The Stillwell Institute for Contemporary Black Art

was established in 2018 with a mission to recruit, develop and support contemporary Black artists and to teach art making in the Black community as a healing practice, a vehicle for social change and a viable career opportunity.

This mission is fulfilled by three points of programming:

- e-Learning Arts in Education programming available to Chicago’s public and private school systems

- Professional development and mentoring opportunities for emerging Black artists across genres in the Chicagoland area.

- Performance opportunities for emerging Black artists in underserved communities.

It is our belief that to revitalize communities and to create space and opportunity for Black artists and scholars, we must delve into the nuances of American history. Arts-In-Ed programs like Correcting Historical Narratives help students to understand the roots of systemic oppression and racial animus so that we can begin to heal the wounds inflicted on communities of color, because these tensions infect the entire nation. To quote the poet/philosopher George Santayana, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”.

Project Overview:

Project 1619: Correcting Historical Narratives is an arts-in-education curriculum for Jr High/High School History classes that uses inquiry and art making to teach the details of the experience of kidnapped Africans in the Americas beginning in 1619, the year of the first documented slave ships to hit North American shores.

This project is rooted in an understanding that we must engage in correcting historical narratives that have omitted the nuances of capitalism and the trans-Atlantic Slave trade that were the economic foundation of America.


Citation Format
IMSA History and Social Science Learning Standards are cross referenced to:

  • IMSA’s Standards of Significant Learning [SSL-II.A]
  • Illinois State Learning Standards citation format [SSL-14.A.5]
  • American Historical Association [AHA-5.C]

A. Students studying history and social science at IMSA examine the parameters of citizenship, ethical behavior, and human rights in a democracy by:


  • Examine the parameters of citizenship, ethical behavior, and human rights in a democracy.
  • Analyze the effects of the symbiotic relationship between geography, environment, and other physical factors on the development of human cultures and political systems.
  • Develop skills such as critical reading, interpretation of maps, art, iconographics, and the interpretation of statistical and tabular evidence.

For More information about our e-learning arts-in-education programming please go to our Contact page and send us a request.