Junior Varsity

Junior Varsity is a monthly workshop/variety show held at Joie DeVine on the Northside of Chicago. It’s an intentionally aspirational space where artists from varying genres present in-progress pieces to an audience. The audience has the opportunity to respond to the artists' works with feedback. 


Each month we invite an individual we respect and admire to give a secular sermon on their process, their current project, or something that inspires them artistically. We build our monthly theme around the poetics and we hope it serves as a capstone for the evening, a last bite to chew over on the walk home or at the bar after the show. ‘Poetics’ is traditionally a word used to describe a narrow genre of prose written to explain poetry, but we use the word to describe mediations on many different kinds of work. You can check out the poetics by seeing it performed at JV, on the podcast where the poetics is recorded, or in essay form under the “What We Believe” tab here on the website. It’s easier than ever for us to soak up the wisdom of these brilliant folks.

JV Podcast

We are now recording the shows and making them available in podcast form! Hurray! It will include most of what happened at the show as well as some interviews and a little bit of chit-chat between Alex and Annabel. 

The Syllab(us) Project

We originally conceived of the syllabus project as longterm a Secret-Santa-style book club. For the first iteration of the project, we had 23 participants submit texts from four different phases of their artistic development. Texts were broadly defined as books, movies, or albums that influenced these artists at different phases of their lives. Then we made their syllabuses anonymous and distributed them to other members of the project. The artists worked through each other’s syllabi over the course of six months. The next iteration will likely be shorter and have a different theme. Let us know if you’d like to be involved!