Exhibit explores American family traditions from China, Ethiopia


The African American Cultural Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago will present “Rites of Passage,” a Chicago Cultural Alliance exhibition and related programs that explore family traditions in Chicago’s Chinese-American and Ethiopian-American communities.


Opening reception: Monday, Oct. 19, 5 – 7:30 p.m.
Exhibition on view: Through Dec. 11, Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., and by appointment. K-12 guided tours can be scheduled Monday – Thursday, 10 a.m. – noon.


UIC African American Cultural Center
Addams Hall, 2nd floor
830 S. Halsted St.


“Rites of Passage” will highlight traditional and contemporary Chinese, Chinese-American, Ethiopian and Ethiopian-American customs related to birth, marriage, aging and death.

Through personal stories, photos and objects from the Chinese American Museum of Chicago and the Ethiopian Community Association of Chicago collections, as well as artifacts on loan from private collectors and individuals, the exhibition examines some of the many challenges and opportunities associated with maintaining contemporary expressions of ancient customs and rituals.

In Chicago, more than 43,000 people identify as Chinese or Chinese-American and approximately 10,000 people identify as Ethiopian or Ethiopian-American.

Exhibit curatorial team member Lori Barcliff Baptista, director of the UIC African American Cultural Center and faculty member in museum and exhibition studies, is connecting exhibit content to curricular and co-curricular tours and activities that incorporate the UIC Experience and the Illinois Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies.

Admission is free and open to the public. More information is available at (312) 996-9549 or online.

The exhibit, which was previously shown at the Chinese-American Museum of Chicago, is part of “Chicago’s Families: Where Community Begins,” a Chicago Cultural Alliance-led project appearing at six sites in the Chicago area. The exhibit is co-curated by the Chinese-American Museum of Chicago–Raymond B. & Jean T. Lee Center and the Ethiopian Community Association of Chicago, with support from the UIC Centers for Cultural Understanding and Social Change and the UIC African American Cultural Center.

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