Blog Article


The Public Square screens the winners of the "Looking for Democracy" Short Film Contest and presents a discussion about independent media with filmmaker Gordon Quinn.

CHICAGO – As the presidential election heads into its final weeks, everyone is asking "What are the grounds for hope in America?" Join The Public Square, a program of the Illinois Humanities Council, and our partners as we examine the state of political hope in the United States and the importance of creating and maintaining an independent media in America. This event will take place on Tuesday, October 28th from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Columbia College Chicago’s Ferguson Theatre (600 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago). It is free and open to the public. Reservations are recommended and can be made at or by calling 312.422.5580. Refreshments will be served.

As part of this program, the winning films in the "Looking for Democracy" Short Film Contest will be screened and awarded prizes. Brandon Hummons and Chris Frills, seniors at North Lawndale College Prep Charter High School, are the grand-prize winners for their short film "Hope in America." Dan Andries, filmmaker and producer at WTTW Channel 11, is a winner for his short film "Group." Members of Feel Tank Chicago, a collective of artists, academics, and activists that explores intensities of political feeling, are winners for their short film "Twenty Reasons." Honorable mention goes to John Birkner, a student at Southwestern Illinois College, for his short film "Belleville Nights."

Gordon Quinn, award-winning filmmaker and co-founder of Kartemquin Films, will introduce the winning films and speak on the meaning of hope in America and the value of alternative media this election season. After the screenings, there will be a facilitated conversation with the winning filmmakers about the art of filmmaking and social change.

This event is co-sponsored by The Public Square, a program of the Illinois Humanities Council; Independent Television Service (ITVS); Kartemquin Films, Independent Feature Project Chicago; Chicago Access Network Television (CAN TV), and the Columbia College Television Department.

The Public Square, a program of the Illinois Humanities Council, fosters debate, dialogue, and exchange of ideas about cultural, social, and political issues with an emphasis on social justice.  Programs promote participatory democracy by creating space for public conversations.

This event is part of The Public Square’s "Looking for Democracy in ’08 and Beyond" series, which is designed to launch a conversation about the kind of world we want to build together by creating forums for intelligent discussion of politics in America through art and dialogue. The "Looking for Democracy" series is supported in part by a grant from the Woods Fund of Chicago.

For more information about The Public Square, please visit or call 312.422.5580.

The Illinois Humanities Council is a nonprofit educational organization [501 (c) 3] dedicated to fostering a culture in which the humanities are a vital part of the lives of individuals and communities. Organized in 1973 as the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the IHC creates programs and funds organizations that promote greater understanding of, appreciation for, and involvement in the humanities by all Illinoisans, regardless of their economic resources, cultural background, or geographic location. The IHC is supported by state, federal, and private funds.

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