Free MLK Day events Art Institute of Chicago Virtual
Where: Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S Michigan Ave., 312-443-3600. VIRTUAL EVENTS
When: Monday, January 18-20, 2021.
Open daily 10:30–5:00.
This year’s MLK Day events at the Art Institute of Chicago will be Virtual with a combination of live and recorded programs and at-home activities.
Rebirth Poetry Ensemble and In the Spirit
Monday, January 18, 2021
Join Rebirth Poetry Ensemble and the performance duo In the Spirit featuring Zahra Baker and Emily Hooper Lansana. Youth poets from the Rebirth Poetry Ensemble have been performing at the annual King Day festival for several years, and this year they’ve created spoken-word pieces in response to the exhibition Bisa Butler: Portraits. In the Spirit, too, is returning to perform for King Day, bringing to life Butler’s quilts and celebrating the legacy of Dr. King through original stories woven together with rhythm and song.
Virtual Talk: (In)Justice
Wednesday, January 20
This participatory experience, inspired by the museum’s collection and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” explores the many meanings of justice, resistance, and faith.
Video: Picture This
Families with young children (5 and under) are invited to tune into a new Picture This. Pairing the recently acquired quilt The Safety Patrol by Bisa Butler with a children’s picture book, senior educator Melissa Tanner guides families on an exploration of ideas of safety, connection, and how we use our bodies to express our feelings and values. Get ready to look closely, dive into a story, and engage in creative play together as a family.
Video: The Two Visits
By avery r. young and Amir George
Combining found archival film and images with powerful spoken word and funk- and blues-inspired music, this new video work by interdisciplinary artist avery r. young and filmmaker Amir George remembers Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s two visits to Chicago between 1965 and 1967. King, along with Al Raby and James Bevel, was a leader of the Chicago Freedom Movement, a campaign to use the nonviolent methods of the civil rights movement to challenge systemic racism and segregation in housing, education, and employment in Chicago and its suburbs.
Video: Some Dawn
By Kiki Lechuga-Dupont and Growing Concerns Poetry Collective
Responding to the exhibition Bisa Butler: Portraits, artist Kiki Lechuga-Dupont creates an animated visualization of intersecting themes within the work of Butler and music artists Growing Concerns Poetry Collective. Its bright, meditative design aspires to reflect a sense of spirit, pride, and community.
Make a Family Portrait
Explore the quilted portraits of Bisa Butler for inspiration and then make a colorful portrait that honors your family members using materials that are easy to find around the home.
Butler’s vibrant, intricately layered textiles, featured in the exhibition Bisa Butler: Portraits, vividly captures personal and historical narratives of Black life. Often based on historic photographs of well-known and unidentified Black men, women, and children, her quilts explore themes of family, community, migration, youth, and artistic legacies. Learn more about Bisa Butler’s portrait subjects from curator Erica Warren.