Oakton Hosts Creating Justice: A Celebration of Art in People’s Movements, April 12

Delilah Martinez (pictured) and artists from The Mural Movement will share their work as artists and as community organizers. Photo courtesy of Delilah Martinez.
Des Plaines (April 5, 2024) - Do you want to make a difference in your community but don’t know where or how to start? Are you looking to connect with like-minded people or be inspired?

Join community members, local artists and community organizers for Creating Justice: A Celebration of Art in People’s Movements, April 12. The annual event - free and open to the public - invites everyone to share and learn from projects linking art to social justice movements.

This is your chance to meet and interact with prominent artists and activists working in different communities, using their creative work to bring attention to important causes, including migrant justice, environmentalism, LGBTQIA2+ movements and anti-racism. This year’s presenters include:

  • SpaceShift Collective, a creative hub of artists, cultural workers and change makers rethinking how we work, live and create. The collective centers communities and connects people, ideas and resources in all things that we conceptualize, design and create.

  • Listening While Muslim, a series of thematic listening parties created in 2018 by Asad Ali Jafri and Abdul-Rehman Malik. LWM is a sonic soul journey that crosses continents, languages and genres and explores music at the intersection of faith, culture and politics.

  • Diana Solis, a Mexican-born photographer, multidisciplinary artist and educator whose work includes painting, illustration, public murals and public art installations. Solis is inspired by Mexican and Chicano culture, memory, cautionary tales, oral and personal histories, queer identities and narratives.

  • A Prison is No Shelter Project, a media project exploring the detention of migrant children in the United States and the struggle to end it. The project is created in partnership with several community groups, including the Chicago Anti Detention Network and Rogers Park Solidarity Network.

  • The Mural Movement, a local initiative founded by Delilah Martinez in Pilsen as a response to the tragic events surrounding the murder of George Floyd. Today, it is a nationwide movement, leaving a vibrant imprint with 232 murals and counting across Chicago, Indiana, New York, Phoenix, Milwaukee and San Diego.

  • Dorian Sylvain, a painter whose color and texture explore ornamentation, pattern and design as identifiers of cultural and historical foundations. Much of Sylvain’s public work addresses issues of beautification inspired by color palettes and patterns found throughout the African diaspora, particularly architecture.

  • Sabba Elahi, an Oakton faculty member and a multidisciplinary visual artist and cultural worker who confronts the politics of otherization, representation and cultural resistance. Elahi's exhibitions include group shows at the Chicago Cultural Center and Abrons Art Center in New York, and recent solo exhibitions at Northwestern University's Dittmar Gallery.

  • Ronnie Malley, a multi-instrumentalist musician on oud, guitar, keyboards and percussion, a theatrical performer, producer and educator. Malley has collaborated with international artists and composed and consulted for many cultural music projects in film and theater. He is also an executive director of Intercultural Music Production in Chicago.

This year's event schedule promises something for everyone!

1 - 5:30 p.m.
Workshops, presentations and art making (TenHoeve Center, Des Plaines campus)
Shared space with snacks and masala chai, a popular beverage throughout South Asia, and art-making tables (Room 1610, Des Plaines campus)

5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Free Indian cuisine-inspired dinner and live music (Cafeteria, Des Plaines campus)

For a detailed schedule and more information on individual sessions and speakers, please visit Oakton’s website.