For the past 45 years the eta Creative Arts Foundation INC, located on the South Side of Chicago, has represented a hub of arts and culture with respect to the African American community. The eta has recently reopened their doors after being closed for a year following a fire.
Liberty City was written by Jessica Blank and April Yvette Thompson and kicks off the 2015 theater season in amazing fashion. According to the world-renowned director Johnathan Wilson, “Liberty City is a study of a child growing up in the inner-city ghetto of Miami during the 1970s. Specifically, it is about the special relationship between a daughter and her father who taught her to understand and appreciate her African history.”
Liberty City features Anna Dauzvardis in her debut performance as the lead character April, et al. Dauzvardis’ performance was mesmerizing. Watching such a young artist flow seamlessly through five different characters with the ability to give each one their own voice (literally and figuratively) was phenomenal. The set consisted of Dauzvardis, a chair and a table; however the sparsely decorated stage did not prevent the audience from being transported to the middle of Liberty City, and experiencing every single range of emotion. The production speaks volumes to the African American experience during some very turbulent times and is just as relevant in 2015.
In October of 2014 a roof fire destroyed the main theater of the eta. Restoration has started and the main theater will be opened this fall. Executive director Kemati J. Porter says, “The focus for the season is restoration, revitalization and remembrance.”
To preserve this legacy of the eta, donations are being accepted to help with this restoration, revitalization and remembrance. Donations can be made to eta Creative Arts Foundation 7558 S. South Chicago Avenue, Chicago, Ill. 60619-2644 or call 708-926-4641.
Eddy Lamarre aka Precise is a hip-hop artist-writer-actor from Chicago. The Chicago Reader recognized “Ladies Love Mixtapes” his latest release as one of the best projects of 2014. Listen/Buy Ladies Love Mixtapes at: https://precise.bandcamp.com/album/ladies-love-mixtapes-the-ep