • Logan Center for the Arts – December 15, 2016 and January 12, 2017, 7 pm

The Beverly Arts Center Art Competition

The BAC has reimagined its 40th Annual Art Competition (also known as the Art Comp) to include the theme of The Promise of Peace. Drawing on the city’s diverse arts landscape, artists are invited to submit works of art to be chosen by a panel including Frances Guichard (Gallery Guichard), Dan McCabe (Running Dog Pottery, Beverly Area Arts Alliance), James Jankowiak (Teaching Artist) and Christopher Jarred Jernigan (After School Matters, painter, interior designer). Selected works will then be exhibited in the Beverly Art Center’s Jack Simmerling Gallery and cash prizes awarded by jurors Judie Anderson and Raymond A. Thomas. Submission deadline is October 24, 2016.

Additionally, the BAC’s Arts Mentorship Program will provide 5 upper-grade students from neighboring Clissold Elementary School the opportunity to work in the art center’s studios with a professional artist  to create works of art that speak to the theme of peace. This work will be displayed in the BAC gallery in conjunction with the Art Comp.

The Promise of Peace Project is made possible through the support of The Chicago Community Trust, the Reva and David Logan Foundation, and partnering organizations.

About the Partnering Organizations

The Beverly Arts Center

The Beverly Arts Center, located on Chicago’s south side, is a multifaceted organization building community through diverse, quality arts programming, education, and entertainment for all ages and levels. The 40,000 square foot space houses a 400-seat theatre, art gallery, exhibition spaces, music and dance studios, art classrooms and event rental spaces including a courtyard and light-filled atrium. Founded in 1967 and located in Chicago’s historic Beverly/Morgan Park neighborhood, the BAC is also home to an extensive community outreach program. Learn more.

Diasporal Rhythms

Diasporal Rhythms is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization comprised of over 50 passionate collectors engaged in the collection of visual art created by contemporary artists of the African diaspora. The organization was founded in 2003 by Carol J. Briggs, Joan Crisler, Patric McCoy and Daniel T. Parker as a direct result of a panel discussion held a year earlier at the South Side Community Art Center’s Collectors’ Forum where a spirited discussion demonstrated the need for organized action by art collectors to expand the appreciation of contemporary visual art created by artists of the African diaspora. Since its inception, Diasporal Rhythms has continuously worked to accomplish its goal of growing the organization and expanding the appreciation of our visual arts culture—and the contemporary artists who create it—by hosting workshops, seminars, tours and special events. Learn more.

Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts

Designed as a home for the creative life of the University of Chicago campus and the City of Chicago, the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts is a partner, resource, and catalyst for developing deeper cultural networks and richer creative projects citywide and beyond. The Logan Center is a place where boundaries dissolve and artistic work is amplified through a web of collaborative partners. More than just a building, it is an innovative hub for arts education for UChicago students, adults, and youth; a platform to showcase today’s most innovative creators across all media; and a locus for impactful and collaborative artistic innovations with partners in nearby South Side communities and across Chicago. Throughout the UChicago academic year, the Logan Center hosts a school matinee program for Chicago Public School students and Logan Center Family Saturdays for local families on the first Saturday of every month. During the summer, the Logan Center is home to numerous adult and youth programs ranging from film to storytelling to dance. The Logan Center partners with arts organizations and individual artists to perform and teach at these programs. Learn more.

South Side Community Art Center

The South Side Community Art Center is located in the heart of the historic Bronzeville neighborhood on Chicago's South Side. Home to a wealth of art and historic archival materials, the presence of the Center is an inextricable part of the prestige and value of this neighborhood. The South Side Community Art Center was founded in 1940 as a part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration (WPA) Federal Art Project. It is the oldest African American art collectable center of its kind in the United States and has held true to its original mission since inception. Over the past 75 years, the SSCAC has continuously encouraged and inspired generations of African American Artists. SSCAC received its Chicago Historic Landmark Status in 1994. Many of the United States most recognized African-American artists began their careers, exhibited, and taught at SSCAC, including Dr. Margaret Burroughs (a founder of the organization), Charles White, Elizabeth Catlett, Archibald Motley, Gordon Parks, and Eldzier Cortor. SSCAC is a beacon for artistic excellence in the community, embracing established artists as well as emerging artists of the 21st century. Learn more.

Media Contacts

Beverly Arts Center

Heather Ireland Robinson
773.445.3838
heather@beverlyartcenter.org

Diasporal Rhythms 

D.E. Simmons
desimmons@hotmail.com

Logan Center

Mariam Thiam
773.834.7788
mthiam@uchicago.edu

South Side Community Arts Center

Masequa Myers
773.373.1026
masequa@sscartcenter.org