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Live Arts | MCA x Fruit Salad

January 10, 20236:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Advance tickets for this event have been claimed. Join the waitlist on Eventbrite by clicking “Get Tickets” and then the “Join Waitlist” button.

A person with long, dark braids smiles while standing in front of a microphone stand.

Fruit Salad. Photo: margo Santiago.

About the Event

We are thrilled to welcome our community partners at Dorothy for a special presentation of Fruit Salad, a monthly open mic night focused on providing a platform for queer artists while prioritizing an equitable BIPOC space. Join us as we welcome to the Commons’ stage 10 open mic performers followed by a performance by stand-up comedian Kenya Élan.

Attendees are encouraged to sign up via the link in their ticket receipt for one of the 10 open mic slots; five slots are saved for BIPOC performers. Open mic performers are announced ahead of time via social media after a random drawing.

This program is organized in collaboration with Whitney LaMora, Curator (The Martin/Dorothy), Rainn Thomas, Social Media Producer (MCA), and Otez Gary, Community Engagement Manager (MCA).

About Fruit Salad

Fruit Salad is a monthly queer open mic night produced by Rainn Thomas and Whitney LaMora that launched in October 2021. What began as a platform for queer performers in the gallery space The Martin, quickly became a sell-out community staple that now performs monthly in Dorothy, a neighborhood lesbian cocktail lounge located below The Martin. Hosted and curated by Rainn, each month we make space for 10 open mic performers, giving priority to BIPOC artists, before handing off the stage to our feature performer for the evening. We also give back a portion of our ticket sales for the night and have to date donated over $1,500 to nonprofit organizations ranging from abortion access to queer resources, cancer research, Black liberation, and more. You can follow us @fruitsaladchicago and @dorothydownstairs.

About the Artists

A dramatically lit woman stands in front of a microphone. She gestures with her right hand as she looks up and to her right, her mouth agape as if captured mid-sentence.

Kenya Élan. Photo: selfoto.

Kenya Élan (she/her) is a queer writer and stand-up comedian based in Chicago. Sharp and dynamic, she brings an unexpected chaos to the stage that has made her a stand out in the Chicago comedy scene. Élan is the cocreator of “It Will Be Okay?: An Outdoor Comedy Show” and “Late Nite Dynamite” and is also a featured player at Lincoln Lodge. Follow her @kenya_elan on all social media platforms.

A woman in a white, green, yellow, pink, and purple dress with red flowers in her hair stands in front of a microphone stand. She looks off to her left. Behind her, a portion of a large projection screen appears to the right.

Whitney LaMora. Photo: margo Santiago.

Whitney LaMora (she/her) is a queer curator, producer, and performer based in Chicago. She is the founder and curator of The Martin, an artist-first full-service gallery and creative space located in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood. She is also the events and social media manager for The Martin, Split-Rail, and Dorothy. She is the coproducer of Fruit Salad and otherwise is an immersive producer and director. You can follow her @whitneycurates.

A dark-haired person in a strapless, red top laughs into a microphone.

Rainn Thomas. Photo: margo Santiago.

Rainn Thomas (shey/they) is a Black, lesbian writer and artist based in Chicago. Her work explores themes of Black sexuality and religious trauma. Her current installation, Sanctified, is on view at The Whistler until 2023. Thomas is the host and coproducer of Fruit Salad as well as the social media producer for the MCA.