Redmoon Theatre Announces Neighborhood Partners for Great Chicago Fire Festival
Redmoon Founder and Executive Artistic Director Jim Lasko and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events today announce the 15 neighborhoods that will serve as official neighborhood partners for the Great Chicago Fire Festival, hosting Community Engagement Summer Celebrations leading up to the Festival culmination, a performance and pyrotechnic spectacle on the main branch of the Chicago River, October 4. The 15 city neighborhoods, anchored by 35 different civic and cultural organizations, will partner with Redmoon to present free, public events and art activities from June through September. This announcement follows a citywide request for proposals from community-based organizations issued by Redmoon last November. The 15 official Great Chicago Fire Festival neighborhoods are Albany Park, Austin, Avondale, Bronzeville, Englewood, Humboldt Park, Little Village, North Lawndale, Old Town, Pilsen, Roseland, South Chicago, South Shore, Uptown and Woodlawn.
The 15 Fire Festival neighborhoods will host Redmoon artists at various Community Engagement Summer Celebrations to engage the public as empowered citizens through art. Activities will include:
· Neighborhood Barbeques - Based around the celebration of food, Redmoon will bring into each neighborhood its newest food serving device, the 15-foot-tall and 15-foot in diameter BBQ Cyclone Grill, a motorized carousel featuring a total of 9 Weber Grills in three elevated grilling stations and a wireless DJ station and speakers. Over fresh and healthy creations, Redmoon will build new relationships with community members in a fun and casual setting. The Neighborhood Barbeque parties will also feature...
o Grill Master Contest, where community members who love to grill can step up to show their skill on the Cyclone Grill.
o Bake-Off Contests, where local bakers can compete for a slot to sell their baked goods on the riverside at the Great Chicago Fire Festival.
o Open Sculptural Build. Working with Redmoon artists, community members can participate in decorating sculptures that will be part of river spectacle on October 4.
· Interactive Photo Booth/Workshop - Redmoon has transformed a horse trailer into a massive photo booth, which will be transported to all 15 neighborhoods throughout the summer. Photos of community members will be displayed along the Chicago River at the October 4 spectacle.
Redmoon hosted a meet-and-greet with the organization partners March 26 at the Chicago Cultural Center to introduce them to one another, provide additional information about the Great Chicago Fire Festival and answer questions.
"Cultivating the collaborations with our neighborhood partners has been a tremendous experience for our team," said Jim Lasko, Executive Artistic Director at Redmoon. "We were so inspired by the responses to the RFP that we thought it was best to include all community based organizations that applied for our inaugural year. The geography of the organizations shaped the map of our 15 neighborhoods, and we could not be more excited about the diversity and reach these collaborations lend to the festival."
"The 25th Ward has been proud to call Redmoon one of our residents since they moved to Pilsen last year," said Alderman Danny Solis. "They bring their art to the people and the people to their art. Now, here we have the Great Chicago Fire Festival, a new event taking Redmoon's inclusivity and epic-scale vision to a new level, inspired by the most 'Chicagoan' values of resilience and renewal. I'm proud that Pilsen can be one of the 15 anchor neighborhoods and I can't wait to see how this project grows and expands in the coming years."
"The 27th Ward is excited to participate in the Great Chicago Fire Festival," said Alderman Walter Burnett. "This festival will unite not only people within a given neighborhood, but also different neighborhoods in a new way. It'll stretch across so many areas, linking people from all walks of life and from all sections of the city, under one positive, constructive and creative endeavor. The Pilsen community is proud to be involved."
Partner Organizations by Neighborhood
Civic and cultural organizations from each official neighborhood serve as Redmoon's anchor for these new partnerships, communicating and bringing community members into the festival activities. They include:
· Albany Park: Family Focus Roosevelt High School/Nuestra Familia and North River Commission
· Austin: Youth Outreach Services
· Avondale: Avondale Neighborhood Association
· Roseland: CeaseFire of Roseland