These artists know how to swing, slam, and get the pARTy started
We hope that you’ve taken this week to recover from your Halloween festivities, because ARTini is back in a big way – and who doesn’t want to party for a good cause? On November 8th, New Arts Forum’s signature event returns to Lumen for a night of food, drink, and live performances, all to benefit Urban Gateways’ arts education programs for Chicago youth. And in case you can’t wait until Friday, we’re giving you the low-down on the talented artists who will be performing at the event (they’re amazing, but don’t take our word for it – come see for yourselves!).
Riley Wimes Jr. and Margot Toppen (Big Time Swing)
Riley Wimes Jr. and Margot Toppen, two Urban Gateways dance teaching artists, have been dancing and teaching together since 1998 and together form Big Time Swing. They are well versed in Lindy Hop, Charleston, Collegiate Shag, Balboa and East Coast Swing, as well as the history of jazz music and dance, and routinely teach and perform for Chicago area students. They strive to capture the spirit of Harlem’s Savoy Ballroom back in the heyday of our nation’s great Swing Era. Riley and Margot’s dynamic and high-energy dance style is something you won’t want to miss.
Chicago Slam Works
Building on Chicago’s unique heritage as the stomping grounds of many great writers and the birthplace of modern performance (“slam”) poetry, Chicago Slam Works’ performances present a guided tour of the city’s poetic landscape. Some of Chicago’s best poets bring the spoken word to life through their own original work and inspire students in Chicago schools to create their own version of the city through writing. Chicago Slam Works is an Urban Gateways touring group, and is headed by Executive Director, J.W. Basilo, who is also affiliated with Urban Gateways as a literary teaching artist. Take a look at the group in action right here: