The legendary Mountain Moving Coffeehouse may have closed its doors after its final concert Dec. 10, 2005, but its legacy will continue.
Kindred Hearts, a nonprofit organization that provides a lesbian, bisexual and feminist-based gathering space for women, will continue the Mountain Moving Coffeehouse tradition starting with its first show May 20.
Saddened by the news that the 31-year-old monthly women's entertainment event and vital part of Chicago's lesbian and womyn's community had ended, the women at Kindred Hearts received the blessings of Mountain Moving Coffeehouse's organizers to carry the torch.
'It was such a big venue for women artists to be able to provide music to women in a safe space,' recalled Kindred Heart's Liz Ward, whose fondest Mountain Moving memories were coming with her friends to see Ubanka Hill.
'We starting thinking that we have a great space, and we kind of have a lot of the same ideas as Mountain Moving.'
The women's music event will go by a different name, the Kindred Hearts' Coffeehouse, but much will remain the same. No woman will be turned away, an old rule established at Mountain Moving that Kindred Hearts already lives by for its various support groups, educational programs and social events.
'I think the biggest difference is that we offer all the other things, too,' Ward said, referring to Kindred Hearts' coming out groups, chats and workshops.
The women of Mountain Moving, such as producer Kathy Munzer, not only gave Kindred Hearts their blessings, but offered their sound equipment, a helping hand and all the information they need to get the coffeehouse off the ground.
'It just seemed like a perfect fit,' Ward said. 'We feel like we're honored and blessed to be able to continue the legacy of Mountain Moving.'
Eventually, Kindred Hearts' Coffeehouse will become a monthly event. For the time being, they are taking a comfortable pace until they get the swing of things.
Wishing Chair will kick off the Coffeehouse's first show on May 20. In August, Kim Char Meredith will perform.
Kindred Hearts is located on 6554 N. Rockwell in St. James Presbyterian Church. See www.kindred-hearts.com .