Propeller Fund Open House

Propeller Fund Open House
Friday, April 21, 2017
Various locations throughout Chicago – See program
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.

Propeller Open House Program

  1. 2nd Floor Rear
  2. Hume Chicago
  3. 3242 W. Armitage Ave.
  4. 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 Halsted 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, 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
  3. April 21-23, 12-7pm CST

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 premieres Episode 78: Norman Long, featuring the three-part series Calumet Project, which invites us to contemplate how soundscapes define our sense of community and focuses our attention on a landscape’s diversity, restoration, and resilience.

Maps with event program and schedule can be found at Gallery 400 (400 S. Peoria Street), Threewalls (2738 W. North Ave), and downloaded here: Propeller Open House Program