The first is an amazing team-up between TEDxMichiganAve speaker, Julie Ritchey, who leads Filament Theatre Ensemble and new marketplace website, Zaarly:
“We’re both community oriented,” says [Zaarly: Chicago team lead, Tim] McDonald. “Zaarly doesn’t work if you don’t have people in the local community wanting to participate in it. We got our name Zaarly from the old world Moroccan bazaar environment where it was more of a buyer-driven marketplace, and Filament is looking at ways to bring back the traditional old world theater with the sense of community involvement.”
The 36-hour, locally sourced theater project begins Wednesday 24 at 8am, when Filament ensemble members will set up shop at 4047 N Milwaukee Ave and choose a play title from among those submitted through Zaarly over the last week. As the group creates a brand-new piece, the production’s necessities will be posted on Zaarly for local theatergoers to help procure. From costumes and props to meals for the cast, every element of the process will rely on the support of the community to come to fruition.
While using the Zaarly platform creates intriguing financial opportunities, Filament is hoping the project will bring the community into the creative process as well. “Anyone strolling by can come in and hang out,” says Ritchey. “If you bring an item to lend us, we’d love for you to stay and be part of the process.” Contributors through Zaarly receive a free ticket to the show on Thursday at 8pm; without a donation, tickets are $36. Either way, they include admission to Filament's season launch party immediately after the show.
This is a fantastic example of finding a corporate partner that truly connects to your non-profit mission. It's a natural fit, and should be a home run for both companies. I'm looking forward to the next two days and seeing the results.
Also, from Chicago's DuSable Museum, a musical about the mass migration of blacks from the south to the north over 60 years, but more importantly, a way for the audience to participate and explore with the artists.
Come experience "Migration: The Musical Calling My Children Home", a tableau of West Woodlawn, Chicago then and now. Meet the old settlers and newcomers through stories, music, and photographs curated by the Blacks in Green summer cohort.
Talk-back with storytellers and creative crew. Learn how to start a Story Circle in your walkable-village. Join the team making of "Migration: The Musical" in a one-year process of community performance not seen in Chicago since Scrap Metal Soul with Studs Terkel. Learn BIG's workforce development model for teaching the 8 marketable job skills of theater.
Or just come enjoy this next relaxed green-village-building show in our series of "grannynomic development jams."
Meet founding members of the West Woodlawn Historic & Preservation Society. Have a plate by the famous Tsadakeeyah, official chef of Blacks in Green and enjoy a glass of wine or punch. Take away a historic "Made in West Woodlawn" memento.
Bronzeville historian emeritus, Professor Timuel Black underscores the importance of projects like these. "They're an example of those who understand the importance of recapturing not just the history, but the area in which West Woodlawn and its history evolved."
Both of these projects are getting their audiences involved, building loyalty to their causes and companies, and laying the foundations for a stronger future. Kudos!
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