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MUSEUM’S HISTORIC BLACK CREATIVITY PROGRAM AND SIGNATURE ART EXHIBITION TO OPEN ON APRIL 7

CHICAGO (April 7, 2021)–Black Creativity and its signature Juried Art Exhibition opens on April 7 for an extended run at the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI). MSI has hosted the annual celebration for 50 years.

The Black Creativity Juried Art Exhibition, the longest-running exhibit of African-American art in the nation, opens from April 7 – July 4. The annual exhibition showcases more than 200 works by professional artists from across the nation as well as local student artists. A new feature this year will be an online art gallery, providing even more people the opportunity to view the artwork if they are unable to visit the Museum in person.

“The achievements of African Americans are front and center during Black Creativity as we showcase artists, creators and leaders who are making real change in their professional fields and within their communities,” said Chevy Humphrey, MSI president and CEO. “We hope to generate interest in innovation and creativity among young people of color, and that starts with a welcoming, inspiring, inclusive environment.”

This year’s Black Creativity Innovators celebrate the accomplishments of African-American leaders who are transforming Chicago. This distinguished group are recognized in an onsite gallery, and video interviews will be shared online and via MSI’s social media accounts as well. This year’s group includes:

  • Tonika Lewis-Johnson, artist and creator of The Folded Map Project
  • Ian Michael Brock, high school student and co-founder, Dream Hustle Code
  • Taylor Staten, architect, TnS Studio
  • J. Ivy, performance poet, author

A new exhibit, Black Creativity: Art and Activism, showcases images of the artistic and public response within the Chicago community to the protests during the summer of 2020. This exhibit will feature commissioned artwork by muralist Jamiah Calvin and local teen artists.

Black Creativity is included in Museum Entry.

Black Creativity Events

In honor of Juneteenth, Museum admission will be free for Illinois residents for the Black Creativity Family Day celebration on June 19. Guests can watch a recorded performance by poet and Black Creativity Innovator J. Ivy and share their reflections by contributing to a written word collage. Capacity is limited, and tickets must be reserved online in advance.

The Black Creativity Gala raises money in support of Black Creativity. This year’s virtual event on April 17 will feature a digital program that includes a look at the winning works in the Juried Art Exhibition, musical performances, artist interviews, gallery tours and more. A separate ticket purchase is required for this event.

Learn more at msichicago.org/bc2021.

The Allstate Insurance Company is the exclusive lead sponsor for Black Creativity in 2021. 

About the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI)

The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI), one of the largest science museums in the world, offers world-class and uniquely interactive experiences that inspire inventive genius and foster curiosity. From groundbreaking and award-winning exhibits that can’t be found anywhere else, to hands-on opportunities that make you the scientist—a visit to MSI is where fun and learning mix. Through its Welcome to Science Initiative, the Museum offers a variety of student, teacher and family programs that make a difference in communities and contribute to MSI’s larger vision: to inspire and motivate children to achieve their full potential in science, technology, medicine and engineering. Come visit and find your inspiration! The Museum is grateful for the support of its donors and guests, who make its work possible. MSI is also supported in part by the people of Chicago through the Chicago Park District. For more information, visit msichicago.org or call (773) 684-1414.

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The Juried Art Exhibition features over 200 works of art from professional and student artists.

[Akilah Townsend / Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago]

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The Juried Art Exhibition is open through July 4 and is included in Museum Entry.

[Akilah Townsend / Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago]

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Black Creativity: Art and Activism features artists and photographers who responded to the Black Lives Matters protests.

[Heidi Peters / Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago]

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Murals in Black Creativity: Art and Activism were painted by Jamiah Calvin and high school artists.

[Heidi Peters / Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago]

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"Purveyor of Hope" by Rhonda Gray is included in the Juried Art Exhibition.

[Akilah Townsend / Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago]

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"Last Supper" by Onzie Norman is included in the Juried Art Exhibition.

[Akilah Townsend / Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago]

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