The Rectory is developing into a home for artist collaboration and studio work in the Austin neighborhood.
The Rectory 2017
“How do we engage with ideas and institutions that are set up to provide a dynamic and supportive community, but often end up causing pain?”
On the evening of May 28th as Florida-born and west side-born again host Leah Gipson, along with the Austin Neighborhood Studio Co-op & Chicago Home Theater Festival presented an evening of food, participatory theater, photography, and music. The event took place at ‘The Rectory,’ a collaborative artist studio partnership between St. Martin’s Episcopal Church and local community artists. The evening featured performances by We Say Yepp, (The Youth Empowerment Performance Project,) ICAH, (Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health,) photography installations by Nicole Harrison and Cassandra Davis, and musical performances by Avery R Young and members of St Martin’s congregation, Oscar Douglas-Brown and Larry and Rahsaan Nance.
host, Leah Gipson & artistic producer Allie Stephens
The Rectory 2016
The Rectory receives the Propeller Fund for a new program, the Austin Neighborhood Studio Co-op.
The Austin Neighborhood Studio Co-op is a supportive initiative for the development of “The Rectory,” a new collaborative artist studio partnership between St. Martin’s Episcopal Church and local community artists. The collaborative conceptualized the Austin Neighborhood Studio Co-op to explore the cultural context of the space, an empty rectory, and community. The project aims to generate opportunities for artist production and programming in the area.
The Rectory 2015
West side "born again" artist, Leah Gipson will begin exploring a contemporary conversation between the church and the studio on Chicago's west side. The Rectory is a new a collaborative artist studio space envisioned by Leah Gipson and operated by St. Martin's Episcopal Church in the Austin community. St. Martin's is a church known for its commitment to inclusive community and social transformation as well a its relationship to music, performance, film and arts education. Currently, Leah is developing a series of participatory projects that use science fiction and fantasy to imagine how social justice works.
Tales from the New American Hood is an experimental makers' project that will introduce The Rectory and arts-based research to the community. The project will inaugurate the studio space with storytelling, creative resistance, and divine healing. Tales from the New American Hood: Episode 1 featured local Austin residents, Oscar and Cheryl, who shared stories about facing injustice on the basis of identity. Community participants imagined science fiction "restor[y]ative narratives" in response to their stories. Tales from the New American Hood: Epistode 1 partnered with Chicago Artists Month 2015.