Logan Center for the Arts to celebrate opening with three-day festival Oct. 12-14

The new Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago will officially open to the public in October with a three-day art festival.

The Logan Launch Festival will take place Oct. 12-14 and offer the first chance for the entire campus community, neighborhood residents, and audiences from across Chicago to experience all that the Logan Center will make possible.

“The Logan Launch Festival will highlight the breadth of arts study and performance opportunities currently taking place across the University, from theater to visual arts to music to the written word. The festival represents the unique mix of professional, student and community programming that we anticipate at the Logan Center for years to come,” said Bill Michel, Executive Director of the Logan Center.

The Logan Center, which opened for a preview period in March, is a new home for arts scholarship, practice, and presentation at the University of Chicago. Designed by renowned architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, the 184,000 square-foot, 11-story structure integrates classrooms, performance spaces, exhibition areas, studios, and and rehearsal rooms to create a hub of arts activity for the campus and wider community. The building also features generous public space, including large lobby areas, an outdoor courtyard, a gallery and two elevated lounges. The new Logan Center Café will open in October.

"The arts are a powerful catalyst for individual and community transformation, and arts institutions like the Logan Center play an essential role in fostering such enrichment and growth, with a significant emphasis on our youth—the future of this community,” said 20th Ward Alderman Willie Cochrane, who co-sponsored a community open house at the Logan Center in March. “Fruitful partnerships between the Logan Center, the University of Chicago and members of the Woodlawn community are already underway, and I look forward to many more in the years to come."

The Logan Launch Festival will feature ongoing activities throughout the building and courtyard, representing the wide range of arts at UChicago. Highlights include:

  • A festival kick-off concert by Mexican roots rockers Los Cenzontles with special guest Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo (Noon-1:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 12)
  • Architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien in conversation about the Logan Center, their first Chicago commission (6-7:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 12)
  • The launch of the Logan Center’s monthly family programming series with a LEGO animation workshop, Barrel of Monkeys, “That’s Weird, Grandma,” and a performance by the Muntu Dance Drummers, and more (10 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 13,)
  • Popular Chicago theater director Sean Graney mounting the first public reading of his 12-hour Greek tragedy performance cycle, “All Our Tragic,” modeled after the ancient Greeks’ communal festivals (1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13-1 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 14)
  • A reading of new works by poet and UChicago professor Adam Zagajewski commissioned for the event (4:30-5:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 13)
  • A reunion performance by UChicago’s Jazz X-Tet, directed by acclaimed jazz musician and Director of the UChicago Jazz Ensembles Mwata Bowden (7:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 13)
  • “Wall Text,” an exhibition exploring the relationship between text and space, featuring works by UChicago alumni and current and past faculty (ongoing)
  • Sound installations, a performance, and screening by renowned artist Richard Lerman (ongoing)

More than 50 events will take place throughout the weekend. Additional schedule details will be released in the coming weeks at loganlaunch.uchicago.edu. University Theater’s production of “Proof” and the University of Chicago Presents performance by Turtle Island Quartet are ticketed; all other programs are free.

About UChicago Arts: The University of Chicago is home to a vibrant array of arts activity. UChicago Arts includes the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, the Arts and Public Life initiative and its flagship project, the Washington Park Arts Incubator, and the Richard and Mary L. Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry. These initiatives join academic departments and programs in the Division of the Humanities and the College, as well as professional organizations, including the Court Theatre, Oriental Institute Museum, Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago Presents, and more than 60 student arts organizations in forging an integrative model for practice, presentation and study.

Media contact: Beth Silverman/Elizabeth Neukirch, The Silverman Group, Inc., 312.932.9950, Beth@Silvermangroupchicago.com.



Logan-Launch-Los Cenzontles
Logan-Launch-Sean Graney
Logan-Launch-Turtle Island Quartet

The Logan Launch Festival is a three-day festival celebrating the opening of the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, a hub for the vibrant arts scene at the University of Chicago and a destination for the South Side and greater Chicago.

Photo by Jason Smith

Acclaimed New York architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien will discuss the design of the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts—their first Chicago commission—and how designing creative spaces has influenced their work. Guided architectural tours of the building will be offered at 5 p.m. on Oct. 12, followed by the architects' conversation from 6-7:30 p.m. in the Performance Hall.

Jason Smith

The Reva Logan Inaugural Poetry Series Reading will feature Adam Zagajewski, one of Poland’s most famous contemporary poets and the Ferdinand Schevill Distinguished Service Professor in the John U. Nef Committee on Social Thought. Zagajewski will read his own world premiere work, “We Know What Art Is,” from 4:30-5:30 p.m. on Saturday Oct. 12 in the Performance Penthouse. Zagajewski first became well known as one of the leading poets of the Generation of ’68’ or the Polish New Wave.


Courtesy of Adam Zagajewski

A special courtyard performance by Bay Area-based Los Cenzontles and Los Lobos singer-songwriter David Hidalgo is scheduled from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 12. Los Cenzontles (Nahuatl for “the mockingbirds”) mix contemporary and traditional Mexican instruments to create a powerful sound infused with the soul of Mexico’s rural roots.

All Our Tragic Director Sean Graney will share a conversation with Theater and Performance Studies director Heidi Coleman from 1:30-2:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct 12 in Theater East. The UChicago premiere of Graney’s adaptation of all 32 surviving Greek tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides will be performed by both professional and student actors from 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13 to 1 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 14 in Performance Lab 501. This presentation is modeled after the Ancient Greeks’ communal festivals or gatherings, which encompassed music, theater, politics and eating.


Courtesy of Sean Graney

Mwata Bowden, acclaimed jazz musician and director of the UChicago Jazz Ensembles, will be joined on stage, at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct 13 in the Performance Hall, by University Jazz X-tet alums to celebrate the group's 18th anniversary. The “Jazz X-tet Reunion Band: Beyond 5 Lines and 4 Spaces” will debut new music inspired by gardens in Paris, Japan, and Vancouver, and composed by Bowden and X-tet alums.

Photo by Jason Smith

Two-time Grammy Award winner in the Best Classical Crossover category, Turtle Island Quartet fuses the classical quartet aesthetic with contemporary American musical styles. The quartet’s Logan Center debut will draw from their 2010 album “Have You Ever Been…?,” tackling works written and inspired by the legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix. This performance is ticketed, $35 general, $5 students. A pre-concert talk at 2 p.m. in the Performance Hall precedes the concert at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 14.

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