Reggie’s Music Joint in the South Loop may be an unlikely locale for an ARTicle entry, but on December 18th the club was packed with fun-loving Art Institute employees, friends, and family for the annual “Don’t Quit Your Day Job” show. DQYDJ features a line-up of bands and other musical acts that include Art Institute employees. The first DQYDJ took place at the Beat Kitchen in 2003 and has featured a variety of venues, organizers, and bands through the years. I was in a band that performed in the first few shows. Attending DQYDJ 2009 reminded me of the fun had by all performing with and for our colleagues.
This year’s roster was as eclectic as ever, featuring more than 10 bands ranging from the vintage R&B stylings of Willy and the Willing (with about 8 or 9 of the ‘Willing’ performing on Reggie’s tiny stage) to Cherish the Burlesque Goddess. It’s a fantastic treat to see our co-workers and friends out of the usual work context sharing their passion for performance and music. The crowd of energized supporters surrounded and intermingled with performers—we never knew who was going to jump on stage next. On this cold December night--the club was hoppin’!
DQYDJ is entirely organized by Art Institute staff with Joe Kleemann taking the lead for the last few years. All of the door proceeds go to the Marwen Foundation, a charity that educates and inspires under-served young people through the visual arts. DQYDJ 2009 may have just inspired me to dust off my guitar!