ACTIVATE returns with Hideaway: Retreat from the Street on Thursday, September 28

ACTIVATE returns with Hideaway: Retreat from the Street on Thursday, September 28 1 Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA) presents the latest ACTIVATE event, Hideaway: Retreat from the Street on Thursday, September 28 from 5-10 p.m. at Arcade Place Alley (55 S Wells St. Enter between Madison and Monroe). Guests who RSVP in advance at will receive a complimentary drink ticket for beer, wine, or a cocktail at the event.

Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA) presents the latest ACTIVATE event, Hideaway: Retreat from the Street on Thursday, September 28 from 5-10 p.m. at Arcade Place Alley (55 S Wells St. Enter between Madison and Monroe). Guests who RSVP in advance at will receive a complimentary drink ticket for beer, wine, or a cocktail at the event.

The 2017 ACTIVATE series invites the public to explore the pulse of daily life that the alley embodies. Art and programming will focus on a different aspect of alley life for each event. Hideaway: Retreat from the Street explores the alley as a place to escape the eyes of the street.

The alley provides a place to step away from our public personas, and into a realm where we could be anyone and do anything –   a space where we can shed the expectations and preconceptions of the street. In the quasi-private alley, we have a chance to redefine who we are, rediscover who we want to be, and throw propriety aside.

Salonathon will bring its kinetic, genre-defying energy to ACTIVATE through an evening of performance and spectacle designed to invite attendees into a hideaway where they can retreat from the street, by

inviting participants to:

  • Prepare to be astonished by Alexander the Amazing’s incredible magic tricks that utilize sleight of hand, hidden objects, and hilarious spectacles.
  • Witness Erin Kilmurray and the Search Party Dancers perform high-energy choreography – and feel free to join in on the fun!
  • Let Jyldo guide you through a combination of dance and comedy to feel loose and liberated.
  • Experience musical performances by the Dirt Red Brass Band, opera and R&B artist Alexa Græ, hip-hop performer Mykele Deville, and DJ Danny Leroy.
  • Build a fort with artist Dan Osediacz using cardboard and other materials to have a place to hide away.
  • Imagine yourself as a giant winged creature by taking a photo in front of a new mural by CZR PRZ.
  • Write anonymous notes that will be incorporated into pop-up art installations in the alley with facilitator Natalie Pasquinelli.
  • Have an anonymous conversation with other attendees by answering prompts on chalkboard pillars painted by artist Tararchy.

The Portal, a monumental structure overlaid with an illuminated scene of alley activities returns to amplify the ACTIVATE experience. By their very nature, alleys are voids – the space between buildings. The Portal provides a sense of arrival and puts the alleyway in play with the streetscape. Designed by PORT Urbanism, the structure will display a photo montage comprised of contemporary and historic images to support each theme, inspiring passersby to give an alley a second glance and wonder about its history.

About Chicago Loop Alliance

Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA), the sole service provider for Special Service Area 1-2015, creates, manages, and promotes high-performing urban experiences, attracting people and investment to the Loop. For more information, please visit


ACTIVATE is a series of pop-up arts programs that encourage visitors to see the Loop anew. ACTIVATE transforms alleys and other urban locations into creative exhibition spaces that bring artists and the public together for an evening of exploration, interaction, and celebration of the arts. Chicago Loop Alliance launched the initiative in 2014. Over the past three seasons, ACTIVATE has generated nearly $1.7 million in estimated economic impact to Loop businesses, with nearly $1 million in 2016 alone. More than 47,000 people have attended ACTIVATE over the course of the series. “Linger Longer” is a program of exclusive offers and promotions to drive traffic to CLA business members before and after each event.

ACTIVATE sponsors include: School of the Art Institute of Chicago as presenting sponsor; Accesso Partners LLC, PNC Bank, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Little Things, and CH Distillery as title sponsors; Vitacoco and RX Bar as event sponsors; and TimeOut Chicago as media sponsor.

About the Curator

Salonathonthe curatorial team for the September 28 ACTIVATE, is an engine for experimental work, an inclusive creative community, and a great party.  It manifests every Monday night at Beauty Bar, and also in the form of residencies, retreats and partnerships beyond.  Since 2011, Salonathon has hosted thousands of performances and artists, and has nurtured the development of dozens of new projects and collaborations.  Salonathon is a home for underground, emerging and genre-defying art! Team members include founder Jane Beachy, Bindu Poroori, Joseph Varisco, Will Von Vogt, Corrie Besse, Maggie Vaughn, and DJs Danny LeRoy and All The Way Kay. Salonathon is partnering with AJ Ware to produce the Chicago Loop Alliance’s ACTIVATE. Learn more about Salonathon at

Pawn Works (aka Nick Marzullo) is the visual curator for this event. Pawn Works showcases progressive, contemporary artists with a focus on street art. It is comprised of collectors, proprietors, and facilitators of the arts, submerged in a period of kitsch, taking part in some of the fun along the way.

About the Artists

Jyldo (aka Jyl Fehrenkamp) is a dancer, choreographer and soft-rock enthusiast. Her creative work often fuses dance with burlesque-inspired performance art and has been seen in a variety of seedy hideaways in Chicago nightclubs and theaters.

Erin Kilmurray is a choreographer for the Search Party Dancers – a group with a curiosity to renegotiate lines between performer and spectator. With an emphasis on collaboration, her dances engage a broad array of artistic communities driven by a desire for innovative interactions.

Mykele Deville is a poet and rapper, reared on the West Side of Chicago. In Mykele’s words: “Nurtured by art, their process is planted in the open spaces, the hideaways, and within the light bearers where it seeks your glow. Born under Neptune. Stolen. Given my Brown life. Art is their only cover.”

ALEXA GRÆ is an artist whose work combines artistic disciplines informed by specialized academic training in music composition.  Joining opera with R&B, they challenge the lines between various art forms and their cultural boundaries in the everyday world.

The Dirt Red Brass Band is a 14-member New Orleans-inspired funk band based at the University of Chicago. Dirt Red is known (and despised by local police) for the loud parties they host in Hyde Park and throughout the city.

Alexander the Amazing (aka Alexander Knapp) is a circus artist, actor, musician, magician and performance artist born in Chicago. He transforms environments with circus, magic, and music acts in a variety of spaces and venues.

DJ Danny LeRoy is one of Salonathon’s beloved Resident DJs. In addition, Danny spins records and tracks all over Chicago, and is a Beauty Bar staff member when he’s not in the DJ booth.

Dan Osediacz is a multidisciplinary artist who is a regular friendly face and Beauty Bar staff member at Salonathon.  Whether constructing benches out of found objects or making whimsical sculptures, Dan brings playfulness to his practice.

Tararchy is the visual work of Tara Zanzig. Tararchy can be considered an idealistic, anti-authoritarian who emphasizes her role as an individual to contribute, not just consume. Tararchy uses art and its practice to create a sustainable relationship with the bigger picture.

PORT Urbanism

PORT is a leading-edge design consultancy whose work focuses on the analysis, visioning, design, and implementation of new forms of collective space and the public realm, ranging in scale from plazas, parks, and public waterfronts to institutional framework plans and regional planning strategies. The practice synthesizes professional expertise in urban design, landscape architecture, architecture, ecology, and urban planning in order to provide the hybrid model of design services necessary to negotiate today’s complex public realm challenges.

Header images: August 2017 ACTIVATE event, credit Kevin Kneeland, K&N Media.