Chicago Drill and Activism
What started as a DePaul University graduate-level sociology thesis is now a SoapBox's feature documentary and multi-media, cross-platform project. The original study seeks to understand the creation, meaning, perspectives and potential connections between drill rap music and the resurgence of grassroots activism since the early 2010s. "Chi DNA" features in-depth interviews with drill rappers, other independent artists, and organizers/activists. It situates its findings into a broader theoretical framework and empirical history of systemic inequality and resistance.
Corona Conversations: A Bourbon 'n BrownTown Happy Hour on Instagram Live - Fridays at 6p CST
Tune into SoapBox on Instagram Fridays at 6pm CST for Corona Conversations, where BrownTown will check-in with each other, our community, give thoughts on the coronavirus crisis and its exposure of systemic failures, then get input from you! Tune in, sip somethin’ good, and hang out with the gang! They’ll spend part of the time chopping it up then field questions/comments from folks. Patreon members get first dibs; become a member below! Tag @soapboxpo #BnBLive with questions or comment on a recent post.
True/False Film Festival:
W H A T ' S G O O D ?
As technology and entertainment push the digital age forward, the need for inclusive communities of compassion, humanity, and justice continues to build. Our destinies are connected to each other. With that, we must remember that creative integrity and radical change are essential to our progress as a society. Check out some of our recent projects, events, and endeavors below.
Media literacy coupled with complex analysis within the digital space is important in reaching audiences where they are to confront the issues of our time and engage in radical social change and quality entertainment. Watch, listen, read, and interact with us.
Fitness Against Fascism
SoapBox and CrossTown Fitness partnered to create these workout fundraiser events pairing an anti-oppressive, liberatory-minded high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout led by SoapBox and CrossTown’s Caullen Hudson and holistically minded yoga session led by Mel Phillips. Participants learn more about SoapBox's work, holistic health and self care, how systems of oppression impact our everyday and how to challenge them, all while getting a well-rounded workout! The events also include post-workout meals and juices from community-minded and community-focused Kitchfix and Eenji Juice as well as discussions lead by SoapBox collaborators such as Judges Matter and American Constitution Society. Participants also received a 14-day unlimited pass to all CrossTown Fitness locations.
True/False Film Festival:
MARCH 1-4, 2018
David and Caullen of SoapBox were honored to be a part of the True/False Film Festival Education Team this year, co-leading a four-day creative workshop for Camp True/False along with the wonderfully talented Pearl Quick. Camp True/False is a media literacy program for 75 select high school students from all across the country (40 local, 35 out-of-town). The students meet five times leading up to the Fest then attend the Fest together. In the pre-Fest meetings, students learn about the history of documentary, documentary ethics, how to critically read documentary film, discuss relevant issues, and share research. A the Fest, the students experience a weekend of exciting films, music, art, conversations, and workshops with a diverse crew of exceptional guests and local hosts.
In this four-day journey, we worked with the students on telling their authentic narratives through interpersonal relationship-building and poetry, culminating in a two or three-voice poem at the end of the weekend. Contact us for curriculum and lesson plan overview.
We broke up the creative lesson into four sessions with three overarching frameworks:
- Authenticity and Telling Your Truth
- Art in Activism in a Push for Social Change
- Interpersonal Relationship Building is Movement Building
- DAY 1: Welcome and Introduce Creative Project
- Pearl, David, and Caullen introduced the creative project by performing a three-voice poem of their own then debriefed by discussing the logistics of the weekend, working frameworks, and encouraging students to connect, be creative, and get outside of their comfort zones.
- DAY 2: Two-Voice Poem and Meisner Technique
- Pearl, with her background in spoken word and power writing, talks students through the importance of telling their own story. Caullen uses the repetition acting exercise, congruent with the Meisner technique, to allow students to CONNECT with each other in a more organic level.
- DAY 3: Poetry Mechanics and Structure
- David leads students through a brief history of poetry before students prep for their pieces.
- DAY 4: Students Present Work
- Run like an open mic, students performed their amazing and diverse pieces to Camp True/False. We were so very inspired with the students' attention, passion, and creativity.
On the second day of the festival, David and Caullen led the session "Social Media Literacy and Activism" during DIY (Do It Yourself) Day, which hosted hundreds of high school students from the area. Speaking truth to power comes in many forms. In the age of social media and technological advances, how do we harness our creative skills to foster a community of discussion, education, excitement, and, most importantly, action? This workshop taught students how to utilize everyday digital tools, traditional branding techniques, as well as a radical imagination to create and proliferate creative authentic narratives capable of change.
Out of the Box:
A SoapBox Celebration & Showcase
A SoapBox Celebration & Showcase
FEBRUARY 24, 2018
Held on February 24, 2018, Out of the Box was a night of art, film, live performances, radical thought, and connection amongst Chicago's hard-working filmmakers, creatives, activists, and social entrepreneurs. This event exhibited SoapBox’s past and recent projects as well as raised funds to continue our work and develop our infrastructure.
In the wake of the closures of independent journalism outlets and public schools, defunding of social services, and the perpetuation of false narratives that are consistently harming the most marginalized, we are reminded of the importance of sustaining this work in our beloved city. Out of the Box was not just about us. Over the years, we have collaborated and fostered relationships with many individuals and organizations in the Chicago film, journalism, music, and activist scenes. The event hosted several affiliates, who shared their work in their various forms and brought awareness to their campaigns. Together, we fostered a community of discussion, education, excitement, and, most importantly, action. At the intersection of social justice, creativity, and technology, Out of the Box channeled a radical imagination in using creative narratives to speak truth to power—a framework that is more crucial than ever.
Featuring Performers: Kuumba Lynx, Jacob Victorine, Rio Mutasim, Michael the Jung, and TWEAK'G
Partnering Organizations: Culture, For the People Artists Collective, TRAP House Chicago, American Friends Service Committee - Chicago, and #NoCopAcademy