Propeller Fund Open House

Propeller Fund Open House
Friday, April 21, 2017
Various locations throughout Chicago – See program listing
Propeller Fund presents a series of discussions, performances, presentations, and more in multiple neighborhoods across Chicago. Now in it’s eighth year, Propeller Fund is a Chicago-area granting organization that supports artist-led, collaborative, public-oriented projects that are independent and self-organized. From Humboldt Park to Austin, from the Northside to Bronzeville, and from public spaces to online, these artist-led interventions, workshop series, collectively organized exhibition spaces, websites, and media projects constitute a large catalyst for the creative activity and vitality of the Chicago art world.

Propeller Fund was imagined to provide funds directly to visual artists and collaboratives in order to stimulate the growth of independent cultural production throughout Chicago; to encourage more varied models of art production and presentation; to spread artistic activities into more diverse areas; to promote the public’s interaction with and public recognition of such activities of our city; and to spark ambitions beyond current formats. To date Propeller has awarded a total $350,000 to 103 projects. Propeller Fund is administered by Gallery 400 at UIC and Threewalls and supported through the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Regional Regranting Program.

  1. Open House Schedule:
  2. 2nd Floor Rear
  3. Hume Chicago
  4. 3242 W. Armitage Ave.
  5. 10am-12pm

2nd Floor Rear is an annual DIY festival of art in experimental contexts, apartment galleries, and ephemeral and migrant projects, celebrating Chicago’s vibrant community of alternative art spaces. 2nd Floor Rear Director Katie Waddell leads a conversation with artists, staff, and collaborators of the festival about its developments and future challenges to introduce an idea-generating workshop for grassroots arts organizers, organizations and collectives. The group discussion will stem from the questions: As justice-conscious artists and organizers, how do we not only adapt to changing tides, but embrace them by consolidating our values, revising our way of doing things, and ultimately become even more valuable to the artists, communities, and missions we serve? How do we make our work sustainable in the long-term, while sustainability seems impossible? How do we meet our organizations’ needs and keep our projects alive while putting justice, equity, and transparency into practice?

  1. Axis Lab
  2. 1120 W. Argyle St.
  3. 3-4pm

Axis Lab is a community engagement platform curating cultural programming within Chicago’s historic Southeast Asian corridor, Argyle Street, to incite equitable and inclusive development with its immigrant and refugee community through the intersection of food, design, and arts education. Axis Lab organizers offer a visual presentation of past and upcoming projects which center around themes of equitable development and social justice for the Asian community on Argyle. Such projects include working with local restaurant owners, community members, and policymakers to facilitate a variety of programming related to food, creative production, urban design, and curating participatory spaces. The latter half will be a sensorial workshop entitled Scents of Home, which is part of a series of pop-up events for Sống, a cookbook and archival project of the Vietnamese American community in Chicago. The Scents of Home workshop will serve as an interactive preview to the book, in which participants will explore Vietnamese food through scent as a mnemonic aid.

  1. Out of Site
  2. UIC Halted Blue Line station and environs
  3. Peoria Street, between Van Buren and Harrison
  4. 5-7pm

Out of Site curates cutting edge unexpected encounters in public space, supporting contemporary performance artists to create new work that engages directly with the public. Out of Site will present public performance pieces by Joshua Kent, Janet Schmidt, and Sara Zalek which focus on community justice. Kent’s performance takes the symbolism and poetics of “Bread and Roses”, a phrase of historical and cultural significance, originating in the Union movement. Schmid’s pedestrian dance project encourages community engagement through movement. Zalek’s interactive dance performance questions the illusion of freedom in our contemporary society. All of these works will actively engage the audience in a dialogue on economic justice (Kent), community exchange (Schmid), and the illusion of freedom and justice (Zalek).

Friday, April 21

Sara Zalek, 5-7pm – UIC Halsted Blue Line station

Joshua Kent, 5-7pm –  400 S. Peoria St.

Saturday, April 22

Janet Schmid, 5-7pm – UIC Halsted Blue Line station

  1. Lavender Menace Occupation
  2. Art and Exhibition Hall
  3. 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 5th floor bathrooms
  4. 400 S. Peoria St.
  5. April 21-23

The Lavender Menace Occupation (LMO) was developed from the lavender menace poster project: a series of posters and other text based artworks that utilize letterpress printing, hand papermaking, and laser cut text, to address queer visibility politics, while creating art objects that are easily distributed through an invisible network of participants. LMO creates a site specific installation of posters within the bathrooms of UIC’s Art and Exhibition Hall.

  1. Radius
  2. 88.9-FM and online at

Radius is an experimental radio broadcast platform located in Chicago. Radius provides artists with live and experimental formats in radio programming to support work that engages the tonal and public spaces of the electromagnetic spectrum. During Open Engagement Radius broadcasts a curated playlist of  of artists who use radio as a primary element in their work.

Visit for up-to-date event program and schedule, or pick up a map at Gallery 400 at UIC, 400 S. Peoria Street.

2016 Awardee Lavender Menace Occupation Installation

LMO x Off Chances
Lavender Menace Occupation bathroom installation during the Valentine’s Day edition of Off Chances at Danny’s.
Tuesday, February 14th, 10PM – 2AM
Danny’s in Wicker Park
1959 W. Dickens, Chicago, IL

This event will center around a site specific installation of lavender menace posters within in the bathroom of long standing queer dance party, Off Chances at Danny’s. The installation will include the participation of bar patrons by allowing them to respond to a text prompt directly on to the wall of the bathroom, adding to the context and the environment of both the gathering and the existing art installation. Off Chances is the cruisy and conversational sister to Chances Dances, featuring Cheap Drinks, Good Music, Free Stuff, and Queer People. All Chances parties recognize the power of consent, welcome all gender expressions, and feature gender neutral bathrooms.This event is free and open to the public, but is also 21 & over. Unfortunately, Danny’s is not wheelchair accessible.

2015 Awardee Floating Museum Interactive Installation “How to Give Life to a Mountain”

Floating Museum + The DuSable Museum of African American History Present:

Reimagining History Through The DuSable Museum’s Collection

Reception: February 17, 7-9pm

The DuSable Museum of African American History
740 E 56th Pl, Chicago, IL 60637

Floating Museum presents a new installation and project titled How to give life to a Mountain.

This exhibition is an invitation to creatively engage with the legacy of Dr. Margaret Burroughs and the history of the DuSable Museum of African American History. Dr. Margaret Burroughs initially invited the community to donate their own historical artifacts for DuSable, and this act extended the value of the object to the exchange itself, emphasizing the relation between the institution and the people it represents.
In this spirit, Floating Museum invites local artists and historians, young and old, to make this history their own. Join in, be a maker, a recorder, and a living document of this collective history.
The exhibit will display 14 objects from the DuSable’s collection, and responses to these works will be housed in a sculptural display that uses a modular vitrine installation to grow an organic 3D collage of objects.

To learn more or take part in the call for participants please go to: If you are an educator and would like to involve your class in this project please contact Kate Schlachter at for further information and for scheduling visits.

Artist Tax Workshop

Artist Tax Workshop

Thursday, March 9, 6pm

Gallery 400 

400 S. Peoria Street

Hosted by Propeller Fund, this workshop led by Janet Ecklebarger will instruct recent grant recipients and applicants on how to properly claim grants on their taxes and how to account for artwork sales, honoraria, and more.

Topics covered:

  • Taxability of grants and other artist incomes
    • Deductions and how to treat them
    • DBA’s and banking
    • 1099’s receiving and instituting
    • Role of Fiscal Agents
    • Sole Proprietorship vs. S Corp and LLC

In addition to sharing her insights on tax-filing best practices for artists, Janet will also be able to address questions pertinent to individualized circumstances.

Janet Ecklebarger earned her Master’s degree from Cranbrook, in 1992. She has been working as a tax associate since 2005 and specializes in deductions for artists, musicians, and other creative types while also offering tax and accounting techniques for the right brained. She is a practicing artist who just moved to a 30-acre property in North Carolina and cannot wait to see how the second half of her life unfolds.

This event is free and open to the public.

2016 Awardee And Then There Was BLAK Multimedia Installation

And Then There Was Repast
February 5, 7-11pm
The Dojo
2304 S. Blue Island Ave.

and then there was REPAST is a versatile interactive multimedia installation project on the urban millennial black and brown gaze when relating to death consumption. We would like to express the ritual of ethnic funerals, eulogies, repast and public consumption of death by celebrating brown lives that still exist juxtaposed with brown lives that have passed and become #hashtags. A special focus on marginalized black and brown people of color, i.e. women, impoverished, immigrants, cisgender, lesbian, gay, bi, transgender, and gender non-conforming individuals who have encountered death via state-sanctioned violence. These celebrations will be rooted from different ethnic backgrounds and diasporas such as Black, Mexican, Jamaican and Cuban.

Featured artists include Phillip Lambert, Jordan Gillespie, Gerardo Romero, Roger Rogelio Fierro, Zakkiyyah Najeebah, Jared Brown, Angel D’Cuba, and Atlantis Island.

2014 Awardee Patternbase Work Featured at Filigree Suppers: Duet

 Filigree Suppers: Duet

Filigree Suppers’ two-year anniversary event & Valentine’s celebration will be all about the number two – mixing, matching, and pairing things up! 

Sunday, February 12, 5-8pm

The Lakewood

1758 West Lake Street, Chicago, IL 60612

Warm up with us this February with new friends and old, and help us celebrate two wonderful years of Filigree Suppers! The event will feature the work of textile duo The Patternbase, who will grace the space with their playful patterns. We are thrilled to be working once again with linen extraordinaire Dot & Army, as well as local Chicago ceramicist Ashley Lin. On the table for the first time will be the beautiful calligraphy of Grace Niu, and stunning florals by Lindsay Levita of Hyde Park’s Cornell Florist.

A delicious meal will be prepared by Paramount Events, one of several local businesses spearheaded by Jodi Fyfe, whose most recent venture, in addition to The Lakewood, includes the new Eden restaurant.


Ticket covers welcome cocktail, wine, 4 courses, tax and gratuity. Please inform us to any dietary restrictions or allergies at time of ticket purchase. Because of the small nature of our events, all sales are final.

2016 Awardee Artist-run Exchange Program Call for Submissions

Artist-run Exchange Program Call for Submissions

Deadline: January 31

Adds Donna is looking for artists to include in a series of traveling group exhibitions as a part of our new Artist-run Exchange Program. If you would like to be considered for a studio visit, please submit 10-15 images, a bio, and a short statement about yourself and your work to

Files: jpegs no larger than 72 dpi, please zip together in one folder titled with your first and last name.
Bios and Statement: PDF, no longer than one page. Don’t forget to include your contact information.

2013 Awardee 2nd Floor Rear: RITUAL

2nd Floor Rear

Sixth annual DIY festival of art in alternative spaces

Friday-Saturday, February 3-4
Humboldt Park, Logan Square, Wicker Park, various times and locations
Sunday, February 5

2nd Floor Rear 2017: RITUAL is moveable feast of artist-run events, projects, exhibitions, and performances that shine a light on the occult, hidden nature of alternative arts practices and the communities of care that spring up around them.

Rituals have real power. They are settings for setting intentions. For relating. For establishing Will and carrying it forth. Rituals are experience as medium, meaning as medium, even the experience of making meaning as medium. Rituals are a space set apart. A moment-out-of-time. Rituals can create cohesion and structure, or hold space for ambiguity and transformation. 2nd Floor Rear 2017 programming asks of its makers and participating audiences: Can the act of simply being together make us stronger together? Can a self-care ritual truly be an act of political warfare? In this dystopian climate, can radical imagination and defiant joy help us conceive and perform the future? Are there any healers in the house tonight?

The 2017 season kicks off with a fluxus-style potluck at Pond Hole Gallery on the evening of Friday, February 3. Events continue throughout Avondale, Logan Square, Humboldt Park, and Wicker Park on Saturday, February 4, and wrap up on Sunday February, 5 with various events spanning Pilsen.

See for details, updates, and a complete schedule of events.

2014 Awardee Patternbase Participates in Holiday Popup


Patternbase at The Stockroom Holiday Popup

The Stock Room
1011 W. Armitage Ave.
Popup Hours: December 9-10, 10am-7pm, December 11, 10am-5pm

The Patternbase will be participating in The Stock Room holiday popup shop, curated by Michelle Kliman of MK Studio and Elizabeth Cummings. The Patternbase will be selling hand-painted silk scarves and silk pillows, printed tights & socks, and hand-embroidered luxury sleep masks. The Stock Room challenges the traditional retail experience by exposing Chicago to great design through installation-led pop-ups in unused, empty spaces around Chicago. Michelle and Elizabeth are a Chicago designer and curator team that wants to engage the community by bringing together local designers and shoppers and activating empty and unused spaces with gallery-inspired retail installations—first in their Lincoln Park neighborhood and then around the city of Chicago. The Stock Room is a chance for Michelle and Elizabeth to share their vision of great, compelling design, install a thought-provoking retail experience, and provide artists and designers a platform for exposure.

2012 Awardee The Franklin presents WELCOME TO THE END

Opening reception: Saturday, December 10, 7-10PM / from December 10-January 20, 2017
3522 W. Franklin Blvd. 

When we believe all things to be measurable by science, we welcome the end of imagination.

I overheard a girl on the bus repeating the news, “this is the end of us.” Welcome to the construction of something new, of something that is not yet.

Welcome…at times it feels like we are near the end. It may be the end for some of us, but for those of us left here together, be kind and welcome all in the world that we all share.

If you already knew the end, would you still welcome the beginning? Would you welcome MySpace and the end of my space?

The end folds inside-out to welcome a new day.

Welcome to a new era that will challenge the artistic society to challenge racist America.
The end of “safety” will be a visual disaster and I welcome Mother Earth to take over.

The end will not come with a reluctant welcome.
They continued to whisper welcome like wind until the end.

The end of pain is always welcome.
Welcome to the story that does not end.

Welcome, OH FUCK! The end