The quarterly reading series named in Chicago vernacular for the front room of a house — a place where city-dwellers have long gathered to share stories — debuted in the spring to a capacity crowd.
Organizer Scott Smith hopes the popularity of the free event continues, as the premiere audience of more than 100 people packed the side room of the tavern at 11064 S. Western Ave.
"It was as successful as I would have asked for," Smith said. "The challenge is always how you grow it without taking away from the experience that is really great."
Five new readers will take the stage for the summer installment of The Frunchroom, including Smith, who will also emcee the event. A hat will also be passed around for donations to the Beverly Area Arts Alliance, which helped to spur the series.
The Frunchroom's debut focused primarily on storytelling from a South Side perspective. This time, Smith said he would like to continue to hear these narratives but also see how these experiences play out in a greater context.
Next month's lineup will be a mix of South Side natives and others who have settled in the region from elsewhere. Here's a list of the featured performers:
• Jeff Danna is a Beverly resident and author of the increasingly popular Main Street Beverly blog. Danna was raised in far north suburban Antioch. He primarily writes about urban planning on the Southwest Side, advocating for increased walkability and bicycle-friendly development.
• Shay DeGrandis moved to Beverly six years ago from Pilsen. She produces and hosts the Chicago edition of Mortified, a comedy show where performers share their most awkward adolescent writing in front of strangers.
• Mikki Kendall is a feminist author from Hyde Park. Her writing can be found at XOJane, Salon, NPR’s Code Switch and Guardian. It often focuses on the intersection of race and gender with a emphasis on women's issues.
• Evan Moore grew up in South Shore, graduated from Morgan Park High School in 1997 and now lives in Chicago Lawn. His work touches on issues including race, politics and sports, including his posts on The Cauldron.
• Scott Smith lives in Morgan Park, though he was raised in far south suburban Lansing. Smith works as the editorial director at TouchVision, an Internet television network. Besides volunteering for the South Side Irish St. Patrick's Day Parade, Smith is also a frequent commenter on local media and politics.
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