Rent Parties

Rent parties are festive social gatherings through which tenants attempt to raise funds to pay their rent on a monthly basis or during times of economic emergency. The tenant provides some form of entertainment throughout the party evening and either charges a cover fee or takes donations from partygoers. In addition, money can be raised from the sale of food and/or liquor during the evening. Usually, bands are hired to play in the tenant’s apartment, but in other cases, films are shown or other forms of performance, such as burlesque or comedy acts, are provided. Rent parties have long been a means for poor and ­working-class people to get rent money together, including up to the current period. They have also provided places of camaraderie, ...

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