NON:op's immersive platform for virtual performance and participation
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as we investigate alternative futures
through music, art, poetry, performance, and observation

Welcome to the June 2022 issue of NON:onLINE!
table of contents
Memoria de Memoria - July 23, 2022
Keith Cooper
Memoria de Memoria Keith Cooper
Nancy Goede
Parish Pastor, Augustana Lutheran Church in Hyde Park
Iserve a church in Hyde Park, and one of the most exciting things that we've ever done was to provide the backdrop for NON:op's 2019 "Blood Lines." The built machine towered over the altar for four months. Lines ran above the center aisle all the way to the back, where another part of the machine produced eerie sounds. A giant map on the floor marked places where people were killed in the public violence of the 1919 Chicago race riot. The machine spoke of each death, and the score for performance called for ten people to speak the names of all those who were killed.
The project did what good public art should do. It got people to connect and collaborate to respond to an important moment in our shared history. NON:op's current project "SAY THEIR NAMES" came out of connections made in 2019. The opportunity to participate in "Blood Lines" by performing and speaking those names was important to my friend Keith Cooper. He was a Black man who understood racism and violence, and to be part of this project had a big impact on him. It carried such a powerful message about the big sweep of American racial history collapsed into a few days in Chicago.
Keith was a Black man who grew up in Hyde Park during the years of urban renewal. His life was unremarkable as he grew up amid the casual, all-pervasive racism that assumed failure for Black boys and men. As a child he was a regular at our church, Augustana Lutheran, attending Sunday School and acolyting in worship. After high school he joined the Marines and served in Vietnam. When he came home he married and had two girls. He liked to bowl and he liked jazz.

Keith actively and continually faced racism.

Keith CooperKeith was such a good guy, but he was very aware that his life had been shaped and formed for the worse by racism. The way he dealt with that was to embrace the hope of transformation. Keith actively and continually faced racism and used that confrontation to strengthen his inner life. He felt empowered by continually learning about slavery and Jim Crow and the civil rights movement. He liked learning about African culture and he was proud of his African heritage. Because he had successfully navigated his way through barriers, he helped others do the same. He was a mentor to several young men, trying to help them turn their lives around. As one of his friends said, Keith made lemonade out of lemons. He actively practiced transformation in the face in a world that was built to ensure his failure. Performing in "Blood Lines" was a natural fit for him.
In July of last year, Keith was shopping and running errands over the noon hour in a Hyde Park strip mall. He was approached by two teenagers who threatened him and demanded the keys to his car. Keith tried to reason with them, but they punched him until he fell to the ground. He had a heart attack and died on the spot.
Since the killing, several of Keith's Augustana friends have come together to found the Keith Cooper Fund. The project will give grants to people ages 16 to 26 who want to pursue some kind of credential at a community college, so that they can work as a nursing assistant or a building inspector. Or they might be preparing to train with a union to become a carpenter, or making plans for a dog grooming business. or they might be struggling to support themselves as painters or jazz musicians. They are grants for young people who do not want to pursue a four-year college degree, but who need to find meaningful ways to support themselves, raise a family and build a good life.

The Keith Cooper Fund will launch this Saturday, June 11, at Augustana from 7-10pm

There's a direct line between extreme, systemic poverty in so many neighborhoods and public violence that telegraphs frustration and despair. This is the line that the Keith Cooper Fund seeks to address. It's a project to reach out to individual young neighbors who face significant barriers in launching themselves in a satisfying life. It connects poor communities with the considerable resources of Hyde Park and wealthier Chicagoans.
Our fundraising launch is this Saturday, June 11, at Augustana from 7pm to 10pm. Jazz saxophonist Fred Jackson, Jr., will provide the music, thanks to the support of the Hyde Park Jazz Festival. CHAOS Brew Club will pour the beer. You can find information about tickets and sponsorships HERE.
In July, Augustana will host the premiere of a new composition by Christophe Preissing, "memoria de memoria." This commissioned piece, scored for 12 voices, is created from troubadour melodies, the title and the names of Chicago’s 793 homicide victims in 2021. Christophe is working with The Adrian Dunn Singers to produce this work, which is supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council. It will be performed on the evening of July 23 at Augustana, on the weekend when Keith would have celebrated his birthday. The date is just a few days after the first anniversary of his murder.
The performance of this piece seems a fitting way to remember Keith, to honor his life and practice transformation through connection, collaboration and participation. Keith would have loved it.

Nancy Goede
Parish Pastor, Augustana

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Celebrating the Human Sprit
The Launch of the Keith Cooper Fund
Saturday, June 11, 2022, 7–10pm
Augustana Lutheran Church of Hyde Park
5500 S Woodlawn Ave, Chicago 60608
Ticket and Sponsorship Information

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To make a donation to support this work
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.

NON:op is growing, and like many organizations coming out of the pandemic, we are growing with projects, installations, and performances. It's quite an exciting time for us! Are you savvy about one or more aspects of running a non-prof? Join our board of directors. Do you have a passion for planning engaging events and projects? Join our programming committee. In addition to volunteering and collaborating with us (contact Christophe at non [at] nonopera [dot] org for more information), the following openings are available:
Marketing and Administrative Assistant Positions

Working with the Artistic Director and Project Leaders, the Marketing and Administrative Assistants will be responsible for marketing, communication, and administrative tasks in support of programming, engagement, and development initiatives within the larger artistic and geographic community. The ideal candidates support NON:op's vision, are passionate about the arts and social justice, and have 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.

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Governing and Programming Board Positions
Do you believe in the work we are doing? If so, please contact non [at] nonopera [dot] org to find out how you can support NON:op as a Board member. NON:op is seeking creative, passionate, and inspired individuals to join our board of directors in one of the following roles:
Programming Committee
The programming committee meets monthly with the artistic director and is responsible for supporting current programming and devising and producing future programming and events.

Governing Committee
The governing committee is responsible for finances, governance, and legal matters in support of the organization and its programming. The governing committee meets once per quarter and is joined by members of the programming committee.

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[ SAVE THE DATE ] Viral Silence: Six Words

Six Words
Edward Breitweiser with pt.fwd and the McLean County Museum of History

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

Archival Research, Community Dialogue, and Collaborative Music-Making
Using archival research, community dialogue, and collaborative music-making, Six Words engages directly with Central Illinois residents to reflect on our collective experience of the COVID-19 pandemic. Six Words takes the McLean County Museum of History’s “COVID-19: The McLean County Experience” as a starting point to ask local residents about their pandemic experiences, and to preserve them for future generations. Breitweiser is collaborating with local non-profits and youth organizations—including the McLean County Museum of History and pt.fwd—to create a communal space for telling and hearing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Bloomington-Normal area. These diverse experiences will be shared in a concert-length public performance at the Museum of History, featuring music and words by area residents who contributed to the project.
For more information visit the Six Words page on our website.

[ EXPERIENCES ] Viral Silence

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.

[ SAVE THE DATE ] Memoria de Memoria Keith Cooper

Meditative Memorial Performance for Keith Cooper

Memoria de Memoria by Christophe Preissing
featuring The Adrian Dunn Singers
Saturday, July 23, 7pm
Augustana Lutheran Church of Hyde Park
5500 S Woodlawn Ave, Chicago 60608

Memoria de Memoria, or Memory of the Heart, is an hour-long meditative composition for twelve voices that remembers Keith Cooper and the other nearly 800 persons killed in Chicago in 2021. The performance features The Adrian Dunn Singers, who sing the text “memoria de memoria” and speak the names of all 794 homicide victims. As a meditation, audience members are encouraged to come and go during the performance, to light memorial candles, or to call out the name of a family member or friend who they wish to remember.

• • •

This performance of Memoria de Memoria is partially supported
by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.
To make a donation to support this work please visit the SUPPORT page on our website.

[ SAVE THE DATE ] The Sound of Memory

Douglass Park Soundwalk with Marvin Tate and Christophe Preissing

Friday, August 5, 2022 from 6–8pm
Anna and Frederick Douglass Park
1401 S Sacramento Dr, Chicago, IL 60623
Click for more information.

Did you grow up around Douglass Park? Are you new to the neighborhood? What do you hear? What do you remember? What is the sound of memory? Does memory conjure sound or sound evoke memory?
Join childhood resident Marvin Tate (musician, artist, poet) and Christophe Preissing (sound composer and NON:op's artistic director) for a soundwalk reflecting on the history of Douglass Park. How has the sound of the park—and the neighborhood—changed, and how has it remaed the same? Listen and share your memories of Douglass Park with other soundwalkers.
The Sound of Memory is one of a series of Soundwalks produced by the Midwest Society of Acoustic Ecology for the Chicago Park District's annual Night Out in the Parks program. For more information visit the MSAE 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
1357 East 57th Street #2
Chicago, IL 60637