Artist-in-Residence — Chicago Cultural Center

March 10, 12, 24, 25; April 14, 15, 28, 29; May 12, 13, 26, 27, 2023

Chicago Cultural Center, Learning Lab, 1st Floor South

Second & Fourth, Fridays & Saturdays, 12-2pm • FREE Admission

A Long Walk Home

Scheherazade Tillet, Leah Gipson, and Robert Narciso


Black Girlhood Altar (Nathan Keay - 2022)

(click on image to enlarge)


A Long Walk Home's Scheherazade Tillet, Leah Gipson, and Robert Narciso will be in the artists-in-residence in The Learning Lab. As part of the “Meet an Artist” series, the artists will invite visitors to participate in the creation of The Black Girlhood Altar to honor and create awareness for missing and murdered Black girls and young women. Artists will be spending the next three months developing ideas, objects and programs with the public.


Saturday, March 4, Virtual, Congo Square, NOLA
Join us live on our Social Media platforms from Congo Square in New Orleans, a space of healing and spirituality. Congo Square is an inspiration and design element to our courtyard proposed for The Black Girlhood Altar Show.

Friday, March 10, Chicago Cultural Center
Robert Narciso of the ALWH artists collective, shares an introduction to The Black Girlhood Altar. Robert shares his involvement on the altar project and where it has been so far.

Saturday, March 11, CLOSED

Sunday, March 12, Chicago Cultural Center
Join youth artist/activists of ALWH to learn about The Black Girlhood Altar for this special Sunday opportunity. Youth artists/ activists will share about various sites activated throughout Chicago, the history and development of the altar, and the role it plays as an object of activism and art. Visitors can learn how the artists prepare to activate the altar in the Chicago Cultural Center in August 2023.

Friday, March 24, Chicago Cultural Center
Play with us and get ready to do some Double Dutch, in preparation for the big Afro Jump Double Dutch competition on Saturday. Double Dutch ropes can be found on The Black Girlhood Altar and is a core component of Black Girl Play.

Saturday, March 25, Hybrid, 12-2pm
Jump Kids Health, DuSable Museum, and A Long Walk Home present a Double Dutch competition at DuSable Museum of African American History called Afro Jump starting at 11am. We will be streaming this Double Dutch competition live in the Learning Lab as we also play and jump Double Dutch. Double Dutch ropes can be found on The Black Girlhood Altar and is a core component of Black Girl Play.


Scheherazade Tillet

Scheherazade Tillet - Co-Founder and Director, A Long Walk Home
Scheherazade Tillet is a photo-based artist, curator, and feminist activist who explores the themes of Blackness, play, freedom, trauma, and healing. She is currently the Executive Director of A Long Walk Home, a nonprofit she founded with her sister, Salamishah Tillet, in 2003. She uses art to empower young people to end violence against girls and women. Tillet has dedicated her life's work to Black girls, including those who have been marginalized by society and victims of all forms of violence. Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Weinberg/Newton Gallery, Project of Empty Space, Columbia University, and Rutgers University-Newark, and has been featured in The New York Times, The Cut, The Guardian, Ms. Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, Teen Vogue, ELLE Decor, Gagosian Quarterly, and Vice. She was a consultant for Lifetime's documentary, "Surviving R. Kelly," the lead organizer of the #MuteRKelly campaign in Chicago, and curator of the Rekia Boyd memorial project. In 2022, she co-curated the "Picturing Black Girlhood: Moments of Possibility," the largest exhibition on Black girls and genderqueer youth, and was recently awarded by The Field Foundation and The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for her exemplary leadership work in Chicago. She is now a research associate at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa's Center for Gender, Race, and Class. Tillet is globally recognized for raising public consciousness, changing cultural narratives, and advancing research and policy.


Stay Connected

Visit us:

Chicago Cultural Center

Admission is FREE
Open Daily, 10am–5pm
Exhibitions close 15 minutes before the building closes
(Closed Holidays)

Find us:

Chicago Cultural Center
77 E. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60601


Nearby parking garages are located at Grant Park North Garage (25 N. Michigan Ave.), Grant Park South Garage (325 S. Michigan Ave.) and Millennium Park Garage & Millennium Lakeside Garage (5 S. Columbus Dr.).

Pay in person at each garage location or pre-pay online for discounted parking. Visit or call 312.616.0600 for 24/7 customer service.

Public Transportation:


Take CTA to the Chicago Cultural Center

From the elevated lines: exit at Washington/Wabash and walk east.

From the subway: exit at Lake (Red Line) or Washington (Blue Line) and walk east.

Served by Michigan Avenue buses 3, 4, 19, 20, 26, 60, 66, 124, 143, 147, 151, 157 and Washington St. buses 4, J14, 20, 56, 66, 147.

For travel information, visit For fare information or to purchase fares in advance, visit



Leah GipsonLeah Ra'chel Gipson is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Art Therapy and Counseling at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is a faculty member at the Center for Religion and Psychotherapy Chicago, and a board member for A Long Walk Home, an arts-based organization led by Black women and girls that empowers young people to end gender based violence. She helped to establish ALWH’s Girl/Friends Leadership Institute in 2009. Leah is a registered and board-certified art therapist (ATR-BC), and a licensed clinical professional counselor (LCPC) in Illinois, with a Master of Theological Studies. Her community art and clinical practice in art therapy and counseling have addressed racial and gender-based trauma, grief and loss, HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention, substance use and addiction. As an interdisciplinary artist, Leah facilitates hyperlocal, community projects that engage Black culture and imagines critical “call and response” environments. She explores race and gender through family history, media, and archives using image, sound, textile and installation. Rooted in mixed traditions of Black feminism and Black church, Gipson asks how communities cultivate conditions for care that are responsive to Black life. Gipson collaborates with artists and community participants to augment public spaces in Chicago to provoke conversations about how Black communities collectively negotiate power, survival, and resistance. Since 2009, Gipson’s participatory projects in the west side neighborhoods of Chicago address racial and gender inequity, and provide care and support for Black artists, activists and their communities. In 2022, she was the recipient of the 3Arts Make A Wave Grant. Her work has been featured at the South Side Community Art Center, Jane Addams Hull House Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and Project Row Houses, and Nawat Fes.


Robert Martin NarcisoRobert Martin Narciso - Creative Arts and Studio Manager, A Long Walk Home
Robert Narciso (he/him) is the creative arts and studio manager at A Long Walk Home, a trained Art Therapist, counselor, and community artist. He first aligned with ALWH as an intern while he was a student at SAIC in 2015. Robert has a large variety of skills and techniques that he offers to any project he is involved in as a community based artist, specifically sculpture and painting. He has been involved in many ALWH Shows including: Summer Leadership Institute Exhibitions at SAIC, Family Chair at Gene Siskel, The Black Girlhood Altar Project at the MCA, and Freedom Space at the University of Chicago. Robert is currently practicing as an art therapist and counselor at his own private practice: Weatherstone Counseling Institute LLC.




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