"Facing Extremism" to be acknowledged during 2005 Capitol Forum in Springfield, Illinois
Chicago—The Illinois Humanities Council (IHC) has awarded this year’s Lawrence W. Towner award to Free Street Programs for its project "Facing Extremism." The IHC’s board member Kathryn Harris, Library Services Division Manager at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, will present the award at the Library during the sixth Illinois Capitol Forum on America’s Future, Thursday, March 10 at 6:30 p.m.
Every January, the IHC board votes on the award from a list of five grants from the previous year, identified by IHC staff as embracing unconventional or unique methods in pursuit of ambitious goals. With the support of a major grant from the IHC, Free Street Programs created a youth theater program to examine the Iranian Hostage Crisis of 1979-1980. The group’s twenty-week examination of US-Iranian relations, Islamic fundamentalism, and democracy will culminate in a theatrical performance Thursday evening as a prelude to Friday’s Capitol Forum in Springfield.
The Towner Award was created by the Illinois Humanities Council Board of Directors to honor William "Bill" Towner, past President of the Newberry Library and chair of the IHC board of directors. Towner was beloved for his venturesome spirit and the award was instituted to encourage "risk-taking in the development and execution of a public humanities project."
Previous winners of the Towner Award include Center for Working Class Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago for the "Chicago Labor and Working-Class History Map," Beyondmedia Education for their "Women in Prison" project, Video Machete for "Global Youth Project," the Rockford Art Museum for the Hager Collection of African-American Contemporary Folk Art, the University of Chicago for its project "Trading Fours: Jazz and its Milieu," the Chicago Historical Society for its project "A House Divided," and the Illinois State Museum for its floating exhibit "Harvesting the River."
For more information about Free Street Programs and "Facing Extremism," please contact Bryn Magnus at 773-772-7248. Further information about the Illinois Humanities Council may be obtained by visiting www.prairie.org or calling 312.422.5580.
The Illinois Humanities Council is a nonprofit educational organization [501 (c) 3] dedicated to fostering a culture in which the humanities are a vital part of the lives of individuals and communities. Organized in 1973 as the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the IHC creates programs and funds organizations that promote greater understanding of, appreciation for, and involvement in the humanities by all Illinoisans, regardless of their economic resources, cultural background, or geographic location. The IHC is supported by state, federal, and private funds.
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