The Chicago Artists Workshop began with a question: “How can Eighth Blackbird be helpful to other artists?” After nearly two decades of pursuing our mission to move music forward, we found ourselves in an extremely fortunate situation. Eighth Blackbird had an audience and a platform to reach them. We also had the physical space to rehearse, move, experiment, and create. Recognizing the advantage this infrastructure gave us, we came to the conclusion that offering these assets to other artists would have an undeniable impact.
Thus, the Chicago Artists Workshop was born. Specific tenets were central to the development of CAW. In addition to showcasing the stellar artistry of artists working in a wide range of genres and media, we wanted to create work for them during a time when the performance industry is enormously threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, we were determined for the series to be defined by its extraordinary caliber and creativity.
CAW’s streaming productions are marked by a cinematic multi-camera configuration, full lighting and audio support, and a modern performance aesthetic, creating a highly-polished broadcast product. Artists are also invited into the Eighth Blackbird studio for multi-day workshop residencies to rehearse, create, and refine production curation.
The Chicago Artists Workshop is made possible in part with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.