Contemporary Chicago Avant-Gardes | Newberry

Contemporary Chicago Avant-Gardes

Led by Toby Altman
Saturday, October 30, 2021
One session, Saturday October 30



For the Fall 2021 term, we’re offering a mix of virtual and in-person classes. Although we are still primarily virtual, you will find a smaller selection of in-person seminars in the schedule. For more information about the Newberry’s virtual seminars, including a Zoom tutorial, please see our Virtual Seminars FAQ page. Registration opens on September 1st at 9am (Central time). Registration will take place through our online platform, Learning Stream.

Seminar Description

This one-day course will supplement the Newberry’s new exhibition, Chicago Avant-Garde: Five Women Ahead of their Time, by looking at a selection of key figures of Chicago’s avant-garde today. We’ll examine artist books by the textile artist Dianna Frid, visual poetry by Alyssa Moore, and musical scores by Matana Roberts. As we think through the contributions of these contemporary figures, we’ll ask: how do they build on the work of figures like Gwendolyn Brooks, Katherine Dunham, Katharine Kuh, and others featured in the exhibition? And how have they continued to expand the parameters of Chicago avant-garde?

One sessions. Registration – $50

Toby Altman is the author of two books, Discipline Park and Arcadia, Indiana. He holds a PhD in English from Northwestern University and an MFA in poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He currently holds a 2021-22 Fellowship in Poetry from the NEA

Materials List


Cost and Registration Information 

Registration Information

Registration opens at 9 am (CST) on Wednesday, September 1st . Newberry Associates members at the Literati level and above will have access to early registration beginning August 25th at 10am. Learn more about membership benefits and becoming a Newberry Associate.

Please note: The Newberry is moving to a new registration system called Learning Stream. This will simplify the registration process for participants, instructors, and staff. For more information about registration, including a guide to online registration, see our Registration Information page. Questions? Please contact seminars program staff via email at

We offer a 10% discount to members, seniors, and students.

This seminar is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program. Learn more about registering for a seminar, program policies, or teaching a seminar.