eighth blackbird and The Academy at the MCA - April 29, 2016

EIGHTH BLACKBIRD AND CHICAGO ACADEMY FOR THE ARTS COLLABORATE FOR KERRY JAMES MARSHALL RETROSPECTIVE AT THE MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART’S FAMILY DAY

Eighth Blackbird has graciously invited students from the Chicago Academy for the Arts to participate in their residency at the Museum of Contemporary Art during Family Day on May 14th. Through the generous support of the Daniel J. Epstein Foundation, a partnership between Eighth Blackbird and The Academy has developed over the last two years. Collaborations between staff from all three organizations and Academy students resulted in the Family Day programming that exists in conjunction with Kerry James Marshall’s Retrospective at the MCA.

"The students were thrilled about the opportunity. We dropped them right into the middle of the project and they developed new, creative pieces of music, both analysis of and responses to Kerry James Marshall’s work, all within a couple of months. It was impressive to witness the quality of work they did on a professional deadline,” said Chicago Academy for the Arts Music Teacher Jesse Langen.

Students in The Academy’s New Music Ensemble led the project, creating original compositions inspired by both the work and instrumentation of Eighth Blackbird, and the visual art of Kerry James Marshall. Four groups comprised of Academy students and members of Eighth Blackbird will perform the pieces in the MCA, surrounded by the work of the MCA’s featured visual artist.

“Working with Eighth Blackbird was great because we had the opportunity to receive criticism on the pieces we created for the project - what worked and what didn’t. But it was also cool because they were kind of following our lead,” said Webb Dieter, Senior in the Music Department at The Academy.

The Academy is committed to developing partnerships with world-renowned cultural organizations like Eighth Blackbird and The Museum of Contemporary Art. These partnerships create dynamic programs for students that live at the intersection of the classroom and the community –facilitating a third space for teaching and learning, rooted in community connections and civic engagement throughout the City of Chicago.