Upcoming Events
Event name

Toward an Anti-Racist Art Ecosystem Conference Series

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s (SAIC) Toward an Anti-Racist Art Ecosystem Conference Series will convene three dialogues on anti-racism featuring art and design industry leaders from various backgrounds, including art and design education, museum practices, galleries, auction houses, practicing artists, and more. The first of the three events will take place virtually in the spring of 2021 and will focus on Chicago’s art ecosystem. In fall 2021, the series’ scope will broaden to include nationally-based leaders in the arts, and in spring 2022, internationally-based leaders.

The Toward an Anti-Racist Art Ecosystem Conference Series is generously supported by Hindman Auctions. It is free and open to the public. 

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Past Events

Struggle for Justice: 1619 Project and the Changing Narrative on Mass Incarceration

The Pulitzer Center, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), and Illinois Humanities for hosted an evening focused on the struggle for justice, from the first arrival of enslaved people sold to colonists in 1619 to the mass incarceration of Black and Brown people.

The evening program begins with a keynote address by award-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, lead writer on the New York Times’ 1619 Project issue. An expert panel of criminal justice advocates, journalists, and educators will then discuss the changing narrative on mass incarceration. Following the panel discussion, Hannah-Jones will join in a Q&A with panelists.

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More Speech Panel Discussion

For more than 200 years, the First Amendment has impacted art and civic life through freedom of expression. Political cartoons, controversial speech, the culture wars, and images posted on social media platforms are just some of the kinds of expression that have challenged—or been challenged by—First Amendment freedoms. But what speech gets protected in the United States, and who gets to speak? Why do we restrict speech in some places more than others? What challenges do libraries face in being the custodians for a variety of speech acts? How does art shape our First Amendment freedoms?

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Redesigning the System

How artist, policymakers, and practitioners are shaping criminal justice reform. The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and Illinois Humanities will present a panel discussion exploring the role of art and design in humanizing mass incarceration, strategies for reducing the number of Americans caught up in the criminal justice system, and the possibilities and restrictions of reform.

April 4, 6:00–7:30 p.m

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Down With Monuments? On the Making and Unmaking of Public Memory‌

Relevant historical objects or relics of the past? Recent confrontations over memorials have highlighted the true nature of monuments as acts of power. Proposals to take down, modify, or replace these statues confirm that monuments are as much about the present as they are about the past. But what is the best way to address these historical objects?

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Apichatpong-Ghost Teen

Apichatpong Weerasethakul‌

Apichatpong Weerasethakul (MFA 1998, HON 2011) is recognized as one of the most original voices in contemporary cinema. Lyrical and often fascinatingly mysterious, his nonlinear films deal with memory and in subtle ways invoke personal politics and complex social issues. Working independently of Thailand’s commercial film industry, he devotes himself to promoting experimental and independent filmmaking. Presented in partnership with SAIC’s Office of Alumni Relations
His survey exhibition Apichatpong Weerasethakul: The Serenity of Madnesscurated by Gridthiya Gaweewong (MA 1996) will be on view in SAIC’s Sullivan Galleries September 16–December 8.

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United States America: Three Problematic Concepts, "Workshops" for Informed Participation

SAIC hosted a three-day symposium from March 31 to April 2, 2017, United States America: Three Problematic Concepts, “Wokeshops” for Informed Participation. The event brought together experts in politics, economics, law, and journalism for a series of conversations exploring the ways the new political climate impacts both industries and individuals. Author of From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation, Keeanga Yamahtta-Taylor delivered the keynote lecture to kick off the weekend-long series of events. The diverse group of panelists discussed the economy, news and information literacy, politics and the law, and issues surrounding race, gender, and religion.

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Claudia Rankine: President’s Inaugural Distinguished Lecturer

In September 2016, the President’s Inaugural Distinguished Lecturer, poet, and MacArthur “genius” grant recipient Claudia Rankine spoke to the SAIC community about her award-winning collection of poetry, Citizen: An American Lyric, and the issues it addresses surrounding race and identity in our society.

In addition to Rankine's visit, SAIC’s Diversity and Inclusion team presented Citizenship and Microaggressions, a discussion on microaggressions as they occur in Citizen and in everyday life. SAIC’s Writing department also invited back alum Idris Goodwin (MFA 2014) for Poetic Politics: Genre as Resistance in Citizen, which placed Rankine’s work in the tradition of radical form and content, and the staging of poetry as political dissent.

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A Lived Practice

In fall 2014, SAIC mounted a three-part program comprised of a major exhibition, series of five publications, and conference led by Executive Director of Exhibitions and Exhibition Studies and Professor Mary Jane Jacob. Collectively called A Lived Practice, it asked, “Can a life practice be an art practice, and can an art practice be a life practice?”

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