2020 N. Oakley Ave. (Chicago)
Poetry open mic hosted (starting 2010) by Janet Kuypers
(starting in 2012 with side-kick Bob Rashkow)
hosted from 2003-2009 by Charlie Newman at The Café,
founded December 1996 by David Rubin, at Café Aloha
open mic every other Wednesday, 7:00 - 9:00 PM
except the first & last weeks of the year
(free entry, but give a donation for the feature)
The Café Gallert hosts an open mic and a regular feature show at Gallery Cabaret, located at 2020 North Oakley Ave. (just north and east of Armitage and Western, by Milwaukee Ave.) in Chicago, IL.
This open mic was founded in December 1996 by David Rubin at Cafe Aloha before it moved to the Café in 2003. David Rubin handed the reigns over to Charlie Newman, who hosted this open mic at the Café from 2003 through 2009. Janet Kuypers took the reigns of hosting the Café in 2010.
For years the Café ran a poetry open mic weekly (except the first and last weeks of the year) every Tuesday night starting at 8:30 P.M. UNTIL 11/08/11. November and December 2011 poetry open mic readings at the Café after 11/08/11 moved to Sundays from 3:00 to 5:00 PM. In later times, the Café also supported a $2 cover & 2 drink minimum (or dinner and 1 drink), and the drink could be bottled water or soda or tea or liquor.
Because of the last-minute change of days from Tuesday evening to Sunday afternoon, 2012 welcomes two new changes to this poetry open mic:
1. Change of Venue. In 2012 this poetry open mic is on every other Wednesday at Gallery Cabaret (2020 North Oakley Ave. in Chicago) from 7:00 - 9:00 PM.
2. Naming the weekly poetry open mic. For years this open mic has only been referenced in relation to the location hosting the open mic (“Café Aloha”, “the Café”). Keepng true to the history of this open mic, this poetry open mic is called “the Café Gallery”.
3. With the new location, Janet Kuypers also asked Bob Rashkow to be her side-kick for this poetry open mic at Gallery Cabaret, so Janet and Bob will be hosting/watching over this open mic starting in 2012.
While all three hosts of this venue have supported all performers (from new and unknown to experienced), this venue has evolved over the years. Features (who have always had the ~20 minute guideline for feature length, though some stretch it toward 30 minutes) started with classic poetry readings with a microphone and a stage, but Cafe Aloha and the Café both also allowed short story readings, or performance art poetry readings and singing to guitar playing (or possibly readings with background music and projectors of artwork). The Café from 2007-2009 even used cozy non-microphone coffeehouse-style readings to a group of friends for features and open mics.
In 2010, the Café embraced a microphone with a reading stand for people to use for performance (much like Cafe Aloha readings or many other open mics in Chicago), while performers at the open mic have 5 minutes to perform. What can be performed? Poetry is the usual fare, but prose (within the 5 minute time limit, same as poetry or other performances) or music, singing, dance, or playing a musical instrument is always welcome (as long as it is not so loud as to disrupt other venues).
Starting on 2010, the Café Gallery started a weekly podcast of features, and offers videotaping of all features for this regular podcast and youtube video upload. All upcoming feature have until their performance to decide if they would like to be a part of the Café Gallery podcast with a videotaping (which is very helpful for poets around the country who cannot attend the show, or Chicago poets with prior engagements, so more people can see features later).
at Gallery Cabaret, they even have cameras wired into the place, and can have a live feed of the back of this venue displaying on a television for the front of the bar, so everyone could see the readers. We may even get the opportunity to use their cameras to record features at this open mic, so stay tuned for further details on the video recording capabilities of Gallery Cabaret.
If performers do not wish to use the microphone, they don’t have to (although it might be hard for people at the front to hear performances with no microphone, and a mic may be better for video recording the feature). Also, there may be nights without a feature at the Café Gallery (allowing for time for open mic readers to perform longer pieces, or to allow open mic readers “mini-features” of 10 minutes for performance time).