Free and open to the public

Closed for reinstallation

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Making a Place of Purpose, a Collection of Small Actions

This daylong event considers how sites of culture can function as spaces of belonging.

Organized by the Smart’s 2016/17 Interpreters in Residence, The Belonging Collective, and inspired by Conversations with the Collection: Belonging, the day will feature a variety of small, intimate actions and activities including shared meals, artist talks and workshops, gallery tours, performances, shared reflections, and more.

FREE, open to all. Lunch will be served at 12 pm and dinner at 6 pm. Programs and making stations are open to all, but space may be limited. Drop by or join in on Facebook »

The Belonging Collective

Arts + Public Life Teen Arts Council • Sojourner Scholars • Red Line Service • Stockyard Institute

Other partners and presenters

American Theater Company • Quenna Lené Barrett • William Estrada • Ashley Finigan • Faheem Majeed and The Floating Museum • For the People Artists Collective • Free Street Theater • Sonia Gomez and the Race and Pedagogy Working Group • Grandma’s Kitchen • Mark Hereld • Lauren Meranda • The National Public Housing Museum • Dan Peterman • Audrey Petty • Sirat Chicago • Marya Spont-Lemus

Actions, ACTIVITIES, and meals

Noon–1pm, Welcoming Remarks at 12:15pm
Welcome Picnic

The Project(s) 
Presented by the National Public Housing Museum and American Theater Company 

Cooking with Red Line Service

Sojourner Scholars DJ Station

Printing and Zine Making
With Chicago artists William Estrada and Lauren Meranda, organized by Stockyard Institute and presented in partnership with PUBLIC SCHOOL at the Hyde Park Art Center

Grandma’s Kitchen Listening Station 

Radical coloring books with For the People Artists Collective 

Conversation: The Floating Museum 

Re-writing the Declaration with Quenna Lené Barrett 

Los Milagros (The Miracles) with Free Street Theater

In Conversation: Dan Peterman and Mark Hereld

Virtual Tour with Sirat Chicago

In Conversation: Some Said You Were the Spitting Image of Evil + Poetry
With Audrey Petty

Interpreting Experience
Led by Marya Spont-Lemus

Qualities of Belonging: A Workshop Exploring the Paradox of Inclusion/Exclusion
With Sonia Gomez and the Race and Pedagogy Working Group 

6pm, Closing Remarks at 6:15pm
Dinner with Red Line Service

How do we find our purpose in responding to the urgency of now? How can we call upon and interrogate the creative and intellectual histories of our pasts to understand the nuances of our present? How can art kindle self-reflection and provide a lens through which we can interpret our own experiences, helping us find peace and direction?

For this event, The Belonging Collective will mine the Smart’s collections to connect us to a longer arc of human experience. Together we will build language to name our hopes, fears, exaltations, and the forms of inquiry through which we understand our world. Led by artists, cultural workers, academics, and students the day will feature a variety of small, intimate actions.

Together, we will enact belonging across the Museum and outside its walls. We will question how our engagement with art can help bring clarity and direction for how we address the pressing social issues of our time and how we lead our own lives. We will explore how the accumulation of small, focused actions and shared experiences can yield powerful change when intentionally connected. And we will share strategies and ideas for how to do this work across our different practices and spaces. 

This event is presented as part of the AAMD’s Art Museum Day, a celebration of the vital role art museums play as cultural, educational, and economic anchors, helping make their communities great places to live and work.

It also is presented as part of Chicago Community Trust’s On the Table, an annual forum designed to elevate civic conversation, foster new relationships, and inspire collaborative action across the region.

Image: Members of Arts + Public Life’s Teen Arts Council constructing a Floating Museum sticks and tape installation as part of the Smart Museum’s summer project In Anticipation of Belonging.