HumanThread recognizes our lives are endowed with limitless potential. Through promoting the seeking mind for education starting with the self, the poetic spirit of art and the dignity of life, we strive to empower individuals to utilize this potential, thus strengthening the pillars of a peaceful and sustainable future. Thus, our philosophy centers around the ideas of self-knowledge and global citizenship.
HumanThread's mission is to inspire and promote creativity to establish a more humanistic and sustainable society. Our programming is designed to promote the values of nonviolence and humanity.
Our programming is founded upon a solid philosophy incorporating a Holistic Health/Humanistic & Positive Psychology perspectives and values. It means that our programs are developed with a fundamental premise that says all aspects of people's needs and experiences - psychological, physical and social, should be taken into account and seen as a whole that is life. We also recognize that "Creativity is central to what makes us human." (Irwin 1996, consistent with Piaget, Vygotskian, and Dynamic systems perspectives)
Our programs represent a significant shift from other solutions (addresssing our culture of violence in Chicago and beyond) in that they aim to awaken each individual to recognize and tap into their tremendous value and power of their internal-self/resources and creativity in order to bring about a change they wish and deserve in their environment. The programs are designed to help them see the power of making and seeing the critical link between self-knowledge and society or systemic impacts, and self-expression and creative solutions, be it family, school, community or work situations, which in turn, opens the doors to self-discovery, leading to self-actualization. Mos of all, through our After School Program, we want our students to feel, "I am not my circumstances. I am my decisions."
We work from a vantage point of the dialogical educational model, in which the learner/participant is perceived as a dynamic organism interacting with his environment and being changed in significant ways by that interaction. The instructor perceives him/herself not as an authoritative "knower" who transmits knowledge to the mind of the learner but rather as a guide or facilitator who assists the learner in gaining maximum benefit from his interaction with his/her environment. The key element in this model is interaction or exploration itself, or encounter.
VISUAL ART - 3rd Friday Gallery Opening/Artist's Reception 6-10pm
Monthly Art Exhibitions featuring thought-provoking works of art that speak to cultural identity, human conditions or social importance. (HT is housed in the art community at the Bridgeport Art Center.)
**Call for Artists: submit your artist statement along with a few images of your work or link to: or call us 312.646.0627, with questions.
PERFORMING ARTS - OpenMind OpenMic: 1st Friday of Each Month 7:30-11pm
The one and only completely OPEN GENRE OPEN MIC in the city. What we believe is "if you have a heart, you have something to share."
"Whether you are a poet, musician, dancer, singer, rapper, comedian, storyteller, instrumentalist, or anything/anywhere in between, please SHARE YOUR HE(ART) WITH OPENMIND OPENMIC!"
- Jean, the host
DISCUSSION FORUM/LECTURE/PRESENTATION - Cafe Society Discussion: Typically 1st Wednesday of Each Month (check "events" for actual date/time)
Presented by the Public Square, a program of the Illinois Humanities Council, Cafe Society provides a forum for meaningful discussion.
"Through discussion, we seek to foster a robust civil society, cohesive and interactive communities, and a critical examination of our media. We invite people to engage one another in discussion from all points of view, dig deeper into a given subject, and help create a stronger democratic society.
EDUCATION - After school Programs & Workshops for Youth
The Open Mind Open Mic Leadership Program can be presented in a 10-week or a 2-year program designed to nurture and develop socially responsible/conscious leaders for the 21st century. Through interdisciplinary training in humanity, arts and leadership, the program facilitates self-discovery through creative self expression, introspection, and discussion that lead to self-realization. Trained Student Leaders in turn, support their peers to also express themselves creatively through this program. Instead of teaching leadership and developing competencies that quickly become obsolete, short-lived, or non-transferrable, this program introduces students to understanding the power of “self-awareness” that transforms their internalization processes and expands their capacity by 1) changing the focus from “what you do” to “who you are” and 2) giving them a roadmap to generate meaningful impact as agents for change.
Additionally, by training Student Leaders to facilitate dialogues with their peers about the root causes of violence and paths to peace, we strive to combat violence among youth in the city of Chicago.
We also provide workshops on cultural sensitivity and conscious leadership.
Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition
Objectives and Scope of Project:
The I AM Juried Student Art Exhibition project aims to help today's Chicago youth and the youth across the state of Illinois explore their identity and how they are perceived in the world they live in by their peers, their community and the adults that surround them.
We all live in a world of assumptions, accusations and stereotypes that try to define who we are. We judge and are judged daily, be it by the color of our skin, the clothes we wear or the way we speak. These things do not define us. There is more to who we are than how we look, dress, or speak. I AM exhibition challenges teenagers to take a closer look at who they are, as defined by their actions and choices, and who they are not, defined by society’s classifications. The goal of this project, therefore, is Self-Knowledge ("Know thyself,” ancient Greek maxim).
Invitation to Students:
We invite students to explore who they are even further than just stereotypes, including the possibility of projected bias and/or the internalization process that stems from the outside expectations of them. We invite students to explore if their "choices and actions" could be potentially closely linked to meeting others' expectations of them – which leads to a question - when does ‘social-learning/conditioning’ end and free-will begin in one’s life? Thus, this is their opportunity to not only explore their self-image and the images imposed on them by others or society but make a statement about the struggle they may go through to express and reveal their truer identity and who they really are, through "I AM" ART.
Profit & Ethics, antithetical? Not in the 21st century.
HumanThread offers custom-designed workshops to start the pradigm shift required in leadership through self-knowledge, that maximizes the mutual benefit for all stakeholders. We specialize in cultural sensitivity and inclusion and proactive conflict resolution by addressing the unique challenges that may arise in the workforce and work environment of the 21st century through interactive activities eliciting deeper self-understanding and impact. Contact us to book your workshop Today!