Sep 30th 2022

Join us for a multimedia poetry event with Sylvia Ewing in partnership with Illinois Humanities and the Center for Black Verse.

Gardens of Light and Shadow offers poetry created over the tumultuous last two years, and reflects the introspection brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, loss, joy, and decades of meditation. Ewing’s work evokes a passion for place, people, and a loving hopefulness seasoned by her musings on time and maturity. Her poems are interwoven with music from renowned composer, musician, and educator Shawn Wallace. The award-winning director J.R. Sullivan centers this creative collective.

Sylvia Ewing is a communicator, curator, and author of Comfort and Joy: Stories of Hope Meditations for Happiness. Ewing produced and hosted Lift Every Voice Chicago,a Celebration of 250 Years of African American Poetry and Song for the Chicago Public Library; José Olivarez selected her poem “Origin Story” for the Poetry Corner segment of the Chicago Reader, sponsored by the Poetry Foundation. Her honors include a 2020 Illinois Humanities Award and induction into the HistoryMakers African American archives for her award-winning radio and television journalism; she is also a meditation teacher and member of Jon Sands Emotional Historians.

Shawn Wallace is a musician from Chicago’s far Southwest side whose style ranges from Gospel to Jazz to Hip-Hop. Wallace studied Music Theory and Composition at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As a keyboardist, he has worked with Common, Ugochi, and Johnny Gill, among others. Wallace is a Teaching Artist teaching production and theatre tech to youth from 6th–12th grades. He is currently the musical director for Red Summer at Governors State University’s Center for Performing Arts.

J.R. Sullivan has worked nationally as a director, producer, and artistic director. Sullivan was the artistic director of New York’s Pearl Theatre, whose resident acting company was presented with a Drama Desk Award 2011, and the associate artistic director of the Utah Shakespeare Festival from 2002–2009. He recently directed a revival of Lillian Hellman’s Days to Come for the Mint Theatre Company, a production named one of the “best of the season” by the Wall Street Journal.

Admission is free, advance registration is required. Masks are welcome. This event will include ASL interpretation.

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