If art is a reflection of the world around us, the pandemic has given the artists featured at the Going Dutch Festival in Elgin plenty of time for contemplation and inspiration.
“One thing we’ve seen in the submissions for this year’s festival is that the artists are sort of reacting and adapting to what COVID has made us all react to and adapt to,” the co said. -artistic director Amanda Harris. “It is clear to us that these voices were looking for an outlet and had not had one for some time because of COVID.”
The 11th annual festival, celebrating the female voice in dance, music, theater and the visual arts, begins Wednesday and ends June 12. This year’s iteration will feature outdoor performances, interactive workshops and a visual art exhibit available in person or online. It is produced by Side Street Studio Arts in Elgin.
“I’m so excited to see live performances again,” said Erin Rehberg, Executive Director of Side Street, co-artistic director of the event. “We have a mix of returning and new artists, who we always love. Returning artists mean we’re doing something good, and new ones allow the festival to evolve, grow and change.”
The festival features 25 performers, most of whom are from Illinois, but includes performers from across the United States. New to this year’s festival is the inclusion of two artists in weeklong residency. Chicago artists Sophie Allen and Jordan Reinwald will spend time at the Side Street Gallery to create, perform and engage with the community. Both artists create non-traditional dance works in response to the loss.
The event has been scaled down from previous years and will feature two days of main performances, but also includes the visual art gallery exhibition and many interactive workshops with the artists. The full program and $ 15 festival passes are available at www.sidestreetstudioarts.org/goingdutch.
“People really engage with the artists, both through the workshops, as well as talking to them before and after the shows,” Rehberg said.
Due to the pandemic, the organizers had to avoid the small spaces they prefer for performances.
“One of the committee’s favorite things about Going Dutch is seeing these performances and all this work in really intimate spaces,” said Rehberg. “We have moved outside to allow more distance between the performers and the audience, which we have been fighting against for years.”
Saturday’s first main performance will be at the Spring Street and Chicago Street parking lot.
“It will be as traditional as performing in a parking lot,” Rehberg said.
The following Saturday, June 12, is a touring performance that begins at the Martini Hall, moves to Riverside Drive and then to the Meraki Market.
Rehberg said there is always something special that stands out every year.
“A moment will shine,” she said. “While there are things that we love about every moment of a festival, there is always a moment when we feel good, that’s the motivation we needed to start over next year.”
“And I’m so excited to have that feeling again.”