February , 2019

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  “Unfinished Business: Arts Education” Exhibit officially opens September 6            

                             Exhibit Opening and Reception 4:00 – 6:30 pm

                                   With Special Guests – The Guerrilla Girls 6:30 – 8:00 pm


Chicago, IL – The Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, 800 S. Halsted Street, one of the nation’s most important historic house museums and a treasured part of the College of Architecture and the Arts at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), will open a special exhibition that explores the importance of the arts and insists on cultural rights as part of a thriving democracy.  

The community-curated exhibit, “Unfinished Business: Arts Education,” will open on September 6 with a reception from 4:00 – 6:30 at the Jane Addams Hull House Museum (800 S. Halsted St.). Following the opening, there will be a public presentation by the Guerrilla Girls, the groundbreaking anonymous, feminist performance group that protests racial and gender inequity in the art world through public art interventions. Presented in gorilla masks, these legendary provocateurs will present a talk that takes place in the Illinois Room, Student Center East on UIC’s Campus (750 S. Halsted St.). 

Arts education is often the first cut to be made in tight economic moments, and the current recession is no exception. The exhibit advocates for the many layers of import that art education brings to us as human beings, suggesting that art urges a more engaged citizenry, allows for free expression, and creates opportunities for cross-cultural understanding.  

The exhibit makes connections between Hull-House history and our contemporary moment in a variety of ways and offers interactive art-making stations to engage the audience in participatory learning. Included are interviews with contemporary Chicago artists juxtaposed with profiles of Hull-House arts education reformers in an effort to show the historical thread of Chicago arts education through the 20th century.  

The hands-on arts stations revive the original Hull-House settlement’s commitment to learning by doing. In homage to the Hull-House Labor Museum, three floor-to-ceiling looms, designed and built by artist Alexis Ortiz, will be installed in the exhibition. Visitors will be able to learn a simple indigenous weaving technique and contribute to a large-scale woven map of Chicago. The Hull-House Pop-up Print Shop is co-curated by David Jones at Anchor Graphics and has a working relief printing press that visitors will use to print postcards designed by local artists that they will send to politicians urging them to support the arts.

Throughout the yearlong run of the exhibit, there were will be several programs and performances corresponding to the content of the exhibition. Albany Park Theater Project is a multiethnic youth theater ensemble that will live in the museum for several days during the year, exploring the notions of residency and embodying the importance of theater to the history of arts education at Hull-House. 

Features in “Unfinished Business: Arts Education”: 

  • Community Loom – In homage to the Hull-House Labor Museum, three floor-to-ceiling looms, designed and built by artist Alexis Ortiz, will be installed in the exhibition. Visitors will be able to learn a simple Guatemalan weaving technique and contribute to a large-scale woven map of Chicago.
  • Hull-House Pop-Up Print Shop – This installation, co-curated by David Jones at Anchor Graphics, will have a working relief printing press that visitors will use to print postcards designed by local artists. Visitors are invited to send a postcard to a politician, urging them to support the arts and arts education. Or, they can send one to a Chicago Public School art teacher; thanking them for all the work they do to keep the arts alive in their classrooms.
  • Art Educators Across History– Interviews with contemporary Chicago arts educators and profiles of Hull-House art education reformers, including: world-record holding break-dancer Luis Castro, performance artist Maria Gaspar, CPS art teacher Mathias “Spider” Schergen, Hull-House arts education reformers Viola Spolin, mother of Improv Theater; Hull-House folk-dance preservationist and teacher Mary Wood Hinman; and Hull-House art school leader Michael Gamboney.

 The Unfinished Business: Arts Education exhibit was funded by the Boeing Corporation. 


About the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum

The Jane Addams Hull-House Museum serves as a dynamic memorial to social reformer Jane Addams, the first American woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, and her colleagues whose work changed the lives of their immigrant neighbors as well as national and international public policy. The Museum preserves and develops the original Hull-House site for the interpretation and continuation of the historic settlement house vision, linking research, education, and social engagement.  

The Museum and its many vibrant programs make connections between the work of Hull-House residents and important contemporary social issues.  Founded in 1889 as a social settlement and until it closed in 1963, Hull-House played a vital role in redefining American democracy in the modern age. Addams and the residents of Hull-House helped pass critical legislation and influenced public policy on public health and education, free speech, fair labor practices, immigrants’ rights, recreation and public space, arts, and philanthropy. Hull-House has long been a center of Chicago’s political and cultural life, establishing Chicago’s first public playground and public art gallery, helping to desegregate the Chicago Public Schools, and influencing philanthropy and culture. 

Other programs include new tours for school children; Re-Thinking Soup, a modern day soup kitchen where the community can gather and eat delicious, healthy, soup while conversing about urgent social, cultural, economic and environmental food issues; the Urban Heirloom Farm, a multi-use space for such projects as growing vegetables, a restaurant partnership with Chef Bill Kim’s Urban Belly, an outdoor exhibition, farm-to-school programs for local public schools, and food-focused museum tours and activities; Sex Positive, a free documentary series offering an outlet to positively discuss sex and culture; and more! 

Located on the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) Campus at 800 S. Halsted Street, the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum is free and open to the public on Tuesdays – Fridays, 10am to 4pm, and Sundays, noon to 4pm. For more information, please call 312-413-5353 or visit www.hullhousemuseum.org

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