August 29, 2012

Celebrating the Opening of the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago, October 12-14, 2012 

Highlights of the free, three-day arts festival include:

  • Courtyard kick-off concert by Los Cenzontles with special guest Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo
  • 'Sonic Environments’ by internationally renowned sound artist, composer & filmmaker Richard Lerman
  • Rare conversation with New York architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien
  • First public reading of ‘All Our Tragic,’ 12-hour Greek tragedy cycle by director Sean Graney
  • Reading of new works by poet Adam Zagajewski  
  • More than 50 events planned throughout the weekend

(August 29, 2012) The new Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago (UChicago) officially opens to the public with a free three-day Logan Launch Festival, Friday- Sunday, October 12-14, 2012, offering the first chance for the entire campus community, neighborhood residents, and audiences from across Chicago to experience all that the Logan Center will make possible.  The Logan Launch Festival features ongoing activities throughout the building and courtyard, representing the wide range of arts at UChicago. Highlights include a Festival kick-off concert by Mexican roots rockers Los Cenzontles with special guest Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo; sound installations, a performance, and screening by renowned artist Richard Lerman; New York-based architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsienin conversation about the Logan Center, their first Chicago commission; the launch of the Logan Center’s monthly family programming series with Barrel of Monkeys’ “That’s Weird, Grandma”; popular Chicago theater director Sean Graney mounting the first public reading of his 12-hour Greek tragedy performance cycle, “All Our Tragic,” modeled after the ancient Greeks’ communal festivals; and the reading of new works by poet and UChicago professor Adam Zagajewski commissioned for the event.  The $114 million Logan Center serves as a hub for the vibrant arts scene at UChicago and a destination for the South Side and greater Chicago.  

The Logan Launch Festival takes place Friday, Oct. 12, from noon-11pm; Saturday, Oct. 13, from 10am-11pm; and Sunday, Oct. 14, from noon-5pm.  The majority of programming is free, with tickets available for purchase for select performances. For more information on the Logan Launch Festival, visit or call 773-702-ARTS (2787). The Logan Center is located at 915 East 60th Street (at Drexel Avenue), Chicago, IL 60637.

“The Logan Launch Festival will highlight the breadth of arts study and performance opportunities currently taking place across the university, from theater to visual arts to music to the written word. The festival represents the unique mix of professional, student, and community programming that we anticipate at the Logan Center for years to come,” said Bill Michel, Executive Director of the Logan Center.

Schedule details will be released in the coming weeks and the public is encouraged to sign up at for e-mail updates. Following is a sampling of festival events:

Ongoing programming throughout the weekend

  • Arts Trolley rides – Guests can visit museums and cultural institutions across the UChicago campus, including the Oriental Institute Museum, Renaissance Society, and Smart Museum of Art. Highlights include the Renaissance Society’s exhibition of works by Vietnam-born installation artist Danh Vo; the Oriental Institute’s renowned collection of art and antiquities from the ancient Near East; and  a behind-the-scenes tour of the Smart Museum, UChicago’s fine arts museum, revealing how the Smart has assembled an exquisite collection of traditional, modern, and contemporary art. Visitors will also have the chance to view art brought out from storage in the Museum’s intimate study room. In addition, guests who have already purchased tickets to Court Theatre’s weekend matinee showings of “Jitney” (3pm Saturday and 2:30pm Sunday) may take the trolley to the theater. [Trolley departs from the South entrance and runs Saturday and Sunday 12-5pm; Smart Museum tours depart every half hour, Saturday 2-5pm and Sunday 12-3pm]
  • Student performances of the Tony© Award-winning play “Proof”  Written by alumnus David Auburn, “Proof” tells the story of Robert, a genius mathematician who suffered from mental illness. After Robert’s death, his daughter Catherine tries to come to grips with her possible inheritance—his insanity—and finds matters complicated by one of her father's ex-students and her estranged sister. “Proof” is directed by Block Box Studio’s Audrey Francis and features Chicago actor Steve Pickering. [$6, Theater West, 7:30pm; repeated Saturday at 2pm, and 7:30pm.] **These performances are ticketed; tickets will be available online and at the door.
  • Open House Chicago  Organized by the Chicago Architecture Foundation, Open House Chicago (OHC) is an annual weekend festival providing free behind-the-scenes access to many of Chicago's greatest places and spaces. The Logan Center, selected as one of OHC’s “Top Twenty Sites to Visit,” will offer self-guided tours for OHC participants that feature “backstage” areas of the performance spaces as well as private studios. [Saturday and Sunday, 10am-5pm]
  • Projection Installation: “Palimpsest” – Visiting Professors Sha Xin Wei and Michael Montanaro and UChicago professor Patrick Jagoda launch their year-long Gray Center for Arts & Inquiry collaboration with a large outdoor video projection scaled to a façade of the Logan Center. Using real-time processing and calligraphic techniques, the video projection will animate the site with present and imagined inhabitants as well as building-scale gestures referencing local histories and imaginary futures. [Exterior Wall, Friday and Saturday 7:30-10pm]
  • Ricardo Basbaum’s “Would you like to participate in an artistic experience?” – Visiting Brazilian artist Ricardo Basbaum addresses complex social transformations through the circulation of a deceptively simple object, one of his “New Bases for Personality (NBP).”  As participants realize new artistic experiences using the NBP throughout Chicago, the Logan Center Gallery becomes an interface with the broad scope of his evolving “Would you like to…?” project, which spans 18 years and over 40 cities on four continents.  Basbaum’s work offers a base—at once concrete and dynamic—for imagining the workings of our networks. [Logan Center Gallery, Oct. 9-Nov. 25]
  • Sonic Environments: The Work of Richard Lerman: Sound Installation Piece – The sounds of the Logan Center come to life in a site specific installation designed by internationally renowned filmmaker, sound artist, composer, and provocateur Richard Lerman.  As part of a series of multi-platform events, Lerman will install self-made transducers that relay acoustic vibrations to listening stations in the North tower stairwell. The sounds of persons moving through the Logan, along with sounds from the structure of the building itself, transform the space into an ever-changing, amplified sonic environment.   [North tower stairwell, Friday-Sunday]
  • Wall Text: On Display – “Wall Text” is a particular institutional phenomena meant to provide context for works of art. What happens when the text on the wall is the art itself and provides it's own context through the use of language? Does it change are relationship to images?  Is the wall itself changed through language? Are there texts without language? This exhibition explores the relationship between the word and its signifying power's relationship to space by locating work throughout the Logan Center. Featuring works by Stephanie Brooks, Tania Bruguera, Brian Elms, David Giordano (MFA’12), Jenny Holzer, Robert Peters, William Pope.L, Karen Reimer, Mike Schuh (MFA’09), and Buzz Spector (MFA’78). [Second Level, Friday-Sunday]

Friday, October 12

  • Logan Launch Festival Kick-off Concert – A special outdoor performance by Bay Area-based Los Cenzontles, joined by Los Lobos singer-songwriter-front man David Hidalgo. Los Cenzontles (Nahuatl for “the mockingbirds”) effortlessly mix contemporary and traditional Mexican instruments to create a powerful sound infused with the gutsy soul of Mexico’s rural roots. [Courtyard, 12-1:30pm]
  • Conversation with “All Our Tragic” Director Sean Graney – A conversation between director Sean Graney and Theater and Performance Studies director Heidi Coleman about the development of his ambitious “All Our Tragic” project adapting, directing, and producing 32 Greek tragedies. [Theater East, 1:30-2:30pm]
  •  New Budapest Orpheum Society – Hear a performance by the New Budapest Orpheum Society, an eight-member ensemble in residence in the Division of the Humanities at the University of Chicago. Performing Jewish Cabaret music and political songs from the turn of the 20th century to the present, the New Budapest Orpheum Society explores original materials in Hebrew, Yiddish, and German, as well as English. [Courtyard Stage, 1:30-2:30pm]
  • Untitled, 39"26", 115"25"-117"30": MFA study in Beijing – UChicago Visual Arts professors Laura Letinsky and Geof Oppenheimer, along with students from the MFA class of 2013, discuss their recent trip to China that sought to investigate and develop cross-fertilization across geo-political and cultural arenas.  Research focused on art galleries, monuments, artists’ studios, universities, and alternative art spaces.  [Film Screening Room, 2:30-3:30pm]
  • Inside the Playwright's Studio: Charles Newell & David Auburn – Playwright and UChicago alum David Auburn (AB’91) returns to campus to discuss his work on the award-winning play “Proof” and current projects with Charles Newell, artistic director of Court Theatre. Auburn’s visit coincides with three student performances of “Proof” taking place throughout the weekend. [Theater West, 3:30-4:30pm]
  • Creative Writing Thesis Student Reading – Creative Writing showcases its thesis students with a multi-genre reading of their work. [Performance Penthouse, 3:30-4:30pm]
  • Beware the Stairs Are Always Moving: a conversation with architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien – Acclaimed New York architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien discuss the design of the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts—their first Chicago commission—and how creating creative spaces has influenced their work. Guided architectural tours of the building will be offered prior to the conversation. [Guided tours: 5:00 p.m., north entrance welcome desk; conversation: Performance Hall, 6-7:30pm]
  • Sonic Environments: The Work of Richard Lerman: Films for Screens, Performers, and Audiences – Sonic Environments, a series of multi-platform events by internationally renowned filmmaker, sound artist, composer and provocateur Richard Lerman, continues with this selection of films, video pieces and live performance.  Among the works to be showcased at this unique event are Lerman’s famous “Sections for Screen, Performers and Audience” (1974) and his innovative “piezo disk,” which transform everyday objects (passports, thorny branches, a compass) into instruments for a look at Border issues in 2012. Lerman will be on hand for this multi-media presentation. [Film Screening Room, 7:30-10pm]
  • Café Scientifique – These sessions invite the public to explore and debate current issues and interesting topics in science research at the University, for the price of a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.  Part of a loose knit program which take places on campuses around the world, the next generation of scientists offer up an informal and accessible conversation about their research, and lively questions and comments from the audience are expected. [Café, 8-9pm]
  • Student Tower Cabaret Showcase – The Logan Cabaret series offers a weekly platform for individual artists and groups to take the stage during an informal night of live performance. Featuring a student MC, the student driven evening will offer a mix of comedy, spoken word, rock music, solo dance performance, poetry readings, improvisational jazz, works-in-progress, short play readings, and more. [Performance Penthouse, 9-11pm]

Saturday, October 13

  • Animation Workshop with LEGO animator David M. Pickett (AB’07) – This workshop answers the question: Have you ever wanted to bring your toys to life? This fun workshop will offer hands-on experience with the basics of stop-motion animation and teach you what you need to start making movies at home. Guests are encouraged to bring a toy to animate or use the ones provided. [Video Production Lab, 10am and 11am]
  • Barrel of Monkeys, “That’s Weird, Grandma”  Kicking off a new free monthly family programming series at the Logan Center, Chicago’s Barrel of Monkeys (BOM) will perform its classic, “That’s Weird, Grandma,” which showcases the amazing talents of student authors and their company of performers. BOM is an ensemble of actor/educators who create an alternative learning environment in which children share their personal voices and celebrate the power of their imaginations.  The show changes each time it’s performed as audience votes pick new stories to add. [Theater East, 11am]
  • Muntu Dance Drummers lunchtime performance – Guests are invited to join local community artists and leaders at a festive free BBQ to include performances by the Muntu Dance Drummers and other Logan Center community partners. [Courtyard and Gidwitz Lobby, 12-1:30pm]
  • “All Our Tragic,” adapted and directed by Sean Graney – With “All Our Tragic,” popular Chicago director Sean Graney has adapted all 32 surviving Greek tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides to create an epic 12-hour cycle-play theater event, in two parts: Politics and Ethics. “All Our Tragic” will have its first public reading at the Logan Launch Festival, by both professional and student actors. This presentation is modeled after the Ancient Greeks’ communal festivals or gatherings, which encompassed music, theater, politics and eating. [Performance Lab 501, 1pm Saturday-1am Sunday]
  • “Tributaries: Songs from another stream” – Celebrated recording artist and UChicago director of vocal studies Patrice Michaels presents a stunning concert of songs for voice and piano.  Familiar and newly-composed blues, ragtime, ballads and art songs by Tibor Harsanyi, Laurie Altman,  Chuck Israels, John Musto and others reveal a glorious musical conversation in a unique genre linking jazz and classical music.. [Performance Penthouse, 1:30-2:30pm]
  • Chicago Ideas Week Lab: Art, Architecture and Acoustics at the University of Chicago – As part of Chicago Ideas Week, University Architect Steve Wiesenthal and Kirkegaard Associates’ acoustician Anthony Shou lead a behind-the-scenes Logan Center tour revealing how intense collaboration can successfully balance architectural and acoustical expressions while creating spectacular music performance spaces. [Performance Hall, 1:30-3pm]
  • Sonic Environments: The Work of Richard Lerman: Travelon Gamelan (Music for Bicycles) –Bicycles become the instruments in Richard Lerman's Travelon Gamelon  - a collaborative, community-based, live performance work. Beginning with a roving, sonic “promenade,” 20 cyclists on Lerman’s amplified bicycles travel the neighborhood broadcasting the sound of each cycle's spokes, producing a sound similar to that of SE Asian Gamelan orchestras. The performance departs from the Logan Center and travels through the campus and Hyde Park neighborhood before returning to the Courtyard Stage for the performance of the Concert version for three amplified bicycles and six performers. Travelon Gamelon, composed in 1979, has been performed hundreds of times around the world most recently in 4 cities in Germany. [Bikes depart from Cafe Plaza 1:30pm; concert on Courtyard stage 3:30-4:30pm]
  • A discussion of “Alternate Reality: A Pervasive Play Project”  Gray Center Mellon Fellows Professor Patrick Jagoda and Visiting Professor Sha Xin Wei discuss their 2012-13 collaborative creation of an interactive production that belongs to the emerging artists form of “Alternate Reality Games” or “transmedia games.” Their yearlong project will culminate in a transmedia game experience in Spring 2013, together with a symposium about these emergent forms of collective event hybridizing play, game and performance. [Film Screening Room, 2:30-3:30pm]
  • Reva Logan Inaugural Poetry Series Reading – Adam Zagajewski, one of Poland’s most famous contemporary poets and the Ferdinand Schevill Distinguished Service Professor at UChicago’s John U. Nef Committee on Social Thought, will launch this series with a reading of his own world premiere work, “We Know What Art Is” commissioned by the University and the Reva and David Logan Foundation for the opening of the Logan Center. A graduate of Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Zagajewski first became well known as one of the leading poets of the Generation of ‘68’ or the Polish New Wave.  [Performance Penthouse, 4:30-5:30pm]
  • Jazz X-tet Reunion Band: Beyond 5 Lines and 4 Spaces – Mwata Bowden, acclaimed jazz musician and Director of the UChicago Jazz Ensembles, will be joined by University Jazz X-tet alums to celebrate the group's 18th anniversary. “Beyond 5 Lines and 4 Spaces” will debut new music inspired by gardens in Paris, Japan, and Vancouver, and composed by Bowden and X-tet alums. The intricate, maze-like program will showcase music on the cutting edge. [Performance Hall, 7:30pm]
  • Outdoor screening of “Opening” – “Opening,” a recent video collage by graduate students Jared Clemens and Marco G. Ferrari, will be projected on to the facade of the Logan Center. An audiovisual montage that manipulates original and archival materials relating to various brain processes, “Opening” is comprised of formal manipulations of color, speed, rhythm, and sound, to reflect the spatiotemporal concept of neural activity and highlight the complexity of the brain.  [Exterior, dusk]

Sunday, October 14 

  • University of Chicago Presents: Turtle Island Quartet  Two-time Grammy ™Award winner in the Best Classical Crossover category, Turtle Island Quartet fuses the classical quartet aesthetic with contemporary American musical styles. Its Logan Center debut draws from its 2010 album “Have you Ever Been…?,” tackling works by legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix and other compositions inspired by Hendrix’s music.  [Performance Hall, pre-concert talk at 2pm, concert at 3pm]  **This performance is ticketed - $35 general/$5 students. Tickets go on sale September 4; to purchase, please visit

About the Logan Center: The Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts is a new center for arts scholarship, practice, and presentation at the University of Chicago. Designed by renowned architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, the 184,000 square-foot, 11-story structure integrates classroom, performance, exhibition, studio, and rehearsal spaces to create a hub of arts activity for the campus and wider community . The building also features generous public space including large lobby areas, an outdoor courtyard, a gallery, a café, and two elevated lounges. The Logan Center is located at 915 E. 60th Street (at Drexel Avenue), Chicago, IL 60637 . For more information, visit

About UChicago Arts: The University of Chicago is home to a vibrant array of arts activity. UChicago Arts includes the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, the Arts and Public Life initiative and its flagship project, the Washington Park Arts Incubator, and the Richard and Mary L. Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry. These initiatives join academic departments and programs in the Division of the Humanities and the College, as well as professional organizations, including the Court TheatreOriental Institute Museum,Smart Museum of Art, and University of Chicago Presents, and more than 60 student arts organizations in forging an integrative model for practice, presentation, and study.

For more information on the Logan Launch Festival, visit or call 773-702-ARTS (2787).

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