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May 22


Hosted by the Chicago Park District
Produced by Marcus Davis + Alexandria Eregbu
Artists TRACE (Teens Re-Imagine Community, Art & Environment), Free Street Theater, Rashada Dawan, Kreative Xpressions and Black Lives Black Words.
This space is wheelchair accessible.

What does it mean come from a demonized neighborhood? Join TRACE (Teens Re-Imagine Community, Art & Environment) at Hamilton Park and explore the Englewood community in a time of transition. Artistic producers Marcus Davis and Alexandria Eregbu are collaborating with artists Free Street Theater, Rashada Dawan, Kreative Xpressions, and Black Lives Black Words to explore intentional community investment and collective action. 

Marcus E. Davis (Senior Program Specialist, TRACE) is a multimodal artist based in Chicago. With a critical interest in black joy and queered creativity, Marcus leverages music, images, scholarship and humor to explore new ways of being and seeing in the world. His work has been featured in Blacklines, Windy City Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Reader. Marcus received a BA in Visual Ethnography from DePaul University.

Alexandria Eregbu (Lead Teaching Artist, TRACE) is a conceptual artist and disciplinary deviant. Her practice often takes shape in the form of maker, educator, curator, performer, and programmer.  Alexandria’s concerns frequently address visibility, ontology, family, locality, and mobility. Her work tends to insert itself at the axis of personal experience and myth—usually reliant upon the collection of artifacts, material culture, and an attentiveness to current and historical events. She received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Founded in 1969 by Patrick Henry, Free Street Theater is dedicated to creating performance by, for, and with a wide-range of participants. As one of the the first racially-integrated theater companies in Chicago, Free Street has a long history of creating work that addresses pressing social issues from diverse points of view. The ensemble performing at CHTF, HQ, is comprised of 13-19 year olds from around the city show spend a year receiving a conservatory level training and creating a show based around an issue affecting Chicago teens. This year they created, "Checkmate," which focused on the question, "How do you make change when you can't vote?" Free Street also creates work year round with a multi-generational ensemble and with its incubator program which supports artists developing new projects. Check out freestreet.org for more information or how to get involved.

Born and raised in the windy city of Chicago, IL, Rashada Dawan started with her first ballet class at the notable Southside YMCA at four years old. Upon graduating from Beasley Academic Center, Rashada decided to leave her good friends and go on to Curie Metropolitan High School (which was then deemed as a performing arts high school), where she became the first female conductor for the Curie High School Gospel Choir.  In her senior year, she was bit by the “acting bug” and performed in her first leading role as Deena in the high school’s production of Dreamgirls. Little did she know, a few months shy of graduating from Florida A&M University, she would return to play the role of Deena again in college. While majoring in psychology with a theatre minor, Rashada served as lead vocalist of at least four bands including the innovative Concept Live, toured with the Tom Joyner’s Fantastic Voyage Cruise, sang in the FAMU Gospel Choir, joined Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and served on the University’s Royal Court as Senior Attendant all before graduating with her degree. After graduating from FAMU, Rashada returned home to look for work. She eventually got a call from her best friend to audition for a children’s show at Chicago’s eta Theatre. From there, she quickly got casted in productions with some of Chicago’s finest theatre companies including: Bailiwick Chicago, Chicago Shakes and the Black Ensemble Theatre.  By day, she worked in a mental health community center as a Training Director; by night, she was a star.

Kreative Xpressions was founded in 2017 as a production company whose mission is to inspire all towards expressing themselves creatively despite gender, age, race or religion through poetry, drama, art and dance to developed their own identity. Kreative Xpresssions Production Company(KXPC) was founded by Antwain McWillis a choreographer, mentor, educator, performer and a community activist for over 15 years.

Black Lives, Black Words aims to explore the black diaspora experiences in some of the largest multicultural cities in the world, Chicago, Minneapolis, Charlotte, Baltimore, DC, London, UK and more to investigate the question ‘Do black lives matter today? Reginald Edmund is the Managing Curating Producer of Black Lives, Black Words International Project, An organization inspired by #blacklivesmatter, which give a voice to some of the most contemporary political black writers from around the globe, asking them to explore the question 'Do Black Lives Matter today?' additionally he is a resident playwright of Chicago Dramatists, and he was previously a 2009-2010, 2010-2011 Many Voices Fellow playwright. Originally from Houston, Texas, he served as Artistic Director for the Silver House Theatre, as well as the founder and producer for the Silver House Playwrights Festival and the Houston Urban Theatre Series. Reggie was the inaugural recipient of the  Kennedy Center Fellowship at Soul Mountain Retreat as well as the 2009 National Runner-up for the Lorraine Hansberry and Rosa Parks Playwriting Award, and most recently winner of an Edgerton Foundation New Play Award for his play 'SouthBridge'. He received his BFA in Theatre-Performance from Texas Southern University, and his MFA in playwriting at Ohio University under the guidance of Charles Smith.