In addition to the live performance events featured in this year’s annual Pivot Arts Festival, we are offering free virtual works in the spirit of diverse, adventurous art-making and accessibility.

Digital programming features video works by Antwon Funches (Ndgo Blk), Sami Ismat, and Nora Sharp, as well as artist and community videos surrounding the themes of reimagining a utopian version of a post-pandemic world.

Reimagining Utopia: Community Responses

The 2021 Pivot Arts Festival asked both artists and Edgewater/Uptown community members to reimagine a better world post-pandemic. Here’s what community members had to say.

Reimagining Utopia: Artist Responses

Twelve artists were commissioned to create works in response to this year’s festival themes. Here’s what they had to say about the utopian visions guiding their performances.

Virtual Premieres

Three video works premiered on Thursday, May 27th at the Video Premiere Experience. Lemon and Oil by Sami Ismat, Utopian Views by Ndgo Blk, and The Real Dance: A Micro Reality TV Show by Nora Sharp. Enjoy these videos now accessible on this webpage below.

Lemon & Oil (Nostalgic Buds) – Sami Ismat

Lemon & Oil (Previous Title: Nostalgic Buds) explores the nostalgic experience of immigrants shopping at ethnic food stores when moving to the US to remember pleasant moments from their home countries. Through a virtual showing and conversation, artists and audience members will attempt to recall cultural values that might be foundational to imagining, and one day rebuilding, a utopic version of their home country.

Featuring Aykut Sinanoglu, Julee Sinanoglu, and Neylan Sinanoglu.

Click here for a conversation with Sami to learn more about Lemon & Oil and his artistic process! 

Utopian Views – Ndgo Blk with Perceptions Theatre

Utopian Views explores what makes a place a utopia and the changes Chicago would have to make to reach such a state. Before we build policy, we must center the most oppressed, understanding how our ideals and actions harm one another.

Written and performed by Ndgo Blk.

Click here for a conversation with Antwon to learn more about Utopian Views and his artistic process! 

The Real Dance: A Micro Reality TV Show – Nora Sharp

The Real Dance: A Micro Reality TV Show is the true story of five dancers, forced to live in their houses, dance (mostly) alone, and have their improvisations taped to find out what happens when people stop being polite and start moving for real.

Performers: Christina Chammas, Jenn Freeman | Po’Chop, Irene Hsiao, Nora Sharp, & Dorian Vanunu
Original Score: Dorian Vanunu
Dramaturgy & Creative Consultation: Grace McCants & Aaron Greer
Graphics & Video Development: Sydney Sullivan
Editing & Captions: Nora Sharp
Director: Nora Sharp

Click here for a conversation with Nora to learn more about The Real Dance and their artistic process!