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Elastic Arts 3rd Annual Benefit
Freedom x Expression = Healing –
Welcome! This is the home of the Elastic Arts 3rd Annual Benefit. Here you can enjoy the benefit stream that takes place September 10th – 12th, bid on silent auction items, read about the artists involved, and most importantly donate to Elastic Arts! Your support will ensure Elastic Arts weathers the financial challenges of COVID and continues presenting innovative experiential music, performances, and art for years to come.
Below is where you may watch the full weekend of activity, but go ahead and click this link to head to our Elastic Arts Twitch page. You can then join in on the chat function which serves as the de facto ‘VIP Room’ or ‘bar’. You will very likely see some friends!
PLEASE DONATE HERE
ARTIST SCHEDULE + BIOS
7:00pm CDT – Dustin Laurenzi & Jeremy Cunningham
7:45pm CDT – Mai Sugimoto Trio w/ Joshua Abrams & Isaiah Spencer
8:30pm CDT – Angel Bat Dawid Trio w/ Brooklynn Skye & Anaiet Sivad
2:00PM CDT – Rebroadcast of Thursday/Friday performances + special presentations from Daniel Wyche, Sam Lewis, and Dr. Adam Zanolini
7:00pm CDT – Allen Moore
7:45pm CDT – Megiapa
8:20pm CDT – Nicole Mitchell Elastic Achievement Award Ceremony
8:30pm CDT – A Word from Dave Rempis & Sam Lewis
8:45pm CDT – Nicole Mitchell presents ‘We Hold the Sway: Women of the AACM’, featuring: Dee Alexander, JoVia Armstrong, Renee Baker, Iqua Colson, Coco Elysses, Alexis Lombre, Nicole Mitchell, Mankwe Ndosi, Shanta Nurullah, Maia, Tomeka Reid, Ugochi, Rita Warford and Ann Ward!
9:20pm CDT – DJ Quicktastic
Click on each individual item to head to the auction or click here to check out the full gallery. Bid to win!
2020 Elastic Arts Achievement Award
Elastic Arts Presents the 2020 Elastic Achievement Award to Nicole Mitchell!
The Elastic Achievement Award each year is presented to an individual who embodies the qualities that the organization stands for – artistic excellence, innovation, the defiance of boundaries, contributions to the broader creative community – and whose achievements represent the best of what we hope to make possible by creating space to present creative, adventurous music, art and performance. Members of the Elastic community including staff, board members, curators, producers, and last year’s benefit committee members are asked to submit names for consideration. Then a vote is taken and a nominee selected.
We are enormously proud to present the Elastic Achievement Award to Nicole Mitchell. Nicole has been an inspiration to hundreds of Chicago musicians over the last several decades. A veteran of the AACM’s first all-women’s ensemble, Samana, Nicole went on to serve as the AACM’s first woman president. Through her bold leadership, breathtaking compositions, stunning technique, mentorship, imagination, through her prose and her vision, she has inspired thousands of musicians around the world, spreading the spirit of self-determination and passionate self-definition that characterizes Chicago’s creative music community.
Although she eventually left Chicago to become a tenured Professor at the University of California at Irvine, she continued mentoring many Chicago musicians remotely and also through her program there. She has more recently become the head of the country’s oldest jazz program at the University of Pittsburgh, a position founded by the great Nathan Davis, and then held by the late great Geri Allen.
Nicole’s career has taken her to the heights of acclaim, winning countless awards including the Jazz Journalist’s Flutist of the Year award 7 years in a row! However she has remained committed to Chicago’s music scene, still committed to Great Black Music and the AACM, to mentoring emerging Chicago musicians while celebrating the heritage that makes our city and our community one of the most fertile crucibles for experimental and creative music on planet Earth.
Her commitment to the Elastic community has also been remarkable. Last year, she returned to Chicago to present her tribute to Octavia Butler at Elastic as part of our Afrofuturist Weekend. I had a chance to interview Nicole just before she came to Chicago last October. I wrote a piece about her views on Afrofuturism, which also revealed some of what makes her perspective unique. Follow this link to read the interview.
I personally encountered Nicole Mitchell when she was leading a weekly jam session at the Café Mestizo in Pilsen along with David Boykin and Mike Reed in maybe 2004. I have never been the same since that day. I faithfully attended all her performances, eventually finding myself in Fred Anderson’s Velvet Lounge (which I eventually helped Fred move around the corner), learning about the AACM (of which I am now a proud member), eventually discovering the Vision Festival in New York (which I eventually went on to help organize, thus beginning my career as an arts administrator, leading to my position as Executive Director of Elastic). It was not only my career that was launched by an encounter with Nicole Mitchell. Hearing her music, suffused with visionary intentions and healing vibrations, led me to the path that would help me to discover my mission in music and ultimately my purpose on the Earth. I am truly humbled to find myself in a position to present the 2020 Elastic Achievement Award to the great Nicole Mitchell.
-Dr. Adam Zanolini