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Wicker Park, Bucktown, West Town

Leaders In Chicago’s Art, Music Scenes Talk About The Loss Of Cultural Spaces In Free Virtual Panel

The Chicagoans behind The Silver Room, Double Door, Honey Pot Performance and Heaven Gallery will participate in the panel.

The former Double Door building at 1572 N. Milwaukee Ave. [Alisa Hauser/Block Club Chicago]
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WICKER PARK — A group of arts leaders will meet Thursday to discuss the ongoing displacement of Chicago’s independent galleries, venues and community spaces — and the impact such closures have on the city’s culture.

From 6:30-8 p.m. Thursday, AMFM founder Ciera Mckissick will moderate a panel discussion on these. The Silver Room’s Eric Williams, Double Door and Metro owner Joe Shanahan, Honey Pot Performance director Meida McNeal and Heaven Gallery director Alma Wieser will participate in the discussion.

Titled, “Monument Out Of Movements: Redefining Community Spaces,” the panel will delve into models for future and sustainable arts institutions, according to an event description.

“Since the closing of iconic Wicker Park spaces like The Silver Room, Double Door and, most recently, the legendary Danny’s Tavern, there is a sense of loss in Chicago’s collective memory,” event organizers wrote. “This discussion aims to further refine ongoing dialogue about the cultural impact of gentrification and how it changes the city’s landscape, often exploiting the arts and BIPOC culture.”

The panel is funded by the Chicago Monuments Project and organized by Equity Arts, a Wicker Park organization dedicated to protecting local artists from displacement while pursuing racial equity.

Register for the free virtual event online.

Formerly known as Community Arts Wicker Park, Equity Arts is led by Wieser. The group plans to use a Community Land Trust model to purchase real estate in the Wicker Park neighborhood and dedicate the property to gallery space, artist residences, a theatre and a greenhouse. 

The group has received grants from the Field Foundation and The Arts Work Fund, and Wieser said the group hopes to launch a real estate campaign. Heaven’s current home is above the Lubinski Furniture building, 1550 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Learn more about Equity Arts here

Credit: Screenshot / Eventbrite

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