NON:op's immersive platform for virtual performance and participation
volume 3:2

Please Join Us
as we investigate alternative futures
through music, art, poetry, performance, and observation

Welcome to the April 2022 issue of NON:onLINE!
table of contents
Spring Is HERE / Support Ukraine!
by Christophe Preissing
With the arrival of spring, the first blush of blossoming flowers, bird song, and warmer weather is being shattered by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. As the brutal assault approaches three months, we are witness to atrocities committed by Russian forces against Ukrainian citizens. War Crimes—as defined by the the 1949 Geneva Conventions and ratified by all Member States of the United Nations—include "Intentionally directing attacks against the civilian populations or against individual civilians not taking direct part in hostilities..." Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
I'm not here to bash the Russian people. The Russian people, like most people, are inherently good. It is those in power who are responsible for wars, for poverty, for racism, for genocide. With "fake news" and "facts" the Russian people have been manipulated by politicians and the powerful in order to reinforce their personal gains and control over the population. However, why does the military and why does power attract those who would do the most inhumane things to other human beings? Are these symptoms inherent in hierarchical systems, does hierarchy breed these monsters, or at minimum, does hierarchy create the conditions that allow for this barbaric expression, and what can we do to help?
We are heartbroken over the pain and suffering of the Ukrainian people, and the terror and indiscriminate, and purposeful targeting and killing of the civilian population. How can I help? How can each one of us support Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. One of my friends is traveling to Berlin to assist with resettlement efforts. And while we can't all go to Europe or host families, there are many other things we can do to help, including making donations through the International Rescue Committee, Amnesty International, or UNICEF. Or visit National Public Radio, Global Citizen, or contact your local Ukrainian Orthodox Church for more ideas on how you can help.

What Can You Do to Support the Ukrainians?

This spring, I am excited about many things: we had a very successful month of Hear Below guided and self-guided soundwalks and with your participation, are creating a Hear Below Community Archive; Viral Silence commissions are underway and will be presented in May and June; we will be announcing one or more positions in marketing and administration; SAY THEIR NAMES research and map continue (look for an announcement of the updated map in the early summer); and we are working with Roosevelt University associate professor Thomas Kernan on a series of three performances of L's GA and the three commissioned responses in Chicago, Champaign, and Springfield. (More information on these projects is below.)
With sadness and gratitude, I continue to work on memoria de memoria, a memorial composition for Keith Cooper and Chicago's other 790 homicide victims in 2021. A meditation written for twelve voices and community members, memoria will premiere at the beginning of July at Augustana Lutheran Church of Hyde Park. And as of April 1, we bid farewell to Bill Brooks, who is stepping away from the board after many years of service. We thank Bill for his inspiration, energy, and creative ideas, for his skilled service as a writer and editor, as a curmudgeon, and for all he has donated to NON:op over many years. While Bill is stepping away from the Board, he's not going too far. He will join NON:op's Advisory Board and will remain a presence, though less visible. (BTW, he makes a mean cocktail and knows where all of the good martini bars are located!)
Oh! And I nearly forgot. NON:op is excited to announce that we are hiring a Marketing and Administrative Assistant. Please see below or click on the link in the table of contents for more information. We look forward to working with you!

Like what we do?
Join us as we create an alternative future!

At NON:op's first Board retreat in November 2021, I announced that NON:op is what I will be doing for the rest of my life. Combining creativity in music, sound, theatre, visual and written arts with social causes is what excites me and makes me get up in the morning. If this is something that excites you, I encourage you to join me and NON:op's Board as we imagine and create an alternative future through music, art, poetry, performance, and observation. I look forward to your participation!


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To find out more about our program initiatives and how to participate,
please visit our website.
To make a donation to NON:op Open Opera Works,
please visit the SUPPORT page on our website.
If you believe in the work we are doing and would like to donate your time or expertise,
or if you would like to discuss joining our Board, please contact Christophe at non [at] nonopera [dot] org.

[ INTERACT ] Viral Silence 2022

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. This second year of programming partners three new artists and Illinois communities: JoVia Armstrong in collaboration with Stephan Moore, composers and sound artists, with Chicago's Austin Neighborhood and Saint Martin's Episcopal Church;  Edward Breitweiser with pt.fwd and the McLean County Museum of History; and X, indigenous futurist, multidisciplinary artist and architect specializing in land, architectural, and new media installation, to create a geolocated augmented reality soundscape app.
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 offers hope and support to a wide and diverse audience of viewers who mourn the closure cultural and performance institutions. The project's participatory processes and resulting portraits help to heal and bind communities around memory, loss, and rediscovery.
Eddie Breitweiser
Viral Silence 2022 Commissioned Artists (left to right): Edward Breitweiser, X, JoVia Armstrong
Free Public Programming Calendar

Trap and Release – May 22, 2022, 1pm
JoVia Armstrong and Stephan Moore
Saint Martin's Episcopal Church, 5710 W Midway Park, Chicago
Live Stream: Experimental Sound Studio

Six Words – June 24, 2022, 7pm
Edward Breitweiser
McLean County Museum of History, 200 N Main Street, Bloomington
Live Stream: Experimental Sound Studio

Geolocated Augmented Reality Soundscape App - Summer 2022 Release

For more information visit our Viral Silence webpage on our website.

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Viral Silence is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency and a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

[ PARTICPATE ] HEAR BELOW: Community Archive

Three people in a stairwell in the Chicago Pedway looking up.
Take a Self-Guided Soundwalk in Chicago's Pedway System
Then participate in the Hear Below community archive
Find Out More HERE
NON:op Open Opera Works and Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology presented our fourth annual HEAR BELOW: My Pedway Soundwalk, small-group and self-guided soundwalks through the sounding space of Chicago's Pedway system. This year we conducted five small group soundwalks led by Eric Leonardson, Andy Slater, Jeanette Dominguez, and Christophe Preissing. About 40 people participated in these soundwalks many of whom have or will be contributing to the community archive. If you attended the walk and have not uploaded your archive materials, or if you would like to participate in the soundwalk and submit materials, you still have time. (Plus you can receive a free Musicircus or HPSCHD t-shirt for participating.)
What do YOU hear? Use your smartphone or digital recording device to make recordings of your soundwalk, your own sonic points of interest, or your favorite sounds. Then share your sound, video, photos, and observations with us through the Google form available HERE or on the Hear Below tools page on our website. We will begin compiling your recordings, images, and descriptions soon, and will include them in the archive and the radio documentary or podcast to be broadcast later this spring. And with your submission you are eligible for a free Musicircus or HPSHCD t-shirt—see the image at the bottom of this email.
For more information or tools and materials, visit the
Hear Below page on our website or check out NON:op's Facebook page.
JOB ANNOUNCEMENT: Marketing and Administrative Assistant

Working with the Artistic Director and Project Leaders, the Marketing and Administrative Assistant will be responsible for marketing and communication in support of programming, engagement, and development initiatives within the larger artistic and geographic community. The ideal candidate supports NON:op's vision, is passionate about the arts and social justice, and has excellent organizational and communication skills.
To find out more about NON:op Open Opera Works and our initiatives visit our WEBSITE. The full job description is available HERE. To apply send your resume/cv, a cover letter summarizing your experience and how your interests intersect with NON:op's vision, and names and contact information for two references to non [at] nonopera [dot] org.

Remembering Black Americans Killed by Police Violence

SAY THEIR NAMES: Remembering Black Americans Killed by Police Violence
The SAY THEIR NAMES team has been busy at work on research and a major update to the interactive map. The current research and database/mapping team is led by Saba Ayman Nolley and consists of Ronald Browne, Omid Nolley, Rob Strzok, Ting Liu, Qili Sui, and Christophe Preissing. While research continues the database and map team has been busy creating a robust database, research input portal, and a new interactive map interface.
While our goal is to have a “soft” rollout of the map and research portal in June, we are planning a workshop and fundraiser in the fall to formally introduce these updates to the general public.
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 on 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.
To support SAY THEIR NAMES and make a donation to NON:op Open Opera Works,
visit the SUPPORT page on our website.
Thank You to Our Funders
Robert H. and Terri L. Cohn Family Foundation
For the third 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
Thank you to the Illinois Arts Council Agency for their second year of Artstour support of our Viral Silence: Community Portraits in Response to Covid-19 project. Arts Tour funding pays three artists/teams to create and present work in partnership with local communities in Bloomington-Normal, Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site/Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and Chicago's Austin neighborhood. The in person and virtual tour will take place in June.
NON:op received an Action Grant from Illinois Humanities to support our SAY THEIR NAMES Project. This funding allows us to continue this important research and support the development of a new database and map.
A big thank you to the Hyde Park and Kenwood Interfaith Council for their support of our SAY THEIR NAMES Project. Our partnership with HPKIC will support community outreach.

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Board, Volunteer, Intern, and Other Opportunities
NON:op is seeking board members, 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 at 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, staff, 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 © 2022 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