LOGAN SQUARE — A date has been announced for the Bloomingdale Trail’s grand opening and one local troubadour is planning an interactive community blow-out along the route to celebrate.
Humboldt Park-based Opera-Matic will continue its mission to “bring moving visual art to the streets” as the group, led by Humboldt Park resident and musician Mark Messing, coordinates a community art and music show on the trail for the June 6 grand opening.
So far that set list already consists of handmade movable art, hands-on “maker stations” for the public and local punk rock marching band Mucca Pazza — a group of big bang musicians that defy classification with their unique brand of brass band, line dance and rock and roll.
The group is set to play one end of the 2.7-mile park while the Brazilian percussion ensemble Bateria Quilombola plays the other end, according to Messing. After establishing a groove, the two bands will march down the length of the park, crossing in the middle and ending on opposite sides.
It’ll be “a joyous train wreck,” Messing said Tuesday with an infectious laugh — much in line with the infectious sound of the group he co-founded but stepped down from on Halloween 2014. Mucca Pazza and Messing have gone their separate ways, but the band and Opera-Matic still come together for community gatherings like the 606 opener.
“We want people who live around the park to be on the park that day,” Messing said. “Opera-Matic and The Trust for Public Land want everyone to feel welcome there.”
Community involvement will be facilitated through outreach from local organizations “that hold the world together,” Messing said at Opera-Matic's workspace, 1757 N. Kimball Ave., noting partners such as the Association House of Chicago, Logan Square Neighborhood Association and McAuliffe Elementary School, where he works as a music teacher.
Messing said he’s inspired by the many local community groups fighting for a healthier and more amenable environment for low-income and long-term residents, and he hopes to combine those forces with a call-to-artists for several slots yet to be filled.
Aside from the music and live performance, residents can get involved in a more hands-on capacity by creating flags and other movable art at “maker-stations” set up along the length of the park. In line with the opening day theme of “procession” and its own mission to increase visual art in public spaces, all of Opera-Matic’s opening day programming will be movable and designed to encouraging exploration of the new 606 park — which is nearing its final stage of construction.
Artists can send an email to OperaMaticArtist@gmail.com to be considered for those 12 open slots.
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