Last month we added a poetry reading for Chicago United for Equity’s program Cultivating Us to our schedule, performing alongside Chima Ikoro. We were also proud to have our first essay in Sixty Inches from Center, a response to Bimbola Akinbola’s in-progress performance/painting series Evidence at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. We were so moved by her piece, and it was a joy to review it in the pages of a local institution. Read that essay here.

We’re excited to begin a new series of workshops and trainings for the Logan Square Neighborhood Association this month. From now through April we’ll be talking with LSNA youth about confronting anti-Blackness, gender identity, and abolition, while simultaneously providing professional development for the group’s staff in the areas of facilitation and transformative justice. With five sessions in total, it’s the most consecutive programming we’ve ever provided one group!

In addition to our work with LSNA, we’re throwing in a Gender, Sex & Sexuality 101 for volunteers with People Matter, and leading an Intro to Prison Abolition and Poetry Writing workshop series for staff at Forward Together. We’ll also join PushBlack for an IG live discussion on the failures of police reform, and the need for abolition and nothing less.

Our biggest news:

This summer we’ll be hosting a Black Performance Exchange between trans, queer, and women artists in Chicago and Puerto Rico! The program we have planned—centering around the dance forms of bomba and vogue—will feature workshops, panels, and performances in both Chicago and San Juan. We need to raise at least $5K to cover travel, housing, and stipends for participating artists, including bombera Ivelisse Díaz and voguer Edrimael Delgado Reyes. 3Arts is supporting us through their 3AP platform—meaning that if we raise the first $3.5K, they will match the remainder!

The fundraiser for the exchange will be live for the next 45 days, and can be donated to here. The more money we are able to raise, the more artists and events we will be able to include. Please contribute and share the link to help us reach the $5K on time, and make this program possible!