The Queer Party as Resistance: Opening Reception and Panel at Chicago Athletic Club

Join us for the opening reception of The Queer Party as Resistance at Chicago Athletic Club. Featuring a conversation with Party Noire collective members, archival images from Executive Sweet, and a pop-up display from Gerber/Hart!

Learn more and RSVP HERE!

Celebrate pride by paying homage to the queer Black parties of then and now! This exhibition will feature archival images from Chicago’s own EXECUTIVE SWEET, a former traveling Black party hosted by Pat McCombs and Vera Washington, and images and a short documentary created by PARTY NOIRE.

This opening reception will feature an inter-generational discussion with Party Noire members dr. nick alder (Party Noire Co-founder, Community Builder, Partnerships), Dyaspara (DJ, Social Media Lead, Event Producer), and Lyric Newbern (Photographer, Digital Media Strategist, Event Producer) in conversation with community elders.

Can’t make the reception? No worries. THE EXHIBITION WILL RUN FROM 6/28 – 6/30, WITH VIEWING HOURS FROM 10AM-7PM.

Executive Sweet

Starting in the 1980s, Executive Sweet was a traveling party that focused on Black lesbians in Chicago. It was founded by Pat McCombs and Vera Washington

Party Noire

The #‎PartyNoire community is an inclusive cultural hub celebrating Black femmes, QWOC, + Black womanhood along the gender spectrum + holds space, especially for queer, trans + genderqueer, and gender non-conforming Black people. We create experiences + intentional spaces for uplifting + affirming the lives of Black women. Since 2015, we have cultivated intentional community on the dance floor + beyond, supporting + amplifying Black queer, trans + non-binary creatives.

dr. nick alder, ph.d., (they/themme/theirs) is a creative co-conspirator, healing + liberation spacemaker + community designer making healing and liberation irresistible. their work, through Party Noire + Rad Healing Lab, nurtures the creative spirit + crafts ecosystems of care, + possibility. they are guided by the words of Audre Lorde, “without community, there is no liberation.”

Dyaspara is a cultural connector who lives to learn and reflect on the beauty, vastness, and connectedness of cultures in the African diaspora. As Party Noire’s DJ, Social Media Lead, and Event Producer, the Chicago-born and based DJ takes other diasporic culture lovers on musical journeys through her sets, mixes, and newsletter, Thoughts with Mild Sauce. Dyaspara’s work with Party Noire amplifies her mission to inspire and create enticing cultural linkages, fostering a deeper appreciation for the richness of the African diaspora.

Lyric Newbern (they/them) is a queer editorial & Black archival photographer, digital media strategist, and event producer. Their work, through Party Noire, creates safe spaces and living archives where people feel comfortable being seen & community is reflected back to itself.


Gerber/Hart is a LGBTQ+ library and archives located in the Rogers Park neighborhood in Chicago. Founded in 1981, Gerber/Hart is one of the largest repositories of LGBTQ+ content in the world. Gerber/Hart focuses on collecting, preserving, and making accessible the LGBTQ history and culture of Chicago and the Midwest. Learn more at GERBERHART.ORG or by following @gerberhart on Instagram and Facebook. And for a deep dive into some of the amazing collections at Gerber/Hart, listen in to their 2022 podcast Unboxing Queer History!

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