Oct 23, 2019, 9:30 AM – 9:30 PM
 Midway Studios, University Of Chicago

6016 South Ingleside Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637

An interdisciplinary symposium exploring the history and legacy of the 1919 race riots. As the centennial year of the 1919 race riots draws to a close, there is still much to discuss as we strive to understand the causes and legacy of this brutal period in Chicago history. Join us for an interdisciplinary symposium featuring research, art, and theoretical perspectives on the Red Summer. Followed by screening of Within Our Gates (Oscar Micheaux, 1920), featuring live musical accompaniment by DJ Rae Chardonnay. 

Convened by Eve L. Ewing, Assistant Professor, School of Social Service Administration & John Clegg, Collegiate Assistant Professor, Social Sciences. Presented by the Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry. Co-sponsored by the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture.

The event is free and open to the public, but space is limited so please visit EventBrite to register and see full schedule.



 Oct 23, 2019, 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
 Logan Center for the Arts Performance Hall

915 E 60th St, Chicago, IL 60637

Following Loose Machinery: A Symposium on the Chicago Race Riot of 1919, a screening of Oscar Micheaux’s Within Our Gates, accompanied by a new live score by DJ Rae Chardonnay.

The earliest surviving feature film by an African-American director, Within Our Gates (1920, 79min) was made as a direct response to the Chicago Race Riots of 1919 and in the aftermath of D.W. Griffith’s famously racist The Birth of a Nation (1915). Presented on 16mm film, print courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Screening will be followed by conversation with DJ Rae Chardonnay, Jacqueline Stewart, Professor, Cinema and Media Studies, and Allyson Nadia Field, Associate Professor, Cinema and Media Studies.

The symposium and film screening were organized by Eve L. Ewing, Assistant Professor, School of Social Service Administration & John Clegg, Collegiate Assistant Professor, Social Sciences.


Past events



Twenty-five years after the development of the “reproductive justice” framework in Chicago, Cinema 53 partners with the Chicago Abortion Fund to consider the complex experiences that constitute “RJ” today. The 3-part series“Freedom, Autonomy, Access: 25 Years of Reproductive Justice” brings together organizers, scholars, artists, and health workers to view ground-breaking films and explore the critical inheritance and vital future of the movement for reproductive justice. Tonight, director Leslie Harris presents the brash, ‘90s indie film about Chantel, her confident teen wisdom and complicated real-life decisions, with which Harris became the first African American woman director to win Best Feature Film at the Sundance Film Festival. Insightful and fresh after 27 years, Just Another Girl on the I.R.T.’s  honest take on shopping, high school and unexpected pregnancy still resonates. Followed by conversation Harris, Cinema 53 director Jacqueline Stewart and a youth leader from the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent  Health.  (1992, 92 min)



 Jul 20, 2019, 12:00 PM – 10:00 PM
 Harper Theater

5238 S Harper Ave

Third Annual Silver Room Block Party Film Fest: 
“The Bigger Picture:  Chicago Black Media Showcase”
Presented by Cinema 53 as part of  The Silver Room Block Party

A Black media boom is rippling across Chicago, with a growing number of festivals, series and programs springing up across the city, and longtime film venues expanding their platforms for new work. Cinema 53 celebrates this moment with a unique Black media showcase at the annual Silver Room Block Party - an incredible array of film and video works, plus local makers and media programmers on-site throughout the day. Featuring five distinct line-ups from Black Harvest, Collected Voices, Chicago South Side Film Festival, CIFF’s Black Perspectives and Open TV, plus highlights from the South Side Home Movie Project. Meet the directors, producers and programmers from every program on the red carpet at the photo-ready entrance booth in front of the Harper Theater. Free admission and free popcorn!



 Jun 06, 2019, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
 Gray Center Lab

Midway Studios Building
929 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637

Please join us for a reading by poet Laura Goldstein and a presentation of work by artist Robert Chase Heishman preceded by pizza & LaCroix and followed by a conversation with the artists.