Inspiration Cafe Jazz Series

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Lisa Nigro
Inspiration Corporation

About Inspiration Cafe

In an atmosphere of dignity and respect, Inspiration Corporation helps people who are affected by homelessness and poverty to improve their lives and increase self-sufficiency through the provision of social services, employment training and housing. Each year, we work with more than 3,000 Chicagoans who are characterized by chronic homelessness, unemployment or underemployment, mental illness or substance abuse, and social isolation. These individuals all share the strength to move forward out of their current situation and toward self-sufficiency.

Inspiration Cafe was founded in 1989 by Lisa Nigro, a police officer who was searching for a personal response to the people she encountered on her beat. In 1995, The Living Room Cafe was opened by Jennifer Kihm, an Inspiration Cafe volunteer who wanted to replicate the program on Chicago’s south side. Inspiration Corporation built upon the core supportive services of the Cafes, starting the Cafe Too social enterprise and food service skills training program in 2000 and adding a Housing Services program in 2001. In 2005 Inspiration Corporation merged with The Employment Project – a workforce development organization created by a group of homeless service professionals led by Luke Weisberg in 1994. Also in 2005, Cafe Too opened a restaurant to serve the public and provide work experience to students.

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About the Jazz Series

Performance Dates

The Inspiration Cafe Jazz Series invites musicians from throughout the Chicago jazz scene to perform for the guests of the Cafe. The series takes place on the first Monday of every month, during the dinner session: running from 6pm to 6:45pm. These performers generously volunteer their time and ability to showcase the best of their music for a crowd of thirty appreciative diners and servers in an intimate setting. Please note: the series is not open to the public.

Under the care of Inspiration Cafe volunteer Eunice Yi, the jazz series began in 2007 and continues today, showcasing both award-winning and burgeoning talent from Chicago's jazz scene. Because there is no honorarium provided to the volunteering musicians, the jazz series incurs no additional costs or resources to the Cafe.

Additional Information

A prospectus with additional details is available and provided upon request.

We desire to accommodate all acts from all ends of the jazz spectrum; all musicians are encouraged to inquire if interested. As well, volunteer opportunities outside of performance (such as cooking, serving, and even job training) are available through the vast array of Inspiration's programs.

Contact us at anytime for more information.