1084 N MILWAUKEE, CHICAGO

Book Launch & Salon

Saturday, November 9th, 7 PM
$5-10 sliding scale (no one turned away)

Please join us as we celebrate the release of

Xandria Phillips’ debut poetry collection, HULL &

Raych Jackson’s debut collection EVEN THE SAINTS AUDITION.


Rachel “Raych” Jackson is a writer, educator, and performer. While teaching third and fourth grade in Chicago Public Schools, Jackson competed in numerous national poetry teams and individual competitions. Her poems have gained over 2 million views on YouTube. She is the 2017 NUPIC Champion and a 2017 Pink Door fellow. Jackson recently voiced ‘DJ Raych’ in the Jackbox game, Mad Verse City. Her latest play, “Emotions & Bots”, premiered at the Woerdz Festival in Lucerne, Switzerland. Jackson wrote a room dedicated to her city for 29Rooms’first installment in Chicago, through Refinery 29. She co-created and co-hosts Big Kid Slam, a monthly poetry show in Chicago. Jackson’s work has been published by many— including Poetry Magazine, The Rumpus, The Shallow Ends, and Washington Square Review. Her debut collection EVEN THE SAINTS AUDITION released September 24th through Button Poetry. She currently lives in Chicago.

Even the Saints Audition: A book of poems exploring the relationship between blackness, shame, and what it is to live a life tied to the church. Rich with historical context and a deeply engaging personal narrative.


Xandria Phillips is a poet and visual artist from rural Ohio. They are the author of Reasons For Smoking, which won the 2016 Seattle Review chapbook contest judged by Claudia Rankine. Their poem “For a Burial Free of Sharks” won the 2016 Gigantic Sequins poetry contest judged by Lucas De Lima. Xandria has received fellowships from Cave Canem, Callaloo, and the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, where they are the First Wave Poetry Fellow. Their poetry has been featured in Black Warrior Review, Crazyhorse, Poets.Org, Virginia Quarterly Review, and elsewhere.

HULL explores emotional impacts of colonialism and racism on the Black queer body and the present-day emotional impacts of enslavement in urban, rural, and international settings. HULL is lyrical, layered, history-ridden, experimental, textured, adorned, ecstatic, and emotionally investigative.



Filed under: artist in attendance, autobiography, black and brown, collaboration, essay, experimental, lecture, performance, poetry, queer, reading, social justice

VIX: Pomegranates

VIX: virtual international exchange — brings together national and international artists to contemplate ideas of intimacy and queering spaces, places and gestures. The artists advance a more intergenerational, queer, & poc centered dialogue that introduce meditations on practices deeply rooted in performance, moving image, voyeurism, spectacle & theater.

Queer Blessings for Eid al-Adha
Programmed by Nabil

Nabil is an artist, creative organizer and experience
designer currently based in Chicago. Since 2014, they
have been organizing and curating performance
and new media works in collaboration with organizations
and artist run platforms such as MIX NYC and VIX.

Currently, Nabil is a programmer of
The Nightingale Cinema and
UX/UI Design Faculty at the Flatiron School.

Nabil’s works have been exhibited nationally and
internationally in museums, festivals and galleries;
including a solo exhibition at the
New Bedford Museum of Art (2018) and featured
in publications such as Phaidon’s Art and Queer Culture(2019),
Emergency Index Vol. 6&7, The Guardian,
The Washington Post and The Aerogram.



Filed under: artist in attendance, Asian, autobiography, black and brown, cityscape, collaboration, documentary, environmental, ethnography, expanded cinema, history, home movies, international, muslim, narrative, new media, performance, place, queer, social justic, south asian, urban

Mary Curtis Ratcliff of Videofreex

Celebrating Videofreex’ 50th anniversary

Wednesday, July 31, 7 PM, $7-10 suggested donation – cash only

Mary Curtis Ratcliff in person!

The Nightingale is thrilled to welcome Mary Curtis Ratcliff, a founding member of the collective Videofreex, to Chicago to screen three videos made from 1969-1970, on the occasion of the group’s 50th anniversary. Mary Curtis Ratcliff—visual artist, videomaker, and political activist—participated in the creation of these tapes both on an off camera as videographer, interviewer, and interviewee. Chicago Travelogue: The Weatherman (1969), Fred Hampton: Black Panthers in Chicago (1969), and Curtis’s Abortion (1970) provide a window into the political movements and ideologies that are as important today as they were fifty years ago.

The Videofreex began in 1969 as part of the Manhattan video scene and eventually moved to upstate New York to operate a community video center and the first pirate television station in the U.S. on Maple Tree Farm in Lanesville, NY throughout the 1970s. Since 2001, the Videofreex archive has been held at the Video Data Bank at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Shortly after founding the collective, Mary Curtis Ratcliff, Parry Teasdale, and David Cort were hired by CBS to produce video footage of the emerging youth culture in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York for a television pilot called Subject to Change. Though the program never made it to the air, the interviews that they recorded helped inspire the wave of political video documentaries now known as “Guerrilla Television.”

In an interview with the Videofreex, media artist Ralph Hocking once said that “99.99% of videotapes produced are boring as hell to 99.99% of the people who watch them.” What makes the Freex unique is that somehow so many of their tapes fit within the .01% that speak to more than just “video people.” They belong to that slim percentile of video that is essential: they capture the reality of the past and confront us with the urgency of our present.

Program Notes:

Chicago Travelogue: The Weathermen, 1969, 22:30

David Cort and Mary Curtis Radcliff interview participants after the “Days of Rage” protest organized by the Chicago-based Weathermen in October of 1969. The Videofreex question the destructive methods of the new group but allow the students to speak about the personal importance of their radical experiences.

Fred Hampton: Black Panthers in Chicago, 1969, 24:00

Mary Curtis taped Parry Teasdale and David Cort’s interview with the twenty-one year-old deputy chairman of the Black Panther Party of Illinois just months before he was murdered by the Chicago Police. Members of the Videofreex reportedly broke into CBS offices to rescue the master copy of the interview after their pilot was canceled, and screenings of the video were instrumental in organizing the campaign for a civil case against the CPD.

Curtis’s Abortion, 1970, 22:59

Fellow Videofreex Nancy Cain and Carol Vontobel speak with Mary Curtis about her experience with recently legalized abortion in New York. The participants’ thoughtful conversation turns the informational tape into an unexpectedly warm document of friendship and the women’s rights movement.

All videos will be screened digitally, and were preserved and digitized by the Video Data Bank. Programmed by Zach Vanes and Emily Eddy.



Filed under: anniversary, archival, artist in attendance, autobiography, collaboration, documentary, documentation, feminism, social justice, urban, video

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