CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–November 11, 2016
By: Marguerite Horberg, Founder of HotHouse
We started HotHouse in 1987 and our very first program was the All- Chicago Artists Memorial Tribute to Harold Washington. We formed our non-profit organization, The Center for International Performance and Exhibition because we were so moved by his leadership and the possibilities for unity that so many across Chicago worked to achieve.
In the 1980’s and early nineties, many of our earliest programs were organized by Nicaraguans, Guatemalans and El Salvadorans fleeing the Contra wars plaguing their lands. We were proud to present Spanish- language programming in prime time and help refugees raise money to send home. HotHouse was also an early co-host of ACT-UP events and gave shelter to the burgeoning queer rights movements at a time when frat- boy bars and rock n’ roll nightclubs were all that existed on the Northside.
Throughout our past thirty years our driving mission has been to look at the most disenfranchised members of our society and find opportunities to amplify their struggles through culture. To find the means to use our resources collectively and in solidarity with the least among us.
In a practical way, this has meant creating accessible venues, funding projects led by youth of color, emphasizing women artists and providing meeting space for social change activists.
The entire reason HotHouse exists is to expand tolerance and the embrace of “the other” among us – whether it is devoting every dime we can scrape up to presenting international cultural exchange or giving voice to emerging talent with no other outlet for expression.
Like many of us living in urban America, we woke up Wednesday November 9 in a state of utter shock and disbelief.
As people who are used to developing ways to be critically engaged with one another- the spectre of violence towards us – women, queers, physically and mentally challenged, immigrant, Black, Muslim, Mexican, is a deeply frightening event.
While many of us have grown cynical of multi-culturalism and its failures to deliver equity or justice , we have also been hopeful of the ways alliances can be forged to ensure sovereign leadership while intersectionalities can be woven that still propel the movement for social change forward.
It is this hope that will carry us now.
Now more than ever we need to find paths to connect in public – to fight the lure to stay inside, surf the internet or watch TV- to give in to despair.
Creating new experiences together will be the most powerful way we can demonstrate our resistance.
& Arts and Culture are some of the most powerful tools we have in our arsenal.
So in this moment we at HotHouse look to joining with you to make the strongest, most powerful joyful noise we can make.
We look to be of service collectively – to find ways to make our love more visible.
Additional information about HotHouse can be found here.