More about the actual business meeting of the SAA Performing Arts Roundtable some other time. For now, some very brief notes on the program portion of the meeting, which took place on August 29, 2007 at the Chicago Public Library’s Harold Washington Library Center.
Undoubtedly the highlight of the meting was the presentation given by our host, Bob Sloane, Head of the Art Information Center of the Chicago Public Library. Bob had put together a compilation of film and video clips, “Chicago Plays a Part in Dance History,” especially for the group. It proved to be an outstanding, extremely well-organized overview of Chicago’s contributions to dance, which covered everything from Little Egypt at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition to the very active contemporary dance scene in Chicago. Along the way, we had a chance to see some images from the rare performance films shot by Ann Barzel in Chicago.
After Bob’s talk, those who were able to stay were treated to a tour of the music special collections, including the Chicago Blues Archive, by Christopher Popa and then were taken upstairs to the Special Collections and Preservation Division, where Sarah Welshman had brought out a selection of highlights from the Chicago Theater Collection. Both of our guides were extremely enthusiastic and knowledgeable about their respective collections and I feel sure that all of the attendees left the building feeling very impressed by the beautiful facility and helpful staff of the Chicago Public Library.