Memory Project


In response to a raging pandemic, in response to the generations of systemic oppression, racism, and murder of Black persons, in response to economic hardship and political division, in response to a government that has failed to lead, NON:op Open Opera Works is developing multiple participatory projects that enable lost, suppressed, and neglected voices to be heard. Tentatively entitled THE MEMORY PROJECT, this initiative will encompass all that we will do for the foreseeable future. Beginning this summer, and continuing over the next three to five years, we will welcome creative contributions from you—fellow musicians, writers, artists, performers, and all who choose to create—that we will present in various online formats and in-person manifestations.

Each of these projects will focus on different aspects and unheard voices of our American experience, and each will invite different types of participation from YOU! While we develop this ambitious set of projects, we expect to make mistakes, and we ask you to hold us accountable. Each project will be allowed to develop in its own time in its own way, based on your input and participation, and will be presented in various online formats via our NON:onLINE platform. Then, beginning in 2021—or when we are able to be with each other again—we will present each project in one or more live, in-person, performance-based manifestations that follows from your work.

The Memory Project includes the following participatory programs:

Blood Lines – SAY THEIR NAMES, an online version of the 2019 Blood Lines installation at Augustana Lutheran Church of Hyde Park, in which you read the names of those killed in the 1919 Chicago race riot, and SAY THEIR NAMES, a new online installation in which you can say the names of Black persons killed by United States law enforcement since 1919.

The Gas Heart, a video version of Tristan Tzara’s 1921 classic Dada play—a revolt against the bankrupt culture and structures of post-war Europe, and today, against the hoax of our government’s Grifters and their enablers—that invites participants to contribute TikTok clips.

American Biography, a shared digital archive dedicated to gathering diverse experiences with America. Submit words, sounds, still or moving images, in any combination.

L’sGA: Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, an invitation to respond to Lincoln’s well-known text and to Sal Martirano’s 1967 anti-war classic, L’s GA. “What can the Gettysburg Address possibly mean to you? What masks do you wear? What drowns out your voice?”

Click on the links above or to the right and explore The Memory Project programs and find out how to participate. Welcome.

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