This Time Tomorrow Performing Arts Festival Returns to the Contemporary Arts Center

After taking 2020 off due to COVID, the experimental and collaborative This Time Tomorrow fest returns in April

click to enlarge NIC Kay — PUSHIT! [an exercise in getting well soon] at 2019's inaugural This Time Tomorrow - Photo: Paige Deglow
Photo: Paige Deglow
NIC Kay — PUSHIT! [an exercise in getting well soon] at 2019's inaugural This Time Tomorrow

Cincinnati’s Contemporary Arts Center is hosting its second This Time Tomorrow performing arts festival April 7-11. (The inaugural fest took place in 2019; last year's event was canceled due to COVID.)

Over the course of five days, local and international artists will bring a wide range of vanguard projects and experiences to Cincinnati audiences. The hope is that these performances, created with the words “exploration, experimentation and collaboration” in mind, will ignite dialogue and provoke exploration of the city surrounding us.

This Time Tomorrow is a moment for imagination, experimentation, urgency, and connectivity,” says Drew Klein, the CAC’s Director of Performance at Large. “The artists’ works serve as proposals of hope, or perhaps alarm, for our collective future, while also mining the past to acknowledge the pathway to this moment.”

[All The Photos from Cincinnati’s Inaugural Performing Arts Festival ‘This Time Tomorrow’] 

Stemming from its ongoing performance program, This Time Tomorrow allows the CAC to bring its artistic presentations beyond gallery walls and create cross-disciplinary performance pieces that address issues and ideas central to our current collective consciousness, says Raphaela Platow, the CAC’s Alice & Harris Weston Director and chief curator, in the press release. 

This Time Tomorrow made its debut in 2019 with artist performances by Rashaad Newsome, a visual artist from New Orleans, and Tania El Khoury, an award-winning live artist from Lebanon (the country, not the city in Ohio), among others. Thanks to COVID, however, the 2020 festival was forced to take a rain check and move the performances planned for 2020 to 2021. Both in-person as well as virtual performances are scheduled for this year. 

“We adapted the festival for safety during COVID, while still giving these artists opportunities to experiment and create new performance projects at a time where there’s not much of that happening elsewhere,” says Klein.

This year's featured artists/events include:

  • Kate McIntosh and her multi-room installation, Worktable. Worktable gives guests instructions, safety goggles, equipment and materials to decide how to take apart items and reimagine them. It will be operating 3-8 p.m. April 7-11 at Buddy's Place, 1300 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine. Reserve tickets for this event at showclix.com.
  • The world premiere of For the Love of Black Women. For the Love of Black Women is described in the press release as “an intimate and vulnerable testimony from Black women to Black women about the struggles they have faced moving through the world. This piece explores how they liberate their lives and existence from stereotypes, oppression, and how their collective trauma has shaped who they are and how they see themselves.” For the Love of Black Women is a collaboration by Lex Nycole and Cincinnati dance-based storytelling initiative, MoveX. Performances will take place at 6 and 8 p.m. April 9 and 4 and 8 p.m. April 10 at the CAC. Reserve tickets for this at showclix.com.
  • Begüm Erciyas is making her American premiere with her first work for public space, Letters from Attica — a 70-minute experience in which each audience member becomes a living letter. Erciyas is known for using sound and instruction to create solitary, but collective experiences for those in attendance. Performances take place 2-7 p.m. April 7-11 at Sawyer Point Park downtown. Reserve tickets for this event at showclix.com. 
  • Raquel André's Spectators Festival, a collection of personal remembrances about how art has changed various individuals. André put out a global, public call for people to respond to the question "how art has changed, impacted, or saved them," says the CAC. The responses have been edited into a two-hour presentation. Watch it via zoom at 4 p.m. April 11. Request a zoom link at contemporaryartscenter.org.

Additional details on the artists, the performance line-up, tickets and reservations are available through the CAC website. Masks are required and social distancing and capacity will be monitored and enforced.