Up From the South, a community mural by The Bronzeville Neighborhood Research Project under the direction of Professor Arlene Crawford

Over the past several months, The Bronzeville Neighborhood Research Project has been working on a community mural that will depict the history of the Bronzeville community from 1850 to the present. Under the leadership of Professor Arlene Crawford, student and community artists met in the spring semester at a series of sketch parties to plan the layout of the mural. During the summer,  students and community artists have been working  with Professor Crawford to bring their sketch layout to life in a wall sized mural that will be installed near the CCICS Conference Center. An opening reception is scheduled for October 2012.

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During the Spring Sketch Party, students and community artists learned about the history of the Bronzeville community and chose people and places that they wanted to draw for the mural. Images in the mural include the Victory Monument, Frederick Douglass, the American Negro Exposition, the Chicago Defender,Jack Johnson and Ida. B. Wells.

Professor Zada Johnson speaks with STP and Introduction to Inner City Studies students about the community mural.

Entering first-year students in the Summer Transition Program as well as students in the Introduction to Inner City Studies course have also worked on the mural during the summer term. The process of organizing, sketching and painting a community mural has been an excellent example of civic engagement.

In the same spirit as the Spring Sketch Party, the Bronzeville Neighborhood Research Project will hold a Summer Painting Party on Thursday, August 16th and Friday August 17th from 6pm to 9pm at the Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies (700 E. Oakwood Blvd) RM 211. Join us as we work together to complete our vision of celebrating Bronzeville history. The mural will also include a family history photo collage–please bring photos of your family members who lived and worked in Bronzeville (photos will be copied and copies will be used for the collage). You don’t have to be a professional artist or know how to draw to be a part of the painting party–if you can hold a paint brush you can contribute to this historic project!

For additional information contact Professor Arlene Crawford (A-Crawford@neiu.edu) or Professor Zada Johnson (z-johnson@neiu.edu).