Feb 3rd 2021

Presented in collaboration with Earthjustice, a nonprofit public interest environmental law organization, Collective Communities: Actions on Environmental Crises at Weinberg/Newton Gallery will run Feb. 3 through March 27, 2021.

Through artwork and programming, Collective Communitiespresents the work of artist collaboratives, collectives, and cooperatives that are concerned primarily with ecologies in crisis. Presented virtually at weinbergnewtowngallery.com,  as well through installations viewable from the gallery’s storefront windows at 688 N. Milwaukee Ave, Collective Communities will feature new work by Deep Time Chicago artist collective, Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative and Karrabing Film Collective.

Exploring how models of collaboration, collectivization and cooperation offer blueprints for future social and environmental justice movements, the groups showcased within Collective Communities have also become generative forces for direct action against climate change and environmental harm. These actions are showcased in the artwork presented within the exhibition, which includes film documentaries, photography, graphic protest posters, interactive virtual maps and three-dimensional installations.

“There is no doubt that complex environmental crises are urgent and require collective action and response to see results,” said Weinberg/Newton Gallery Director and exhibition curator Nabiha Khan-Giordano. “With Earthjustice as our partner, we have a profound opportunity to connect with and reinforce artist and activist groups who are on the ground, developing bodies of work that catalog and detail the changes to our immediate surroundings as direct results of large-scale industrial activity.”

A related virtual programming series will introduce Earthjustice’s legal work centered in communities across the Midwest. The series will feature Earthjustice attorneys, public interest partners and community leaders in conversation about how tey are working together to fight for the health and safety of frontline communities. The programming series will be free and accessible to the public with registration, available at https://earthjustice.org/events/collective-communities-actions-on-environmental-crises.

Participating artists from Justseeds Artists Cooperative: Thea Gahr, Pete Railand, Aaron Hughes, Eric Ruin, Favianna Rodriguez, Jesse Purcell, Nicolas Lampert, Jess X Snow, Sanya Hyland, Roger Peet, Chip Thomas, and Dylan A.T. Miner

Participating artists from Deep Time Chicago: Jenny Kendler, Mara Eve Robbins, Amber Ginsburg, Claire Pentecost, Kayla Anderson, Sara Black, Sarah Lewison, Marlena Novak, Jay Alan Yim, Brian Holmes, Jeremy Bolen, Michael Swierz, Ryan Griffis, Joslyn Willauer, Geissler/Sann, and Brian Kirkbride

Full programming schedule listed below:

Opening Event: Collective Communities

Wednesday, Feb. 3, 5pm CT

Join to learn more about Earthjustice, a pro bono environmental litigation organization, which works alongside impacted communities and indigenous peoples tribes to protect health, preserve the region’s treasures and combat climate change. Weinberg/Newton Gallery and Earthjustice will introduce their partnership and preview the upcoming programs connected with the Collective Communities exhibition.

Honoring the Earth: Preserving and Protecting Water and a Way of Life

Thursday, Feb. 18, 5pm CT

Mining and oil pipeline proposals across the Midwest pose grave threats to places of deep cultural, economic and spiritual significance to regional Tribal Nations. The Menominee Tribe is fighting the proposed Back Forty gold mine, on the border of Michigan and Wisconsin, which is a direct threat to the Tribe’s heritage. The Bay Mills Indian Community seeks to shut down Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline that currently runs along the lake bottom in the Straits of Mackinac, which connects Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. Community leaders will share stories of their historic connection and continued reliance on the area, as well as the strategies that they are using to protect cultural resources.

Flooded and Forgotten: The Fight for Housing and Environmental Justice in Centreville, IL

Thursday, March 18, 5pm CT

Government failure to invest in and maintain basic infrastructure in low-income communities and Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color communities perpetuates the disproportionate exposure of these communities to environmental harms. In Centreville, Illinois, the poorest city in the state, Black community members are suffering from failing sewage infrastructure, inadequate flood prevention systems and potentially contaminated drinking water. Join to see an interview with leaders of a newly formed community group—Centreville Citizens for Change—who are fighting for housing and environmental justice with the support of Equity Legal Services, Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing & Opportunity Council, Earthjustice and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Conversations from the Frontlines: Transitioning to a Regenerative Economy

Thursday, March 25, 5pm CT

Climate solutions must address the legacy of pollution and promote racial and economic justice. In Michigan City, Just Transition NWI and the LaPorte County Chapter of the NAACP are fighting dirty, uneconomic coal plants and advancing a vision of a more sustainable economy that promotes the health of the community. This roundtable discussion will feature two leaders in the ongoing efforts including their advocacy, supported by Earthjustice, for the closure and cleanup of five coal ash ponds at the Michigan City Generating Station.

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