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68 + 50

Public Media Institute and Illinois Humanities launch of a summer of programming commemorating the 50th anniversary of 1968

1968 was a year of great social, political and cultural change in our city and around the world.  

Public Media Institute, in partnership with Illinois Humanities is marking the 50 year anniversary of the Democratic National Convention protests in August 68 by curating events, exhibitions, radio programming, and the publication of Lumpen magazine, bringing communities together to talk about the future of the past.

Friday, August 17, 6-9 pm
Opening reception for “Scenes of Resistance in 1968 Chicago: The Photo Archive of K. Kofi Moyo”
The Research House for Asian Art
3217 S. Morgan St., Chicago, IL 60608
Free / open hours 1-4 p.m. Monday to Friday through August 31

The exhibition highlights the work of Chicago-based photojournalist K. Kofi Moyo and mines other sources for figures, scenes, and texts reflecting resistance and opposition in Chicago circa 1968. Curated by Romi Crawford.

Friday, August 17, 11 am - 1 pm
Hitting Left - Extended 68 Show
Co-Prosperity Sphere
3219 S. Morgan St., Chicago, IL 60607

Extended version of the popular Lumpen Radio show, hosted by 1968 activists Fred and Michael Klonsky. In-studio guests include: Omar Lopez, a '68 Young Lords activist; Mary Scott-Boria, a former member of the Illinois Black Panther Party; Rev. Slim Coleman, a community organizer and leader of SDS; and others.

Thursday, August 23, 7-9 p.m.
“Flight of the Pigasus”
Maria's Packaged Goods and Community Bar
960 W. 31st St., Chicago, IL 60608

A re-staging of the infamous "Pigasus" press conference held at what is now Daley Plaza on August 23, 1968, in which the Yippies nominated a pig for the president of United States. This moment of political theater set off almost a week of political unrest and remains a key memory of the counterculture. Fifty years later, "Pigasus" flies again in a live theatrical event that uses the 1969 Chicago Eight trial as a frame for re-examining this story and the benefits and limits of using theater, performance, and disruption to effect political change. With musician Bill MacKay as musician and Yippie Phil Ochs; City of Chicago historian Tim Samuelson as Judge Julius Hoffman; National Lawyers Guild lawyer Jerry Boyle as defense attorney William Kunstler; author Pat Thomas as Tom Foran; artist Dmitry Samarov as magazine artist Franklin McMahon; Petunia the Pig as Pigasus; and Judy Gumbo and other witnesses of 1968 as themselves.

Friday, August 24 - Monday August 27th 7:30 p.m.(performances each night)
“The Radicalization Process”
An original performance by The Hinterlands
Co-Prosperity Sphere
3219 S. Morgan St., Chicago, IL 60607

Layering historical accounts of the radical left in the 1960s and ‘70s with a master class in American method acting, socialist pageantry, and a gleefully obtuse reproduction of The Living Theatre’s “Antigone,” this production from Detroit-based company The Hinterlands stokes the embers of America’s past revolutions to ignite our radical potential. Audiences begin the performance sifting through the archive of a forgotten revolutionary, navigating histories true and false, real and imagined, before they make their way into the performance space, a safe-house within a 1970s bungalow. Imagery unfolds both mundane and shocking; a live-score is performed on analog synthesizers and everyday objects; “L’Internationale” is sung; an explosion occurs.

This show runs for four nights, Friday the 24th - Monday the 27th at 7:30 pm each night.

Saturday, August 25, 5-9 p.m.
Pigasus Beer Release and Pat Thomas reading from “Did It! From Yippie To Yuppie: Jerry Rubin, An American Revolutionary.”
Marz Community Brewing Co.
3630 S. Iron St., Chicago, IL 60609

Join us as we release a collaboration beer made with Illuminated Brew Works to honor the 50th anniversary of the Yippie nomination of Pigasus for president.

In conjunction with the beer release will be a reading by author Pat Thomas from his new book, “Did It! From Yippie To Yuppie: Jerry Rubin, An American Revolutionary.”

The book is not only the first biography of the infamous and ubiquitous Jerry Rubin — co-founder of the Yippies, Anti-Vietnam War activist Chicago Eight defendant, social-networking pioneer, and a proponent of the Yuppie era — but an overstuffed chronicle of Rubin’s life (and ours) through those tumultuous times, including correspondence with Abbie Hoffman, Norman Mailer, John and Yoko, Eldridge Cleaver, the Weathermen, countless candid photos, personal diaries, and lost newspaper clippings. Thomas interviewed more than 75 of Rubin’s friends, foes, and comrades, including Chicago Eight defendants, participants in the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, Paul Krassner, Judy Gumbo, John Sinclair, Rennie Davis, and many others. It reveals Rubin’s and the Yippies’ historical yet bizarre personal interactions with the likes of Allen Ginsberg, Phil Ochs, Bob Dylan, Timothy Leary, Charles Manson, Mick Jagger, and other iconic figures of the era, and explores the often-misunderstood relationship between Rubin and his partner-in-crime Hoffman, with new insights into their Yippie vs. Yuppie debates.

Sunday, August 26, 1-4 p.m.
Chicago ‘68 Trolley Tour
Chicago History Museum
1601 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60614
$40, $30 for museum members, SOLD OUT

Explore why 1968 is still recalled as a pivotal time in this country and this city with guides who witnessed history firsthand: Michael Klonsky, former national secretary of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), and Susan Klonsky, an activist in SDS and the women’s liberation movement. The 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago was the focus of major protests against the Vietnam War, and confrontations between demonstrators and police were televised, giving rise to the chant “The whole world is watching.” The tour starts in Lincoln Park, heads to the West Side, and then the Michigan Avenue and Grant Park area to revisit the scenes of that turbulent summer.

Wednesday, August 29, 7 - 9 p.m.
“Speaking to the Devil: Adversarial Styles in American Politics from Buckley and Vidal to Today” with The Point Magazine
Co-Prosperity Sphere, 3219 S. Morgan St., Chicago, IL 60607

In 1968 at the national party conventions, William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal — two ideological and personal rivals — debated the issues of the day and traded insults. The Point presents a conversation about the explosive political spectacle that presaged the culture wars and today's polarized media landscape. Following a short screening, Rick Perlstein, author of Nixonland, and Modern Age editor Daniel McCarthy will discuss the Buckley-Vidal debates and their historical context and relevance today in a moderated conversation led by Timothy Crimmins. At a time of deep division, it’s worth asking: Has there ever been civil discourse in America?

Friday August 31, 6 -10pm
Opening for “Work for the People (or Forget About Fred Hampton)”
Co-Prosperity Sphere, 3219 S. Morgan St., Chicago, IL 60607

Free / open hours Tuesday - Thursday and Saturday 12- 6 p.m. until September 30.

"If you ever think about me, and if you ain’t gonna do no revolutionary act, forget about me. I don’t want myself on your mind if you’re not gonna work for the people." — Fred Hampton

“Work for the People” is an exhibition of local and national artist/revolutionaries (under)mining the radical histories and exploring the implications of the events of 1968 for today’s struggles and those in the (sometimes deep) future.

Artists include: Brandon Alvendia, Sofía Córdova, Damon Davis, Jim DeRogatis, Jim Duignan, Chris Duncan, Lise Haller Baggesen Ross, Robby Herbst, Jason Lazarus, Jesse Malmed, Justseeds Artists' Cooperative | Poor People's Campaign, Nicole Marroquin, Jennifer Moon, Emilio Rojas, Anthony Romero + Josh Rios, Dan S Wang, WORK/PLAY (Kevin and Danielle McCoy), Derrick Woods-Morrow, and Latham Zearfoss.

Sunday, September 9, 4-6
The Whole World Watched - Veteran Chicago Filmmakers on 1968
Co-Prosperity Sphere
3219 S. Morgan St., Chicago, IL 60607

Revealing the tensions of the time, these films show firsthand accounts of the '68 convention riots and the events preceding them. Featuring the works of legendary Chicago filmmakers Peter Kuttner, central to the Chicago wing of the national radical filmmaking collective Newsreel, and Tom Palazzolo, whose critically acclaimed retrospective at Co-Prosperity Sphere opened five years ago. Kuttner and Palazzolo will join us in conversation, discussing their work and capturing the spirit of '68 on film.

Wednesday, September 12, 5:30-8:30
How Race, Power and Aldermanic Prerogative Shape Chicago's Neighborhoods
Co-Prosperity Sphere
3219 S. Morgan St., Chicago, IL 60607

Join the Chicago Area Fair Housing Alliance (CAFHA) and Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law in partnership with Albert C. Hanna, Public Media Institute (Lumpen Radio + Co-Prosperity Sphere) & Illinois Humanities for an illuminating night of discussion, art exhibition, and mobilizing for change.

CAFHA and Shriver will release their new report: A City Fragmented: How Race, Power, and Aldermanic Prerogative Shape Chicago’s Neighborhoods, with discussion and commentary from national and local leaders in housing and community development.

Attendees will get a special viewing of “Work for the People (or Forget About Fred Hampton),” an exhibition of local and national artist/revolutionaries exploring the implications of the events of 1968 for today’s struggles.

Sunday, September 16, 2 -6pm
“Chicago Overground: Live on Worldwide FM”
Co-Prosperity Sphere
3219 S. Morgan St., Chicago, IL 60607

Join musicians, MCs, historians, DJs & dancers for a four-hour program inspired by the musical legacy of AfriCOBRA (African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists), the Black Panthers, and the AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians). Co-curated & co-hosted by Vocalo’s Ayana Contreras, Lumpen Radio’s Alejandro Ayala, and International Anthem’s Scottie McNiece, the program will be broadcasted live on video via UK radio legend Gilles Peterson’s global platform Worldwide FM, as well as over the terrestrial radio airwaves of WLPN-LP Chicago (105.5 FM, Lumpen Radio). Experience the past, present & future of Chicago music with a survey of revolutionary sounds from the city around 1968 and a showcase of contemporary cutting-edge artists working in the spirit.

To learn more about these and other upcoming events, join the facebook group 68 + 50, where events are posted and information is shared, or email


Illinois Humanities works to build dialogue across all sectors of society to examine issues important to democracy in the focus areas of public policy, media & journalism, business, and art. Using the humanities as a tool to stimulate discussion, we create experiences across Illinois through programming, events, and grantmaking to engage a diverse public on ideas and issues that matter.


Earlier Event: August 15
Music: The Shacks