Thursday, April 22
EE's appearance as Zombie Clowns
and performance

Roscoe's Tavern
3354 N. Halsted
(773) 281-3355
6-10 p.m.: FREE
Conact: Tom LaPorte (312) 617-7719

chicago evil clown convention

******** click here for the printable poster******

(Chicago)‹In the first event of its kind, all the participants of the 7th Annual North Halsted Street Halloween Parade are to be guests at a reception in their honor. The occasion is a neighborhood celebration of the ³art² that came from the Evil Clown Project in last year¹s parade. Guests will include the evil clowns, makeup artists, musicians, street performers, fire breathers, the parade committee, the Triangle Neighbors Association organizers, Chicago Special Event Management, WNEP Theatre and others who came together in the unprecedented event.

evil clown parade, environmental encroachment marching band

³It may seem strange to re-live Halloween in April, but everything about this has been pretty strange,² said Jim Ludwig, President of the Triangle Neighbors Association. ³The art will be an event in itself.²

The Evil Clown Reception will be held at Roscoe¹s (3400 N. Halsted) from 6 pm to 10 pm on April 22, 2004. An awards ceremony will be held, and 21 stunning evil clown portraits by Dimitre will be unveiled for the first time.

The Evil Clown Project started when parade organizers asked Chicago Assistant Water Management Commissioner Tom LaPorte to help establish the ³Evil Clown² theme at last year¹s parade. They wanted him to be the official Evil Clown leading the parade. Before he was done, he had assembled 5 makeup artists, 30 volunteer evil clowns (both actors and friends), arranged for WNEP Theater to become Clown Central, recruited a clown rock band, and won the support of both Ludwig¹s team and the parade producers at Chicago Special Events Management (CSEM).

³We had a good feeling about this, and it just kept getting better,² said CSEM producer Courtney Lohmann. Every time Tom and his team called up, there was something new,² she said.


The make-up artists were told they¹d be treated ³like concert pianists² for an evening, and given the best materials. Local photographer Dimitre volunteered his time to make portraits of the evil clowns, providing them with documentation of their work.

The Evil Clown Reception will celebrate the event, and showcase Dimitre¹s photographs, which have been printed on canvas (3¹ by 4¹), by Sergio Castro. Castro¹s employer, Hewitt Associates, supported his efforts with time and material.

Among the evil clowns were Alderman Tom Tunney (44th) and Mike O¹Connor, brand manager for Effen Vodka. Effen immedialy signed on to help sponsor the reception.

³Then we got ambitious,² says LaPorte. ³We assembled‹for the first time‹all of the street performance groups in town. This was the first time they all came together, and it worked well.²

The groups included the People¹s Republic of Delicious Food, SPUN (fire breathers and fire dancers), Environmental Encroachment, TransAmoeba, Typewriter, and the entire 30-member cast of ³The Haunting on Marcey Street² (Collaboraction¹s haunted house project).

³The great thing was that everyone got what they hoped for here,² said Ludwig. ³The parade got an explosion of color and spectacle. The makeup artists get stunning documentation. Dimitre gets a gallery of remarkable images. Everyone came together for all the right reasons,² he said.

The 7th Annua North Halsted Street Halloween Parade far exceeded all previous years with 10,000 people lining the street. The reception will see a number of the original artists performing.

The project was a precursor to the Lake View Dance Project, in which organizers recruited 60 modern dancers to perform in stores during a local ³Jollypalooza² shopping festival in exchange for in-kind sponsorship by merchants.

³We¹re finding new ways to marry small business communities with local arts communities. It¹s working because everyone draws real value from the arrangement,² said LaPorte.

Sponsors of the Halloween Parade included the Northalsted Area Merchants Association, with support for the Evil Clown project also coming from the Central Lake View Merchant¹s Association and the Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce.

The public is invited to the Evil Clown Reception without charge.


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