Soul of the Butterfly
Soul of the Butterfly: Chicory Magazine and Baltimore’s Black Arts Activism is an exhibit telling the story of Black artist-activists in Baltimore. The exhibit will be on display at Pratt Library locations throughout Baltimore.
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 the 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.
Want to learn more about the magazine? Browse or search every issue of Chicory magazine on Digital Maryland, or watch a short video about the history and significance of Chicory.
See the Exhibit
- June 24–September 5, 2022: Central Library
- September 12–October 14, 2022: Southeast Anchor Library
- October 24–November 20, 2022: Patterson Park
- November 21, 2022–January 20, 2023: Pennsylvania Avenue
- January 30–March 3, 2023: Light Street
- March 13–April 14, 2023: Roland Park
- April 24–June 2, 2023: Govans
- June 12–July 14, 2023: Waverly
- July 24–August 25, 2023: Hamilton
Soul of the Butterfly was co-curated by a team of students at Rutgers University-Newark, Bard High School Early College Baltimore, Dewmore Baltimore, and Writers in Baltimore Schools led by Dr. Mary Rizzo and Erin Santana. Learn more about their work and the organizations that make it possible below.
DewMore Baltimore uses art as a tool to increase civic engagement in marginalized communities throughout Greater Baltimore through innovative art-focused programming and community organizing via purposeful partnerships with community organizations, schools, and governmental agencies. DewMore aims to leave individuals and communities in a more actualized, engaged, and connected condition.
Writers in Baltimore Schools empowers the voices of Baltimore City students through in-school, after-school, and summer programming that builds skills in literacy and communication while creating a community of support for young writers.
Bard High School Early College Baltimore (Bard Baltimore) is a four-year public school that allows students to take a two-year, tuition-free college course of study in the liberal arts and sciences following the 9th and 10th grades. Bard Baltimore students graduate with a high school diploma and up to 60 Bard college credits and an associate’s degree. Students at Bard worked with Dr. Patrick Oray to create a new literary magazine inspired by Chicory.
Download Bard Literary Magazine PDF
Inspired? Get Involved!
Baltimore City youth & young adults (ages 11-21) can submit poetry and artwork to the New Chicory Review, the upcoming re-published Chicory Magazine!
Follow the Chicory Revitalization Project on Instagram and Facebook, and find resources for educators and learn more about how the Chicory Revitalization Project is bringing Chicory to life.
New Chicory Review
New Chicory Review is a magazine of original poetry and art by Baltimore City teens and young adults.