A Letter to our Fresh Inc Family

It is with love and gratitude that Fifth House Ensemble announces that the 21-22 season will be our last. As such, we are deeply disappointed to not move forward with the 2022 Fresh Inc Festival.

While these past two pandemic years have been challenging, they were also a time of enormous creativity, growth and bonding for us. Our artistic projects have reached new heights, our collaborations with social service partners prolific and deeply meaningful, and the organization is financially stable. These successes were hard-won and speak to the above-and-beyond dedication, flexibility and adaptability of each person involved. As the world starts to move into a new phase, and life begins to lead us towards new horizons, we’ve made the difficult decision to not move forward together, but to conclude joyfully, in celebration of our 17-year journey.

We  appreciate the community that has blossomed over the past 10 Fresh Inc Festivals. This has truly been one of our favorite activities of each season, and our lives are so much richer for it. Together, we’ve premiered 240 new works, held over 120 performances, and consumed a veritable ton of s’mores. We’ll miss the opportunity to gather together this summer, but are confident that there is a rich new generation of adventurous and genre-defying collaborators that we hope to meet down the road. The future of our industry is bright and we are so looking forward to seeing what they accomplish.

Every person who came along for the ride shaped and changed us for the better. Our players brought their whole selves – their unique talents, vulnerability, thoughtfulness, playfulness and senses of humor. Our staff worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make things seamless onstage. Our collaborators challenged how we think about music, and even what music is. Our audiences and presenters pushed us to create narrative experiences that transformed how we saw ourselves and each other. The participants in our social service programs taught us how to show up for one another even when the going gets tough, and how to make art with exuberance and bravery. Our board, funders and donors believed in and supported us with faith and generosity. Our Fresh Inc Festival participants widened the lens through which we see the world and continue to amaze us with their entrepreneurial spirit. 

We look forward to the remainder of this season as we tour some of our favorite projects and perform three new programs in Chicago. Please join us and give us the opportunity to thank you in person for your support! Our last performance will be the premiere of six new commissions by the Fromm Fellows from our 2021 Fresh Inc Festival on May 22.

Fifth House Ensemble was the realization of a dream when we envisioned it in 2005. To have experienced the true essence of human interaction and communication through music has been a gift beyond our wildest imaginations. We create space for the next generation of bold artmakers gladly and pass the torch in eager anticipation of their amazing artistry and thought leadership. 

With gratitude,

Fifth House Ensemble and the Fresh Inc Festival