Announcing HCL's Fall 2017 Sponsored Artists

High Concept Labs (HCL) today announces the Fall 2017 lineup of its flagship Sponsored Artist Program. Eight artists and collaboratives will develop, rehearse, and present new work for Chicago audiences this season. In conjunction with rehearsal and performance space, HCL provides Sponsored Artists with administrative, marketing, production, documentation, and development assistance. 2017 marks the seventh year of the Sponsored Artist Program.

For two seasons each year, artists are selected by HCL's staff and Artistic Advisory Council to incubate, workshop, perform, or exhibit new work. "HCL aims to support each artist by allowing them the space and time to experiment, and catalyze the creative process," says HCL Artistic Planning Manager, Billie Howard. "It is joy to watch HCL's Sponsored Artist community grow and produce new work each year."

This season's Sponsored Artists are a diverse group of emerging and established artists working across a range of disciplines, from film and writing to music and movement. As part of their Sponsorship, artists will participate in Artist Critiques, and present Works-In-Progress showings, Workshops, and other public offerings for Chicago audiences, including the Fall Open House.

On Thursday, October 19th, 2017 HCL will celebrate its Sponsored Artists at the biannual HCL Open House at Hairpin Arts Center from 7:30 to 11:00 PM. The open loft Art Party will include works-in-progress, performances, installations, and music by artists from the organization's past and present. For more information and to reserve tickets, visit

The Fall 2017 Sponsored Artists and their projects are as follows:

  1. Jessica Aszodi (Music): I hear your tongue when I talk...


  1. Chicago Balinese Gamelan (Music): At the count of gong; a rebirth of Balinese gamelan music in Chicago

  1. Hot Kitchen (Performance/Video): Florida

  1. Anthony Janas (Sound/Installation): Playing the Room

  2. Erin Kilmurray (Dance): Search Party

  1. A.J. McClenon (Film/Performance): Black Water: Polarity

  1. Kevin Sparrow (Writing/Performance): Full Filling


  1. Zafa Collective (Music): 2017-2018 Season

2017 marks the eighth year of the Sponsored Artist Program, which has supported more than 170 artists and collectives with over 21,000 hours of donated space and professional support.

In 2016, HCL provided its artists 2,406 hours of studio rehearsal time (valued at $36,090); 284 hours of artistic support (valued at $7,088); 245 hours of marketing support (valued at $6,131); and 269 hours of documentation support (valued at $5,380). The organization received 117 applications for the Sponsored Artist Program, accepted 26 artists into the program, and held 87 events reaching 1,678 attendees.

Additional information on our Sponsored Artists, including dates and times of public programs, will be forthcoming.

High Concept Labs (HCL) supports artists and facilitates dialogue between artists, audiences, and staff members. This increases access and transparency to the artistic process and fosters transformational experiences in an environment of experimentation and discovery.

HCL is supported in part by the generosity of The National Endowment for the Arts, The Chicago Community Trust, The Joyce Foundation, The MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, The City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The Arts Work Fund for Organizational Development, The Illinois Humanities, The Chicago Dancemakers Forum, Presidio Aircraft Leasing, The Martha Struthers Farley and Donald C. Farley, Jr. Family Foundation, N.A., The Norwottock Charitable Trust, The Samuel J. Baskin Charitable Trust, Mana Contemporary Chicago, and individual donors.

HCL is based at Mana Contemporary Chicago in the Pilsen neighborhood, at 2233 S Throop St. Chicago, Illinois 60608.

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