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MCA Live: Maria Gaspar, Cook County Jail


Maria Gaspar. Cook County Jail: The Visible and Invisible Archive

Courtesy of the artist


Cook County Jail, located on Chicago’s West Side community of Little Village, is one of the largest pre-detention facilities in the country, housing an estimated 10,000 detainees daily and 100,000 per year. Located on 96 acres of jail compound, it is the largest piece of architecture in the Lawndale communities.

96ACRES, formed from community dialogue and led by artist Maria Gaspar, Enlace Chicago, and the Chicago Public Art Group, is a series of public, community-based, and site-responsive art projects that engage residents, artists, educators, youth, and organizations around social and restorative justice issues. This spring, 96ACRES will broadcast a set of audio documentaries derived from community stories and local histories in partnership with Vocalo (90.7 FM) that capture the untold narratives of the Cook County Jail's most impacted populations. Upcoming projects include an online archive of research, artistic projects, and collected narratives; a summer/fall series of participatory public art projects along the jail; and a workshop series around curriculum sharing for educators.

For this Tuesday evening program, 96ACRES with Maria Gaspar will lead a series of interventions that create a dialogue around power and place throughout the museum.