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Hyde Park Art Center presents Dr. King Day celebration of free films, poetry readings, etc.

Hyde Park Art Center, the renowned non-profit hub for contemporary art located on Chicago’s vibrant South Side, proudly presents a free public Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration. Programming includes film screenings of “Unapologetic” by filmmaker and director Ashley O’Shay and “The Black Archive Project: Chicago Uprisings 2020” by local independent filmmaker and documentarian Resita Cox; poetry reading from Afro-Latina poet and activist Leslé Honore; and an artist discussion, hosted at Green Line Performing Arts Center (329 E. Garfield Blvd.), on Monday, January 17, 2022, from 4-7 p.m. The Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration is presented in collaboration with Arts + Public Life and South Side Community Art Center.

The celebration starts with a poetry reading from Leslé Honore, an Afro- Latina poet, activist, and author of “Fist & Fire,” a collection of powerful, unflinching poems that confront issues of social justice through the lens of real human lives and voices.

Following is a screening of “The Black Archive Project: Chicago Uprisings 2020” by local independent filmmaker and documentarian Resita Cox, who uses documentary filmmaking as a means to archive the Black experience and retrieve Black history that has been lost, or purposely buried, to connect the past, present, and future.

SCENES FROM 2020 social and racial justice protests. Leslé Honore is also part of the Dr. King Day celebration at Green Line Performing Arts Center.

The highlight of the celebration is the screening of “Unapologetic,” a film told through the lens of activists Bella Bahhs and Janaé Bonsu, two fierce abolitionist leaders, taking a deep look into the Black Lives Matter Movement, from the police murder of Rekia Boyd to the election of Chicago’s Mayor Lori Lightfoot. The highly acclaimed film has screened at various film festivals, including the TIFF Next Wave Film Festival in Toronto, the Black Harvest Film Festival in Chicago and 2020 DOC NYC.

The “Unapologetic” film screening will be followed by an artist discussion with O’Shay, Cox, Honore and more.

“This year we are really excited to present this program in collaboration with institutions on the South Side. As a part of our ongoing work to support the work of artists, strengthen the ties of community, and collaborate, this program is in the spirit of people coming together for a common mission, and gathering our shared communities, much in the spirit of Dr. King, who marched and organized with a myriad of individuals for a common goal,” shared Ciera McKissick, Art Center Public Programs Coordinator and the curator of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration.

“The films ‘Unapologetic’ and ‘The Black Archive Project: Chicago Uprisings 2020’ center the grassroots efforts of the Black activists and artists of today who are carrying the torch of Dr. King’s legacy. They center and push to the forefront the stories that many Chicago residents and South Side community members deeply care about.

The Black Archive Project Chicago Uprisings 20201 scaled
FILM STILL FROM ‘The Black Archive Project: Chicago Uprisings 2020,’ Courtesy of Resita Cox.

As institutions that serve them, it is pertinent for the Art Center and our collaborative organizations to share relevant and transformative content that continues to push boundaries, not just on MLK Day, but throughout our programming yearlong,” McKissick added.

COVID safety event info and University of Chicago policies: All visitors aged 12+ attending public events with fixed audience seating inside of a University of Chicago building must provide proof of vaccination, or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of event, or a positive COVID-19 test within 14- 90 days of event and affirm no symptoms. UChicago faculty, students, and staff may present their UCID as proof. All guests, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to wear a mask at all times while inside of the Green Line Performing Arts Center. Learn more about how to prepare for your visit to APL’s venues on the Arts Block.

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