Singing in Dark Times

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Monica Trinidad, Ethan Viets-VanLear, and Bill Ayers

In December, 2017 we held the inaugural gathering of a discussion group designed to open a public space for serious and challenging conversation in these troubling days: Singing in Dark Times. 

Eve Ewing, Rachel DeWoskin, Kevin Coval, and Bill Ayers started us off, and over 40 people joined in to try to make sense and make meaning of our lives and our work—to shine a bright beacon of hope and possibility into the gloom.

It was an electrifying evening for those of us in attendance, but it was only a start.

On January 13, 2018 Singing in Dark Times convened again—this time Bill Ayers welcomed Lisa Lee and David Stovall in an opening dialogue, quickly broadening into a conversation embracing everyone who chose to join in.

It too proved to be a provocative and powerful evening pushing toward a question that drives so many of us: What is to be done?

The next Singing in Dark Times forum will gather on March 13, 2018, and will include Bill Ayers in conversation with the brilliant artist/activist/movement-makers Monica Trinidad and Ethan Viets-VanLear.

RSVP HERE (Please note that your RSVP is requested, not required)

Please join this emerging public space, this intentional community-in-the-making.

As the public is being steadily eroded and eclipsed, and as neoliberalism persists and fascism lurks close by, the goal of those of us who believe in freedom is to take full responsibility to reimagine, revitalize, and create anew a public square, a public presence, and a wide range of participatory public spaces.

An impressive array of wildly diverse artists and grass-roots activists are on the move and on the rise—resistance is breaking out all over, and a revitalized public square is in-the-making. In Chicago, a cinema guild is running a series of films on authoritarianism followed by wide ranging teach-ins on the political environment we find ourselves in; the Co-op hosted a series of conversation led by U Chicago professors investigating contemporary issues under the banner “Free University of Chicago;” and Women and Children First’s “The Conversation” brings writers, artists, and politicians together to talk about an issue of political, social, or cultural importance. Elsewhere, a chain of restaurants in Detroit calling themselves “Sanctuary Cafes” is offering weekly facilitated conversations (as well as bail to neighbors caught up in the system); a collection of renowned playwrights has joined forces to dramatize the Bill of Rights; block clubs around the country are hosting monthly pot-luck dinners to allow folks to face one another authentically and figure out what is to be done. 

The legendary Seminary Co-op/57th St. Bookstores in Hyde Park, Chicago, has always been a destination bookstore and a vital public space. Please join us as we reimagine the public square—the essential conversation continues

About the interlocutors: Monica Trinidad is a queer, Latinx artist and organizer, born and raised on the southeast side of Chicago. She is the co-founder of Brown and Proud Press, For the People Artists Collective and the People's Response Team. Monica creates artwork meant to cultivate the practice of hope and spark imagination in both organizers immersed in the day-to-day spadework of movement building and every resident in Chicago. Her work is currently in permanent collection at DuSable Museum of African American History, and has been shown at the National Museum of Mexican Art, Hairpin Arts Center, and East Meets World Gallery in Cambridge, MA. 

Ethan Ethos Viets-Vanlear is a poet, organizer, prison abolitionist, and peace circle keeper dedicated to sustainability and radical justice for all peoples of the earth. I focus on prison abolition work through a restorative/re-distributive justice lens, and sustainability as a way to build a society that supports both the earth and the people in it. He uses his  poetry to speak the ethos of the people in hope it begins to shift our world towards a more peaceful place. This work has brought me around the city country and world connecting people and facilitating action dedicated to change. He currently works in his neighborhood doing community development work at an organization called a just harvest. 
Bill Ayers is a social justice activist, teacher, Distinguished Professor of Education (retired) at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and author of two memoirs, Fugitive Days and Public Enemy.


Event Location: 
57th Street Books
1301 E. 57th Street
Chicago, IL 60637