The 4th Annual BrooksDay is right around the corner, and to pique your interest the Guild Literary Complex in conjunction with the Museum of Contemporary Art is hosting a preview night of artists who represent the broad scope of the BrooksDay legacy and vision.

Showcasing their own work, artists who are part of the BrooksDay family will be performing at this free event, hosted by the Guild Literary Complex on the top floor of the MCA in conjunction with the Kerry James Marshall exhibition from 6:00 – 7:15 on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016.

We hope you will come see and hear the work of some of our great Chicago talent!

Featured artists include:
Tyrue “Slang” Jones
Sketch N’ Tyme with J.Evelyn

And Poets:
Nate Marshall
Peter O’Leary
Javon Smith
C. Russell Price
Natasha Estevez
and a special appearance by Nora Brooks Blakely

A video installation by Noëlle Pouzar will round out the night.

Come visit us at the Chicago Cultural Center on
June 7th, 2016 10: 00 AM – 6:00 PM for the 4th Annual BrooksDay!

Meet the artists:

A self-taught artist, Tyrue “Slang” Jones has been cultivating and innovating ideas reflected though his artwork for over 25 years. His wide array of styles, ranging from graffiti to fine art, has gained attention around the globe. His signature style of “Figurative Graffiti,” recognized both nationally and internationally, combines flowing shapes and abstracted letterforms with traditional figure painting.
Roger Gastman, author of “The History Of American Graffiti” says, “SLANG single handedly defines the Chicago graffiti movement. For 30 years he has been a nonstop force pushing the limits of his art and teaching the history of the culture that he helped to create.” He has worked as an established graffiti artist, fine artist, graphic designer, and professional television animator. His clients have included: Warner Bros. Animation Studios, Startoons Animation Studios, Walt Disney Interactive, General Mills, Universal Music, Def Jam, Interscope, Allstate, Leo Burnett and Viacom (MTV, VH1 and Nickelodeon). Please visit his website at

John Towns, Darnell Towns, and Robert Towns (aka The Towns Brothers) are the creators of the concept of Sketch N’ Tyme, a literary arts performance showcasing three brothers who draw rapidly to a host of original stories, historic events, and fairytales from around the world on large mural size paper to live narration and music. Creating a wide reputation for innovative storytelling Sketch N’ Tyme has performed at the DuSable Museum, The Black Ensemble Theatre, BrooksDay, WVON’s Pre Kwanza Celebration at Chicago State University, The Athenaeum Theatre, The Black Women’s Expo, Hyde Park High School’s 150th Anniversary, and a host of Chicago Public and Catholic Schools, just to name a few. Sketch N’ Tyme was also featured on Harry Porterfield’s ‘Someone you should know.’ Using basic art techniques, the brothers view themselves as modern day Davids against the formidable Goliaths of modern technology. John, Darnell, and Robert graduated from the school of the Art Institute of Chicago and in the 150th year history of that institution, the Towns Brothers hold the distinction of having the most siblings to graduate from that prestigious institution in back-to-back years. On Monday, October 27, 2014, Sketch N’ Tyme received a Special Recognition Black Excellence Award from The African-American Arts Alliance for their contribution to Art and Literacy. The 14th Annual Black Excellence Awards was held at the DuSable Museum. Please visit their website at

Nora Brooks Blakely was the Producing Artistic Director and primary playwright for Chocolate Chips Theatre Company in Chicago for 29 years. Ms. Blakely taught for 8 years in the Chicago Public Schools; spent over 20 years teaching drama and writing workshops for students and teachers; conducted readings and lectures in several states. She recently added to her teaching time with 3 years teaching theatre at the DuSable Leadership Academy, part of the Betty Shabazz International Charter Schools family. Nora has also served on boards and committees for several youth and arts organizations. She is the daughter of two writers, Henry Blakely and Gwendolyn Brooks and founded Brooks Permissions, a company which manages her mother’s body of work and promotes its continued relevance in the 21st century.

Nate Marshall is from the South Side of Chicago. He is the author of Wild Hundreds (University of Pittsburgh) and an editor of The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop (Haymarket Books). Wild Hundreds has been honored with the Black Caucus of the American Library Association’s award for Poetry Book of the Year and nominated for an NAACP Image Award. His last rap album, Grown came out in 2015 with his group Daily Lyrical Product. Nate is a member of The Dark Noise Collective. He won a 2015 Ruth Lilly/Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship. He is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at Wabash College.

Peter O’Leary is the author of five books of poetry, including The Sampo (Cultural Society, 2016). He has also edited several volumes of Ronald Johnson’s poetry, including ARK (Flood Editions, 2013) and The Book of the Green Man (Uniformbooks, 2015). He lives in Oak Park and teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and at the University of Chicago. With John Tipton, he edits Verge Books.

Javon J. Smith, an educator, is a double Louder Than A Bomb college slam champion. He recently appeared in Victory Gardens Theater’s We Must Breathe. He is last year’s winner of the Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Award, and has won numerous awards with Totally Positive Productions, Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus, Queer Foundation, and Young Chicago Authors. A graduate of DePaul University, Smith studied Secondary Education English with three minors in African and Black Diaspora Studies, LGBTQ Studies, and Theatre Studies. He has served as an Artist-in-Residence with Young Chicago Authors and Teaching Artist for Free Street Theater and Victory Gardens Theater. His poetry collection “Righteous Rage” will be released later this year.

C. Russell Price is an Appalachian genderqueer punk poet living in Chicago. Previous publications include: Assaracus, Court Green, Nimrod, MiPOesias, Weave, and elsewhere. They currently work with The Offing (a channel of the LA Review of Books) and Northwestern University. Their chapbook Tonight, We Fuck The Trailer Park Out Of Each Other will be published in June 2016 by Sibling Rivalry Press.

J.Evelyn moved to Chicago almost three years and is the 2016 BrooksDay Project Coordinator. She’s also an active storyteller, poet, and actor in Chicago. Recently, a House Ensemble member of Chicago Slam Works upon arriving to Chicago, by way of Cincinnati, she boldly made Chicago home performing her one-woman show ‘Arn’t I Still: Lessons of Her for the Solo Chicago Festival. She’s featured for several festivals in the Chicagoland area including Ravenswood Art Walk, Chicago’s own Beast Women: All Female Cabaret for two seasons, Still Point Theatre Collective’s “Strong Women” a play created from poetry written by women, not just inmates of Cook County Jail. She treasures the opportunity to tell stories and helping others searching for their voice to find it, use it, and share it.

Natasha Estevez is a 20 year old currently living in Chicago attending the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for Creative Writing. Up and out her streets of Harlem, growing up like many around Natasha with ambition and a movement up in my mind. To be better then what she had seen and to break the cycle of her streets. The mic is Natasha’s home at times where I get to spark something in someone’s mind.
With the stories she tells she hopes those who listen leave with a new found hope in their hearts

Noëlle Pouzar is a feminist sex essayist and graphic designer. Her practice primarily focuses on female suppression by higher institutions, societal standards, and male dominance. Noëlle is currently an undergraduate student at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

This is a free event and will coincide with an exhibition of painter Kerry James Marshall.

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