Literary Series Helps Howard Brown Health Center

By Betsy Mikel in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 15, 2010 9:20PM

2010_11EssayFiesta.jpg Tonight’s Essay Fiesta has arrived just in time for Howard Brown’s Lifeline Appeal. Since the reading series started one year ago, Essay Fiesta has been raising funds for Howard Brown Health Center, which provides health and social services for the LGBT community in Chicago. But earlier this month, Howard Brown CEO Jamal Edwards explained the center must raise $500,000 in 50 days in order to keep their doors open.

Over the past year, Essay Fiesta has raised about $1,500 for Howard Brown. Each month, curators and hosts Keith Ecker and Alyson Lyon welcome five local writers, comedians and artists at the Book Cellar in Lincoln Square. The readers and performers often read personal essays, some of which are funny, some of which are sad, and some of which are both.

This month, Essay Fiesta welcomes the host of The Kates and stand-up comic Kelsie Huff, playwright and former Neo-Futurist Andy Bayiates, stand-up comic Beth Stelling, This Much Is True host Deanna Moffitt and Stories at the Store host Jen Bosworth.

As always, Essay Fiesta will be raffling off a handful of prizes, including a Threadless gift certificate. All proceeds will benefit the health clinic. The Book Cellar is chipping in by offering a discount on purchases to all who donate to the raffle. A donation of $10 will get you 10% off, $20 will get you 20% off and $30 will get your 30% off. Keep in mind that an anonymous donor has offered to match all donations up to $100,000 by the end of the month. So every dollar you donate will be doubled.

Essay Fiesta is tonight, November 15, at the Book Cellar, 4736 N. Lincoln Ave, 7 p.m., free