Feb 13–May 9, 2015
In partnership with American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois
Try Youth as Youth examines the juvenile justice system in America through an exhibit of photography, sculpture and video installation aiming to shed light on the lives of incarcerated youth. Try Youth As Youth features works by four artists with a shared dedication to institutional reform of the systems that far too often dehumanize young people and fail to provide them with constitutionally adequate conditions and services.
Feb 13–May 9, 2015
Feb 12, 2015, 6–9PM
With Ben Wolf, Director of the Institutional Reform Project at the ACLU of Illinois, photographer Richard Ross, and Xavier McElrath-Bey, who was incarcerated as a youth and currently works as a Youth Justice Advocate with the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth. All proceeds from ticket sales benefitted the ACLU of Illinois Children’s Rights Initiative, part of the Institutional Reform Project, which seeks to create fair conditions and due process for young people incarcerated in Illinois.
Feb 13, 2015, 5–8PM
Next Generation Society
Mar 6, 2015, 6–9PM
The Next Generation Society is a membership group for people under 40 who are committed to supporting the work of the ACLU. The program for the event includes a discussion of the ACLU of Illinois’ juvenile justice work, featuring Khadine Bennett, ACLU Legislative Counsel, and Lindsay Miller, ACLU Staff Attorney. All proceeds from ticket sales benefitted the ACLU of Illinois's work to protect and extend our fundamental freedoms.
Mar 12, 2015, 6–8PM
Natural Life. A screening of Tirtza Even’s experimental documentary, Natural Life. The piece challenges inequities in the juvenile justice system by depicting, through documentation and reenactment, the stories of five individuals who were incarcerated for life without parole (“natural life”) for crimes they committed as youth. The screening will be followed by a discussion with the artist, ACLU Legislative Counsel Khadine Bennett, and a phone conversation with one of the inmates featured in Even’s video.
Mar 20, 12–1:30PM
Using Impact Litigation to Dismantle the New Jim Crow. This lunchtime panel will feature ACLU lawyers discussing their use of impact litigation to force systemic changes to broken and entrenched state institutions.
Mar 28, 2015, 1:30–4:30PM
Understanding the Illinois Juvenile Justice System: The Basics. Hosted by Project NIA, this introductory workshop will provide basic information about the points of contact for youth within the juvenile justice system as well as information about rights that young people have in the system. The workshop is appropriate for community members, parents, educators, young people and organizers who have minimal knowledge about the juvenile justice system.
Apr 4, 2015, 6–9PM
Inside/Outside. Collaborative video work made by students and incarcerated juveniles. The work was produced during a School of the Art Institute of Chicago semester long workshop run by Tirtza Even during Fall 2014.
May 9, 2015, 1–3PM
Led by exhibition curator Meg Noe.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois is the principal protector of constitutional rights in Illinois, a distinction the organization has held since its founding in 1929. The ACLU is dedicated to protecting the liberties guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, the state Constitution, and state/federal human rights laws. Its advocacy is legendary in the areas of racial justice, religious liberty, freedom of expression, the rights of children and people with disabilities, criminal justice reform, fairness for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender individuals, and reproductive justice. With a membership of more than 20,000 in Illinois — and 550,000 across the country — the ACLU accomplishes its goals through litigation, lobbying, public policy reform, and educating the public on a broad array of civil liberties issues.
Try Youth as Youth, installation views at Weinberg/Newton Gallery, 2015