Chicago Calling

The Fourth Annual Chicago Calling Arts Festival (CCAF4) features Chicago-based artists collaborating with artists living in other locations—both here in the U.S. and abroad. These collaborations involve a range of art forms—including music, dance, film, literature, and intermedia—and they are prepared or improvised. Some CCAF4 events involve live feeds between Chicago and other locations. Venues include Little Black Pearl Art & Design Center, Claudia Cassidy Theater at the Chicago Cultural Center, The Velvet Lounge, Elastic Sound & Vision Gallery, Church of the Epiphany, WNUR, Mercury Café, WLUW, Myopic Bookstore, Café Ballou, Brown Rice, and other venues.


A complete list of artists can be found in the CCAF4 schedule of events.

Organizer and Partnerships

CCAF4 is being organized by the Borderbend Arts Collective, a not for profit organization. Borderbend's mission is to promote the arts, to create opportunities for artists to explore new directions in and between art forms, and to engage the community.

CCAF4 also involves partnerships with After Hours: A Journal of Chicago Writing and Art, Brown Rice, Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs, Columbia College Chicago, Elastic Sound & Vision Gallery, Epiphany Church, ESP-Disk, Hotti Biscotti Café, Little Black Pearl Art & Design Center, Mercury Café, Myopic Bookstore, New Orleans Photo Alliance, "Something Else" show on WLUW, The Velvet Lounge, WNUR, "Wordslingers" show on WLUW, and Zeitgeist Multidisciplinary Arts Center.

Chicago Artists Month

The Fourth Annual Chicago Calling Arts Festival is part of Chicago Artists Month 2009, the fourteenth annual celebration of Chicago's vibrant visual art community. In October, more than 200 exhibitions of emerging and established artists, openings, demonstrations, tours, open studios and neighborhood art walks take place at galleries, cultural centers and arts buildings throughout the city. Chicago Artists Month is organized by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and is made possible through support provided by Bank of America. For more information, visit

For more information about Chicago Calling, please email or call 312.543.7027.


View the websites for : The 1st Annual Chicago Calling Arts Festival, The 2nd Annual Chicago Calling Arts Festival. The 3rd Annual Chicago Calling Arts Festival.

WNUR Epiphany Church NOPA CE Fact and Faith ESP-DISK' New Millennium Studies


A complete list of artists can be found in the CCAF4 schedule of events.


4th Annual Chicago Calling Arts Festival: Performance Schedule

Download the complete schedule of CCAF4

Thursday, October 1 (7-9 p.m.)

"Arts and Activism in St. Louis, Detroit, and Chicago" : Panel Discussion

Chicago Little Black Pearl Art & Design Center (7-9 p.m. Central Standard Time)
1060 E. 47th St.
Chicago, IL 60653-3600

St. Louis The Luminary Center for the Arts (7-9 p.m. Central Standard Time)
4900 Reber Place
Saint Louis, MO 63139

Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit (8-10 p.m. Eastern Standard Time)
5141 Rosa Parks Blvd.
Detroit, MI 48208

This "Arts and Activism in St. Louis, Detroit, and Chicago" panel discussion focuses on the arts scenes in these three Midwestern cities, and it is also part of the Fourth Annual Chicago Calling Arts Festival.

The panelists include James McAnally, Amanda Mueller, Andrew James, and Tony Renner in St. Louis; Rebecca Mazzei, Emily Linn, and Joel Peterson in Detroit; and Lindsay Obermeyer, Theaster Gates, Carol Ng-He, Jennifer Karmin, and Dan Godston in Chicago. The panelists will be connected over the internet, via skype, so the panelists and other participants will be able to see and hear each other.

This event is free and open to the public.

Friday, October 2 (6-9 p.m.)

Mercury Café (6-9 p.m.)
1505 W. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60642-5237
(312) 455-9922

This event includes performances by Chicago-based artists, in collaboration with artists who live outside of Chicago. Artists include:

Vittorio Carli (poetry) and Carolyn Curtis Magri (visual art)
Elizabeth Harper (Chicago) and Faux Paul — poetry collaboration
Rachel Javellana (Chicago) and Donna Collins (Detroit) — poetry collaboration
Elizabeth Marino (Chicago) — poetry collaboration
Janina Ciezadlo (Chicago)
Leonard De Montbrun (Chicago) and Don Coorough (Arizona) — poetry collaboration
Cathleen Schandelmeier
Sid Yiddish (Chicago), in collaboration with The Clean Boys (Copenhagen)
other TBA artists

This event is free and open to the public.

Friday, October 2 (10 p.m.-midnight)

Brown Rice
4432 N. Kedzie Ave., 1st floor
Chicago, IL 60625

This event features two sets of sound, music, and films:

1st set: performance by Chicago Phonography — Chad Clark, Chris Hammes, Eric Leonardson, Gregory O'Drobinak, and Todd Carter

2nd set: Set of live music, while videos by Annie Heckman and Mikey Peterson are projected. Performers include:

Gregory O'Drobinak — Arc of the Oven / Chicago
Williwaw — amplified ukulele / Glasgow
Jon Godston — soprano saxophone / Chicago
Steve Dalachinsky — poetry / New York City
Jim Ryan — kalimba / Oakland
Michael Staron — bass / Chicago
Jimmy Bennington — drums / Chicago

$5 suggested donation

Saturday, October 3, 2009 (1-4 p.m.)

"The Arts in New Orleans and Chicago" Panel Discussion and Large Ensemble Performance of Gino Robair's "Divination"

Claudia Cassidy Theater
Chicago Cultural Center, 2nd floor
78 E. Washington St.
Chicago, IL 60605

New Orleans Photo Alliance
1111 St. Mary Street
New Orleans, LA 70130

This event features a panel discussion about the arts in New Orleans and Chicago and a large ensemble performance of Gino Robair's "Divination."

"The Arts in New Orleans and Chicago" Panel Discussion (1 p.m.)

This panel discussion involves people in New Orleans and Chicago discussing the arts, curation, and the roles of the arts in society. The panelists in New Orleans include Diane Grams, Elizabeth Underwood, Chris Rose, Natalie Sciortino, and Keith Calhoun. The panelists in Chicago include Barbara Koenen, Alpha Bruton, and Annie Heckman, with Dan Godston moderating. The panelists in both cities will be connected over the internet, using Skype.

Large Ensemble Performance of Divination by Gino Robair (2:30 p.m.)

Performers include:

Eric Leonardson — amplified springboard
Carol Genetti — voice
Andrew Royal — violins
Paul Hartsaw — tenor saxophone
Dan Godston — trumpet
Ben Boye — piano
Adam Sonderberg — electronics
Jason Stein — bass clarinet
Jeff Kimmel — bass clarinet
Ryan Dunn — electronics

This event is free and open to the public.

The Divination pieces are designed to allow one or more people to dynamically inspire any number of musicians, dancers, actors, or videographers in an improvisational situation. Drawing on the metaphor of using objects to read the potential of future events, the work explores the idea that every interpreter will have a unique reading that is, ultimately, integral to the artistic outcome of the performance.

The piece was created as a stand-alone structure for I, Norton that allows the Emperor to improvise using objects and graphic scores, which in turn serves as a trigger for external events. For example, as the Emperor matches objects to a series of graphics, a sort of divination takes place through the artistic translations of the other performers.

This event is free and open to the public.

Saturday, October 3, 2009 (7-11 p.m.)

Elastic Sound & Vision Gallery
2830 N. Milwaukee Ave., 2nd floor
Chicago, IL 60647

This event includes and poetry readings and musical performances, and Vibrational Sound Narratives, a collection of artworks by Alpha Bruton.

A gallery opening for Ms Bruton's Vibrational Sound Narratives begins at 6 p.m. It features a performance with David Boykin (reeds, percussion) and Una MacGlone (upright bass). The gallery opening is free and open to the public.

Performances and projects begin at 8 p.m.:

Amie Sell — "TEXTAPORT Teleporting a Mystery Object Through Words"

Wayne Allen Jones (Chicago) and Duane Vorhees (Bangkok) — poetry collaboration

Bauhaus9090 performance

Satya Alliance (Satya Gummuluri (voice), Douglas Brush (percussion), Dan Godston (trumpet), and Alex Wing (upright bass)). This performance includes poetry by Divik Ramesh (New Delhi), Elizebeth Varghese (Bombay/NYC), and Aaron Salles Torres (Brazil/Chicago).

Jamie Kazay — poetry

Eric Elshtain (Chicago) and Gregory Fraser (Georgia) — poetry collaboration

Trio with Gino Robair (percussion / Oakland), Andrew Royal (violins / Chicago), and Aaron Zarzutzki (electronics / Chicago)

$12 suggested donation

Vibrational Sound Narratives by artist Alpha Bruton

Alpha Bruton has created 200 12"x 18" acrylic on paper paintings, of compositions, from a four year exploration of various Chicagoan jazz musicians, improvisational jazz, creative music, electric music, and alternative sound, where she created abstract sketches in a response to their sound stream, and what she was feeling, or seeing during these performances.

Vibrational sound narratives are a very comprehensive system of patterns, or vibrations that teach our bodies at all levels how to have a new experience. They activate a practice similar to Vibra Keys association with sound, shape, and image in the context of emotional response, and unlock visual-spatial intelligence in the artists among us, who think in pictures and images.

These compositions were started as sketches that Bruton created, of musicians who have performed at venues and events in Chicago, including Elastic Sound & Vision Gallery, Brown Rice, The Umbrella Music Festival at the Chicago Cultural Center, Fred Anderson's Velvet Lounge, Ancestral Lofts, Heaven Gallery after set, AACM tribute to Fletcher Henderson at Millennium Park, Earnest Dawkins' Sunday afternoon jam sessions, Nicole Mitchell's tribute to Alice Coltrane, Ways & Means Trio, Chicago Calling Arts Festival, The Mingus Awareness Project, among others.

Sunday, October 4, 2009 (12-4 p.m.)

Elastic Sound & Vision Gallery
2830 N. Milwaukee Ave., 2nd floor
Chicago, IL 60647

"Improvising Strategies for Large Ensemble" Workshop with Gino Robair

This interdisciplinary workshop will examine a number of techniques you can use when improvising within a large group. We will focus on global awareness and listening, while exploring strategies for achieving maximum variety and avoiding stagnation. We will also discuss concepts such as foreground/background, solo/support, and intention/non-intention.

$25 workshop fee

Sunday, October 4, 2009 (7-9 p.m.)

Myopic Bookstore
1564 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60622-2008

"Chinese Whispers" features a "poetry and art by telephone" game with poetry. This event is part of the poetry series curated by Larry Sawyer.

This event is in homage — in part — to the "Art by Telephone" event which happened at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art in 1969. (And that event 40 years ago was inspired by Bauhaus artist Laszlo Moholy-Nagy.) "Chinese Whispers" might include directions which involve chance operations, surrealist games, Oulipo strategies, and other elements. Out-of-town directions are coming from Lisa Hemminger (San Diego), Jesse Seldess (Karlsruhe, Germany), Billie Maciunas (Orlando), Christopher Welch (Washington, DC), David Harrison Horton (Beijing), Mathew Timmons (Los Angeles), and Chad Lietz (Oakland). Chicago poets include Jamie Kazay, Larry Sawyer, Jennifer Karmin, Dan Godston, Gene Tanta and Kevin Kilroy. After "Chinese Whispers" is over, examples of the "Chinese Whispers" collaborations / directions will be posted on a website.

This event is free and open to the public.

Sunday, October 4, 2009 (8:00-9:00 p.m.)

"Wordslingers" show hosted by Shelley Nation
WLUW (88.7 FM)

This radio show features several Chicago-based poets who have created projects in collaboration with artists who live outside of Chicago. The poets include Elizabeth Harper, Albert DeGenova, and Rachel Javellana.

Wordslingers began in November 1999 as an invitation from the station manager of WLUW Loyola University's community radio station for Michael C. Watson to introduce listeners to the thriving poetry community here in Chicago. Wordslingers has featured poets from all walks of life as well as different styles- performance, slam, academic, political, erotic, haiku, jazz, and blues.

You can listen to Wordslingers live at 88.7 FM in the Chicago area, or at Wordslinger broadcasts are podcasted at

Monday, October 5, 2009 (7:00-9:00 p.m.)

Café Ballou
939 N. Western Ave.
Chicago, IL

Chicago Calling, After Hours on the Line

This event features performance by the following individuals:

Charlie Rossiter's poetry (Chicago) with musical accompaniment from Dan Cox and Tom Nicotera (Albany, NY)
Emily Rose and Albert DeGenova reading their "bar room" poetry (Chicago) with the art and photography of Ralph Murre (Baileys Harbor, WI) editor of the "Bar Room" anthology from Little Eagle Press

This event is being organized by the editors of After Hours: A Journal of Chicago Writing and Art.

There is a suggested donation.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 (9:00 p.m.-midnight)

Hotti Biscotti Café
3545 W. Fullerton Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647-2442

You are invited to attend this Chicago Calling Arts Festival event, which features two sets of music:

1st set: Jim Baker Trio (9 p.m.)
Jim Baker — keyboard, ARP
Brian Sandstrom — bass
Steve Hunt — drums

2nd set: Weston / Royal / Godston Trio (11 p.m.)
Matt Weston — percussion (Massachusetts)
Andrew Royal — violins (Chicago)
Dan Godston — trumpet (Chicago)

There is a suggested donation.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009 (2:00 p.m.)

Conaway Center, Columbia College
1104 S. Wabash Ave., 1st floor
Chicago, IL 60605

As part of the Columbia College Chicago's Teaching Artist Career Day, "Voices from the Field — Artists and Youth" will be presented in two parts:

1) The first hour (2-3 p.m.) will involve a panel discussion about arts-based service learning for college students and teaching artists' work in the field. This discussion will include Paul Teruel of Columbia College's Center for Community Arts Partnerships, Dia Penning of the College's Center for Teaching Excellence, Brian Shaw, actor and faculty member of the College's Department of Theatre.

2) The second hour (3-4 p.m.) will be facilitated by Carol Ng-He and Dan Godston of the Chicago Teaching Artists Collective. The audience at the Conaway Center will have a chance to see and hear from youth working with teaching artists from several community based organizations, including Young Chicago Authors (Chicago), Say Si (San Antonio, TX), and Appalshop (Whitesburg, KY). We will be using skype to connect individuals and organizations in these three locations.

This event is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009 (8-10 p.m.)

Quaker House
5615 S. Woodlawn
Chicago, IL 60637

This performance event features a performance by members of the University of Chicago's Middle East Music Ensemble performing classical, folk, and contemporary music from Turkey, the Arabic World and beyond. Performers include Ozgur Sumer (baglama, vocals), Alex Wing (oud), and other TBA musicians.

$10 suggested donation

Thursday, October 8, 2009 (7:30-9:30 p.m.)

WNUR 89.3 FM (7:30 p.m. CST)
The Lab in John J. Louis Hall
1877 Campus Drive
Northwestern University
Evanston, IL 60208

Ensemble Room (5:30 p.m. PST)
Music Building
Mills College
5000 MacArthur Blvd.
Oakland, CA 94613

This telematic performance involving musical ensembles at WNUR and at Mills College (Oakland, CA).

Performers at WNUR include:
Saalik Ziyad — vocals
Jayve Montgomery — reeds and percussion
Dan Godston — trumpet
Mike Staron — upright bass
Matt Weston — percussion

Performers at Mills College include:
Karl A.D. Evangelista — guitar
Eric Glick Rieman — piano, toy piano, celeste, melodica
Curtis McKinney — bass
Lona Kozik — piano
Drew Ceccato — reeds
Krzysztof Golinski — drumset

For those who would like to attend this event at WNUR, there is a $5 suggested donation. Otherwise, you can listen to it at 89.3 FM or online at

Friday, October 9, 2009 (9:30-11:30 p.m.)

The Velvet Lounge
67 E. Cermak Rd.
Chicago, IL 60616-2122
(312) 791-9050

Yuganaut and Selina Trepp at the Velvet Lounge

This performance event features the trio Yuganaut performing, while video artist Selina Trepp mixes video in real time. Yuganaut is Tom Abbs (bass, tuba, violin, cello, percussion), Geoff Mann (drums, mbira, cornet, mandolin), and Stephen Rush (Fender Rhodes, MicroMoog, trombone, toys and effects.

$15 admission

Yuganaut is a feast for the eye and ear. Setting out for its 5th tour in four years, Yuganaut is a blistering hot trio that has as many influences as it does instruments (Yuganaut uses over 50 instruments between the three players). Seminal musicians Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong eschewed the term "Jazz" as a strange and inconvenient term for their music, an eclectic mix of African, Carribean and European influences, Yuganaut is similarly without category. These are trained musicians who create their own innovative material, and the music is as global and pluralistic as the world they inhabit. Influenced by later trends in Jazz such as Ornette Coleman and Sun Ra, as well as European Free music, Indian Classical Music and Western European Classical Music, they move fluidly between sonic worlds with finesse, and, of course, with improvisation ("Yuga" is an Indian term for cosmic time cycles).

As technicians, these three musicians are masters. Tom Abbs has been described in Signal-to-Noise magazine as "fleet-fingered" and by William Parker as "a living growing musician who only reminds me of one other musician and that musician is Tom Abbs.." Geoff Mann brings a journeyman's abilities into the group, and drives the pulse in a traditional jazz way, as well as taking it to the extreme limits of range and possibility. Geoff Mann is a complete percussionist in the mould of Paul Motian and Han Bennink. He has toured with Steve Swell, Ori Kaplan, and his late father, Herbie Mann. Stephen Rush fuses his work as an experienced jazz musician (with Roscoe Mitchell and Peter Kowald) with his classical schooling (a doctorate from the Eastman School of Music and a professor at University of Michigan for 20 years).

Together, Yuganaut is a synthesis of very good training and extreme range, with a strong taste for the future. (The "naut" portion of the band's name - they are travelers in musical space and time). In concert, each work features a video complement of some sort, whether static beautiful images of Swedish Ships, a short film of biking in Brooklyn shot and edited by Mann, a collection of images taken by Rush of the river Ganges, or beautiful Graphic Scores created by Abbs. Both video and music alike are a collective effort with this band. The result is an elixir of cohesiveness and multiplicity - never too much of the same thing, but always belonging "to its own camp".

As composers, the men in Yuganaut are not afraid of dissonance or tonality, utter chaos, or clear, composed music in Gospel, Funk or Free Bop. The listener (and the viewer) is a welcome member of an experience that is shocking, moving and delightful.

Saturday, October 10, 2009 (2:00-11:00 p.m.)

Epiphany Church
201 S. Ashland Ave.
Chicago, IL 60607

Alpha Bruton paints an artwork (throughout the day)

2-4 p.m.

4-6 p.m.

6-8 p.m.

8 p.m.

$15 admission

Sunday, October 11, 2009 (3:00-6:00 p.m.)

Concert Hall, Columbia College
1014 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60605

Zeitgeist Multidisciplinary Arts Center
New Orleans, LA 70112
(504) 827-5858

This event features a panel discussion about music, film, and activism in Chicago and New Orleans; film screenings; and a musical performance.

"Film, Music, and Activism in New Orleans and Chicago" Panel Discussion (3 p.m.)

It has been more than over four years since Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast region. Many amazing things have happened in New Orleans and elsewhere in the Gulf Coast region since then, but challenges still face us in terms of rebuilding. This panel discussion will involve people in two locations discussing music, film and activism in New Orleans and Chicago. The panelists in New Orleans will include Rene Broussard, Luther Gray, Chris Rose, and Jonathan Freilich. The panelists in Chicago will include Stan West, Robin Whatley, George Bailey, Arvis Averett, and Ted Hardin. Panelists in New Orleans and Chicago will be connected over the internet, using Skype.

Telematic Performance Connecting New Orleans and Chicago (4:30 p.m.)

Performers / program TBA

This event is part of Columbia College Chicago's Critical Encounters calendar of events, and it is being sponsored by the New Millennium Studies program.

For more information about Chicago Calling, please email

Details will be posted soon.