Calendar for April 1, 2015


Introduction To Restorative Justice
In recent years, restorative justice—the community engagement philosophy that emphasizes diplomatic mediation over punishment—has provided spaces that serve as low-stress, conflict-free forums for high school students across Chicago to constructively engage with their peers. This coming Monday, the CivicLab will host a workshop on restorative justice with a focus on peace circles, in which participants (moderated by a facilitator) take turns speaking within “safe spaces for authentic youth.” The instructor will be Nancy Michaels, associate director of Roosevelt University’s Mansfield Institute for Social Justice and Transformation. The workshop will conclude with a peace circle of its own. The CivicLab Chicago, 114 N. Aberdeen St. Monday, April 6, 6:30pm-8:30pm. $10. (Christian Belanger)

Landlord Training Workshop
If you’re a landlord hoping to learn how to improve your management, look no further than the Bridgeport Citizens Group’s free landlord workshop for property owners and managers on April 16. Co-taught by the Department of Buildings and Law, Community Investment Corporation, and the Chicago Police Department, the workshop will cover leases, rental agreements, riders, background checks, rental history, and inspections. You can reserve a seat by registering online on EveryBlock (go to and search the event name), and the registration form offers the option to write questions that will be anonymously answered at the event. 9th District Police Station, 3120 S. Halsted St. Thursday, April 16, 3pm-6pm. Free. (312)508-8852. (Mari Cohen)

Fourth Annual Bridgeport Clean and Green
On Saturday April 18, the Palmisano and McGuane Park Advisory Councils will be leading a clean up of Bridgeport in honor of Earth Day. Volunteers will clean up Palmisano and McGuane Parks, as well as much of Halsted, 31st, and 35th Streets. While various instruments of trash destruction (bags, some gloves, “other tools”) will be provided, participants are encouraged to bring their own sunscreen, though the weather forecast does say it’s going to be “mostly cloudy” and fifty degrees. Breakfast snacks will be served. McGuane Park Field House, 2901 S. Poplar St. Saturday, April 18, 9am-1pm. Children should be accompanied by adults. (773)719-6655. (Christian Belanger)

Pilsen Community Town Hall
Chuy Garcia handily won the 25th Ward in 2015’s municipal election: Rahm Emanuel trailed him by twenty points in the ward, which includes the West Loop and parts of Pilsen, Heart of Chicago, Chinatown, and Little Italy. The Pilsen Alliance, a self-described progressive organization that has sometimes been critical of Emanuel, is holding a mayoral forum pitched especially at the residents of the 25th Ward. Emanuel is apparently passing on the opportunity to contest the 25th’s decision this February. According to the Pilsen Alliance, Emanuel declined their invitation to attend, but Garcia, former alderman from the nearby 22nd Ward, will be there. Joint appearances by the pair in the campaign have been sparse; this will be a mayoral forum less one mayor. Rudy Lozano Library, 1805 S. Loomis St. Thursday, April 2, 6pm. (312)243-5440. (Adam Thorp)

Visual Arts

Imaginary Landscapes
Returning to a space of your past is the best way to wipe away the rose-colored nostalgia tint from your glasses. Through Imaginary Landscapes, Mana Contemporary presents an exploration of the relationship between space, time, and memory. Four Midwest-based artists delve into the uncertain space at the nexus of the three, and the result is a collection of sculptures and images gathered by Chicago-based curator Allison Glenn. Lisa Alvarado’s work features elements of shamanism as she critiques cultural appropriation and assimilation; Assaf Evron toes the line between photography and sculpture; deconstructing the mundane, Robert Burnier explores failed utopia; and, last but not least, Caroline Kent harnesses narrative and storytelling to ruminate on what it means to be an outsider in another country. Delve into the uncertainty that spans space and time. Mana Contemporary, 2233 S. Throop St., 4th floor. April 4-May 31. Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm. Opening Reception April 4, 6pm-9pm. (312)850-0555. Free. (Kristin Lin)

Nature’s Matrix
Like many of their fellow artists, Charles Heppner and Diane Jaderberg have turned to nature for inspiration. Instead of capturing the astonishing might of an ocean, or the tranquility of a peaceful sylvan landscape, they channel elements from nature and turn them into visual motifs, repeating and abstracting them to create pieces which are not just strange but nearly unrecognizable. Also important for their work and their new installation is the interaction between technology and nature, which is mirrored in Heppner’s use of digital media and computer software to create prints. Their joint exhibition, “Nature’s Matrix,” is taking place at the Hyde Park Art Center, where the two have been studying and creating since the mid 2000s. Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S. Cornell Ave. April 5-July 5. Opening reception Sunday, April 19, 3pm-5pm. (773)324-5520. (Robert Sorrell)

Joe Hill 100 Years Part 4
Since his 1915 execution before a firing squad in Utah, Swedish-American labor activist and songwriter Joe Hill has become emblematic of the struggle of itinerant workers in the United States. To mark the hundred-year anniversary of Joe Hill’s death, the URI-EICHEN Gallery in Pilsen will be showcasing the politically charged works of a dynamic duo of social activist artists: the late Colombian cartoonist Jorge Franklin Cardenas and the New York-based painter James Wechsler. Cardenas’ work, which includes caricatures of Che Guevara, John Lewis, and Francisco Franco, will be displayed for the first time in over forty years, after being released to the public by his Hyde Park-based daughter-in-law. Weschler will showcase his “Freedom of Information” series of paintings, inspired by the FBI’s Cold War era files on artists and writers. URI-EICHEN Gallery, 2101 S. Halsted Ave. Opening reception April 10, 6pm-10pm. By appointment through May 1. Free. (312)852 7717. (Lauren Gurley)

For years, the question of Northern Ireland’s independence has plagued British and Irish relations. Otherwise known as “The Troubles,” this conflict has taken over 3,500 lives since its “official” beginnings in 1969. Colm McCarthy, an Irish-born, Wisconsin-based photographer and printmaker started to work on his series, “Killed,” in 2008, in response to the 250 children lost to the conflict. For this tribute, McCarthy researched each child extensively in order to separate them from the violence that ultimately took their lives.  The purpose of “Killed” is not to make a political statement, but rather to display the pointlessness of the violence. URI-EICHEN Gallery, 2101 S. Halsted St. Through April 3. Opening reception Friday, March 13, 6pm–10 pm. (312)852-7717. (Jola Idowu)

Carmen Parra: Suave Patria
Though she traveled throughout Europe—studying at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome and learning from master printmakers in Paris—Carmen Parra reserves the utmost devotion for her home country of Mexico in her artwork. In her exhibition at the National Museum of Mexican Art, “Carmen Parra: Suave Patria,” Parra explores her love of Mexico through an exploration of the nation’s natural wonders, religious icons, and shared symbols (the royal eagle, the monarch butterfly, and the Main Aztec Temple feature prominently in this exhibition’s prints). Parra’s visual exploration of her country’s most compelling national images reveals her many influences, from her European training to her early exposure to Mesoamerican arts. National Museum of Mexican Art, 1852 W. 19th St. Through August 9. Opening reception Friday, March 20, 6pm. Free. (312)738-1503. (Meaghan Murphy)

Bridgeport Art Center’s Third Annual Art Competition
For the past month, Chicago artists-turned-judges Amanda Williams and Monika Wulfers have taken off their smocks and put on their critic’s caps for the Bridgeport Art Center’s third annual art competition. The judges have now selected a number of the works submitted by amateur and professional artists, living and working within one hundred miles of Chicago, to be put on display at the Bridgeport Art Center. The selected pieces, which include a full array of media—photography, painting, drawing, sculpture, and mixed media—will be unveiled on Saturday evening alongside a spread of prizes of up to $3,000, drinks, and food. Come see the artwork for yourself and size up these Chicagoans’ talent. Bridgeport Art Center, 1200 W. 35th St, 4th floor. Through April 5. Monday-Saturday, 8am-6pm; Sunday, 8am-12pm. Awards ceremony Saturday, February 28, 7pm-10pm. Free. (773)247-3000. (Lauren Gurley)

Every year, the Hyde Park Art Center (HPAC) dedicates Gallery 5 to ArtShop, and every year Gallery 5 is filled with the artistic creations of kids from all across the South Side. The ArtShop is an extension of Pathways, an arts education program based out of HPAC that serves CPS students from kindergarten through 12th grade. The program aims to enrich students with rigorous art training, and provide them with the opportunity to refine their talents and showcase their work to large audiences. ArtShop is one of the showcasing events for teens involved in the Pathways program. Every work is entirely self-directed: the artists execute their vision with no source material. The title of this year’s ArtShop is Collective Possibilities—each piece is inspired by a myth of each student’s choosing, including their own imagination. Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S. Cornell Avenue. Through April 19. Monday-Thursday, 9am-8pm; Friday-Saturday, 9am-5pm; Sunday, noon-5pm. Free. (773)324-5520. (Kanisha Williams)

The Density of the Actions
Density is the distribution of a mass per unit of volume or, for London-based, Argentine-born artist Varda Caivano, the substance of labor that can be packed into each square inch of canvas. Her first solo exhibition in the states, The Density of the Actions, will open at the Renaissance Society on February 22. Each piece in the series presents a rumination on the physicality that it took to make the painting—layers of paint are “rubbed, scratched, and reworked” so that each stroke is dense with time, invoking not just one moment, but many. The exhibition is sure to be dynamic, the paintings “vulnerable, unfolding, failing, becoming, and disappearing.” The Renaissance Society, 5811 S. Ellis Ave. Through April 19. Tuesday-Friday, 10am-5pm; Saturday-Sunday, noon-5pm. Free. (773)702-8670. (Kristin Lin)


Katrina and the Waves at Reggies
Ah, the one-hit wonder—is there any easier path to immortality? In fifty years we may not remember the individual members of Katrina and the Waves, but you can bet we’ll remember the opening “Ow!” of their worldwide hit “Walking on Sunshine,” which remains one of the most impossibly happy songs to come out of the 1980s. Come out to Reggies this Thursday to rock out for four unforgettably peppy minutes, and possibly a whole other hour of lesser-known tunes by Katrina and company. Obscurity—it’sstartintofeelgood! Reggies Chicago, 2105 S. State St. Thursday, April 2, 7:30pm. $10. 21+. (312)949-0120. (Jake Bittle)

Too $hort at the Shrine
West Coast rap pioneer Too $hort will return to Chicago for a solo show at The Shrine, one of the city’s premier urban nightclubs. A contemporary of Tupac and Biggie, $hort rose to prominence during the Golden Age of Hip Hop. The licentious adventures with women in his X-rated debut Born to Mack (1987) overshadowed his more socially conscious songs such as “I Want to Be Free” and “The Ghetto.”  Yet verses like “[y]ou think Oakland, California is a city of punks/it only takes a second, to pop the trunk,” warning of the perils of gang violence, showcase $hort’s skill as a visceral storyteller.  Though he’s going on forty-eight, the native son of South Central will no doubt still go hard on stage. The Shrine, 2109 S. Wabash Ave. Thursday, April 16, 10pm. $25. (312) 753-5681. (Eleanore Catolico)

Billy Branch at the Promontory
Chicago harmonica blues musician Billy Branch is back in town next weekend at the Promontory. Born in Great Lakes, Illinois, Branch moved to LA at the age of five but returned to study at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where the iconic Willie Dixon discovered him. Since then, Branch has played on over 150 recordings, including twelve of his own, been nominated for several Grammies, and won a variety of awards including one Emmy, two Chicago Music Awards, and multiple W.C. Handy Awards from the Blues Foundation. In addition to his prolific career, Branch assisted in the creation of the Blues in Schools Program, which teaches students about the blues and its origins. The Promontory, 5311 S. Lake Park Ave. Saturday, April 11, 8pm. $12 for standing lounge, $17-$22. (Clyde Schwab)

Mo Better Jazz presents Victor Garcia Septet
Victor Garcia got his start as a musician at the tender age of four, when he started playing the piano. It’s unsurprising, then, that the Tribune has called him “a chameleon on trumpet,” capable of engaging with jazz, blues, gospel, and various other genres of music. A self-taught trumpeter whose resume of past musical partners includes Aretha Franklin and the Temptations, Garcia splits his time between teaching at a number of Chicago universities and freelancing at festivals and concert halls across North America. This Friday, the Promontory will host his Victor Garcia Septet, the jazz ensemble that has allowed Garcia to expand his already-colorful sound by writing music for more instruments while maintaining the stand-alone excellence that has earned him recognition as one of the city’s premier soloists. The Promontory, 5311 S. Lake Park Ave. West. Friday, April 3, 8pm. $15. (312)801-2100. (Christian Belanger)

Fortunate Youth at Reggies
In an age where you can’t spit without hitting an iPhone and most people are too disillusioned to spit anymore anyway, one might think that reggae is long, long gone. But fear not: enter Fortunate Youth, a band known both for its unusual instrumental arrangements (“multiple harmonies, boisterous solos, heavy keys,” its website declares) and for its long career on the nation’s reggae tour circuit. Joined by fellow reggae acts Hirie and Highdro (the latter boasts a 300-week consecutive performance streak), Fortunate Youth are sure to provide the (still) frigid citizens of Chicago with some kind of uplifting atmosphere via performances that have been described (by them) as “unforgettable.” Reggies Chicago, 2105 S. State St. Thursday, April 9, 8pm. $15-$18. 17+. (312)949-0120. (Jake Bittle)

Stage and Screen

We Grew Up Here
Local band Paper Thick Walls may now be defunct, but its music lives on in a film about the struggle to retain truthful memories. Band members Eric Michaels and Kate Schell sing and star in We Grew Up Here, a 2014 film by Chicago-based filmmaking collective 15 in the Dark that literalizes the figurative: the musician protagonist, played by Michaels, realizes his past is being erased not from his mind but from real life. Throughout last year, We Grew Up Here made the rounds at several festivals, including the Chicago International Movies & Music Festival; catch it in its city of origin at the Co-Prosperity Sphere, as South Side Projections’ first spring event. A Q&A session will follow featuring Schell and director Kevin Pickman, and Schell will perform new music after the screening, making new memories in the process. Co-Prosperity Sphere, 3219 S. Morgan St. Thursday, April 2, doors 7:30pm. $5. (773)655-6769. (Julia Aizuss)

Pieces and Players Book Launch
Hyde Park-based, award-winning novelist Blue Balliett is celebrating the release of her seventh novel, Pieces and Players, this upcoming Saturday at 57th Street Books. Just like her first novel, Chasing Vermeer, Pieces and Players starts with a high-profile art heist. This time, however, thirteen pieces have been stolen, including a Vermeer and a Manet, and nobody knows where they went or who may have taken them. Beloved characters Calder, Petra, and Tommy, familiar from Chasing Vermeer and its sequels The Wright 3 and The Calder Game, join Zoomy (from The Danger Box) and Early (from Hold Fast) to investigate and use their puzzle-solving skills to save the day. 57th Street Books, 1301 E. 57th St. Saturday, April 4, 3pm. (773)684-1300. (Emily Lipstein)

(Provisional) PORK Closing Barbecue
Do you love green leafy objects but hate going outside to view them? If so, you’re in luck—the Co-Prosperity Sphere is hosting a temporary indoor park cobbled together from a collection of houseplants on loan from local Chicagoans. Whether you have an allergy to the sun or an attraction to people who think parentheses are neat, (Provisional) Park will surely amaze you with its multiple walls and chic clientele. Bring books, friends, and dogs; spend the afternoon admiring foliage or contemplating the deeper questions in life (look wistfully into the ferns so your crush knows how deep you are). But the month-long installation closes on April 3, so be sure to stop by for the (Provisional) PORK Closing Barbecue. Take home your plants or adopt a new one (first come, first serve). Co-Prosperity Sphere, 3219 S. Morgan St. Open through April 3, closing picnic Friday, April 3, 7pm. Free. (773)655-6769. (Morgan Pantuck)

Cry Baby
A classic tale of star-crossed lovers with a 1950s Baltimore twist, Cry Baby boasts an incredible cast, including Johnny Depp, Amy Locane, Susan Tyrell, Iggy Pop, and Polly Bergen. The film depicts the chaos that descends upon Baltimore as teenage heartthrob “Cry-Baby” Wade Walker (Depp), leader of the local delinquent subculture the “drapes,” and local “square” Allison (Locane) fall in love. Amidst song, the two orphans battle against the traditional structure of their small town to show their friends and family the nature of their affection. Captured with all of John Waters’ infectious wittiness, the film is a fresh take on the teen rebel and romantic comedy genres, not to mention a cult classic. Playing in Logan Center’s Film Studies Center as a part of a graduate conference, the film will follow the shorts I, An Actress and A Study in Choregraphy for Camera. Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St. Saturday, April 4, 7pm, doors 6:30pm. Free. (773)702-8596. (Itzel Blancas)

The Imitation Game
Time is ticking for the British Allies in the Academy Award-winning film The Imitation Game, soon to be screened at Beverly Arts Center. The Germans will surely win the war unless a group of mathematicians-turned-code breakers led by Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) can decode their secret messages. The team works against the clock to build a machine that will crack the uncrackable German Enigma codes, battling time, questioning what it means to have power and act ethically in times of war, and, in Turing’s case, responding to allegations of homosexuality (illegal in the United Kingdom at the time) in order to do so. Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111 St. Wednesday, April 8, 7:30pm. $7.50, $5.50 for members. (773)445-3838. (Emily Lipstein)

Redmoon Theater’s The Devil’s Cabaret
In Dante’s Inferno, the third circle of hell is characterized by its never-ending rain. Cold and unrelenting, it extinguishes hope and happiness. After a brief experience with this circle earlier this year on the Chicago River, Redmoon Theater is determined to take back control of hell and orchestrate the fantastical fiery spectacle it has been working to create. This spring, Redmoon will present The Devil’s Cabaret, a spectacle recognizing “the Devil’s ‘greatest accomplishments’—The Seven Deadly Sins,” housed in the Redmoon warehouse. In the middle of the room, a rotating thirty-foot-tall crane equipped with stages for performances will serve as the centerpiece. Always ambitious, Redmoon promises aerialists, puppets, and craft beer, and a “special appearance by God.” Whether you want to take advantage of the Lagunitas beer bar, or seek an experience with the Great One, the event is sure to be memorable. Redmoon Theater, 2120 S. Jefferson St. Fridays, March 27—April 10, 9pm-12am. $25. Tickets available online. 21+. (312)850.8440. (Lucia Ahrensdorf)

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