We have a gorgeous show for you on August 3rd. Join us for a sweet summer evening of true stories told live by world-renowned painter and assemblage artist Esperanza Gama, founder of the Prisoner’s Revolutionary Literature Fund, Mike Holman, Chicago graffiti artist and illustrator Rahmaan Statik Barnes, writer & performer Keith Ecker, and award-winning storyteller Lily Be. Our show also features a giant community potluck dinner, and five open spots for anyone to tell a story.
If you’d like to join us, we recommend reserving seats in advance. The show regularly sells out and online tickets allow you to guarantee seats. PLEASE do note: online tickets remain available up until 5pm the day of every show, but closed web sales does NOT mean the show is sold out: we generally have anywhere from 20-40 tickets still available at the door, on a first-come, first-served basis. If you’d like to avoid uncertainty, please reserve seats online before 5pm on show day.
And hey- check out our new Volunteer page! There are some current opportunities to join us in making this good thing happen. Helping in one of these ways grants free admission to the show, along with neverending glory, of course.
We look forward to seeing you on August 3rd! Please read about your fascinating features…
Esperanza Gama received her BFA from the Escuela de Artes Plásticas of the Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico. The following year she became a professor of painting and drawing at the Cabañas Cultural Institute in Guadalajara. Gama later moved to Paris, where she studied printmaking at the École Beaux-Arts in Chaville. In 1993 she traveled to Asia to study Chinese painting at the Gakukaie Sumie Center in Tokyo. In her series, Mujeres de Cuatro Siglos (Women of Four Centuries) Gama records the lives of important Mexican women who lived in four different centuries. Conceived as artistic biographies, they allow the artist to excavate the history of these women creatively and with great respect for their intimate journeys. Gama was the Official Artist for the National Council of La Raza’s annual conference in Washington, DC, and for the annual Celebration Awards of the Latino Institute in Chicago. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum in Chicago, and has been featured in exhibitions in Guadalajara at Degollado City Theater, the Cabañas Cultural Institute, Torres Bodet Gallery, in France at École Beaux-Arts in Chaville, and in Japan at Ginza District Art Hall, Tokyo, and Gakukai Sumie Center, Osaka. In Chicago, she has had work in both solo and group exhibitions at the Pauline Arts Center, Chicago Cultural Center, Oak Park Cultural Center, Casa Loca Gallery, La Llorona Art Gallery, Galería Arte de México, Old Town Triangle Art Association, Center Gallery, and the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum.
Every day, people in this country work, talk and play with, or walk by and ignore, many others who have faced tremendous adversities, but very few know those people’s stories. The United States– with 5% of the world’s population– incarcerates 2.2 million people, or 25% of those imprisoned in the whole world. In violation of international standards against torture, 80,000 people are held in solitary confinement in US prisons, for months, years and decades. Overwhelmingly, those imprisoned are Black or Latino, Native or immigrant. There is tremendous suppressed human potential locked behind concrete walls and razor-wire. Mike Holman is the Executive Director of Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund (PRLF), a 501c3 educational fund. PRLF sends Revolution newspaper and other revolutionary literature to prisoners in 38 states. Mike also works with the Stop Mass Incarceration Network (www.stopmassincarceration.net), which is organizing a national month of resistance to mass incarceration this October. He will be talking about some of his experiences, what he’s learned, and why it’s not enough to oppose mass incarceration “in the privacy of one’s own conscience or the company of like-minded people”.
Lily Be is love. She’s is a mom, a friend, a nanny, and a storyteller. She was also your Audience Favorite storyteller from July’s Here, Chicago! There is nothing a bio can tell you that will truly introduce you to this wise Mexican badass from Humboldt Park, Chicago. She’s the first Latina Moth GrandSLAM champion, WNEP Maelstrom winner, and she cohosts and coproduces a monthly storytelling show at Rosa’s Lounge with her best friend Clarence called The Stoop. Catch her all over sharing stories. Only then will you know what a bio could never tell you about this woman.