Mar 18th 2023

Forging Hope: Reckon and Reimagine Opening Program
Saturday, March 18, 2023
7:00 PM 9:30 PM
Chicago Cultural Center – Exhibition Hall and Theater 78 E Washington St Chicago

Forging Hope is the opening program for the Triennial exhibition Reckon and Reimagine. The program will begin with an exhibition walkthrough with featured artists and concludes with a music performance by Elexa Dawson (Citizen Potawatomi Nation), Joseph Running Crane (Blackfeet), Brittney Chantele, and James Pakootas (Confederate Tribes of Colville)

Elexa Dawson (Citizen Potawatomi Nation) creates community focused Americana music where sultry soul meets rural roots. Her debut album “Music is Medicine” brings her storytelling to life through transcendent melodies connecting land-based musical programming to folk stages. Elexa received a Native American Music Award for best country recording in 2022.

Joseph Running Crane (Blackfeet) has been featured in several publications, including “Montana Americana Music: Boot Stomping in Big Sky Country,” He grew up on the Blackfeet Reservation, and is a seasoned musician in the Missoula music scene. His early influences were hard rock, though his recent songs have taken on a more wistful tone with an acoustic sound.

Brittney Chantele [US Army veteran] is a dynamic pop/hip hop artist and DJ on the rise. Chantele’s music focuses on their military experience, queer identity, and relationship experiences through a refreshingly honest lens. As a biracial, non-binary, lesbian artist, Chantele is committed to creating a world where Queer people and Queer love aren’t just seen, but fully represented and respected.

James “JUST JAMEZ” Pakootas (Confederate Tribes of Colville) is a modern-day story weaver from The Colville Confederated Tribes. He is an award-winning vocalist, producer, and filmmaker who cultivates change through the power of words. He was awarded a Native American Music Award for Best Rap/Hip Hop Video in 2019. James comes from people whose future, present and past are expressed through art, song, and movement. As a vocalist who creates conscious hip hop and spoken word poetry, he carries on this tradition. James tells stories—stories that empower, stories that fascinate, and stories that speak truth to our existence.

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