January 11, 2019

Dark Matter Residency – Call for Applications

Elastic Arts Foundation invites applications for the Dark Matter Artist Residency at Elastic Arts.

Applications Due: March 31, 2020

Apply via email to DMResidency@elasticarts.org

The Dark Matter Residency will provide artists of color with a flexible, functional space for development and presentation, visibility within the Chicago arts landscape, and a robust network to develop their work and careers.  The 7-month paid residency provides space, a platform, documentation, and a stipend. During the residency, artists have access to Elastic Arts – a 2,500 sq.ft flexible space in Logan Square – for rehearsals, exhibitions, recordings, and performances.  We seek artists from a diverse range of disciplines including, but not limited to, music, performance art, dance, drama, poetry, visual art, film, multimedia, and puppetry.


  1. to offer emerging artists of color with the opportunity to grow as professionals and artists;
  1. to encourage the creation and presentation of challenging work that addresses the issue of disparate representation of people of color in the arts, the foundations for this inequity, and ways to overcome it; and
  1. to present excellent art and performance to our audience.

Information on the Residency Program

Resident Artists will present two events at Elastic Arts in which they will perform/exhibit their own work, and/or for which curate other artists at our space. Performing artists will also have opportunities to perform for audiences on a mobile stage as part of our Culture Coach program. The Dark Matter Residency will culminate with the annual Afrofuturist weekend in October 2020, in which artists of color will be brought from other cities to present their work alongside Chicago artists, including the Dark Matter Resident Artists, and perhaps collaborate with them.  As a cohort the Dark Matter residents will be asked to convene three community engagement events which can include workshops, open rehearsals, jam sessions, participatory art-making events, community discussions, or other events that feature dialogue with the community at large about the issues at the center of their work. They will also be asked to participate in relaxed cohort meetings – Feedback Kickbacks: unstructured sessions of exchange and mutual feedback on each other’s events, of the residency, of the state of the arts landscape in Chicago vis-a-vis artists of color, and other issues that emerge over the course of the program.

Artists will receive a stipend for participating in the program, as well as a budget for artist fees to pay either themselves or performers/ artists in events they curate at Elastic. All events will be documented by videographers from the Brightseed Collaborative, who are founding partners in the Dark Matter Series. This documentation will be made available to the artists for them to market their work and help them advance their careers.

Through the content of their work, through their engagement with the community, and through their feedback with each other and with us, the artists will help us to address some questions that are crucial for our organization to become a leader in the movement for racial equity in the Chicago arts landscapes.  How can we use our collective resources and common goals to strengthen our artist community? How can we better serve artists of color? How can we better engage audiences of color? And more profoundly, what are the social and institutional structures that result in the disparate representation of artists of color in the Chicago arts landscape?  And how can we obliterate those structures?


The residency will invite applications from artists who propose to visually, sonically, performatively, ritually or otherwise artistically engage the relationship between art and advocacy, the representation of local and trans-local communities, the contemporary upheaval of urban demographic geographies, and/or the intersection of ethnicity/race, space, and economic power. It will seek projects that encourage open participation by local communities and invite dialogue among them.

Time frame

The residency itself will cover a period of roughly 7 months from June into December. This will allow us to take full advantage of our best opportunities for exposure, career development and outreach including Elastic’s Exposure Series in the spring, Culture Coach opportunities in the summer, the Logan Square Arts Festival, culminating with the Afrofuturist Weekend in the fall.

February 15, 2020 – application open.

March 31, 2020 – applications due.

April 2020 – applications review

May 2020 – Notification of selected applicants; orientation.

June – September 2020 – events/exhibitions

October 2-4, 2020 – culminating event – Afrofuturist Weekend

November 2020 – events continue

December 2020 – program evaluation and exit interviews

More Information

Elastic Arts Foundation

3429 W. Diversey Ave., 2nd Floor



Download application here:

Dark Matter Residency–Call for Applications