Over 30 Cultural Centers and Heritage Museums will host 20+ Intercultural Programs in Neighborhoods Across the City
October 1 – October 29, 2017

CHICAGO, IL (July 17, 2017) – As a leading cultural stakeholder in a city marred with the label “most segregated city in America”, the Chicago Cultural Alliance (CCA) has taken a monumental step towards encouraging Chicagoans to connect in a new and meaningful way – through cultural heritage.

This October the Chicago Cultural Alliance will launch Inherit Chicago, the city’s first intercultural festival that brings together over 30 cultural centers and heritage museums in collaboration to produce programming in 20 neighborhoods in the region.

The goal for this inaugural year: to have a wide, inter-generational cross-section of Chicagoans visit a neighborhood and experience a cultural exchange they had little knowledge of before.

“Inherit Chicago is a festival created by the neighborhood cultural centers and heritage museums,” says Emily Reusswig, Executive Director at the Chicago Cultural Alliance. “We want to put Chicagoans in the driver seat of experiencing all of the culture, food, performance, art that the neighborhoods have to offer. We believe that when you experience culture, you not only gain an understanding of that community, but you gain a better understanding of yourself. Inherit Chicago reflects on our past, and asks Chicagoans to embrace our collective future.”

Inherit Chicago will offer Chicagoans and visitors a cultural journey through arts, conversation, and food in a month-long, multi-event festival happening in collaboration with 30 neighborhood based heritage museums and cultural centers, all members of the Chicago Cultural Alliance.

“A lot of people, unfortunately, understand how segregated Chicago is ethnically, racially,” says Dr. Masequa Myers, Executive Director at the South Side Community Art Center. “So to have a collaboration like Inherit Chicago, it brings communities together. We get a chance to understand each other by communicating and sharing stories. So I believe this festival can do nothing but good as it relates to bringing people together.”

The festival kicks off in October with “World Dumpling Fest”, an opening celebration on October 7, 2017 from 11am-5pm at Millennium Park Chase South Promenade that features performances from the Lion Dragons, Kreyòl Roots, and the Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center Afro-Caribbean Jazz Collective, heritage-based artists and of course, dumplings. World Dumpling Fest will highlight chef-created dumplings from neighborhood-based ethnic restaurants like Tryzub Restaurant and more.

The kick-off is followed by collaborative programs and events from:
Chinese-American Museum of Chicago, Haitian American Museum of Chicago, and Ukrainian National Museum
Mitchell Museum of the American Indian and the South Side Community Art Center
National Hellenic Museum and the Indo-American Heritage Museum
DANK Haus German American Cultural Center, OPEN Center for the Arts, and Polish Museum of America
Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center and Dominican American Midwest Association
Intuit – The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art and the National Cambodian Heritage Museum & American Indian Center
The Japanese American Service Committee, Japanese American Historical Society and Arab American Action Network
Filipino American Historical Society of Chicago, the Turkish American Society, and Trickster Art Gallery
Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art and the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture
The Swedish American Museum and North Park University
The Ethiopian Community Association of Chicago and University of Chicago Logan Center
The Hana Center & STOP – Southside Together Organizing for Power
Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture and National Public Housing Museum
That Belongs in a Museum and Irish American Heritage Museum
MALA: the Muslim American Leadership Alliance

Programs in the neighborhoods range from a gallery talk with Puerto Rican and Ukrainian Artists talking about the shared language of abstraction in their art, to issue-based programs like one led by the Japanese American Service Committee, Chicago Japanese American Historical Society and Arab American Action Network, discussing the difficulties in keeping heritage alive in times of political and social distress and upheaval.

Tickets for World Dumpling Fest are on sale now at inheritchicago.org. The full event schedule will be announced on August 14th on InheritChicago.org. On that date full programming details and ticket information will be available. Leading up to the programming announcement, visitors to the website can sign up for the Inherit newsletter to stay connected and receive updates and promotions.

“The City of Chicago is proud to be a partner of the inaugural year of Inherit Chicago’s World Dumpling Fest,” says Mark Kelly, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. “This is a banner project that highlights the amazing culture that has made Chicago the ‘City of Neighborhoods’ it is. We’re thrilled to kick off the festival in Millennium Park, Chicago’s town square.”

Inherit Chicago is supported by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Chicago Community Trust, the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Illinois Humanities, Allstate, BMO Harris Bank, the Efroymson Family Fund, Choose Chicago, the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Direct Food Service, and the Arts Work Fund.

Inherit Chicago is supported by a Cultural Ambassador Council of civic leaders who have a longstanding passion for creating a more equitable, inclusive region. They span the non-profit, government and business sectors and are representative of the Chicago communities CCA proudly services.

The Cultural Ambassador Council includes:

Kenneth Bennett, senior adviser, public policy and community affairs, CHOOSE Chicago

Martin Castro, President & CEO, Castro Synergies and CASA Central

Jahmal Cole, Executive Director, My Block, My Hood, My City

Teresa Cordova, Director, Great Cities Institute

Amina Dickerson, President, Dickerson Global Advisers

Clarisol Duque,Chief of Staff, Office of U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and Omar Duque, CEO, Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Elissa Efroymson & Adnaan Hamid, Co-Chairs, Efroymson-Hamid Family Foundation

Sunny Fischer, Board President, National Public Housing Museum

Ra & Falona Joy, Executive Director, CHANGE Illinois and President & CEO, SNP Strategies

Mark Kelly, Commissioner, City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs

Kerstin Lane, Cultural Advocate

Dennis & Melissa Mondero, Executive Director, Chinese Mutual Aid Association

Juan Moreno,President & Founder, JGM Architects

Radha Parekh, Cultural Advocate

Claire Rice, Executive Director, Arts Alliance Illinois

Janet Carl Smith & Mel Smith, Cultural Advocate

Paula Stang,Senior Corporate Grants Administrator, Allstate

Vanessa Vergara* & Joseph Seliga, Cultural Advocate, and Partner, Mayer Brown

Alaka Wali, Curator, North American Anthropology Collections, The Field Museum

*A member of the Chicago Cultural Alliance Board of Directors

Website: www.InheritChicago.org
Assets: High-resolution photos available here and b-roll are available here for download
Press Contact: For more information and to schedule interviews, please contact Jada Russell at 312-375-4136, jrussell@hsmprconsulting.com.

The Chicago Cultural Alliance (CCA) is the only organization of its kind in the US, representing 35 Chicago-area heritage museums, cultural centers, and historical societies – our Core Members, and 12 Partners, a wide range of civic and arts organizations. Our mission is to connect, promote and support centers of cultural heritage for a more inclusive and culturally vibrant region. Core Members serve 28 ethnic populations ranging from 3,000 to 1 million, located in 24 neighborhoods spanning the city and 7 suburbs. Nearly 60% of Core Members are anchors for immigrant populations. The CCA’s programming and services celebrate diversity, preserve history, and honor tradition while amplifying intercultural collaboration. CCA offerings include large-scale collaborative programming that showcase Core Member assets, shared services that build capacity, promotion, and networking opportunities throughout the year through our member meetings and conferences. The CCA was formally created in 2008 after beginning at The Field Museum as the Cultural Connections program from 1998-2006.

More information is available at www.ChicagoCulturalAlliance.org.


Leave a Comment