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Victory Gardens Announces Events With Blu Rhythm Collective's The Redline Project

The first event is a panel discussion, “The Making of: Bringing Together Art and Activism” on May 23.

Victory Gardens Announces Events With Blu Rhythm Collective's The Redline Project

Victory Gardens Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director Ken-Matt Martin and Acting Managing Director Roxanna Conner, joins with Victory Gardens Resident Director Jess McLeod and the Chicago-based Blu Rhythm Collective to present a series of events this spring on The Redline Project, continuing Victory Gardens' Online Public Program Series. The first event is a panel discussion, "The Making of: Bringing Together Art and Activism" on May 23, 2021 at 2:00pm Central on Zoom. More events will be announced later this spring.

The Redline Project is a dance/hip-hop/spoken word/multimedia work in progress by Victory Gardens Resident Director Jess McLeod and the Chicago-based Blu Rhythm Collective. Take a ride on the Red Line "El" train through 100 years of redlining and gentrification tactics in Chicago - and their impact on our struggles to live, move and take up space today. Artistic Director Ken-Matt Martin shares, "Victory Gardens Resident Director Jess McLeod and the Blu Rhythm Collective are doing amazing work fighting for equitable development through collaborative and innovative pieces of art. We're proud to partner with them and to support their art-based activism for a more just Chicago."

"The Red Line is where Chicagoans of all backgrounds intermingle - or don't, depending on where you live and the unspoken rules your family and culture have taught you to observe in public spaces," says VG Resident Director Jess McLeod. "The Redline Project is my third collaboration with Blu Rhythm Collective, led by choreographer Tanji Harper, and we're thrilled VG is supporting our deep dive into the decades of creatively racist, anti-Black government policies that have pushed communities of color around the map, and how we might counteract the racist social rules of space we've internalized in our minds and bodies."

Executive Director of the National Public Housing Museum, Dr. Lisa Yun Lee, shares, "The Redline Project is a timely and ambitious project on how dismantling systems of racism depends on grappling with history, radical imagination and collective joy. It was thrilling to work with activists, scholars, artists and performers, to open a new portal into understanding this history."

The Making of: Bringing Together Art and Activism

A Free Panel Discussion

Sunday, May 23, 2021

2:00pm-3:15pm CT on Zoom

Free to register, but space is limited: https://victorygardens.org/event/redline-project/
What does it look like to make art that inspires change? For the creators of the Folded Map Project and Fire Fire Gentrifier!, a self-guided walking tour of a people's history of Lincoln Park, it means using art as a platform to highlight issues of urban segregation, disinvestment, and gentrification-and to think creatively about building a more equitable future.

This panel will be moderated by Dr. Lisa Yun Lee, Executive Director of the National Public Housing Museum, and panelists include Paola Aguirre, Miles Comisky, Tanji Harper, Tonika Lewis Johnson, Maya Jones, Jess McLeod and Pinqy Ring. Access services include closed captioning, and ASL interpretation by Havalah Grace Teaman and Benny Llamas.

Lincoln Park: Fire Fire Gentrifier! Tour

In October 2020, the Redline Project released the first of many pieces of public art: a self-guided walking tour of Lincoln Park. All parts of the project can be experienced independently--but Fire, Fire, Gentrifier! is a perfect starting point. The walking tour is available on the VAMONDE app and can be downloaded for free.

Through photos, oral history, music and dance, the National Public Housing Museum and Blu Rhythm Collective invite you to participate in a self-guided walking tour of a people's history of Lincoln Park. This work features music by Pinqy Ring, photos by Carlos Flores, and stories and history by activist/scholars Jose Cha Cha Jimenez, Billy Che Brooks, and Professor Jacqueline Lazu.

Excavate some of the hidden and repressed history of urban renewal, and explore struggles of the Young Lords to organize, raise political awareness, and resist gentrification. What can we learn from the past? How can we build a better collective future for all of us? Listen and look more intentionally at the existing urban landscape, and join us to experience the exuberance of young people, who with collective joy and organizing are reclaiming our city. The tour was made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Illinois Arts Council Agency and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

Victory Gardens' Community Partner for the series of events is the National Public Housing Museum.

Victory Gardens Theater receives major funding from the Joyce Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Shubert Foundation, and Wallace Foundation.

Additional major funding comes from Crown Family Philanthropies, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council Agency, and Polk Bros. Foundation.

Major funders also include: Allstate, Alphawood Foundation, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Edgerton Foundation, Exelon, Ralla Klepak Trust for the Performing Arts, David Rockefeller Fund, The Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, and Venturous Theater Fund of the Tides Foundation.

Additional funding this season: Charles H. and Bertha L. Boothroyd Foundation, Coffman Law Offices, ComEd, Golden Country Oriental Foods, Goldman Sachs, John R. Halligan Foundation, Illinois Humanities Council, ITW, MacArthur International Connections Fund, MAP Fund, Mayer Brown LLP, The McVay Foundation, Metropolitan Capital Bank and Trust, National Endowment for the Arts, PNC Financial Services Group, Prince Charitable Trusts, Pritzker Pucker Family Foundation, Pritzker Traubert Foundation, Charles and M.R. Shapiro Foundation, and William H. Weiss Foundation.

Covid-19 Emergency Relief Funding: Arts Work Fund- Arts for Illinois Relief Fund (at the Chicago Community Foundation), Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Business Interruption Grant.

Capital improvement support from Landmarks Illinois-Barbara and Thomas Donnelley Preservation Fund, the Performing Arts Venue Fund at the League of Chicago Theaters, with funding from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

For more information about Victory Gardens, visit www.victorygardens.org.


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