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The Cicada Chorus

June 5, 2021 - June 10, 2021


The Muncie Arts and Culture Council (MACC), invites the Muncie community to participate in the Human Cicada Chorus led by PlySpace artist in residence Erin Mallea. The Cicada Chorus includes a series of free workshops designed to help prepare participants for the culmination of the project: an outdoor video shoot of the choral performance. The video will premiere in Muncie in late June as a celebration of the 17-year Brood X emergence and as a thank you to all participants who made the work possible.

In May and June 2021, Brood X of 17 year cicadas will emerge throughout Indiana. Inspired by the buzzing, whirring, and chirping of cicadas during the late spring and summer, Mallea will collaborate with community members to listen to and observe insect noises in the area and develop a performance as a choral insect cacophony. The chorus celebrates the particularities of the region’s ecosystem and the often taken for granted others we live alongside that are integral to our ecosystem. The chorus is an opportunity for collective close-looking and listening as an entrypoint to playfully, yet earnestly inhabit a non-human sensibility. The chorus will become a collective clock: mimicking the sounds of cicadas shifting from dawn to dusk and spring to summer.

Contact MACC program coordinator Sarah Shaffer at to register for any of the following events and workshops, or sign up on our website

Cicada Science + Listening Session
Saturday, June 5, 11:00 am–12:15 pm
Ball State University, Christy Woods
Free parking is available at the Cooper Life Sciences parking lot on Riverside Ave. Participants will meet outside of the Charles W. Brown Planetarium.
This indoor and outdoor session will include an introduction to the science of cicadas and singing insects led by the Ball State Environmental Education Center. Afterward, Mallea will lead a series of listening exercises to facilitate slower, more attentive listening to our surroundings as an entrypoint to the project and a means to tune into our greater ecosystem and non-human neighbors. Participants are required to wear masks.

Vocal Workshop
Saturday, June 5th, 1:00 – 2:00 pm
Ball State University, Fine Arts Building AR 217 (David Owsley Museum of Art Building)
John Vessels, Ball State University Instructor of Theater, Dance, and Musical Theatre, will lead participants in a series of vocal exercises to explore the capacity of the human voice and unusual sound making. We will practice breathing, noise making, and inhabiting another sensibility. No prior singing or choral experience is required. Session will be in a large, indoor space to allow physical distancing. Participants are required to wear masks. If you are interested in participating virtually, please let us know.

Cicada Chorus Rehearsal and Video Shoot
In-person Rehearsal: Thursday, June 10, 6–8pm, PlySpace Gallery (608 E. Main Street, Muncie)
Virtual Rehearsal: Tuesday, June 8, 6-8pm
Cicada Chorus Video Shoot: Date, Time, and Location TBD
Become part of a human insect-cacophony and perform collective cicada sounds on video. Interested participants must attend at least one cicada chorus rehearsal (either virtual or in-person – masks required for in-person rehearsal). The video will premiere publicly in Muncie in late June. Those that want to participate in the project but can’t join in-person activities are invited to record cicada sounds at home and submit them to be woven into the final video. If you’re interested, contact for instructions on recording at home.

About the Artist:
Erin Mallea (she/her) is a multidisciplinary artist motivated by an attempt to better understand the spaces she inhabits. Collapsing personal, natural, and national history, her work explores the past and present of particular microcosms as metaphors for larger human and environmental conditions. Analytical, meandering, playful, and often public in nature, her work scrutinizes systems of producing knowledge, place, and relationships to nature in the American landscape and manifests in a range of media including video, audio, sculpture, photography, performance, writing, and participatory projects. Mallea has exhibited internationally, advocated for the ethical memorialization of a historic oak tree, and recently sent vibrations from a giant fungus throughout the atmosphere. Based in Pittsburgh, PA, Mallea teaches at the University of Pittsburgh and Carlow University.

More information about the Cicada Chorus visit our website, www.PlySpace/cicada. PlySpace Summer Term events can be found on the PlySpace website at and the PlySpace Facebook page. Questions or comments about the PlySpace Residency program, events, and community collaborations can be directed to the Program Coordinator, Sarah Shaffer, at Learn more about Muncie Arts & Culture Council at

The Cicada Chorus


June 5, 2021
June 10, 2021
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