6504 N. Winchester Avenue
Chicago, IL 60626
Founded in 2005 and seen by over 35,000 people, Erasing the Distance (ETD) is a non-profit arts organization based in Chicago, IL that uses the power of performance to disarm stigma, spark dialogue, educate, and promote healing surrounding issues of mental health.
ETD collects true stories from people whose lives have been impacted by mental health issues. The storyteller’s words are sculpted into theatrical monologues and scenes. Our ensemble of professional actors then brings the stories to life for live audiences across the state and country.
Every ETD performance is followed by a moderated, interactive dialogue so that audience members can process and discuss the themes in the stories they have just seen. ETD also provides mental health literature from nationally recognized organizations free of charge so that audience members can access help if they need it.
ETD has four primary branches of programming:
ETD performs an artistic season of shows, often world premieres, at theaters across Chicago. We present these shows to the general public so that more people can witness our work and join us in conversation about issues of mental health.
ETD FOR HIRE
ETD has a vast repertoire of stories that explore various mental health issues and feature people of many different ages, cultural backgrounds, racial groups, and perspectives. A few of our stories are also available in Spanish. We perform these stories at schools, faith groups, conferences, community organizations, and workplaces across the state and country.
ETD offers a limited number of annual residencies to area middle schools, high schools, and colleges. Typically lasting 3-5 months, an outreach residency includes in-depth mental health discussions, speakers who share their personal experiences, and creative activities designed to stimulate storytelling and team
ETD’s approach to gathering, transcribing, and staging true stories is unique, and we often have people interested in learning how we do what we do. ETD leads presentations, workshops, trainings, and longer-term programs to teach artists, mental health advocates, and current/future health professionals our specific
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Arts & Culture, Health & Disease