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Old and New Dreams


A year-long initiative begun in 2014.

The Old and New Dreams Festival was a major initiative of the organization in 2014. The three day event was the culminating event in HotHouse’s year-long series that explored immigration, migrations, exiles and transmutations of borders in a multi-disciplinary arts context.  The occasion of the Festival paid homage to one of HotHouse’s most steadfast institutional collaborators – The Association for the Advancement for Creative Musicians (AACM), on the cusp of their 50th Anniversary.  HotHouse has been one of the primary presenters of music performed by the individual members of the AACM for over 25 years. The weekend’s activities also paid tribute to the composer and musician Don Cherry for his enormous contributions to “world music” and groundbreaking achievements as an artist. A piece specially choreographed in Cherry’s honor was performed on Saturday night by Amansu Eason and dancers by the Muntu Dance Theater. 

Other homages to Cherry included the world premiere of the Chicago Underground Duo’s partnership with legendary saxophonist Pharoah Sanders and appearances by Rajanstani Sufi masters Lahka Khan with world-renowned Chicago percussionist Hamid Drake.  Additional Festival premieres included the debut concert appearance of Classic Black, led by acclaimed story teller Shanta Nurullah, the US debut of Amsterdam-based trio Oliver’s Cinema, and the return to Chicago of tenor saxophonist David Murray. The event also marked the first time legendary Karl Berger performed in Chicago. The entire lineup represented a snapshot of the kind of artists and endeavors HotHouse championed in its long history as a nationally recognized cultural leader. 

The board set the goals for the fest to: 

  • Bring visibility to the announcement that “HotHouse was back”
  • Bring publicity to the fact that we intended to locate on the Southside 
  • Celebrate and showcase the kind of artistic product we had long been known for
  • Test the experience of what working on the Southside would be like – what partners and allies we would work with?  – what market for our product exists? 

In all areas the event met or exceeded the goals of the organization. HotHouse received substantial publicity and critical recognition in major media (Tribune, WDCB, WBEZ, Chicago Reader, etc.). HotHouse was able to connect/re-connect with its base of African-American patrons, a primary objective of the event. HotHouse was able to convey its key talking points and effectively communicate its long term goals to a large audience. And artistically, the three-day program was a triumph in displaying a variety of voices and traditions in keeping with the Festival theme. These measures would be among our primary evidences that HotHouse benefited from the grant made by the Logan Foundation. 


Lahka Khan 

Karl Berger, Irene Sertso, Hamid Drake 

David Murray, Hamid Drake, and Jaribu Shahid

Ayanna Contreras 

FMP and Ewart Screening 

Douglas Ewart, Patric Mc Coy, Arlene Turner 

Song for Biko: Original Choreography (Amansu) with music. 12-minute new work 

One-way Ticket : Shanta, Emily Lansana, Zahra Baker, Ed Wilkerson, Avreeyal Ra, 

Ari Brown,Kirk Brown, piano; Yosef Ben Israel, bass; Avreeayl Ra, drums; and Dr. Cuz, percussion

Pharoah and the Underground : {pharoah sanders, rob mazurek, chad taylor

Olivers Cinema 

Mark Helias, Tony Malaby, Drew Gress 


Adam Rudolph 

Supreme Love 


Odean Pope

Black Lives Matter 

Needle Drop

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