How the Civic Knowledge Project at the University of Chicago Forms Reciprocal Relationships with the Community through the Arts and Humanities

Headshots of Erika and Joanie

April 8, 2014 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Harris School of Public Policy
1155 E. 60th St.
Room 289B

Erika Dudley, Senior Program Manager of the Odyssey Project; and Joanie Friedman, Senior Program Manager of the Southside Arts & Humanities Network

The Civic Knowledge Project’s Odyssey Program and the Southside Arts & Humanities Network connect University faculty and staff to leaders of arts organizations and community scholars, in order to speed up the circulation of knowledge, promote reciprocity and begin to overcome the social, economic and political divisions. In the process of identifying and validating individuals within and outside of the University, new knowledge is created and new intellectual resources are discovered and shared.

Senior Program Managers Erika Dudley and Joanie Friedman will be presenting on “How the University of Chicago forms reciprocal relationships with the community through the arts and humanities.” Erika Dudley will focus on the work of the Odyssey Project, a yearlong course in the humanities that connects University faculty to individuals at or below the poverty line. In particular, Ms. Dudley will describe how graduates of the Odyssey Project continue to engage in the arts and humanities through advanced scholarship, community partnerships, and cultural advocacy.

Joanie Friedman will focus on the work of the Southside Arts and Humanities Network (The Network). The Network brings together leaders from over 150 small cultural organizations on the south side in order to share resources and build capacity. In particular, Ms. Friedman will focus on the Board Leadership Certificate Program, which recruits, trains and matches University staff (and alumni) to serve on the boards of small South Side Arts & Humanities organizations. Together Ms. Dudley and Ms. Friedman have collaborated on a series called “The Progressive Conversation,” which links graduates of both the Odyssey Project and the Board Leadership Certificate Program in order to highlight and strengthen the cultural fabric of the South Side.

Erika Dudley is the Senior Program Manager of the Odyssey Project, professional chef, and former community organizer. Most recently, Ms. Dudley has collaborated on a series of projects with Theaster Gates and Dorchester Projects.

Joanie Friedman is the Senior Program Manager of the Southside Arts & Humanities Network, a teaching artist and community arts organizer. She worked for six years with the Redmoon Theater running a community arts program and helped bring renowned artist Rafael Lopez to Chicago to work with local residents to create a 100-foot mural in 10 days.