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NON:op's immersive platform for virtual performance and participation
volume 4:3

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

Welcome to the December 2023 issue of NON:onLINE!
World of Words
Ja Nelle Davenport Pleasure
Come with me on a journey where you can slide through the world of words
I take a long walk down the dark hallway unsure of where it will lead me.
I listen to the echoes of those who have come before me, beckoning me to stop.
I don’t take them up on the offer, I keep going.
I feel like something at the end of this hallway
is going to offer me solace.
I begin to tip-toe
The echo is
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You know many times in written works of art there is a deeper meaning behind the words and someone is always trying to interpret what the author means. Sometimes they hit the mark other times they don’t. Sometimes they are just grateful for the words they read or hear. I believe they bathe in it. Relish it. And sometimes are nourished by them. Let’s be grateful for the words, the sounds, the movements.
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There are often promises made for one thing or another.
I am grateful for the promises that are never spoken.
Why do you ask?
Because one can not be disappointed if the promise was never expressed in the ethers.
We would never have to know the pain of knowing someone's inability to hold true to a vow.
We can pretend and live in a fantasy world of make-believe. 
A child's version of paradise.
We can heal in the shadows.
We can love in the sunlight.
We can laugh and sing and dance like no one is even watching.
We can be grateful for the day.
Hug one another.
Kiss one another.
Hold hands with one another.
We can be the promise never spoken.
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Ja Nelle Davenport Pleasure currently serves as the 2023 Poet Laureate for the Champaign-Urbana Illinois area and is a Board member of NON:op Open Opera Works. She is an avid dancer/instructor, clothing/jewelry designer, community activist, artist, and poet. Her favorite works of art are her children. She has engaged audiences throughout the United States and Internationally. She works as an IT specialist for the University of Illinois. When she isn’t writing, working, or doing all the things, she enjoys sitting by the ocean or any large body of water, dancing, and drinking coffee. Her mission for her life comes from Luke 1:79: To shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.

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Spark Creative Collaboration!
Donate to NON:op
As NON:op Open Opera Works closes out it’s 10th anniversary year, we consider where we have been, where we are, and where we are going—from THERE to HERE to EVERYWHERE. What started as an organization founded by a group of idealistic artists to make live immersive, site-specific, intermedia works in 2013, is now focused on online research projects and shows, participatory events and community-based programs. Since the summer of 2020, NON:op has commissioned over a dozen BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and disabled artists; and paid hundreds of talented performers for their performances and contributions.
In spite of what we do, there is much that is wrong with our world: barbarism of indiscriminate killings, mass shootings, dictator coddling, alternate reality meanness, dividing and hating, ignorance is bliss-ness, thoughts and prayers, and an end-justifies-the-means-ness of the world. On this 10th anniversary, I repeat what I wrote last month… NON-sense is NO sense, and that may be the best sense of all.
NON:op has always been more than an arts organization, it is an idea and a way to be. I am thankful to everyone who has come along on this journey, and I am proud of everything that we have accomplished over the past ten years. With YOU, I look forward together to the next ten.
As NON:op continues to grow and create new immersive, participatory experiences please consider growing with us this Holiday Season. Your donation will help us continue to engage with diverse audiences and communities as we work toward a more just society.

Thank you for your support!

Christophe Preissing
Founder + Artistic Director

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2024 Events: L'sGA, Memoria de Memoria, SAY THEIR NAMES
Funded by a grant from Com Ed/Powering the Arts, L'sGA: Lincoln's Gettysburg Address is a three-neighborhood tour of Chicago that features commissioned works and performances by Ja Nelle Davenport-Pleasure, Kao Ra Zen, and AJ McClenon, with Willie "Prince Roc" Round featured as the Politico in Sal Martirano's 1967 anti-war composition, L'sGA. Dates are February 17 in the Logan Center Penthouse, March 10 at the Epiphany Center for the Arts, and an April performance in North Lawndale to be announced soon. Tickets may be purchased at the Logan Center box office and the Epiphany Center box office, or sliding scale tickets are available through our website.
Adrian Dunn Singers
Three Neighborhood Memorial Concerts Remembering Chicago’s 2023 Homicide Victims
In the summer of 2024 The Adrian Dunn Singers will perform Christophe Preissing's Memoria de Memoria in a second three-neighborhood tour. Memoria de Memoria—loosely, “Memory of the Heart”—is an hour-long meditative composition for twelves voices, in which the names of all 2023 homicide victims will be spoken in time—January through December—with each day represented by ten seconds of the score. Also featured on the program are three gospel compositions by Adrian Dunn, Praise the Lord, I Open My Mouth to the Lord, and You Promised. These three FREE memorial concerts will take place at First Presbyterian Church of Chicago in Woodlawn, Stone Temple Baptist Church in North Lawndale, and St Paul's Catholic Church in Pilsen.
SAY THEIR NAMES Public Launch!
With support from the Field Foundation, NON:op will publicly launch a new SAY THEIR NAMES interactive map and database memorializing Black Americans killed by law enforcement over the last 10 years. Stay tuned for an announcement of a May 2024 launch date!

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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-profit? Join our board of directors. Do you have a passion for planning engaging events and projects? Join our programming committee. For more information, contact Christophe at non [at] nonopera [dot] org. And to find out more about NON:op Open Opera Works and our initiatives visit our WEBSITE.

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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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Thank You to Our Funders
We would like to thank the following funders for their support:
  • Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events Chicago Arts Recovery Program to improve our digital and technical infrastructure as well as create a new website
  • Field Foundation to support research and a public launch of our SAY THEIR NAMES project
  • ComEd/Powering the Arts for a series of three L'sGA concerts in three Chicago neighborhoods (see more below)
  • Field Foundation Funding to support the continued development of the SAY THEIR NAMES Project and a public launch of the updated interactive map and database
  • New Music USA New Music INC grant to support general operating and organization development
  • Illinois B2B grant to support general operations
  • MacArthur Fund for Culture, Equity, and the Arts at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation to support programming and general operations
  • Robert H. and Terri L. Cohn Family Foundation for their generous support of our programming and general operations
  • Illinois Arts Council Agency grant to support general operations
  • Illinois Humanities to support our SAY THEIR NAMES project
  • Hyde Park and Kenwood Interfaith Council to support our SAY THEIR NAMES project

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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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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, Saba, Theo, Arlene, Kao, Ja Nelle, Kyle, 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.
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Copyright © 2023 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