March 1

Honoring Black Women Space

Honoring Black Women Space
Thrival Geographies (In My Mind I See a Line). Photo © Tom Harris. Courtesy of the School of the Art Institute and the University of Chicago.
Wrightwood 659

Join us for a traditional processional and honoring of Black Women Space as we celebrate the return of Thrival Geographies (In My Mind I See A Line) to Chicago, a work made out of steel and hand-braided cord by Amanda Williams and Andres L. Hernandez in collaboration with Shani Crowe. This festive occasion is highlighted with special performances from Ayodele Drum & Dance, Spirits Masquerade and Drum Society, and National Youth Poet Laureate, Patricia Frazier.


In 2007, seven African dancers came together to learn the art of the drum to enhance and improve their dancing. The sisters were led by Tosha “Ayo” Alston and the seed of Ayodele Drum & Dance was planted. Ayodele, a Yoruba word meaning “Joy in the home,” is now a diverse sister-circle of performing artists committed to studying and performing drum and dance as a healing element. They have grown from that circle of seven to over twenty Queens who use African drum and dance to educate and motivate young women and children.

Shani Crowe is an interdisciplinary artist, who uses cultural coiffure, adornment, and beauty ritual, as as a tool for healing and connection among people of African descent. She is most known for creating intricate cornrowed hairstyles, then capturing them as large photographic portraits. Shani received her BFA in film production from Howard University’s John H. Johnson School of Communications. Her work has been featured at the Museum of Contemporary African and Diasporan Art (MoCADA), in Brooklyn, NY, the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, in Grand Rapids, MI, Columbia University, and Soho House Chicago.

Patricia Frazier is an African American Poet, filmmaker and activist, and was raised in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood. Influenced by the mentors Fatimah Asghar, Jamila Woods, Regina Berg, and Mama Brenda, her writing aims to highlight the multifaceted intersections of Black women identity. She is a two-time finalist in Louder Than a Bomb Team finals and winner of the 2016 Louder Than a Bomb Jordan Slam. She is currently the National Youth Poet Laureate. Her chapbook, Graphite, was released in the fall of 2018 via Haymarket Books.

S.P.I.R.I.T.S. Masquerade and Drum Society is a Chicago based, African arts and research organization whose mission is to bring to life authentic, ancient, and contemporary African masquerades, along with music, magic, and mysticism that surrounds the culture and traditions of masquerade societies in Africa and throughout the Diaspora.