Monday, February 21, 2011

#134: "Equality and Inclusion" at the Civil Rights Heritage Center

One of the most compelling events to happen in South Bend during the past year (and arguably in recent memory) was the re-opening and dedication of South Bend's historically-segregated Natatorium as part of IUSB's Civil Rights Heritage Center.  Opening in 1922 as a racially-exclusive swimming pool, the Natatorium remained segregated until 1950 and then closed, it appeared for good, in 1978. Yet, in the past several years, civil rights activists from the South Bend community have worked to restore the building as a museum, meeting center, and exemplar of change. The new Civil Rights Heritage Center opened for the first time in May of 2010.

The Center is currently featuring the exhibit "Equality and Inclusion" through the end of February. This exhibit itself features 20 separate works of art done by students at IUSB dealing with themes of race, gender, marriage, community, and related local and global issues under the wide banner of inequality and its hoped-for resolution. The art on display was selected by a jury of experts and ranges in media from poster to video. This post is a preview to my planned trip to the Natatorium later this week so I'm just as excited as you to see what this type of artwork looks like. Even more than that, I'm excited, even thrilled, to see what this artwork looks like in the context of its surroundings. For South Bend, the Natatorium, and now the artwork inside, is a lovely illustration of the thriving city we can be.

Location: 1040 West Washington Street
Hours: Tues, Wed, Fri, Sat- 10:00am-2:00pm; Thurs- 3:00pm-7:00pm

For more information on the exhibit go here, and for more information on the Center go here.

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