MSI celebrates African Americans in Science and Art for 50th year

Some of the examples from last year’s Juried Art Exhibition at the MSI. (Herald file photo by Spencer Bibbs)

Staff writer

The Museum of Science and Industry (MSI), 5700 S. Lake Shore Dr., will celebrate African America’s contribution to arts and science with its annual Black Creativity Month starting on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 20.

Black Creativity Month always starts in January and lasts throughout Black History Month. The program aims to provide African American youth with culturally relevant STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) educational programming by offering a wide range of hands-on learning opportunities and exposure to STEM careers. Along with the program, families can visit an art exhibit and participate in workshops.

One of the key exhibits of the month is the Juried Art Exhibition; one of the longest-running exhibitions of African-American art displayed annually at MSI since 1970. More than 100 works from professional and emerging African-American artists from around the country will be featured in the exhibit, including artists between the ages of 14 and 17. Visitors will be able to see breathtaking paintings, drawings, fine art prints, sculpture, mixed-media, ceramics and photography. The exhibition will open on Jan. 20 and run through March 1, 2020.

Another key feature of the program is the Innovation Studio where youth will participate in interactive workshops where they will use design thinking and creativity to build tools from everyday materials. Museum guests can partake in drop-in sessions on the weekend and school groups can reserve weekday sessions in advance.

Events museum guests can attend includes Black Creativity Family Day that falls on Jan. 20 and Black Creativity Career Showcase on Feb. 29 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. For the showcase, MSI invites African American artists, scientists and engineers to the museum to teach youth about their work. Through the day, there will be demonstrations, interactive workshops and a chance to ask questions.

To celebrate the 50th year of this programming, MSI will host the 50th annual gala on Jan. 25. The gala helps the museum to raise money to support Black Creativity Month’s Juried Art Exhibition, Innovation Gallery, Innovation Studio and another programming.

All Black Creativity Month programming is free with museum entry. The museum is open daily from 9 a.m to 4 p.m. Illinois residents will receive free Museum Entry on Jan. 6-9, 13-16, 20-23 and 27-30. In February, free entry to the museum is 3-6, 10-13, 18-20 and 24-27.

For more information on events during the 2020 Black Creativity Month program, visit: