In 2006, local artist Laurana Wong had a vision to “expose the burgeoning underground art scene and interconnect it with the more established art community while bringing attention to Downtown Dayton through a grand-scaled and highly public display of the art that is so ripe in this town. The event will be free of charge and open to as wide of a population as we can reach. The guests will be at least as diverse as the involved…” And that year in a vacant space in the Cannery, Sideshow was born.
This was (and still is) the quintessential do-it-yourself grassroots independent local art show in the region. Artists and volunteers came together to prepare a vacant space that had collected decades debris and dirt. A stage was built, walls for hanging art were added, a dumpster was filled – and through it all, tight bonds were formed between dozens of local artists all coming together to organize an awesome event. That night on June 24th, over 60 artists and performers (including Laurana herself) put on an amazing show that had people mesmerized and speechless, with many shaking their heads in disbelief that they were “still in Dayton” – a phrase uttered at each of the following Sideshows that speaks both to how strong our independent arts community is, and how many in the region are still unaware. After that first wildly successful Sideshow, The Dayton Circus Creative Collective was born, with a simple mission: “The Circus is dedicated to building a nourishing environment that will encourage community interaction, artistic collaboration, and the empowerment of the individual. We offer a place to create, perform, and share freely in the experience of living.”
Sideshow has moved around to different locations over the years, with one of the most popular venues being The Merc on Third Street across and down from The Cannery. Next was the old Unicorn Bar at Third and Jefferson, then The Armory in the OD – and finally now at the permanent home to the Dayton Circus – The Yellow Cab Building across and down from Garden Station at 700 E. Fourth St. This 7,300 square foot space was built in 1964 and has a mix of spaces including a large garage area, artist studios, community meeting rooms and event spaces.
This year on Friday, May 11 (Urban Nights), and Saturday, May 12 the Dayton Circus Creative Collective will present its annual multimedia extravaganza, Sideshow 7 – which will feature work by more than 50 artists and more than 20 acts by performers and bands. In addition, there will also be performance art on Friday, and a fashion show and fire spinners on Saturday evening. Admission is free, but donations will accepted to support The Sideshow and the Circus.
I talked to this year’s co-organizer Kate Ervin about Sideshow 7…
DMM: What will make this Sideshow different from past Sideshows?
Kate: All our Sideshows vary year to year based on the tastes of the organizers and locations. Since this our second year in our semi-permanent home at the Yellow Cab, we’ve been able to settle in a bit and make the space more comfortable, rather than working with a completely abandoned shell of a building. In recent years, I’ve wondered if the general public associated The Sideshow with Dayton’s very large dark/goth/horror scene, however we truly don’t intend to highlight any one subculture. Therefore I’ve made it my mission to fill the building with nothing but fun this year, with rainbow color, cartoons, and good luck symbols for our seventh year!
DMM: Why do YOU think people across the region should check out Sideshow?
Kate: As a community-based arts festival, you’re likely to experience the creativity of your friends and neighbors. Even more, YOU are invited to participate in any manner you see fit, whether or not you are an “artist”–we welcome the contributions of everyone (shameless plug for volunteering – click here!)
DMM: What are you personally looking forward most to seeing?
Kate: I’m especially proud of the artists who have taken up my call to “go big” and make interactive installations to transform the space. A trio of street artists–ETCH, Nate Harrah, and Neal Chaney–have been working long nights on a giant Rube Goldbergy/Plinko machine that will predict your future. Kat Keller, an MFA student at OSU, created an outdoor “sensory experience” room with lighting, sound, and visuals. Leesa Haapapuro stepped up to build and cater our food table this year, making it a beautifully-designed carnival game.
Dayton Most Metro is proud to be the Media Sponsor this year!!!
Performance Schedule for Sideshow 7
Friday May 12
6:30-7:15 Father’s Day
7:15-8:00 Todd The Fox
8:00-8:45 The Fair Shakes
8:45-9:30 Dan Raridan & The Calientes
9:30-10:15 C. Wright’s Parlour Tricks
10:15-11:00 The Show
11:00-11:30 Vag Speak
11:30-12:15 Jasper The Colossal
12:15-1:00 The White Soots
Saturday May 12th
6:00-6:25 Two Suns
6:25-6:55 The Low Land Healers
6:55-7:25 Haunted Palace
7:25-8:05 Northwest Ordinance
8:05-8:15 Atomik Geisha Fashions
8:15-8:55 Skratchmatik with the Funk Lab Crew
8:55-9:05 Daddy Katz Fashions
9:05-9:45 Starving In The Belly Of The Whale
9:45-9:55 Nina Kahn Fashions
9:55-10:40 Tim Pritchard and The Boxcar Suite
10:40-10:50 Cachet G! Fashions
11:30-12:15 The Dirty Socialites
Artist Lineup for Sideshow 7
Blue Sky Tech-Arts Collaborative (Terry Welker, Christina, Pereyma, Rodney Veal, Teresa Olivaria, James Balmer, Denise Brooks, and others)
Summer Rose Fig
Richard Duerr Lober
Chesterton David Miller
Rachael A. Redolfi
Heather Lea Reid
Tom Watson III