Thursday, February 13, 2020

Gene Siskel Film Center receives grant from NEA to support 2020 Black Harvest Film Festival (Chicago, IL.)


Organizations in every state in the nation
receives federal funding for arts projects from the NEA

It was announced by National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Mary Anne Carter that organizations in every state in the nation, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, will receive federal funding for arts projects from the National Endowment for the Arts in this round of fiscal year 2020 funding. Overall, 1,187 grants totaling $27.3 million will provide Americans opportunities for arts participation, and this year include projects that celebrate the Women's Suffrage Centennial.

The Gene Siskel Film Center, a public program of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, whose parent organization is The Art Institute of Chicago, received a $20,000 Art Works-Media Arts grant to support the Black Harvest Film Festival, presented every August by the Gene Siskel Film Center, and related public programming. Art Works grants support artistically excellent projects that celebrate creativity and cultural heritage, invite mutual respect for differing beliefs and values, and enrich humanity. Cost share/matching grants awarded range from $10,000 to $100,000. 

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support grants throughout the entire country that connect people through shared experiences and artistic expression,” said Arts Endowment Chairman Mary Anne Carter. “These projects provide access to the arts for people of all abilities and backgrounds in both urban centers and rural communities.”

We are honored to have our 26th Annual Black Harvest Film Festival—the Midwest’s largest festival of the Black experience on film—to be among the grantees. This vital and critically acclaimed annual program continues to celebrate the full range of African American stories to an inclusive urban audience that continues to grow each year,” said Jean de St. Aubin, the Gene Siskel Film Center’s Executive Director.

Art Works grants support artistically excellent projects that celebrate our creativity and cultural heritage, invite mutual respect for differing beliefs and values, and enrich humanity. Cost share/matching grants range from $10,000 to $100,000. 

Programs coming up that represent the spirit of the Black Harvest Film Festival are the Chicago premiere runs of CANE RIVER and GOLDIE. CANE RIVER (February 14-20) is a rediscovered classic of Black cinema that is a racially charged love story set in Louisiana’s Natchitoches Parish. The Wednesday, February 19, 6 pm screening is a Gene Siskel Film Center Movie Club event with a post-movie discussion facilitated by Black Harvest Festival Consultant Sergio Mims. GOLDIE (February 21-27) concerns an ambitious 18-year-old Bronx woman (portrayed by model and Rihanna muse Slick Woods) living in a homeless shelter as she seeks the break that she imagines will make her a star.

Entering its 26th year in August 2020, the Black Harvest Film Festival is Midwest’s largest- and longest- running Black film festival and the Gene Siskel Film Center’s most vibrant annual showcase featuring provocative films that tell stories, spark lively discussions, and address issues relating to the experiences from the African diaspora. Black Harvest features Chicago premieres, filmmaker appearances, panel discussions, and special events. Presented are a combined total of over 50 features, documentaries, and shorts, including a number connected to Chicago, affirming the city's role as a vital center for independent filmmaking. Black Harvest supports the Film Center’s ongoing mission to present inclusive and insightful programming.

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All screenings are at the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, located at 164 N. State St.

Tickets to each screening—unless stated otherwise—are $12/general admission, $7/students, $6/Film Center members, and $5/Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) staff and School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) faculty, staff, and students. Friday matinee tickets are $8 each. All tickets may be purchased at the Film Center Box Office. Both general admission and Film Center member tickets are available through the Gene Siskel Film Center’s website or through the individual films’ weblinks on There is a surcharge of $1.50 per ticket. The Film Center and its box office are open 5:00 to 9:00 pm, Monday through Thursday; 1:00 to 9:00 pm, Friday; 2:00 to 9:00 pm, Saturday; and 2:00 to 6:00 pm, Sunday.

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A Gene Siskel Film Center membership is a year-round ticket to great movies for only $6 per screening! Memberships are $50 (Individual) and $80 (Dual). For more information, call 312-846-2600 or visit

Discounted parking is available for $20 for 24 hours at the InterPark SELF-PARK at 20 E. Randolph St. A rebate ticket can be obtained from the Film Center Box Office.

The Film Center is located near CTA trains and buses. Nearest CTA L stations are Lake (Red line); State/Lake (Brown, Green, Orange, Pink, Purple lines); and Washington (Blue line). CTA bus lines serving State St.: 2, 6, 10, 29, 36, 62, 144, and 146. 

For more information about the Film Center, call 312-846-2800 (24-hour movie hotline) or 312-846-2600 (general information, 9:00 am-5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday), or visit

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About the National Endowment for the Arts
Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit to learn more.

About the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago 
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 that has grown to over 100,000. 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 1,700 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 to learn more and find out what’s playing today.

About the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
For 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 ranked number two 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, and LeRoy Neiman. Learn more at

National Hellenic Museum names judges, lawyers and jurors for its 7th Trial Series event: The NHM Trial of Hellen of Troy (Chicago, IL.)

In a live, unscripted courtroom debate, prominent judges, lawyers and jurors consider

the circumstances of “the face that launched a thousand ships”
 The National Hellenic Museum (NHM) will explore the role of historic figure Helen of Troy, “the face that launched a thousand ships” in the start of the Trojan War. This 7th annual NHM Trial Series event will be held 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m. March 5, 2020, at The Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 East Randolph Drive, Chicago.

In both ancient and modern times, people have argued about whether Helen, wife of the Spartan King, went willingly with Prince Paris of Troy, or if she was kidnapped by the Trojan prince. According to Spartan law, a member of the monarchy who committed an adulterous act was considered a traitor.

“The question of Helen as victim or adulteress is particularly timely during National Women’s Month, and during the ‘Me Too’ era,” said NHM Resident scholar Katherine Kelaidis. “It is Helen, not her alleged abductor Paris, who is on trial – which may seem rather absurd to a modern audience.”

The Trial of Helen of Troy will be an evening of compelling debate by reputable lawyers, and astute opinions of notable judges and jurors. Guests are invited to participate by exploring the arguments of each side and submitting their guilty or not guilty vote to literally tip the scale and make their verdict heard.

Presiding over the event will be U.S. District Judge, The Honorable Charles P. Kocoras, as well as The Honorable Anna H. Demacopoulos and The Honorable Anthony Kyriakpoulos, who serve on the Cook County Circuit Court. 

“Being part of the NHM Trial Series is a delight,” said Kocoras, who has served as a presiding judge throughout the Series. “The historic topics we explore bridge our current trial process to its ancient roots, and often have parallels to issues we face today.”

Six attorneys – Robert A. Clifford, Patrick M. Collins, Tinos Diamantatos, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, Pamela Stratigakis and Dan K. Webb – will form teams for the prosecution and for the defense. Among the jurors offering opinions before the audience-jury casts its votes will be Cook County Public Administrator Lou Apostol, ABC-7 Chicago Anchor Ravi Baichwal, Author and Journalist Mark Caro, WGN-TV Reporter Meghan Dwyer, Chicago Tribune Columnist Heidi Stevens and Northwestern University Department of Classics Fellow Jennifer Weintritt, Ph.D.

The NHM Trial Series has grown both in reputation and following since its inception in 2013. In 2016, the NHM Trial of Antigone was broadcast on WTTW-TV (PBS Chicago) and in May 2017 it was nominated for a Midwest regional Emmy. Subsequent NHM Trial Series events have also aired on WTTW-TV and received regional Emmy nominations. Since 2017, the annual event has been qualified by the Illinois Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission (IARDC) for continuing legal education (CLE) credit. Attorneys attending the event at guests can register for credit on site.

Doors will open for The Trial of Helen of Troy at 6 p.m. Tickets are $100 per person in advance and can be purchased online or by calling the Harris Theater Box Office at (312) 334.7777. Sponsorships also are available.

For more information, visit or call (312) 655.1234.

About the National Hellenic Museum

The National Hellenic Museum (NHM) portrays and celebrates Greek history and the Hellenic legacy through educational classes, exhibits and programs. With a growing repository of over 20,000 artifacts, the Museum catalogs and highlights the contributions of Greeks and Greek Americans to the American mosaic and inspires curiosity about visitors’ own family journeys through cultural expression, oral history and experiential education. Located in Chicago’s Greektown, the NHM provides lifelong learning for the whole community using artifacts and stories to spark inquiry and discussion about the broader issues in our lives.
  For more information, visit or call 312-655-1234. Follow NHM on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

The Winter Games | FREE fitness and fun activities with Chicago Athletic Clubs (Chicago, IL.)

Do312 and Chicago Athletics Clubs Present:

Don’t let winter get in the way of fitness and fun! For one night only, join Do312 and the Chicago Athletics Clubs for The Winter Games at West Loop Athletic Club (1380 W Randolph St.) on Thursday, February 20th, 6-9pm.
Spend the night participating in free beginner-friendly classes to try out fitness activities such as spin, rowing, yoga and HIIT, all in a laid back and fun environment. Throughout the evening, you can relax in the party studio whenever you want with complimentary refreshments from Deep Eddy Vodka, music from EvieTheCool, bocce ball from American Bocce Co., a photo booth from GlitterGuts and unique performances from the staff at Chicago Athletic Clubs. 
Classes begin at 6:30PM, with new sessions every 30 minutes until 8:30pm. Every class completed enters you into a drawing at 8:30pm for awesome prizes from Patagonia, Outdoor Voices and many more!
Date: Thursday, February 20th 2020
Time: 6pm - 9pm
Venue: West Loop Athletic Club (1380 W Randolph St.)
RSVP for free entry and a complimentary drink ticket:
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