August 12 - 14, 2010 - Chicago, Illinois

Open Dialogue 2010: Building the 21st Century Agenda for Cultural Democracy

On August 12 to 14, 2010, The Association of American Cultures (TAAC) brought the vital discussion of cultural democracy to Chicago with Open Dialogue 2010. The theme for this twelfth biennial symposium was Building the 21st Century Agenda for Cultural Democracy. Over three days, participants from around the nation engaged in action-oriented sessions, connected around food, music and common purpose and concretely planned how to craft and realize the Cultural Democracy Agenda in 21st century America. Open Dialogue 2010 also featured an inspiring keynote by Tony award nominated director, and artistic director of True Colors Theatre, Kenny Leon. Additional remarks were made by Patrice Walker Powell of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Participants were treated to a tour of the DuSable Museum of African American History featuring a walkthrough of the notable African Presence in Mexico exhibition. From there, attendees continued on to a lively night of food, music, dancing and art at the National Museum of Mexican Art. Exhibitions included Mexicanidad, a journey through Mexican culture and history, and a touring exhibit from Chiapas, Mexico, Millas y Kilometros.

Open Dialogue 2010 also featured a dynamic and diverse sampling of artists performances as joyous reminders of what we all are striving to celebrate and protect.

Featured performers were Chicago’s own Funkadesi, the rock-folk infused indigenous group Sak Tzevul from Chiapas and Hector Silveria y Su Orquesta.

Additional performances included a spoken word and dance performance (Young Chicago Authors), a drum circle from the American Indian Center, a jazz ensemble from Jazz Institute of Chicago, traditional Chinese music (Chinese Fine Arts Society) and West African dance and drumming (Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago).


Hosted by the Illinois Arts Council in partnership with ArtsMidwest, City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, and The Joyce Foundation



Americans for the Arts
The Boeing Company
Chicago Community Trust
National Endowment for the Arts
National Museum of Mexican Art
Ohio Arts Council
Washington State Arts Commission
Western States Arts Federation



Arts Midwest
City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs
Illinois Arts Council
The Joyce Foundation
Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation
Native American Public Telecommunications
Nebraska Arts Council
Pennsylvania Council on the Arts
The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation