CALL FOR ENTRIES: 2nd Floor Rear 24-Hour Festival

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 underappreciated 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 guerilla sculpture garden, a site-specific installation in an underpass, and a nomadic gallery in a handbag. This year, we’re digging deep into Chicago’s long history of underground and under-the-radar cultural spaces and artistic movements—from the motley public discourses of Hobohemia, to the proliferation of alternative spaces in the 1970s and the spread of Social Practice in more recent decades. We want to pay homage to Chicago’s ongoing cultural legacy by featuring events that recall these histories together with the spaces, projects, groups, and artists defining Windy City artistic practice today.

2nd Floor Rear _ Call for Proposals

We want you!

  • We are currently seeking spaces, artists, curators, and other cultural producers to host events that will take place between noon on February 1st and noon on February 2nd.
  • 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 1, to Sunday, February 2.
  • 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.
  • Events may take place in official 501c3 alternative gallery spaces, or they may take place in apartments, bars, storefronts, hallways, bathrooms, etc.
  • Event locations will be restricted to the northwest neighborhoods of Chicago (Logan Square, Humbolt Park, Wicker Park, Ukranian Village, Bucktown, etc.), OR locations a 15 minute walk or less from any blue line train station. This eases the strain of travel for the audience and prevents audience dispersal.
  • Please send:

◦                     a proposal (250-500 words) describing your event and location

◦                     a brief (250 words max) artist statement, curatorial statement, or bio

◦                     a Resume/CV

to no later than December 16. Relevant images and video are recommended, but are not required.

Got a space but no programming in mind? Let us know! We’d love to connect you with potential collaborators.

Questions? Comments? Email at

For more information, click here.