Co-MISSIONS Festival of New Work: FEST PASS

Co-MISSIONS Festival of New Work: FEST PASS

A.J. McClenon, Nora Sharp, Sojourner Zenobia, Courtney Mackedanz

Thu, May 31, 2018 - Sun, June 3, 2018

7:00 pm

Links Hall

Chicago, IL


Come see all four works for this year's Festival of New Works, on whichever nights you choose for only $25

Co-MISSIONS Festival of New Works
Co-MISSIONS Festival of New Works
Links Hall is pleased to announce our second annual Co-MISSION Festival of New Works.
This mini festival takes place annually the first week of June in order to premier new projects developed by our Co-Mission Resident Artists. This year's Co-Mission residencies were awarded to AJ McClenon, Courtney Mackedanz, Nora Sharp, and Sojourner Zenobia. The artists have had the support of three months residencies at Links Hall, monthly stipends over the course of their residencies, as well as workshop support and mentorship to aid in the development of their projects.
A.J. McClenon
A.J. McClenon
In progress work by A.J. McClenon
Featuring Jamillah Hinson & Simone Simone

In honor of my father's passing and to my grandfather and Bill, I'd like to dedicate space for an in-progress work that explores an existence with inherent consequences on family, fatherhood and the power of unconditional love. From the perspective of a daughter, an inner-child and a living BLACK body, I invite you all to witness memory as history and fragile gifts through sound, movement and robust articulations.

AJ was born and raised in "D.C. proper," where they learned to fish and wander. Raised by southern grandparents, Nelba & Ernest and a D.C. native mom named Patricia Ann, aunts Cassie & Lalu and mom's boyfriend Bill. Humid summers spent between D.C., Baltimore and New York. A.J's work sets personal narratives alongside empirical data, leveling the hierarchies of truth. AJ holds a Masters in Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Arts with a minor in creative writing from the University of Maryland College Park. AJ has also studied at Eugene Lang College. AJ has performed and shown work throughout the US, at locations like Steppenwolf, The Promontory, Woman Made Gallery, Echo Park Film Center, Chicago Filmmakers, Terrain Exhibitions, Gallery 400, Compliance Divisions, Fine Art Complex 1101 and Longwood Arts Center. AJ is currently the co-director of Beauty Breaks, an intergenerational beauty and wellness workshop series for black people along the spectrum of femininity. AJ is also a co-founder of F4F, a domestic venue that cultivates a femme community, centers blackness, and expands upon understandings of what domestic space can be.
Nora Sharp
Nora Sharp
Thursday and Saturday @ 7pm

SMALL BOOBS is a solo performance offered out of curiosity around the intertwined follies of gender and relationship.

Nora Sharp grew up in Chicago. Nora makes work that blends dance, sound, comedy, cultural commentary, and personal history, and reflects lived experience as a queer white midwestern millennial. Along with the Co-MISSIONS program, in 2018 Nora has been in residence at VOLTA Performing Arts as well as a participant in LANDING 2.0 with Miguel Gutierrez at Gibney Dance (NYC) and FIELD/WORK at the Chicago Artists Coalition. Recent collaborations include performances with and for Udita Upadhyaya, Dao Nguyen, the Fly Honey Show, M Wu, and Ayako Kato. Nora facilitates spaces for intra- and interpersonal creative exchange, including Research Project, a bimonthly works in progress performance series at OuterSpace Studios, and an anxiety workshop series at VOLTA. Nora's work is influenced by the pedagogies of somatics, tutoring, organizing, non-violent communication, individual & group therapy, and other contemporary mental health practices. Nora is also in the early stages of building a community-based working artists’ and performers’ emergency insurance fund.

"Small Boobs" Credits:
Sound & Tech Support- Brett Swinney
Lighting Design- Giau Truong
Sponsored / Funded by Links Hall & VOLTA Performing Arts

Special Thanks- Mary Ann Fischer & Robert Sharp, Sam Sharp & Margaret Sharp, Margaret Ann Ryan Sharp, Mary Yankovich Fischer, Thomas Pollard Sharp, Michael Fischer, Lally Gartel, Kathryn Wade & Hannah Wade & Chris Saunders, Udita Upadhyaya, Brett Swinney, Roell Schmidt, Anna Trier, Felicia Holman, Bryan Saner, Kim Davis, Kristina Isabelle, VOLTA Performing Arts, Matthew Gregory Hollis, Chandler & Aaron Greer, Andy Slavin, Jasmine Jordan, Kristina Fluty, Lindsey Barlag Thornton, Sara Zalek, Beto Defreitas & Huu Nguyen & FICA Chicago fam, Miguel Gutierrez & LANDING 2.0 fam, Penny Duff & Chicago Artists Coalition & FIELD/WORK fam, IntraSpectrum fam, Clare & Chiung, Sojourner & Courtney & AJ, Lucas Brown & Mackenzie Brown & all the love club fam, all the writers and musicians whose words and sounds I spent time with while this work was building, all the dancemakers and queer theorists who taught me how to see work and make my own, and all the other ancestors and transcestors who got us here.
Sojourner Zenobia
Sojourner Zenobia
Saturday and Sunday @ 7pm

Performed by Sojourner Zenobia, Zahra Baker, Aarafa Payne

A participatory dreamscape, a tapestry of medicinal embodiments and offerings, unfolding through vocal sounding, movement, text and installation. Here, in the beyond, a Black Prism Moon. A couple of queer Black femme shapeshifters live here. They embody an alternate time and space, where femininity emerges as a variety of inter-dimensional archetypes: The Beyond, Oshun, The Child, The Crone, Earth, Ancestors, The Lotus, Kali, The Serpent. Change, here, is the life force. Behind the Black Prism Moon, Death is an infinite Metamorphosis, liberation is found on whispers from the wind, beauty dances when feelings arise and age is an inevitable awakening. This is their home. It is not for you. But you are invited to listen with, to learn from, to lean into their way of being.

Sojourner Zenobia uses alter building, ritual, vocal soundscaping, movement based storytelling and somatic healing practices as “now portals,” to ​reach across time and connect with ancestors, listen to the earth and follow the wisdom of the body​. Sojourner graduated from Naropa University in 2006 with a BFA in multidisciplinary performance. In 2008 they founded Soul Journey Projects, a multi-disciplinary performance ensemble. Sojourner attended the School at Steppenwolf in 2009, and Pantheater in Paris 2012, where she studied choreographic theater, and Roy Hart experimental vocal technique.

Sponsored / Funded By:: Illinois Arts Council, Links Hall, Chicago Academy for the Arts
Courtney Mackedanz
Courtney Mackedanz
Friday and Sunday @ 7pm

AINT NO SWALLOW BACK GIRL is a performative interrogation of the manners in which the physical body is instrumentalized to reinforce and perpetuation structural violence. Through the collision of text and gesture, AINT NO SWALLOW BACK GIRL confronts the aching similarities between the ways in which the body is exploited for its wage labor as well as its sexual use value. With a tender rage and strenuous yielding toward confusion, AINT NO SWALLOW BACK GIRL struggles to negotiate the (im)possibility of bodily autonomy in the wake of infiltration by such systems of oppression.

Courtney Mackedanz is a movement based performance artist living and working in Chicago. Her performances & installations employ tension, slippage, and wobble to insinuate realities which may appear absurd or distant, though are based in actuality. Mackedanz’s choreography rehearses the legibility of meaning contained in physical gesture while her text works against the stability of language—all in an effort to create/occupy space differently. Mackedanz eared a BFA in Performance and Visual Critical Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013, and has since shared her work in Chicago, New York, Montreal, & Shanghai.
Venue Information:
Links Hall
3111 N. Western Ave.
Chicago, IL, 60618