2019 3Arts Awards

2019 3Arts Awards

♫ soft horn melody ♫ ♫ keyboards and horns ♫ I was in the control room and I got the call couldn’t check it because I was in a meeting it was opening night of the show
that I was doing I didn’t recognize the number on my phone I usually don’t pick up the phone
when I see a number I don’t recognize I want to make sure that it’s a real call and I saw the message and I was like,
okay, that’s weird but I was like, I’m taking his call she said, are you sitting down, and I was just like then I was no longer sitting down I was just like, what the…what? I could not believe it I’m over here with the phone like this and I said, no way, she was like, yes way I was just trying to explain to her how exciting, then I started crying and then I felt goofy she told me that I was a
winner and of course I cried, I just cried I couldn’t believe it, I still can’t believe it I took a full lap around the studio my two apprentices are
looking at me like, what the hell is going on I don’t know but he looks happy as hell I was like on the floor in the hallway,
crying it was just a lot of state of shock disbelief, happiness me, really? all of these emotions just in one
and it hasn’t stopped and I was like, give me some time let me digest it this is amazing for me,
but my excitement is always super low-key I’m still actually trying to digest it all I can’t stop smiling it’s almost like a dream comes true it was a red-letter day, for sure Richard Costes
theater artist, accessibility consultant theater has been my love since I was eight years old and for someone like me, who is Deaf a place that has always accepted me [spoken onstage]
“this loam, this rough-cast” “this stone doth show” “that I…
am that same wall” “the truth is so” theater has always been, like, full of misfits just being in a room with like all these other misfits all of these other creatures that sort of live on the outskirts it felt like these are people we might not have the same experiences but we have similar ones I feel that idea that we are not alone the idea that I’m connected to this person
I’m onstage with this person that I’ve never met before that’s sitting four rows from the back there’s something almost holy about that performing at Chicago Shakespeare last year a school of Deaf children were bused in it was probably the most nervous I’ve
ever been because I realize how important it is to see someone that’s
reflecting them and after the performance a wave of all of these
amazing kids were asking me all these questions talking to a few of the
teachers after and how they expressed how grateful they were that they could
show their students that, you know there’s someone out there that is doing
the kind of things that they might want to do later in the future that’s what drives me, and that’s what that’s what really pushes me forward Laksha Dantran, professional Bharatanatyam artist Bharatanatyam, it’s a South Indian classical dance form they used to say that, oh, you’re the
perfect male character as a dancer I agreed but
as a person I couldn’t agree with that because that’s only one side of my body
or my soul or my feelings another side of me, feelings are still
searching for am I true to myself I used to think a lot about
what is this Bharatanatyam meant for and what is the aim of Bharatanatyam all these Hindu mythological stories some way or another way we have to exhibit the same stories
through dance in order to educate people everything is programmed in such a way that this mythological story is connecting with the social structure that is not my destiny, that is not what
I am looking for I am looking for my space in the world and now I become more creative within the boundaries of Bharatanatyam so I respect that training but within those techniques I’d go through Bharatanatyam and bring my emotions and my true form outside Ivelisse Diaz,
Afro-Puerto Rican dancer, musician, and educator I’ve always liked to just create new ways on
how people are learning you’re having so much fun and laughing
but I’m teaching you history at the same time Bomba is the oldest genre of
Puerto Rico’s musical resistance it’s what our ancestors used to use as a form of expressing themselves,
as a form of language and going back from, you know, people
being scared to dance this music because of all the stigmas, you know, like it’s devil’s music and stuff like that but it’s beautiful Black music that just
wants to hug you my family is a big part of why I even
exist in this movement they started the first movements of Bomba
here in Chicago out of all my cousins I was always ready I was always ready ready and I never let
it go, it was something that really helped me get through life and we started La Escuelita and it has been one of the best investments I’ve made somebody paved the way for me so I gotta pave some way for someone else Bomba is a very male-dominated genre and so even part of our history
women were not allowed to drum and even when we danced we were more
accessories for the males and I’m part of this movement I’m part of this movement that when
there’s like so many women in Bomba just drumming and everything, I’m gonna be
part of that history of women that made it happen and I’m gonna continue
because we have to Stephanie Diaz,
actor, puppetry artist the shorthand is puppeteer you might think that you’re hiring me for the way that they look,
but you’re actually hiring me for the way that they move that’s my passion,
that’s endlessly fascinating to me I’m really interested in the gestures
that cross cultures little things like the difference between this is different than this, right but we all know what those things mean I’ve been an actor for a long time,
and as a Latinx identified artist I try really hard to pursue
creative teams that are telling stories that are something other than
the downtrodden Brown woman that cries [spoken onstage]
“you have your passport and ticket?” [gasp]
“oy” [laughs, mockingly] [audience laughter] when I got my first taste of casting,
I thought, oh, I can help open the door for actors to get into rooms that maybe they
wouldn’t otherwise be thought of to get into that passion for being able to
affect change for others grew into a very fruitful collaboration with the
Chicago Inclusion Project we didn’t know it was going to become
what it is today but we knew that it was a way that we could talk really openly about the need
to dismantle the white cis-het by default model of American theater that has just
pervaded the art form for generations and we’ve been able to do that Damon Locks,
musician, educator, visual artist my work is moving around in different spaces trying to communicate ideas trying to spread those ideas out I do sound and create work in
collaboration with Move Me Soul I’ve spent a lot of time with the
Prison and Neighborhood Arts Project being a person that teaches art but also like generates projects that are collaborative with the students in the class [narration]
“under the current law” “my out date is 2048,
I’ll be 81 years of age upon release” teaching artist in my brain is a little redundant because an artist should do that the teaching and the student thing that’s just the framework for engaging, you know and communicating the more people I can communicate with
the more that that kind of generative energy continues and whether those ideas are visual sonic, you know, collaborative I need to find those ways to express them I’ve done enough things now that those
disparate things are kinda collecting into shapes it seems more recognizable people are like,
oh, you do the thing where you work in prison and you teach stuff, and you work with dancers and then you deejay, and you
have a band, and you do visual art oh yeah, I know that thing Jumaane Taylor, tap dancer the professional tap dancer intelligently understands rhythm, period [cymbals playing and shoes tapping] the upbringing of tap dancing was with
the culture of jazz music so I am doing everything improvisationally with
musicians all over Chicago the traditional old-school, whatever that may
be, jazz music or the progressive jazz music in my past work I’ve been able to
create situations where little moments can happen within my playing
next to a musician [shoes tapping and bass playing] it really feels like heaven on earth like nothing is better that is what I’m searching for now and that’s what I’m trying to keep creating right now because tap is kinda like in a sense a natural action, like I’m just
putting on shoes and I’m dancing on wood it feels so tribal, so it
automatically feels like a meditation it really does help me get through
this life outside of religion, tap dance is the thing that I feel most connected to
the universe while doing Norman Teague,
designer, educator, artist I play in materials and I I do prototypes particularly in furniture because we all
interact with it in one way or another but as a furniture designer I think it’s
super important to me to make the user use it a little differently and then
question that I’d like to think of myself as a
community member so it’s really important that my work is out in front
of others the ingredients can be different but I think that there’s a
major part that involves people if it’s interacting with someone, improving
someone’s life, exposing them to something new or different,
be it in the studio or be it in a street makes it feel worthwhile to me as a designer I just I have so much more
that I want to do besides a piece of furniture so it’s really like
incorporating the lifestyle and things that I enjoy being around, I know other
people do too it’s just a matter of just creating that space for it to happen Bethany Thomas,
singer, actor, songwriter I’ve started saying I’m a performer who splits her time between theater and music so yeah, I’m an actor
and I’m a singer I do all kinds of both things [♫ singing ♫]
“I see through your tears” my voice is my primary instrument [♫ singing ♫]
“nobody’s business” I’ve just been singing so long and so
many different kinds of things that approaching something vocally for me there’s not a lot of, like,
hills I need to get over in my own brain or my own
neurosis to be like, oh, I can do that my voice can physically do it I just kind of usually have to wrap my own brain around what it means and what it
means for me to be doing it [♫ singing over piano playing ♫]
“he’s so divine” “♫ his soul shines ♫” “♫ breaks the night, sleep tight ♫” that makes it so much easier to open up to the other things about the music I don’t have to jump through hoops about
whether I can it’s just how [♫ singing over guitar, drums ♫]
“but when things start getting bad, ah” I feel a certain freedom trying whatever because there’s not a lot of precedence for
somebody that looks like me but I think that gives me the freedom to go in and
say like, well, they’re obviously not wanting me to be like this person or
this person that’s done it before because there’s no way I’m going to be
like that because I look nothing like them so I get to come in and just bring me Sam Trump,
musician, curator, director I’ve kind of established this sound as
sophisticated soul it’s like classic soul a lot of people call it smooth, you know [♫ singing ♫]
“I wasn’t lookin for love” [♫ bass and drum playing ♫] “♫ but I found it ♫” what I like about sophistication is
there is like vulnerability and there’s there’s chill you know, and there’s a
grown and sexy vibe [♫ singing ♫]
“but I found it” there’s a certain standard that comes along
with the word sophisticated [♫ singing ♫]
“there’s no other place I’d rather be” “♫ than here with you ♫” “♫ staring in your eyes ♫” the message I’m trying to convey through my
music is that of kindness, love tenderness and vulnerability it all needs to be talked about, you know I feel like it becomes obsolete
when it’s ignored [♫ singing ♫]
“we are all in this together” “♫ don’t ever think that ♫” “♫ you are alone ♫” that’s like a very basic desire of the
human being [♫ trumpet playing, over beats ♫] tapping into those ideas and concepts in
different ways I think is like the clever way to do it through my art Santiago X, multidisciplinary artist my work revolves around Indigenous futurism and actualizing an Indigenous future reclaiming the Indigenous landscape through art and technology,
the built environment it becomes tangible through
architectural installation, land art and new media I kind of found my way through art
through architecture the art gave me more freedom and more experience of
different mediums moving here and just walking the streets of Shikaakwa, Illiniwek and I see these Indigenous words and I see jerseys of a severed head of
an Indigenous leader the land itself, the history here was begging for intervention begging for a reawakening on the street level I’ll do an
installation of a trash can where people put Blackhawks jerseys into that trash can painting this threshold of solidarity painting this threshold of understanding
within the Indigenous community and then also in the supporting community around us it really helps to fortify, I think this notion of an Indigenous future [♫ drumming and singing ♫] the experience that I want to elicit is
contemplation of the human condition and our role in the cosmos and articulate what it means to be
human on earth it’s more than just making pretty things,
it’s about trying to change the world or shape the world in a more harmonious way
using the artwork as a catalyst for that

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