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Black FolkUs, Revisited

October 27, 2018
11:00 AM - 4:00 PM


While this event has limited capacity and is an invitation-only event for Black cultural workers in Chicago, we welcome anyone who feels this conversation is directly relevant to their work, practice, and experience.

Black FolkUs, Revisited is modeled on an annual symposium and festival held between 1968 and 1981 that addressed how to “build and maintain strong Black institutions.”

This day-long event is presented as part of the Revisited/Reflected series and will mix discussions and performance, focusing on Chicago cultural institutions across artistic disciplines and of varying size, organizational age, and operational capacity.

FREE. Invitation-only. Please contact Tempestt Hazel for more information

This program is organized by Tempestt Hazel, an independent curator, writer, artists’ advocate, and founder and director of Sixty Inches From Center. The Revisited/Reflected series also includes International Black Writers Conference, Revisited (November 10) and is presented in conjunction with the Smart Museum of Art's exhibition The Time Is Now! Art Worlds of Chicago's South Side, 1960–1980 and Art Design Chicago, a citywide exploration of Chicago’s art and design legacy.

Support for this program is made possible in part by Terra Foundation for American Art and The Richard Driehaus Foundation. Additional significant support has been provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Illinois Arts Council Agency, and Illinois Humanities (which is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities [NEH] and the Illinois General Assembly [through the Illinois Arts Council Agency] as well as by contributions from individuals, foundations and corporations).

Art Design Chicago

National Endowment for the Arts, Illinois Arts Council, Illinois Humanities


Presented annually between 1968 and 1981 by The Catalyst collective of cultural organizers for the African diaspora, Black FolkUs was an annual symposium and festival that focused on how to “build and maintain strong Black institutions.” While the original conference had a wide scope, this revisiting will focus on Chicago’s cultural institutions across artistic discipline, size, organizational age, and operational capacity.

In the true spirit of the original festival, this day-long revival of the symposium will be a mix of discussion and performance, providing a platform to showcase the groundbreaking artistic production that the South Side is known for while also reserving space to ask the hard questions of what are the biggest roadblocks that keep Black cultural institutions from thriving and what are some strategies for breaking down these roadblocks.

Black FolkUs, Revisited features a keynote from original co-founder of The Catalyst, Dr. Carol Adams. Other participants include Adyodele Drum and Dance, Coco Elysses, Tempestt Hazel, Emily Lansana, Useni Eugene Perkins, Lauren Williams, and avery r young.

Image Credit: Illustration by Kari Sylvain-Blackburn, inspired by the 1975 Black FolkUs design by Emmett McBain.