New Chicago Variety Hour Showcases the Creative Business of Art

Emerging Chicago artists give a sneak peek into their artistic practice; an evaluating panel of three successful arts entrepreneurs round out this American Idol-inspired show!

03.01.2011– Chicago–Interactive audience participation is at the heart of this new, fast-paced emerging artist show and tell, called The Bite-Size Variety Hour.

Presented by the Institute for Arts Entrepreneurship, seven emerging artists have seven minutes each to show their work and tell their story: What’s their art all about? How do they share it with the world? Where have they been, and where are they going? Are they as creative as their art?

The Bite Size-Variety Hour channels “American Idol” by including a panel of three arts entrepreneurs who will give on the spot feedback on the artists’ branding. The audience is also encouraged to tell artists what they liked, what they missed, or offer other creative ways they can present their work. Artists receive encouraging and actionable feedback on their branding, while broadening their audience and perfecting their pitch.

Utilizing an innovative format, the Bite-Size Variety Hour replicates the experience of a “live-studio audience,” complete with cameras, MC, and cash bar. Presenting artists share their “branding,” are ‘judged’ by expert panelists, and ‘voted on’ by the audience. In the Bite-Size Variety Hour, all the artists are ‘winners’ — each will come away with a better sense of themselves and their work, and the audience gets an inside look at the entire artistic process, from creation to marketing, while realizing their own creative business skills.

For more information on the Bite Size Variety Hour, visit or contact Peter Weathers at or call The IAE at 773.756.2163

WHEN: Tuesday, March 8, 7:00 pm

WHERE: The Greenhouse Theater Center, downstairs main stage, 2257 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL TICKETS: $5.00 at the door; tickets may be purchased in advance at


KHARI B, the Discopoet, celebrates his love of poetry through music. He left architectural engineering studies to focus on performing poetry while working a day job in the non-profit sector, and has since successfully carved out a career in the live music scene. Khari B has worked with the AACM Jazz organization; was featured in the Illinois Arts Council’s “Meet the Composer” program and Sons d’hiver Festival in Paris. He has also hosted open mic nights at the Spoken Word Café in Bronzeville and held writing workshops at the Boulevard Arts Center, Ravinia Festival Program and Purdue University. One part rocker, one part disco and one part an academic free spirit, Khari B is the founder and lead performer of the group ‘The Rockstar Poetry Project.’

STEPHANIE HOWELL is a theater practitioner and performance artist whose work is based in identity, the performance of fatness, body politics, and burlesquing the body. She is a Visiting Instructor at the College of Communication at DePaul University. At DePaul she has had the opportunity to teach various classes such as Performing Culture, Performing Literature, Intercultural Communication, Autoethnographic Performance, Performance Art, and LGBT Civil Rights.

REID HYAMS has over 35 years of in depth professional experience in music, recording and music business related industries. Reid is a performing artist, published author, previous faculty member and administrative staff at Columbia College, and founder and owner of an award winning multiple recording studio complex, Chicago Trax Recording. Reid is currently a co-founder and the Vice-President of EARS (Engineering and Recording Society of Chicago). Hyams has extensive business, administrative, academic and entrepreneurial skills in the music industry. Presently, Hyams has taken on a management / consulting position at one of the award winning state of the art Recording Studios in Chicago.



FOTIOS ZEMENIDES, is a Chicago based artist who primarily works as a painter, printmaker and sculptor. He earned his BFA at DePaul and his MFA at the American Academy of Art. As the very essence of social justice was ingrained into his being from a young age, his intended goal is to create art that forces the viewer to question the way of things and ask difficult moral and ethical questions of themselves. Via the Beverly Arts Center, he acts as an outreach art instructor for underprivileged youth in Chicago’s South Side and is a staunch advocate for increased government subsidy of art education.

NICOLE HARRY is an experienced designer specializing in both interior and jewelry design. Currently, Ms. Harry operates Nicole Designs All, an independent firm dedicated to create unique jewelry and magnificent interior spaces.

ELI ELY, The Peoples Variety host and producer.

TIFFANY GHOLAR is a lifelong resident of Chicago, Illinois. Gholar’s newest series, Post-Consumerism, explores the principles of design using found object assemblages. She studied art as an undergraduate at the University of Chicago and interior design at Harrington College of Design and has a Masters Degree in Painting from Governors State University.

ERIC MALMQUIST lives, performs, and composes in Chicago, Illinois. He is a founding member of the Chicago-based Sissy-Eared Mollycoddles (SEMC) New Music Ensemble, and the founder of S O N G (Singers On New Ground), a group dedicated to contemporary American art song.

CORA VASSER is a graduate of Second City’s Writing Program. Along with Jaclyn Sorci, Cora is the co-founder of Girls in Glasses Productions. Cora is also a screenwriter and novelist who has trained with Steve Kaplan, Philippa Burgess of Creative Convergence, Laurie Scheer of Flashpoint Academy, and been read by The Gersh Agency in LA.

IRVIN ALMONTE’s paintings focus principally on exploring the power of music as an agent of human emotions and psyche. He is self-trained and considers his formative years to have been integral in his visual aesthetic.

About The Institute for Arts Entrepreneurship

The Institute for Arts Entrepreneurship™ is a two-year program to teach artists how to earn a living. With a curriculum that combines experiential learning, mentorship and a personalized classroom environment that provides one-on-one time with the faculty of successful artist-entrepreneurs, artists are taught how to build their own arts based business while still in school. Founded by 25-year business veteran and serial artistic entrepreneur Lisa Canning, The Institute is based on her enthusiasm for the new wave of whole-brain thinking and the firm belief that the arts –and artists—can and must be allowed to contribute to the world’s financial recovery. Enrollment is limited to 45 students. Applications are available online to apply for the institute. There is no age limit for enrollment and the requirements to apply simply include artistic excellence and a desire to be self- sufficient. For more information about the school, go to

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New Chicago Variety Hour Showcases the Creative Business of Art

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