History Moves is a public history project designed to engage community organizations and neighborhood groups in the process of imagining, collecting, and curating underexplored histories of Chicago; and then place that co-curated work in a mobile gallery space that exposes new and underserved city audiences to the history. History Moves, a collaboration between UIC historian Jennifer Brier, architect Sharon Haar and architect Julie Flohr, from the School of Architecture will be an innovative public space designed as a regularly changing museum co-created with the city’s communities and able to cross the city’s historically segregated neighborhood lines.
History Moves is currently in the design development phase and recently received $20,000 in funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. Central to the project is community involvement at every stage—from the creation of its curatorial content to the interpretation of the exhibits to its reception in various host-communities of Chicago. “While there are numerous mobile museums in the United States, none of them make non-professionals central to the work of making pubic history,” said Brier, associate professor in the Departments of Gender and Women’s Studies and History. History Moves is a space for enacting a project of collecting and displaying Chicago’s history and it allows for a direct relationship between interdisciplinary scholars at UIC, community co-curators and the neighborhoods they inhabit.”
The long-term plan is to mount exhibitions that will run for a seven-month period. During that time, History Moves will reside in accessible public space such as library, school or park district parking lots. Public programming associated with the exhibit will take place outside the mobile museum or in nearby publicly-accessible space.
Community partners for the curation and programming of History Moves include the Immigrant Youth Justice League, South Side Community Arts Center, Chicago Cultural Alliance, Chicago Freedom School and Read/Write Library. Inquiries regarding community participation in History Moves may be directed to Brier at email@example.com.
Additional UIC partners in the project are the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum and the Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement, which has also provided seed funding to History Moves.
* All views expressed are those of the guests and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, or the University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Architecture and the Arts.