Victorian costume party marks end of exhibition

Reginald Robinson

Reginald Robinson, ragtime pianist and composer

A Victorian holiday costume party Dec. 5 with music by ragtime musician Reginald Robinson marks the closing of the exhibition “The Reason Why the Colored American Is Not in the World’s Columbian Exposition” in the African American Cultural Center.

The exhibition, on display since June 6 on the second floor of Addams Hall, closes Friday.

The costume party, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., is the final event for the interactive exhibition about black Americans’ contributions to the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893. Guests are encouraged, but not required, to wear costumes.

Robinson, a composer jazz pianist, educator and recording artist, was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, or “genius” grant, in 2004.

Inspired by the same-titled pamphlet co-authored by famed civil rights activist Ida B. Wells, the exhibition highlights the historical accounts of black Americans’ thoughts, feelings and experiences related to the Chicago’s World’s Fair.

The exhibition draws on the 120th anniversary of the exposition to explore how blacks felt about their exclusion from the planning processes, some of the lesser-known contributions of black Chicagoans during that period, and ethnic representation in the fair’s exhibits.

The exhibition included programs with the DuSable Museum of African American History and “traveling suitcases” for K-12 classrooms, senior centers and community organizations with information about exploring city sites related to the World’s Fair.

Admission is free to the exhibition and party. For more information, call 312-996-9549.