Call for orators, slam poets, activists, dreamers, doers!
Exercise your First Amendment rights at historic Washington Square.
At a time when political polarization is intensified by the extremes of digital discourse, the Bughouse Square Debates are a public forum where people can encounter new ideas and share their own in person!
- Speeches under 3 minutes.
- Participants under 25 years old.
- Solo, pair, team, whatever. Bring it.
- Your words or someone else’s with attribution.
- Competitive, if that moves you.
- Hate has no home here. Racist, sexist, homophobic, gender-biased, ableist, or otherwise derogatory speech that is degrading to any specific group of people will not be tolerated.
Join the Newberry for Chicago’s favorite free speech event! Bring your loudest heckling voice, mount the open soapbox, and exercise your First Amendment rights. Take it to the park this summer! And don’t miss the Newberry Book Fair before and/or after the Debates!
Learn more about the history of Bughouse Square.
Supported by a grant from the Chicago Free for All Fund at the Chicago Community Trust.
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Check out highlights from last year’s event!