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Untold Black Stories:

A Downtown Alton Visual Listening Tour

To celebrate and share the conversations recorded for Untold Black Stories of Alton by StoryCorps, large-format portraits of over 30 Alton residents have been commissioned to animate windows along the Broadway corridor with portraits of the participants.

Through this listening tour and photography exhibit, we discover a rich and often untold history. We see ourselves in these stories. They help us find our way back to one another and imagine a more inclusive society.

 

These are personal stories of family devotion, faith, dedication to hard work, friendship, honor, and reciprocity. They are filled with laughter, humility, and respect.

Professional Photography by Bishoppe Kamusinga and Cedric Parker. Design by Tyrone Stevenson.

This is a collaboration between Jacoby Arts CenterAlton Main Street, Great Rivers and Routes Tourism BureauAll Town, USA, and Hayner Public Library designed to catalyze diversity, inclusivity and equity within the downtown Alton historic district and engage the community with these Untold Black Stories of Alton.

Printing of the portraits is sponsored by The Mythic Mississippi Project, a public engagement venture of the University of Illinois that promotes community development through Cultural Heritage programming.

This project was made possible with support from Illinois Humanities, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Illinois General Assembly.

The Exhibition will run May-July 11 2021

 

Mythic Mississippi Project

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Listen to Full 40 Minute

StoryCorps Recordings Here:

George Terry, Diane Ingram, Carson Ingram And Faye Taylor
Rosetta Brown & Abe Lee Barham FULL
Jason Harrison & Willie Franklin FULL
Bryden Barnes & Norman Barnes FULL
Aaron Atkins & Ariyah Smith FULL
Amiah Williams & Antione Williams FULL.m
Autumn Brown & Jasmine Hardimon FULL 2.m
Courteney Wilson & Nana Becoat FULL
Faye Taylor & Wanda Walker FULL 2
Gregory Harrison & Jason Harrison FULL 2
J. Eric Robinson & Stephanie Young FULL
Nancy Becoat & Leah Becoat FULL 2
Tracey Northern & Eric Walker FULL 2
Yvonne Campbell & Evelyn Campbell FULL 2
Steve Potter & Lloyd Johnson FULL 2

Listen to Short Excerpts

Edited by All Town, USA:

George Terry, Diane Ingram, Carson Ingram And Faye Taylor EXCERPT
Rosetta Brown & Abe Lee Barham EXCERPT.m
Jason Harrison & Willie Franklin EXCERPT
Bryden Barnes & Norman Barnes EXCERPT.mp
Aaron Atkins & Ariyah Smith EXCERPT
Amiah Williams & Antione Williams EXCERP
Autumn Brown & Jasmine Hardimon EXCERPT.
Courteney Wilson & Nana Becoat EXCERPT.m
Faye Taylor & Wanda Walker EXCERPT
Gregory Harrison & Jason Harrison EXCERP
J. Eric Robinson & Stephanie Young EXCER
Nancy Becoat & Leah Becoat EXCERPT
Tracey Northern & Eric Walker EXCERPT.mp
Yvonne Campbell & Evelyn Campbell EXCERP
Steve Potter & Lloyd Johnson EXCERPT
This is just the beginning!
Record your Untold Black Stories of Alton.
 
This is an ongoing project. Sign-up below to be notified of future recording opportunities.
 
Or you can record a story on your own, with StoryCorps! 
 
StoryCorps gives people of all backgrounds, typically two at a time, the opportunity to record meaningful conversations. Recording a StoryCorps interview couldn’t be easier: You invite a loved one, or anyone else you choose, to one of the StoryCorps recording sites or via the app to share a 40-minute conversation. More info HERE.
 
Sign-up to be notified of future recording opportunities:

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Program Events:

Untold Black Stories of Alton: Live Listening Session & Discussion

DATE: 3/5/2021 at 5pm

Live Listening Session & Discussion of Untold Black Stories of Alton is a public virtual listening event of first-person stories of Alton residents documenting their lives and the town’s past, present, and future. Highlights:

  • Listening session of StoryCorps' stories via Zoom from StoryCorps’ Virtual event

  • Discussion with featured Alton participants

  • Audience Q&A

Untold Black Stories: A Downtown Alton Visual Listening Tour 

DATE: 5/15/2021 - 7/11/2021

In honor of the participants recorded for Untold Black Stories, large-format portraits of participants have been commissioned to activate downtown Alton storefront windows and engage the community with these Untold Black Stories of Alton. Through this listening tour, we discover a rich and often untold history. We see ourselves in these stories. They help us find our way back to one another and imagine a more inclusive society. 

Sign Up for the FREE Guided Audio Tour instantly delivered via text and email. No apps to download.

 

OUR ALTON STORIES: A Collaborative Community Art Installation

DATE: 3/5/2021 - 7/1/2021 

To further engage our community in Untold Black Stories of Alton visual artists will invite the community onsite at Jacoby Arts Center and out in the Alton community to create individual visual art “stories”.  A collection of fabric stories will integrate into a large collaborative community visual art piece that represents this diverse & unique community. Fabric Stories will represent personal stories and emotions from the community of Alton. Each fabric strand of color and texture represents an idea, emotion, and story. Oftentimes, words aren’t enough to communicate. A final visual portrait will be completed and on display through 2021, then moved to other areas to continue sharing and engaging with Untold Black Stories of Alton. 

 

Untold Black Stories in Contemporary Art Exhibition

DATE: 6/2/2021 - 7/11/2021 

To further engage our community in Untold Black Stories visual artists will be invited to submit their work for a showcase of art exploring the theme “Untold Black Stories.” Art of all media will be reviewed by a committee and selected pieces will be displayed in an exhibition at Jacoby Arts Center Main Gallery. Special emphasis will be placed on interactive art to help the community engage with the art and stories presented. The exhibit will run through June to align with local Juneteenth celebrations.