The Chicago Home Theater Festival - 2014

by Blake, Irina, & Laley


Download Video: Closed Format: MP4 Open Format: OGG / WebM


Strangers around the world are opening their kitchens, living rooms, and rooftops, because this May, home is where the art is. The Chicago Home Theater Festival transforms homes into sites of radical generosity for performance, cinema, and interdisciplinary art.

May 1-25th, 2014


Founded by Philip Huang in Berkeley, California the (International) Home Theater Festival spans 3 continents and 10 countries. HTF first came to Chicago in 2013 where it built on a rich tradition of community organizing and grassroots art activism. Produced, organized and developed by socially-engaged artist Irina Zadov, performing artist/curator Blake Russell, and director/producer Laley Lippard, the curatorial process privileges underrepresented artists working in nontraditional media; catalytic hosts at the crossroads of art, activism, and scholarship; and neighborhoods whose creative capital and community capacity are overlooked.The producers and their collaborators are committed to art as social practice, using art to build community and break down invisible borders. Chicago is one of the nation’s most segregated cities and our experiment asks Chicagoans to step out of their comfort zone by rerouting their creative map


As we progress from our 2013 festival, this year expands to feature 20 hosts and over 100 artists including original, site-specific work created specifically in the homes and for the neighborhoods in which they were conceived. The festival explores the private domain as public forum for risk-taking, radical generosity and interdisciplinary collaboration.

This year, we’ve commissioned over 20 new works designed to be site-responsive to a particular neighborhood in an effort to engage with the questions, issues and individuality of the distinct neighborhoods in Chicago. Some of those artists include arts alliance and artists’ collaborative Voice of the City; choreographer and dancer Dimitri Peskov; interdisciplinary artist working on urban environmental interventions within and around abandoned spaces Victoria Alvarez;  three-dimensional multi-media and devising artist Shawn Ketchum Johnson; Amanda Timm’s private confessional booth interaction and performance; performance group that forefronts African Diasporic performance traditions Honey Pot Performance.


In under two years as a company we have thrived on donated time and the enthusiasm of our collaborators. We’ve committed to giving 100% of the tickets sales to artists, but we need resources to do the kind of community building and outreach we hope to do in order to cross-pollinate people from disparate parts of the city within our wide reaching festival.


The festival has proven it’s worth to the artistic community and now looks to be sustainable as we bring together this incredibly vast network of activists, artists, leaders, and patrons. This festival grows each year due to the support of friends and acquaintances, strangers and family, followers and leaders like you. The best ways to support this festival are through your generous donations and word-of-mouth. Without you, this festival does not exist. If we reach our minimum goal of $4,000, we match our current expenses and close this festival with zero debt. This is less than half of our original proposed budget, but we are happy to achieve our minimum goal. Chicago is also known as the “working city” and we have worked tirelessly to gather, curate, and produce this 20-day festival for the city.

If we reach our maximum goal of $7,000, we can expand our resources for artists and hosts including documentation, technical equipment, food & beverage, and cleaning supplies. We could also offer low-cost tickets or travel vouchers to underserved communities and organizations.

We encourage you to share our crowdfunding campaign in person, through direct e-mail or social media. All our hosts, artists, and collaborators thank you for the continued interest and we look forward to sharing the radical generosity of this festival with each one of you!

Match Funds are not currently available.

Previous donations matched by: