Jun 9th 2023

Juke 4 Liberation

@ Links Hall

3111 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60618

Opening Friday, June 9th, from 7PM - 8:30PM

On view through Saturday, June 10th

Juke 4 Liberation

Juke 4 Liberation album release & showcase. Come check out Chicago Juke DJ’s, battle cliques and dance groups gather to celebrate the in cipher and sound, the completion of a ten track LP.

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Curated by Christopher “Mad Dog” Thomas
part of Links Hall’s Co-MISSION Curators-In-Residence program

In the summer of 2022, Chris “Mad Dog” Thomas with creative direction by Kuumba Lynx, developed Juke for Liberation (J4L). A reconciliation of Chicago’s Juke DJs & producers and Footwork battle cliques & dance communities, J4L has engaged 6 Local Juke dance groups, 5 DJ’s, and 6 footworking artists totaling 255+ dancers and music makers from across Chicago. Together, these premiere dance teams, battle cliques and Juke producers are stewarding a more unified and loving Chicago Juke community.

Day 1: Saturday June 9th

Juke 4 Liberation album release & showcase. Come check out Chicago Juke DJ’s, battle cliques and dance groups gather to celebrate the in cipher and sound, the completion of a ten track LP.

Day 2: Sunday June 10th

What happens when a core of creative freedom fighters tap into their ancestral joys, genetic wisdoms, and call-in one another to rebuild a place more loving?

In collaboration with a variety of performing and installation artists, Mad Dog hosts a live interactive experience entitled DNA Joy, Welcome Home.

DNA Joy, Welcome Home is a live Hip Hop production and collaborative interactive experience curated by current and former KL creatives.

Christopher “Mad Dog” Thomas

Christopher “Mad Dog” Thomas is an extremely motivated dancer, activist, and youth mentor. Born and raised in Chicago Altgeld Gardens project homes, he was inspired to dance at age 5 by artists like Michael Jackson and New Edition. Throughout his youth career, Mad Dog danced with local groups K-Phi 9, House Arrest II, and Second II None. He later joined King Charles’ footwork battle clique, Creation in 2005. In 2007 Mad Dog became a member of the FootworKINGz for their appearance on Ellen’s Really Big Show in Las Vegas. Mad Dog was also the official spokesperson for FWK during their appearance on “America’s Got Talent.” In 2009, Christopher joined Kuumba Lynx (KL) in 2005 and KL has mentored and influenced Christopher’s teaching methods. Mad Dog has become one of the organization’s most sought after Arts & Restorative Justice Facilitators, and he has received several awards for his arts and activism work in the community and with Chicago youth. He is the recipient of a 2020 Chicago Dancemaker Award, 2022 American For The Arts Johnson Award, and a 2023 IMAN Roster Artist Award. Mad Dog’s social liberation approach to artistic creation explores the idea of codifying his style of Chicago Footwork while developing new choreographies that tell the stories of how bodies react to certain traumas, including his own. At Altgeld, Mad Dog and his family were exposed to pollutants that caused them to have respiratory problems. Imagine trying to dance at 160 beats per min when you have asthma.

Artistic Directors

Jaquanda Saulter-Villegas

A Fly Girl Chicagoan by way of South Carolina, Jaquanda is one of the three Founders and a Co-Creative Lead of the arts/education organization Kuumba Lynx (KL). Kuumba Lynx has been engaging youth and their families in Hip Hop Arts Activism and culturally relevant programming for 26 years. Jaquanda gets FREE as an Arts Educator, Mentor, Yoga Instructor, Shamonic Reiki Healer, Performance Artist, Arts Administrator, International Peace Movement Honorary Ambassador, and Hip Hop Theater Director and Words Beats & Life 2022/23 Fellow. As a healer, Jaquanda is dedicated to holding space for community to address harm, break generational curses, and interrupting systematic sabotage by re-engaging in Indigenous and African healing practices.

Jacinda Bullie (aka Jah da Amp Mouth)

Jacinda Bullie is a practicing mom of three Growing in Love with a mathematical genius. An activist by temperament and daughter of a Choctaw, this sage burning Muslim seeks to practice Gratitude & presence. Prior to making rhymes, Jacinda was a natural critique of circumstances, interrogating the world through an Uptown Chicago upbringing. In ’96, alongside Jaquanda V. and Leyda GM, Jah co-founded Kuumba Lynx, a Hip Hop collective dedicated to amplifying & loving all that is sweet.

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