CHICAGO HOME THEATER FESTIVAL Kicks Off Today
The Chicago Home Theater Festival has set its dates for today, May 1st - 25th, 2014. The festival will take place at 20 Chicago homes from Rogers Park, to Avondale, to Grand Crossing. Tickets to the festival are $10 online and $15 at the door and can be purchased at chicagohtf.org.
Strangers around the world are opening their kitchens, living rooms, and rooftops, because this May, home is where the art is. The Chicago Home Theater Festival transforms homes into sites of radical generosity for performance, cinema, and interdisciplinary art.
Founded by Philip Huang in Berkeley, California the (International) Home Theater Festival spans 3 continents and 10 countries. HTF first came to Chicago in 2013 where it built on a rich tradition of community organizing and grassroots art activism. CHTF 2014 features 20 hosts and over 100 artists including original, site-responsive work created specifically for the homes and neighborhoods in which they were conceived. The festival explores the private domain as public forum for risk-taking, radical generosity and interdisciplinary collaboration.
Produced, organized and developed by socially-engaged artist Irina Zadov, performing artist Blake Russell, and director Laley Lippard, the curatorial process privileges underrepresented artists working in nontraditional media; catalytic hosts at the crossroads of art, activism, and scholarship; and neighborhoods whose creative capital and community capacity are overlooked. Chicago Home Theater Festival curated in collaboration with CHTF 2013 alumni: Abraham Epton, Amir George, Christopher Knowlton, Coya Paz, Helen Kohn, Janice Bond, Tempestt Hazel, and Stephen Lieto.
John Preus hosts a housewarming in the belly of The Beast at the Hyde Park Art Center. Party with the festival's hosts and artists as DJ's Perpetual Rebel and Honey Pot Performance bring down the house.
Select hosts include activist and scholar, Bill Ayers in Kenwood; Executive Director of Arts Alliance Illinois, Ra and Falona Joy in Bronzeville; Director of Artists Resources, interdisciplinary artists and curators, La Kiesha Leek and Savannah Wood in Grand Crossing; Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Barbara Keonen in Hyde Park; Artistic Director of Free Street Theater, Coya Paz in Humboldt Park; Assistant Principal of Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School, Danette T. Sokacich in Avondale; Film and New Media Professor, Aymar Jean Christian in Lakeview.
Celebrate North Center in the oldest standing wooden fire station in Chicago, the Firehaus; check out the Solarium, an intentional community space for artists and healers; share a meal at the St. Francis House which aligns itself with social justice teachings and provides free housing for adults facing homelessness; explore an epicenter of Chicago art culture with a three home artistic guided tour of Pilsen that spans several blocks; step into the technological playground of our closing night artists' jam at a media producers' dream loft in the South Loop.
This year, artists are creating new and site-responsive works in collaboration with hosts and their neighborhoods. Some of those artists include arts alliance and artists' collaborative Voice of the City; choreographer and dancer Dimitri Peskov; interdisciplinary artist working on urban environmental interventions within and around abandoned spaces Victoria Alvarez; three-dimensional multi-media and devising artist Shawn Ketchum Johnson; Amanda Timm's private confessional interaction and performance; performance creative collaborative that forefronts African Diasporic performance traditions Honey Pot Performance; experimental musician and improviser Matt Orenstein in collaboration with The Laboratory Dancers.
Select featured artists include storytelling performance of puppetry and painting from Julie Zhu; short films by womyn of color curated by Felicia Mings; environmental performance art by Saul Aguirre; youth performing Anna DeViere Smith oral histories directed by high school teacher Avi Lessing; hip hop as restorative justice from Uptown's Circles and Cyphers; a comedic exploration of social masquerade with The Wulfden; a short film about gentrification in Logan Square by Jason Ogawa; multimedia installation by Regin Igloria.
In order to welcome visitors to new neighborhoods, volunteer tour guides will meet audience members at CTA stops near participating homes and introduce them to the history, culture and personal stories of their communities. Participants will be invited to share their experience live via twitter and instagram and all documentation will be featured at chicagohtf.org.