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The Bitter Jester Foundation for the Arts, NFP (BJFA) was established to produce live music and theatrical productions of new and classic works as well as other forms of literary/performing/media/audio/visual arts and other forms of entertainment. BJFA works with youth, specifically teens, to help build their confidence and experiences through art, especially music performance and original composition. BJFA also works to strengthen the arts, support emerging artists of all ages, and encourage persons to enter the arts by providing scholarships and grants to fine and applied arts students.
BJFA promotes the benefits of the arts to the general public. Specific programs include the 20-year-old Comic Thread sketch comedy troupe (www.ComicThread.com), the 14-year-old Bitter Jester Music Festival (www.BitterJesterMusic.org) for youth across the Midwest, and the 13-year-old Purple Shirts ensemble (www.BitterJesterFoundation.org), performing live written works for intimate events. Future programs include the Bitter Jester Theatre Company to produce the original work of emerging Chicago playwrights and LaughLab, a behind-the-scenes podcast on how comedy is built. Partnerships include the City of Highland Park, IL (supporting the Bitter Jester Music Festival), Navy Pier (hosting Best Of showcase concerts of Music Festival winners), Ravinia (providing donated concert tickets for Music Fest winners & audience members), and many others! BJFA is supported, in part, by grants from YEA! Highland Park and the Highland Park Community Foundation as well as donations and volunteer support from people like you!