Last May our Public Humanities Awards honored Sylvia Ewing, Eve Ewing, and the Weinberg/Newton Gallery. The funds we raised not only supported free education and public programs, they also bolstered critical Covid-19 emergency relief grants for small public humanities organizations around the state.
The Public Humanities Awards are back! This year we’re honoring extraordinary photographers Tonika Lewis Johnson and Dawoud Bey.
Activist-artist Tonika Lewis Johnson’s visually stunning photographs document daily life in Englewood and rewrite the narrative of the Chicago South Side neighborhood in which she was raised. Her photographs of “map twins” who live on the north and south sides of Chicago along the same street with the same address evolved into the renowned Folded Map Project, a multimedia effort that illuminates the ways in which the geography of segregation shapes urban places and experiences throughout the state. Illinois Humanities is excited to be presenting her with the Public Humanities Award.
Dawoud Bey is known for his street photography, large scale art photography and portraits that intimately showcase Black lives. Bey’s recent work – which includes “The Birmingham Project,” featuring diptychs that frame the tragic events surrounding the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama – helps viewers reimagine history and rethink the present. Bey has gained international acclaim and has been an important educator and guiding light for upcoming artists and photographers. Illinois Humanities is thrilled to be presenting him with the Beacon Award.
Join us virtually May 20th to celebrate Tonika and Dawoud, to support Illinois Humanities, and expect the unexpected as Illinois Humanities takes you on a statewide, behind the scenes tour of the public humanities.
Visit ilhumanities.org/PHA to learn more and RSVP.
See you on May 20!
Gabrielle Lyon, Executive Director