Takin’ It to the Streets
A Muslim-led festival where artistic expression, spirituality and urban creativity inspire social change.
Mos Def Gives His Salaam at Takin’ It to the Streets 2010
Takin’ It to the Streets 2010 Headliner Mos Def says As Salaamu Alaikum to thousands of Chicagoans and performs “Wahid” from his latest album The Ecstatic (2009).
Started in 1997, Takin’ It to the Streets bridges today’s cultural divides by connecting diverse racial, ethnic, and religious communities through a dynamic festival. The festival will enrich cross-cultural community building not only in Chicago, but around the world.
Today it has grown to have recognition throughout the city and country as one of the more unique outdoor gatherings of Muslims pro-actively engaging their society through a natural and inspiring format that includes artistic performance, community forums, a bizarre, and sports tournaments.
IMAN places tremendous importance on locating its programming in spaces of great symbolic and social significance or in spaces with immediate accessibility to the people it serves. Takin it to the Streets has been held in Marquette Park for over the last ten years because of its direct accessibility to a tremendously diverse community and because of the great symbolism that the park once held as a space of great racial and ethnic tension. It was in the same park that Martin Luther King Jr. was stoned in 1966 when the community fiercely resisted any sign of integration. The community is now compromised of African American, Latino, Arab, and ethnic whites, making it one of the most diverse working class neighborhoods in the city.
Over 10,000 people attended this event throughout the course of the day, making it one of the largest festivals of its kind on the Southwest Side of Chicago. Takin’ it to the Streets also features community work days and a series of other events that take months to plan and coordinate.
There’s no doubt that Takin’ It to the Streets drew one of the most diverse audiences ever seen on the lawns of Marquette Park or for any free festival on Chicago’s South Side. The festival is now the largest Muslim-led free community festival of its kind in the country.
Takin it to the Streets once again demonstrated the powerful ability to unite people across racial, religious, ethnic and socio-economic lines. Along with renowned national and international artists like Mos Def, Brother Ali, and Tinarawen, this year we were also joined by many prominent activists, politicians and religious scholars. Mayor Richard Daley, Imam Zaid Shakir, Reverend Jesse Jackson, Congressman Keith Ellison, and Rashad Hussein were only a few among many of the distinguished leaders who spoke at or visited the festival.
IMAN leaders, organizers and volunteers proved that the Muslim community can convene up to 20,000 people in one space on Chicago’s South Side without any incident of violence. The prevailing perspective of the police department and many who attended the event was that Streets was one of the most peaceful and incident-free gatherings of that many people in Marquette Park’s history.
Takin’ It to the Streets 2010 Supporters
IMAN is deeply grateful to our many Sponsors for their generous support. Your Sponsorships provided vital resources that helped make Takin’ It to the Streets 2010 possible.