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News & Press: ICA News

A New Community Play & Tool for Social Change

Wednesday, April 12, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Caitlin Sarro
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Fifty years ago the ICA launched Fifth City as its first human development project in East Garfield Park, Chicago. Today ICA is proud to host a new community play developed by Denise Gathings who grew up in Fifth City as the daughter of Ruth Carter (who served 40 years as the Fifth City Preschool Director). 

5PM: Pre-event Discussion (Details Below)

7PM"My Soul Cries Out: Stop!"

(One hour preview performance followed by group dialogue)

"My Soul Cries Out: Stop!” is a grassroots initiative that seeks to spark community transformation throughout Chicago. This play was written, directed and produced by Denise Gathings, a Chicago Police Officer and lifelong resident of the Fifth City neighborhood in East Garfield Park.

The stories in Gathings' play draw directly from her day-to-day interactions with local youth as a community police officer. The raw, powerful scenes authentically capture the pressures on the street that too often build to violence and painful aftermath. A short group diagloue will follow the performance.

Note: While the content of the play may be sensitive, this performance is designed to be accessible to youth - All ages welcome!

Read more about the play in a recent Chicago Tribune article HERE


5PM: Pre-event Discussion - Community & Culturally Centered Development

Prior to the performance at 7pm of Denise Gathings’ play, “My Soul Cries Out Stop!” ICA will convene a moderated discussion to provide context to the Fifth City neighborhood where Denise Gathings has her roots. One motivating question is "What kind of impact can community driven cultural initiatives have when combating issues like Chicago violence?"

ICA was inspired to host a transformational preview performance of "My Soul Cries Out: Stop!" in part because of its history in the Fifth City neighborhood. Fifty years ago the ICA launched the Fifth City Project as a remarkable model of what comprehensive human-focused development could look like. The project embodied a new approach to community transformation by focusing on individual action at the local level. In the decades that followed, the human-focused development model catalyzed thousands of local efforts around the world.


Event is FREE but seating is limited - RSVP TODAY at