Soup for 2nd Floor Rear: A fundraiser and community meal

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Our 2015 Indiegogo campaign ends this Saturday (January 24) at 11:59 PT, and we’re capping it off with a community meal to benefit the campaign.


So how does this work? 

We’ll round up pots of soup and other goodies from friends, artists, and neighborhood partners, schlep it all to Crown Liquors, and set it up dive bar banquet-style. You’ll show up, contribute a pay-what-you-want donation, and enjoy a great meal with friends and friendly strangers. (We’ll take cash, check, or on-site contributions to our Indiegogo.) Wash it down with Crown Liquors’ super affordable drink specials. Stick around after the meal for drinks and dancing, tunes compliments of DJ Jay Parkin. To recap:

What: A fundraiser and community meal to benefit 2nd Floor Rear 2015

When: Saturday, February 24 at 7pm

Where: Crown Liquors (2821 N. Milwaukee Ave.)

Why: Because you ❤ us, and want to hang out

RSVP on Facebook and invite friends here.

Can’t make it? You can still contribute! Follow this link to our Indiegogo campaign to pledge your support by January 24.

Want to donate a pot of soup, or other edible? Get in touch with us ASAP at

Warm in the Winter Festival Readiness Kits

art bags 2nd floor version 5 letter 

+  Screen Shot 2015-01-08 at 1.29.31 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-08 at 1.33.23 PM =


A donation of $30 or more to our 2015 Indiegogo Campaign gets you a canvas tote (item 1) emblazoned with our 2015 poster design, courtesy 2Fr designer-in-perpetual-residence, Silvia Vasilescu (item 2). The tote will be filled with stuff to make you warm and keep you going (items 3 and 4). Proceeds benefit 2nd Floor Rear 2015. A donation of $30 gets you a better festival with more perks, and some sweet essentials that’ll make attending easier. It’s a reward that gives both ways.

Pledge your support here.

2nd Floor Rear 2015 VOLUNTEER-INS


Sometimes it takes a village to raise village-wide event. We 2nd-floorers need all the help we can get to get this year’s festival off the ground. During the last three weekends in January, we’ll be collaborating with partner spaces around the city to host volunteer-ins.

What’s a volunteer-in? Think of it as a drop-in jam session for people with time, administrative skills, enthusiasm, and/or arts-and-craftsiness to spare. During each session, we’ll have a list of short(ish) tasks, complete with pointers and instructions, that just about anyone can complete. Tasks will vary, from posting fliers to sewing, folding, research, computery things, and more.

Each volunteer-in features sneak peek programming relevant to 2nd Floor Rear 2015, as well as refreshments, conversation, camaraderie, a chance to meet people involved with the festival, and deep gratitude. As an added bonus, we’re awarding an arty (or festival-related) prize to the person who completes the most tasks over the course of all three weekends.

Continue reading 2nd Floor Rear 2015 VOLUNTEER-INS

The 2FR 2015 Fun(d)raiser is Live!

Pledge your support to 2nd Floor Rear 2015 here!

Even DIY art festivals have bills to pay. Since we don’t take in money from sales or advertising, and aren’t yet a 501c3, we have to get creative about where the money comes from. We did a little summer fundraiser with Threewalls and ten generous artists, and entry fees from accepted project proposals will cover printing, but we still have a long way to go. That’s why we’re calling on you, our crazy, wonderful collaborators, fans, and supporters to give a little to our 2015 Indiegogo campaign, and get a lot in return.

Continue reading The 2FR 2015 Fun(d)raiser is Live!

2nd Floor Rear 2015 Call for Proposals

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. Each February, 2nd Floor Rear connects artists with new audiences, helps underfunded and under-appreciated alternative spaces get some exposure, and enlivens a dreary winter weekend at the peak of Chicago’s bleakest season. Past artworks, events, and happenings ranged from late-night studio square dancing to a guerrilla sculpture garden, a site-specific installation in an underpass, and a nomadic gallery in a handbag.

The curatorial premise for 2nd Floor Rear 2015 is more of a feeling than an idea; it comes from the nearly untranslatable Danish word hygge. Hygge is conceptually and culturally specific to Denmark’s subarctic lifestyle. It roughly describes the sense of contentment drawn from camaraderie during a long winter.

With another long winter upon us, we want to build a festival around this feeling. We want to adopt the hygge concept as our mantra and put it into practice. This year, we want art, performances, gatherings, happenings, installations, and events that warm us, that draw us in, that make us stay. We want prolonged engagement and mutual stewardship. We want to experience the intimate, the meditative. We want anti-spectacular wonder. We want practical, clear-eyed shamanism and radical tenderness. We want to feel present and connected even in our winter fugue states. We want a safe place to be vulnerable and wildish. We want things to resonate–to find us again days later while we’re waiting in line at the Walgreens checkout counter. The curatorial premise of 2nd Floor Rear 2015 is Chicagoans’ annual substitution of “stay warm” for “see you later”; it’s also the hypnotic quiet at winter’s core that makes the season’s deep melancholy savorable. Continue reading 2nd Floor Rear 2015 Call for Proposals

Presenting Mundane Talismans for STARWALKER

Mundane Talisman web

2nd Floor Rear proudly presents Mundane Talismans, an exhibition and silent auction for STARWALKER, Threewalls’ 2014 benefit gala.

Works for auction by

Ali Aschman

Josh Dihle

Danny Floyd

Ellen Nielsen

Bobbi Meier

Nora Nieves

Betsy Odom

Janna Van Hasselt

Erin Woodbrey

Erin Washington

Additional work by

Corkey Sinks



Aesthetic Divination Machine

a performance by the Society of Smallness


7pm-9pm VIP Dinner

9pm-1am General Admission

9-9:30pm performance by the Society of Smallness


For tickets and more information, visit

To preview the silent auction, visit