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Microphones, Poetry Books Stolen From In-One-Ear Open Mic Organizer's Van

By Benjamin Woodard | October 29, 2014 5:36am
 Resident Greg Pickett performs at In-One-Ear open mic, an event held in Rogers Park for 28 years.
Resident Greg Pickett performs at In-One-Ear open mic, an event held in Rogers Park for 28 years.
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ROGERS PARK — The organizer of a weekly open-mic event with a 28-year history in Rogers Park has turned to its patrons for help after it was robbed of its microphones and other equipment during the summer.

Pete Wolf, the owner of In-One-Ear open mic, said thieves looted his van of $2,000 worth of music gear used for the weekly event at the Heartland Cafe.

Ben Woodard says the open mic is a staple in the Rogers Park community:

Notebooks containing seven years of his poetry was also stolen, along with his son's bike and Boy Scout camping gear. He said he has no copies of the poems.

"They saw my son’s bike in the back and took everything they could grab," Wolf said Tuesday.

So he and the supporters of the popular open mic event put together an Indie Go Go campaign to raise $5,000 to replace the equipment and buy other gear to keep the event alive. So far, the fundraiser has collected more than $1,600 with less than a day to go. The fundraiser ends at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday.

The open mic attracts at least 20 participants a week, including poets, musicians, ventriloquists, magicians and more, Wolf said.

Wolf said his van was parked in his driveway in the 7000 block of Wolcott Avenue when it was broken into. A preliminary police report states the theft occurred on July 31.

"They just grabbed bags," Wolf said. "It had to have been a few people."

In-One-Ear began in 1987 at the No Exit Cafe before moving to the Heartland 16 years ago.

Wolf charges a $3 cover to help pay for replacement equipment and his volunteers' drinks during the open mics. Since the theft, In-One-Ear hasn't missed a show because Heartland loaned its gear to Wolf.

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