Signs of Creative Resistance | Newberry

Signs of Creative Resistance

Imagining Black Possibility in Chicago’s Fifth City Movement
Tuesday, April 13, 2021

5 to 6 pm CT

Meida Teresa McNeal
Open to the Public

This program will be held virtually on Zoom. Please register for free in advance here.

NOTE: You can also watch a live stream of the program on the Newberry Facebook page or YouTube channel.

In this talk, artist and scholar Meida Teresa McNeal explores the creative practices–from murals and sculpture to music and movement–that provided a means of expressing Black empowerment from Chicago’s Black Renaissance of the early 20th century to its Fifth City Movement of the 1960s-1990s.

Emerging on Chicago’s West Side during the 1960s, the Fifth City movement was built around the core values of imagination, self-actualization, consensus-building, and collective action. These values were embodied by Fifth City artists in a range of works, from murals on the sides of rehabbed multi-unit apartments, to preschool songs that framed Black subjectivity as endless potential, to an Iron Man sculpture erected at 5th St & Homan Ave on the West Side. Like much of the art of Chicago’s earlier Black Renaissance–defined by artists like Richard Wright, Gwendolyn Brooks, Louis Armstrong, and Katherine Dunham–these Fifth City works served as ever-present, visible signs encouraging the Black community to envision itself–and its possibilities–anew.

About the speaker:

Meida Teresa McNeal is Artistic/Managing Director of Honey Pot Performance. An independent artist and scholar working at the intersection of performance studies, dance, and critical ethnography, Meida is a part-time faculty member at Columbia College Chicago and the University of Chicago. She also serves as Arts & Culture Manager for the Chicago Park District on a team supporting community arts partnerships, youth arts, cultural stewardship, and civic engagement initiatives across the city’s parks and cultural centers. Her awards include the 3Arts Award in Dance and a Links Hall Co-MISSIONS Fellowship, and she has served as a Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist. She received her PhD in Performance Studies from Northwestern University and her MFA in Choreography & Dance History from the Ohio State University.

Explore the Newberry’s Midwest Dance Collection.

This program is generously sponsored by the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation.

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Cost and Registration Information 

This virtual program is free and open to all. Reserve your free tickets now.