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Save Our Poonie's!

  • Links Hall at Constellation 3111 North Western Avenue Chicago, IL, 60618 United States (map)


Resistance. Healing. Legacy. 

There is a little space we know called Poonie's Cabaret that walks the halls of Links Hall out into the streets of Chicago across years, across disciplines, across generations of makers. 
It is important to emerging queer makers to share experimental and promising artistic expression and it NEEDS YOUR HELP! 

Join us for a night to remember celebrating curators, artists, friends, family, and colleagues that have grown this beautiful tradition of Poonie's Cabaret since inception to the present. Dig deep, share, love, invite to pay homage to the beauty of this artist and the tradition that has followed in their legacy.

Featured Curators: J'Sun Howard, Rebecca Kling, Carole McCurdy, Joe Varisco
Featured Performances from: Bea Cordelia, Mar Curran, Xena Ellison and Elizabeth Mputu, Paul Escriva and Emilio Rojas

Poonie's is named for Poonie Dodson, a much-loved Chicago dancer/choreographer who died of AIDS in the early 90's. Originally inspired by Patrick's Cabaret in Minneapolis, Poonie's Cabaret welcomes all forms of expression and anything which cannot be defined but can be thoroughly enjoyed. It features works in progress from artists working in many different creative realms - dance, music, contact improvisation, puppetry, performance art, theatre, voguing, freestyle rapping, drag, burlesque, cheerleading, stand-up comedy, etc.
Curators chosen by Links Hall select the works shown from among local Chicago artists. Performers and audience members are asked for a $5 donation. Proceeds from the cabaret go to the Links Hall Duncan Erley Coming Out of the Closet Fund. 

The Duncan Erley Coming Out of the Closet Fund was established by friends of Duncan Erley to promote and support artists and performers working in the realms of healing AIDS, gay activism, and spiritual and sexual transformation. A Chicago Native, Duncan was an artist, poet, choreographer, dancer, environmentalist, gay activist, gourmet cook, clothing and furniture maker, entrepreneur, and patron of the arts. In the 1970's he collaborated with Jim Self at Links Hall. Annual events in Duncan's honor are produced at Links Hall.

In 2011 Poonie's Cabaret began a collaboration with Patrick's Cabaret in Minneapolis. Artists who performed at Poonie's and whose work was deemed ready for touring were presented at Patrick's along with other artists from Minneapolis and Chicago. The Duncan Erley fund supported these artists by covering bus fare and a small per diem.

Poonies at Patrick’s sought to celebrate the LGBTQ community's unique perspective, creativity & diversity, and to build links between the LGBTQ artistic communities, local and international; it showcased the whole spectrum of LGBTQ lives as expressed in theatre, performance art, dance, film, spoken word, and beyond. Performers from every group within the national LGBTQ community have been featured. In 2014, Poonie's Cabaret brought Patrick's back to Chicago, making it the first year in which both cabarets visited each other's home town.

Earlier Event: May 21
2nd Story @ Revival
Later Event: December 2
Policing Women's Bodies in Performance