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Art and Pep

  •   Mercedes Kane
  •   United States

Art Johnston and Pepe Peña are civil rights leaders whose celebrated gay bar Sidetrack has helped fuel movements and create community on Chicago’s Halsted Street for decades. Bringing together a wealth of archival video footage, photographs, and lively animated sequences, Art and Pep chronicles the story of Sidetrack, beginning with its humble origins in 1982 as a single storefront, and the lives of its proprietors. The couple fought on the frontlines of the AIDS crisis, helped co-found Equality Illinois, and have continued to serve as a beacon for equal rights through the pandemic and beyond. Mercedes Kane (2015 Festival hit Breakfast at Ina’s) returns with another loving tribute to an iconic Chicago establishment and the individuals who have transformed the site into a haven of joy and solidarity.

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Special Guests

Scheduled to attend: Director Mercedes Kane and subjects Art Johnston and Pepe Peña


Documentary Sponsor

Logo: WTTW (2019)

Documentary Patron

Cynthia Stone Raskin

Captioning provided by

Logo: Caption Consulting 164x150

Event Information

Thursday, October 13, 2022

  •   88 minutes
AMC River East 21
322 E Illinois St
Chicago, IL 60611 United States


Following the screening, join us for an after party on Sidetrack’s rooftop (3349 N Halsted St, Chicago) from 8:30-10:30pm to celebrate with Art, Pep, and the filmmakers. Your screening ticket is also your admission ticket!

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