The #BreathingRoom space is #LetUsBreathe's arts, healing, & organizing hub on Chicago South Side. It is a Black-led liberatory space that produces cultural events, builds coalition with the Chicago resistance community, and incubates programs that aim to force prisons and policing into obsolescence. It is located at 1434 W 51st Street.
The #BreathingRoom space gets its name from the Collective's flagship event series which launched in 2016 in North Lawndale. The Breathing Room event series ran monthly, a curated open mic mixing performance with political education in 4 minutes or less. Breathing Room features activists, poets, rappers, political scholars, community organizers, comedians, musicians, burlesque artists, and any other genre of performance you can think of. Before performances begin, we offer a free meal, free writing workshops, and free guided meditation, reiki, or massage. The event also features free childcare, a free store stocked with clothing, books, art, jewelry, and houseware, and a community canvas, where participants paint a collaborative piece of large scale visual art. The Breathing Room event series will relaunch to celebrate the grand opening of the space on MLK Day 2018, January 15.
The #LetUsBreathe Collective signed the lease on the #BreathingRoom space in October 2016 and rehab work began in January 2017. Built in 1898, the 4000sq ft building was originally the Press building for the Franciscan Herald. After suffering years of water damage and disrepair, the building was offered to the Collective who agreed to take on the cost and labor of repairs and renovations in exchange for the autonomy to launch the first free-standing Black-led liberation space since the Black Panthers. The first phase of rehab was completed in May 2017, when the Collective began opening the space for programming with partnership organizations including the Chicago Community Bond Fund, Black Lives Matter Chicago, Ujima Medics, the Brave Space Allliance, the R3 Coalition, and more. Email for info on how you can support rehab efforts or partner on programming for Breathing Room !