Meet the 20 trailblazing women in Kerry James Marshall's massive new mural.
The following are the 20 women depicted in Kerry James Marshall's "RUSH MORE" mural on the west wall of the Chicago Cultural Center, at Michigan Avenue and Washington Street. The huge mural covers a 132-foot-wide by 100-foot-high space along Garland Court, a block west of Michigan. The women are listed in the order they appear in the mural's ribbon of names, which corresponds to where their heads are in the image.
Cheryl Lynn Bruce
Actor and co-founder of Dearborn Homes Youth Drama Workshop
Founder of Chicago Children’s Theater
Curator, writer, director and teacher, Russell was formerly the executive director of Lookingglass Theatre Company -- and oversaw its move into the Water Works building on North Michigan Avenue -- and children's programming director at the Old Town School of Folk Music. She supervised another milestone when Chicago Children's Theatre moved its operations into a former police station in 2016. Her work teaching drama to students on the autism spectrum inspired her to create The Red Kite Project.
Former Chicago first lady and patron of the arts
Largely seeking to avoid the public eye while her husband served as the city's mayor, Daley focused on her family and the arts. She raised funds to convert a former library building into the Chicago Cultural Center, helped launch Gallery 37 and co-chaired the committee that converted Meigs Field into Northerly Island. She died at age 68 in 2011 -- more than nine years after a breast cancer diagnosis. Named in her honor, Maggie Daley Park -- connected by a bridge to Millennium Park -- opened in 2014 and features gardens, playground equipment, a climbing wall and year-round skating ribbon.
Founder of the DuSable Museum of African American History
An artist, teacher at South Side Community Art Center and longtime Chicago Park District commissioner, Burroughs and her husband, Charles, founded the DuSable Museum of African American History in the living room of their South Side home in 1961. She died in 2010 at 93 or 95 -- relatives and records differ on which age was accurate.
Founder and executive director of Little Black Pearl, a South Side neighborhood art studio
After purchasing an abandoned home for her and her son on the South Side of Chicago decades ago, Haslip opened her doors to teach local kids art. That work became Little Black Pearl, which today is a 40,000-square-foot cultural arts center and charter high school in the Bronzeville neighborhood.
Winfrey moved to Chicago in 1983 for a job hosting WLS-TV's morning talk show "A.M. Chicago," then broadcast her namesake daytime TV talk show here from 1986-2011.
Raised in Chicago, Brooks succeeded Carl Sandburg as Illinois poet laureate in 1968. She won a 1950 Pulitzer Prize -- the first for an African-American -- for her second book, "Annie Allen," which promoted an understanding of black culture while suggesting that inclusiveness is the key to harmony. In 2000, she died at 83 of cancer.
As head of Mayor Richard M. Daley's Department of Cultural Affairs, Weisberg created the 1999 outdoor art exhibit "Cows on Parade," championed the World Music Festival and co-created the Gallery 37 arts program for students. She also founded citizen advocacy group Friends of the Parks and another group that helped save passenger service on the Chicago, South Bend and South Shore Railroad. She died at 90 following a short illness in 2016.
Founding ensemble member of Collaboraction community theater
Author and former Chicago journalist
A former Chicago Tribune columnist and native of Cuba, Obejas has written three novels and translated others from Spanish to English. She was appointed by then-Chicago Mayor Harold Washington to the city's first Committee on Gay and Lesbian Issues. She was founder of the program in creative writing at the University of Chicago and currently is the director of the MFA in Translation program at Mills College in Oakland, Calif.
Abena Joan Brown
Founder of eta Creative Arts Foundation
Unable to find work as an artist, Brown co-founded eta (which was originally known as Ebony Talent Associates) in 1971, to provide training, exposure and opportunities for African-American actors in Chicago. She remained the organization's president and chief executive officer for 40 years before her death at 87 in 2015.
Poetry magazine founder
Playwright, Chicago Tribune art critic and founder of Poetry magazine, Monroe first received fame for her piece written for the dedication of the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 -- and even more for successfully suing New York World for publishing it without her consent. Monroe died in 1936, but her magazine lives on.
Founder and CEO of Black Ensemble Theater
After growing up in the Cabrini-Green housing complex then teaching there, Taylor founded the theater group in 1976 and produced its musicals celebrating the history of black music -- rock, blues, jazz and soul. In 2011, Black Ensemble Theater opened a $19 million home at 4450 N. Clark St., and Taylor continues to lead the group as its founder and CEO.
Founder and artistic director of Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Former director of The Renaissance Society
Now serving as an adjunct member of the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Chicago, Ghez was the executive director and chief curator of The Renaissance Society, the university's contemporary arts museum, from 1974 to 2013. She also published a history of the museum for its diamond jubilee in 1994.
Dancer and president of Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago
For decades, Gray led Muntu -- which is celebrating its 45th anniversary and is the longest continuously operating African dance company in Chicago. She retired from dancing with Muntu in 1991.
Dancer, choreographer and founder of Ruth Page Center for the Arts
Until she was 87, Page took a dance class every day -- and showed up on opening night in an aisle seat, down front for many visiting dance troupes as they came through Chicago. Page died at 92 in 1991 and is buried in Graceland Cemetery on the North Side. The Ruth Page Center for the Arts trains professional dancers and promotes artistic development.
Author of “The House on Mango Street”
Growing up the only girl among six brothers in a family that moved back and forth from Chicago to Mexico City, Cisneros' parents owned two books -- the Bible and "Alice in Wonderland." Her iconic, coming-of-age novel has been translated into more than 20 languages and is required reading in high school and colleges throughout the U.S.
Artist and founding member of the AfriCobra collective
During the 1960s and 1970s Black Arts Movement, a collective of mural painters -- including Jones-Hogu -- rendered large, historical scenes around Chicago. This included the "The Wall of Respect", formerly at 43rd and Langley Streets, on boarded-up buildings that had been slated for demolition. Her work "Unite" is part of the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago. She died in November at 79.
Founding president and artistic director of Project& and the Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media
Poet, activist, educator and arts advocate, Saks found national attention as the founding director of the Ellen Stone Institute at Columbia College Chicago, where she helped develop and launch works that went on to win Pulitzer Prizes and MacArthur fellowships. In her new role at Project&, Saks curated a multimedia initiative called "Working in America," inspired by Studs Terkel's book "Working."