Newswise — The Jane Addams Hull-House Museum at the University of Illinois at Chicago will be hosting a series of panel discussions and exhibits as part of “Claiming Space: Creative Grounds and Freedom Summer School.” The collaborative exhibit teams with artists, educators and students to explore the transformation of public school space amidst the backdrop of depopulation, divestment and school closings on the West Side of Chicago.


Sept. 19

4:30 – 6 p.m. Exhibition opening and reception.

“Claiming Space: Creative Grounds and Freedom Summer School”

6 – 8 p.m. Panel discussion and reception.

“Who fights for our schools? Organizing for Racial Equity on the West Side”

Oct. 12

6 – 8 p.m. Artists’ panel discussion and reception.

“West Side Arts: Claiming and Reclaiming Space”


Jane Addams Hull-House Museum

800 S. Halsted St.


In 2013, 49 Chicago Public Schools’ buildings were closed and consolidated by the district after officials said more than 3 million square feet of public school space had been deemed underutilized or under-performing. The Jane Addams Hull-House Museum collaborated with Creative Grounds to document the status of the former school buildings in “Claiming Space: Creative Grounds and Freedom Summer School.” The exhibit will use an interactive mapping installation to visualize the impact of the building losses on the West Side. In addition, artists and students will discuss their work.

The panel discussion, “Who fights for our schools? Organizing for Racial Equity on the West Side,” detailing political organizing around the 14 school closures on the West Side, will follow the exhibition opening. Elizabeth Todd-Breland, UIC assistant professor of history, will lead the discussion. Participants include Fatima Cooke, principal of the Charles Sumner Math & Science Academy, Gabriel Cortez, Northeastern Illinois University, Carolina Gaete-Tapia, Blocks Together, and Tammie Vinson, American Federation of Teachers Black Caucus Chicago.

In addition, a panel discussion and reception on Oct. 12 will share projects that claim and reclaim space through art, cultural work and alternative education. The projects are part of “Making the West Side: Community Conversations on Neighborhood Change, a multi-year initiative funded through the National Endowment for the Humanities to bring together scholars, activists and neighborhood residents to investigate the history of neighborhood change on Chicago’s West Side and connect that history to contemporary issues and concerns.

For more information and to register click here. All events are free and open to the public. To reach the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum please call (312)413-5353.

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