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Native Sons

Though few people may know it, Chicago is home to the longest-running urban American Indian organization in the country.

Organized in 1953, the American Indian Center of Chicago has given valuable help to many of the more than 70,000 American Indians living in the state of Illinois, almost one-third of whom reside in Chicago. Over the years it has kept the community alive through cultural programs such as those put on by Dave Spencer, a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Along with mounting contemporary art shows at the center's Trickster Gallery, Spencer also helped put on the annual First Nations Film and Video Festival, a showcase of film that works to break racial stereotypes and promote awareness of Indigenous American issues.

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1630 W. Wilson Ave., Chicago IL 60640

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Explore the Art Institute of Chicago exhibit of American Indian Art. from 2004.

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Join David Spencer, a member of the Chata and Dine tribes, as he guides us through the early years of the American Indian Center of Chicago.

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Then listen as Spencer reflects on the difficulties modern-day Indians face as they hold on to their heritage while eschewing stereotypes.

 

Related Podcasts

Festivals Podcast

Film Podcast

Painting Podcast

Perf. Arts Podcast

Vis. Arts Podcast

 

Related Images

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A female dancer at the American Indian Center's annual powwow. Courtesy of the American Indian Center.

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A male dancer at the American Indian Center's annual powwow. Courtesy of the American Indian Center.

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Preparing for the 2005 opening of the Trickster Gallery in Schaumburg.

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Patrons examine the art at the AIC's Trickster Gallery.

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A closer look at the work in the Trickster Gallery.

 

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