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In this unpublished protest statement, the Alliance for Cultural Equity (ACE) demands the cancellation of The Chicago Show, unless its organizers establish a dialogue to achieve the exhibition’s stated goal of showcasing the talent and cultural diversity of Chicago-area artists. ACE points out “crucial errors” that were made in the process of organizing the exhibition, including the role of Southern-like “plantation politics” in selection of a jury, and the failure of the jurors and the institutions they represented to fulfill the goals of the exhibition. ACE reminds the organizers of The Chicago Show that artists chose to enter and sponsors chose to support the exhibition based on those objectives. Should the city fail to cancel The Chicago Show, ACE calls for artists to boycott it and for sponsors to withdraw support.


This press statement was distributed in protest to a number of mistakes the organizers of The Chicago Show made in the course of attempting to diversify the artists selected by a blind jury. It was drafted by a number of activist and artists in Chicago, including Carlos Tortolero, the founding father and executive director of the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum, who organized as the “Alliance for Cultural Equity” (ACE). ACE was seeking a place for Latino artists in the public sphere, and speaking out against the factors working to prevent them from being acknowledged. 

Victor Alejandro Sorell, Gabrielle Toth; Harper Montgomery, collaborator
Institute for Latino Studies, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, USA