Artistic Intercambio

On October 26th, members of The National Museum of Mexican Art artist residency exchange program were invited to the Latino Cultural Center to participate in an open dialogue. The panel consisted of artists as well as curators from both Chicago and Havana who had concluded their visit in Havana and were beginning the second half of their cultural exchange here in Chicago. During the dialogue, panelists discussed the social issues and political climates of their home countries and explored how art is being used as a medium for influencing positive social change.

Students Speak Out Against Hate

On Wednesday, September 20th, the Social Justice Initiative, in collaboration with UIC’s Centers​ for Cultural​ Understanding and Social Change, hosted a lunch discussion at the Jane Addams Hull House Museum called “Students Speak Out Against Hate.” The discussion included a group of diverse voices from the UIC Student Action, Native American Student Organization, Students for Justice in Palestine, Fearless Undocumented Alliance, the Inclusive Collective. Students reflected on how each of their communities have been affected by racist and sexist policies. This included reflections on the rescinding of DACA and on Native American erasure at the University level. The panel also offered suggestions as to how to get involved on campus to increase efforts of resistance.

Whose River?

On October 4, 2017, the Latino Cultural Center collaborated with the Freshwater Lab in hosting the Zona Abierta event: “Whose River? Culture, Condos, and Controversy along Chicago’s Waterway.” The event was led by a panel who discussed the Great Rivers Chicago Plan, a project created by the City of Chicago, in addition to the river’s history, current state, and future possibilities.

The panel members were: Representative Theresa Mah of the 2nd District of Illinois General Assembly, Commissioner Debra Shore of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, Kim Waaserman Executive Director of the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, and Edith Tovar, LCC Assistant Program Director and a MUPP student in the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs.

To find out more or contribute your own stories, check out Chicago River Stories, and Freshwater Stories.

Border of Dreams Photography

On September 21st, Nick Oza presented his photography at the LCC, in partnership with the Latin American and Latino Studies Program, highlighting stories along the US-Mexico border. His photographs are also on display at the UIC Daley Library until the end of October, see details here.

Special thanks to the Chicago Access Network Television (CAN TV) network for covering this Zona Abierta public program.

Artivism: Stolen Lives

Image of Esperanza Gama with artwork

During the ARTivism: Stolen Lives event on October 5th, people were invited to paint, draw, and sew on multiple portraits, created by Esperanza Gama, which celebrate and honor the lives and bravery of women who have suffered domestic violence and cruel deaths. Gama encouraged people to bring the portraits to life with bright colors, compelling iconography and messages of empowerment. Some people painted beautiful birds, while others sewed flowers and butterflies to the portrait of Berta Cáceres, a Honduran environmental indigenous activist who was murdered in 2016.

The artwork will be incorporated into Gama’s upcoming exhibition at Casa Michoacan and the LCC’s ofrenda to Berta Cáceres, at the National Museum of Mexican Art.