Chicago Home Theater Festival (CHTF) invites strangers into each other’s homes to share a communal meal, experience transformative art, and build intentional community across lines of difference. CHTF centers the leadership of women and femmes, artists of color, immigrants and refugees, LGBTQ folks, and artists with disabilities whose creative practice disrupts injustice and paves cultural safe passages across our hyper-segregated city.
Hosted by Mykele Deville + Eco
Produced by Nancy Garcia + Isaac Gomez
Artists SOULPHONETICS (Caswell James & Christian Vera) , Enid Muñoz, Sebastian Olayo, Alejandro T. Acierto, Gabriela Ibarra + Brian Herrera, Lily Be, Cabaret Parodia, and Southside Sailor Scouts’ Elizabeth Nungaray.
RADICAL NOURISHMENT. In the wake of the abuse of power that occurred at Dusek’s, in the face of new immigration policies that puts this (and other immigrant communities) in immediate danger, in the context of gentrification and change in Pilsen over the years pushing out more and more people of color, what does radical nourishment look like? What does that look like through the framework of the art we consume to nourish & replenish ourselves? How does that interplay with a neighborhood like Pilsen?
Mykele Deville is an actor, curator, poet, and rapper from the West Side of Chicago. He most recently appeared in Octagon at Jackolope Theater. He performs poetry all over Chicago. He indulges in lo-fi liberation raps, the personal, and storytelling as his method on his 2 recently released mixtapes Super Predator and Each One, Teach One & Peace, Fam. He is also a member of the music based poetry collective, Growing Concerns.
Nancy García Loza is a Chicago-based, Mexican-American writer and producer. She serves as Co-Creative Director of The Alliance of Latinx Theater Artists – a service organization dedicated to furthering the Chicago Latinx Theater movement. From its launch, she has participated in El Semillero: ALTA Chicago’s Latinx Playwrights Circle where she wrote and developed her first play: MACHA: a pocha sister story (ALTA Chicago – workshop reading). She is a national steering committee member of the Latinx Theater Commons (LTC) since its inception and co-champions the Cultivation & Governance committee. Regionally, she is an Artistic Associate at Teatro Vista, a newly minted council member of the Gene Siskel Film Center’s Latino Community Council, and a board member with Mujeres Latinas en Accion. As a producer/curator, she just wrapped co-curating the Latinx theatre program portion of DCASE’s Lake FX’s CreativCon this April. On May 23rd, she will co-curate the “Radical Nourishment” event during the Chicago Home Theater Festival’s evening in Pilsen, as well as, overseeing the public reading presentations for El Semillero. As a writer, her Semillero workshop reading of Hollywood G.T. Oh is forthcoming along with other stories. Her play MACHA received commendation as a finalist for the Theater on the Lake in the Works: New Play Commission. As a storyteller, she took the stage for the first time this spring at Saints & Sinners (Collaboraction, Steppenwolf).
Isaac Gomez is a playwright, dramaturge, and the director of new play development at the award-winning Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago, IL. He is a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists, Co-Creative Director at the Alliance of Latinx Theatre Artists in Chicago (ALTA) where he runs and is a participant of El Semillero: ALTA Chicago’s Latino Playwrights Circle, an Ensemble Member with Teatro Vista, an Artistic Associate of Pivot Arts, a steering committee member of the Latinx Theatre Commons (LTC) and an artistic community member at The Hypocrites in Chicago.
Soulphonetics is a Chicago-based DJ/producer collective formed by Christian Vera and Caswell James. Together they’ve hustled diligently to bring the soulful sounds of house, hip-hop, jazz and all forms of Afro-Latin & Global electronic rhythms to the fabric of social consciousness. The eclectic duo firmly believe that music is an essential element for the nourishment of our mind, body and souls. SOULPHONETICS residencies include Parampampán, Loose Ends, Dance Syndrome, The International Bust Down, CHEEKY! and The Good Good. They’ve also been featured in CumbiaSazo, Unisono Festival, Taste of Randolph & Brazilian Fest Chicago. When not shaking asses in Chicago, SOULPHONETICS can be found in any litany of national parties like L.A.’s CulosAngeles, New York’s iBomba to Milwaukee’s Sound Travels’ spinning a soul shaking mix of hip-hop, deep house, global bass, Afro-Latin beats & overall world infused goodness. Soulphonetics has collaborated with internationally renowned artists such as Giles Peterson, Anita Tijoux, Toy Selecta, Bomba Estereo, Mayer Hawthorne, Mexican Institute of Sound and Les Nubian, to name a few. They have also been featured guests of The Hip Hop Project (WLUW), The Groove Temple, Spacious, Future Rootz (WNUR), The Worldwide Show and Modern Macho (Gozamos).
Lily Be is a momma, nanny, and storyteller. The creator and host of The Stoop, a monthly storytelling show at the legendary blues bar, Rosa’s Lounge now in its 4th year. Lily Be is an accidental artist now living a life of storytelling purpose, Lily Be lives to show people the importance of owning your story and telling your truth. Every performance she does, person she inspires, class she teaches is just her way of paying storytelling back for saving her life in 2010. Lily Be is life and proof that there is no bad from which good cannot come.
Enid Muñoz is a performer and writer. Most recently, she has worked with FEMelanin, a multi-disciplinary self-identified WOC collective. EPIC TALES from the Land of Melanin, created by FEMelanin, world premiered in Kid’s Fringe 2016 and will make a come back for the AATE 2017 National Conference in May. Her work focuses on the Mexican-American experience, inclusiveness and raising awareness.
Sebastian Olayo (also known as Bash) is an amateur theater and drag performance artist born and established in Chicago, Illinois. Currently completing their Bachelors degree in Theater at Columbia College Chicago, they aim to use theater and drag practice to explore themes of gender fluidity, sexuality, identity through cultural renaissance, mental illness, and social justice. They are currently working with Free Street Theater on a play in development, Meet Juan(ito) Doe, set to premiere in September. Cindy Nero, their drag persona, is finishing up her incubation period and getting ready to take the Chicago scene by storm with her drag troupe, The Meme Girls. Sebastian is also the founder of Decolonizine, an upcoming online and zine platform that centers the voices of femme queer, and artists of color revolving around concepts of decolonization and social justice.
Alejandro T. Acierto is an artist and musician whose work is largely informed by the breath, the voice, and the processes that enable them. He has performed and shown his work internationally at the Film Society of the Lincoln Center, MCA Chicago, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Internationalen Ferienkurse für Neue Musik. He has completed residencies and programs at Skowhegan, VCCA, the Banff Centre, among others. A founding member of Ensemble Dal Niente, Acierto holds an MFA from University of Illinois at Chicago, an MM from Manhattan School of Music, and a BM from DePaul University.
Gabriela Ibarra is an interdisciplinary artist residing on the Southwest side of Chicago. She is an undergrad student at UIC majoring in Fine Arts and minoring in Psychology & Latino Studies. Currently, she is employed by the National Museum of Mexican Art as a Teaching Artist at Solorio Academy High School. She has experience teaching after school programs through the NMMA (c. 2012-2014), as well as co-teaching summer mural classes through Yollocalli Arts Reach (c. 2016). Her commitment to community is reflected through her practice as well as her line of work, participating in multiple venues (The Dojo, Carlos & Dominguez Fine Arts Gallery, Side Street Studios, Pilsen Outpost, La Catrina Cafe, Sullivan Galleries), most recently collaborating with three artists on an ofrenda for last years #30: Dia De Los Muertos Exhibition at the NMMA.
Brian Herrera is a self-taught graphic designer born in Veracruz, Mexico and residing in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago. As a designer, illustrator, and printmaker, he does freelance work for various nonprofits, filmmakers, creative directors, and startups throughout the city. Currently, he is employed by the National Museum of Mexican Art as a Teaching Artist at Calmeca Academy. Herrera’s personal branding project, Attitude 7, focuses on creating illustrative work commenting on popular culture and commemorating cultural icons. His work has been shown in spaces across Chicago, such as Hairpin Arts Center, Columbia College, Zhou B Arts Center, and Pilsen Outpost, among others. His most recent projects have been the branding for the critically acclaimed Open TV web-series Brujos, as well as the branding for Ricardo Gamboa’s latest play Meet Juan(ito) Doe, administrated by Free Street Theater. He is currently working on a zine series in relation to being an undocumented immigrant, as well as new portraiture prints, to be released Summer of 2017.
Cabaret Paródia somos un grupo de teatro compartiendo el arte con la comunidad, con un toque cómico burlesque y una chispa de Broadway. Cabaret Parodia is a theater collective that shares our art in the community with touch of burlesque and a spark of Broadway. We will be presenting a peak of Un pozole con la Frida.
Southside SailorScouts is an interdisciplinary group bringing love and justice to the hearts of their audience with the cosmic healing powers of dance and storytelling.
Infusing influences from Selena, Sailor Moon, Beyoncé and more, the SouthSide SailorScouts journey through their varied experiences living on the Southside of Chicago. The Southside SailorScouts aspire to be an embedded artistic outlet for community members in various Chicago neighborhoods.
Aside from the performance, the project #ReclaimJoy. #ReclaimJoy will be an ongoing photo installation project that will travel to corners of the city where a person lost their life to violence and set up an act of joy. The act of joy will be based on the life/lives lost on that site. It is important to note that most of the time the crime scene is within walking distance of the Southside SailorScouts collaborator’s homes.
Elizabeth Nungaray is an actor, storyteller, teaching artist, director and activist from the southside of Chicago by way of Mexico. Elizabeth is an ensemble member with Teatro Luna a women of color theatre company that operates in Chicago and LA. As part of the Encuentro Festival at the Los Angeles Theatre Center she was seen in Su Teatro’s production of Enrique’s Journey and assistant directed TL’s Your Problem With Men. Most recently she has been fighting, dancing and healing through the effects of structural racism by being one half of the SouthSide Sailor Scouts. Elizabeth has worked with: the Goodman Theatre, Second Story, Urban Theatre Company, Colectivo El Pozo, Second City, ArftCo – LA: The Los Angeles Theatre Centre,- Denver, CO: Su Teatro – London, UK: Hackney Empire, Stratford Circus (where she developed her solo show Color Me Blind). Her 10 minute plays have been part of the Goodman Theatre’s Latino Theatre Festival in 2013 & 2010. Elizabeth has trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, Columbia College, University of East London, and the Goodman Theatre.