Arts on Chicago

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Now in its 20th year, Pillsbury House Theatre’s award-winning Chicago Avenue Project returns on November 2nd and 3rd. Drastic Times Call for Drastic Measures features ten original, short plays written by South Minneapolis youth who are mentored and directed by Twin Cities theatre artists, and performed by professional actors, including Kimberly Richardson, Taous Khazem, and Clarence Wethern; with directors Eric F. Avery, a 2014 Naked Stages artist, and Leah Cooper.

November 2nd and 3rd, 2015

Monday at 7:00 pm Tuesday at 4:00 and 7:00 pm

at Pillsbury House Theatre, 3501 Chicago Avenue S., Minneapolis
Directions and Parking Info »

Admission is free —just show up! All ages welcome.

Alexa’s Play: They Are Always Watching
Playwright Mentor: Michelle Barnes
Directed by Lucas Skjaret

Starring Taous Khazem and Kimberly Richardson


Amir’s Play: Lifestyle
Playwright Mentor: Ryan Campbell
Directed by Brian Columbus

Starring Dustin Bronson and Melanie Wehrmacher


Cicely’s Play: Amnesia
Playwright Mentor : Tyler Olsen
Directed by Matt Sciple

Starring Calli McLellan and Clarence Wethern
Lamonte’s Play: John and Shawn’s Summer Vacation
Playwright Mentor: James Tyler
Directed by Addie Gorlin

Starring Vincent Hannam and Michael Hanna
Laelah’s Play: The Missing Crown
Playwright Mentor: Adrian Balbontin
Directed by Matt Sciple

Starring Janie Froiland and JuCoby Johnson
Manny’s Play: Ken Misses the Fly
Playwright Mentor: L.J. Johnson
Directed by Eric F. Avery
Starring Emily Grodzik and Zakary Morton



Mimi’s Play: The Haunted Principal’s Office
Playwright Mentor: Cristina Castro
Directed by Jefferson Slinkard
Starring Sarah Broude and Erin Roberts



Nat’s Play: Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream
Playwright Mentor: Carlyle Brown
Directed by Leah Cooper

Starring Anni Jordan-Amberg and Sam Bardwell
Nevaeh’s Play: The Enemies
Playwright Mentor: Jessica Huang
Directed by Stacy Schultz

Starring Alsa Bruno and Hope Cervantes
Za’ Mya’s Play: Realizing
Playwright Mentor: Erin Roberts
Directed by David Hanzal

Starring Emily Gunyou Halaas and Katie Kaufman


The Arts on Chicago Initiative continues in 2014 with three unique arts activities: Peter Haakon Thompson’s Temporary Table Tennis Trailer, Esther Ouray’s In the Pursuit of Happiness, and video from David Luke’s Upstream Animated.

These Arts on Chicago 2014 projects will be on display at the 38th and Chicago BBQ and Music Festival on June 14.  This celebration is aligned with the 38th and Chicago Business Association’s 9th annual BBQ & Music Festival from 11am to 3pm on the 3700 block of Chicago Avenue. The event will include music from Joel Schaan & Friends, Bozza Jazz Band, Project 55407, and The Anchorman plus specialty food trucks, children’s activities and snow cones will be available as this busy intersection is closed for the day.

Funding for 2014 Arts on Chicago projects is provided, in part, by the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, as part of Blue Cross’ long-term commitment to tackling the four leading causes of heart disease and cancer: tobacco use, obesity, lack of physical activity and unhealthy eating.  Each of the projects combines art with active living in some fashion.

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Last month, our Co-Artistic Director Noël Raymond gave at talk at the National Innovation Summit for Arts & Culture on how Pillsbury House + Theatre is exploring how artists and artistic practice can infiltrate social service and neighborhood revitalization in a way that makes radical organizational restructuring easier, collaboration and collective impact successful, and neighborhoods better places to live (without displacing the people who live there):

Noël Raymond: Creative Practice + (Social Service and Neighborhood Revitalization) = Happy People from ArtsFwd on Vimeo.

View all Arts on Chicago posts »

Pillsbury House + Theatre with its partners the Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association, Professor Natasha Pestich, Upstream Arts, and with support from the Ward 8 Council Office of Elizabeth Glidden, was one of 47 organizations to receive funding from Artplace, a collaboration of twelve of the nation’s leading foundations, eight government agencies including the National Endowment for the Arts, and six financial institutions across the U.S. Arts on Chicago will implement TWENTY art projects in ONE YEAR to knit together existing creative assets in the Central, Powderhorn, Bancroft, Bryant communities along Chicago Avenue from 32nd Street to 42nd Street, using the process to build a framework for the ongoing support of a vibrant arts and cultural district.

The 20 Projects that make up Arts on Chicago:

Jenny Schmid, Drew Anderson & Andrea Steudel

Eye Site harnesses the ample network of privately owned motion sensor lighting around the Chicago Avenue corridor to charge glow-in-the dark images for an immersive nighttime tour through the area. This project makes clever use of the infrastructure of motion sensor lights that would not normally inspire art.

Masa Kawahara

Kawahara will work with community artists and adult volunteers to create the Chicago Avenue Stilting Club, a youth stilting and performance group. Thirty sets of stilts will be maintained by the club and made available to the community through training and stilt walking certification.

Dylan Fresco

What Grows Here? is a 60-minute storytelling performance/guided walking tour along Chicago Ave between 32nd-38th streets. Dylan Fresco and Michelle Barnes will lead the audience while sharing stories gathered from people who live, work, and go to school here. Stories will also be posted in the neighborhood and archived online.


StevenBe and the StevenBe Creative Community Foundation are proposing a “living” installation beginning at our location at 3448 Chicago and emanating outward through the corridor. This installation “lives” by evolving with new fiber art additions, yarn graffiti, community activity within our art garden, arts and crafts education, and the spread of creative projects along the corridor in line with our Foundation’s philosophy of giving back through the fiber arts.

Patricia Anderson

The Collage Collaborative will exhibit collages created by children in the community centers along the corridor. The images will be informed by conversations with adults and seniors about Chicago Avenue’s community. The artwork would be displayed at community centers, as postcards distributed at corridor businesses, and on the artist’s website.

Peter Haakon Thompson

The Mobile Sign Shop will function as a mobile, municipal sign shop designed to create hand-made name signs for the neighborhood with the goal of increasing residents’ connection to each other while giving people who travel on Chicago a sense of who lives here, adding residents names to our community spaces.

City Food Studio

A sculptural façade encapsulating the front of 3722 Chicago, using salvaged metal to create a cityscape echoing the art-deco silhouette of the adjacent strip of artist galleries, building an identity for the CityFoodStudio rental kitchen housed in the building, and reinforcing the developing urban/art vibe of the Chicago Avenue corridor. Built into the façade will be a set of “windows” in which local artists will be invited to develop and show their work.

Upstream Arts

Expanding the the Little Free Library project into the Chicago Avenue Corridor will provide free art and children’s books to pedestrians and neighbors along the 10 block stretch.

Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association

PPNA will host a Paint the Pavement events at locations and times to be determined.

Breaking Ice

Breaking Ice is a 16 year old program of Pillsbury House Theatre that uses improvisation and ensemble-based theatre to confront the difficult communication issues that arise from cultural friction. Breaking Ice will customize a performance with input from the neighborhood on the relevant issues of gentrification around Powderhorn, Central, Bryant and Bancroft. What are the opportunities to neighborhood change? What are the fears? How do we work together for positive change that benefits everyone?

Stephanie Rogers

An urban nature walk that examines the ecology of Chicago Avenue. At least 30 signs combining images and descriptive text will be installed in public spaces, creating serendipitous encounters. Photography will focus on a macro view, encouraging a closer look at our surroundings.

Wing Young Huie

Photographing the cultural diversity along the corridor using concepts to connect neighbors who don’t know each other well or at all, and traditional documentary techniques, accompanied with explanatory text based on interviews with those photographed. One hundred photos will be exhibited inside ten businesses, with separate openings at each venue.

Natasha Pestich

A travelling gallery, the “PHAT mobile” (Pillsbury House and Theatre mobile), that will travel through Powderhorn, Bancroft, Bryant and Central neighborhoods, showcasing the work of resident youth primarily, and offering arts-based workshops and public events.

Loretta Day + TAWU Artist Group

TAWU Artist Group will transform the bus stops between 32nd and 42nd into “Art Stops.” Every trash receptacle and bench will become a work of art. The “Art Stops” will blend into the Chicago Corridor by reflecting the area’s cultural diversity as well as complimenting surrounding businesses.

Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center

A mural installation for the highly visible north wall of the building on 38th and Chicago. The mural design combines elements of the building’s movie theater history with an homage to the fiery work being produced at CAFAC and incorporates sculptural metal pieces and LED elements, fabricated by youth from the Hennepin County Home School.

Eric Rieger (HOTTEA) & Forrest Wozniak

This project includes a mural and sculptural elements about “Universal Pleasantry.” It will speak of our human condition to fill the void within our lives and how artwork can be a tool to convey messages like this.

Molly Van Avery

At the heart of this project is the act of people writing and receiving poetry. The poetry will not be written in isolation but will instead be born out of and inspired by the street it will be written on: Chicago Avenue (through use of the “poetry mobile” a writing desk on wheels that will be a piece of art in and of itself.).

Kelly Brazil

Welding 5 separate bicycle racks along proposed corridor incorporating themes or flavors of each location and completed in partnership with youth from the Trans Youth Support Network (at 34th and Chicago).

Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association

PPNA will wrap 6 utility boxes along the Chicago Avenue corridor with collaged photographs from the Powderhorn365 photography project ( Images will be voted on and selected by residents and community members.

Pillsbury House + Theatre

An exterior public gathering space at the corner of 35th and Chicago that transforms a drab area into a vibrant public square. The vision for this project was developed by the PH&T staff and community stakeholders through the Pillsbury House and Theatre Cultural Community Hub Institute sessions.

[toggle_content heading=”What is a Placemaking art project? ¿Que es un proyecto de Desarrollo de Arte Comunitario?”]

We’ve found that a lot of people haven’t heard of the term “placemaking” before. And, even for those who have, many organizations define it differently. Here’s the definition we use (and that we created specifically for the Arts on Chicago initiative): Placemaking is using the arts in neighborhood locations to encourage social interaction, support the growth of local businesses and safer streets, and to promote a sense of neighborhood identity and ownership.

We don’t want to narrow it to a specific art form or discipline, but we will be presenting different examples of Placemaking projects at our community workshops on July 14 (10 am to noon), July 18 (6-8 pm), or August 6 (6-8 pm).

Hemos encontrado que mucha gente no ha oído el término “desarrollo de arte comunitario” antes. Pero, hasta los que lo han escuchado, muchas organizaciones lo usan en diferentes maneras. Este es la definición que usamos (y que creamos específicamente para Artes Por Chicago (APC)): El desarrollo de arte comunitario es usar artes de la ubicación de la vecindad para animar interacción social, apoyo para el crecimiento de negocios locales y calles mas seguros, y para promover en la vecindad un sentido de identidad y propiedad. No queremos estrecharlo para un tipo de art especifico o disciplina, pero vamos a presentar diferentes ejemplos de Desarrollo de Arte Comunitario en nuestros talleres el Julio 14th (10am-12pm), Julio 18 (6pm-8pm), o Agosto 6 (6-8pm).


[toggle_content heading=”Will Arts on Chicago develop and maintain a comprehensive online resource for all things placemaking? ¿Va ya Artes Por Chicago desarrollar y mantener un recurso en la red comprensivo para todos los artes de desarrollo?”]

A goal of Arts on Chicago is to develop this over the course of the year in collaboration with the 20 placemaking projects as well as all of the existing creative community assets.

La meta de Artes Por Chicago es de desarrollar esto sobre el curso de un año en colaboración con los 20 artes de desarrollo y también con todos los bienes existentes creativos.


[toggle_content heading=”What does the “institute” process involve for artists? ¿Qué significa el “Instituto” proceso de participación para los artistas?”]

We don’t view this as a traditional “grant” process. We wish to enter into a partnership with all of the placemaking artists in order to create meaningful connections, build a learning community, and leverage opportunities to share skill sets. We will require artists to attend two AOC “institutes” which will engage facilitators in leading sessions around topics like: What strategies might help me engage community members in broad participation in my/our project? or What are important things to consider regarding access or universal design when developing a project?

No vemos esto como una tradicional “beca” del proceso. Queremos entrar en una asociación con todos los artistas de desarrollo comunitario a fin crear conexiones significativas, construir una comunidad de aprendizaje y aprovechar las oportunidades para compartir habilidades. Vamos a exigir a los artistas a asistir a dos APC “institutos” cuales van a atraer a los facilitadores principales en torno a temas como: ¿Qué estrategias podrían ayudarme a involucrar a los miembros de la comunidad en una amplia participación en mi/nuestro proyecto? O ¿Cuáles son las coas importantes a considerar en relación con el acceso o el diseño universal en el desarrollo de un proyecto?


[toggle_content heading=”Does my project have to happen on Chicago Avenue specifically? ¿Mi proyecto va a tener que pasar por la Avenida Chicago específicamente?”]

No, not specifically. But you must articulate how the project will have a direct and meaningful impact on the Chicago Avenue Corridor.

No, no específicamente. Sin embargo, usted debe explicar con claridad cómo el proyecto tendrá un impacto directo y significativo en el Corredor Avenida Chicago.


[toggle_content heading=”What if my work samples are not “placemaking” work samples? Does this hinder my chance at getting awarded a project? ¿Qué pasa si mis muestras de trabajo no son “Desarrollo de Arte Comunitario” muestras de trabajo? ¿Esto impide mi oportunidad de conseguir que mi proyecto sea ayudado?”]

We will look at the work samples for quality of artistry. We don’t expect everyone to have a long history of “placemaking” as their artistic practice that would be evident in the work samples. Yet it would be helpful to state in your narrative, from a feasibility standpoint, how you or your team will complete your proposed project. For example, if most of your creative discipline is as a writer, but your project involves welding and stained glass work, it would be helpful to know you have a plan for how those components of your project will be completed.

Daremos una mirada a las muestras de trabajo para la calidad del arte. No esperamos que todos tengan una larga historia de “Desarrollo de Artes Comunitario” como su práctica artística que sería evidente a las muestras de trabajo. Sin embargo, sería conveniente dejar en su narrativa, desde el punto de vista de viabilidad, como usted o su equipo completará su proyecto propuesto. Por ejemplo, si la mayor parte de su disciplina creativa es como un escrito, pero su proyecto consiste en la soldadura y el trabajo de vitrales, sería útil saber que usted tiene un plan de cómo los componentes de su proyecto será terminado.


[toggle_content heading=”What is the panel’s decision process and who does the panel represent? ¿Qué es el proceso de la decisión del panel y quien representa el panel?”]

The projects will be selected from a panel of representatives of the Arts on Chicago leadership team. This team consists of senior leaders of the Pillsbury House + Theatre, Upstream Arts, PPNA, Ward 8 Council Office of Elizabeth Glidden, and Professor Natasha Pestich. The first round of projects will be announced at the end of August, 2012.

Los proyectos serán seleccionados por un panel de representantes de líderes de Artes Por Chicago. Este equipo está formado por altos dirigentes de Pillsbury House + Theatre, Upstream Arts, PPNA, Ward 8 Council Office of Elizabeth Glidden, y la profesora Natasha Pestich. La primera ronda de proyectos se darán a conocer a finales de agosto, 2012.


[toggle_content heading=”Is it better if I apply as an individual or as a collaborative team? ¿Es mejor si se aplica de forma individual o en equipo colaborativo?”]

We have 10 projects to award through the open call for artists. Therefore we know there will be many really great proposals from our community of artists that will not get funded through this process. We encourage collaboration because we believe that it can lead to new and exciting opportunities that might not have existed working in isolation; help add interesting layers of complexity to projects when different people or disciplines merge; and make a project more feasible by bringing the necessary skills to the project.

Tenemos 10 proyectos para premiar a través del llamado abierto para los artistas. Por lo tanto, sabemos que habrá muchas propuestas realmente grandes de nuestra comunidad de artistas que no van a ser financiadas a través de este proceso. Animamos a la colaboración, porque creemos que puede conducir a nuevas y emocionantes oportunidades que podrían no haber existido trabajando en forma aislada; ayudara a añadir interesantes proyectos y capas de complejidad en diferentes personas o fusionar disciplinas; y hará un proyecto más viable al traer las habilidades necesarias para el proyecto.


[toggle_content heading=”How many “permanent” verses “temporary” projects does AOC want to see? ¿Cuántas “permanentes” versos “temporales” proyectos quedara AOC ver?”]

We do not have a set number of “permanent” verses “temporary” projects in mind. We are hoping to see strong proposals that have a component that “reinforces the creative identity of the Chicago Avenue Corridor” which most likely have some designed permanence. We also see this as an opportunity to work with all of the projects to try to create artistic “through lines” so they have a collective creative impact.

No tenemos un número determinado de proyectos “permanentes” versos “temporales” en mente. Estamos esperando para ver las propuestas fuertes que tienen un componente que “refuerza la identidad creativa del corredor Chicago Avenida”, que muy probablemente tiene cierta permanencia diseñado. También vemos esto como una oportunidad de trabajar con todos los proyectos para tratar de crear arte “a través de las líneas”, para que tengan un impacto colectivo creativo.


[toggle_content heading=”What is the hard end date for completion of projects? ¿Cuál es la final fecha para los proyectos realizados?”]

For the purposes of our ArtPlace grant, all projects must have an end date of May 31, 2013.

That said, we see Arts on Chicago as a ongoing initiative that will continue beyond the time frame of our ArtPlace grant. We will work to bring additional resources into the community so that this work can be sustained and developed over the years to come. We would be excited to see projects that were designed to be enjoyed and appreciated by the community for many years or that encourage and inspire others to engage the community in their own creative placemaking projects.

Por propósitos de los fundos de ArtPlace, todos los proyectos deben tener una fecha de finalización del 31 de mayo 2013. Dicho esto, vemos Artes Por Chicago como una iniciativa en curso que continuara mas allá del marco temporal de el fondo de ArtPlace. Vamos a trabajar para traer recursos adicionales a la comunidad para que este trabajo pueda ser sostenido y desarrollado a lo largo de los años por venir. Estaríamos muy contentos de ver los proyectos que fueron diseñados para ser disfrutado y apreciado por la comunidad durante muchos años o que alentar e inspiran a otros a participar a la comunidad en sus propios proyectos de desarrollo creativos.


[toggle_content heading=”Can we create a resource sharing, collaboration and networking group/website/etc to encourage cross collaboration and how to find particular services (like “My project requires a welder but I don’t weld.”)? ¿Podemos crear una distribución de los recursos, colaboración y grupo de red/ web/ etc. Para fomentar la colaboración entre y cómo encontrar servicios especiales (por ejemplo “Mi proyecto requiere un soldador, pero no sueldo.”)?”]

Yes. We see this as a function of the Arts on Chicago staff person as well as the “institute” process that all 20 projects will engage in over the course of the year. We will also work to assemble a list of local resources and create a hub for people to connect and share, most likely online.

Si. Vemos esto como una función del personal de Artes Por Chicago y también como el “instituto” proceso que los 20 proyectos participarán en el transcurso del año. También vamos a trabjar para reunir una lista de recursos locales y crear un centro para que las personas conecten y compartan, en línea más probable.


[toggle_content heading=”Can you submit more than one project to Arts on Chicago?¿Se puede presentar más de un proyecto para Artes Por Chicago?”]

No.  But if you do not get accepted in the first round you may submit again in the second round.

No. Pero si usted no fue aceptado en la primera ronda puede presentar de nuevo en la segunda ronda.


[toggle_content heading=”If my proposal is not accepted in the first round of applications, can I contact the leadership team for advice on how to improve my application to submit for the second round in November? ¿Si mi propuesta no es aceptada en la primera ronda de solicitudes, puedo contactar al equipo de liderazgo para obtener consejos sobre cómo mejorar mi solicitud a presentar para la segunda ronda en noviembre?”]

Yes.  We encourage you to get feedback before resubmitting in the second round.

Si. Le recomendamos que obtenga consejos antes que vuelva a presentar en la segunda ronda.


[toggle_content heading=”If I live or work in one of the 4 target neighborhoods, but want to collaborate with Minneapolis artists who live outside the geographic parameters outlined in your eligibility requirements, is that possible? ¿Si vivo o trabajo en uno de los 4 vecindarios específicos, pero me gustaría colaborar con artistas de Minneapolis que viven fura de los parámetros geográficos descritos en sus requisitos de elegibilidad, será posible?”]

We require that the lead artist(s) that are managing the project work or live in the targeted geographic area.  We understand that your project might require the specialized technical support of an outside contractor. It would be permissible for that person to be from outside the targeted area if it was not something that could be reasonably accomplished by the lead artist(s).

Se requiere que el artista principal que está gestionado el proyecto que trabaje o viva en el área geográfica especifica. Entendemos que el proyecto podría requerir el apoyo técnico de un especialista externo. Seria admisible que esa persona sea fuera del área de orientación si podía hacer algo que el artista razonablemente no podrirá.

[toggle_content heading=”If my studio is housed in one of the neighborhoods eligible to apply to Arts on Chicago, but I live and work elsewhere in the city, can I still apply? Si mi estudio está ubicado en uno de los vecindarios que pueden solicitar a Artes Por Chicago, pero vivo y trabajo en otras partes de la cuidad, ¿puedo solicitar todavía?”]

If you maintain a year round artist studio within the targeted area you would be eligible to apply.

SI usted mantiene un estudio de arte durante el año y vuelta, usted si estará elegible para aplicar.

[toggle_content heading=”Work samples question: If I am a multi-disciplinary artist, can I submit both video and digital images? And if so, how many? ¿Si yo soy un artista multidisciplinar, puedo enviar imágenes de video y digitales? Y si es así, ¿Cuántos?”]

Yes, both will be accepted.  Eight images and 5 minutes of video can be submitted.

Si, ambos serán aceptados. Ocho imágenes y 5 minutos de video se pueden presentar.



If you don’t see your answer here, feel free to contactArts on Chicago Community Liaison Mike Hoyt.

Photos on Chicago Avenue from 32nd to 42nd. Where do you find inspiration?

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