"There goes the neighborhood!"
The Fair Housing Act of 1968
Unfinished Business: 1968-2018 May through September
This five month series of shows and discussions explores the many ways the struggles of fifty years ago are the same struggles today in Chicago. "This is our basic conclusion: Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white--separate and unequal. It is time to make good the promises of American democracy to all citizens." -The 1968 Kerner Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders
The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Kerner Commission Report is a reminder of how America has in many ways fallen further behind in the struggle for equality and justice for all.
Opening: FRIDAY JULY 13 6pm-10pm
"There goes the neighborhood!" The Fair Housing Act of 1968 - Segregation, Affordability and Gentrification of Chicago in 2018
URI-EICHEN Gallery 2101 S Halsted Chicago IL 60608info@URI-EICHEN.com
Activist-artist Tonika Lewis Johnson’svisually stunning photographs document daily life in Englewood. Johnson tenderly challenges the sensationalized, damage centered narrative of the Chicago South Side neighborhood in which she was raised. Her images celebrate the resilience of urban Black culture in Englewood by portraying levity, triumph, joy and normalcy.
Activist –artist Larry Redmond'sphotographsDocument the tear down of the Ida B. Wells housing project. Redmond used photos taken of the site in the 40s by Jack Delano, and juxtaposed them with his photos of the buildings.Good jobs leaving the city resulted in these neighborhoods running down.
Artists John Pitman Weber and Sonja Henderson:photos and prep sketches of the Martin Luther King Jr.memorial to Chicago's 1960s Fair Housing Movement,the 1966 marches in Marquette Parkin cooperation with IMAN and CPAG.
Bernard Kleina Photos from the 1966 housing march.
John Pitman Weber’s painting“For Sale” on gentrification of east Humbodlt Park.
The Marches in 1966 and the Monument in 2016:
In 1966 MLK and the Chicago Freedom Movement led marches all summer into all white areas in an effort to break up the pattern of solid housing segregation in Chicago. The housing segregation was supported by neighborhood "covenants" and enforced by real estate agents.
In Marquette Park they were met by a mob of angry whites, mainly young men, including overt neo-Nazis. The marchers, a racially mixed group of several hundred were showered with stones, bottles and bricks despite police presence. King was knocked down by a stone. The march was stopped at 67th and Kedzie, at the entrance to Marquette Park. The incident was documented and given national coverage.
The Monument:IMAN (Inner City Muslim Action Network), a community organization that also has a free clinic, housing rehab program and after school tutoring, initiated the effort to commemorate the 1966 Open Housing March and honor the neighborhood's evolution. Jon Pounds, longtime executive director of the Chicago Public Art Group, CPAG, met with IMANdirector Rami Nashashibi and they decided on carved brick as the medium for the monument to be in harmony with the mostly brick neighborhood. John Pitman Weber and Sonja Henderson became the lead artists who conceived the design together with architect Garth Wemmer. After a 1/3 size model was approved by the Park District board, the actual monument was created in one year and dedicated July, 2016. The monument is three vertical slabs covered by carved brick and stand on the south west corner of 67th and Kedzie, at the entrance to Marquette Park itself. A curved bench is decorated with colorful plaques made by hundreds of neighborhood residents and the portraits of eight grassroots neighborhood leaders. Special thanks to CPAG and Steve Weaver and IMAN and Rami Nashashibi
Screening: Video of US President Lyndon B. Johnson announcing of the signing the Civil Rights Act of 1968.The act prohibited discrimination concerning the sale, rental, and financing of housing based on race, religion, national origin, sex and family status.
Title VIII of the Act is also known as the Fair Housing Act
Program at 7pm: A group of CHA public housing tenants and organizers of CHI, the Chicago Housing Initiative, willdiscuss continued de facto segregation in Chicago neighborhoods and the failure of the city to provide enough adequate subsidized rental apartments for poorand low-income families.A tenant member of the activist Lathrop Leadership Team of the Julia C. Lathrop Homes, a Chicago public housing project built in 1938 and currently being redeveloped as market-price and mixed income rental apartments, displacing over 500 CHA residents, will speak about the"Keeping the Promise" Ordinance proposal now being considered by the Chicago City Council and the implications of the growing trend to gentrify public housing sites. The discussion will be moderated by filmmaker Peter Kuttner, whose documentary film about Chicago teenagers in public housing, focusing on Lathrop Homes, is in early stages of production at the Community Television Network - CTVN -a youth media access organization in Humboldt Park. Q&A will follow.
Open by appointment outside of receptions until July 6. Call (312) 852-7717 for an appointment.
August 10th: Vote With Your Feet! Failures of Electoral Politics
September 14th: Walkout! 1968 and 2018 School Walkouts
October:Fundraiser and art auction for URI-EICHEN Gallery!
November: Revolution in Higher Ed
December: Human Rights Day Show: Pre-Existing with Artists for Action
Second Fridays of the Month
6PM - 10PM
Richard Berg is the Past President of Teamsters Local 743 where he was an activist in the Teamster reform movement for more than 20 years before being elected president. He was a member and union steward for the Teamsters while working in the Department of Environmental Services at the University of Chicago Medical Center. He has also worked as an Organizer for AFSCME, as a Business Agent for the Teamsters, as a Union Representative for SEIU Local 73 and a Staff Representative for AFSCME Council 31. He was also previously the Treasurer of the Chicago Area Labor Support Committee, Executive Board Member of the Chicago Chapter of the Labor Committee for Latin American Advancement, International Steering Committee Member of Teamsters for a Democratic Union, 30th Ward Coordinator for Harold Washington for Mayor in 1987, Staff for James Exum for 48th Ward Democratic Committeeman, Steering Committee Member of the Illinois Chapter of the Labor Party, Wisconsin Chair of the Midwest Coalition Against Registration and the Draft, Co-Chair of the Marquette University Coalition for Divestiture and President of the Marquette University Progressive Student Organization . Richard is currently working for the Chicago Teachers Union and serves on the Steering Committee for the Chicago Labor Speakers Club. He also enjoys fine art whenever possible.
Paul Durica is a teacher, writer, and public historian. Since 2008 he has been producing a series of free and interactive public history programs under the name Pocket Guide to Hell. These talks, walks, and reenactments use costumes, props, music, and audience participation to make the past feel present.Paul’s writing on Chicago history and culture has appeared in Poetry, The Chicagoan, Mash Tun, Lumpen, and elsewhere and, with Bill Savage, he is the editor of Chicago By Day and Night: The Pleasure Seeker’s Guide to the Paris of America (Northwestern UP, 2013). He is currently the Director of Programs for Illinois Humanities.
Ruth Needleman, professor emerita in Labor Studies at Indiana University, has taught labor and Latin American studies since the late sixties. After 4 years in Latin American Literature & Studies at the University of California at Santa Cruz, she worked for the United Farm Workers under Cesar Chavez.
Ruth has been awarded honors for excellence in teaching, research and service, for her work, including a book, Black Freedom Fighters in Steel: the struggle for union democracy, and many articles on black history, race, class and gender, leadership development and on movements in Latin America. She contributed to a book on the right-wing in Chile, published by Quimantu, Allende’s publishing house, prior to the fascist coup. She has traveled extensively, presented in Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Nigeria, Yugoslavia, Japan, Colombia and more.
She pioneered courses in Labor & the Arts at IU, and established a 15-year college-degree program called Swingshift College, enabling steelworkers to complete college degrees in a customized worker program based on transformational pedagogy. Currently she is writing about this program and the role and character of “pedagogy for liberation” for the 21st century. She is also teaching a course on global social movements at the School of the Arts Institute.
John Pitman Weber is active in community based public art, having co-founded the Chicago Public Art Group almost 45 years ago. His public works in mosaic, paint, cement, and brick are currently found in Chicago, New York City, Minneapolis, Vitoria-Gasteiz, (Spain), Spencer, IA and libraries of Broward Cty, FL. He is also active in the studio with painting and woodcuts. One of his large woodcuts is currently included in the Gulf Labor Coalition’s presence at the Venice Biennale. He is emeritus, retired from Elmhurst College. His home-studio is in Pilsen.
Larry Redmond: I've always had an interest in art. As a child, I used to draw comic book characters. When I entered college, I had hoped to major in art. However, at the time UIC didn't have an art department.
Now, I express myself visually through photography. I love photographing life in the street, especially marches and demonstrations. But my interest is expanding to fine art photography. I hope to do portraits and still lifes within the next year or so.
I graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where I majored in Philosophy and minored in English. I later attended the John Marshall Law School, earning a Juris Doctor degree. I studied art and photography at Chicago State University where I developed my passion for Documentary Photography and Photojournalism.
I have recently become a member of the Chicago Alliance of African-American Photographers because I appreciated the organization's dedication of professionalism and excellence in the practice of the art of photography. I am also a member of the Washington Park Camera Club. I currently live in Chicago with my wife and family.
Kathy Steichen co-founded Uri-Eichen Gallery with her husband, Christopher Urias, in 2011. She has led the programming development and coordination of hundreds of visual art and community events at the gallery in the last seven years. She built an organization that brings thousands of people into the space to enjoy art, music and participate in discussions on social justice themes. She has been involved in racial justice, anti-war and human rights issues for over 25 years. She is an alumna of several social justice and arts programs at Las Palomas de Taos, housed in the Mable Dodge Luhan House in Taos, New Mexico. She founded Amnesty International chapters at the University of Iowa, Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She worked as the Student Program Coordinator of Amnesty International in the Mid-west Region. She worked for Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky’s first primary run as the field coordinator of the 48th Ward in Chicago in the first Campaign School. She is a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has a M.S. in Union Leadership and Administration from UMASS Amherst. She has worked in the labor movement for twenty years as an organizer and union staff representative where she represents private and public sector local unions. She has been a practicing print-maker for over 25 years focused on work related to social justice theme
Christopher Urias co-founded Uri-Eichen Gallery. He is a Pilsen, Chicago native who graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.