In so many ways, Patrick’s Cabaret is the heart and soul of the queer arts community in the Twin Cities. This queer led organization consistently produces events by and for artists living on the edge of culture, and countless local stars got their start or got back on stage because of Patrick’s Cabaret. No show is the same, and it’s one of the only hubs where storytellers, poets, musicians, drag artists, theatre folk, dancers, and other performing artists can be seen on the same stage in the same night. It is home for so many radical artists and arts supporters. Patrick’s Cabaret has been bringing one of a kind cabaret events to the Twin Cities for over 32 years. That is an understatement.
Which is why it pains me today to report that after thirty two years, Patrick’s Cabaret is closing its doors at the end of their current season. The company states that “Patrick’s Cabaret is not in a financial or leadership crisis, and has no debt, but the reality is that financial resources are not available to sustain the organization’s work. The organization’s financial projections indicate that it must close permanently, in approximately 8 months.” This news was a shock to most reading it, as the company’s innovative programming seems to be thriving. The company has made several additions to their regular season over the past few years, and several shows a year sell out. The sad reality is (and I know this first hand as a producer) that for truly unique, innovative programming designed to serve those already living on society’s fringes, often the resources just aren’t there. This is a hard, fragile business and it is to the company’s credit they have made it work so beautifully and pay every artist that performs for over three decades. Losing their flagship venue in 2016 was a huge loss of stability and earned income for the company, and rising rents in the Twin Cities haven’t helped projections moving forward.
While this news is devastating, in true Patrick’s style, they aren’t leaving us high and dry. There is almost a full season of programming ahead, all of it downright innovative. There are four more cabarets to come, starting with Revolutionary Jetpacks this February. They are producing another round of the incredibly successful Artist Education Series this spring, and there will be a series of conversations about what happens next for the communities Patrick’s serves. You can find out more about this powerful season right on their website.
Patrick’s Cabaret is closing after this season no matter what–hence their and my references to a “sunset season.” The organization still has lots of ways to get involved, ensure that this final season is successful, and meet lots of other amazing people so you can help plan next steps for the community of queer, POC, disabled, and otherwise marginalized artists and audience. Patrick’s is specifically asking the community to:
- Share your memories of this excellent organization on social media by tagging @patrickscabaret or using the hashtag #patrickscabaret. Public posts are especially helpful.
- Go to the aforementioned cabarets! Here’s the link again just in case.
- Attend upcoming Community Roundtables where the company will discuss how to support and enable artists living on the edge of culture moving forward. Feb 26th is the first of these conversations. Details TBD–keep checking their website.
- Volunteer! Learn more about volunteering right on their website.
- Donate. We want to make sure artists and other necessities are still being taken care of and that this important arts organization goes out in style. You can also fundraise on their behalf; connect with Executive Artistic Director Scott Artley at firstname.lastname@example.org to start planning.
I’m incredibly heartbroken to see that Patrick’s Cabaret is permanently closing. This company has meant the world to me over the past several years. I know it means the world to a lot of you reading too. I know that those who love Patrick’s, work at Patrick’s, or perform at Patrick’s will go on to continue making amazing, evocative, shocking work. In the meantime, don’t miss a second of their final season, and make sure you’re supporting the arts organizations that mean the most to you.