March 31, 2020

International Connections: Elastic Arts in Mexico City

Executive Director Adam Zanolini and Angel Bat Dawid. Photo: Lia Kohl

The COVID-19 global pandemic has affected us all in countless ways, even if we have not fallen ill. For artists, performers, and organizers, it has required an ethic of social distancing that not only makes it very difficult to perform but also directly undermines a central tenet of our mission, which is that it is inherently good and healing for people to gather together to share art. If you’re like me, it can be hard to cope with that!

It made me want to share a little good news. Even as this crisis began to shut down life in the United States, a delegation from Elastic Arts was building a creative bridge to Mexico City, supported by the MacArthur Foundation’s International Connections Fund, and achieved in collaboration with our partners Festival Aural, Harmonipan, the No Idea Festival, the Centro Cultural de España de Mexico, and Casa Niza. Seven Chicagoans and eight Chilangos spent four days realizing our common imperative for unfettered creative exploration, learning to improvise together, and generating some of the most exciting music of our lives. You can read about the project here:  We’ll be streaming some particularly healing performances from that festival in the coming weeks and months, so stay tuned! Thank you to our new dear friends at RhizomesFilms for the photos below, and for the videos to come.

Rest assured. This virus will not stop us! Elastic Arts music, performance, and art continues and will continue! The determination and vitality of spirit that this organization represents is more important now than ever, and with the support of our community, our partners, audiences, artists, leaders and friends, we will overcome these challenges one by one until we can come together again and celebrate the triumph of fearless creation in the urgent moments of our time.
– Adam Zanolini, PhD, Executive Director

International Connections : An Improvised Music Exchange Between Mexico City and Chicago