Call for Curators for the 2017 Fall Season

Call for Curators

2017 Fall Season (September-December) with Patrick’s Cabaret

Deadline: Apply by Wednesday, July 12th at 11:59 PM by visiting

Page Summary: Patrick's Cabaret seeks artists to serve as Curators for its 2017 Fall Season. Curators will be supported in their efforts to curate a compelling show, and will select artists and host the show, among other responsibilities. Some opportunities have pre-selected themes, and some do not. Applications can be made online, on paper, or with additional assistance as requested.

Quick Links:


Patrick’s Cabaret is a queer-led performance art incubator supporting the growth and development of artists on the edge of culture. Our work strives to center artists of color, artists with disabilities, and artists with queer and trans identities, and all the ways these communities intersect. We grow new art and new artists by encouraging artists of all experience levels to try new things, take risks, and present works-in-progress. We connect artists to education, performance platforms, tangible resources, and to each other, to put their talents to work. We build a diverse network of artists committed to forwarding a radically inclusive and progressive creative community where artists on the margins can thrive.


The cornerstone of our programming is the “Cabaret” formula Patrick Scully started in 1986. Each Mainstage Cabaret show unites multiple acts (typically six) under a shared bill, each presenting their own short-form work. Cabarets are designed to offer a mix of artistic disciplines, experience levels, and creative viewpoints, and offer a supportive environment to explore new parts of artists’ performance practices. 


For majority of Patrick’s Cabaret’s history, shows have been curated by the Artistic Director or Program Director, with several slots a year also offered to Guest Curators as part of a separate program. Beginning in the 2017 Fall Season, the Guest Curator program will officially merge with the Mainstage Cabaret program, and external Curators will now curate all Mainstage Cabarets.


By engaging external artists as Curators, our goal is to nurture a cohort of arts-based organizers ready to stretch their creative leadership capacities to a new level, while also inviting a constant stream of new artists into the Patrick’s Cabaret family.

Patrick’s Cabaret’s Executive Artistic Director Scott Artley selects and supports Curators to produce their own Cabaret shows. Curators each select their own line-up of artists and promote and host the show. In a town where artists often feel overwhelmed by the logistics of self-producing a show, Patrick’s Cabaret builds the “box” for you: securing a venue, hiring technical staff, managing box office, providing event staff, and producing promotional tools. That way, Curators are free to focus on building a community of artists, a willing audience, and a compelling show. 


We seek applications from both emerging curators ready to develop skills and experience in community-driven event production, and experienced curators ready to deepen their curatorial practice in the context of a particularly open-minded community arts institution. Individuals, and Curatorial Teams of up to 2 people, may apply. Four Curators/Curatorial Teams will be selected in this round.

Curators are expected to:

  • Participate in 1-on-1 planning meetings with the Executive Artistic Director (usually 1 in-person meeting, and regular phone/email check-ins)

  • Develop a show concept or curatorial framework that engages multiple artists to present their own work

  • Perform outreach to groups and individuals to select artists through an open call process, and maintain communications with them

  • Promote the event and build an audience, with support from Cabaret staff

  • Host technical rehearsal, with support from Cabaret-supplied Technician and staff

  • Host the event: welcome and orient artists, conduct Cabaret welcoming traditions, introduce acts onstage, ensure that the space is set-up and cleaned properly

  • Support and attend the events of other curators in your cohort as able

  • Help Patrick’s Cabaret staff evaluate activities

There are two kinds of curatorial opportunities:

  1. Annual Platforms - These are events with a particular theme or focus that we have hosted in the past with success and we expect to continue on as annual traditions. Curators will be expected to secure artists aligned with the core theme of the event, but can put their own spin on it. These events are great fits for both emerging and established Curators.

    1. For example, Curator Sarah Tan curated the event Anything But English, an annual event featuring artists whose first language is “anything but English,” and created the sub-theme “Language in Space,” which served as a suggestion that artists could think about multilingual space(s) and place(s).

    2. Curator Alison Bergblom Johnson added the sub-theme “Rights/Responsibilities” to her curation of CabarABLE, the annual event featuring the work of artists with disabilities, inviting artists to consider the legal rights and moral responsibilities related to disability justice.

  2. “Wild Card” Platforms - These are curatorial slots that do not have any pre-selected theme or focus. Curators will be expected to create a theme or curatorial framework in the style of a Mainstage Cabaret, but the slate is completely blank on what that focus will be. The event should provide a learning experience for the Curator, and generate new relationships and opportunities for artists, so it is not a good fit to re-stage a previously produced event. These events are open to emerging Curators, but are likely a better fit for an experienced curator.


The following are the Guest Curator slots available for the 2017 Fall Season:

  • “Wild Card” Platform - Fri & Sat, September 8-9 (call 6:30 PM)

    • Venue: Open Eye Figure Theatre

    • Tech rehearsal: Wed Sep 6 (call 6:00 PM)

    • Event theme: No pre-selected theme or focus, the Curator will be expected to create a theme or framework in the style of a Mainstage Cabaret (multiple artists under a shared bill presenting their own short-form work). Of note: Open Eye was the home of Patrick’s Cabaret throughout much of the 1990s, and although we’re open to anything happening here, we’re especially tickled by the idea of someone from that era animating the space with Patrick’s Cabaret energy again!

    • 1 Curator/Curatorial Team will be selected

  • Controlled Burn - Thu, Fri, & Sat, Oct 5-7 (call 6:30 PM)

    • Venue: Intermedia Arts

    • Tech rehearsal: Mon Oct 2 AND Tue Oct 3 (call 6:00 PM)

    • Event theme: Named for the practice of intentionally setting fire to a prairie to promote new growth, Controlled Burn is a cabaret mini-festival featuring “queer performance for a world on fire.” An intersectional space for queer performers, especially artists of color and with disabilities. This will be the second year we will have hosted this event, and the Curator will work with some of the previous year’s Curators, anticipating a curatorial team that will rotate off one member and roll on a new member each year, providing ongoing mentorship from one generation to the next. The Curator must identify with a queer and/or trans identity.

    • Please note: This is a three night event, with a different line-up each night. To accommodate that many artists, there will be TWO nights of tech rehearsal.

    • 1 individual Curator will be selected (this opportunity is not open to Curatorial Teams).

  • CabarABLE - Fri & Sat, Nov 10-11 OR Nov 17-18 (call 6:30 PM)

    • Venue: To Be Determined (likely Pangea World Theater Studio)

    • Tech rehearsal: Wed Nov 8 OR Wed Nov 15 (call 6:00 PM)

    • Event theme: CabarABLE is Patrick’s Cabaret’s annual show featuring artists with disabilities, and 2017 will mark the fourth year we will have hosted this event. Previous years’ themes included “Love,” “Work,” and “Rights/Responsibilities.” Curator must identify as part of a disability community/communities.

    • 1 Curator/Curatorial Theme will be selected. We are working hard to confirm a venue, and once we do performance dates will be solidified. Please note any scheduling conflicts when applying.

  • My Horrifying Holiday! 2: The Return - Fri & Sat, Dec 8-9 OR Dec 15-16 (call 4:30 PM on night 1, call 6:30 PM on night 2)

    • Venue: To Be Determined (likely Squirrel Haus Arts)

    • Tech rehearsal: Night-of the first performance (Dec 8 or Dec 15) (call 4:30 PM)

    • Event theme: An annual event about the desperation, awkwardness, and hindsight-only humor that plagues the holiday season. Typically this event has a focus on being light-hearted and humorous, but has had some sincere and even actually horrifying pieces. Very limited tech capabilities, this event is best for storytellers, stand-up comedians, and other verbal artists. Has previously included artists from multiple faiths (including no faith). This will be the second year we will have hosted the event.

    • 1 Curator/Curatorial Theme will be selected. We are working hard to confirm a venue, and once we do performance dates will be solidified. Please note any scheduling conflicts when applying.

All shows begin at 7:30 PM and end approximately 9:30 PM, including a 10-15 minute intermission. The curatorial process begins approximately 8 weeks before an event. The next call for curators will be made available for the 2018 Spring Season in late fall.


Curators are paid a fee of $300 to compensate their work. Curatorial Teams will share one stipend. Curators/Curatorial teams also receive 5 tickets they can sell for the show (and retain the income), plus free admission to events produced by Patrick’s Cabaret for 1 year.

In 2016 we revised our ticketing and artist payment procedures to reflect our new reality as a mobile organization. Artists are now paid a guaranteed fee, and are given a limited number of tickets to sell for which they keep the full value. For details on the new and improved artist compensation and ticketing procedures, please visit:


A strong Guest Curator applicant or team will:

  • Be grounded in the Twin Cities

  • Have some experience building community around an arts event or creative activity

  • Exhibit high-level skills in communication, reliability, and relationship-building

  • Demonstrate a unique perspective on arts and culture, and its place in community life, particularly with regard to providing opportunities for artists working on the edge of culture, whether because of radical content, experimental form, or cultural marginality

    • Our favorite events often engage with these more serious ideas in the form of a colorful, visceral, inclusive, and celebratory aesthetic; but we’re ready for you to test our interpretation of what artists can do when they work together

  • Artists of color, with disabilities, and/or LGBTQ-identified are especially encouraged to apply


A completed online application and résumé/experience summary must be received by the deadline of Wednesday, July 12th at 11:59pm. Paper applications will also be available at the front desk of Intermedia Arts, and can be downloaded here to be printed and mailed to Patrick’s Cabaret at PO Box 8096, Minneapolis, MN 55408 or dropped at the front desk of Intermedia Arts (applications must be received by the deadline, please provide plenty of time to allow for mailing or dropping off because of upcoming holidays).

Please note that Intermedia Arts staff are not able to answer questions about or assist with applications, but Patrick’s Cabaret staff are available by email or phone if you need assistance to complete the application. This service is intended to provide access for people with disabilities, applicants for whom English is a second language, and/or others who face additional barriers. We prefer that if you can, please complete the online application, but inquiring about or receiving additional assistance will not affect the consideration of your application in any way. For example if you have difficulty typing, we can record your verbal answers to the questions posed. Please note holiday closures below to see when we are and are not available to provide assistance.


Patrick’s Cabaret will be closed Wednesday, June 28th to Sunday, July 9th. You will still be able to submit applications and leave messages with staff, but we will not respond until we return on Monday, July 10th. Patrick’s Cabaret has a small staff working irregular hours, so we are not consistently available at particular times. Please contact us via email ( or desk phone (612-724-6273) to make inquiries or set up a time to chat in-person or via phone.

Intermedia Arts will be closed Saturday, July 1st to Sunday, July 9th. You will not be able to access or submit paper applications at this time. Intermedia is otherwise generally open 12pm-6pm Mondays and 10am-6pm Tuesday-Friday.

Applicants will be notified of decisions by Wednesday, July 19th.

A completed application includes:

  • Completed Application - As noted above, this application will be accepted online, on paper at Intermedia Arts or via mail, or through another method as needed by the application date. Find the online application at

  • A résumé or other summary (up to 1 page) describing your work, volunteer, education, and creative history as it relates to the curatorship opportunity. You may submit a link to your Mn Artists profile/résumé and/or LinkedIn profile instead (no length limit on digital content). This should be emailed to after completing the online application, or included with your paper application.