Take a virtual tour of ‘Arts in Action’ exhibit

“Arts in Action,” a new virtual exhibit developed by the DeKalb County History Center and Ellwood House Museum, examines the history of race relations in DeKalb County with the assistance of nine visual artists and five poets.

The work is presented through the themes of fear, exclusion, community and hope. Community members have participated by telling their stories or by assisting with research.

The two organizations are working together to provide online tours of the display, led by Michelle Donahoe, executive director of the DeKalb County History Center, and Brian Reis, executive director of the Ellwood House Museum.

“We miss seeing our visitors in person, but offering a virtual tour provides an opportunity to explore the topics introduced in the exhibit, as well as the artistic interpretations of these themes,” Donahoe said in a news release. “Discussion will include research surrounding the exhibit, artist’s work, and explore what’s next.”

“We know our work on this topic is just a beginning, and we’d like to hear from more people of color and learn about their stories of living and growing up in DeKalb County,” Reis said in the release. “This information will be helpful in the creation of a physical exhibit at our two museums later this year.”

Donahoe and Reis also will be available to answer any questions.

“Arts in Action” is designed to be a platform for community members and artists to tell their stories, especially for those whose voices have not always been heard. The project goal is to build a stronger community by sharing, listening and understanding the stories of everyone in the community. The work will be ongoing.

A virtual exhibit of the research and the artists’ works began March 31, with related programming being offered to continue the conversation. A gallery exhibition is scheduled for late 2021.

To see the exhibit, visit dekalbcountyhistory.org, and to register for an online tour scroll to the calendar at the bottom of the home page. An online tour is available at 11 a.m. April 14. Small groups also can schedule a guided tour for a fee.

For more information, call 815-895-5762 or email michelle@dekalbcountyhistory.org.

This project was funded through a Healing Illinois Grant from the State of Illinois Department of Human Services and the DeKalb County Community Foundation in partnership with Family Service Agency, City of DeKalb, Ellwood House Museum, DeKalb County History Center and Northern Illinois University to help co-create a culture of belonging in the community. A full list of belonging projects can be found at cityofdekalb.com.