Willie Velásquez: Your Vote is Your Voice

La Casa Resource Center, 1815 S. Paulina St. Thursday, September 22, 6pm–8pm. Free. RSVP at bit.ly/2cAgMWV. (312) 666-1323. resurrectionproject.org

Willie Velásquez pushed for Latino political participation in the sixties, seventies, and eighties, and organized alongside Cesar Chavez; the current political climate makes the rollout of a documentary about his life particularly appropriate. Hector Galan, the documentary’s executive producer, will participate in the discussion after the screening. (Adam Thorp)

The Black Political Agenda Post Obama

Chicago Urban League, 4510 S. Michigan Ave. Wednesday, September 28, 6:30pm– 8:30pm. Free. RSVP at mbpanel-postobama.eventbrite.com. (773) 285-5800. metroboard.org

If anybody thought the Obama presidency was the cure for everything that ailed the African-American community, the last eight years should have been a useful corrective, or so the Urban League’s promotional material for this event suggests. This panel of black businessmen, politicians, and activists will consider what comes next. (Adam Thorp)

Englewood Seniors Empowerment Summit

U.S. Bank, 815 W. 63rd St., 4th floor. Friday, September 30, 10am–1pm. Free. (773) 491-3945.

This summit, organized by the Southwest Federation Block Clubs of Greater Englewood, will present Englewood’s elders with information and opportunities to get involved in their communities. Whether you’re looking for resources to find a home, a doctor, a computer, or a job, this event promises to help you become “EMPOWERED.” (Hafsa Razi)

Book Launch: Demand the Impossible by Bill Ayers

Experimental Station, 6100 S. Blackstone Ave. Friday, September 30, 6pm–7:30pm. RSVP online. (773) 752-4381. semcoop.com

Longtime activist and educator Bill Ayers, a founder of the Weather Underground revolutionary group, is on record as relishing the disdain directed at him by right-wing and mainstream sources. In his new book Demand the Impossible: An Activist’s Manifesto, Ayers lays out the vision and tactics that infuriate his detractors. (Adam Thorp)

Education Forum with Janice Jackson

Union League Club of Chicago, 65 W. Jackson Blvd. Monday, October 3, 4:30pm–6:30pm. Free. RSVP at bit. ly/2d8LeTD. Business casual dress code. (312) 435-5946. ulcc.org

Before last summer, Dr. Janice Jackson was a teacher, a principal, and finally a network administrator for South Side public schools. Now, as the chief education officer for Chicago Public Schools, Jackson will discuss the incremental successes the district has had amid its vast challenges, and lay out a plan for progress over the next few years. (Hafsa Razi)

What is the Latino Vote?

UofC Quadrangle Club, 1155 E. 57th St. Thursday, October 6, 6pm–7:30pm. Free. Register online. (773) 834-4671. politics.uchicago.edu

Mainstream conversation about the “Latino vote” is wide but not deep— America’s changing demographics are widely understood to be important, but pundits rarely allow the complex reality of different religions, races, and national origins to complicate the picture. This panel of politicos, including ex-mayoral candidate Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, will try to answer the titular question. (Adam Thorp)

South Side Pitch

Polsky Exchange North, 1452 E. 53rd St., 2nd floor. Thursday, October 6, 6pm–8:30pm. Free. Register online. (773) 834-3129. southsidepitch.com

This summer, South Side business owners submitted pitches for their most innovative business ideas. Over 150 business owners applied, but only five finalists remain at this competition, hosted by the Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship. Whether you’re a potential investor or a just curious resident, this display of the South Side’s entrepreneurial talent is sure to impress. (Hafsa Razi)


BJ the Chicago Kid

The Promontory, 5311 S. Lake Park Ave. Wednesday, September 21 doors 8pm, show 9pm. $20/$30. 17+. (312) 801-2100. promontorychicago.com

Bryan James Sledge cut his teeth writing and performing R&B and gospel, but is best known for his work with rappers like Schoolboy Q, and Kendrick Lamar. His latest album, In My Mind, was touted by The Source as “a true neo-soul lover’s wet dream.” (Kylie Zane)


Reggies, 2109 S. State St. Tuesday, September 27, doors 8pm. $13–$15. 18+. (312) 949-0120. reggieslive.com

If you haven’t listened to Dreezy’s freestyle over Nicki Minaj’s song “Chiraq,” you’re going to have to look it up. If that doesn’t convince you that Dreezy is the best female rapper in Chicago, I don’t know what will. (Kylie Zane)

Music for Downers

Punch House, 1227 W. 18th St. Monday, September 26, 9pm. Free. (312) 526- 3851. punchhousechicago.com

Tracks from Hype Williams, a mysterious duo formerly consisting of UK-born artist Dean Blunt and Russian-born artist Inga Copeland, will be gracing Punch House’s DJ set next Monday. The set is only an hour, so don’t be late. (Kylie Zane)


Jazzology Experience, 2423 E. 75th St. Friday, September 23. 7pm. (773) 741- 6254. jazzologyexperience.com

D-Erania is a songwriter, pianist, and soprano saxophonist. Listen to her latest album, “Language of the Heart,” released this August, then catch her with her backing band for a night of smooth sounds. (Kylie Zane)


Thalia Hall, 1807 S. Allport St. Sunday, September 25, doors 6:30pm, show 7pm. $14. 17+. (312) 526-3851. thaliahallchicago.com

Lovers of grrl-power rock need to see Seattle-based, four-piece band Tacocat when they stop in Chicago on their cross-country fall tour. This self-described “post post punk pop pop” band is playful in every song, no matter the topic. Be sure to dance it out to “Crimson Wave” (a song about periods) and “Men Explain Things to Me.” (Emily Lipstein)


Art:21 Screening & Conversation

Stony Island Arts Bank, 6760 S. Stony Island Ave. Tuesday, September 27, 7pm–9:30pm. (312) 857-5561. rebuild-foundation.org

The theme for the eighth season of the PBS series “Art:21–Art in the 21st Century” is cities, which means the premiere is about Chicago, which means one of the featured artists is Theaster Gates, which means he and two other featured artists (Barbara Kasten and Chris Ware) will be screening and discussing the episode at his Arts Bank, which means you should go. (Julia Aizuss)

Korla Pandit

The DuSable Museum, Ames Auditorium, 740 E. 56th Pl. Wednesday, September 28, 6:30pm–9pm. (773) 947-0600. dusablemuseum.org

John Roland Redd, an African-American man from Missouri, performed as a musician named Juan Rolando during the 1940s, but found his real success after he reinvented himself as “Korla Pandit,” the son of a Brahmin priest and a French opera singer. This award-winning documentary about his life will be followed by a Q&A. (Adam Thorp)

A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness

Logan Center for the Arts (screening room, 2nd floor), 915 E. 60th St. Friday, September 30, 7pm. Free. (773) 702-8670. renaissancesociety.org

Part of the Ren’s fall exhibition of Ben Rivers, this 2013 film directed by Rivers and Ben Russell uses three moments in Estonia, Finland, and Norway to work toward River’s greater project—one in which cinema is “not a representation of the world,” but experience itself, transformed into something new. (Julia Aizuss)

Black Water: Sunlight and Twilight

filmfront, 1740 W. 18th St. September 23, 7:30pm–8:30pm; October 1, 7pm–10pm. Free. filmfront.org

ACRE and filmfront teamed up to present this series, but all three nights of this multifaceted work are A.J. McClenon’s own. Days one and two: a listening room and video (Sunlight) and a live sound performance (Twilight), that grapple with the facts and figures of the ocean, the body, and the Middle Passage. (Julia Aizuss)

(((waver)) project: Open Workshops

High Concept Labs at Mana Contemporary, 2233 S. Throop St. Fridays through September 30, 6pm–8:30pm. $10 suggested donation. highconceptlaboratories.org

Jury’s out on whether you’ll learn the story behind the asymmetric parentheses use, but until the end of the month you can drop by HCL fall sponsored artist Carole McCurdy’s research workshops on partnered dance—and if you enjoy yourself enough, audition for the upcoming production. (Julia Aizuss)

Varieté, with Alloy Orchestra

Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St. Sunday, October 2, 7pm. $10, free with UofC ID. (773) 702-8596. filmstudiescenter.uchicago.edu

A new restoration of the 1925 German silent film Varieté will also receive a new live score courtesy of the Alloy Orchestra, a three-person ensemble which gives silent masterpieces loud accompaniments—instruments used include synthesizers, percussion, and an “outrageous assemblage of peculiar objects.” (Julia Aizuss)

Steve Everett: Out of the Frame

High Concept Labs at Mana Contemporary, 2233 S. Throop St. Wednesday, October 5–Sunday, October 9. Wednesday, 5pm–8pm; Thursday, 3pm–6:30pm; Friday–Sunday, 2pm–6pm. Free. highconceptlaboratories.org

One of the books that merited Natasha Trethewey’s 2012 Poet Laureate position, Bellocq’s Ophelia reimagined the life of a prostitute photographed by E.J. Bellocq. As part of this year’s Ear Taxi Festival, UIC professor Steve Everett reimagines Trethewey’s poems as an interactive audio/video installation: another approach to inviting the audience into 1912 New Orleans. (Julia Aizuss)

Man in the Ring

Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Ave. Through October 16, 8pm. $38; discounts available for students, seniors, and groups. (773) 753-4472. courttheatre.org

The true story of legendary boxer Emile Griffith, brought to life through the writing of Pulitzer-Prize-winning playwright Michael Cristofer and the direction of Charles Newell, is a story about fighting, both for boxing titles and the ability to define oneself. (CJ Fraley)

The Colored Museum

eta creative arts, 7558 S. South Chicago Ave. Friday, September 23–Sunday, October 23, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm; Sundays at 3pm. $35; $25 seniors; $15 students. (773) 752-3955. etacreativearts.org

In eleven “exhibits,” George C. Wolfe’s satirical play, staged by Pulse Theatre Company, examines stereotypes and identity in the black experience from a “celebrity slave-ship” to an imagined dinner party where “Aunt Jemima and Angela Davis was in the kitchen sharing a plate of greens and just goin’ off about South Africa.” (Adam Thorp)


Jakob Kolding: Making a Scene

Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society, 5701 S. Woodlawn Ave. Opening Wednesday, September 21, 5pm–8pm. On view through October 26. Free. (773) 795-2329. neubauercollegium.uchicago.edu

Jakob Kolding’s work has long revolved around the relationship between architecture and those who inhabit it. Making a Scene takes Kolding’s scenographic practice quite concretely, centering around a set of sculptural figures mounted on wooden armatures. (Corinne Butta)

Larry Achiampong: OPEN SEASON

Logan Center Gallery, 915 E. 60th St. Opening reception Wednesday, September 21, 6pm–8pm. On view Friday, September 16, 6pm, through October 30, 8pm. Tuesday–Saturday, 9am–9pm; Sunday, 11am–9pm. Free. (773) 702-2787. arts.uchicago.edu/logan-center

British-Ghanaian artist Larry Achiampong explores the notion of citizenry and cultural identity through the often murky lens of the digital realm. Mining his personal archives, as well as those of search engines and social media, Achiampong examines the complexities of identity within the diaspora. (Corinne Butta)

Jenine Marsh: In a world of weeds, all roses are wild

Beautiful Gallery, 1801 S. Peoria St. Opens Saturday, September 24, 7pm. Runs through October 24. By appointment only. Free. beautifulgallery.us

Through the lens of plant life, the artist Jenine Marsh examines the way that we ascribe markers of taste: “Sweet or bitter. Good or bad. The rose or the weed.” She asks her viewers to reconsider these notions, to blur the boundaries and positions of the rose and the weed. (Corinne Butta)

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