Upcoming Events at Pivot Arts

Front Porch Series
Live Performance at a Distance

When it is safe to do so, Pivot Arts will present solo/duet performances that you and your neighbors can enjoy through your windows or from your front porches. We will have a roster of solo music and performing artists that will come and perform on a front porch, lawn or other outdoor space while you enjoy thru a window or at a distance.

Performance locations will *not* be publicized. These are for nearby residents and live stream only. Pivot Arts will reserve the right to cancel based on most current health recommendations.

All donated proceeds go to artists who are greatly in need of income right now!

Stay tuned for updates when the Front Porch series can get up + running: pivotarts.org/updates

Live Talk Shows
Curated Conversations + Performances

Pivot Arts presents three Live Talk shows that include curated conversations around an engaging topic, performances, food + drinks. Past hosts have included Dewayne Perkins (now on Comedy Central) and exciting Chicago artists. Come and experience both performances as well as conversations with artists and experts that stimulate thought and create a sense of community.

Live Talk: Re-Writing the Declaration

STAY TUNED FOR UPDATES: pivotarts.org/updates
Arts + Public Life
301 E. Garfield Blvd.

Hosted by Quenna Lené Barrett
An imaginative conversation on belonging and freedom led by Artistic Associate, Quenna Lené Barrett. Re-Writing the Declaration is participatory play + project that asks its viewers to consider one of America’s oldest documents, and its effect on black, brown, queer and other “marginalized” identities today. Participants are invited to imagine a new declaration, what society might look like under an alternative founding document, and how we might begin creating those images.

Live Talk: Women Changemakers
February 27 | 7pm
Colvin House
5940 N. Sheridan RD
21+ Only
This event has ended.

Co-hosted with Bourbon Women Chicago, this event includes tasting with Koval Distillery, live performances and networking. Come at 7pm for tasting with Koval and enjoy performances starting at 7:30pm with stand-up comedians Kayla Pulley and Lauren Walker. Ida Cuttler of the popular theater company, the Neo Futurists, performs with Catharine Savage. An engaging conversation with 3Arts Executive Director, Esther Grimm, and artists on women trailblazers. Live Music by Emmy Bean and Ami Saraiya closes out the evening. Click buy tickets above to reserve.


Live Talk: Food For Thought
Hosted by Nancy García Loza
January 30 | 7:00pm
Outerspace 1474 N. Milwaukee Avenue

This event has passed.

Join pocha playwright and newest Pivot Arts Artistic Associate (!!) Nancy García Loza for an evening of food, drinks, conversation and performance. We will hear a short excerpt of Nancy’s new play-in-progress, Birria performed by Chicago actors Eddie Martinez, Marvin Quijada and Jessi Realzola. We will chat about cooking culture, creativity and competition… Your ticket includes delicious Mexican fare from nearby Antique Taco and we will provide complimentary beverages.

The evening closes out with Latin music played by prominent Mexican artists Eréndira Izguerra and Adrián Ramirez. Come eat tacos and meet the artists! SPACE IS LIMITED AND RESERVATIONS REQUIRED…

About the Play
Cooking is everywhere. Even on our TV’s. We share food, we share recipes, we break bread together. Cooking culture demands creativity, innovation, and is sharply competitive, so when does sharing become stealing? When do we cut onions or cut each other?


An Immersive Performance Party

October 26 | 8pm
Colvin House
5940 N. Sheridan RD


Pivot Arts teams up with Colvin House to create an immersive Hall’o’ween event in an historic mansion. Evening includes food, drinks, performances created by Pivot Arts, and then culminates in a dance party with D.J. inspired fun. Costumes encouraged. Must be over 21+ to enter.

Performances created by Emmy Bean, Scott Dare, Stacy Erenberg, Cheryl Graeff, Sharon Lanza, Ami Saraiya and Richie Schiraldi. Design by Matthew York, Costumes by Vin Reed, Sound by Ariel Zetina, Production Managed by Joseph Pindelski and Produced/Directed by Julieanne Ehre.

For Complete Information Including Timeline Visit: https://colvinhouseevents.com/halloween-2019/
Book with Haste | Limited Space

Buckthorn used for scenery donated by the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Learn more about this invasive shrub and how the Forest Preserves is restoring natural areas throughout Cook County: https://fpdcc.com/restoration/

A Work-In-Progress Showing
by Chloe Johnston
Directed by Seth Bockley

Friday, Nov 1st, Saturday, Nov 2nd and Sunday, Nov 3rd only
At 7:30pm
Lawrence House
Rooftop Lounge
1020 W. Lawrence Avenue
$10 Suggested Donation

In 2005 Grace was born. She lives in two dimensions. In a video game. Chloe Johnston (the Neo-Futurists) details her experience of becoming the voice of a fictional video game character that becomes real to many players. This evening is a sneak peek into an original work-in-progress showing about the line between art and reality that includes a discussion with the creator.




Live Talk: Transformations

Thursday March 21 | 7:30pm
Uncommon Ground  – Devon
1401 W. Devon Avenue

Our popular Live Talk series continues and we’re co-producing this one with Pop Magic Productions!! This month’s theme is Transformations and will be hosted by Mexican American playwright + mover and shaker, Nancy Garcia Loza!! (listed as one of 6 theater workers you should know — American Theater Magazine!). Join us for incredible stories told by comedian Dave Maher (from This American Life!!!) plus actor/writer Rolando Serrano! Playwright Tanuja Jagernauth will lead the PIVOT DIY, a super fun audience engagement activity. Panel discussion on transformations of Chicago neighborhoods (Uptown, Lincoln Yards) led by journalist, Mark Guarino (Washington Post) includes esteemed guests Alderman James Cappleman; writer and editor, Martha Bayne; artists and community activists Hac Tran and Maritza Nazario. and we close out with music from the transformative sound of Nire Nah!

Live Talk is a series that includes short performances and a discussion around a topical theme. Plus food + drink for purchase at Uncommon Ground!!! Read about Nancy Garcia Loza’s cool podcast in New York Times!

Video Corpo
An Exploration of  Movement and Video

Pivot Arts teams up with Defibrillator Gallery + SITE/less Performance space to present Video Corpo, a festival celebrating movement-based artists who use video as part of their practice. As part of the festival we are co-presenting a DANCE ON FILM event with In/Motion International Dance Film Festival.

Dance On Film
Friday, Nov. 30, 7:30PM
Chicago Filmmakers
5720 N. Ridge Avenue
$10 Suggested Donation. Reserve HERE

Pivot Arts with In/Motion International Dance Film Festival presents the following short dance films: ALL by Sarah C. Prinz, Danny Rosenberg, and Amy Wilkinson; SEPARATE SENTENCES by Austin Forbord and Amy Dowling; INSAN by Tommy Pascal and FORMIDABLE DREAMS by Eugene Sun Park and Sara Zalek. A panel discussion following the showings will include Executive Director of In/Motion, Amy Wilkinson, along with filmmakers AJ McClenon, Diana Quinones Rivera and Sara Zalek. Pivot Arts director, Julieanne Ehre, will moderate the discussion.

Video Corpo runs from November 16 – December 7 with showings of videos at Defibrillator Gallery and at SITE/less. Featured works at SITE/less include, Short Silent Films (1966–94) by iconic composer, singer, director/choreographer, and filmmaker Meredith MonkWall Dance by Michelle Kranicke and Zephyr Dance and On Falling by Nadia Oussenko. Featured artists at Defibrillator include: Marianne Kim, Daniele Wilmouth, Michal Samama and Laura Corcuera. Check individual websites for hours and locations.


Charged Spaces/Changing Bodies
October 11 – 14, 2018

Pivot Arts presents Charged Spaces/Changing Bodies
Performances in Historic Sites

Works by Anna Martine Whitehead
Carole McCurdy +
Sara Zalek

Co-Curated by Julieanne Ehre and Peter Taub
October 11, 12 and 13 at 7:30pm and October 14 at 4:00pm
The Institute for Cultural Affairs
4750 N. Sheridan Road +
Lawrence House
1020 W. Lawrence Avenue
Suggested Donation $20
SPACE IS LIMITED. TO RESERVE IN ADVANCE CLICK HERE. Please note, there is no late seating…

Pivot Arts presents a series of site-specific performances in two historic Uptown buildings overlapping with Chicago Architecture Foundation’s Open House Chicago weekend. The performance begins at the Institute for Cultural Affairs 4750 N. Sheridan Road with Notes on Territory written, choreographed and performed by Anna Martine Whitehead. Audiences are then led across the street to Lawrence House 1020 W. Lawrence Avenue for Les Chanteuses du Rien created and performed by Sara Zalek, Elaine Lemieux, Hanna Brock — the piece will take place in the Lawrence House lobby and culminate in the swimming pool. Five Stud Stud by Carole McCurdy will take place in the Lawrence House’s gym space. All performance spaces are accessible by elevator, note that the experience includes travel from one building to the next.

Full descriptions plus artist bios below.

Notes on Territory
Written, Choreographed, and Performed by Anna Martine Whitehead

Damon Locks, Sound; Giau Truong, Lighting

Notes On Territory uses movement, sound, video, and text to address “containment architectures” (prisons, cathedrals, dungeons, and homes) and ask: What is the prison? What is the nature of freedom? The piece considers known architectural shapes and spiritual traditions such as crosses and arches in relation to the hole – a space which is only known by the wall that surrounds it – as a means of exploring the rich tradition of Black liberation practice.

Notes on Territory was developed in part during Pivot Arts’ Incubator Program and has had works-in-progress showings at: ACRE and Ragdale in 2017, Elevate Chicago Dance 2017, Velocity Dance Center in 2018, Whitman College Spring Studio Series 2018, Pivot Arts Festival 2018. Generous support has been provided by Chicago Dancemakers Forum; Headlands Center for the Arts; Daring Dances at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; and Pivot Arts.

Les Chanteuses du Rien
Created and performed by Sara Zalek, Elaine Lemieux, Hanna Brock

Les Chanteuses du Rien mashes up classical music, experimental opera, improvised sound and Butoh dance to explore the lobby and swimming pool space at Lawrence House. The performers are a trio of tricksters who desire to communicate intimately with an audience.

Sara Zalek, Elaine Lemieux and Hanna Brock have been making work together for two years in Chicago, including Chicago Cultural Center, Edgar Miller Legacy Studio, Silent Funny, Ragdale Foundation and the Hungry Brain. They have been supported by Chicago Dancemakers Forum, the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, the City of Chicago, New England Foundation for the Arts, and the Ragdale Foundation.

Five Stud Stud
Created by Carole McCurdy and co-performed with Jon Poindexter

Five Stud Stud explores the spectrum between violence and tenderness. The performance is both intense and absurd, taking place in an installation of inflatable punching bags. Versions of this piece have been performed at Ragdale Foundation; Dogleach/Hume; Comfort Station; OuterSpace; and Defibrillator.


Charged Spaces/Changing Bodies is supported in part by the Alphawood Foundation, FLATSstudio, the Illinois Arts Council, the Institute for Cultural Affairs, and the MacArthur Funds for Art and Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation. Photos above from left to right: Notes on Territory by William Frederking; Five Stud Stud by Sam Chao; and Les Chanteuses du Rien by Rebecca Ciprus.


Anna Martine Whitehead is a transdisciplinary artist interested in the body as material, signal, archive. She’s been presented by Velocity Dance Center; Watts Towers Art Center; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts; and the Hemispheric Institute for Performance and Politics. Her work Notes On Territory was developed and then presented as a work-in-progress as part of the Pivot Arts Incubator program. She has contributed to projects by Onye Ozuzu, Jefferson Pinder, taisha paggett, Every house has a door, Keith Hennessy, BodyCartography Project, Julien Prévieux, and the Prison + Neighborhood Art Project. Martine has been published in Art21, C Magazine, Art Practical, frieze; contributed to Meanings and Makings of Queer Dance; and is the author of TREASURE | My Black Rupture. She is a 2018 Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist.

Carole McCurdy is a Chicago-based artist whose performance work addresses grief and anxiety, duty and resistance, and the absurd mysteries of embodiment. She received a 2016 Lab Artist award from the Chicago Dancemakers Forum and was a Fall 2016 Sponsored Artist at High Concept Laboratories. She created and directed an ensemble piece, Waver, with support from CDF, HCL, and 3Arts Chicago. Her practices include butoh and Argentine tango, and she has performed at spaces including the Chicago Cultural Center, Epiphany Dance, Links Hall, Hamlin Park, High Concept Laboratories, Defibrillator Gallery, and Movement Research (NY).

Les Chanteuses du Rien is created by a trio of trickster heroes: Sara Zalek (movement), Elaine Lemieux (voice), and Hanna Brock (instrumentalist) who use genres of classical scores, experimental opera, improvised sound, expanded cinema, and Butoh dance in their work. The trio seeks to surprise, disarm, and uplift the spirits of all who witness. They have performed throughout the past two years in Chicago venues, including Chicago Cultural Center, Edgar Miller Legacy Studio, Silent Funny, Ragdale Foundation and the Hungry Brain. Les Chanteuses du Rien is supported by Chicago Dancemakers Forum, the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, the City of Chicago, New England Foundation for the Arts, and the Ragdale Foundation.