Lake Street Arts Cabaret celebrates creativity in the neighborhood

Ifrah Mansour

Ifrah Mansour

Patrick’s Cabaret has teamed up with Pangea World Theater, In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, Lake Street Council, and local businesses for a marathon arts event This Saturday called the Lake Street Arts Cabaret. The five-hour event includes a walking tour of Lake Street with stops to read poetry in the windows of businesses, a dinner at Gandhi Mahal with performances by Ifrah Mansour and Marcie Rendon, and a free open mic at Patrick’s Cabaret. 

The process of putting together the event was one of great collaboration. “I really couldn’t say where one person’s effort began and the other ended,” says Scott Artley, Patrick’s Cabaret’s performing arts curator.

Framed around the idea of a meal, the event kicks off with "appetizers" of poetry, a walking tour of the "Poetry in the Windows” exhibit curated by Pangea's Alejandra Tobar-Alatriz. Folks meet at 5 p.m. in front of Elsa’s House of Sleep (3540 East Lake Street) for songs and a blessing by indigenous elders, followed by the tour. Stilt-walkers from In the Heart of the Beast will accompany the walk, bringing giant paper flowers.

Next comes the "main course," the only ticketed event, which includes a light buffet meal at Ganhi Mahal, with performances by Marcie Rendon and Ifrah Mansour. The festival ends with an un-curated, free open mic.

The event is a follow up to last year’s Lake Street-themed cabaret, which was held inside the Patrick's, and featured artists who had affiliations with the area. This year, they made the intentional decision to reach out to other arts organizations and the Lake Street Council to expand the program’s scope.  

“This collaboration came out of group of arts organizations that started getting together to talk about what we can do together,” Artley says. “It’s been an interesting exploratory process to basically get to know each other better.”

Marcie Rendon

Marcie Rendon

Since Pangea, HOBT, and Patrick’s all have a history of doing work centered on Lake Street, it made sense to collaborate.

“As an organization that has felt isolated on its own little corner of Lake Street, we’ve been really open to our neighborhood,” says Artley. “This sort of collaboration is a really radical act. It’s powerful in a global village like Lake Street where so many communities intersect. It’s a powerful gesture to bring differing perspectives together.”

For more info on the schedule of events, see the Facebook event page