Kristen and Elijah, of Reunion Chicago, spill the T on running an impact-driven space prioritized for LGBTQ+ folks and communities of color in Chicago.
ABOUT REUNION CHICAGO
REUNION is an art gallery, event space and project incubator located in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood. Event/cultural producer Kristen Kaza and brand strategist/ cultural producer Elijah McKinnon assumed management of the space in 2016, with a mission to provide a collaborative and grounding environment for queer, people of color and women & femme folks to create freely.
WHO WE ARE AND HOW WE GOT HERE
In 2016, we, Elijah McKinnon and Kristen Kaza opened the doors to Reunion, making a home for LGBTQ, people of color and gender minorities to connect & create freely. After trying our best to work at various coworking communities and spaces around the city, we became increasingly disappointed with the lack of diversity and intentions of workspace and hospitality environments and imagined a more intersectional and collaborative space with Reunion. In a landscape where spaces for marginalized communities are relegated mostly to bars and clubs, Reunion became a space for crucial connection outside of nightlife.
This pro bono passion project of our has blossomed into a sustainable possibility model for spaces that represent marginalized identities in creative roles. In addition to Reunion Chicago ’s dedication to resource sharing, leadership development, and intersectional identities, the space has garnered a beloved community of people that have been able to amplify their initiatives and mobilize their audience to build out ecosystems that continue to support LGBTQ+ people, women, femme and non-binary fam and communities of color. The space has served as a home to wellness workshops, markets, fundraisers, retreats, art shows and so much more. Now after three years of public service and community good, we are asking for your support in keeping Reunion Chicago open and thriving.