Don McIlvaine: Until the Walls Fall Down, Paint Them & Jane Addams Day

Friday, December 11, 2015
Jane Addams Hull-House Museum
800 S. Halsted Street

In celebration of Jane Addams Day, Chicago Film Archives, the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, and South Side Projections present a celebration of the life and work of Chicago artist and filmmaker Don McIlvaine. Art historian Rebecca Zorach will discuss McIlvaine's paintings and murals, followed by a screening of films from the Don McIlvaine Collection housed at Chicago Film Archives. Join us afterward for a reception with McIlvaine's family.

About Don McIlvaine
Chicago mural artist Don McIlvaine (1930-2005) is known for his large-scale street paintings of everyday struggles. From 1969 - 1972, he directed the North Lawndale-based art center Art & Soul -- a collaborative project of the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Conservative Vice Lords which provided the tools and space for the young people of North Lawndale to express their thoughts in artistic form. Together with the students, McIlvaine painted powerful murals in the neighborhood; he also produced works on canvas and independently painted murals around the city. In a 1970 interview with Time magazine, he declared "People decorate the street because that's where their life is". McIlvaine taught at the University of Illinois at Chicago, published several neighborhood newspapers and magazines about African American culture, and even ran for alderman.

About the Films
These selections from the Don McIlvaine Collection consist primarily of home movies from Chicago's North Lawndale and Bronzeville neighborhoods, including footage of murals in progress and scenes from the youth art programs at Art & Soul. McIlvaine's sole extant foray into fictional film, an eight-minute short called Back Alley Ripoff, shot in North Lawndale and featuring valuable footage of daily life on the West Side, may have inspired the 1974 film Uptown Saturday Night. Also included is a segment of a filmed interview with Angela Davis, which McIlvaine likely shot, and a scene from DeWitt Beall's Lord Thing, in which McIlvaine teaches local children about Diego Rivera and Frederick Douglass.

About Jane Addams Day
In 1931, Jane Addams became the first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. In 2007, the State of Illinois set aside December 10 as a holiday to remember Addams' lifelong commitment to peace and justice. Jane Addams Hull-House Museum takes this opportunity to highlight significant activist, artistic, and radically imaginative strategies to cultivate peace and justice in our communities. 

Event collaborators:

South Side Productions

Chicago Film Archives

Vernacular Architecture Tours

During the Chicago Architecture Biennial, JAHHM's public tours will feature an architectural focus. Visitors will learn about neighborhood conditions in the Near West Side at the turn of the twentieth century in Chicago, including life in tenements and sweatshops and the unique work of the Hull-House settlement which responded to the social needs of the neighborhood. Learn about the Model Tenement Movement, the foundational moments of public housing, and how the buildings of the Hull-House settlement embodied the ideals of the Progressive Era. Vernacular Architecture Tours are available on Wednesdays and Sundays, through December 20, 2015 (please check our Hours and Admission page for more details), from 1-2pm and reservations are not required.

National Public Housing Museum Roundtable and Workshop on Affordable Housing

Join the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum and The National Public Housing Museum (NPHM) in our Resident's Dining Hall this Friday (11/6) from 9:00am - 12:00pm for The Future of Public Housing Roundtable. This discussion will convene practitioners from multiple disciplines and perspectives to explore the future of housing as a configuration that demands greater distribution of public resources. 

Following the roundtable from 12:30pm to 2:00pm is The Public Good in Your Hands: An Affordable Housing Workshop. This hands-on workshop, facilitated by New York's Center for Urban Pedagogy, will explore how public housing fits into current affordable housing policy. 

To learn more about NPHM (located in the former Jane Addams Homes) and their Chicago Architecture Biennial exhibits, visit

Jane Addams Hull-House Museum
Programming at the 2015 Chicago Humanities Festival

On Saturday, November 7, Jane Addams Hull-House Museum is partnering with the 2015 Chicago Humanities Festival to present a day of programs about Hull-House history. 

From 11:30am-12:30pm join in the discussion of The Legacy of Jane Addams and Hull-House

The conversation will continue at 2:00pm in the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum Residents' Dining Hall with Artists as Activists.

Part of the Terra Foundation Series on American Art.

Starting at 1:00pm and 4:00pm Jane Addams Hull-House Museum will host tours of the historic houses as part of the 2015 Chicago Humanities Festival programming.

All events are sold out. 

For more information on the 2015 Chicago Humanities Festival, visit

Into Body Into Wall
Creative Resistance Workshops

September - November, 2015
Jane Addams Hull-House Museum
800 S Halsted, Chicago

And, if i know anything at all,
it's that a wall is just a wall
and nothing more at all.
It can be broken down.
-Assata Shakur

Into Body Into Wall is a collaboration between the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum and the 96 Acres Project which critically looks at the impact of walls and our capacity to address the divisions they create. To examine the effects of Cook County Jail on the local community, artists, scholars, activists, and residents, will use art making, collaborative processes, and praxis (action and reflection), to produce a set of proposals that demonstrate our visions for building possibilities against the wall and building spaces of transformation.

Workshops by Mathilda de Dios, Patricia Nguyen, Andrew Santa-Lucia, Sarah Ross, Jazmin Dua, Sarah Macaraeg, Visible Voices Ensemble, Bobby Biedrzycki, and Luis Tubens. Guest curated by Silvia Inés Gonzalez.

Breaking Down and Building Up: Interactive Performances
Date: Thursday, September 10th
Guiding Questions: How have communities creatively pushed against walls? How has the political body been used as a creative tool to translate and transform oppressive structures?
Facilitators: Patricia Nguyen and Luis Tubens

Body Scanning: Mapping Spaces of Healing, Memory, and Collective Reflection/Freedom
 Sunday, September 13th 12:30-3:00 PM
This Workshop explores the body as a vessel of memory, power, and action. Participants are invited to reflect on their personal stories to develop writing and art, centering the body as a place of healing and everyday practice of freedom. Situated within a growing intersectional racial justice movement that challenges police violence, increased detention, deportation and mass incarceration, this workshop provides opportunities for dialogue and collective healing. Body scanning, whether through racial profiling, metal detectors at schools, or ‘sizing someone up,’ are modes of surveillance that disproportionately impact communities of color. Body Scanning is an activity that flips the script on intrusive racialized, gendered, and classed systems of surveillance, opening up a place for self-reflection and community building. Participants will have an opportunity to connect our personal stories of struggle and healing to a movement that insists that Black Lives Matter and that prisons and the deportation of undocumented immigrants must be abolished.
Facilitators: Patricia Nguyen and Mathilda de Dios

Infrastructures of Control: Space, Design, and Mechanisms of Power
Date: Sunday October 18th 12:30-3:00 PM
What can the inner workings and structures of spaces reveal about the mechanics of oppressive systems? The fields of architecture and urban design literally shape the way we move around a space, but they also have the ability to suggest inclusion or exclusion from a people or place. The language of power visible in the design of prisons permeates many objects in our public lives, such as bus shelters and classrooms, creating a carceral logic in common city spaces. How can we resist and reimagine an encroaching logic of the wall? This workshop will survey the built environment to unpack how the logic of the prison ‘lockdown’ permeates everyday spaces.
Facilitators: Andrew Santa-Lucia and Sarah Ross

Surveying the Surveyor: Optics of Control
Date: Sunday November 8th 12:30-3:00 PM
Surveying the Surveyor seeks to better understand the spatial designs and tensions of surveillance, focusing on disproportionately affected communities.  At this workshop, participants will engage artistic forms of resistance that address policing vs privacy and social control vs safety in order to collectively consider what safety looks like.
Facilitators: Sarah Macaraeg and Jazmin Dua

Making Visible: Interrogating Criminalization, Policing and Creating Interventions
Date: Sunday November 22nd 12:30-3:00 PM
How can we use artistic practice to unlock our imaginations and envision communities without jails and prisons? This workshop will use interactive writing and performance exercises to interrogate current systems and ideas that attempt to limit our individual and collective imaginations around issues of structural change. Then, using the writing, performing, and visioning techniques practiced by the Visible Voices Ensemble, (a peer empowerment group of women returning from incarceration) participants will work together through movement, poem, and dialogue to build transformative possibilities for ourselves and our communities.
Facilitators: Visible Voices Ensemble and Bobby Biedrzycki

2015 Jane Addams Birthday Celebration
Featuring the 96 Acres Project and Mariame Kaba

Thursday, September 10
Jane Addams Hull-House Museum
800 S Halsted, Chicago

The Hull-House Museum invites you to celebrate Jane Addams' birthday with prison abolition organizer Mariame Kaba and the newest exhibition by the 96 Acres Project, with an installation by Maria Gaspar. As we celebrate those who fight for justice -- past and present-- we will examine structures of power and imagine a more just world.

5-6:30 pm Opening of Into Body Into Wall
Performances led by artists Patricia Nguyen and Luis Tubens throughout the house. DJ Tess spins Slo’Mo style jams. Birthday cupcakes for all. 

6:30-6:45 pm Welcome and Exhibit Remarks 
Hear from the 96 Acres Project and artist Maria Gaspar about their latest art installation at Hull-House. They will describe how they use art and collective actions to investigate the Cook County Jail wall as a social, political, and psychological frame, imagine and reflect on new alternatives, and grapple with the voices and personal stories located on both sides of the jail wall. 

6:45-7:30 pm Jane Addams Birthday Conversations for Peace and Justice honoring Mariame Kaba: “Punishing Girls: The Rise of Girls in the Juvenile Justice System.”
Hull-House is delighted to present this year’s distinguished speaker, Mariame Kaba. With power, vision, and commitment, Mariame Kaba inspires us to fight for a more just world. Mariame is an organizer, educator and curator who has been a voice in numerous social movements for prison abolition, racial justice, gender justice, and transformative justice. She is the founder and director of Project NIA, a grassroots organization with a vision to end youth incarceration, and a co-founder numerous organizations including the Chicago Freedom School and the Chicago Taskforce on Violence against Girls and Young Women.

7:30-8 pm Spoken Word performance by Young Chicago Authors
Young Chicago Authors brings together participants through writing, publication, and performance education for civic discourse and community celebration. Performers will conclude the evening with rhymes and stories of resistance.

About the Jane Addams Birthday Conversations on Peace and Justice
Jane Addams was the co-founder of the Hull-House Settlement, a pioneer social reformer, internationalist, feminist, and peace activist. In 1931, she became the first American woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Addams and the residents of the Hull-House advocated for public health, fair labor practices, full citizenship rights for immigrants, public education, recreational and public space, public arts, and free speech. We take the opportunity on her birthday to celebrate the Hull-House progressive tradition, but also offer an opportunity to look forward by honoring a contemporary feminist, crossing various boundaries to bring together people working on issues of peace broadly defined in the present day.

Previous speakers for Jane Addams' Birthday Conversations on Peace and Justice have included three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee and peace activist Kathy Kelly, Code Pink founder Medea Benjamin, feminist and community activist Grace Lee Boggs, American Indian activist Winona LaDuke, intersectional feminist bloggers The Crunk Feminist Collective, and transgender rights and prison activist Miss Major Griffin-Gracy.

#Cambodia2Chicago Freedom Party
Sunday July 19, 2015

Jane Addams Hull-House Museum
800 S Halsted

For the past year, our Cities of Peace Fellows have been studying strategies for peacebuilding at the Hull-House Museum and around the city. Their fellowship concludes this month with a visit from a delegation of youth Peace Fellows from Phnom Penh, Cambodia from July 10-20th. Together, Chicago and Phnom Penh Peace Fellows will engage in an exploration of structural and interpersonal violence, community peacebuilding and healing as the culminating experience of a yearlong youth exchange program. 

FOLLOW their journey through Chicago on Facebook and on the Cities of Peace website.

CELEBRATE with the Peace Fellows on July 19th as they host #Cambodia2Chicago Freedom Party, a celebration of transnational solidarity featuring peace circles, artmaking activities, peace and justice tours of the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, a Chicago-style cookout, and audio liberation from DJ RonRonFREE – All ages welcome! RSVP via Facebook.