SAIC Honors | Black Heritage Month
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago joins the country to honor the history, achievements, and legacies of Black and African Americans for Black History Month. SAIC recognizes this annual period as Black Heritage Month, as it is dedicated to understanding Black humanity and legacy in the past, present, and future.
The 2023 Theme is Black Excellence, Black Wellness
What is Black Excellence? Defined in many ways, the Black Excellence Network defines Black Excellence as 'the prosperity and positive accomplishments of people within the Black Community." There is a need for celebrating Black Excellence, for recognizing the often downplayed accomplishments of those identifying as Black or African American, and for bringing visibility to the many ways Black and African Americans improve our societies.
Black excellence is not only reserved for the paragons of our national history, but Black excellence is also living authentically in a world that is designed to suppress Black advancement. As we honor Black heritage in this and all future months, let’s transform how we define Black excellence. Let’s recognize that there is excellence in both the world-changing accomplishments of Black and African Americans as well as the everyday actions. Black living and thriving in this world is the definition of excellence.
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Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise
The Cultural Oasis: A Space by and for students of color, Sullivan 1425
Monday, January 30, 4:00 p.m.–5:30 p.m. - Part 3: Keep Your Head Up
Monday, February 6, 4:00 p.m.–5:30 p.m. - Part 4: Touch the Sky
Organized by Multicultural Affairs, this program features a four-part documentary series narrating the last five decades of African American history. The documentary follows historian Henry Louis Gates, Jr. as he reflects on the state of Black America—and the US as a whole. Over the course of Gates’ journey, he is joined by leading scholars, celebrities, and other prominent figures of today’s culture. Each week we will feature an episode of this series followed by a reflection discussion and exercise. All events can be accessed virtually here OR in-person at the Cultural Oasis (Sullivan 1425). This event will be captioned. Persons with disabilities requesting accommodations should visit saic.edu/access.
Click here for more information about the documentary. More information can be found here on Engage.
Black Heritage Month Call for Entries
The Heritage Awareness Programs and Initiatives (HAPI) Committee, in collaboration with INCUBATOR, is welcoming students to submit work for an exhibition in honor of Black Heritage Month. Submissions are open to all Black-identifying SAIC students. This student-curated exhibition will showcase art that uplifts the Black joy, culture, artistry, resistance, healing, leadership, and brilliance that shape our communities.
Programs and initiatives organized year-long by the HAPI Committee elevate the brilliance of Black and African American people who are at the heart of our national narrative. In commemorating Black Heritage Month, we are bringing visibility to the narratives, experiences, and legacies of Black and African Americans.
Deadline to apply: February 6
Installation Dates: February 13–18
Exhibition Dates: February 20–March 3
To apply via Slideroom, click here.
Let's Build the World: Black Design As Collaborative Practice
Curated by Schetauna Powell, lead designer Artivism Community Art, LLC
John M. Flaxman Library, 6th Floor Exhibition Cases
37 S. Wabash Ave., second floor
February 14–March 18
When desegregation began, design focused education that was available for white students through the use of toys was simply not offered to Black students whose experience in the American educational system has been defined by divestment and segregation. This exhibit reconsiders the place Blackness occupies in the context of educational toys - instead of locating Blackness within systemic problems, it considers Black design as the progenitor of a complex system of thought. This exhibit suggests that studying the building blocks of Black culture can reposition Black production of knowledge as a collaborative practice that invites us to live in tandem with other ways of being and call into question, struggle against, critique, and undo prevailing racist scripts
John M. Flaxman Library
The John M. Flaxman Library welcomes you to explore the updated Black Heritage Month Virtual Pop-Up Library, featuring electronic resources that can be accessed from anywhere and a list of books you can borrow from the library. Additionally, SAIC community members can stop by the library to explore the Black Heritage Month Book Display throughout the month of February.
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