Indian Land Dancing

Vol. XX No. 2 - SUMMER 2009

On Saturday, August 22, at 10 a.m. the community gathered at the Foster Avenue underpass of Lake Shore Drive to dedicate two murals created by the Chicago Public Art Group under the direction of Tracy Van Duinen and Todd Osborne. It was the culmination of many months of work by community members, members of the American Indian Center and the students who participate in After School Matters and the Mitchell Museum of Native American History in Evanston.

The title of the mural – “Indian Land Dancing” – signals the focus of the mural, which is the cultural heritage of the native Americans of the area. Alderman Mary Ann Smith sponsored the mural and encouraged community members to get involved.

The Edgewater Historical Society hosted a work session at the museum in April. Then, in June, we co-sponsored with Alderman Smith a lecture at the Edgewater Library by Frances L. Hagemann of the Mitchell Museum about the history of native Americans in this area of Chicago and the design elements of the mural.

At the celebration, Mayor Daley and Maggie Daley spoke to the assembly. Alderman Smith congratulated all who participated. Those who worked on the project and directed the workers were called up for the thanks of the community. The dedication was followed by a mini pow-wow with drumming and dancing and many native Americans in costumes.