Cabinet of Curiosity is composed of diverse project-by-project collectives who authentically collaborate on original celebrations and productions. Cabinet uses sophisticated puppetry and handmade devices to develop unique interactive experiences, productions and events. We focus on creating new types of gatherings, ceremonies, and rituals which promote community and interactivity amongst people who may not normally mix. Our intention is to support multi-cultural professionals in the field of theatre, visual arts, dance, sculpture and music, while mindfully training high school and college age apprentices to become the future creators of new meaningful rituals. All of the objects and devices created by cabinet are engineered to expose their mechanical operations so they are simultaneously educational, informative, and magical. We embrace commissions which require unique elements of ritual, ceremony, procession, and pageantry. These commissions create funding that establishes an innovative revenue stream, reduce the responsibility of sustainability from the board, audience, and foundations, trains apprentices through a unique scholarship apparatus, builds community, funds our free and greatly discounted public work. We are committed to social engagement — both grand and intimate. Our purpose is to promote curiosity, community and culture.
For us, the world is a Cabinet of Curiosity.
What is a “spectacle in miniature?” CoCE is dedicated to the power of artistic immersion and the thrill of intimate performance, by presenting fully-realized and detailed worlds, all of which contain their own original logic. Founder Frank Maugeri's impulse has always been to draw an audience deeply into the work, so that they become truly part of the story or universe of objects, and experience what Joseph Campbell called “aesthetic arrest.”
Cabinet of Curiosity is dedicated to creating sophisticated, strange and original rituals. We wish to explore the sacred through work ranging from naming ceremonies to celebrating marriage and honoring the dead. Founder Frank Maugeri designed massive community-based rituals with Redmoon including the closing ceremony of The Second Great Chicago Fire Festival, a massive collaboration with faith leaders and dozens of performers. Cabinet of Curiosities Events will continue this legacy of sustained engagement with ceremony and celebration that honors the spiritual.
CoCE works with non-performers and emerging artists to develop public events that interrupt the everyday through unanticipated moments of spontaneous beauty. We are dedicated to collaborations engaging local businesses, neighborhood organizations, and new co-creators and performers. Out ambition is to galvanize community through collaborative artworks and invigorate a sense of place through works that engage collective imagination.
About the Artist
Frank Maugeri is an artist, director, producer and designer of unique art, education, ceremony and event. His creations are highly visual, design-driven, movement-inspired, object-centered and range from intimate miniature-scale to mammoth public spectacle.
Throughout his career, he has been an inventor and designer of worlds, events, and objects; choreographer of people and mechanisms; and ritual and ceremony maker.
Frank’s life revolves around the arts and how the arts bring people together. When he’s not bringing art to life, he’s bringing art to lives through his work as an expert collaborator, educator, innovator of curriculum and artistic programming, and community builder.
He is the founder of Cabinet of Curiosity Events. He is also the Community Programs Artistic Director at the Chicago Children’s Theatre where he develops educational classes and camps for children 0 – 14, and selects and supports the CCT teaching community.
Prior to joining CCT as the Community Programs Artistic Director, Frank was a 22-year veteran Producing Artistic Director at Redmoon Theater.
As Producing Artistic Director at Redmoon Theater, he mentored hundreds of young artists, sculptors, puppet-makers, set designers, performers, and educators from across the United States, while simultaneously helping to guide the institution's art, education and community engagement. Frank is expert in developing experience and events — from branding to casting to directing to execution
With Redmoon, Frank created art and experiences for The White House, developed original works for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Museum of Contemporary Art, The Los Angeles Music Center, and the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. He proudly co-directed a number of public spectacles for the City of Chicago and other Chicago-centered civic events, including: The Art Institute’s groundbreaking of the North Wing, Millennium Park opening evening, Looptopia. His productions, art and events toured to Amsterdam, Charleville-Mézières (France), Brazil, and Japan. In his time at Redmoon Theater, Frank also authored, designed, and created Redmoon's longest running and most acclaimed production, The Cabinet, and created and led Redmoon’s celebrated annual Boneshaker and New Year’s Revolution events, featuring numerous memorable objects of his own creation, including some of Redmoon’s most remarkable inventions- The Momentary Opera, The Monkey Butlers, The Libation Machine and most famously, The Bubble Man.
Frank created Redmoon’s first Youth Board which he grew from an idea to over 20 consistently active members.
Frank was trained in the discipline of animation and soon found he was drawn to puppetry and material objects, pursuing the desire to realize animation through live theatre experiences.
Leadership, motivation, sustaining purpose, creating mission and empowering all participants are great satisfactions for Frank’s spirit and keep service at the center of all his art making and engagement practices.
He currently makes his teaching home at the University of Chicago.
HEAR the international debut of the Shiryayev choir, performing at Surprise! Death is not the End!