Jun 25th 2022

Water Music on the Beach: Boulevard Dreamers

Saturday, June 25 from 4-7 PM at Lane Beach, 5915 N Sheridan Rd

Boulevard Dreamers Portrait Preview 3 PM at 6018North, 6018 N Kenmore Ave

Walk to the beach 3:45 PM

Water Music on the Beach is an annual series of live performances. This summer – with Boulevard Dreamers (Lise Haller Baggesen and Kirsten Leenaars) – we connect performers and audiences in Edgewater, Rogers Park, and Uptown.

Initiated by 6018North in 2012, Water Music on the Beach highlights Chicago’s proximity to Lake Michigan. Compositions and scores reflect, react to, or personify the sounds of water. Boulevard Dreamers is a community-focused variety show where everyone becomes a star. Together, Boulevard Dreamers and Water Music on the Beach celebrates Chicago’s location on Lake Michigan and the Edgewater, Rogers Park, and Uptown community.

Stars of the show include: Rich Blackson; Shane Calvin; John Green; Anni Holm; Paula Hooper, Emily Hooper Lansana, and Zarah Glenda Baker; Lifeguard; Loud Bodies Dance; Kofi the Kid; Zach Moore and Sam Scranton; Alex and Ricky Munguia-Mueller; Harlan Rosen; Hannah Santistevan; Fred Sasaki & Family; Corey Douglas Smith; Jess Smoot; Akeem Soyan and Marko Stats; Matt Stevenson; Trellyo; Michael Zerang with Janet Bean and Tyler Damon; and others.

Boulevard Dreamers is a traveling musical variety show and installation that seeks out and highlights the talent within the communities it visits. This collaborative project, created and developed by artists Lise Haller Baggesen and Kirsten Leenaars, consists of three elements: a stage set/installation, a show of live performances, and studio portraits of all performers. Leenaars and Baggesen perform the roles of organizers, talent scouts, community builders, set designers, portrait photographers, stage managers, and event MC’s. Earlier presentations of Boulevard Dreamers at The Poetry Foundation, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Franklin, and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.

An integral part of the project is a green room which features studio photographs of Boulevard Dreamers All-Stars (current and past) on view at 6018North from 3-4PM. Like celebrity photographs in a restaurant, this growing collection of portraits forms an archive of a diverse and eclectic community of Chicago performers.

The project blurs distinctions between professional and amateur; make-believe and reality; and artists and audience. All performers are treated equally as stars with a studio photo shoot, perform, and are paid equally for their 15 minutes of fame to challenge persistent social constructions and barriers. On Lane Beach in Edgewater, the installation of a stage frames the view of Lake Michigan. With tinsel, glamour, glitter, and the allure of the spotlight, Boulevard Dreamers embraces the gathering of performers, the staging of the set, and the theatrical spectacle of the performance itself, all as a labor of love that connects strangers through sharing in the production of a spectacle. The acts unfold over three hours on the openly accessible Lane Beach, welcoming passersby, and bringing together a wide ensemble of neighbors on the lakeshore. We’ll see you on the beach!

Lise Haller Baggesen (1969) is a Danish-born, Amsterdam-raised, Chicago-based, interdisciplinary artist. Her hybrid practice includes writing, installation, performative, sartorial, and textile-based work. Her book and multi-media installation “Mothernism” (2013-) toured extensively, and spawned the international symposia The Mothernists. “refuseniks” (2017) materialized at the residency ‘Body as Site’ at The Banff Centre (AB). The portable and wearable TAZ (Temporary Autonomous Zones) visited The Suburban (WI) Le Confort Moderne (F) 6018North (IL) and most recently the MCA Chicago. “HATORADE RETROGRADE” (2016) debuted at Threewalls (IL) with an Artforum Critic’s Pick. “HATORADE RETROGRADE: The Musical” (2019) was produced by Southern Exposure (CA) and reviewed in Art Practical. The show was reimagined as “THE MUSEUMS OF FUTURE PAST TIMES PRESENT” (2021) for Gallery 400, UIC (IL).

Kirsten Leenaars is an interdisciplinary video artist based in Chicago. Various forms of performance, theater, and documentary strategies make up the threads that run through her work. She engages with individuals and communities to create participatory video and performance work. Her work oscillates between fiction and documentation, reinterprets personal stories and reimagines everyday realities through shared authorship, staging and improvisation. Leenaars examines how we relate to others and explores how new forms of relating, seeing and imagining can be created through the collaborative production of moving images. She was recently awarded the Artist Response Grant from DCASE for a public video project with Circles & Ciphers for which they also received a Direct Grant from Illinois Humanities. Leenaars shows nationally and internationally, most at the Broad Museum of Art MSU East Lansing; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and the Kamloops Gallery in Kamloops (CAN). She is currently a Professor at the Contemporary Practices Department at the School of the Art Institute.

6018North is an artist-centered, sustainable, non-profit platform and sustainable venue for innovative art and culture in Chicago. We challenge what art is, whom it’s for, and where and how it’s created. 6018North champions the creation of adventurous work that connects multiple disciplines and audiences while promoting artistic excellence. We support emerging and established local and international artists to create innovative, multidisciplinary work that connects artists and audiences in transformative ways. As a nimble lab for incubating, modeling, and experimenting, we leverage new ways of connecting artists and audiences to advance and sustain artists and Illinois’ creative ecosystem.

This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency through an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. 6018North projects are partially supported by an anonymous donor advised fund at The Chicago Community Foundation, a CityArts Innovation Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, a Gen Ops Plus Grant from the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, IL Humanities, Illinois Arts Council Agency Youth Employment Grants, Joyce Foundation, The MacArthur Funds for Culture, Equity, and the Arts at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Terra Foundation for American Art, and individual donations. For more info visit us at 6018North.org.

For updated info, visit 6018north.org/water-music-on-the-beach-2022.

Image: Katinka Kleijn with Jasmine Mendoza performing as a part of Water Music on the Beach in 2019

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