Photo by: Tracy Baim
INDIVIDUAL | Inducted 2001
As a social service professional and volunteer arts booker, Kathryn Munzer has spent more than 20 years in helping Chicago’s Mountain Moving Coffeehouse for Womyn and Children, in developing lesbian musicians and other artists, and fostering lesbian culture. The success of lesbian communities has included creation and maintenance of community centers and activities that affect their everyday lives. Mountain Moving Coffeehouse for Womyn and Children was an important lesbian institution.
Munzer’s profound commitment to the lesbian community manifests itself through her support of lesbian activities and a wide variety of lesbian artists and artisans. None of this work has ever been paid. She used her vacation time to do it, and she arranged her life to accommodate the needs of particular artists and the lesbian community as a whole.
She has done performer care at major festivals—Campfest, East Coast Lesbian Festival (perfomer support coordinator 1990-94), Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival (acoustic stage 1991-94). She goes to such festivals recognizing that Chicago should not be isolated; her work there brings performers to Chicago who might otherwise not leave their established niches.
Through personal contact she was able to book “big” names at the top of their popularity, who agree to perform without a guarantee in a small venue so that Mountain Moving can maintain its policy of never denying access because of lack of funds. She also booked lesbian artists who were not known in order to widen their audience exposure. Furthering her desire to foster lesbian community discussions, she is a founding and active member of the Institute of Lesbian Studies.
Munzer also supports others’ endeavors. As a result of her outreach, the coffeehouse co-sponsored events and hosted benefits for lesbian individuals and organizations, and it supported other lesbian community projects. In addition, recognizing that to sustain lesbian cultures requires a non-parochial view, Munzer believes in an outreach to the larger society. For example, during 1995 and 1996 she was a board member of Insight Arts, a multicultural arts-activism organization in Rogers Park. Munzer’s work has made a significant contribution to the Chicago lesbian community. (Please note: this information has not been updated since the time of the member’s induction).