Jefferson Park gets art festival


by BRIAN NADIG

A two-day participatory art festival that attracted 4,000 visitors last year in Chicago will be held in August in Jefferson Park, 4822 N. Long Ave.

Called the "Figment" project, the festival features acts that encourage visitors to become part of the art, Chicago festival producer Elysia Lock said. Roving improvisation ensembles, the use of people as chess pieces and art work with movable pieces have been among the acts at other "Figment" festivals, Lock said.

The free festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 16 and 17. "We are commerce free," Lock said. "Nothing is for sale. No corporate sponsors."

Founded in New York in 2007, the project has expanded to10 festivals a year, including ones in Australia and Canada, and except for one paid worker, each festival is run by volunteers. Fund-raising events are held for the festivals, and donations are accepted on the project’s Web site, which can be reached at www.figmentproject.org.

Alderman John Arena (45th) worked with festival organizers in securing its permits for Jefferson Park.

The first festival was held in Chicago last year at the Garfield Park Conservatory, but it had to be moved because of construction and commitments at Garfield Park. The 2013 festival in Chicago featured 51 individual projects and more than 150 artists and performers.

A "call for participation" for artists wanting to submit a project for the festival will be held. Artists are not charged to participate in the festival.


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