Earlier this week, we highlighted Essay Fiesta co-producer Alyson Lyon’s favorite things about the series. Now it’s time to rifle through the memory store of co-producer Keith Ecker and pull out some choice moments that strike his fancy. The following, in no real order, are some of Keith’s Essay Fiesta favorite things:
1. Showcasing amazing stories: The honest, humor and vulnerability of the readings at Essay Fiesta continually blow us away. There’s nothing better than laughing and crying throughout the span of a show, or better yet, throughout the span of one essay.
2. Packing a local bookstore: It’s no secret that independent bookstores face an uphill battle, especially in light of the sluggish economy. But we’re proud to drum up business on a Monday night for the Book Cellar, which truly is one of the best bookstores we have ever had the privilege of patronizing.
3. Benefiting a great cause: As long as we have a full house, why not use our collective forces for a good cause? From funding GLBT health care through the Howard Brown Health Center to providing much-needed literacy resources for Chicago Public School children through 826CHI, Essay Fiesta has always been about charity. To date, our generous audience has helped us raise thousands for these important causes.
4. Entertaining our community: Above everything else, Essay Fiesta is about entertaining the Chicago community. Without our wonderful audience members, we wouldn’t have a show. It touches us to see new and old faces alike fill the Book Cellar Cafe month after month. And to hear how much a story has tickled or touched someone is the best compliment we can get.
So come celebrate our 2-year anniversary on Nov. 21. It’s going to be one heck of a party.