An Artists’ Congress (2014)

Artists’ Congress

An Artists Congress (organized in collaboration with Michael Rakowitz from Northwestern University, Susy Bielak from The Block Museum and Daniel Tucker from Never The Same) was a multi-faceted planning process and public event on May 17th, 2014 at Northwestern University’s Block Museum in conjunction with their Left Front exhibition addressing politically-motivated printmaking from the 1930s. The Congress process started with a prompt from original member Louis Lozowick’s question “What Should Revolutionary Artists Do Today?” as its inspiration (featuring dozens of responses here) that was repeated through a series of planning meetings held at the Chicago Cultural Center and Block Museum throughout the early months of 2014 (including those listed here), leading to the collaborative writing of an open call text (available here). The day long event featured presentations and performances by John Murphy, Christina Kiaer, Paul Durica, Eric Triantafillou, Don Washington, Romi Crawford, Baraka de Soleil, Michael Kramer, Anthony Romero and Nicole Garneau (see bios here). And in recognition of the work of artists collaborating with social justice organizations, the organizers of the Congress reached out to six such organizations working throughout Chicago to offer the names of artists making meaningful contributions to their work who would be interviewed and given a cash award. The nominating organizations include: Teachers For Social Justice, ARISE, Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, Grassroots Collaborative, Southside Together Organizing for Power, and Community Justice for Youth Institute. For more information see artistscongressopencall.com, download a pdf of the program booklet (featuring interviews with nominated artists) and see a full video of the program here.

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