Loading Events

D-Composed Gives Family Edition at South Side Community Art Center!

D-Composed brings their Music in Color experience to life at South Side Community Art Center!


Founded in 2017 by Kori Coleman, D-Composed is a chamber music experience that celebrates & honors Black creativity and culture through the music of Black composers. To date, D-Composed has gained national recognition with appearances on The Colbert Show alongside Jamila Woods and has collaborated with notable institutions and highly recognized brands such as Apple, The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, & The Rebuild Foundation.


This year D-Composed is featuring commissioned sketches from their Music in Color Vol. 4 coloring book featuring artists Dwight White II, Amoz Wright, Kayla Mahaffey, and Aaliyah Lachele of Peanut Buddarart!




Kori Coleman has crafted the organization’s artistic & programmatic vision with the development of conceptual programming that fosters collaboration with Black artists across mediums and disciplines.


In addition to being the Executive Director and founder of D-Composed, Kori is a brand strategist working in marketing & advertising. She is a graduate of Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia with a B.A. in Philosophy.


Violinist Caitlin Edwards began her musical journey at the age of 8 within a non-profit organization in her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. She gained acceptance into the Alabama School of Fine Arts and music festivals such as the Kennedy Center Summer Music Institute and the National Repertory Orchestra. She later attended the University of Louisville (BM) and DePaul University (MM). Caitlin is a 2022 Esteemed Artist Award recipient from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, a 2021 3Arts/Walder Foundation awardee, 2018 Gateways Music Festival Rising Star, a co-curator with the Fulcrum Point New Music Project, and a former fellow with the Chicago Sinfonietta. In addition, she has received Grammy certificates for recordings on Disney’s “The Lion King” and for albums by John Legend and PJ Morton. She released her debut album, “Exhale,” in 2021.


Caitlin is a classically trained violinist, but she’s inspired by gospel, jazz, hip-hop, and neo-soul. She composes original music and intentionally performs the works of Black composers to make sure that these compositions are remembered and spotlighted for aspiring young BIPOC musicians and the world as a whole. Caitlin is a proud member of D-Composed and Ensemble Dal Niente.


Tahirah Whittington is a Grammy-nominated cellist, and a founding member of D-Composed and the Ritz Chamber Players. She is currently the cellist for the Broadway show Dear Evan Hansen National Tour. Previously, Ms. Whittington was the cellist for Hamilton: An American Musical in Chicago. Studio recordings include The Lion King (2019), Beyoncé’s The Lion King: The Gift, and albums by John Legend and PJ Morton.


Television and film appearances include the movie, “Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” and episodes of “Empire”. Tahirah remotely recorded the cello solo for Rhiannon Giddens’ “Cry No More” arranged by composer Michael Abels. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from New England Conservatory and her Master’s Degree in Cello Performance from The Juilliard School. Tahirah has studied with Laurence Lesser, Joel Krosnick, and Hans Jørgen Jensen.


Works in EMERGENCE are diverse in their subject matter and media, but a few themes reappear throughout. Working in abstraction or in the traditionally peaceful genre of still life, artists like William Carter, Allen Stringfellow, and Jonathan Green express themes of interiority or sociability, history or modernity. Notably, Stringfellow and Ralph Arnold both experimented with media and materials and worked extensively in collage, which allowed them to combine abstract design, figurative imagery, and on occasion political ideas.

Viewers typically expect Black artists to focus on particular aspects of their social and political identities within their work. Where might those expectations come from? Still life, abstraction, and collage may express many different things about artists’ interior lives and their visual and social observation, whether connected to public manifestations of identity or not.

William Carter’s mid-century still life Untitled presents a group of vibrantly colored bottles that invite the viewer’s gaze, set against a similarly colorful background with floral elements like grapes and leaves. They give evidence of conviviality and might be interpreted as symbols of social gatherings, but they could also just be a collection of pleasing forms. We might put Carter’s still life in dialogue with that of Jonathan Green, who became close friends with Carter while living in Chicago. Green’s close-up view of an eloquently simple composition presents oranges, a pear, and a lemon in front of two vessels. Works like this piece call the viewer to examine the objects the artist chose to include, to consider how they interact with each other like bodies in space, and to reflect on their meaning within the traditional genre of still life painting.

Collage might suggest the piecing together of identity from different components that might not usually coexist, giving room for more expansive imaginations of meaning than a straightforward representational image might allow. It could also just be an inventive way of combining colors, shapes, and textures. Allen Stringfellow’s Untitled, a collage from 1962, brings familiar motifs from still life—fruit and flowers, desserts and glassware—together with imagery of artist’s models and performers. Layered with paint and tissue paper that frustrate the viewer’s attempt to get clarity on the subject matter, the bursts of form and colors hint at the splashy abstraction of Stringfellow’s untitled, textured painting made from house paint and particulate on cardboard. Here the artist tests commonly found materials to create new textures and plays with the creation of colors and finishes that diverge from “Western” academic painting methods.

In The Waiting, Arnold constructs a large collage from different paper components, lace, and paint. In the piece, elements of European and African art are placed in dialogue with one another, while some figures appear alone and isolated, others in large groups. Without giving easy answers, Arnold implies questions about social issues. Who is waiting, and for what? In his Love Sign II, which bears the words “Love is Universal,” Arnold asserts the equal validity of all types of romantic affection and love, utilizing collage to convey a more straightforward political message.