Field Museum kicks-off spring season of “Cultural Connections”
For Immediate Release
Contact: Field Museum PR Department
(312) 665-7100, email@example.com
CHICAGO - February 14, 2006 - The inaugural program of the Cultural Connection's Spring 2006 season celebrates the richness of the fashions and styles of the Middle East and East Africa. Participants will explore interesting similarities and differences.
Cultural Connections is an innovative partnership of 23 Chicago museums and cultural centers dedicated to celebrating the city’s cultural diversity. For the past seven years, it has been gathering Chicagoans at a series of events held at partner museums and cultural centers all around Chicago designed to promote cultural understanding and exchange. Attendees view collections and artifacts, hear presentations by museum curators and staff, get first-voice accounts of specific Chicago communities, participate in discussions and taste delicious ethnic foods.
Arab American Action Network and Swahili Institute of Chicago
Saturday, February 18, 3:30pm-6pm
at Reformation Evangelical Lutheran Church, 11310 S. Forest Avenue
If one were to walk down Michigan Avenue dressed like a Pilgrim from the Mayflower, it would likely provoke a scene. By contrast, on the streets of Beirut or Dar-Es-Salaam, it is not uncommon to see some of the population dressed in styles dating to the Middle Ages interspersed with those sporting contemporary fashions. The Arab American Action Network and The Swahili Institute of Chicago will demonstrate the richness of the fashions and styles of the Middle East and East Africa and explore some interesting similarities and differences.
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall…How Am I Perceived By All?
Chicago Japanese American Historical Society and Indo-American Center
Saturday, March 18, 11:30am -2pm and 3:30pm-6pm
at the Indo-American Center, 6328 N. California Avenue
Even the act of getting dressed can pose dilemmas of choice and identity for Americans with a distinct ethnic identity. Explore how dynamics of generations, immigration, history, economics, and politics impact attire and appearance in the Asian Indian American and Japanese American communities. Come learn the secret of the sari, the complexity of the kimono, and the relevance of both in the lives of individuals from these groups.
Traditional Yet Contemporary
Filipino American Historical Society of Chicago and Swedish American Museum Center
Wednesday, April 19, 6pm-8:30pm
at the Swedish American Museum Center, 5211 N. Clark Street
Owing to both local and global factors, many peoples’ appearances have changed considerably over the last 100 years. Still, amid this change, threads of continuity can be teased out as traditional attire and adornment have either become part of new looks or have been consciously preserved as faithfully to the original as possible. Come see some of the traditional rural and working attire of the Philippines and Sweden and learn how this attire has been incorporated into contemporary fashion. We'll also consider traditional forms of appearance that have been more faithfully preserved, exploring some of the reasons for self-conscious conservation.
Beauty in Action
Brazilian Cultural Center of Chicago, DuSable Museum of African American History, and Italian Cultural Center
Wednesday, May 17, 6pm-8:30pm
at the Italian Cultural Center, 1621 N. 39th Avenue, Stone Park
The saying “beauty is as beauty does” means outward appearance matters less than what is inside. But what if outward appearance is what is inside? That is, what if specific elements of appearance are meant to make a social statement, expressing deeply held views? To explore these questions, members of the Chicago region’s Italian, Brazilian, and African American communities will discuss how hair styles, costumes, dance movements –among other aspects of appearance –constitute a beauty in action that also bespeaks identity.
Cultural Connections partners:
American Indian Center, Arab American Action Network, Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture, Brazilian Cultural Center of Chicago, Bronzeville/Black Chicagoan Historical Society, Cambodian Association of Illinois, Chicago Historical Society, Chicago Japanese American Historical Society, DuSable Museum of African American History, The Field Museum, Filipino American Historical Society of Chicago, Hellenic Museum and Cultural Center, The HistoryMakers, Indo-American Center, Institute of Puerto Rican Art and Culture, Italian Cultural Center, Korean American Resource and Cultural Center, Mitchell Museum of the American Indian, The Polish Museum of America, Swahili Institute of Chicago, Swedish American Museum Center, Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, and Ukrainian National Museum.
Cultural Connections has received generous support from:
The Joyce Foundation
Polk Bros. Foundation
Chicago Public Schools’ Office of Language and Cultural Education
Richard H. Driehaus Foundation
Charles and M.R. Shapiro Foundation