Past Event

Jerry Quickley: [i]Live From The Front[/i]

Join the Public Square at the Illinois Humanities Council, the Southwest Youth Collaborative, and the Hip-Hop Theater Festival for a performance and dialogue with Jerry Quickley.

Hip-hop spoken word artist and radio correspondent Jerry Quickley is one of the most well-known and well-regarded performance poets in the United States. He is the host of the popular Pacifica Radio Network show, “Beneath the Surface,” on KPFK 90.7FM in Los Angeles.

Quickley made two trips to Iraq immediately prior to, during, and after the US invasion and occupation to cover the war for KPFK and the Pacifica Radio Network. He is working on a documentary about the Iraq war from a hip hop perspective called B-Boy in Baghdad.

He brings that unique insight to his solo theater piece, Live From The Front, which combines music, poetry, video, and powerful performance style to tell the story of his travels to and ultimate expulsion from Iraq during the conflict.

Quickley will perform an excerpt from his nationally-touring play and participate in a community dialogue moderated by Hatem Abudayyeh, Director of the Arab American Action Network.

This event, presented in partnership with the Southwest Youth Collaborative, is part of the Public Square at the IHC’s Know More: Conversations that Matter program series and the Hip-Hop Theater Festival at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

A sense of immediacy, urgency, and simmering anger that recall the young Richard Pryor. Must-see theater.” – Orange County Register

Street-wise storytelling and intense poetry…Quickley does make the violence and suffering come passionately alive.” – The Hollywood Reporter

“Mad Storytelling skills and an uncanny ability to sculpt language into ribbons of social relevance.” –

The Know More series is designed to bridge the gap between the arts and social issues that are of current concern to Chicago’s Englewood and Humboldt Park communities. The Know More series is made possible by a grant from The Joyce Foundation. Programming for the Know More series has included visits from hip hop scholar Jeff Chang; Africana Studies scholar William Santiago-Valles; journalist Laura Washington; performer Will Power; and poet Elizabeth Alexander.

The Hip-Hop Theater Festival (HHTF) is one of the most influential outlets showcasing hip-hop performing arts in the country. HHTF‘s mission is to invigorate the field of theater and hip-hop by nurturing the creation of innovative work within the hip-hop aesthetic; presenting and touring work that addresses issues relevant to the hip-hop generation; and serving young, urban communities through outreach and education that celebrates contemporary language and culture. For more information visit

For more information, please call 312.422.5580.