BLACK VOICES IN CABARET showcases the lived experiences of African-American performers and will introduce a greater public to cabaret and its early history in Chicago as a Black art form. Initiated by Black performers who have met through SongShop and Cabaret Connexion, we want to bring back to the cabaret stage the great variety of African American music, and expose Black audiences and artists to the truth-telling power and intimacy of cabaret.

Obstacles to racial equity in cabaret are many: foremost, its longtime focus on the Great American Songbook and the expense of participation. We will present live-stream performances celebrating 100 years of Black voices in cabaret, starting with three episodes of HEALING THROUGH SONG, to air from MARCH 14-28, 2021.


African American performers and venues are invited to respond to the call by writing to [email protected].

Artist Profiles

Visit our new website for the updated roster of performers associated with Black Voices in Cabaret.


Black Voices in Cabaret is facilitated by Working In Concert, a not-for-profit performing arts incubator, facilitator, and connector for collaborative projects embracing musical genres—cabaret, opera and classical vocal arts, theatrical and popular song. Our goal is to reflect on stage and “in the house” the great diversity of Chicago’s population and the paths that bring us together.

  • The steering committee is led by David Stephens, with Claudia Hommel, Dan Johnson, Evelyn Danner, and Kim Mann
  • The program team is led by Margaret Murphy and Cynthia Clarey, with Arlene Armstrong, Madeline Morgan and Vivian Beckford
  • The outreach team is David Stephens, Ava Logan, Evelyn Danner, and Ruth Fuerst
  • Historical research is led by Dan Johnson with Arlene Armstrong and Natalie Douglas (Cynthia Clarey and Paula Ingram weighing in)
  • Communications includes Dave DeGooyer, Meredith Morris, Barb Smith and Lydia Stux
  • The Technology team is in formation and includes K Shack Video, with assistance from Roxane Assaf

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