LOGAN SQUARE — Elastic Arts is joining a long list of Chicago music venues and performance spaces resuming in-person shows as the city reopens.
The Logan Square venue at 3429 W. Diversey Ave. is opening to the public Friday for the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The Vincent Davis Quartet is slated to perform at 9 p.m. Tickets cost $10 and can be bought online. To start, capacity will be limited to 50 people. Doors open at 8:30 p.m.
“It feels fantastic,” said Adam Zanolini, Elastic Art’s executive director. “It feels like a great new beginning … . It’s also slightly daunting because we haven’t done this in a year and a half.”
Elastic Arts was founded in 1998 by a group of artists, some of them Northwestern University students. The group’s first performance space was in Pilsen. The founders launched a formal programming lineup and moved to a rehabbed Humboldt Park church in 2002 and then to its current Logan Square home above the Family Dollar in 2005.
For several years, the venue has hosted a range of shows, from live music and multi-disciplinary performances to literary readings, art exhibitions and film and video screenings.
Like venues across the city, Elastic Arts has struggled to survive the pandemic. For more than a year, the Logan Square spot was unable to host in-person shows and performances, events that serve as the nonprofit’s lifeblood. The shutdown also had a profound impact on the musicians and artists who rely on gigs for survival.
“All of the people that make this place live and sing and be what it is were really, really struggling and Elastic was not separate from those struggles,” Zanolini said.
Organization leaders were able to raise $30,000 for struggling musicians and artists through an online fundraiser. To keep the venue afloat, the leaders pulled in grants from the federal government and foundations and pivoted to hosting virtual events. Elastic Arts was able to make it through thanks to those efforts, Zanolini said.
“It was really a lot of soul searching for 15 months,” he said.
With the city reopening, Zanolini and his team are thrilled to get back to doing what they love most: bringing people together through music and art. People are encouraged to buy tickets in advance.
“A lot of really cool things are happening, and we can finally share it with the public again,” Zanolini said. “It’s great to be thinking about people coming to the space, and celebrating these really, really unique forms of expression that we love so much. Before this, we never thought we could live without it. We can’t live well without it. We really need to do what we do.”
Subscribe to Block Club Chicago. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.