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Soul of the Butterfly: Chicory Magazine & Baltimore's Black Arts Activism Exhibit

Can art be activism? Can a poem make a difference?

In the 1960s, Black writers in Baltimore said, "yes" in the pages of Chicory, a poetry magazine published by Pratt library from 1966-1983. Its five editors turned the magazine into a hotbed of radical Black culture, publishing writing by everyone from children to elders, from social workers to people in prison, about everything from bad housing and schools to celebrations of Black joy.

Soul of the Butterfly is a traveling exhibit that uses Chicory to tell the story of how Black artist-activists in Baltimore have been making change since the 1960s. Featuring poetry, artwork and photos, it reminds us why the Baltimore Afro-American called Chicory “the most authentic microphone of Black folks talking ever devised.” It connects past and present by featuring work by young writers, artists and creators in Baltimore in conversation with this history.

Celebrate the Soul of the Butterfly with us! The exhibit will travel to various branches in the Pratt Library system over the next two years, following its premier at the Central Branch. 

The opening event is Friday, June 24th, 5pm-7pm at the Central Branch, 400 Cathedral St., Baltimore, MD. 

Friday, August 25, 2023

Event Type

Exhibits, Black History, Arts @ the Pratt, Summer Break Baltimore

Age Group

Teens, Adults, Seniors

Compass Category


Event Publisher

Jake Ciarapica, Manager of Young Adult Services

Digital Signage




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