Aymar Jean Christian is an assistant professor of communication studies at Northwestern University and a Fellow at the Peabody Media Center. Dr. Christian’s first book, Open TV: Innovation Beyond Hollywood and the Rise of Web Television by New York University Press, argues the web brought innovation to television by opening development to independent producers. His work has been published in numerous academic journals, including The International Journal of Communication, Cinema Journal, Continuum, and Transformative Works and Cultures. He leads Open TV (beta), a research project and platform for television by queer, trans and cis-women and artists of color. Open TV (beta) programming partners have included the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago, Block Museum of Art, and City of Chicago, along with numerous galleries, community organizations, and universities. He has juried television and video for the Peabody Awards, Gotham Awards, Streamy Awards, and Tribeca Film Festival, among others. His blog, Televisual, is an archive of over 500 posts chronicling the rise of the web TV market, and he has written regular reports on TV and new media for Indiewire, The Wall Street Journal, Slate and Tubefilter. He received a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania.
Felicia Mings is the Academic Curator in the Department of Academic Engagement and Research at the Art Institute of Chicago, where she leads the Andrew W. Mellon Summer Academy and Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program, and assists with the Chicago Object Study Initiative (COSI). Mings’ scholarship and practice is focused on the intersections between curatorship, community-based arts education and contemporary art of the African diaspora. She has created educational programs and exhibitions such as Body and Soul at the Gene Siskel Film Center (2015), What We All Long For at SAIC’s Student Union Galleries (2014), Fine Color a series of short films for the Chicago Home Theater Festival (2014) and the Youth Film Club at Theaster Gates’ Black Cinema House (2013). Mings has also been a part of the inaugural teams at Nia Center for the Arts and the Council of Educators of Toronto, two not-for-profit organizations that work to enhance educational attainment, access to the arts and socio-economic opportunities for youth. Mings received her MA in Visual and Critical Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2014 and her Honors BA in Art and Art History from the University of Toronto and Sheridan College in 2008.
Since 1972, the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago has presented cutting edge cinema to an annual audience of 80,000. The Film Center’s programming includes annual film festivals that celebrate diverse voices and international cultures, premieres of trailblazing work by today’s independent filmmakers, restorations and revivals of essential films from cinema history, and insightful provocative discussions with filmmakers and media artists. Altogether, the Film Center hosts over 1,600 screenings and 200 filmmaker appearances every year. The Film Center was renamed the Gene Siskel Film Center in 2000 after the late, nationally celebrated film critic, Gene Siskel. Visit www.siskelfilmcenter.org to learn more and find out what’s playing today.
For more than 150 years, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has been a leader in educating the world’s most influential artists, designers and scholars. Located in downtown Chicago with a fine arts graduate program consistently ranking among the top programs in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, SAIC provides an interdisciplinary approach to art and design as well as world-class resources, including the Art Institute of Chicago museum, on-campus galleries and state-of-the-art facilities. SAIC’s undergraduate, graduate and post-baccalaureate students have the freedom to take risks and create the bold ideas that transform Chicago and the world—as seen through notable alumni and faculty such as Michelle Grabner, David Sedaris, Elizabeth Murray, Richard Hunt, Georgia O’Keeffe, Cynthia Rowley, Nick Cave, Jeff Koons and LeRoy Neiman. www.saic.edu