Hot Wheelz Festival is a virtual live arts platform that was founded in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. We set out to burn rubber, speed up, slow down, dodge cones and redefine acceleration. 


The platform is an annual residency for curators who are looking to explore liveness in virtual programming while loosely addressing the question, “How do we keep moving?” Each residency includes a webpage takeover as well as engagements across our different social media channels. Hot Wheelz Festival believes live work hinges on the present experience of the audience, whether that’s watching a live stream, limited engagements with prerecorded work, virtual reality, or an ever-changing webpage. Through these varying responses a “roadmap” is being created on our archive page that represents a coalition of diverse live work in Chicago.


Who we are: 

Co-creators Jill Perez and Lauren Steinberg are young art professionals whose work focuses on performance, programming and community engagement. Lauren and Jill decided to launch this online platform to break out of institutional rigidity and provide space during a time of live arts crisis. They hope that Hot Wheelz Festival can be used by the Chicago art community to continue to connect with each other and show new work.

(Neither Jill nor Lauren own a car or particularly enjoy driving)


Contact Us: 

Any questions? Reach out to us at!


Illustrated Hot Wheelz Festival logo, graphics, and text
by Haele Wolfe.