How we sunset matters

On Sunday, June 3rd, we celebrated our "FUNeral," but that tongue-in-cheek party paying respects to the organization is only one part of how we're honoring the legacy of Patrick's Cabaret. As hard as it was to make the decision to sunset the organization, we knew we had a rare opportunity to do it with integrity. How we sunset matters, and we've been working hard behind the scenes to ensure the legacy of Patrick's Cabaret will echo long into history.


  • Legacy Book - At the FUNeral we released a brand-new printed retrospective book Out on the Edge: three decades of Patrick's Cabaret, tracing the history of Patrick's Cabaret through archival content, including photographs from events, excerpts of newspaper articles, reflections from staff, and more, asking us to consider how this small, community-based platform has changed the arts landscape for good.


  • "Controlled Burn" Continues - We are transferring our annual cabaret event "Controlled Burn: queer performance for a world on fire" to 20% Theater, another queer-led organization in town that will continue the tradition of producing a radically accessible opportunity for queer artists to share new short-form performance work in our signature style. 20% will take on the name and format of the event, and we will share with them our timelines, tools, and intentions, reflecting a transfer not just of name but of values and philosophy.

  • "Lightning Rod" Toolkit - For the last two years we produced "Lightning Rod," a time- and resource-limited opportunity for artists to get involved in political and social action through collaborative performance, and this spring we were selected to create a "toolkit" with Springboard for the Arts so that anyone could create their own version of "flash theater" in their own communities.

  • Artist Education Series - Our Lake Street neighbor and program partner Soo Visual Arts Center is working to continue our Artist Education program, the unique peer-led professional development series we've led in partnership with SooVAC and Pangea World Theater, expanding project partners to break down disciplinary silos and facilitate artists sharing and learning the skills they need to thrive on the margins.


  • Partnering with Minnesota Playlist - Patrick's Cabaret isn't just a collection of events and programs, we have been a platform for making our network of artists more visible to a wider audience for three decades. In June, we are working with Minnesota Playlist, the virtual town square for Minnesota's performing arts, to offer the Patrick's Cabaret family free and greatly discounted artist profiles, expanding opportunities for performers to showcase their resumes, get work, promote their shows, and even write about performance.


  • Community Roundtables - Since February we've held monthly conversations called Sunsetting Community Roundtables about the state of art-making for radical and experimental art on the margins in the Twin Cities. We explored common challenges and began identifying collective solutions to "pass the torch" to the next generation of artists on the edge o culture. The conversation series will conclude with a final gathering on Monday, June 25th focused on the needs for queer artists of color.

  • Nonprofit Leadership Conference - Patrick's Cabaret's Executive Artistic Director Scott Artley will lead a panel conversation called "The Final Act: Sunsetting Nonprofit Organizations" at the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits' annual Nonprofit Leadership Conference with two other leaders (Gayle Ober and Jake Blumberg) who brought organizations through the final stage in the nonprofit lifecycle. The presentation will provide real-world case studies to a rarely explored topic, and promote how giving a respectable conclusion to an organization can be a beautiful expression of love.


If you have already become a Legacy Donor by making a donation of any amount in 2018, thank you so much for your support, and I hope you are excited to see all of the ways your donation has helped us make all of these plans.

If you haven't yet become a Legacy Donor, please consider helping us cross the sparkly finish line of our Sunset Season with the greatest impact by making a gift. While we wind down over the summer, our minimal remaining expenses will still be critical to ensure we have the resources to meet our final commitments. If we raise more than we need, we will be able to re-grant remaining funds to partner organizations continuing on our programming in a new home.

Thank you for your belief in the power of Patrick's Cabaret. We couldn't do it with each and every one of you stepping up to declare this work important. You have made all the difference.

Scott Artley
Executive Artistic Director
and everyone at Patrick's Cabaret