fifth city revisited

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In a Nutshell - from Meida McNeal

I am staging a solo performance project called Fifth City Revisited at the First Church of the Brethren in Garfield Park. The work explores the history of Fifth City, a radical community experiment from the 1960s to early 1990s on Chicago’s Westside. My parents were part of the original movement. As an adult, I am curious about why this incredible movement isn’t talked about more and why it isn’t more known as part of our local Chicago history. Tying together personal memory, oral history, original Fifth City documents, urban planning, and city policy, Fifth City Revisited explores how we create healthy communities while also considering the scale at which we must do this work in order to grow and sustain it. This project holds Fifth City up as a symbol of radical Black-centered community building using dance, story, and media to ask: what is the power of this community’s story against the backdrop of city planning systems that have all but erased its work? What lessons does the Fifth City movement have to teach us in our current, exciting, and (cautiously) hopeful era of grassroots change where a renewed commitment to neighborhood investment is bubbling up across Chicago’s West and South sides? Your support for Fifth City Revisitedcontributes to this energy. With your donation, you are helping to bring this community history alive and continuing this conversation about the revitalization of Chicago’s Westside.


Click photo for 2 minute video preview


April 24, 25, 26

May 1, 2, 3

Schedule details and tickets available soon.