Our exhibits are always free and open to the public. We graciously ask for a suggested $5 donation or a give-what-you-can to support our ongoing mission and free access to all.
The City That Werqs: A History of Chicago’s Drag Revolutionaries
While Chicago has the reputation as one of the most segregated cities in the country, the drag scene in Chicago has always held within it a diversity of performance and style. From anarchists and vaudeville queens at the Dil Pickle Club and the legendary Finnie’s Balls to the racially integrated club scenes of the 1960’s to the rise of the Miss Continental competition in the 1980’s and into the vibrant scene of today. The exhibit chronicles the drag scene through photographs, newspaper articles and performance attire. Chicago is the city that works, because Chicago is the city that werqs. The exhibit is in the Norman Sandfield Gallery and runs through April 2019.
When we think of LGBTQ activism in the United States we often think of the Stonewall Riots of 1969 as the spark that created a movement. In reality the events at the Stonewall Inn were an explosion of radical activism that has been building in the country since the 1920’s and had already become a national movement. These pre-Stonewall activism organizations are called homophile groups. The “Gay is Good” exhibit details the beginning of homophile movement in the US, its peak during the ECHO and NACHO conferences, and the eventual decline after the Stonewall Riots. The exhibit runs through May 2019 in the Howard Brown Health Clark Waiting Room.
The exhibit highlights items from sports groups and publications. Included are items from GALS (Great Angling Lesbian Society) and TRI-Women, in addition to WCAA softball, the Gay Games, and Smelts.
The exhibit is in the library reading room and will open March 14, 2019 and through June 2019.
On display in the Walgreens Pharmacy waiting area a selection of Red Ribbon for AIDS Awareness pins. These include Hard Rock Cafe pins, cultural and religious pins, and fantasy pins. This exhibit will run through February 2019.
Exhibits in Howard Brown waiting room and Walgreens are viewable during their open hours: Mon-Thur 9 am–6 pm, Fri 9 am–5 pm, and Sat 9 am–3 pm.