Over the course of two weeks in August 2021, an intergenerational group of students, artists, and scholars from across the United States and around the world met over Zoom to learn about the Black Arts Movement (BAM) from a group of creatives who were central to its flowering in Chicago during the 1960 and ’70s. Supported by the Terra Foundation for American Art as part of Art Design Chicago, the course—dubbed the Black Arts Movement School Modality by its creator Romi Crawford, Professor of Visual and Critical Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago—explored ideas and knowledge structures that emerged from the movement in Chicago.
“The idea of ‘school’ was an important and recurring motif for BAM artists who organized free institutes, workshops, and other teaching and learning experiences in tandem with their artmaking. I wanted to capture the weight of this impulse that was so central to the movement, and to create space for the artists to teach what they know, because universities have not made room for them for systemic reasons.”
— Romi Crawford, Professor of Visual and Critical Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago