Venue Profile: Elastic Arts Foundation
In light of our Songwriter Showcase today at Elastic Arts Homeroom sat down with the Co-Founder/Director of Elastic, Paul Giallorenzo, to learn all about the ins and outs of this wonderful non-profit foundation. Elastic has been with us for a long time and we couldn’t be happier to showcase them to you. Elastic Arts is our venue of choice for our Songwriter Showcase series. They have been so good to us and we have been so grateful to use their versatile space. Please read on to learn about them, check out their website to learn even more and most importantly make sure to come to Elastic tonight for our Songwriter Showcase with Antony & The Tramps and Wooden Rings!
1. Can you tell me a little about the history of Elastic? Who founded it and how did you all get your start?
Elastic Arts’ founders have been working together as an informal artists’ collective since 1998, originally based out of a loft space in the 500 W Cermak building (“the Spice Factory”), located on the Chicago River between Pilsen and Chinatown. Elastic Arts Foundation (EAF) incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in March 2002, and acquired 501©3 status in March 2004.
Since then, EAF has presented over 1300 events – live music shows, multi-disciplinary performances, theater pieces, literary readings, art exhibitions, and film/video screenings – establishing itself as a respected leader among grassroots performance organizations in Chicago and throughout the world. By fostering the development and presentation of innovative, non-conventional artists and art forms, EAF also provides the public with valuable and unique aesthetic and cultural events in an intimate performance environment, free from commercial restraints.
From 2001 – 2005, EAF was based out of a converted church building at 3030 West Cortland Street in the Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago. The venue, a 75-seat theater and digital recording studio, was called 3030. It was a smoke-free, all-ages venue that was unique in the city of Chicago, and as such was appreciated and supported by both performers and audiences. EAF produced over 500 performances at 3030.
In spring 2006 EAF moved out of 3030 and established the Elastic Sound & Vision Gallery (referred to simply as Elastic) at its present location: 2830 N Milwaukee Ave in the Logan Square neighborhood. EAF produces an average of 2 to 4 performances each week at Elastic, while concurrently presenting 1 to 2 month-long visual art exhibitions. Although similar in spirit to 3030, Elastic is more accessible via public transportation, street parking is readily available and the facility itself is more suitable for multi-media performances and visual art exhibitions.
2. What kind of programming do you do?
Non-commercial music concerts and multi-arts events with concurrent visual art gallery exhibitions.
Featured concert series:
The Jazz and Improvised Music Series curated by saxophonist Dave Rempis has become a testing ground for the development of a newer generation of Chicago improvisers;
Elastic Hip-Hop Series emphasizes artists who convey a positive message in their work;
Elastro Electro/Acoustic Series encourages innovative performances that engage the audience with live sound creation between digital, electro-mechanical and acoustic sound;
The Songwriter Showcase and Open Mic, presented in conjunction with the non-profit Homeroom.
“Intersections”, a series featuring musicians from the AACM and Asian Improv aRts Midwest";
“a.pe.ri.od.ic” a concert series that showcases composers and ensembles working in contemporary, experimental, and new music, curated by pianist Nomi Epstein.
“Real Talk Live!”, a reading/art series featuring writers and performers from all over the country
3. Who should interested parties contact for booking firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
4. What sort of public presence does Elastic Arts want? Public vs. Underground, basically.
5. What is Elastic looking to do in the future? How do you plan to grow?
Continue to expand programming to include more series involving more of the city’s creative musicians and arts performers, while expanding audiences. Doing additional programming out of the 8,000 sq ft. Arts Center, Logan Square/Avondale. establishing a new web site to promote Chicago music concerts, venues, and musicians: chicagomusic.org