What do you do?

Willing Participant whips up urgent poetic responses to crazy shit that happens. During a four-hour meeting, participants work with four ringleaders (Nancy Nowacek, Todd Shalom, Niegel Smith and Ben Weber) to research a pressing event and craft a performative reply, which we call a “response.” The group and others will then perform the response for the general public within the following week.

How does this whole thing work?

An event happens that inspires the ringleaders to respond. Willing Participants will receive an email requesting their presence at a four-hour meeting to be held within the following few days.

The meeting will presumably be held in a public space, and most likely on a weekend or after typical work hours.

At the meeting, we will briefly introduce ourselves and interrogate: why are we making this work? who are we making this work for? The group will discuss possible content, form, and audience for the “response.”

While participants will generate the ideas that fuel the response, the ringleaders will create the final structure, inviting participants to challenge and shape this structure into a final piece. Participants will also be invited to share marketing strategies for the response. The meeting will not exceed four hours.

What are your politics?

We all share a belief in free speech, non-violent actions, and work that is accessible to both the participants and the audience. We are first and foremost artists and we invite everyone to be willing participants in creating responses that reflect their individual and our collective points of view on local and far-reaching concerns.

What if I think that Willing Participant should hold a meeting about an event?

Email us at: info@willingparticipant.org and let us know.

What if I have an idea for a response? Can I email it to you?

Email us at: info@willingparticipant.org and let us know.

Will I get paid?

Willing Participant is run by volunteers. All of our meetings and responses are free and open to the public.

What’s the difference between a meeting and a response?

A meeting is the four-hour session when we get together and plan the performance. The response is the performance.

How long is a meeting and a response?

The meetings are four hours. There will only be one meeting before a response. The length of the responses will vary depending on what the group decides.

If I can’t come to the meeting, can I still come to the response? If I can’t come to the response, can I still come to the meeting?

All meetings and responses are open to everyone. One does not have to attend the meeting to participate in the response.

Who owns the work that we create?

The work is not owned by anyone. It is offered freely to the public. Elastic City will document the work and will share that documentation with additional audiences.

What is Elastic City’s role in Willing Participant?

Willing Participant was founded by Todd Shalom, Niegel Smith & Ben Weber. Todd is the Director of Elastic City, Nancy Nowacek is an affiliated artist, and Niegel and Ben serve on the Board of Directors of the organization. Elastic City hosts Willing Participant’s webpage and documentation, and helps to promote the work of Willing Participant through its existing channels. Elastic City is a 501c3 non-profit organization.