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Celebrating the 50thanniversary of the Gwendolyn Brooks Cultural Center

February 3 @ 1:30 pm - 4:00 pm

The Western Illinois Museum is celebrating the 50thanniversary of the Gwendolyn Brooks Cultural Center. In partnership with the Gwendolyn Brooks Cultural Center, the museum’s program will be held on Sunday, February 3rd and complements the on-campus events. The museum is located at 201 S. Lafayette Street one block south of Macomb’s Courthouse Square. There is a suggested $5 donation at the door.

Join us for an afternoon of poetry in celebration of Gwendolyn Brooks and her pivotal role in the development of the Cultural Center. As the center was being established in 1969, it was known as the Black House.  In 1970 when Gwendolyn Brooks agreed to visit Western Illinois University at the invitation of the then director, James Johnson, an ongoing relationship was formed. When she decided to give her honorarium to the Black Center, it was agreed that a fitting honor would be to use her name for the center. Brooks visited Macomb numerous times often holding community-wide poetry workshops for high school and college students. In 1971 she was the first recipient of Western Illinois University’s Honorary Doctorate. In 1999, to celebrate the Gwendolyn Brooks Cultural Center’s 30th anniversary Ms. Brooks was given a key to the City of Macomb by Mayor Tom Carper.

The afternoon’s program will include readings of Brook’s poems as well as an open mic time. The past and current directors of the Gwendolyn Brooks Cultural Center, including Michael Williams, Belinda Carr, and James Johnson will be on hand to share their memories and hopes for the center’s next 50 years.

The Western Illinois Museum is located at 201 South Lafayette Street, in Macomb, Illinois.  For more information, visit the museum’s website at or contact the museum at 309-837-2750, or the Gwendolyn Brook Cultural Center at 309-298-2220. For more information about the Gwendolyn Brooks Cultural Center and other events to celebrate their 50th Anniversary, visit,


February 3
1:30 pm - 4:00 pm


Western Illinois Museum
201 S. Lafayette St.
Macomb, IL 61455 United States
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