Thursday, October 25, 2018

Cultural Center Opening on Sat. Oct. 27 - African American Designers in Chicago: Art, Commerce and the Politics of Race (Chicago, IL.)


WHAT:       Exhibition Opening: African American Designers in Chicago:                        Art, Commerce and the Politics of Race
WHEN:       Saturday, October 27–Sunday, March 3, 2019
                    10 a.m.–7 p.m. Monday–Friday
                    10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday   

WHERE:     Chicago Cultural Center
                    78 E. Washington St.
                    Exhibit Hall, 4th Floor

The new exhibition is presented by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) and will feature work from a wide range of practices including cartooning, sign painting, architectural signage, illustration, graphic design, exhibit design and product design. This exhibition is the first to demonstrate how African American designers remade the image of the black consumer and the work of the black artist in this major hub of American advertising/consumer culture. African American Designers in Chicago: Art, Commerce and the Politics of Race is funded in part by the Terra Foundation for American Art and The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, as part of Art Design Chicago, an exploration of Chicago’s art and design legacy.

All exhibitions at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington Street, are presented by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE). Building hours are Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–7 p.m., Saturday–Sunday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; closed holidays. Admission is FREE. For information, visit, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @ChiCulturCenter.

Upcoming Public Programming Around the Exhibition
Exhibition Opening Symposium: November 23
The Designs of African American Life
Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St.
Marking the opening of African American Designers in Chicago: Art, Commerce, and the Politics of Race, this symposium gathers scholars and design practitioners who address all aspects of design in African American life. While the exhibition celebrates the works of Chicago-based graphic artists in fields ranging from sign-painting to doll-making, the symposium goes beyond Chicago and beyond the graphic arts in order to take stock of current work in the field and to explore new directions for research and practice. As they advance new narratives and methodologies that grasp the history of African American design, speakers illuminate critical problems at the intersection of art, politics, and everyday life. For additional details, visit

Related Exhibitions Presented by Art Design Chicago
For an enhanced design experience, visit the Art Design Chicago shows currently running. For details visit the links below:

RENDEZVOUS IN CHICAGO Premieres at 5th Annual Pop-Up Film Festival at Oakton Community College, November 27-30 (Des Plaines, IL.)

Oakton Community College Announces its
5th Annual Pop-Up Film Festival
Actors Clare Cooney (Steve McQueen’s WIDOWS) Rashaad Hall (BROWN GIRLS), and New York-based actress Helena Howard will be in attendance
November 27th- November 30th
 (October 24, 2018) Oakton Community College announces its fifth annual Pop-Up Film Festival, programmed and hosted by Chicago filmmaker, film critic and professor Michael Glover Smith.
The fall festival includes three independent feature films and three short films screening at the Footlik Theater (1600 E. Golf Road, Des Plaines), with cast members and filmmakers participating in the post-film discussions.
The 5th Annual Pop-Up Film Festival screens new movies to the public and students for free in the afternoon November 27th - November 30th, 2018. The festival is sponsored by the Oakton Community College’s Educational Foundation.
Opening on Tuesday, November 27th at 2:00pm is MADELINE'S MADELINE, a New York-set film starring 20-year-old rising star Helena Howard. The film follows teenager Madeline who participates in an acting workshop where she is asked to mine her tumultuous personal life as raw material for a play.  An official selection of the Sundance and Berlin International Film Festivals, director Josephine Decker's intense psychodrama is an indescribable, innovative masterpiece that has been acclaimed as "one of the freshest and most exciting films of the 21st century" by Indiewire.
Helena Howard will be in attendance, with a Q&A moderated by Oakton’s English professor and writer Tina Fakhrid-Deen.  
The second screening, Wednesday, November 28th at 12:30pm is the experimental documentary, FUTURE LANGUAGE: THE DIMENSIONS OF VON LMO, which chronicles the life of Von LMO, a musician and self-proclaimed alien-hybrid who was part of the late ‘70s New York No Wave music scene. Between trips to his home planet Strazar, Von has spent some very real time in prison and on the streets of Earth. Challenged with translating his Future Language for audiences across the galaxy, Lori, our filmmaker and Von LMO fan, gets sucked into Von's orbit and finds herself lost in his story.
Director Lori Felker is attending, and the Q&A moderator is Oakton’s Art Educator and actress Shannon Sloan-Spice.
On Thursday, November 29th at 2:00pm, Pop-Up Film Festival Host Michael Smith will present the Midwest premiere of his latest feature, RENDEZVOUS IN CHICAGO.
RENDEZVOUS IN CHICAGO is a short, comedic feature film consisting of three vignettes that correspond to the beginning ("The Brothers Karamazov"), middle ("Cats and Dogs") and end ("The End is the Beginning") stages of a relationship.
This love letter to the Windy City and its colorful inhabitants was an official selection of the 2018 Adirondack Film Festival in New York where it won second place in the Audience Choice Awards.

The film will be followed by a Q&A with Smith, producer Layne Marie Williams and the film’s cast members: Clare Cooney (Steve McQueens’ WIDOWS), Rashaad Hall (BROWN GIRLS), Kevin Wehby and David McNulty. The Q&A will be moderated by the Cine-File Chicago/Chicago Reader film critic, Kathleen Sachs.
A LOCAL SHORT FILMS PROGRAM will be the closing-day screening on Friday, November 30th at 12:30pm featuring three experimental short films that span various genres and styles. The films are CREATURE COMPANION (Melika Bass), ATOMS OF ASHES (Maggie Scrantom) and DANCER (Haley McCormick). After the 45-minute program, a Q&A with all three directors will be moderated by Michael Smith.

  Oakton Community College in Des Plaines, 1600 E. Golf Road.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Audience Award Winners Announced for the Chicago International Film Festival!

Thanks For A Great ChiFilmFest!
We're thrilled to announce the winners of this year's Audience Awards!
The Hate U Give
Winner - Audience Award
Best English Language Film

A young woman, who is constantly switching between two worlds and facing pressures from all sides of the community, must find her voice and stand up for what’s right.
Becoming Astrid
Winner - Audience Award
Best Foreign Language Film

This biopic chronicles a character-defining period in the life of Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren, the much-beloved children’s author of Pippi Longstocking.
United Skates
Winner - Audience Award,
Best Documentary

A rousing tribute to roller-skating’s pivotal role in the African-American community, United Skates careens around the country, offering an intimate look at a lively subculture that’s under threat.
Black 14
Winner - Audience Award,
Best Short Film

A reflection on power and control in 1960’s America, Black 14 utilizes stunning archival footage to tell the story of a racial protest at the University of Wyoming.
Shop our online store to get this year's Festival Program Book and Poster, plus mugs, hats, t-shirts, pins, scarves, & more!
Experience The Festival All Year Long!
Members get access to advanced screenings and more!

Membership perks include:
Free Members-only screenings of 10+ highly anticipated films throughout the year
- Members Pre-Sale on Festival tickets before the general public
Discounts on Festival tickets and passes, events and merchandise
- Membership starts at only $55/year

So far in 2018, members have been invited to advance screenings of A Star is Born with director/star Bradley Cooper in attendance, Disobedience with Oscar-winning director Sebastián Lelio in attendance, Boundaries with director Shana Feste and actor Lewis MacDougall in attendance, America to Me with director Steve James in attendance, The Leisure SeekerBook Club, and more.
Sponsorship Opportunities
For year-round sponsorship opportunities including next year's 55th anniversary of the Chicago International Film Festival, visit our website.
About Cinema/Chicago

Cinema/Chicago, the presenting organization of the Chicago International Film Festival, is a year round non-profit arts and education organization dedicated to fostering better communication between people of diverse cultures through the art of film and the moving image. In addition to the Chicago International Film Festival, Cinema/Chicago's programs include: the International Screenings ProgramChicago International Television FestivalCineYouth Festival, and year-round Education Program. Celebrating its 54th edition October 10-21, 2018, the Chicago International Film Festival is North America's longest-running competitive film festival.
54th Festival Sponsors
Proceeds from the Chicago International Film Festival benefit Cinema/ Chicago's year-round programs including the Chicago International Television Festival, CineYouth Film Festival, International Screenings Program, and the Education Program.
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Initiative to Enable Long-Term Economic Development for Smallholder Coffee Farmers
The Hispanic Federation, together with the Miranda Family, today announced the launch of a five-year initiative to revitalize Puerto Rico’s coffee sector. The founding partners include Hispanic Federation, Nespresso, The Rockefeller Foundation, Starbucks, TechnoServe, and World Coffee Research, all of which are committed to supporting smallholder coffee farmers on the island.

The Hispanic Federation has made the first investment of $1 million. Nespresso has also committed $1 million, and The Rockefeller Foundation has given $500k. The Starbucks Foundation has given $470k, and Starbucks also donated 2 million high quality, climate-resilient coffee seeds. TechnoServe, an international non-profit with a long history of work in the coffee sector, will lead implementation of the program with a Puerto Rican-led team.

These investments address the critical needs facing the Puerto Rican coffee industry, which was decimated after hurricanes in 2017 destroyed 80 percent of the coffee trees on the island. This initiative evolved out of a Task Force that was formed after Hurricane Maria, and currently includes Hispanic Federation, Starbucks, World Coffee Research, farmers, academics and other public and private partners, seeking to revitalize Puerto Rico’s coffee sector.

“My family and I love coffee. Coffee has been a part of Puerto Rico’s rich culture and heritage for generations. I’m thrilled that my family, with the Hispanic Federation, have been able to help create such an important initiative that supports small farmers across the Island.” said Lin-Manuel Miranda.

“Since September 2017, the Hispanic Federation, and the Miranda family, have been on the ground in Puerto Rico listening to the needs of communities, raising funds, and bringing together multi-sector organizations committed to a long-term recovery led by Puerto Ricans.” said Hispanic Federation President José Calderón. “In addition to our $1M lead investment in this initiative, the Federation brings 28 years of experience and critical knowledge on non-profit leadership, forging public-private partnerships, and policy advocacy efforts. We will continue to mobilize major investments from well-respected businesses and philanthropic institutions to support local efforts.”

In 2017, the Island’s coffee industry was on track to be worth up to $100 million. With nearly 80 percent of the coffee harvest and trees destroyed by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, the sector faces dire and immediate challenges, as well as opportunities. This initiative aims to increase the long-term resilience and economic performance of the sector by bringing together a holistic support model, led by Puerto Ricans. This model includes: (1) diversifying and improving the quality of coffee seed material on the island, (2) rebuilding capacity in nurseries, (3) bringing training and best-in-field climate-smart agronomic and business practices to small farmers to elevate the production and quality of the sector, and (4) establishing a network and market opportunities for farmers.

“By investing in this long-term initiative, we aim to help Puerto Rico’s farmers rebuild their farms and strengthen their industry,” said Guillaume Le Cunff, President and CEO of Nespresso USA. “Nespresso has spent decades working directly with farmers to revive and build sustainable coffee sectors in regions around the world, and we have seen first-hand the transformative power coffee can have on improving farmer livelihoods, fostering economic development and ultimately rebuilding communities.”

“Although the aftermath of the hurricanes has been devastating for the Puerto Rican coffee industry, it has also provided a unique and time-sensitive opportunity to rebuild it from the ground up in a way that is stronger and better than before,” said Luis Miranda. “In talking with farmers, we determined we could help them rebuild the sector smartly, resiliently, with a focus on the highest possible quality for local and international consumption.”

“This important effort to revitalize Puerto Rico’s coffee sector will help to build the economy, bring back jobs and restore hope for so many of our brothers and sisters on the island,” said Dr. Rajiv. J. Shah, president of The Rockefeller Foundation. “The Rockefeller Foundation is proud to continue supporting this and other meaningful, long-term efforts to create a more equitable future for all Puerto Ricans.”

“Starbucks is proud to continue supporting the long-term health of coffee farms in Puerto Rico,” said Michelle Burns, Starbucks senior vice president, Global Coffee and Tea. “The rebuilding of the Puerto Rico coffee industry is in the early stages and we are extremely grateful for the contributions from the Hispanic Federation, Nespresso, as well as the ongoing work of the Puerto Rico Coffee Task Force partners.”
“This is an approach that means business--working directly with farmers and across sectors to restore so many livelihoods devastated by the hurricane,” said William Warshauer, President and CEO of TechnoServe. “We are looking forward to working with our partners and the resilient farmers of Puerto Rico to rebuild the coffee sector even better than it was before."
“WCR is committed to helping the coffee farmers of Puerto Rico rebuild their industry. Our main focus is to assure local nurseries have the capacity to provide healthy, high quality, disease-free plants. By strengthening the base of the industry we help safeguard their investment, while also providing recommendations and tools based the best science available,” said Kraig Kraft, Global Programs Director. 
“This important effort to revitalize Puerto Rico’s coffee sector will help to build the economy, b
In addition to the funding and implementing partners, this collaboration includes the input and support of the Puerto Rico Department of Agriculture and the University of Puerto Rico, along with local nonprofit organizations, led by the Hispanic Federation, as well as roasters, coffee shops and nurseries.