UofL offers art exhibition exploring questions from civil rights era

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    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The University of Louisville’s Hite Art Institute will open Jan. 7 a national, traveling exhibition of contemporary artwork that considers historic questions from the civil rights movement.

    Organize Your Own: The Politics and Poetics of Self- Determination Movements,” will be in Schneider Hall Galleries on UofL’s Belknap Campus through Feb. 22. There will be an opening reception 6-8 p.m. Jan. 10.

    “One of the most disturbing things about almost all white supporters of the movement has been that they are afraid to go into their own communities—which is where the racism exists—and work to get rid of it. They want to run from Berkeley to tell us what to do in Mississippi; let them look instead at Berkeley. . . . Let them go to the suburbs and open up freedom schools for whites,” wrote Stokely Carmichael, a member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, 53 years ago.

    That sentiment influenced activists of the era and, in turn, this exhibition, which opened initially in Chicago and Philadelphia.

    Building on a central inquiry — in the words of curator Daniel Tucker, “what does it mean to organize your own?” — the exhibition combines historical research, contemporary art and community organizing.

    While the exhibition has toured throughout the U.S., it has Louisville ties. For the exhibition’s multimedia project, UofL’s Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research worked with the community group Showing Up for Racial Justice to create two digital stories that examine the ways that the call to “organize your own” infused racial justice work in Louisville. Click here to view those videos.  

    For more information, contact Gallery Director Chris Reitz at chris.reitz@louisville.edu.

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    Niki King
    Niki King Jones is positive she has the best job at the University of Louisville, serving the communication needs of the departments of fine arts and theatre, the School of Music, University Libraries and Alumni – all the fun, creative stuff. Before coming to UofL in 2015, Niki held communication positions in both private and nonprofit sectors in Louisville, Ky., including at Heaven Hill Distilleries and the Jewish Community of Louisville. For 10 years prior, she was a reporter at various newspapers across the country, most recently The Courier-Journal. Niki graduated from the University of Memphis with a BA in journalism and has a masters degree in community and leadership development from the University of Kentucky.