Multi-disciplinary Pivot Arts Fest returns to live for 2021

Returning to live events, Pivot Arts announced Friday that “Reimagining Utopia” will be the Edgewater-based presenting organization’s theme for its 2021 multi-arts festival, running May 21-June 6 at various locations. Twelve artists were selected to create small-scale live works or video installations ideal for safe viewing. In making these works, each artist is asked to consider the events of the past year—including COVID-19 and resurgence of Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of George Floyd’s killing at the hands of police—and to imagine a better post-pandemic world.

A cornerstone of this year’s festival takes place near the 5500 block of N. Broadway. The Edge theatre complex and Color Circle Studios serve as a roaming gallery featuring live performance by dancers Ishti Collective and Danielle Ross, plus Jessi Realzola performing Christin Eve Cato's solo show on the power of women throughout history, “A Woman’s Armor.” Ishti—an ensemble featuring South Asian dancers Tuli Bera, Preeti Veerlapti and Kinnari Vora formed in 2016—presents a world premiere expanding on their weekly Zoom meditations called “Prana.” Solo artist Danielle Ross explores the built environment and how architectural design and humanity interact in “Granular Peripheries.”

The series, which runs for nine performances throughout the festival, also features brand-new video installations by Nefertiti Abdulmalik; Maggie Kubley and Minnie Productions; and Propelled Animals, a collective including choreographers Esther Baker-Tarpaga and Raquel Monroe, who perform in a work on the topic of social agency and self-empowerment called “State(d).”

Additional events take place at Rivendell Theatre (5779 N. Ridge) and on the grounds of Colvin House, a fantastic mansion at 5940 N. Sheridan Rd. that serves as a co-working and event space. Two events are hosted at Colvin: On May 30, The Wonder Wagon performs a family-friendly puppetry show followed by a puppet-building workshop. Kaia String Quartet will play two performances on June 6, featuring music by Latin American composers. At Rivendell, 3Arts Awardee Laksha Dantran will present a video installation based on her experience as a transgender woman during the pandemic (date TBD).

All live events are carefully planned according to health and safety guidelines and masks will be required of all performers and audience members. Pivot Arts will maintain a digital footprint through the festival, too, with new, streamable works by Perceptions Theatre, Sami Ismat and Nora Sharp.
Tickets to the Pivot Arts Festival go on sale April 30. For more information, click the organization page below or visit