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June (Virtual) Art Picks

This month we’re highlighting events that uplift and fight for Black Lives and celebrate Black Queer Lives because the fight for Black Lives is the fight for Black artists, our Black Trans family, our Black Queer family, and the many branches of these communities.

Image: Graphic created by Tesh Silver. Three fists are shown in the air, each from a person of color. A rainbow shines in the background with carious shapes in each color.

If you’ve followed us for a while, you know that our Art Picks offer a wide scope of events that are relevant to our audiences because we and the artists, cultural workers, curators, spaces, and projects we support live full lives that know no boundaries. We maintain expansive practices and work toward justice for BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and disability communities in Chicago and the Midwest.

If this is your first time coming across this list, welcome. We’re glad you’re here and we hope this list sparks discovery, curiosity, and a demand for justice if you weren’t openly demanding that already.

Created in collaboration with The Visualist and adapted for social-distancing due to COVID-19, this list offers online exhibitions, streaming events, a list of online collections from Black and LGBTQIA+ archives, and other ways to spend time in the virtual space.

Also, in support of our friends, our communities, ourselves, and abolition/liberation efforts, we’re prioritizing events that uplift and fight for Black Lives and celebrate Black Queer Lives because the fight for Black Lives is the fight for Black artists, our Black Trans family, our Black Queer family, and the many branches of these communities.

With the health of the communities and artists we love in mind, the only in-person events listed are ones associated with protests happening across Chicago.

The featured image was created by one of Sixty’s extraordinary contributors, Teshika Silver, a freelance illustrator, designer, teaching artist and spiritual cultural worker spending time and living freely in Little Village, Chicago. Follow her work on Instagram @astratesh or visit her online store to purchase her glorious work.

This is a growing list, so check back often for new additions.

Chicago Protest Listings

Chicago Protest Calendar
Protest Chicago

Note: If you’re attending any protests or events, here are some tips from The Blackivists archivist collective on how to document thoughtfully with the care and safety of our coummunites in mind.

June Art Picks

Cooperation for Liberation Study & Working Group
#LetUsBreathe Collective, The Kola Nut Collective, & Cooperation for Liberation Study & Working Group

Quarantine Times
Public Media Institute

In the Cut
TRACE + Alt_


The Infinite Wrench Goes Viral
The Neo-Futurists

May 20- June 20, 2020
CNL Projects and Terrain Exhibitions

June 2020
Virtual Red Kite Workshop Series
Chicago Children’s Theatre

June 1 – 10, 2020
Paige Taul: It makes me wanna

Mon, June 1, 7-8pm
In Flux: Virtual tour and discussion with Robin Dluzen
Chicago Cultural Center

Tue, June 2, 12-12:30pm
Virtual Studio Visit: Santiago X
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

Tue, June 2, 12-1pm
Cathy Cohen & Kaushik Sunder Rajan: 2020 Elections
Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory (3CT)

Tue, June 2, 7-8pm
Open Door Series Online: Suzanne Buffam & CM Burroughs
Poetry Foundation

Wed, June 3, 12-1pm
Photos at Zoom: Queerness and the Image
Museum of Contemporary Photography

Wed, June 3, 4-4:45pm
Forgotten Feminist: Sophonisba Breckinridge and Women’s Activism in Chicago
Newberry Library

Wed, June 3, 6-6:45pm
Q&A with Sasie Sealy, director of Lucky Grandma
Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Thurs, June 4, 3-4:30pm
Covid-19 and the Crisis of Death by Incarceration
Parole Illinois

Thurs, June 4, 6:30-7:30pm
My America: C Pam Zhang
American Writers Museum

Thurs, June 4, 6:30-7:30pm
Future Café: Post-X Launch
Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory

Fri, June 5, 6pm
Defund CPD: Fund Black Lives!
Union Park

Fri, June 5, 9:30am (Fridays and Saturdays in June)
Free Weekly Yoga Classes with Latipha Rivers
Arts and Public Life

Fri, June 5, 12-1pm
MoCP Behind the Lens: Lorenzo Triburgo
Museum of Contemporary Photography

Fri, June 5, 7-8pm
Porochista Khakpour & Hoda Katebi
Women & Children First Bookstore

Fri, June 5, 9-9;30pm (and all Fridays in June)
The Franklin

June 5-7, 2020
Millennium Park at Home: Blues Music
Millennium Park

June 6-7, 2020

Sat, June 6, 1-2;30pm
Dialogue: Surviving Covid-19 Pandemic And Mental Health Crisis
the #LetUsBreathe Collective

Sat, June 6, 2-6pm
Post Sustainable Psuedo Survival: Erik Newman
Compound Yellow: 244 Lake St, Oak Park

Sun, June 7, 6-7pm
The Long Term
Pivot Arts

Mon, June 8, 6-8pm
Rest then Rise: An Ongoing Series of Healing Sessions
Black and Brown Coalition Healing
Free, Register here

Mon, June 8, 4pm
The Fire This Time: The New Uprising Against Racism and Police Violence
with Marc Lamont Hill and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
Haymarket Books
$0-25, Register here

Tues, June 9, 5:30pm
Wordplay with Benji Hart
Young Chicago Authors
Free, Hosted by @jmendoza010 on Instagram Live

Tues, June 9, 7:30-9pm
Queer Asian American/Asian Diaspora Storytelling

Tues, Jun 9, 7-9pm
Better Worlds Book Club
Pilsen Community Books

Wed, June 10, 6-7pm
Too Much Midnight Book Release & Poetry Reading Event
Arts & Public Life, University of Chicago Creative Writing and Poetics, Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture, Krista Franklin, & the Logan Center for the Arts

Wed, June 10, 7:30pm
Pandemic Issues: Locked Up During Lockdown Pt. 2: Kids in Cages
The Hoodoisie and South Side Weekly

Wed, June 10, 7-8:30pm (multiple dates)
Rebuild the Hood, Inc.: Book Society
Rebuild the Hood, Inc.

Wed, June 10, 7-8:30pm
Pour One Out: Not Too Late, Dad. Or Is It?
Volumes Bookcafe

Thurs, June 11, 3-4pm
Arts Policy Briefing: COVID’s Impact on Immigrants and Non-Citizens
Arts Alliance Illinois

Fri, June 12, 19, 26th, 9pm each day
Love Xtream: A Weekly Dance Party with The Franklin
Free, Access it on Insta @edrasoto

Thurs, June 11, 4-5:30pm
A Stronger Desire to Live: PEN Prison Writing Awards Listening Release
PEN America and Haymarket Books
$0-$25, Register here

Fri, June 12, 2pm
Community Reflection on Black Lives and Archives
Society of American Archivists
Free, RSVP here

Sat, June 13, 1-2:30pm
Dialogue: Surviving Covid-19 Pandemic and Mental Health Crisis
Alternative to Calling the Police During Mental Health Crises & #LetUsBreathe Collective

Sat, June 13, 12-1:30pm
Tenant Organizing and Rights Training
Chicago Democratic Socialists of America

Sat, June 13, 12-4pm
Liberation in Black & Tan: Teach-In Series, Part 1
Including “Shades of Liberation: History of Black & Brown Solidarity” (12pm), “Hemispheric Haterade: An Abridged History of Anti-Blackness in Latin America & Latinx Communities” (2pm), and “Mexicans in the Middle: Mexicans in the US Racial Formation” (4pm)
The Hoodoisie
Free, Register to attend via Zoom or join via Facebook

Sat, June 13, 3-4:30pm
How to File a Clemency Petition: Teach-In
Parole Illinois, Illinois Prison Project, & Pozen Family Center for Human Rights

Sat, June 13, 2pm
Woman Made Gallery

Sat, June 13, 2:30-3:30pm
LGBT Chicago History on the 1893 World’s Fair Virtual Tour
Chicago Detours

Sun, June 14, 6-7pm
The Long Term
Pivot Arts, Envisioning Justice, Illinois Humanities, and Prison & Neighborhood Arts Project

Sun, June 14, 11am CST
Topic Focus: Wikicommons for Photographers w/Ireashia M. Bennett
Black Lunch Table

Sun, June 14, 12-4pm
Liberation in Black & Tan: Teach-In Series, Part 2
Including “From Antagonism to Co-Imagining: Understanding Black & Brown Relations” (12pm), “Roundtable: A Radical History of Black & Brown Gangs in Chicago” (2pm), and “Hacking Rhetorics & Logics: Dismantling Critiques of Protests & Other Righteous Expression” (4pm)
The Hoodoisie
Free, Register to attend via Zoom or join via Facebook

June 15 – June 19
Week of Action: CopsOutCPS (Zoom and Facebook Live)
(June 15, 5pm) The School to Prison Pipeline
(June 16, 5pm) Alternatives to Policing
(June 17, 5pm) #PoliceFreeSchools: National Roundtable
(June 18, 5pm) A History of Policing in Schools
(June 19, 5pm) CPD out of CPS event
Chicago Teacher Union, Students Strike Back, Black Lives Matter Chicago, Chicago Freedom School, Kinetic, Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, Southside Together Organizing for Power

Mon, June 15, 4-5:30pm
This is an Uprising! A Conversation with Boots Riley and Noname
Haymarket Books

Mon, June 15, 12pm
Police, Power, Politics and Race: Chicago in Crisis: What’s Next? with Renee Hatcher, Trina Reynolds-Tyler, Kristiana Colón, and Jamila Woods
Social Justice Initiative
Free, RSVP

June 15-30, 2020
TSA_PDF 004: Structural Structures of Radical Reduction
Tiger Strikes Asteroid
Pay what you want

Wed, June 17, 4-6pm
Virtual Zoom Music Box Orchestra by Sadie Woods
Heaven Gallery

Wed, June 17, 7-8pm
CPAC 101: Community Control of the Chicago Police
DSA Chicago
Free, Register here

Wed, June 17, 12-1pm
Arts & Culture Leaders of Color Fellowship
Mana Contemporary & Americans for the Arts

Wed June 17, 5:30-6:30pm
Threewalls’ Wellness Wednesdays with Alice Berry

Thurs, June 18, 4pm
Raising AntiRacist Kids: Ibram X. Kendi with Derecka Purnell
Haymarket Books
$0-$25, Register here

Thurs, June 18, 7:30-8:30pm
Hyde Park Jazz Fest Benefit ft. Camille Thurman & Darrell Green
Hyde Park Jazz Festival

Thurs, June 18, 7-8:30pm
Author Conversation: Lisa Olstein & Eula Biss
Women & Children First Bookstore

Thurs, June 18, 4-5:30pm
Pandemic Lessons 1: What Just Happened?!
Gallery 400

Fri, June 19th
JUNETEENTH: Independence Day for Black Americans
Learn More here and here.

Fri, June 19, 11:00am-12:15pm
Archiving Protests, Protecting Activists
Documenting the Now in conversation with WITNESS, Blackivists, Texas After Violence Project, and Project STAND

Fri, June 19, 6-7:30pm
Kiki in the Commons Online
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

Sat, June 20, 2020
Solstice Flag-Lowering
Woman’s Club: 7077 N Ashland Blvd

Sat, June 20, 2-10pm
Indy Pride Virtual Celebration
Indy Pride

Sat, June 20, 6-8pm
Art, and a Time of Solidarity
ARC Gallery

Mon, June 22, 5:30pm
#SpreadTheWord: Views from a Crisis
Injustice Watch

Tues, June 23, 4pm
Abolitionist Teaching and the Future of Our School with Brian Jones and Bettina Love
Haymarket Books
$0-25, Register here

Tues, June 23, 6-8pm (+ Ongoing)
The Body and Pain Reading Group

Wed, June 24, 6-7pm
Write On! Part II with Artist Ben Lamar Gay
Arts and Public Life, and the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture

June 26-28th
4theQulture Fest: A 3-day Virtual Pride Celebration
Reunion Chicago, OTV, & Slo ‘Mo

Sat, June 27, 7-10pm – POSTPONED
Chicago at the Crossroad
Chicago Filmmakers

Sun, June 28, 2-3:30pm
Parole Illinois Public Meeting
Parole Illinois

Tues, June 30, 7-8pm
Organizing Past, Present, & Future Book Club
Pilsen Community Books


For information on resources and funding opportunities for artists, please see our previously published article “In Case of Emergency: Artist Resources For You, For Us.”

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