Free Street Theater and alt_ Chicago Celebrate the Back of the Yards Community with Pop-Up Activation and Back-to-School Drive

On Saturday, August 28th, Free Street Theater and alt_ Chicago will host a pop-up activation and Back-to-School drive in the Back of the Yards Community. The event will take place in both Davis Square Park and the Free Street’s Storyfront in Back of the Yards featuring live performances that include the Chi Clown Ensemble, storytellers, socially distanced interactive theatre games and music at Davis Square Park, followed by the distribution of fresh food boxes and a back to school drive at the Storyfront.

Free Street Theater and alt_ Chicago first collaborated in the winter of 2020 to bring an alt_ market to the back of the yards community. Free Street creates original, joyful and thought-provoking theater by, for, about, with, and in Chicago’s diverse communities. “As a theater space in Back of the Yards, we continue to ask ourselves ‘what is our role and responsibility during a pandemic,” said Free Street’s Storyfront community liaison Elizabeth Nungaray. Free Street is keenly aware that, as a theatre company, the arts in all its different manifestations are an essential breath to the current environment and challenges Chicago’s most divested communities face. This event continues to reflect both Free Street and Alt_’s practices of moving through joy and out of resiliency to focus on things that bind us together: food, joy, and stories. 

“Created in response to the many traumas and needs of neighbors in 2020, the alt_ Market (pronounced “alt space market”) is a functional art installation that transforms abandoned spaces into a communal free market where members of the community can give and take, thus creating a temporary communal shared economy,” says Justin Dwaun Redding, curator in residence of alt_. As the year has progressed the markets have been curated by neighbors to serve different purposes like holiday encouragement centers, or voter registration spaces. These markets also serve as gathering points and spaces for neighbors to participate with local artists to reimagine what these spaces can evolve into.

For Alt_, this is the second event in a series of pop-up activations for Alt_ titled “The Project Series.” The Project series is an ongoing exploration of joy and unity amongst neighbors utilizing the alt_ markets as a catalyst of community. 

What: Free Street and alt_ Chicago’s Pop-Up Activation and Back-to-School Drive

When: Saturday, August 28, 2021  1:00pm-3:00pm

Where: Davis Square Park 7 Free Street’s Storyfront in Back of the Yards (4346 S. Ashland Ave.)

Who: Free Street Theater and alt__ Chicago 

About Free Street Theater
Founded in 1969, Free Street creates performance by, for, and with a wide range of participants, challenges ideas of where theater belongs and who belongs in a theater, and uses theater to ask questions, prompt dialogue and build community.

About alt__Chicago
alt_ Chicago ( pronounced alt space Chicago) is an artist- led, community-driven and faith-based non-profit (501c3) based in Chicago Illinois that is dedicated to revitalizing the community utilizing art and faith as tools of revitalization.