This summer, the High Museum of Art will premiere “Picture the Dream: The Story of the Civil Rights Movement Through Children’s Books” (June 20–Sept. 20, 2020), an exhibition organized in collaboration with The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.
The exhibition is the first of its kind to delve into the events, people and themes of the civil rights movement, both celebrated and forgotten, through one of the most compelling forms of visual expression, the children’s picture book. The more than 80 artworks on view, ranging from paintings and prints to collages and drawings, will evoke the power and continuing relevance of the era that shaped American history and continues to reverberate today.
The year 2020 marks the anniversary of several key events from the civil rights movement. Sixty-five years ago, in 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Five years later, Ruby Bridges integrated her New Orleans elementary school, and four black students catalyzed the sit-in movement at the segregated Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina.
These actions and more are explored in the exhibition with titles by beloved children’s book authors and artists as well as talented newcomers. “Picture the Dream” will emphasize children’s roles as activists and tell important stories about the movement’s icons, including Parks, Bridges, Congressman John Lewis, Ambassador Andrew Young and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“One of the guiding aspects of our mission is a commitment to family audiences. Through our children’s book exhibitions, we aim to help adult visitors open meaningful dialogues with the children in their lives and create memories that will last a lifetime,” said Rand Suffolk, Nancy and Holcombe T. Green, Jr., director of the High. “This exhibition will spark important conversations across generations about a crucial period in our nation’s history that connects directly to our city, a birthplace of the civil rights movement.”
The exhibition will be organized into three thematic sections that explore the forces that sparked the civil rights movement, its key players and events, and stories about the reemergence of activism in contemporary America. From Brown v. Board of Education and the Montgomery Bus Boycott to the March on Washington and Black Lives Matter, the picture books’ topics bridge the past and present, emphasizing how historical moments and leaders continue to inspire the struggle for equal rights.
INDIgenesis: GEN 3, A Showcase of Indigenous Filmmakers and Storytellers, March 19–28
Presented over two weeks, the series INDIgenesis: GEN 3, guest curated by Missy Whiteman (Northern Arapaho and Kickapoo Nations), opens with an evening of expanded cinema and includes several shorts programs in the Walker Cinema and Bentson Mediatheque, an afternoon of virtual reality, and a closing-night feature film.
The ongoing showcase of works by Native filmmakers and artists is rooted in Indigenous principles that consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations. GEN 3 connects perspectives and stories from the past, present, and future to convey Indigenous truths, teachings, and values.
“Indigenous artists use the creative process of filmmaking for revitalization and narrative sovereignty,” says Whiteman. “Our stories tell us where we came from, re-create our truths, affirm our languages and culture, and inspire us to imagine our Indigenous future. We come from the stars. How far will we take this medium?”
Throughout the program, join conversations with artists and community members centered on themes of Indigenous Futurism, revitalization, and artistic creation.
Opening Night: Remembering the Future Expanded Cinema Screening/Performance Thursday, March 19, 7:30 pm Free, Walker Cinema
Combining film, a live score, hoop dancing, hip-hop, and spoken word, a collective of Indigenous artists led by curator Missy Whiteman creates an immersive environment that transcends time and place. Guided by ancestral knowledge systems, traditional stories, and contemporary forms of expression, the expanded cinema program features performances by DJ AO (Hopi/Mdewakatonwan Dakota), Sacramento Knoxx (Ojibwe/Chicano), Lumhe “Micco” Sampson (Mvskoke Creek/Seneca), and Michael Wilson (Ojibwe). Archival found footage and Whiteman’s sci-fi docu-narrative The Coyote Way: Going Back Home(2016), filmed in the community of Little Earth in South Minneapolis, illuminate the space.
Indigenous Lens: Our RealityShort films by multiple directors Friday, March 20, 7 pm, $10 ($8 Walker members, students, and seniors), Walker Cinema
This evening of short films showcases a collection of contemporary stories about what it means to be Indigenous today, portraying identity and adaptability in a colonialist system. The program spans a spectrum of themes, including two-spirit transgender love, coming of age, reflections on friends and fathers, “indigenizing” pop art, and creative investigations into acts of repatriation. Digital video, 85 mins
Copresented with Hud Oberly (Comanche/Osage/Caddo), Indigenous Program at Sundance Institute (in attendance).
Lore Directed by Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk Nation/Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians)
Images of friends and landscapes are fragmented and reassembled as a voice tells stories, composing elements of nostalgia in terms of lore. 2019, 10 min. View excerpt.
Culture Capture: Terminal Adddition Directed by New Red Order: Adam Khalil (Ojibway), Zack Khalil (Ojibway), Jackson Polys (Tlingit), Bayley Sweitzer
The latest video by the public secret society known as the New Red Order is an incendiary indictment of the norms of European settler colonialism. Examining institutionalized racism through a mix of 3D photographic scans and vivid dramatizations, this work questions the contemporary act of disposing historical artifacts as quick fixes, proposing the political potential of adding rather than removing. 2019, 7 min. View excerpt.
Mino Bimaadiziwin Directed by Shane McSauby (Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians)
A trans Anishinaabe man meets a young Anishinaabe woman who pushes him to reconnect with their culture. 2017, 10 min. View excerpt.
The Moon and the Night Directed by Erin Lau (Kanaka Maoli)
Set in rural Hawaii, a Native Hawaiian teenage girl must confront her father after he enters her beloved pet in a dogfight. 2018, 19 min. View excerpt.
Shinaab II Directed by Lyle Michell Corbine, Jr. (Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Chippewa Indians)
A young man seeks to honor the memory of his late father in a film that looks at Ojibwe ideas surrounding death and mourning. 2019, 6 min.
Viva Diva Directed by Daniel Flores (Yaqui)
This road trip movie follows Rozene and Diva as they make their way down to Guadalajara for their gender affirmation surgeries. 2017, 15 min. View excerpt.
Dig It If You Can Directed by Kyle Bell (Creek-Thlopthlocco Tribal Town)
An insightful portrait of the self-taught artist and designer Steven Paul Judd (Kiowa), whose satirical manipulations of pop culture for an Indigenous audience are gaining a passionate, mass following as he realizes his youthful dreams. 2016, 18 min. View excerpt.
Students participating in a national school walkout to protest gun violence marched from the White House to the U.S. Capitol on March 14.
At the program, students will recount their experiences witnessing and reporting on the Feb. 14 shooting that killed 17 of their fellow students and teachers. During the shooting, reporters for the school’s newspaper The Eagle Eyerecognized not only that they were involved in the major story but they also had a responsibility to report on it. The event thrust them into the role of being both crime victims and reporters.
On Saturday, March 24, the students will report from Washington, D.C., on that day’s “March for Our Lives,”an event organized by the survivors of the shooting that calls for increased gun control and school safety measures.Continue reading →
30 Criminal Justice Reform and Arts Initiatives Chosen for First Round of Grants in $100M+ Fund
The Art for Justice Fund, launched earlier this year with a $100 million donation from philanthropist Agnes Gund, today announced the first round of grant recipients in the areas of criminal justice reform and the arts. With awards ranging from $100,000 to $7.5 million, a total of $22 million was awarded to 30 innovative programs that seek to safely reduce prison populations, strengthen education and employment opportunities for formerly incarcerated people, and humanize people affected by the criminal justice system. The full list of grants is below.
The Art for Justice Fundis a five-year initiative created to support innovative advocacy and program interventions aimed at safely reducing prison populations in key states, strengthening education and employment opportunities post-prison, and supporting artistic initiatives that bear witness to and humanize the experiences of those impacted by the system. (For more information, see www.artforjusticefund.org.)
The Art for Justice Fund, created by Ms. Gund in partnership with the Ford Foundation and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, is a five-year initiative that uniquely connects the ingenuity of criminal justice advocates and the creativity of artists to address the crisis of mass incarceration in America.
“My hope is that the work supported by the Art for Justice Fund will help create a groundswell that drives reforms well beyond these specific programs,” said Ms, Gund. “The problem of mass incarceration touches every community across the country, and we need to work together to find creative solutions to build a better, safer future for all our children.“
The Ford Foundation is providing expertise on program design and covering the operating costs of the Art for Justice Fund so that 100 percent of donated dollars go directly to programming and grants. The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For more than 80 years it has worked with courageous people on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.
Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors is providing programmatic support and fiscal sponsorship for the Art for Justice Fund. Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors is a nonprofit with a successful record of managing and advising on complex, multi-million dollar philanthropic projects. With offices in New York, Chicago, London, Los Angeles and San Francisco, RPA partners with individuals, families, and institutions to help make philanthropy more thoughtful and effective.
Key Objectives of the Art for Justice Fund
The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world, with more than 2.2 million people in prisons and detention centers. Low-income people of color are most likely to be arrested and sentenced to prison, and women are the fastest rising sector of the prison population. Mass incarceration deepens poverty by removing wage-earning mothers and fathers from distressed neighborhoods and leads to devastating outcomes for the children left behind.
To reverse this harmful trend, the Art for Justice Fund seeks to achieve five key objectives:
Reform prosecutorial and bail practices that result in unnecessary jail detention, particularly for low-income people;
Reform or repeal excessive prison sentences, and reinvest prison savings into crime prevention and community-based rehabilitation;
Improve pathways to education and employment for people coming home from prison;
Enable artists and writers to bear witness to the injustices of mass incarceration, and humanize those caught in the system; and,
Use the arts to divert young people from prison, and to help people who are incarcerated build creative skills and share their experiences.