THE ART OF FLOCKING: CULTURAL STEWARDSHIP IN THE PARKS
“There is an art to flocking: staying close enough not to crowd each other, aligned enough to maintain a shared direction, and cohesive enough to always move towards each other.” - adrienne maree brown
The Art of Flocking: Cultural Stewardship in the Parks is a celebration of Chicago’s community-based art practices nurtured within the Chicago Park District. Hosted in partnership with the Terra Foundation for American Art, Art Design Chicago, this community arts education and cultural organizing series was inspired by adrienne maree brown’s Emergent Strategy.
Grounded in Octavia Butler’s speculative fiction and biomimicry; our pedagogy includes themes of interdependence, decentralization, resilience, transformation, and radical imagination. Created by Chicago-based artists and educators of color, the curriculum uplifts legacies of Mexican-American muralist and public artist, Hector Duarte, and Sapphire and Crystals, Chicago’s first and longest standing Black women’s artist collective.
Launched in the Spring of 2018, The Art of Flocking blossomed within two beloved Chicago Park District programs. ArtSeed, which engages children ages 3+ and families in 18 parks and playgrounds, and Young Cultural Stewards Fellowship, a multimedia program aimed at youth ages 12-14 with hubs in each of Chicago’s three geographic regions. The Art of Flocking engaged 2,500 youth and families with Chicago’s community-based art history and legacy through the lens of artists whose practices are rooted in social and environmental justice.
The Art Flocking hosted 216 public programs at 18 parks in the summer of 2018 as well as three community-based exhibition in Willye White Park in Rogers Park, Piotrowski Park in Little Village, and Tuley Park in Chatham. The Art of Flocking culminated in a celebration at Burnham Wildlife Corridor’s Gathering Spaces: La Ronda Parakata. The Art of Flocking was developed into a curriculum and documentary film, which will be screened as part of the Chicago OnScreen Festival in August 2019.
The Art of Flocking is part of Art Design Chicago, an initiative of the Terra Foundation for American Art exploring Chicago’s art and design legacy, with presenting partner The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.
Photos courtesy of William Camargo.