Going Dutch Festival returns to downtown Elgin May 24-27

The eighth annual Going Dutch Festival, a celebration of the female voice in dance, music, theater, and the visual arts, returns to downtown Elgin for a second year May 24-27.

The event, produced by Side Street Studio Arts, will be held in various locations around downtown Elgin, including Eastern Groove Studio, Elgin Art Showcase, Imago, Martini Room, and the studios.

It will feature a visual art gallery, live music, performances, and a range of workshops, talks, and panels featuring the work and performances of more than 300 artists.

Festival passes are currently on sale for only $25 and single day passes for $10.

A panel of seven professional artists selected a group of visual and performing artists, who self-identify as female and hail from all over Illinois, as well as Idaho, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Canada.

Featured artists include Barbara Bickel, Maria Blanco, The Brass Menagerie, Celeste Burns, Amanda Cantrell Roche, Courtny Chatham, Connor Cornelius, Abigayle Cryderman, Dyanna Daniels, Emma Draves, Dropshift Dance, Jane Erlandson, Yrlen Facio, Kristi Faulkner Dance, Carrie Gant, Brenna Ginsberg, Christine Hands, Jennifer Harwell, Georgia Hiatt, Chris Johnson, jorsTAP Chicago, Kalapriya Dance Company, Saffron Klekamp, Talia Koylass, Julie Leir-VanSickle, Kera Ling, Mallory Linehan, Haley McElwee, Amanda Milligan, Emily Navarra, Jamie Neely, Janelle O'Malley, Rebecca Pappas, Natalie Pivoney, Shaina Read, Michelle Richardella, Brandy A. Rogers, Suttle Dance, Gina T'ai, Thank You So Much For Coming, Chloe Topf with Lance Long, Rosie Trump, Emma Vassallo, and more.

For the second year, the festival committee has selected an Illinois-based artist to be the recipient of the Going Dutch Festival commission, which includes financial and technical support of their new work, to be premiered at the May festival.

The 2018 recipient is choreographer and filmmaker Talia Koylass of Chicago.

"As an emerging choreographer and filmmaker, it is easy to feel shut out from opportunities due to lack of experience," Koylass said. "People are quick to write you off for not having the weight of a big name or a critically-acclaimed work, and minimize the effort it takes to break into the field.

"The Going Dutch Festival committee does not include those people," Koylass said. "I am visible to them with the experiences I've had and now, they see a story that needs to be told and a group of black girls from the South Side of Chicago that need to tell it."

Koylass' film "The Good Christian" addresses religion and spirituality in the black community from various vantage points and explores how blacks have used something that often tries to exclude them to their benefit. "The Good Christian" will have its world premiere from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 24, at Imago, 216 S. Prairie St. in downtown Elgin.

The event will feature additional works by Koylass and a reception in celebration of the artist. The event is free and open to the public.

New to the festival this year is a partnership with Elgin Public House, "The Buffet Cabaret." It will be held at 6 p.m. Friday, May 25, and 12:30 p.m. Saturday, May 26. "The Buffet Cabaret" includes a tasty Elgin Public House meal and an intimate Going Dutch performance, featuring a smorgasbord of Going Dutch artists!

Featured visual artist Barbara Bickel of Calgary (Alberta, Canada) will install work at Side Street Studio Arts and host two workshops: a Trance-Based Inquiry Workshop at noon Saturday, May 25, and a "Nap-In" workshop at noon Sunday, May 26.

The inquiry workshop will introduce participants to a basic trance process from which creative works can be later developed. The "Nap-In" is based in the contemporary practice of Socially Engaged Art, where individuals' lives and experiences become the source of the art and art making. The "Nap-In" workshop will culminate with a pop-up performance later Saturday afternoon.

In an effort to make the festival more accessible for 2018, day passes were created. These passes can be purchased for only $10 online or $12 at the festival, allowing the audience to participate in as much of the festival as they want on a certain day, including workshop, talks, and performances.

"On the whole, the Going Dutch Committee was thrilled by the work submitted this year," said Erin Rehberg, Going Dutch Festival artistic director. "We are always excited to get amazing artists in once place for a few days, but this year, in particular, these artists have a lot to say. Their work is charged. I can't wait to watch every second of this year's festival, and am so glad we have brought it to my hometown of Elgin again this year."

To purchase tickets or for more information, visit the Going Dutch Festival at or call (847) 429-2276.

Christine Hands' "A Duet With My Sister" will be featured at the 2018 Going Dutch Festival. Hands also will show work in "The Buffet Cabaret" at Elgin Public House. Courtesy of Jonathan Hsu
The annual Going Dutch Festival in downtown Elgin features talks and workshops in conjunction with visiting artists. Courtesy of Roberto Martinez
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