Patrick’s Cabaret was a queer-led performance art incubator supporting the growth and development of artists on the edge of culture from 1986-2018.
Our work strived to center artists of color, with disabilities, and with queer and trans identities. We grew new art and new artists by encouraging artists of all experience levels to try new things, take risks, and present works-in-progress. We connected artists to education, performance platforms, tangible resources, and to each other, to put their talents to work. We built a diverse network of artists committed to forwarding a radically inclusive and progressive creative community where artists on the margins can thrive.
Why we existed
We believe artists are critical agents for broad community change.
We believe queer identity is a lens through which we fight for justice and liberation for all marginalized communities.
We believe our role in the Twin Cities arts ecology is to support artists who are doing challenging, experimental, subversive and community-driven work that might not otherwise find a home.
How we were unique
Patrick’s Cabaret has amassed a vast and diverse network of artists over three decades.
We are a key point of entry for many emerging artists, and a fertile ground of experimentation for many experienced artists.
- We provide frequent and accessible paid opportunities for artists from marginalized communities to make and share their art.
Patrick’s Cabaret began in 1986 as a single evening in the basement gymnasium of a Catholic school. Patrick Scully, an out gay man living with HIV, invited other artists to join him in a show of works-in-progress. In the midst of the Reagan Era, the Culture Wars, and some of the darkest days of the AIDS crisis, the evening proved so successful, and the need for a performing venue to support raw, experimental, challenging work so great, that Patrick’s Cabaret grew rapidly into an essential community resource.
Three decades later, we have maintained the original formula of presenting a shared evening with artists of mixed artistic disciplines and levels of experience, featuring thousands of performances by hundreds of local artists. Read more about our History! Patrick's Cabaret sunsetted in June of 2018.
In our current political and social reality, we see the continued need for an organization that supports artists working at the edges of mainstream culture.
In May 2016, we lost our venue, challenging us to do some more radical work directly in the communities we serve. At our core, Patrick’s Cabaret is a concept and a community with resilience written into our DNA. Today, we have an office at ArtsHub West at Intermedia Arts in South Minneapolis. We partner with and share established venues, working with performers and audiences to create exciting and surprising community spaces that fulfill our mission. Recent spaces have included Intermedia Arts, the Fox Egg Gallery, the TEK BOX stage at Cowles Center, and Squirrel Haus Arts.
We have also expanded our support to artists beyond performance opportunities, offering new initiatives, such as educational workshops, artist services, and community residencies. In February of 2018, Patrick's Cabaret announced this would be our final season, and the organization officially sunset in June 2018 after a glorious FUNeral.
We depend on the support of volunteers, donors, and regular audience members to accomplish our mission. Support us today by:
- Making a financial donation, which provides us the most flexibility to be responsive to artist and organization needs.
- Signing up for our email list, and become a regular at the Cabaret.
- Become one of our volunteers, and be a part of the action.
- Thanking our benefactors, the people and organizations who have already shown their support.