Call for Proposals: 2nd Floor Rear 2013

2FR proposals color

2nd Floor Rear is back for another year!

2nd Floor Rear is a 24-hour festival of experimental spaces, apartment galleries, and ephemeral and migrant projects, celebrating Chicago’s vibrant community of alternative and DIY art spaces.


A  little background:

In 1980, the Neoists, a little-known avant-garde subculture descended from Fluxus, held their first annual “International Neoist Apartment Festival,” or APT, a four-day long event complete with concerts, performances, film screenings, and installations, in the apartment of one the group’s members. Drawing on the 24-hour block party model (as with Chattanooga, Tennessee’s Mainx24 festival) 2nd Floor Rear adapts the spirit of APT to a condensed, 24-hour timeline, with activities ongoing from noon on Saturday until noon the following Sunday.

In its 2012 iteration, 2nd Floor Rear featured local spaces and collectives such as the Happy Collaborationists, Defibrillator, Carousel Space Project, Logan Square Comfort Station, Pop-up Art Loop, the Peanut Gallery, and the Milk Factory, as well as artists like Charles Anthony Lewis, Autumn Hayes, Chiara Galimberti, Kiam Marcelo Junio, and more. A myriad of artworks, events, and happenings from late-night studio square dancing and a dream yoga sleepover, to a guerilla sculpture garden, a site-specific installation in an underpass, and exhibition openings, with attendance in the hundreds and a shout-out from Tempest Hazel during the “Chicago’s Having a Moment” panel discussion the following May, marked 2nd Floor Rear 2012’s staggering, unforeseen success. The festival connected artists with new audiences, gave exposure to underappreciated alternative spaces, and enlivened a dreary winter weekend at the peak of Chicago’s bleakest season.

Drawing on public enthusiasm for 2nd Floor Rear 2012, we want to keep up the festival’s momentum this year, and improve it qualitatively and quantitatively by adding more participants, a greater range of  stuff to do and see, and a post-festival digital catalog, the 2nd Floor Reader.

We want you!

We are currently seeking spaces, artists, curators, and programmers to host events that will take place between noon on February 9th and noon on February 10th.

  • The festival will last a full 24 hours, meaning that there will be an event happening at any given time from noon on Saturday, February 9, to Sunday, February 10.
  • Events may include, but are not limited to: pop-up galleries and exhibition openings, performances, happenings, concerts, film screenings, sing-alongs, dance parties, group yoga, feasts, storytelling, interactive performance games, Pecha Kucha, open studios, sewing circles, recovery brunch, and/or conceptual puppet shows. The imaginative, the unusual, and the radically hospitable are encouraged.
  • Event locations will be restricted to the northwest neighborhoods of Chicago–specifically those near the blue line (Logan Square, Humbolt Park, Wicker Park, Ukranian Village, Bucktown, etc.) –in order to ease the strain of travel for the audience and to prevent audience dispersal. Events may take place in official alternative spaces, or they may take place in apartments, bars, storefronts, hallways, bathrooms, etc. Alternative spaces located in other neighborhoods may still participate so long as they use a pop-up space near the blue line.
  • Selected participants will be required to pay a $15 fee to cover the cost of promotional materials.
  • Please send a 250-word proposal describing your event and location to no later than January 13, our extended deadline.  Relevant images and video may accompany your proposal, but are not required.
  • Questions? Comments? Email us at

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