Quantcast

DNAinfo has closed.
Click here to read a message from our Founder and CEO

Where Have All The Lesbian Bars Gone? Vanishing Scene Explored In Exhibit

By Mina Bloom | October 4, 2017 6:11am
 The exhibit, highlighting lesbian bars and hangout spots of the 1970s and '80s, is being put on by Kristen Kaza (from left), Ruby Western and Liz Weck.
The exhibit, highlighting lesbian bars and hangout spots of the 1970s and '80s, is being put on by Kristen Kaza (from left), Ruby Western and Liz Weck.
View Full Caption
Courtesy/Miss Meadows

HUMBOLDT PARK — What happened to Chicago's once-thriving lesbian scene?

That's the question behind "Lost & Found: An Exhibit Exploring Chicago’s Dyke Spaces of the '70s and '80s," a series of upcoming events Oct. 11-28, held at Reunion Chicago, 2557 W. North Ave., in partnership with Howard Brown Health, the Midwest's largest LGBTQ health care center.

Reunion, an art gallery/event venue in Humboldt Park, will debut the centerpiece exhibit, featuring artifacts from the Gerber Hart Library and Windy City Times archives, on Oct. 11, which is also national Coming Out Day.


One of the images selected for the exhibit from the Windy City Times, Outlines, BLACKLines and En La Vida archives. [Provided]

Throughout the month, Reunion also will host special events that seek to "celebrate past and present lesbian culture in Chicago," including a talk led by lesbian business owners.

“With this project, we’re hoping 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," Kristen Kaza, co-owner of Reunion, said in a prepared statement.

In addition to Howard Brown Health, Kaza is also partnering with Ruby Western, curator of AKR: A Beauty Salon and writer of Open TV’s "Afternoon Sn----" on the event series.

Check out the full schedule below:

Oct. 11: From 6-10 p.m., Reunion will host "Queer Comedy Night," featuring "hilarious & heartwarming stores from Chicago's queer comics." A "Pop-up Dyke Bar" will run throughout the evening. This event, which has a $10 suggested donation, is sold out.

Oct. 14: Head to Reunion from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. for "Queer Family Day," where families can get their portraits taken, check out the historical exhibit, get their own stories recorded by StoryCorps and make some buttons courtesy of Busy Beaver Button Co. The event is free.


One of the images selected for the exhibit from the Windy City Times, Outlines, BLACKLines and En La Vida archives. [Provided]

Oct. 18: The free historical exhibit will be open from 6-9 p.m. Folks are encouraged to "explore at their leisure."

Oct. 21: Guided tours of the free historical exhibit will be held from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Oct. 23: A panel led by women who have owned and produced lesbian spaces is set for 6-9 p.m. Marge Summit (His n Hers), Kathy Munzer (Mountain Moving Coffeehouse for Womyn & Children First), Pat McCombs (Executive Sweet Parties) and Tracy Baim (Windy City Times) are slated to participate. Free with RSVP to slomoparty@gmail.com.

Oct. 28: A Halloween-themed dance party will kick off at 9 p.m. Kaza and DJ Audio Jack, of Slo'Mo Party, are curating the music. The duo "welcomes people of all identities, expressions and generations to unite on the dance floor — this time, in costume." Tickets are $15.

For more information on individual events, and to buy tickets, visit the exhibit's website.