|Collaborative Arts Venture
Transforms Former Viaduct Theater into Constellation and Links Hall’s New Home
Chicago, IL – Mike Reed and Links Hall announce a new collaborative arts venue in the former Viaduct Theaterat 3111 North Western. Mike Reed, the 38-year old Chicago-based musician,composer and presenter, and Links Hall, the 35-year old experimental performance incubator, will open Constellation in April 2013. The two-studio performance space will further Mike Reed’s experimental music programming and Links Hall’s mission to encourage artistic innovation and public engagement by providing flexible programming for the research,development and presentation of new work in the performing arts.
Mike Reed and Links Hall’s Director Roell Schmidt met in 2011 when they were appointed by Mayor Emanuel and Commissioner Michelle Boone to Chicago’s Cultural Advisory Council. After working together on the cultural plan, the possibility of collaborating on a new space coalesced when Reed learned that the Viaduct owners Whitney Blakemore and Robert Whitaker were looking to sell. Constellation was formed with Links Hall as the main tenant and programmatic partner. The space will serve as a nexus for new art created by emerging through established artists in music, dance, performance, and hybrid forms.
“We congratulate Links Hall and Mike Reed on this new collaborative arts venture,” said Michelle T.Boone, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. “Constellation will elevate and expand the cultural assets of the Avondale, Logan Square and Roscoe Village neighborhoods, foster cultural innovation, and help the City attract and retain artists and creative professionals in Chicago – all of which are priorities of the Chicago Cultural Plan.”
"I'm hopeful that we're building a way for communities engaged in progressive performance to grow and cross pollinate," said Mike Reed.
"It's a transformative opportunity. … We can galvanize this group of artists (dancers), providing them with a social space that Links has never had before."- Aaron Greven Links Hall Board President
“Constellation is more than a new home for Links Hall,” said Roell Schmidt, Links’ director since 2009. “It is a fusion of the right time,the right space, and the right partner with a reciprocal vision– which just happen to be the ideal conditions for experimentation and artistic incubation.”
The name Constellation comes from its meaning as “a gathering or an assemblage, especially of prominent persons or things; a set or configuration of related items, properties, ideas or individuals.” April will be a good example of what artists and audiences can expect from the new venue: Fraction: dance-in-progress where choreographers show excerpts from new works and solicit audience feedback (4/1), Braiding Rivers contemporary Indian dance festival curated by Artistic Associate Emma Draves (4/5-7: featuring Silk Road Rising and LA’s Post-Natyam Collective), Instant Composer’s Pool (ICP) from The Netherlands (4/6), ICP improvising with dancers Lisa Gonzales, JulieAnn Graham, Taisha Paggett and Travis Robb (4/7), Chicago’s acclaimed contemporary dance company The Seldoms (4/12-14), Poonie’s Cabaret (4/15), CIMMfest featuring Van Dyke Parks (4/18), Roscoe Mitchell and Mike Reed (4/19), CIMMfest featuring Melvin van Peebles and Manual Cinema (4/20-21), a shared bill of emerging choreographers Inhere, we are whole (4/19-21), Rephrase Dance Collective’s debut concert weekend (4/26-28), and the Craig Taborn Trio (4/28). The Contact Improvisation Jam will continue Sunday mornings as it had since 1978 at Links Hall.
Before April’s opening, Links Hall and Reed are renovating the space with Aaron Greven of AG Design Works, Nathan McBride of McBride House wrights and Helios Design Build to house the new partnership. The smaller studio will be converted from a black box theater to a white box performance and rehearsal studio (capacity of 50+) with sprung wood flooring and windows to allow natural light for daytime rehearsals. The larger studio will continue as a black box with movable risers (capacity of 100+ seated) and a portable sprung wood performance floor (on loan from Chicago Human Rhythm Project until the second phase of renovations can be completed). The lobby bar will be a community gathering place for artists and audiences beyond performances, workshops and rehearsals.
Born in Germany and raised in Evanston, Mike Reed was named Chicagoan of the Year for Jazz by the Chicago Tribune in 2008. He is a member of the Chicago Jazz Festival planning committee, Pitchfork Music Festival’s Producer, a main organizer of Umbrella Music and he programs the Sunday Transmission Series with Josh Berman at the Hungry Brain. As a musician he tours frequently to Europe, South America, Australia and Asia and leads Loose Assembly and Mike Reed’s People, Places & Things.
Links Hall was founded in 1978 on the second floor of the“Link’s Hall” building in Wrigleyville by three experimental choreographers Carol Bobrow, Bob Eisen and Charlie Vernon who converted the“West Hall” room into an artists’ cooperative seeking to push beyond the boundaries of artistic forms. In 1985, Michael Zerang started The Links Hall Performance Series (performance recordings from 1987-1990 are preserved at the Creative Audio Archive at Experimental Sound Studio). In 1998 Links Hall was invited to become a member of the National Performance Network joining such presenters as PS122, the Walker Art Center, and Highways Performance Space.
In honor of Links’ 30th anniversary, WBEZ described Links Hall as “a fertile haven for avant-garde dancer-choreographers,musicians and performance artists”. The thousands of artists and companies who have rehearsed, performed, workshopped, self-produced, and/or been presented by Links Hall.
Links Hall's New Collaborative Space Partner
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Donate to Links Hall today and be part of the excitement and brand spakin' new opportunities to help support experimental artists in the performing arts.
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3111 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60618
Here's what the press and cultural institutions are saying
Links Hall relocates to Constellation space
-Time Out Chicago
The New Constellation Music Venue is going to be Sick
- Chicago Magazine
Links Hall Finds New Home in The Constellation
- Chicago Artist Resource
Thanks to Our Move Campaign Donors
The Weasal Fund
Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation
The Boeing Company
Ginger Farley and Bob Shapiro
The Field Foundation of Illinois
The Irving Harris Foundation
BMO Harris Bank
The Chauncey and Marion D. McCormick Family Foundation
Shawn M. Donnelley Fund
Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation
Malina and Company
and many individuals through THAW, house concerts and our end of the year appeal
Thanks to past and present Space Committee members, staff and volunteers who helped us along the way: