Life As a Cabaret: Providing Low- or No-Cost Fundraisers

Chicago cabaret artist Hilary Ann Feldman was frustrated. Like many artists, her pockets weren’t full—but her heart was.

So Feldman found colleagues of like minds and hearts, and formed Acts Of Kindness Cabaret, a not-for-profit association of cabaret professionals who provide quality cabaret performances, largely free of charge, as fundraising events for other nonprofits.

“We’re using our talents to lend a hand to struggling local nonprofits,” says Feldman. “We’re proving that art is not only an endeavor that needs financial support, but also one that can provide it as well.”

At 8 p.m. on Sat., April 14, Acts Of Kindness Cabaret will be giving a public performance showcase at the Skokie Theatre, 7924 N. Lincoln Ave. in Skokie. “A Little Help From My Friends” features Feldman, Caryn Caffarelli, and Marianne Murphy Orland, with Paul Hamilton at the piano.

“The event is a great opportunity for those working in the nonprofit community, and the public at large, to experience firsthand what Acts Of Kindness Cabaret does, find out how they work, speak directly with those involved,” says Feldman.

Tickets are $22 for the general public at www.gorillatango.com, $10 for nonprofit representatives (call Acts Of Kindness Cabaret at 847/419-7664), and free for Acts Of Kindness Cabaret Golden Ticket Holders.

“We’re kind of like an event in a box,” says Executive/Artistic Director Feldman. “All shows include lighting, sound, a crew, and a cast of professional performers who have been seen in venues throughout the Chicago area, as well as NYC, Los Angeles, and London.”

April 14’s “A Little Help From My Friends” takes audiences on a journey through friendship in its many incarnations with songs by Richard Maltby and David Shire, Harold Arlen, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Marvin Hamlisch, Stephen Sondheim, and Zina Goldrich and Marcy Heisler.

To date, the performance events have raised over $200,000 for a variety of area charitable organizations.

“It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement,” says Feldman. “By using cabaret performance to help our communities, we introduce new audiences to our wonderful, but little-known art form, and we also introduce cabaret artists and fans to outstanding organizations in their communities. Perhaps most importantly, audiences see us doing what we can with what we have, and they are often inspired to do the same. It is truly remarkable.”

To learn more about this philanthropic arts organization, please visit: www.aokcabaret.org