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1565 N. Milwaukee


The story of our Milwaukee location.

1565N. Milwaukee

When the cops raided the Eight Bold Souls concert in the loft, CIPEX moved to adjoining storefronts at 1565 N. Milwaukee in what was then the Puerto Rican and Polish community of Wicker Park.

The first event to inaugurate the space was the WOMEN OFTHE NEW JAZZ FESTIVAL – a project curated by Marguerite Horberg, Lauren Deutsch, Julie Smith, Susan Gooding and Arlee Frantz. It was arguably one of the country’s first music festivals to highlight women composers and instrumentalists and foreground women in jazz differently than vocal accompanists

The space in Wicker Park was soon identified as a welcoming place for cultural expression that was not featured anywhere else in Chicago. With regular programs in Spanish, events aiding refugees and in solidarity with liberation movements South Africa, Latin and Central America…HotHouse was a hot bed of activism.

The Guild Complex moved in to a regular Wednesday night programming spot where they featured world renown spoken word artists ( Sonia Sanchez, Carolyn Forche, Sterling Plump, Joy Harjo, Elizabeth Alexander, The annual Gwendolyn Brooks Awards were launched during this series with the esteemed laureate in the audience to witness the competition.

Also in this era, the steadfast commitment HotHouse made to the AACM, experimental music, world music and international progressive activism was birthed.

Memorable events with Baaba Mal, Lazaro Ros, and Jeff Buckley cemented the reputation for the small club as a producer of giant special events.

The weekly Monday night Blues jam led by Yoko Noge, the monthly Chicago Samba parties, the vast and in depth programming of jazz greats from Dewey Redman to Lester Bowie solidified HotHouse’s stature as one of the nation’s most important cultural producers.  

In 1994, the board decided to merge The Center for International Performance and Exhibition ( the non -profit) with HotHouse ( the for-profit lease holder of the space). In 1995, the space closed due to growing gentrification of the area.

In 1997, the organization moved to 31 East Balbo.

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