Out in Chicago exhibit wins Allan Bérubé prize

Fri. March 23, 2012 2:23 PM

Prize granted for outstanding work in community-based LGBTQ history

Chicago, IL - The Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History (CLGBTH) announced the Out in Chicago exhibition, produced by Chicago History Museum (CHM), as a winner of Allan Bérubé Prize. The award recognizes outstanding work in public or community-based lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer history.

The CLGBTH received 11 submissions for the Bérubé Prize and has chosen CHM's Out in Chicago exhibition as a co-winner of the honor. The announcement comes just days before the closing of the Out in Chicago exhibition on March 26, 2012.

Out in Chicago, curated by Jill Thomas Austin and Jennifer Brier, staffed by Jessica Herczeg-Konecny, Emily H. Nordstrom, Daniel Oliver, Anne E. Parsons, Mark Ramirez and Morgan W. Valenzuela, is the latest in the Museum's ongoing series of exhibitions addressing Chicago's diverse communities. An ongoing CHM mission dedicated to telling an all-inclusive history of the city through exhibitions and programs. The Out at CHM committee started LGBT centric programming and the project then developed in to this first-of-its-kind exhibition.

"Since 2004, the Museum has engaged in bringing LGBT history to its visitors through the Out at CHM program series. This series, along with research and new scholarship, helped build the foundation for the exhibition to take shape," stated Gary T. Johnson, Chicago History Museum President. "The Out in Chicago project team crystallized this complex history into a story that is assessable to all, the Museum is honored to accept this esteemed award."

The prize is named after Allan Bérubé who was a pioneer in community-based history. This honor is distinctive for a project that chose to depict the story of Chicago's position as the crossroads for non-conformers who struggled with their gender identity as far back as the 1850s, which fostered the development of diverse and vibrant communities.

"It is a tremendous honor for the Chicago History Museum and the Out in Chicago exhibition to receive the Allan Bérubé Award. My co-curator, Jennifer Brier, and I are thrilled beyond words and wish to thank all of the creative and generous people who helped make this project happen. From our museum staff and project team and our Out at CHM committee, to our funders and partners, and especially the LGBT people and allies here in Chicago," said co-curator Jill Thomas Austin. "Our thanks also extends to the review committee and peers for their recognition of this important telling of the history of Chicago through the lens of LGBT lives. We hope that Out in Chicago will continue to live on as a vital educational and historical resource for years to come."

"The Out in Chicago project team's innovative installation for the Chicago History Museum worked extensively over a three-year period with community members to create an exhibition that recasts the city's LGBT and urban histories thematically," said the statement from the award committee. "Out in Chicago not only is one of the first exhibitions of its kind in a mainstream museum, but also showcases the possibilities of collaboration among institutions and community partners."

Bérubé Prize Committee members included Marcia Gallo, Lauren Jae Gutterman, Kevin P. Murphy, and Joey Plaster. The GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco underwrites the Bérubé Prize.

Exhibit information can be found at http://chicagohistory.org/planavisit/exhibitions/out-in-chicago on the Chicago History Museum website.