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volume 2:3

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as we investigate alternative futures
through music, poetry, performance, and observation

Welcome to the May-June 2021 issue of NON:onLINE!
table of contents
This issue of NON:onLINE is dedicated to the memory of George Floyd and introduces the first public release of our SAY THEIR NAMES project, which remembers Black Americans killed by law enforcement since 1919. To acknowledge this important anniversary, NON:op has invited Ronald Browne, head researcher for the SAY THEIR NAMES project, to contribute the opening statement.
Justice: The Need for Truth, Compassion, and Empathy
by Ronald Browne, SAY THEIR NAMES lead researcher
“You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.”
― Daniel Patrick Moynihan
As we pass the one-year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd at the hands of ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, I have continuously pondered the question “Where do we go from here and what will we need to get there?”
Clearly, one essential element is significant progress toward justice, which, in my opinion, will require a greater commitment to truthfulness, empathy, and compassion for others.
I chose Moynihan’s quote to lead off this article because much of the nation seems mired in misinformation and an unhealthy attraction to conspiracy theories rather than using factual information to arrive at solutions to our common problems, a condition that threatens to bring harm to us all.

Commitment to truth is paramount because without it, progress is impeded at best and virtually impossible at worst. Justice for George Floyd would not have occurred had not the facts emerged for everyone to see because of a video taken by a brave teenager who recorded the event in spite of her fear, evoking widespread empathy in communities all across America and around the globe.
The resulting sense of outrage triggered countless protests that sprang from the deep wells of compassion people felt for a fellow human being who did not deserve to die as he did.
A full airing of the facts of Floyd’s killing has sparked a substantial movement toward the type of police reform that has been longed for by many, especially those within minority communities.
One way NON:op is keeping a light focused on justice going forward is through the SAY THEIR NAMES project. SAY THEIR NAMES is a web-based, interactive memorial inviting all people worldwide to remember and recognize the humanity of black people who have been oppressed and whose voices have been silenced by police since the infamous Red Summer of 1919.

SAY THEIR NAMES is an ongoing research and mapping project intended to identify, locate, and remember Black Americans killed by police since 1919. It is designed with an open-ended timeline to permit several successive years of research, the development of an interactive map, and the accumulation of community contributions. This map is truly a participatory and interactive project. In the coming months and years, as we continue to accumulate research data and develop the online interactive map, we will add the capability to submit data through an online form on the map.
For now, please contact us at if you have any information to add to any of the Black Americans killed by police currently on the map, or with additional names that should be included in the map. You may also fill out a form on our website HERE. To find out more about SAY THEIR NAMES, including research methodology, current and past researchers, and how you can participate, please visit our SAY THEIR NAMES webpage.
SAY THEIR NAMES is inclusive of all those of African descent, regardless of gender, age, occupation, faith affiliation, or any other social category. It does not seek to stand above or apart from any other project that memorializes these shortened lives; rather, it stands in solidarity with any attempt to serve, remember, and honor lives that have been taken because of “color,” race, or cultural heritage. Only if we stand together will we be strong enough to overcome the structural and systemic racism that is eating away at our common humanity.

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To support SAY THEIR NAMES and make a donation to NON:op Open Opera Works,
visit the SUPPORT page on our website.
To find out more about our other program initiatives and how to participate,
please visit our website.

[ INTERACT ] Viral Silence opens on June 12 with Adaptive Response

Adaptive Response – a drive-in micro-radio performance
Honna Veerkamp and Jay Needham with Carbondale Community Arts
7:00PM, June 12, 2021, Carbondale Community Arts Parking Lot
What has the pandemic meant for you?
Join NON:op and Carbondale Community Arts for a live-stream, drive-in (or bike-in or walk-in), micro-radio performance that remixes oral histories about the past year with live music and testimonials. Tune in your car stereo (look for the sign in the parking lot), listen live at CCA, or live stream from anywhere.
Adaptive Response is a work for micro-FM transmission and live performance that considers the ways we respond to an ever-shifting landscape of risk and adaptation during the pandemic. Drawing from regionally gathered, pre-recorded stories, live music and audience commentary, artists Jay Needham and Honna Veerkamp live-compose an evolving radiophonic stream. Designed to be performed in community parking lots, Adaptive Response imagines the interiority of the automobile as a new space for socially distanced listening and isolated civic engagement. Listeners are invited to tune in locally on their car stereos or join virtually from anywhere in the world.
Adaptive Response is produced by artists Jay Needham and Honna Veerkamp as part of Viral Silence, an initiative by NON:op Open Opera Works, supported in part by Illinois Arts Council Agency. Find out more and share your story at Adaptive Response.

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Community Portraits in Response to COVID-19 

Free Public Programming Calendar
all events live-streamed in addition to in-person

Ground/Work – June 19, 2021, 4pm (DIY Sound Workshop 2:30pm) 
Club 21 Community Garden, 90th and Loomis, Chicago, IL 60620

Champaign County, March 2020 and Counting – June 30, 2021, 7–10pm
Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center, 202 S Broadway Ave, Urbana, IL 61801

Viral Silence: Conversations with Three Illinois Communities – July 7, 7–8:30pm
Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center, 202 S Broadway Ave, Urbana, IL 61801

Viral Silence: Community Portraits in Response to Covid-19  is a statewide collaborative community commissioning and virtual touring program that captures local experiences and responses to Covid-19. Three commissioned Illinois artists/teams are collecting materials within their community—including recorded and live sound, poetry, and interviews—to create original audio/performance works that are presented within the community and live-streamed across the state.
Creative artists and the cultural sector have been especially adversely affected economically by the pandemic. Viral Silence strives to address the needs of these accomplished individual artists and offer hope and support to a wide and diverse audience of viewers who mourn the closure of cultural and performance institutions. The project’s participatory processes and resulting portraits will help to heal and bind communities around memory, loss, and rediscovery.
Donate to NON:op in 2021 and support Viral Silence's commissioned artists and projects.

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Viral Silence: Adaptive Response is supported by


Join the Revolution on July 18!
The 11th annual World Listening Day, a free, global celebration of sound and listening, occurs across the planet over 24 hours on Sunday, July 18, 2021. Listeners of all kinds are invited to host and participate in activities honoring one of the early thought leaders in the realm of acoustic ecology, sound art, and sound studies, Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer.
Each year a theme is created by someone with a deep connection to the act of listening. Lisbon-based film-maker, curator and researcher, Raquel Castro, created the theme for 2021. “The Unquiet Earth” is an invitation to reflect on and engage with the constant murmur of the Earth, sounds beyond the threshold of human hearing, to remind ourselves that we share this mysterious and awesome planet. “Listening as activism encourages us to question our attitudes as listeners as we aim to construct a more inclusive and empathetic new world. Join the unquiet revolution!”
Activities include soundwalks, installations, field recording and sound making workshops, privately streamed performances and an array of other artistic, scientific, activist, interdisciplinary and personal events and works calling participants to listen.
World Listening Day 2021 is hosted and produced by the World Listening Project. For more information on how to participate and to enjoy The Unquiet Earth events visit the World Listening Project.

[ REPORT ] HEAR BELOW 2021: My Pedway Soundwalk

For a third consecutive year, NON:op Open Opera Works and Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology teamed up to offer HEAR BELOW: a subterranean, site-specific soundwalk through Chicago’s Pedway system. This year’s COVID-conscious, self-guided installment of HEAR BELOW: My Pedway Soundwalk invited participants to rediscover the act of listening and to live-stream their experience. HEAR BELOW: My Pedway Soundwalk provided maps, images, audio files, and inspiration to create a personal soundwalk.
From May 17–21 Andy Slater, Christophe Preissing, Erica Miller, Billie Howard, and Allen Moore led live-streamed soundwalks. Listen to their walks HERE.
EXPLORE the Chicago Pedway! Tools are still available on our website. Then share your experience with us and with the world.
Thank You to Our Funders
Robert H. and Terri L. Cohn Family Foundation
For the second year in a row, NON:op Open Opera Works has received significant support from the Robert H. and Terri L. Cohn Family Foundation. We thank them for their generous donation during these difficult times. Because of funders like the Cohn Family Foundation, NON:op can continue to produce engaging, participatory, online experiences that expand the meaning of arts and humanities and provide opportunities for all persons to participate in the arts.
Illinois Arts Council Agency
A big thank you to the Illinois Arts Council Agency for their support of our Viral Silence: Community Portraits in Response to Covid-19 project with an Arts Tour project support grant. Arts Tour funding will pay three artists/teams to create and present work in partnership with local communities in Auburn Gresham, Urbana, and Carbondale Illinois. The in person and virtual tour will take place during June.

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NON:op is seeking volunteers, interns, participants, assistants, artists, and all who have creative ideas and who would like to work with NON:op to implement a shared vision. Please contact Christophe non [at] nonopera [dot] org if you would like to find out more and join us as we create an alternative future.

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SUPPORT NON:op by purchasing HPSCHD@50 merch!
Donate to NON:op
Also available are Musicircus T-Shirts, John Cage CDs, HPSCHD@50 buttons, and souvenir programs.
Click here to order and support NON:op and its artists.
Thank you for taking care of each other by staying indoors and practicing social distancing.
We hope you and yours are well and staying safe as we work to create an alternative future.
Christophe, Bill, Yolanda, Theo, Saba, and all of NON:op's creatives, volunteers, and interns
NON:op is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Please consider supporting NON:op's program initiatives, creatives, and mission with a donation today.
All donations are tax deductible according to federal guidelines. Thank you.  
Copyright © 2021 NON:op Open Opera Works, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
NON:op Open Opera Works
2419 N Drake Ave, Floor 1
Chicago, IL 60647