New arts festival brings eclectic performers to Edgewater and Uptown

Pivot Arts is bringing a new arts festival to Chicago’s Edgewater and Uptown neighborhoods this summer. The Pivot Multi-Arts Festival will run from June 6-22. The three week festival features a wide variety of events including live music, plays, dance, puppetry, improv, a community picnic, and performances for children. The events will be held in a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces throughout the Edgewater and Uptown neighborhoods.

Don’t mistake this new arts festival for just another Chicago street festival. The Pivot Multi-Arts Festival is structured more like a fringe festival taking over found spaces including a high school lawn, a frozen custard shop, a former Vaudeville theater, a parking lot, and the site of a film studio that produced some of Charlie Chaplin’s films.

Mucca Pazza
Mucca Pazza. Photo by 8 Eyes Photography

Artists and groups scheduled to participate in the inaugural Pivot Multi-Arts Festival include 28-piece punk marching band Mucca Pazza and internationally acclaimed theatre groups The Neo-Futurists and Theater Oobleck. Manual Cinema will perform its feature-length, live scored cinematic shadow puppet show Ada/Ava. Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak will perform their critically acclaimed dance performance The Delicate Hour. The Chicago Architectural Foundation will lead a special tour of buildings in the Uptown arts district. And there is much more scheduled from the Backroom Shakespeare Project, RE|Dance Group, Steep Theatre Company, Ruth Margraff and the Café Antarsia Ensemble, Jorge Ignacio Cortinas, Alice Austen, Martin Zimmerman, Steve Moulds, Tanya Palmer, and 6018NORTH.

Dream Big kids
Dream Big Performing Arts Workshop. Photo by Lisa Lang

The Pivot Multi-Arts Festival will also have many events for children including performances by Alternatives Youth Group, Crooked Door Storytelling, Dream Big Performance Workshop, Storytown Improv and the People’s Music School. There will also be a Jumping Jack bounce house for some more active fun at some of the shows.

I counted 39 events in the Pivot Multi-Arts Festival press release. There will certainly be a lot of opportunities to see a wide variety of performances in Edgewater and Uptown during the month of June. I’m excited to have my neighborhood so alive with artists and events. Plus, this new arts festival overlaps with annual favorite Midsommarfest in nearby Andersonville. So much walkable entertainment! This is why I love living in the city.

Mad Shak Dance
Mad Shak Dance. Photo by William Frederking

Many of the Pivot Multi-Arts Festival events are free. Admission to others will be no more than $15 per event, and festival passes will be available. Tickets go on sale on Tuesday, April 30. For more details about the festival or to buy tickets visit or call 773-609-0782.

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