Sojourner Truth African Heritage Museum- Big Day of Giving is Everyday

"Art is Business"

Sojourner Truth African Heritage Museum- Big Day of Giving is 365 days.

Shonna McDaniel's the Founder and Director of the Sojourner Truth Art Museum (founded in 1996). McDaniels is a professional artist/teacher/muralist, and community activist. She has an extensive background in art instruction and mural designs. She has studied under some of the finest professors in the Los Rios Community College network and master artists in the San Francisco Bay Area. While residing in Germany, McDaniels instructed art classes for two years on Military Bases and organized art exhibitions and programs. 

Before 1996, Shonna McDaniels was one of the co-founders and artists of the Visual Arts Development Project (founded in 1988); McDaniels taught art classes, conducted workshops, and organized art exhibits throughout the Oak Park and Del Paso communities.   She has donated art to various organizations and helped raise money for charitable causes throughout the Sacramento Region. She has over 25 years of community involvement with multiple organizations that support the arts through exhibitions, artist residencies, community activism, community murals, and organizing community-based festivals in South Sacramento.

Ms. McDaniels has contributed over 150 murals to the landscape of Sacramento, Stockton, and San Francisco:

These collections can be found: in Sacramento Unified School District, Sacramento Arts Commissions,
County of Sacramento, Florin Business Arts Complex/Sojourner Truth Murals Project 
And her artistic legacy within the community is renowned to grassroots, professional artists, politicians, and the business community. Her contributions have been recognized by Council members: Lauren Hammond, Bonnie Pannell, Larry Carr, Mayor Kevin Johnson, Congress Doris Matsui, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Entertainer Russell Simmons.  Mrs. McDaniels is a committed “social artist-activist.” Her work is dedicated to creativity and social change within the context of an evolving, healthy community.

Personal Statement: My purpose as an artist is to leave a legacy for future artists. I want young black girls and boys to see my art and experience something of worth, pride, and value. For this reason, I strive to have the essence of my work reflect dignity, strength, and the beauty of each subject I present. For me, youth education is critical, and I have spent a large part of my career as an artist educating youth. I feel today, more than ever, that art is needed by young people as a forum for safe expression, communication, exploration, imagination, and cultural and historical understanding. Art is an essential, encompassing life element that can produce an environment with a productive cultural exchange of ideas. In addition, art promotes acquiring intellectual skills in literature, science, and math. Indeed, art should be a priority in human development. Art can inspire youth to be creative, think outside the box, and use their skills to beautify their environment.

Park(ing) Day is a month away!

"Art is Business" RSVP

Park(ingDay is a month away!

Join our global cohort for a series of online gatherings to prepare your Park(ingDay demonstration in good company!

Placemakers worldwide are invited to gather online in August and September to support each others' collective actions for Park(ingDay on September 23, 2022.

We have planned a series of thematic web meetups in the following weeks to inspire, provoke and support you in delivering a temporary parklet in your local context.

For our kickoff webinar tomorrow, we are excited to have John Bela, an originator of Park(ing)Day over a decade ago, who will regale us with stories of Park(ing) Day's past, present, and exciting future! See you there!

Our Portland Mastery Program begins in PDX.

Placemakers have arrived in Portland, Oregon, to learn from one of the most livable cities in America as part of our deep dive Place Mastery Program!

Day 1 started by peeling back all the layers and exploring the geography, ecology, natural forces, and native people who first carved humanity's relationship to this area. It's incredible how the freeways, roads, and mountains that guided native people through this landscape still dictate the  evolved into the current place dynamics.

Congratulations, Frankie!

Frankie McIntosh, a poet/placemaking from Flint, Michigan, successfully crowdfunded her trip to Portland, Oregon, to learn about placemaking and find out where in the field she can contribute the most with her time and talent.

Help Support our Work!

PlacemakingUS is now organized as a 501c(3) non-profit project of Social Environmental Entrepreneurs. Please donate and support our work!

What We're About

PlacemakingUS is a national network organized to unleash community power to build living, interconnected places together. Through our "United Streets of America" program, we prioritize working with frontline communities that have been uprooted and looted by destructive urban planning, auto-oriented development, racist policies, and unequal investment. Our network is fighting back by equipping communities across the country with a range of tools, experiences, funding, and new relationships to regenerate their neighborhoods into complex, resilient systems transformed to face 21st-century issues like climate change, isolation/polarization, economic inequity, and public health.

Black Artists on Art: Past, Present, and Future at the Crocker Art Museum

"Art is Business"

Black Artists on Art: Past, Present, and Future celebrate legendary and contemporary Black artists and the legacy of the "Black Artists on Art" book series.

This group exhibition showcases work by legendary artists Benny Andrews, Romare Bearden, Dumile Feni, Elizabeth Catlett, Jacob Lawrence, Samella Lewis, Ruth Waddy, and Charles White; as well as contemporary artists EMONI, Alpha Bruton, Beth Cosetta Rubel, Joha Harrison, Dwight Head, Laurelin Gilmore, Claude Lewis, Keia Kodama, Lee McCormick, Shonna McDaniels, and more. 

The Black Artists on Art exhibition series is organized by Unity Lewis, the grandson of the late Dr. Samella Lewis, the artist, historian, author, and educator often referred to as the godmother of Black art. The presentation of Black Artists on Art at the Crocker is the ninth iteration of the series and is unique in its pairing of well-known legends with contemporary and youth artists. The exhibition series takes its name from the "Black Artists on Art" book series, originally published by Dr. Lewis and Ruth Waddy in 1969. It brought attention to the many notable Black artists neglected or overlooked by the mainstream art world.
Alpha Bruton, "My Man" Acrylic on Canvas NFS

Black Artists on Art: Past, Present, and Future

August 11th - October 23rd, 2022

Crocker Art Museum and Black Artists on Art present 'The Past, Present and Future Exhibition,' a group exhibition featuring California-based black artists alongside legendary artists from the original Black Artists on Art book series, published in 1969 by Dr. Samella Lewis and Ruth G. Waddy.

The exhibit celebrates the 53rd anniversary of Black Artists on Art Volume 1 and commences a series of activities that will surround the new books in their development phases. 

The exhibit's purpose is to showcase the artists and engage them in a dialogue about the role of Black artists in contemporary society. The exhibition also honors Dr. Samella Lewis and many of the visual artists featured in the original Black Artists on Art books who made such valuable contributions to the Black Arts Movement.

Park(ing) Day 2022 Tooltesting Journey - Session 1 (Orientation)

Our Park(ingDay prep gatherings continue this Friday!

Join our global cohort for a series of online gatherings to prepare your Park(ingDay demonstration in good company!
RSVP for Friday's Webinar

Placemakers around the world are invited to gather online in August and September to support each others' collective actions for Park(ingDay 2022 (Sep 16-18).

We have planned a series of thematic web meetups in the following weeks intended to inspire, provoke and support you in the process of delivering a temporary parklet in your local context.

Last Week's Orientation

For our kickoff orientation last week, we featured John Bela, an originator of Park(ing)Day over a decade ago, who will be back with us tomorrow to hear stories of Park(ingDay implementations from our global cohortSee you tomorrow!
Watch Last Week's Orientation

PlacemakingJAX Launching in Florida

PlacemakingJAX is a new initiative being launched to scale up placemaking efforts in Jacksonville, Florida by granting ten $10,000 grants for community-led placemaking projects.

PlacemakingUS is excited to join Jaxson Placemakers on Sept 13th from 5-7PM at Justice Pub at 315 E Bay Street, Jacksonville, Florida for the launch of the PlacemakingJAX initiative.

Consider joining us for the launch or share with your contacts in the area!

Flint Placemakers Share Learnings from Portland, OR Trip

Placemakers from Flint, Michigan recently visited Portland, Oregon through an exchange learning program hosted by PlacemakingUS. The Flintstones are back home and have arranged a "Lunch and Learnto disseminate knowledge they gathered on the trip. You can join in on the event on Facebook Live! Note, you can also support the Flintstones by voting for their placemaking campaign they are finalists for through the Michigan Municipal League Bridge Builders program.
RSVP For Reminder
Special Thanks to all the PDX Placemakers we met with who made this trip so special including Greg Raisman, Kirk Rea, Mark Lakeman, Michael Mehaffy, Stephen Schneider, Jennifer Polver, Ellen Shoshkes, Blair Vallie, Erica Dorn, Matt Bibeau, Harrell Fletcher, Master Artist Michael Bernard Stevenson Jr.

Help Support our Work!

PlacemakingUS is now organized as a 501c(3) non-profit project of Social Environmental Entrepreneurs. Please donate and support our work!

What We're About

PlacemakingUS is a national network organized to unleash community power to build living, interconnected places together. Through our “United Streets of America” program, we prioritize working with frontline communities that have been uprooted and looted by destructive urban planning, auto-oriented development, racist policies and unequal investment. Our network is fighting back by equipping communities across the country with a range of tools, experiences, funding and new relationships to regenerate their neighborhoods into complex, resilient systems transformed to face 21st century issues like climate change, isolation/polarization, economic inequity and public health.
Donate to PlacemakingUS

WE DEM DAT BLAK: White Surveillance of Black arts and Life.

"Art is Business,"  
Tactical Urbanism in the Horizontal Landscape presents Renee Baker; all films start from 6pm to 10pm.

James Baldwin knew and spoke about the malicious treatment, scalping, and appropriation of all things black. WE DEM DAT BLAK is a phonetic device to make "others" look at how much they emulate and steal from black cultural, all while putting black cultural at an even lower caste than whites in poverty. The prose speaks for itself. RB 2022.

It's a funny way of being
We diddle daddle and poke fun at each other
BUT WHeN We see you saintering by, side-eyeing us,  

wondering what the private joke is

Wondering what we have to laugh at

We straighten up and switch the code

We have developed the art of putting you off the scent, black scent.

You think we're dawdlin'.
We just drifted to another planet.
And all you can do is gander.

As we sashay down OUR Blvd
Strolling like cocks of the walk



We dem dat blak and we don't have to share that with anyone else.

We've perfected the drift
Drifting in
Drifting out
Drifting left
Drifting right

In and out of your universe
But you don't have a key to ours.

Oh, you take swipes at it.
Wearing dashikis
Twerking, jerking, smirking
Even wearing braids

But that's not it
And you can practice on Tiktok
Til you're purple... It's our wealth
Owned by A people like no other
Tested, pressed down

But the Art of being Black
The real art of being black
Can't be taught
It can't be bought
It can't be swiped
It can't be bottled

It just is..what it is..a great pride
And we are the proof of the beauty
Deep within the many-hued beauty of our people

We know our value
We know our glow
Inside and out

Renee C Baker

Curatorial Projects produced by Renee baker include:

Suburbs Daily Southtown Southtown Community
From the community:

Dear James Baldwin relatives Dan Baldwin and Carole Weinstein.
Posted by stanwest1, Community Contributor
Author James Baldwin was the subject of Renee Baker's brilliant neopera "The Baldwin Chronicles: Midnight Ramble" at CSO this weekend.

Author James Baldwin was the subject of Renee Baker's brilliant neopera "The Baldwin Chronicles: Midnight Ramble" at CSO this weekend. (Posted by stanwest1, Community Contributor)
Community Contributor stanwest
You asked me to send you copies of the program from Renee Baker's "The Baldwin Chronicles: Midnight Ramble" that opened last night at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

It was powerfully poignant, illustrating his poems and prose utilizing her video, music, and lyrics. I'm sending you the programs, as promised. But I just felt I needed to send you so much more.

We all miss him very much, especially family members like you and his longtime friends who affectionately called him "Jimmy." Unfortunately, I only met him in '86, a year before he died. To me, he was "Mr. Baldwin." My writing teacher, Ishmael Reed, giving him a well-deserved award for being North America's best essayist, invited me to "Come to meet Jimmy." Pardon my French, but this is how it went down.

Je lui ai dit que comme un adolescent , je l'ai lu deux de ses livres de la bibliothèque de mes parents. Pendant ce temps, les Black Panthers , qui étaient un jeune groupe militant que je savais , renvoyé à lui comme " un révolutionnaire de café " qui n'a pas été assez en colère . Il m'a regardé dans les yeux et m'a dit: " Montrez-moi un nigga dont pas en colère et Je vais vous montrer un imbécile . " Je me suis assis en pensant que peut-être je venais d'être appelé un imbécile par Baldwin .

As a teen, I read a couple of his books from my parent's bookcase. During that time, Black Panthers, a young militant group I knew, referred to him as a "café revolutionary who was not angry enough." He looked me in the eye and told me, "Show me a nigga who's not angry, and I'll show you a fool." I sat thinking that maybe I had just been called a fool by Baldwin.

I believe you both heard me share this story in French and English at the 2016 James Baldwin Conference at the University of Paris, Dan Baldwin and Carole Weinstein. I recalled Carole smiling when I mused, "Since I had been called a fool by lesser individuals, I took Mr. Baldwin's words as a compliment." Unfortunately, as we all know, he died the following year, angry, I suspect.

Renee Baker's brilliant "neoopera" (which is how she describes her oft-abstract musical mosaic) showcased how some Whites felt he was "too angry" and some Blacks thought he was "not angry enough" - themes that emerged in his own writing that powered the Academy Award-nominated 2016 Raoul Peck-directed documentary, "I Am Not Your Negro."

Maestra Baker invited me to open the night by reading Baldwin's poem, "The Giver," that begins, "If the hope of giving/is to love the living/the giving gives madness/in the act of giving"… and ends quite angrily, "And he turns in his guilty bed to stare/at the starving multitudes standing there/and rises from bed to curse the heavens/he must understand that to whom much is given/much will be taken, and rightly so/I cannot tell how much I owe." So I did my very best.

The standing-room-only opera with Chicago's cultural elite packed rather closely in Symphony Center's Buntrock Hall featured baritone singer Robert Sims who bellowed, "I am Black, and I'm Gay, and that's why you can't stand me" to a crowd stunned by the ferocity of the truthful lyrics. I sat next to music educator Barbara Wright Pryor. Pryor smiled as this extraordinary operatic movement addressed the values and aspirations of ordinary people in AAN's 3rd Annual Black History Month Celebration co-sponsored by Phumzile Pride Mazibuko, Chicago's South African Consulate General.

As the brilliant Maestra waved her arms and rocked her shoulders to the liberation anthems of singers Cornelius Johnson, Dee Alexander, Sheila Anne Dawson Jones (founder-director of CSO's African American Network that sponsored the night's event) & Taalib Din Ziyad (whose singer-son, Saalik Ahmad Ziyad, died a few days prior and was unable to perform). Baker put her head done as Ziyad sang in deference to his son's recent demise, she later said.

Freedom songs were the night's bread and butter. Speaking of freedom, in the post-concert Q&A where this reporter was recruited to moderate, a prominent South African intellectual raised a provocative question that perhaps the opera did not adequately answer whether or not Baldwin's prophetic call for freedom would be answered. I responded in Zulu, saying, "Freedom is what freedom does." I added, "Dan Baldwin and Carole Weinstein, who could not leave New York City to be present at tonight's historical event, send Renee Baker praise for trying to keep Jimmy's freedom dreams alive."

Dear Dan Baldwin and Carole Weinstein, I believe your famous relative smiled at the night's magnificent effort. It accessed Baldwin's tears and fears in music and rhyme. Humanist attacks against gentrification were heard in lyrics and language though Baker argued, "My work is apolitical." Working-class woes amid a White supremacy backdrop were poetically tender. Moral capitalism meets compassionate humanism that cynics simplistically label socialism were among the tense quandaries underneath the sublime sounds.

Consider this: lines expertly sung by soloists languishing a "wall" instead of a bridge to understanding inspired the audience to hold hands with performers who belted out several verses of "Lift Every Voice and Sing" and "We Shall Overcome." What a finale!

Dear Dan Baldwin and Carole Weinstein. As you know, I just sent a U.K. literary agent and a U.K. publisher the rough draft of my "James Baldwin's Black Lives Blues" that I promised to soon share with you. If you think I got the public story right about his views on police brutality, now called euphemistically police misconduct, and the personal story about how several generations of Black straights and gays in my family, including my Black-Mexican-Italian-transgender cousin, Rabbi Ramona Hernandez, maybe you'll add a cover comment. Distant relative Dr. Tara Betts, a blues poet, has offered her terse verse, too. We think the intersectionality of our local, national, and international narrative fares better with U.K. packaging than here in AmeriKKKa, at least right now in this violent Trumpocalypse era of White fragility.

In sum, as I reflect on last night's musical tribute, I believe that your famous relative would beam witnessing the blues, gospel, jazz, classical, zydeco gumbo tour de force called "The Baldwin Chronicles: Midnight Ramble," to which I think if he were alive, he'd take a knee. Maestra Renee Baker said there are two other musical movements yet to come. She hinted she'll invite all of us to the party.-Stan West

This item was posted by a community contributor. To read more about community contributors, click here.


Renee' Clark Baker
Chicago Modern Orchestra Project
Mantra Blue Free Orchestra
RCB Arts Management

FREE Music Concert! Chicago Urban Art Retreat Centre

"Art is Business" I hope to see you there!
Melody Angel (similar to Jimi Hendricks singing & electric guitar)

September 17 from 1-5         FREE Music Concert!             

 Blues Blast!                            21st & Kedzie Lot                  

FREE Music Concert! Larry Taylor and the Soul Blues Healers, Plus Melody Angel - like Jimi Hendricks blues electric guitar & singer in a vacant lot near the CTA stop at 21st Street and Kedzie Avenue!   September 17 from 1-5, the Chicago Urban Art Retreat Centre provides the Social Justice Stage event, where we invite speakers on social justice challenges/solutions and musicians in our neighborhoods. We hope to get people thinking& discussing solutions to the urgent issues we face.

The Social Justice Stage event provides 5-minute slots to speak to introduce your organization working against violence in neighborhoods and for performers such as spoken word. This gives people the opportunity to hear about what others are doing to address social justice issues affecting
the community.   

Would you like to attend, do spoken word, or have a free table space as an artist, artisan, or vegan baker? Maybe you would like to volunteer to help us publicize on social media between now and then? Perhaps you would like to help set up the day of the event at 11 a.m.? We need help carrying the stage 2 blocks!!!!
Chicago Urban Art Retreat Center & Women's Residence
1957 S. Spaulding Ave. Chicago, Il. 60623
(corner of 21st, just 2 short blocks west of Kedzie pink line stop)

 (773) 542-9126  messages only 
Adults Art Studio Program
Art Therapy Sessions
Peace Park Project
Kedzie Pink Line Stop Revitalization Project 
CUARC Orientation: Noon on Saturdays year-round. email RSVP only
Gallery Hours: 1-4  Saturdays
Youth Program/Spring&Summer 
Animal Welfare Program

Popup Research Station CAFE What is a Case Study Methodology?

"Art is Business"

This CAFE talk is presented by Lisa Gaines McDonald of Research Explores, a Qualitative researcher and strategist with over twenty years of health care and consumer package goods marketing before establishing Research Explorers.

 What is the case study methodology?
The case study methodology is both unique and uniquely confusing. It is unique given one characteristic: case studies draw from more than one data source. A case study is inherently multimodal or mixed methods because it uses more than one form of data within a research paradigm or more than one form from different paradigms.

A case study inquiry could include:
1. Multiple forms of quantitative data sources, such as Big Data + a survey

2. Multiple forms of qualitative data sources, such as interviews + observations

3. Multiple forms of quantitative and qualitative data sources, such as Big Data + interviews

Pop Up Research Station Cafe 11 am PST/1 pm CST/2 pm EST.

Alpha Bruton is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Pop-up Research Station CAFE
Time: 11:00 am Pacific Time (the US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 813 6636 7712
Passcode: popup

"Civic Imagination Stations"

"Art is Business" AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION Grant for "Civic Imagination Stations"

About the Presenter
Rhonda Hardy is a life-long artist and community organizer focusing on African American culture and communities. Rhonda is a textiles artist and is president of her company Rhonda Hardy Designs. She also has a long professional history of community development initiatives in the Chicagoland area and was a Community Development educator for the University of Illinois. Her mission is to enlighten cultural pride through art and involvement with the community.

Workshop Presentation by Rhonda Hardy
An artist understands the specific terms required to create a successful work of art – color, texture, form, originality, and timeliness. Practitioners of community-based programs also need an understanding of the basic terms of a program plan design. This presentation will introduce terms such as vision, mission, goals, indicators, and outcomes, which must be used to create "a work of art," a successful and sustainable program. The presentation will focus on industry-approved outcome-based program evaluation models such as the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and others. The purpose is to equip attendees with a basic understanding of key program development concepts that are measurable for the community, organization, and funders. The educational workshop will also explore how practitioners interpret these terms to create their own personal and professional development plans.

Palm Sunday Concert Series 2022 Final Installment REGGIE NICHOLSON CONCEPTS

"Art is Business"

Andre, Frances Guichard of Gallery Guichard, and Joseph Harrington of THE MOJO Group, LTD will host a series of outdoor concerts under Palm Sunday as a tribute to and in memory of Gerri Oliver and the Palm Tavern. 

 This year Gallery Guichard will be launching the Palm Sunday, an outdoor concert series that happens in the Empty Lot 47th and Vincennes adjunct to the Great Migration Sculpture Garden and activated the alleyway next to 436 E. 47th Street as a social distance safe zone for art tour attendees, and the surrounding neighborhood—in addition, presenting live music, and other activities to Chicago neighborhoods so that all can enjoy themselves without regard to economic status or where a person lives. 

Our outdoor stage is a mobile venue that moves all over the city and becomes a movable, portable stage. Culture Coach makes a mobile stage more useful as it fills a gap left by community disinvestment. Susan Fox

 Join us next Sunday, September 18, 2022, from 2 pm to 5 pm for a Jazz Explosion to end the summer season!  

Palm Sunday in tribute to the historic Palm Tavern that was once located at the same place as the Great Migration Sculpture Garden!

Enjoy the amazing Jazz of Reggie Nicholson, Isiah Collier, Cory Wilkes, and Donovan Mixon and the rich history of the Bronzeville community.

The brunch package offers delicious food and relaxation in the garden.