About TPAN
Barlesque is a month-long event that raises money for TPAN, a Chicago-based nonprofit that has been helping people living with HIV and at-risk populations for more than 30 years. TPAN’s services include a safe space for teens, mental health care, housing services, substance abuse and treatment programs, and testing for HIV and hepatitis–all available to clients for free. The majority of people who use TPAN services are LGBTQ individuals or people of color, who are among the most affected by HIV in Chicago. No one who walks through TPAN’s doors is turned away.

About Barlesque
This unique event brings together nightlife superstars, local bars, and Chicago's professional dance and theater communities to raise money for TPAN’s programs and services. Over the course of the month, participants hold a series of events culminating in a burlesque performance at the final event. Barlesque is both a fundraising competition and a celebration of diversity and dance, all benefiting TPAN. This year’s event will begin on September 1.

How it Works for Venues
Twelve Chicago nightlife venues will be invited to participate. Each venue will select a bartender, barback, employee, or even a favorite bar patron to represent them as their burlesque performer. Performers will be paired with a photographer and a professional dancer/choreographer to assist them in creating their individual concepts and routine. Participants will have a month for online and social media outlet fundraising with support from their venue. Each venue is required to host at least one in-person or virtual/hybrid event at their location to raise funds toward their fundraising goal. These events will also create an opportunity to introduce TPAN and its services to patrons. TPAN will promote the involvement of each participating bar with press coverage, public acknowledgment, email communications, and social media support.

How Barlesque Supports TPAN
Fundraising will be a collective effort by TPAN, the participating venues, and their selected performers. There are three main fundraising components to the promotion: Virtual, In-house efforts by participating locations, and the final event. The fundraising goal for each participating bar is $2500.  

Virtual Fundraising: Using photos and promotional materials provided by TPAN, each participating venue will promote its involvement and raise funds throughout the month. Each participating location will receive posters and postcards with QR codes, digital ads, social media banners, and administrative support.

 In-house Event: Each venue is required to host at least one in-person or virtual hybrid event at their location. This event can be as simple as introducing the promotion and the bar’s selected performer to a larger production that offers a preview of their performance. TPAN will assist with any logistical planning and staffing for the event. As every location is different, so will these promotional nights. If participants wish to hold more than one lead-up to the event, that is encouraged. Offering a percentage of the bar for a specific night, drink special sales, and drawings have all proven successful fundraising efforts.

Launch Event: A launch event will be on Thursday, September 1. This event will be a press opportunity to help each venue get the ball rolling. Each venue will be required to have their participant present at the launch event to be introduced.

Finale Event: On Friday, September 30th, the month of fundraising will end with a large-scale, ticketed event at the Center on Halsted. Each participating venue will be recognized for its contribution and present its featured performer. Awards will be given to the participating bar that raises the most funds, the individual performer who raises the most funds, and the best performance award. A panel of judges will select the best performance at the final event. Note: This is a friendly competition, and performances will be judged based on creativity, costuming, and confidence.


Sponsorship Opportunities
Participation as a sponsor is available for bars unable to participate and businesses that would like to show support. Sponsors will receive recognition on promotional materials and in-person events. Sponsors may also participate in additional fundraising efforts as well. Printing sponsorships and media sponsorships are also available.

To participate or learn more about Barlesque, contact Andrew Miller at A.miller@tpan.com or (773) 632-5530.