Last November, neighborhood staple Comfort Station received a $50,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to facilitate a two-way exchange between artistic communities in Chicago and Salvador, Brazil. The art space, which occupies the building you might know as “that little house in the middle of the Square,” will be collaborating with Projeto Ativa, an arts group in Salvador, on the project called Perto de Lá <> Close to There.
Eight to 10 artists from Salvador will visit Chicago in August of 2019, and then host eight to 10 artists from Chicago in early 2020. According to Comfort Station’s press release, the exchange is meant to “bring together a multi-disciplinary group of artists to develop collaborative work, compare models of arts-organizing, and create discourse around Latinx and Black identity in our respective cities.”
“These eight to 10 artists from various disciplines will spend 10 days in each city.,” Jordan Martins, the executive director of Comfort Station, told LoganSquarist. “Most of them will be doing some kind of public presentation like an exhibition or performance or concert, but we’re also focused on creating some exchanges and collaborations and conversations within the communities here.”
According to Martins, this means connecting Brazilian artists with certain artistic interests to the people in Chicago best suited to help them explore those interests, and vice versa.
Projeto Ativa, a group with whom Martins has worked previously, is the perfect partners for an exchange meant to foster learning and collaboration between international artistic communities, Martins said.
“Projeto Ativa operates with a similar mission as Comfort Station,” Martins said. “Activating public spaces, and by
Perto de Lá <> Close to There is also happening in collaboration with Harmonipan, a platform based in Salvador and Mexico City that produces international artistic projects. The final artists have not yet been selected for the exchange, but Martins is excited for what the project can provide for the artists, the cities of Salvador and Chicago, and the neighborhood of Logan Square.
“Our programming is going to be taking place all over the city, but we’re excited that there’s going to be a cohort of Brazilian showing and talking about their work, traveling and meeting artists around Logan Square, and comparing notes with the artistic community,” Martins said.