Thanks to the artist in resident Renee Baker for having the vision to bring the project to Bronzeville and record in the Loft Gallery of the Phantom Gallery Chicago Network.  The artwork installed is the sculpture installations of  Renee Baker, "Because we are Nature," featuring her junk drawer series. Visual art is the collection of the gallery.


This moment in the life of James Baldwin represents temporality, impermanence, the futility of dreams, and reckoning with the finality of inequality of life in the USA for Black Americans. Baldwin realizes that never will people of color achieve equity or equality in his lifetime..the boxes for blacks and whites have been set..with civil rights almost non-existent.










Artistic Team

Concept/Commissioning/Music Direction
Chicago Fringe Opera is dedicated to presenting innovative vocal works emphasizing new and contemporary styles, engaging with the Chicago community through intimate and immersive performance experiences, and fostering and empowering local artists. Chicago Fringe Opera is at the forefront of producing dynamic contemporary vocal works in the city of Chicago.

A City of Works – an oblique reference to former Mayor Richard J. Daley's moniker for Chicago – combines the power of music and design in a series of site-specific digital experiences. Evoking the ethereal nature of theatre itself, audiences embark on individual journeys to landmarks throughout our city, unlocking audio and video content and joining a collective experience to watch performances through individual personal devices.

Arriving at specific locations, audiences scan a QR code on their smartphone to access a music video of a given newly commissioned work, the piece having been filmed at that locale, creating a fleeting yet shared theatrical experience. Thus, the project eliminates the need to gather groups of people while leaving content both free of charge and accessible at any time to audiences.

This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.
Supported by The MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation & The CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.

Ear Taxi Festival in Chicago, Renée Baker New Music USA

"Art is Business"  


Renée Baker: Nothing’s Gonna Stop You From Creating

As part of this month’s Ear Taxi Festival in Chicago, Renée Baker will lead a string quintet from her, Renée Baker will lead a string quintet from her Chicago Modern Orchestra Project in a performance of her composition Eternal Units of Beauty for one of the Spotlight Concerts at Chicago’s Phantom Gallery on September 26. Learn more about Ear Taxi’s Spotlight Concerts here. 

She will also participate in Ear Taxi’s panel discussion “What are the components of a thriving ecosystem for new music?” moderated by New Music USA’s CEO Vanessa Reed on September 29 at the DePaul Art Museum. More info about that panel can be found here in Chicago Modern Orchestra Project.

New Music USA · Renée Baker: Nothing’s Gonna Stop You From Creating
Frank J. Oteri in conversation with Renée Baker
August 30, 2021—10:30pm CDT via Zoom
Via a Zoom Conference Call between New York and Illinois
Additional voiceovers by Brigid Pierce; audio editing by Anthony Nieves
Spending an hour over Zoom chatting with Renée Baker about her more than two thousand musical compositions and perhaps almost as many paintings was inspirational as well as motivational.

Bronzeville Babies: The Story of a Proud People

Virtual Open Studio- Textile Artists Talk About Their Art

"Art is Business"  Listen to the artist speak on "Creative Conversation," Trish Williams,  Rhonda Hardy.

Featured Artist: Trish Williams,  
Trish Williams was born and raised in Chicago in the North Lawndale community, where she attends public school.  Once she completed elementary and high school education, she attended Malcolm X Community College. Then, under the tutelage of Barbara Jone-Hogu, she was introduced to the AfriCOBRA collective and the South Side Community Art Center, where she was introduced to an even broader spectrum of African American artists.

While she has always created as far back as she can remember by drawing, painting, and sewing, but in 1997 she saw a book titled “A Communion of The Spirits” by Roland Freeman about African American quiltmakers and was reminded of her ancestors who carried on these traditions and knew that is what she must do too, but not for the beds, but for the walls because would encompass most of the things that she loved about art.

She’s exhibited local, national, and international, and her works are collationed globally, and several public art commissions in the Chicagoland area.  Her work is also included in exhibition catalogs, magazine publications, and she is listed as one of 100 artists in the Midwest.  She is also seen in the movie “Southside With You” about President and Mrs. Obama if you look quick enough.

The Women of Color Quilters Network is a non-profit organization* founded in 1985 by Carolyn L. Mazloomi, a nationally-acclaimed quilt artist and lecturer, to foster and preserve the art of quiltmaking among women of color.

It supports its membership through presentations, providing venues for sharing technical information, grant writing, and other services. It offers quilts and fiber art to museums for exhibition and researches and documents African American quiltmaking. In recent years, the Network has showcased the work of its members before national and international audiences. An important component of the network's activity is its quiltmaking in social and economic development projects. Educational projects and workshops foster exposure to the arts, creative development, and improved self-esteem. These programs present the benefits of quilting to audiences of all ages, income levels, ethnic backgrounds,s and learning abilities.     *(IRS 501(c)(3))

Guest Artist - Rhonda Brady: 
Rhonda Hardy is an artist committed to social empowerment by encouraging the appreciation of diverse cultures as seen through art. Her artwork has been exhibited and sold at venues such as the South Side Community Art Center, Gallery Guichard, and the Beverly Arts Alliance. 

The journey to manifest my story started in high school, where I sought to learn everything I could about African and African American culture. I subsequently went to college and obtained a Bachelor's and Master’s degrees in clothing and textiles and became certified in Interior Decorating. So, it is a natural progression that I use my passion, skills, and knowledge as a tool to tell the story of the African American experience using the medium of hand-crafted textiles, fashion, and storytelling.


COLAB 7100 + Wild Yam = Collaboration

"Art is Business" https://www.blogtalkradio.com/phantomgallerychicago/2021/09/07/creative-conversation-a-talk-with-curator-mercy-baty-part-2


Wisdom Baty is a Chicago-based interdisciplinary artist and arts collaborator interested in curating space for black and brown mothers and their children. With over a decade of community organizing, her practice reimagines physical space, autonomy, and historical accuracy in support of black motherhood through the lens of intersectionality. She is the founder and creative director of Wild Yams: Black Mothers Artist Residency.

An artistic collaborator, Wisdom has co-organized 6018N Windows to the World exhibition 2020, the inaugural  Black Experience: Panel and MFA Showcase at SAIC Sullivan Galleries in 2015, and The Black Family Reunion 2017 with Threewalls and Reunion. In addition, Baty was a 2017 Marwen Teaching Artist Resident, a 2007 fellow at the Yale Norfolk Summer School of Art and Music, participated in the Museum of Contemporary Art Teacher Institute, and currently has work represented on the Field Foundations website under the program areas section. Baty received her BFA in Painting at UIC’s School of Art and Design in 2012 and a Masters's degree in Arts Administration and Policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2018.

"No other creative field is as closed to those who are not white and male as is the visual arts... the first thing that I had to believe was that I, a black woman, could penetrate the art scene, and that, further, I could do so without sacrificing one iota of my blackness or my femaleness or my humanity." 
- Faith Ringgold 

For more information, contact:
Wisdom Baty
M: 773.815.2419
Director of Development and Community Relations  at COLAB 7100

The Healing Academy's Annual Fundraiser Gala and Art Exhibtion 2021

"Art is Business"