Gamechangers & Name Changers

Monday, January 18, 12-4 P.M.

CHICAGO (January 7, 2021)— Hyde Park Art Center, the renowned non-profit hub for contemporary art located on Chicago’s vibrant South Side, proudly presents Gamechangers & Name Changers: A Virtual MLK Day Celebration, a virtual public program, Monday, January 18, 12-4 p.m. Through film screenings, conversations, and presentations about movements close to home in Chicago, the program celebrates local artists, activists and makers who embody the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., and the spirit of justice and visibility. The event is free and open to the public via Zoom Meeting ID 843 3930 5758 or Zoom Link: us02web.zoom.us/j/84339305758; no pre-registration required. For more information, visit www.hydeparkart.org.


Curated by Ciera McKissick, Art Center Public Programs Coordinator, Gamechangers & Name Changers: A Virtual MLK Day Celebration programming includes:

Paige Taul Shorts Screening & Artist Q&A

12-1 p.m.

A screening of short films by artist Paige Taul, followed by a Q&A. Taul’s work engages with and challenges assumptions of Black cultural expression and notions of belonging through experimental cinematography. Her work tests the boundaries of identity through autoethnography to approach notions of racial authenticity in veins such as religion, style, language, and other Black community-based experiences. Taul is an MFA graduate from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and will be participating in the Art Center’s upcoming Ground Floor exhibition, an ongoing biennial featuring select work by outstanding recent graduates from each of Chicago’s MFA programs.

“Change the Name” Presentation with Village Leadership Academy Youth 

1:30-2 p.m.

Last summer, young Black freedom fighters of the “Change the Name” campaign achieved victory after a 3+-year fight to push city officials to rename Douglas Park after abolitionists Anna and Frederick Douglass. Hear from three 8th grade youth organizers from Village Leadership Academy as they share the campaign’s origin, some of their grassroots organizing strategies, and the importance of ensuring that Anna Douglass was included in the renaming campaign.

The Mural Renaissance in Chicago 

2-3 p.m.

From the 1967 mural The Wall of Respect to the recent BLM murals and boards, artists have always been at the helm of provoking change through painting. This program brings together Black muralists past and present who discuss the parallels between murals and movements in Chicago, featuring artists Dorian Sylvain, Eugene Wade, and Langston Allston in conversation with Juarez Hawkins, the daughter of Florence Hawkins, one of the painters of Wall of Respect.

Black Lives Past & Present: Where Do We Intersect? 

3-4 p.m.

A dialogue with intergenerational activists about Civil Rights, organizing, and the parallels between movements of the past and the current day. Journalist Brenda Butler, formerly at Chicago Tribune, will moderate the talk between Rev. Janette Wilson (National Director of PUSH Excel at Operation PUSH), Bamani Obadele (Director of Community Engagement at Acclivus Inc.), Trina Reynolds-Taylor (Director of Data at the Invisible Institute), and Jae Rice (Director of Communications at Brave Space Alliance).

About the Hyde Park Art Center

Hyde Park Art Center, at 5020 South Cornell Avenue on Chicago’s vibrant South Side, is a hub for contemporary arts in Chicago, serving as a gathering and production space for artists and the broader community to cultivate ideas, impact social change, and connect with new networks. Since its inception in 1939, Hyde Park Art Center has grown from a small collective of quirky artists to establishing a strong legacy of innovative development and emerging as a unique Chicago arts institution with social impact. The Art Center functions as an amplifier for today and tomorrow’s creative voices, providing the space to cultivate and create new work and connections. 


For more information, please visit www.hydeparkart.org.


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Photo credits:

Paige Taul. Photo courtesy of the artist.

“Change the Name” Campaign Village Leadership Academy Youth. Photo courtesy of Bianca Jones.

Wall of Respect, mural by various artists of the Organization of Black American Culture led by William Walker. Photograph by Robert A. Sengstacke.

Jae Rice, Trans Lives Matter BLM March from summer 2020. Photo courtesy of Jae Rice.

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