April Artist News

published: March 27, 2024
Abstracted painted work featuring pinks, reds, and shades of white. Amanda Williams, What black is this you say?—"El Español es tu lengua materna pero estás orgullosa de tus raíces Africanas."—black (08.05.20) v1, 2022. Photo courtesy the artist.

JACINDA BULLIE (2023 3Arts/Community Awardee)

During the month of April, Jacinda and her co-creative leads at Kuumba Lynx are organizing the Poetry Making Playground as part of this year’s Chicago Hip Hop Theater Fest. “We are calling all schools, youth organizations, and community members to join us in experiencing a one-of-a-kind, interactive, poetry installation presented by Chicago’s finest poets!” With all events taking place at the West Side Justice Center (601 S. California Avenue), audiences can expect a full calendar of artist-led workshops, open stage, guest performances, readings, game nights, community conversations, meditations, movement exercises, and more. 


RHONDA WHEATLEY (2017 Make a Wave Awardee)

On April 3, Rhonda is leading a free, online energy healing session entitled “Releasing the Past & Cutting Ties,” as part of Threewalls’s Culture of Care series. “Join artist, energy worker, and intuitive reader Rhonda Wheatley for this emotional healing session that will help you start to let go and heal emotional pain from past connections and relationships you’re ready to release. We’ll share tips and practices for resetting our energy, caring for ourselves, and leaving the past in the past. In addition to these practices, Rhonda will facilitate a guided meditation with energy healing as well as a cord cutting demo that you can practice on your own. This will be a safe space and all attendees are welcome to participate at their level of comfort.”


MABEL KWAN (2017 3Arts/Restoration Hardware Awardee)

On April 4, Mabel performs in Elastic Art’s Improvised Music Series with the Lao Dan Chicago Quartet. The band will feature Mabel on piano, Joshua Abrams on bass, and Michael Zerang on drums, led by Lao Dan, a flutist from Hangzhou, China. “With his unique understanding of the woodwind instruments through two decades of playing, Lao Dan sticks to his own vision and approach to the Chinese flute and its sounds.”


AVREEAYL RA (2023 3Arts/Stan Lipkin & Evelyn Appell Lipkin Awardee)

On April 5 and 6, Avreeayl performs on percussion with the Ari Brown Quintet at the Green Mill. Avreeayl has been a long-time collaborator with Ari Brown, who’s an internationally renowned saxophonist, flutist, pianist, and prolific, arranger, composer, and teacher. 


AJ MCCLENON (2022 Next Level Awardee)

On April 8, AJ will participate in Elastic Arts’ CLEAT series, presenting three sets from artists close to the Elastic community. AJ and Regina Martinez will collaborate on voice recordings, electronics, and abstract tape music textures. “The artists parse through voice memos sent over the past five years. ‘How can the sonics of a friendship be pieced together through disembodied communication that’s full of laughter, full of sighs and what we ate today? How have we held space for each other in between the pauses, in between the aparts while listening to the same weather?’”


DEE ALEXANDER (2012 3Arts/Southwest Airlines Awardee)

On April 10, Dee pays tribute to the music of Billie Holiday in “It’s Too Hot For Words” at City Winery. Dee performs with the Metropolitan Jazz Octet, “a reawakening of a jazz group originally started in 1950; their sound is rooted in both traditional and modern jazz.”


ANWULIKA ANIGBO (2021 Make a Wave Awardee)

On April 11 (closing June 2), Build Coffee will host the community dinner and talk for Contexture, the formal debut of Anwulika’s  Ignite Fund-supported project “The Love Ethic Project.” “The Love Ethic Project is a visual arts project using printed materials to spread the desire for policies and practices (personal and institutional) that are grounded in love. It is both an inner proclamation and what we declare to the world around us. This campaign says out loud what social movements desire at their core: the hope that we can express love to ourselves and those around us. This project exposes the vulnerability inherent in the social movements/struggles of our time and in doing so allows us to sustain our work past the tipping point by holding close what we are struggling towards. Fundamentally this project hopes to liberate the language of love within policy and cultural reform discussions.” 


AALIYAH CHRISTINA (2021 Make a Wave Artist)

On April 11 (at 6:30pm CT), Aaliyah presents work in a free Open Studio event as one of nine local artists selected for the 2024 Chicago Cultural Center Dance Studio Residency. “Join the PRAISE MOTHER SQUAD and their guest coach in an open workshop to learn the fundamentals and aesthetics of the Black majorette dance style developed at Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU).” This project was supported on the 3AP platform in 2023. 


BETHANY COLLINS (2017 Make a Wave Awardee), JENNY KENDLER (2023 3Arts/Chandler Family Awardee), AMANDA WILLIAMS (202 3Arts/Next Level Spare Room Awardee), and DEBRA YEPA PAPPAN (2017 Make a Wave Awardee)

This year’s EXPO Chicago art fair takes place from April 10 – 14 at Navy Pier. As a co-founder of the Center for Native Futures, Debra and her colleagues will showcase a group of Native artists in a booth during the fair. Several artists are also participating in EXPO related panels and other programs at the fair. On April 12, Bethany is among the artist speakers on the panel “A Look Ahead to Prospect.6 New Orleans” led by co-curators Ebony Patterson and Miranda Lash. On April 13, Amanda is in conversation with fellow artist Alteronce Gumby called “On Color,” moderated by Jordan Carter from the Dia Art Foundation. On April 14, Jenny is among the artist speakers on a panel called “Actions for Earth: Reframing Relationship to Nature” moderated by Sharmila Wood. 


ANDY SLATER (2018 3Arts/Bodies of Work Residency)

Opening April 12, a new film called The Tuba Thieves begins a run at the Gene Siskel Film Center, featuring audio description and sound consultation by Andy, and voiceover contributions by other 3Arts artists including Michael Herzovi, Robbie Williams, and Terri Lynn Hudson. “In this ‘groundbreaking work of art’ (Josh Flanders, Chicago Reader), hard of hearing filmmaker Alison O’Daniel blurs documentary and fictional elements to explore what it means to listen. Through several d/Deaf people telling stories in a unique game of telephone, The Tuba Thieves unfolds not as a mystery around stolen instruments, but as a sonic experience that examines the nature of sound itself.” All screenings are presented with open captions.


EMILY HOOPER LANSANA (2021 3Arts/BMO Harris Bank Community Awardee)

On April 13, Emily is leading a storytelling and spoken word workshop along with Dr. Rahul Sharma in partnership with Funkadesi and Strategic Inclusion Consulting. This program is part of a series of events at Elastic Arts funded by Healing Illinois. 


CAITLIN EDWARDS (2021 3Arts/Walder Foundation Awardee)

On April 18-19, Caitlin is participating as a curator and performer in the first-ever Chicago tour of the Gateways Music Festival, an all-Black orchestral festival founded in 1993 by Armenta Hummings Dumisani. On April 18 at the South Shore Cultural Center, Caitlin is curating part of the 6pm showcase and panel, as well as performing in the 7:30pm concert in a collaboration with D-Composed and several local poets. On April 19, she’ll be performing in the main Gateways Festival concert at Orchestra Hall, in a program that includes Take 6, the award-winning acapella group. 


J’SUN HOWARD (2020 3Arts/Restoration Hardware Awardee), AYAKO KATO (2016 3Arts/Reva & David Logan Foundation Awardee), and ERIN KILMURRAY (2017 Make a Wave Awardee)

Over two weekends (April 19-20 and 25-27), these dancemakers, plus SJ Swilley, will each share new works in the Chicago Artist Spotlight Festival, presented by The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago. On April 19-20, Ayako presents ETHOS IV: Degrowth/Cycle/Rebirth, an outdoor/indoor ambulatory performance that traverses roughly 1.2 miles from Chicago’s lakefront into the Dance Center theater in collaboration with a multidisciplinary ensemble (including fellow 3Arts artist, Andy Slater, doing a sound component). On April 26-27, both J’Sun and Erin present new works on the Dance Center’s stage.


TOMEKA REID (2016 3Arts/Southwest Airlines Awardee)

On April 19, Tomeka and members of a “supergroup” assembled by pianist and composer Myra Melford, present For the Love of Fire and Water at the Logan Center for the Arts. This concert “is inspired by the American painter Cy Twombly’s drawings, Gaeta Set (for the Love of Fire & Water). The dynamic music uses provocation and cacophony aside quieter sounds and blank space. The resulting music aligns with Twombly’s organic, elemental ideas that he sought to portray in his artwork.” 


WILL LIVERMAN (2017 3Arts/Stan Lipkin & Evelyn Appell Lipkin Awardee)

On April 23, Will performs in Beyond the Aria at the Harris Theater. The intimate event explores what opera singers sing on their night off. 


CAITLIN EDWARDS (2021 3Arts/Walder Foundation Awardee) and TOMEKA REID (2016 3Arts/Southwest Airlines Awardee)

On April 27, Caitlin, and fellow members of the Black chamber music collective, D-Composed, will perform at the Chicago Humanities Festival. Among the pieces on the program is a “Prospective Dwellers” by fellow 3Arts awardee, Tomeka Reid. 


BIANCA XUNISE (2023 Bodies of Work Fellow)

On April 27, Bianca celebrates the release of their new book Punk Rock Karaoke (Penguin Random House, 2024) with a public release event and author talk at Quimby’s Bookstore. Bianca will be joined in conversation with director, producer, and author, Jessica Hopper. “Punk Rock Karaoke is the explosive new YA graphic novel from Ignatz Award-winning and nationally syndicated cartoonist Bianca Xunise (Six ChixBe Gay Do Comics), following three friends and their Garage Punk band on their quest to make it big in Southside Chicago’s underground music scene.”


KEISHA JENAE (2020 Make a Wave Awardee)

On April 27 (at 3:00pm CT), Keisha presents work in a free Open Studio event as one of nine local artists selected for the 2024 Chicago Cultural Center Dance Studio Residency. “Soulfully rooted in playful praise this Praise House movement workshop will be a creative circle of expression with testimonials, dance, art-making and song. Through a guided process that centers care, participants of all experiences and backgrounds are able to step into the rehearsal process being used to develop ‘Praise House Ceremony.’”


ARIELLA GRANADOS (2023 Bodies of Work Residency)

April 30, Ariella is presenting an artist talk as part of the Access Praxis series at the MCA, organized by Bodies of Work. Ariella will talk about her multidisciplinary work and disability culture.