Today we’d like to introduce you to Rebecca Baruc.
Rebecca, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
DIN AT THE DEN is a monthly music series showcasing musical artists whose clarity and focus cut through the noise of our daily lives. It’s a grassroots production about to wrap up its first year. As an artist and producer, I wanted to create something that elevated emerging musical artists, expanded the reach of my visual art, and contributed to the music renaissance happening today in Chicago.
A year ago I was freelance curating at the Den Theatre, granting me access to a lot of beautiful spaces. Meanwhile I was meeting an overwhelming amount of emerging musicians through performing at various DIY variety shows across the city, including Sh*t Hole, Chill as F**k at Second City, and Salonathon at Beauty Bar. I love to do portraiture and knew this would be a gripping and consistent aesthetic for posters. I had friends who could contribute their expert skills in photography, videography, graphic design, and sound tech.
All put together, I thought I had a pretty good foundation to launch an intimate concert series.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Knock on wood, the first year’s been pretty smooth. Somehow we’ve managed to get everything ready in time for the show and no artists have had to cancel last minute. There are only two artists each show, and they’re carefully chosen, so someone cancelling would be a huge bust that I haven’t really planned for yet! Everyone involved has been incredibly enthusiastic and trustworthy.
The series is still very young, and in many ways the road has just begun. There isn’t loads of money in grassroots music events. To jumpstart the event, lots of people generously donated their time and expertise. But early on I realized that to keep the quality of the series, as the producer I would need to take any financial hit instead of stretching the team thin.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Din at the Den – what should we know?
Chicago is brimming with talented musical artists, and there are so many wonderful venues and producers activating the music renaissance in Chicago. Din at the Den is made possible by a team of artists; Andrew Uebelein, design support; Nathan Mansakahn, photography; Mimi Wilcox, videography; Dan Wilcop, sound; and myself Produce/Curator/poster art/edit footage.
It’s a pleasure and an honor to be part of such a diverse music community that is spread across Chicago. I love taking the opportunity to line up two artists who may have never played on the same bill and perhaps never will again, and having them share the stage for a night.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Community building and integrity measures the success for this music series. The priority of this event is to offer musicians an uplifting platform, and offer the audience an inspirational experience. Hopefully everyone in the room listens and connects, whether it be with the sounds, lyrics or with each other. If the performers and the audience don’t feel more connected as a community, then there’s no point in doing this show. It’s important that the series builds a trustworthy reputation with performers and audiences alike. Making a profit, prioritizing digital presence over how the room actually feels, or creating a sense of exclusivity does not mark the success of this endeavor. So long as building community and integrity motivates the direction of Din at the Den, it can’t fail.
- Tickets $11
- The Den Theatre, 1331 N Milwaukee Ave
- Address: The Den Theatre 1331 N Milwaukee Ave
Nathan Mansakahn (photographs)
Rebecca Baruc (poster art)