Opening Wednesday, October 11th, from 7PM - 10PM
On view through Sunday, October 29th
“Where have all the dyke bars gone?” “Lost & Found: An Exhibit Exploring Chicago’s Dyke Spaces of the ‘70s & ‘80s,” named after one of the longest-running Chicago dyke bars, reveals and revels in the rich history of Chicago’s once-thriving lesbian scene. Presented by Howard Brown Health, the Midwest’s largest LGBTQ Community Health Center, the series aims to elevate the conversation around erasure by asking the collective community how we can move forward to build environments that foster community and advance queer liberation. The exhibit sources its archival pieces of foregone eras from Gerber Hart Library & Archives and Windy City Times, and is curated by Ruby Western (curator of AKR: A Beauty Salon and writer of OpenTV’s Afternoon Snatch) and produced by Kristen Kaza ( Producer of Slo ‘Mo Party, Co-Director of Reunion). The exhibit opens October 11(National Coming Out Day) at Reunion Chicago, at 2557 W. North Ave in Humboldt Park. Reunion is a wheelchair accessible storefront featuring all-gender restrooms.
Visitors can expect to access rare and hard-to-find magazines, posters, and books celebrating queer history. A cozy reading corner with couches will house books by and for queer women—with everything from biographies to artist coffee table books to lesbian mystery novels. A pop-up dyke bar, a temple of lesbian cultures past, will be open for service during select programming.
Recognizing the limits of any archive and the multitude of experiences within our community, Lost & Found calls on the community to create a crowd-sourced shrine to lesbian and dyke spaces over the course of the exhibit. We ask that visitors bring in their own ephemera representing their culture to contribute—such as trinkets, photos, and memorabilia—so other visitors can see what your experience has been in the Chicago dyke scene.
Through this exhibit, Howard Brown Health seeks to honor the champions and spaces of yore while exploring how we can build pathways to more inclusive futures. While the exhibit zooms in on lesbian history and identity, people of all identities and expressions are encouraged and welcome to participate: Programming is intended to be accessible, intergenerational, and multicultural, bringing voices together to preserve Chicago’s herstory:
Wednesday, October 11 7-10pm: Queer Comedy Night – Opening night kicks off on National Coming out Day with hilarious & heartwarming stories from Chicago’s queer comics. Ticketholders can experience the exhibition from 6-7 followed by the performance, and enjoy the Pop Up Dyke Bar throughout the evening – Tickets on sale: $10, all proceeds benefit Howard Brown Health.
Saturday, October 14 11am-3pm: Queer Family Day – Bring the whole family for a free day of fun, including queer family portraits, recordings by StoryCorps, and artmaking activities – Free
Wednesday, October 18 6-9pm: The public is welcome to visit the exhibit and explore at their leisure – Free
Saturday, October 21 11am-4pm: Curator Hours- Complete with guided tours on the hour starting at 12pm, last one at 3pm. – Free
Monday, October 23 – 6-9pm: Dyke spaces of the ’70s-’80s – A panel featuring women who owned and produced lesbian spaces and parties of yore & the launch of Howard Brown’s #ChicagoHealthLooksLike assessment – Free with RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, October 28 9pm-1am: Lady is a Vamp: Closing Night with Slo ‘Mo Party- The exhibition concludes with a halloween party presented by Slo ‘Mo. Subvert that cinematic stereotype and come as your favorite or most creative interpretation of lesbian vampire, witch and beyond. As always, Slo ‘Mo welcomes people of all identities, expressions and generations to unite on the dance floor – Tickets on sale 9/29/2017 : $15 *limited availability*
Graphics created by Ruby Western.