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2011 Programs

2011 Programs

Check out the Institute's YouTube page featuring highlights for recent programs!


motiroti—Critical Encounters Artists-in-Residence
Lecture: November 16th, 6:30pm
Residency: November 16th-18th 
Film Row Cinema

The Institute was proud to promote the 3rd year of the Critical Encounters Artist Residency, with this year's focus on Rights, Radicals + Revolutions. In Fall 2011, the interdisciplinary performance group, motiroti launched Potluck: Chicago. A "potluck" is a meal to which different visitors each contribute a dish. Lifting each lid releases aromas and tastes that trace the journeys of those who prepared it. Conceived by motiroti as the Critical Encounters’ Artists-in-Residence, the Potluck relies on a revolutionary collaboration with Columbia College Chicago, The Dorchester Project, En Las Tablas, and the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum. It was a menu of radically creative adventures – food exchanges, art workshops and public gatherings – that aimed to bridge cultural divides, build a toolkit for addressing rights, and kick-start new communities. 

Serious Play: Meaningful Video Games
November 12, 2011
Harold Washington Library Center, Pritzker Auditorium

For the third year, the Institute was a proud partner with the annual Chicago Humanities Festival, with this year’s theme focusing on technology. Building on the Institute’s work with gaming and gender, the Institute co-presented this visual presentation and discussion with two of the most forward-thinking leaders in gaming, with an introduction by Institute Executive Director, Jane M. Saks. Some gamers seek the simple satisfaction of puzzles, while others enjoy the sense of boundless possibility inherent in simulations. Many work out their frustrations on the battlefront. And for some, video games replace gym time. Advances in technology and powerful new ideas have evolved gaming into a richly-varied aesthetic universe and a viable platform to address social, political, and personal issues. Tracy Fullerton is a game designer and associate professor in interactive media at the University of Southern California. Susana Ruiz is a USC doctoral candidate and the designer of the acclaimed game, “Darfur is Dying.” Together, they took a look at the theoretical and creative processes that artists, activists, developers and designers are dreaming up to revolutionize gameplay. For more information please visit www.chicagohumanities.org

Laurie Anderson: O Superwoman
November 2, 2011
Francis W. Parker School, 2233 N. Clark St.

For the third year, the Institute was a proud partner with the annual Chicago Humanities Festival, with this year’s theme focusing on technology.  As part of this partnership, the Institute co-presented this lecture with performance artist and musician Laurie Anderson, who fuses art and technology in the creation of her work. A pioneer across many genres, she has developed instruments such as a violin with recorded magnetic tape in its bow; pushed digital boundaries in the visual arts, as in the path-breaking BBC series The Human Face; and served as NASA’s first artist-in-residence, inspiring her epic work The End of the Moon. The constant in her ever-shifting artistic exploration is the confounding of our expectations, from the symphony of car horns that started her career to her recent Music for Dogs, audible only to our canine companions. Anderson reflected on an extraordinary career in a conversation with Steppenwolf artistic director Martha Lavey. For more information, please visit www.chicagohumanities.org.  

Educational Partnership: Third Coast Filmless Festival
October 23, 2011 Screenings
Joffrey Tower

This daylong event was  filled with audio "screenings" of unforgettable documentaries and Q&As with special guests including Jonathan Goldstein (host and producer of Wiretap), Jad Abumrad (host and producer of Radiolab), Samara Freemark (of Radio Diaries), and tech guru Jeff Towne (of Transom.org). The festivities culminated with Third Coast’s annual awards ceremony honoring some of the most innovative producers working in radio today -- the winners of the Third Coast / Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition. The evening was hosted by Peter Sagal (host of Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me!). For more information: www.thirdcoast.org

National Tour Launches in DC 
Previewed September 13 - October 9
Signature Theatre, Arlington VA  

Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South Traveled to D.C. September 2011: Launch of National Tour at Signature Theatre, Arlington, VA! The Institute is proud to announce that Signature Theatre (2009 Regional Theatre Tony Award winner) launched the national tour of the theatrical production, Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South, written and performed by Institute Fellow and Black Theatre Alliance Award recipient for Best Solo Performance, E. Patrick Johnson, directed by Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj. Sweet Tea at Signature Theatre is produced through special arrangement with Jane M. Saks. In the play, dynamic performer, author and educator, E. Patrick Johnson seamlessly portrays interviewees from his publication on black, gay southern life. The acclaimed book of the same name is an oral history of Southern black gay men ranging in age from 19 to 93 that explores the relationship between blackness, sexuality and southern culture. The world premiere in Chicago in May 2010 of Sweet Tea was Co-produced by the Institute, Jane M. Saks and About Face Theatre. 

Sweet Tea post-performance discussion:
30 Years is Enuf!
Black Gay Men and HIV/AIDS
October 1, 2011, Signature Theatre, Arlington VA. 
Moderator: Jesse Milan, Chair Emeritus, Black AIDS Institute

Panelists: E. Patrick Johnson, Artistic Fellow Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media, Performer, Author and Educator, Ron Simmons, President and CEO, Us Helping Us, Tim’m T. West, Educator, Artist, Activist.

Ground Shifters: Stories of Women Changing Their Unseen Worlds
September 12-16, 2011. Aired on WBEZ, Worldview 

This radio series is part of an ongoing collaboration between WBEZ and the Institute entitled: Gender, Human Rights, Leadership, and Media. The Institute works closely developing projects with journalists, artists, human rights workers and activists across the world to investigate global issues as part of this initiative. Jean Friedman-Rudovsky, is a Fall 2010 Institute Fellow, a freelance journalist based in La Paz, Bolivia where she has been reporting for print, radio and television since 2006. The 5-part radio series covered stories in La Paz, Bolivia and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. If you missed them go to WBEZ 91.5, www.wbez.org to hear these compelling stories. 

Gender, Human Rights, Leadership and Media Series:Steve Bynum: Executive Producer Jane M Saks: Series Producer and Creative Advisor
Chicago Public Media, WORLDVIEW: Steve Bynum: Senior Producer Jerome McDonnell: Host

Chicago Sinfonietta: Women in Classical Music
May 23, Symphony Center.
The Institute was pleased to be an Educational Partner with Chicago Sinfonietta for its presentation of “Women in Classical Music,” a concert that spotlighted the vital contributions of women as composers, conductors and soloists. This concert welcomed the Music Director Designate, Mei-Ann Chen, to co-lead the orchestra as it performed works by Jennifer Higdon, Gwyneth Walker, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, and a World Premiere by Chicago Sinfonietta principal violist Renée Baker. Special guest violinist Elena Urioste was also featured on Walker’s An American Concerto. Institute Executive Director, Jane M. Saks, moderated a pre-concert conversation with Mei-Ann Chen and Sinfonietta founder, Dr. Paul Freeman

Engendering Change: Graduate Student Conference & Feminist Performance Festival
May 19-21
Northwestern University, 1949 Campus Drive, Evanston.

Northwestern University presented a city-wide Graduate gender conference, including graduate student panel presentations, a discussion with performance artists, and evening performances by three dynamic female artists: Lenelle Moise (May 19, 8pm); Holly Hughes (May 20, 8pm); and Rhodessa Jones (May 21, 8pm).  Presented by Northwestern University’s Department of Performance Studies and Gender Studies Program, co-sponsored by the Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women & Gender in the Arts & Media, at Columbia College Chicago.

Remixing the Art of Social Change: Chicago’s Inaugural Hip-Hop Teach-In
May 5 – 8

The Institute was proud to be a co-presenter of Chicago’s Inaugural Hip-Hop Teach-In: “REMIXING THE ART OF SOCIAL CHANGE.” This is not your average conference or gathering. It’s an ALL-CITY teach-in where artists, scholars, youth and organizations from across Chicago and throughout the Midwest come together to be part of a unique experience that’s both action-oriented and community-based. The teach-in featured films, concerts, panel discussions and workshops. A special focus was on presenting Midwest’s finest as well as international hip-hop artists.  The teach-in created a space to share the tools and resources necessary to develop curriculum, programs, artistic and scholarly work based in hip-hop culture. Among the many presenters and participants were two Institute Fellows: Detroit hip-hop artist activist, Invincible, and critically-acclaimed journalist, activist, and political analyst Bakari Kitwana.

Presented by: Words Beats & Life, in partnership with: Columbia College Chicago’s Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women & Gender in the Arts & Media, and Office of Multicultural Affairs; Nathan Cummings Foundation; Northwestern University’s Program of African Studies; Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities; C.H.I. Cipher; Young Chicago Authors; Kuumba Lynx; IMAN; Connect Force Chicago; Hip-Hop Heritage Month; The University of Hip-Hop; Southwest Youth Collaborative; Chicago Freedom School; and Campus Progress.

Lynsey Addario: Institute Fellow & Award-winning Photographer
May 3, 6:00pm. Film Row Cinema, 1104 S. Wabash Avenue, 8th Floor.

This was a special evening presentation and discussion with Institute Fellow and award-winning photographer, Lynsey Addario, in conversation with Executive Director Jane M. Saks.  As an Institute Fellow, Addario was commissioned to create portraits of women and girls who are survivors of gender-based violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo for the internationally traveling photography exhibition, Congo/Women Portraits of War, co-produced by the Institute and Art Works Projects. The exhibition premiered at Columbia College in February 2009, and is currently touring internationally through 2012 (www.congowomen.org).  A MacArthur Fellow and recipient of a Pulitzer Prize for team reporting, Addario photographs for numerous publications, frequently focusing on human rights and women’s lives around the world. She is a member of the prestigious VII Network, and was recently named one of O Magazine’s “Power List of 2010.” 

This was Lynsey Addario’s first live public program in Chicago since she and three New York Times colleagues—Stephen Farrell, Tyler Hicks, and Anthony Shahid—were held captive in Libya for a week in March by Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi loyalists.


Rap Sessions: From Precious II for Colored Girls: The Black Image in the American Mind
April 26, 6:30pm
Conaway Center, 1104 S. Wabash, 1st Floor.
(Click here for more information about this program)

Gender Fusions 7: The Super Queero Spectacle
Saturday, April 16, 6pm-11pm
Stage II, 618 S. Michigan Avenue

Gender Fusions is an annual queer spectacle of live performance-an electric mash-up of drag, burlesque, spoken word, song and dance. In uproarious celebration with the audience, Gender Fusions showcases the vision and artistry of the Columbia College community along with riveting stars from Chicago and nationwide. This year's event featured award-winning performer and director, Daniel Alexander Jones in a keynote performance address, followed by a Spectacle of performances by comedian and singer Kate Rigg of Slanty Eyed Mama and midwestern electro-pop-hip-hop band Leslie & the Ly's along with a line-up of Columbia and Chicago-wide talent! A reception was included as part of the Spectacle festivities.

Presented by: LGBTQ Office of Culture & Community, in partnership with Asian American Cultural Affairs, Center for Teaching Excellence and the Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women & Gender in the Arts & Media.

For more information, contact: lgbtq@colum.edu or 312-369-8594, or visit www.colum.edu/lgbtq

Out at CHM: LGBT History Goes to Court: From Anita Bryant to Prop 8
April 14, Cocktails: 5:30pm; Event: 6:30pm
Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark Street.

In this installment of the 2011 Out at CHM series, George Chauncey, a Yale historian, explored why history matters to the courts. Using specific cases, he discussed the history of marriage, antigay discrimination, and antigay demonization. Chauncey spoke from experience: he testified as an expert witness at the Prop 8 trial in California in 2010 and has participated in fifteen gay rights cases since 1993.

For more information: www.chicagohistory.org.

Trouble in Mind by Alice Childress
February 6-March 20, 2011 *Previews: February 1-5
The Artistic Home, 3914 N. Clark Street

The Institute was proud to be a co-sponsor of this rare production of Alice Childress’ Trouble in Mind, directed by Columbia College faculty, Vaun Monroe, and presented at The Artistic Home. A powerfully incendiary satiric comedy/drama based on the conflict of not compromising one’s artistic integrity, Trouble in Mind follows the journey of a mixed-raced cast in 1957 as they embark upon rehearsals for a racially-charged play. Childress pokes knowing fun at actors’ complaints, directors’ frustration and even with the well-meaning efforts of theater professionals to overcome their racial feelings. As each character is deftly revealed, along with their cavalier approach to the scripts they hold, there is so much humor that the playwright's theme within the theme—the painful rage kindled by society's demeaning view of blacks—left the audience shocked, if not surprised, at what was before them all along.


The Reality Shows Reading with Karen Finley
March 10, 6:30pm.
Ferguson Lecture Hall, 600 S. Michigan Ave, 1st Floor.

Provocative performance and theatre artist, Karen Finley, read from her latest book, The Reality Shows, in a special Columbia appearance. The Reality Shows takes us through the past ten years with Finley as our guide. By embodying and re-imagining larger-than-life public figures in her performances, Finley helps us make sense of the political trauma and cultural chaos we’ve witnessed during the first decade of this century. Part poet, part critic, she fuses rich language with humorous and piercing insight. Photos and drawings accompany the text, and a timeline of milestones of the past ten years runs throughout the book. The book was available for purchase after the reading. This program was presented by the English Department’s Creative Non-Fiction Program, and co-sponsored by the Ellen Stone Belic Institute.

Out at CHM: When Romeo Was A Woman
Thursday, March 10, Cocktails: 5:30pm; Event: 6:30pm
Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark St. Chicago, IL 60614

For the fifth year, the Institute is a proud partner of Out at CHM, an annual series at Chicago History Museum discovering the history of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in Chicago.  In this installment, we learned about Charlotte Cushman, the 19th century's cross-dressing and woman-loving actress, acclaimed for her role as Romeo in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Cultural historian Lisa Merrill gave the audience a behind-the-scenes look at how spectators and critics talked and wrote about sexuality on stage.  About Face Theatre Artistic Director Bonnie Metzgar and the Laramie Project's co-author Leigh Fondakowski joined the discussion to talk about how gender-bending pioneers continue to impact our stages.

For more information: www.chicagohistory.org

Art & Civic Engagement: An Artist Panel Discussion
March 8, 6:00pm
Chicago Cultural Center,  78 E. Washington St., Claudia Cassidy Theatre.

Featuring exhibition artists Patricia Evans, Susan Plum, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, and Hank Willis Thomas, this panel presented a public dialogue about the ways in which art can be a tool of expression and action for social change. Moderated by Jane M. Saks, Executive Director of the Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women & Gender in the Arts & Media. Organized by the Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women & Gender in the Arts & Media and co-presented by The Voices and Faces Project, with support from the Leadership Donors of the Ellen Stone Belic Institute, Chicago Foundation for Women, and the Art + Design Department at Columbia College Chicago.

Lecture with Saya Woolfalk
February 23, 6:30pm
Stage II, 618 S. Michigan Ave, 2nd Floor

In this lecture, co-sponsored by the Art + Design Department and the Ellen Stone Belic Institute,
Saya Woolfalk presented her ongoing project No Place, a multimedia, fictional future that
reworks tropes of sexual, racial, and gender difference. The characters and stories in Woolfalk’s
constructed reality evoke travel narratives, science fiction, and the rhetoric of anthropology to
investigate human possibilities (and impossibilities). Through diverse forms of installation, video,
painting, drawing, performance, and sound, she reflects on human life and its future through
configurations of biology, sociality, and the environment.


Say it Loud: Black Men Speak Without Words
February 16, 6:00pm.
Stage 2, 618 S. Michigan Avenue, 2nd Floor.

This panel discussion was apart of the related programming for the exhibition Fear into Fire: Reclaiming Black Male Identity Through the Art of Tattooing, now on view at The Arcade (618 S. Wabash, 2nd Floor) through March 2.  The exhibition was curated by Nicole Harrison (Columbia College alumna, ’07) and features work by Shasta Bady, Akintola Hanif, Jamel Shabazz, and Jabari Zuberi. Historically, African American men have sought and found interesting ways of communicating ideas about self to the complicated and often oppressive world within which they find themselves. This panel discussion with the curator and artists allowed for an interrogation of one of the ways that Black men create their own non-verbal self-disclosures through the tattoos that embellish their bodies. What messages are they sending with this body art? What are the negotiations and motivations that accompany each decision about how their bodies are transformed? The panel was moderated by journalist and Institute Fellow, Natalie Moore, author of the new book, The Almighty Black P Stone Nation and Deconstructing Tyrone: A New Look at Black Masculinity in the Hip-Hop Generation. This program was presented by the Black World Studies and Cultural Studies Programs, Multicultural Affairs, and the Department of Exhibition and Performance Spaces, and co-sponsored by Critical Encounters: Image + Implication and the Institute.

Lecture with Sonia Sanchez
February 9
Stage II, 618 S. Michigan, 2nd Floor

Poet and playwright Sonia Sanchez was deemed “a lion in literature’s forest” by poet Maya Angelou. Sanchez’s writing explores women’s lives, the struggles and triumphs of people of color, and global and humanist themes. The author of fourteen books, including Shake Loose My Skin: New and Selected Poems, Sanchez has received countless awards, including the 2004 Harper Lee Award and the 1999 Langston Hughes Poetry Award. Her book Does Your House Have Lions? was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Sonia Sanchez spoke at Columbia College Chicago as part of the 2011 African Heritage Month celebration, presented by African American Cultural Affairs and co-sponsored by the Institute.

Parneshia, Anita, Audrey and Jane: The Creative Process of Writing
February 6, 2011.
Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue

This evening of inspired exploration into the creative process with Anita Chandwaney (performer and playwright, Gandhi Marg), Jane Hamilton (author, Map of the World), Parneshia Jones (poet and lecturer), and Audrey Niffenegger (Columbia faculty, artist and author, The Time Traveler’s Wife).   Was part of the "Off-Air Event Series" produced by Chicago Public Media (WBEZ-Chicago), this program was presented in collaboration with the Institute, and Ragdale, an historic artist retreat where each of these women had creative residencies. Moderated by Alison Cuddy, host of WBEZ’s Eight Forty-Eight

Conversation with the authors of: Almighty Black P Stone Nation: The Rise, Fall, and Resurgence of an American Gang, Institute Fellow Natalie Y. Moore and Lance Williams
February 7, 2011.
Experimental Station, 6100 S. Blackstone Avenue

The Chicago book launch of The Almighty Black P Stone Nation: The Rise, Fall, and Resurgence of an American Gang, co-authored by Institute Fellow Natalie Y. Moore and Lance Williams. The authors joined in a conversation about the creation of the book moderated by, Salim Muwakkil, Senior Editor, In These Times, host "The Salim Muwakkil Show", WVON Radio.

Were the Stones criminals, brainwashed terrorists, victims of their circumstances, or champions of social change? Or were they all of these, their role perceived differently by different races and socioeconomic groups?

Authors, Institute Fellow Natalie Y. Moore and Lance Williams answer these and other questions in this provocative tale that explores how teens from a poverty-stricken Chicago neighborhood built a powerful organization that united 21 individual gangs into a virtual nation.


Lecture with Frank Mugisha: LGBTQ Activism in Uganda
January 31, 2011.
Ferguson Lecture Hall, 600 S. Michigan Avenue

Frank Mugisha, Chairperson, SMUG (Sexual Minorities Uganda) and Jane M Saks, Executive Director,  Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media presented and discussed Ugandan LGBTQ activisms, global efforts in the area of LGBT human rights, and the innovative coalition, SMUG, a lead lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex human rights organization operating in Uganda. Mr. Mugisha discussed his group and their work in Uganda as well as their efforts to internationally raise awareness of the challenges facing LGBT individuals and human rights advocates in Ugandans and across the African continent.


Sexicon: Language and Identity
January 27, 2011.
Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark Street

For the fifth year, the Institute partnered with Out at CHM, an annual series at Chicago History Museum discovering the history of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in Chicago. In this first installment of 2011, language and identity are explored. The words we use to identify ourselves can be powerful and fun but they can also stereotype or label us. And within the LGBT community, the words are as diverse as the people they represent. Many have strong historic roots, some words have been re-claimed, and new ones are created every day. Ten individuals of diverse backgrounds will take the stage and provide personal insight into the word that defines an aspect of who they are. This lively evening also includes audience participation.

For more information: www.chicagohistory.org.


Laying Down the Bones
January 14, 2011. 
Stage II, 618 S. Michigan Avenue.

"Laying Down the Bones" was a performative art installation in which over 50 handmade bones, accompanied by spoken lyric offerings transported through choreographed movement, were laid to rest in a virtual mass grave.  Co-sponsored by the Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media, and Critical Encounters: Image + Implication at Columbia College Chicago, the performance will be created, produced and recorded by Art and Activism students, led by faculty member Ames Hawkins. This Columbia College performance will benefit "One Million Bones," a nation-wide collaborative art installation designed to recognize the millions of victims and survivors who have been killed or displaced by ongoing genocides. 

For more information on the national One Million Bones initiative, visit:  http://www.onemillionbones.org.


Conversation with Guy Tillim: Avenue Patrice Lumumba
January 12, 2011.
Museum of Contemporary Photography, 600 S. Michigan Avenue

The Institute was proud to co-sponsor this conversation with South African artist Guy Tillim, as part of his exhibition Avenue Patrice Lumumba at the Museum of Contemporary Photography. Originally a photojournalist, Guy Tillim has spent a large part of his career documenting social conflict in Africa for media agencies including Reuters and Agence France-Presse. Yet Tillim seeks not only the action and drama typical of a journalistic approach, but also quieter scenes, allowing his work to straddle the media and fine art worlds. For this program, Guy Tillim will be in conversation with Krista Thompson, PhD (Associate Professor, Department of Art History, Northwestern University) who has taught courses and written extensively about African and Caribbean Art, the arts of the African Diaspora, critical race theory, visual cultures of colonialism and postcolonialism, and global histories of photography.

The exhibition is on view at the MoCP from January 10 - March 5, 2011.