Kerry Cordoza recaps the Open Engagement conference that took place at the University of Illinois at Chicago as well as a constellation of sites across the city. Read an excerpt of Cordoza's recap below, and find the entire article at Newcity:
“As a cultural worker who belongs to an oppressed people my job is to make revolution irresistible.” Lisa Yun Lee and Romi Crawford, the curators of this year’s Open Engagement conference in Chicago, channeled these words by the black feminist writer Toni Cade Bambara in their curatorial statement. The sentiment perfectly encapsulates the aim of this event, which convened artists and cultural workers to create a dialogue around socially engaged art.
Now in its ninth iteration, Open Engagement takes place in a new location each year. This year’s theme was “Justice,” which Open Engagement founder and director Jen Delos Reyes says made complete sense for Chicago in this moment, and not just because of the city’s notorious place in the national news as a site of gun violence and police brutality. Chicago is also home to some of the most beautiful acts of resistance by activists and artists who are frequently one and the same.