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A modest group of family, friends, elected officials and others gathered at the corner of 76th Street and South Chicago Avenue Monday to honor a stalwart in the arts community.

A modest group of family, friends, elected officials and others gathered at the corner of 76th Street and South Chicago Avenue Monday to honor a stalwart in the arts community.

Abena Joan Brown co-founded the eta Creative Arts Center four decades ago to address the cultural needs of the South Shore community and the city at-large. Over the years eta gained a reputation that was critically acclaimed and is now a nationally recognized cultural institution.

Brown stepped down as head of eta in March.

Brown was born and educated in Chicago, receiving her bachelor’s degree from Roosevelt University and her master’s degree from the University of Chicago. She has received a number of honors and awards, including the Governor’s Award in the Arts, the African American Arts Alliance Paul Robeson Award, the League of Black Women’s Black Rose Award, the Edward J. Sparling Alumnae Award – Roosevelt University and the Arts Entrepreneurship Award from Columbia College.

Now, South Chicago Avenue, between 75th and 76th Streets is honorary Abena Joan Brown Way.

Copyright 2011 Chicago Defender

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