The Frunchroom, the live storytelling series about the South Side that makes its home in Beverly/Morgan Park, will celebrate its third anniversary with a new lineup, new artists and free admission for patrons of a local restaurant.

The next show will be Thursday, April 19, at 7:30 p.m. at the Beverly Arts Center (BAC), 2407 W. 111th St. A $5 donation to benefit the Beverly Area Arts Alliance is requested.

Attendees are encouraged to dine that evening at Ellie’s Cafe and Catering, 10701 S. Hale Ave., and bring their meal receipt to forego the donation request.

“With spring finally here, we want people to think of The Frunchroom as an opportunity to spend a night out enjoying local dining and entertainment,” said Morgan Park resident and Frunchroom Host/Producer Scott Smith. “Recent reports have said the Beverly Area Arts Alliance’s work contributes to economic benefits like healthy real estate prices and increased small-business sales, and we want to keep that going.”

Scheduled to appear at The Frunchroom are an anti-violence activist, an author specializing in Midwest people and places, the chief speechwriter for Chicago Public Schools, a young adult novelist and the ranking Mexican-American alderman on the City Council.

Guests are encouraged to arrive early and enjoy the pre-show lounge and pop-up art gallery in the BAC’s “Blue Room,” curated by Beverly Arts Alliance Co-founder Sal Campbell with three artists’ work from the Beverly Hills Marketplace, 1809 W. 95th St.: Fred Mathews, Phillip London and G.L. Smothers.

“Our neighborhood has lots of hidden gems like Beverly Hills Marketplace on 95th Street,” said Smith. “Similarly, the South Side has so many facets that often get lost in a manufactured narrative. The Frunchroom is all about revealing what’s right in front of us.”

The unique mix of art, cocktails and stories at The Frunchroom is sponsored by The Beverly Arts Center. The event continues to be produced as a showcase for original written work, presented in partnership with the Beverly Area Arts Alliance, the organization responsible for local arts events like the Beverly Art Walk, the Uprising Craft Market and Local Art on Tap.

The Frunchroom has played to packed houses since it began in April 2015. Previous readers include local residents and business owners, radio and podcast hosts, teachers, poets, politicians and artists. In addition, The Frunchroom has featured reporters and anchors from the Chicago Tribune, South Side Weekly, Bloomberg News, WBEZ-FM and WGN-TV.

The readers for April’s show include Colleen Hart-Kozubowski, chief speechwriter and associate director of communications for Chicago Public Schools and director of the St. Cajetan Children’s Choir; Tamar Manasseh, founder and president of Mothers/Men Against Senseless Killings (MASK); Edward McClelland, author of the forthcoming “Folktales and Legends of the Middle West” as well as “Young Mr. Obama” and “How to Speak Midwestern”; Ricardo Munoz, alderman of the 22nd Ward; and Claire Zulkey, co-creator and host of the storytelling series “Funny Ha-Ha” and author of “An Off Year.”

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