Calendar for January 7, 2015


4th, 5th Ward Aldermanic Candidate Forum
Given the past four years of polarizing mayoral administration marked by clashes over neighborhood schools, policing, and other issues, the South Side incumbent alderman should be an endangered species. That hypothesis will be put to the test this Saturday at a forum hosted by the Hyde Park-Kenwood Coalition for Equitable Community Development, as the 4th and 5th Ward incumbents Will Burns and Leslie Hairston engage their less experienced opponents (on the ballot this year: a real estate agent, a policy consultant, and a spa owner) on economic diversity in the neighborhood. Augustana Lutheran Church, 5500 S. Woodlawn Ave. January 10, 10am-12pm. Free. (773)643-7495. (Patrick Leow)

WOMEN Against the Machine
Chicago is lacking women in positions of power—with only sixteen sitting female aldermen, representation is thin. Elections are fast approaching, and WOMEN Against the Machine are using the opportunity to examine what it means to be a woman in Chicago politics. Come out this Saturday to see progressive and independent candidates in the aldermanic elections talk about women who are on the front lines of the fight for the city’s future. Former mayoral candidate Amara Enyia will moderate the panel. Jane Hull-House Museum, 800 Halsted St. January 10, 4pm-6pm. (Ryn Seidewitz)

MLK Celebration and Public Meeting
SOUL and Reclaim Chicago, two of the South Side’s most active social justice groups, are throwing their annual MLK Day celebration on January 17. Perhaps best described as a cross between a political rally, a public assembly, and a gospel concert, this event is a joyful and productive day of action. Admittance is free and attendees should expect music, speakers, an introduction to a slate of progressive Chicago City Council candidates, and an afternoon of canvassing and phone-banking. Participants should RSVP online and make their way to the Grand Ballroom (on the corner of 63rd and Cottage Grove) at 9:30am, ready to ring in a new year of action and resistance with fellow activists and community organizers from across the city. The Grand Ballroom, 6351 S. Cottage Grove Ave. January 17, 9:30am. Free. (Colette Robicheaux)

MLK 4 Mile March
4 Mile Marches, promoted by the Coalition Against Police Violence, are planned for MLK weekend in over twenty cities across the country. The march in Chicago, which is being organized by Total Blackout for Reform, will start from the City Gallery in the Historic Water Tower Place and will include several four-minute die-ins to remember the four hours Ferguson teenager Mike Brown was left lying in the street after being fatally shot by a police officer this August. 4 Mile Marches are primarily meant to achieve two goals: to call attention to police brutality and racial profiling, and to remember the victims of police violence. The organizers ask participants to bring a pocket-sized picture of one of the 1,038 people killed since the start of last year 2014 or an index card with the victim’s name written on it. City Gallery of the Historic Water Tower Place, 806 N. Michigan Ave. January 19, noon. (Zoe Makoul)

Watching the Watchers
In order to aid protests and action that address police violence and create a base of motivated citizens, the organizations We Charge Genocide and Project NIA have organized a day of workshops and discussions titled “Watching the Watchers: Strategies to End Police Violence.” Topics include reparations for victims, sustainable jail support, local rotating bail, the role of art in protests, youth involvement, and the impact of police violence on women and trans people. This program is part of a grassroots campaign advocating the end of oppressive policing, and is intended to be both an informational event and a call to action. Roosevelt University, 430 S. Michigan Ave. January 24, 9am-6pm. (Akanksha Shah)

11th Ward Aldermanic Town Hall Forum
Here in Chicago, the new year could bring major changes: a new mayor, new speed limits, and even the resurrection of the Daley dynasty. A historic stronghold of the Daley political machine, the 11th Ward is set for a tight aldermanic race between community activist Maureen Sullivan, law student Patrick Kozlar, and Patrick Daley Thompson, grandson of former Mayor Richard J. Daley. On January 25 the ward will host a town hall forum where candidates will assemble for a Q&A,and perhaps duke things out among themselves. The forum will allot equal speaking timeslots for each candidate. Spanish and Chinese translations will be available. First Lutheran Church of the Trinity, 643 W. 31st St. January 25, 3pm. (Lauren Gurley)


A unique mixture of performance and exhibition art, “PER_FORM,” a collection of works presented by the Chicago Art Department, focuses on the exploration of the body as both the inspiration for and the final product of art. The artists include renowned performance artist Tony Orrico, known for creating his own physical symmetry practice; visual artist and body enthusiast Matty Davis; Peter Reese, who explores the relationship between what he terms “the maker, the making, and the made;” and performance duo ROOMS, Todd Furgia and Marrakesh, whose piece “INSOMNIA at Our Lady of the Open Wound” contrasts Marrakesh’s recitation of Furgia’s words with projections of her image around the gallery. Visitors are free to explore and observe the art at their convenience. Chicago Art Department, 1932 S. Halsted St. Room 100. January 9, 6-10pm. Donations accepted. (312)725-4223. (Itzel Blancas)

The Black West
This lecture, hosted by the DuSable Museum and given by critically acclaimed author Art T. Burton, will delve into the rich and storied history of African-Americans in the Old West—a history long ignored in popular culture and academia alike. Burton has written three books on the subject, which tell the stories of great generals, scouts, soldiers, and other adventurous black men who each made his own way through the wild American West. On January 15, you can hear these stories from Burton himself as he opens up the world of African-American pioneers living, fighting, and exploring during one of the most romanticized periods in American history. The DuSable Museum, 740 E. 56th Pl. Thursday, January 15. 6:30pm-8pm. Free. (773)947-0600. (Colette Robicheaux)

Waiting for Godot
This season, Court Theatre will take on absurdist play Waiting for Godot, by prolific author Samuel Beckett, who wrote the full play in both French and English. The story follows two moody vagrant men, who are (you guessed it) waiting for a mysterious Mr. Godot. The tragicomedy has been interpreted in countless ways since its 1953 premiere, becoming one of the most well-known plays of the twentieth century. Court’s interpretation comes from accomplished director Ron OJ Parson, and the cast includes regulars A.C. Smith, Allen Gilmore, and Alfred Wilson. After Parson’s work on Seven Guitars in 2013, audiences will be waiting to see his returning direction at Court, whether or not Godot shows up in the end. Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Ave. January 15 through February 15. $35–$65. Discounts available for seniors and students. (773)753-4472. (Sammie Spector)

Bad Grammar Theater
Despite the drama the name may suggest, Bad Grammar Theater is an evening of various Chicagoland authors reading their work. Every third Friday of the month, both recognized and up-and-coming authors gather to read new and published pieces. With host Brendan Detzner steering the show among genres including horror, fantasy, sci-fi, pulp fiction, and simply “the unexpected,” Bad Grammar Theater uses its diverse selection to put the focus on local authors and give fresh voices a chance to be heard. With stories starting every half hour, people are free to come and go as they please. Powell’s Bookstore University Village, 1218 S. Halsted St. Friday, January 16. 6pm-9pm. (312)243-9070. (Akanksha Shah)

BAC Student Film Festival
As a student, having your work displayed in front of a large audience can be the difference between an artistic career and a day job. Twenty-six student filmmakers will have this chance at the Beverly Art Center’s Student Film Festival. As a festivalgoer, you will have the chance to become a film student for the weekend at the festival’s workshops and panel discussions on screenwriting, stop animation, directing, and genre filmmaking, as well as “other aspects of the creative process.” Spanning three days, from January 16 to January 18, the workshops and panel discussions will occupy the afternoons and the student films themselves will be screened in the evenings. Audience members will also have the chance to fill the role of film critic through Audience Choice awards that will provide funding for the winners’ future film endeavors. And in the true spirit of a student-centered event, students can attend the festival free of cost with ID. Beverly Art Center, 2407 W. 111th St. January 16 through 18. Friday, 7pm; Saturday and Sunday, all day. $6 daily passes, $15 weekend passes. BAC member discount and students free with ID. (773)445-3838. (Maha Ahmed)

The Peasant and the Priest
Beyond the idealist’s vision of Tuscany—lush family-owned vineyards and olive groves, magnificent hilltop villas—there lie unsettling and oft-overlooked manifestations of globalization and corruption. Esther Podemski, acclaimed visual artist and filmmaker, provides the realist’s vision in her film The Peasant and the Priest. She profiles two Tuscan men who, paths never crossing, stand firmly with tradition in the face of changes that threaten to transform their home region and country, perhaps irreparably. The “peasant,” the last of his area’s sharecroppers, refuses to give up his practice of traditional farming in favor of the profit and efficiency promised by corporate agriculture; the priest is devoted to the fight against the rampant problem of human trafficking within Tuscany. The Film Studies Center brings this insightful film, its director, and UofC Professor Emerita Rebecca West together at the Logan Center for a screening with discussion to follow. Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St. Saturday, January 17, 7pm. Free. (773)702-2787. (Emeline Posner)

Story Club South Side
At this point in time, you may as well be living under a rock if you’ve never heard of a poetry slam. But you’re wrong if you think the emotion and enunciation found at these events is reserved just for verse. Story Club Chicago, which considers itself part of the “live lit community” and holds monthly events on the South Side, makes a show out of nonfiction storytelling. The nights feature paid storytelling performers as well as an open-mic component—the four featured performers for the January show are all South Siders, and there will be two open mic spots. If you’re game to spin your own yarn, head down to Co-Prosperity, where Story Club will provide you with a mic, a music stand, a stool, and a timer that will stop you after eight minutes. The rest is up to you.Co-Prosperity Sphere, 3219 S. Morgan St. Tuesday, January 20 (every third Tuesday of the month). 7:30pm doors and open mic sign up, show at 8pm. $10 suggested donation. BYOB. (773)696-9731. (Mari Cohen)

Missing Pages Lecture Series
Over the course of our lives, we have often been under the impression that we were presented with the whole story—after all, our high-school history textbooks must have covered everything we needed to know, right? The DuSable Museum doesn’t think so. Aiming to reveal the people, places, and events that haven’t gotten proper credit for shaping history, the lecture series Missing Pages, starting November 20 and running through March, is designed to address larger themes of politics, culture, race relations, and personal identity. The largely unknown figures and topics will be presented and discussed by nationally known speakers, and while their subjects never received much recognition in common memory or the media, now they take center stage. All this series asks of its audience members is that they remain open to what they might not have known and be willing to pick up a pencil and fill in history’s forgotten pages. DuSable Museum, 740 E. 56th Pl. Various Thursdays, through March, 6:30pm. $5. (Emiliano Burr di Mauro)


Mathias Poledna
The Renaissance Society is currently celebrating their hundredth anniversary. Their most recent showcase, the finale to this first century, not only celebrates the past decades of audiences and artists galore, but also considers, and dismantles, the very structure of the Renaissance Society’s gallery. Literally. Los Angeles-based Viennese artist Mathias Poledna has removed the gallery’s steel truss-gridded ceiling, an emblem (and tool) of the space since 1967. He is the first artist to physically alter the gallery, asking viewers to consider both iconoclasm and the nature of material property. This altering of the gallery will be supported by a 35mm film installation. The Renaissance Society’s invitation to Poledna to demolish the iconic grates, as well as the co-production of his film, stems from their readiness to enter their second century as a leading modern art gallery. Poledna’s work—highly concentrated film stills and their contextual contemplations—creates a dialogue between the historical legacy of the Renaissance Society and the avant-garde artworks within it. The Renaissance Society, 5811 S. Ellis Ave., Cobb Hall 418. Through February 8. Tuesday-Friday, 10am-5pm; Saturday-Sunday, 12pm-5pm. Free. (773)702-8670. (Sammie Spector)

Ground Floor
Marking the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Hyde Park Art Center, “Ground Floor” features artworks from prominent Chicago MFA programs, creating a biennial showcase of emerging talents so new they haven’t even begun their careers yet. The twenty artists, selected from over one hundred nominations, represent a wide range of mediums, forms, and universities: Columbia College, Northwestern, SAIC, UofC, and UIC. These artists have also had the chance to exhibit at September’s EXPO Chicago in HPAC’s booth. This unique program, showcased throughout the entirety of HPAC’s ground floor gallery space, offers the chosen artists a helpful push toward a career in the art world; “Ground Floor” alumni include two artists who have recently displayed artwork at the Whitney Biennial. Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S. Cornell Ave. Through March 22. Monday-Thursday, 9am-8pm; Friday-Saturday, 9am-5pm; Sunday, 12pm-5pm. Free. (773)324-5520. (Sammie Spector)

Nuestras Historias
From ancient Mesoamerican artifacts to contemporary artwork from both sides of the border, from neon pink protest art reading “Make Tacos Not War” to a sculpture about laborers made from a lawnmower, the latest exhibit at the National Museum of Mexican Art seeks to challenge the idea that there is a single history that defines Mexican identity in North America. “Nuestras Historias” draws an amazing range of pieces from the NMMA’s world-class permanent collection, creating a display diverse in both medium and narrative. The exhibition also features folk art, ceramics, and items from the colonial period, as well as a section devoted to artists from Chicago dealing with themes such as immigration, gentrification, and incarceration. National Museum of Mexican Art, 1852 W. 19th St. Through November 30. Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-5pm. (312)738-1502. (Akanksha Shah)

People at Work
Who ever thought that everyday jobs could be interesting? Nobody, really, except Michael Gaylord James, who has captured the workday tasks of people around the world in photographs taken over the course of fifty years. Beginning in Chicago, James carried his camera everywhere from Cuba to Ireland to the late USSR, snapping pictures of the glamorous and the not-so-glamorous on the daily grind. Though this might seem like a mundane topic, beware of underestimating the intrigue of this show, for these aren’t your typical nine-to-fives. In photos selected from a larger collection, you will see President Kennedy in a motorcade, the unseen kitchen hands of Chicago, Muddy Waters and James Cotton playing music, dancers, mechanics, and many others on the job, all frozen in an almost eerie moment of monotonous movement. Take a break from your own job and visit “People at Work” to witness first-hand how beautiful everyday life can be. Uri-Eichen Gallery, 2101 S. Halsted St. January 9 through February 6. Opening and closing receptions 6-9pm. Additional hours by appointment. (312)852-7717. (Dagny Vaughn)

Lands End
Walk to the Point, to the edge of the rocks, where Lake Michigan meets your toes. “Lands end. They all do,” claims a new exhibition, curated by UofC alumna Katherine Harvath and faculty member Zachary Cahill. Starting this Friday the Logan Center gallery will feature the work of thirteen sculptors, painters, and performance and installation artists from lands across the world, contemplating the role of landscape in contemporary life. Spectators will have a chance to ponder with five of them in person at speaker events throughout the exhibition’s run: on opening day, Canadian artist Gillian Dykeman will lead a guided tour and performance with Mountain Valley Mountain Tours. Norwegian painter Andreas Siqueland will give a talk the Monday following the opening, and on February 16, Logan will host a panel discussion with Brian Holmes, Claire Pentecost, and Dan Peterman, all featured in the exhibition. Come explore old lands through new eyes. Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St. January 9 through March 15, Tuesday-Saturday, 9am-8pm; Sunday, 11am-8pm. Opening reception Friday, January 9, 6pm-8pm. (773)702-3787 (Kristin Lin)

Exodus: the triumphant escape from slavery into…into what? Into the desert for forty years? A collaborative new show featuring the works of Alexandria Eregbu and Alfredo Salazar-Caro, “Exodus” plays with and inverts the themes of liberation and migration in vivid multimedia. Eregbu’s installations employ curious combinations of industrial materials to probe the meaning of identity, belonging, assimilation, and alienation, drawing on her own Nigerian-American heritage. Salazar-Caro’s interactive installation, titled “Border Crossing Simulator Beta,” features a video game narrative of crossing the United States-Mexico border. His digital work complements Eregbu’s physical constructions while challenging the viewers with disorienting touches, demanding that the viewer engage with the world presented in “Exodus.” This installation was chosen as the winner for Arts + Public Life’s 2015 open call for proposals. Arts Incubator Gallery, 301 E. Garfield Blvd. January 16 through March 20. Opening reception Friday, January 16, 6pm-8pm. Tuesday-Friday, 12pm-6pm; Thursday. 12pm-7pm. Free. (773)702-9724. (Lillian Selonick)

Free at First
The Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) is an experimental jazz collective founded in 1965 by Chicago musicians and composers interested in developing a radical infrastructure to support their unconventional style. Since its inception, AACM musicians have made monumental contributions to the development of free and experimental jazz. “Free at First: The Audacious Journey of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians” at the DuSable will take visitors on a journey through the early years of the AACM and the sociopolitical context of the musicians who liberated themselves through their genre-defying musical pursuits. In addition to archival photos, performance artifacts, and a musical soundscape, the interactive exhibition will feature a scavenger hunt-style game and a working recreation of AACM member Henry Threadgill’s “hubkaphone,” an instrument made of hubcaps. DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 E, 56th Pl. January 19 through September 6. Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday, noon-5pm. $10 general admission; $8 Chicago residents; $7 students. (773)947-0600. (Kirsten Gindler)


Alex Wiley and Sterling Hayes
This Friday, Reggies patrons will be able to catch performances from two (2) artists featured last month in the Weekly’s year-end Music Issue. Alex Wiley, whose scattered, doped-out album Village Party was named one of our favorite albums of the year, will headline the venue’s rap-themed “Lyrical Showcase 3.0” with help from experimental band Hurt Everybody. Wiley is fresh from the success of his hit song “#MoPurp,” co-written with the legendary Chance the Rapper, and chances are that number will bring down the house. On the list of Wiley’s openers is SAVEMONEY member Sterling Hayes, one of the up-and-coming Chicago collective’s most prodigious wordsmiths. Reggies Chicago, 2105 S. State St. Friday, January 9, doors at 8pm. $10. 18+. (312)949-0120. (Jake Bittle)

Maurice “Mobetta” Brown
Maurice “Mobetta” Brown, trumpeter-turned-rapper, makes hip-hop that feels lighter and airier than the current trend in the genre. Mobetta’s music skitters and dances around, making use of the skills that won him the Miles Davis Jazz Competition and a jazz Grammy to push his compositions as far as they can go, and ending up with…what Flying Lotus would sound like if he cared about popcraft? There’s rapping on the album, too, but you’re not listening for lines like “Even though I got skills / you my lucky charm.” You’re listening for those trumpet samples and the subtle compositional details, like the synths on the same track (“The Connection,” if you’re wondering) that enter halfway through and wander around, eventually crescendoing into an eighties-style “solo.” These records are best played loud (gets that piano track where it needs to be), and hopefully a stage at the Promontory will let Mobetta project just fine. The Promontory, 5311 S. Lake Park Ave. January 9, 8pm. $20; $25 at the door. (312)801-2100. (Austin Brown)

Southside Music Series ft. De La Soul
It’s high time someone decided to blend tasting plates with experimental jazz, wining-and-dining with hip-hop. This month the Promontory will present the Southside [sic] Music Series, focusing on the discography of the eight-piece band of brothers (really) known as the Hypnotic Jazz Band. Over the course of eighteen releases, these brothers have traveled the world with only their horns and their drum set, playing with the likes of Prince, Mos Def, and Gorillaz, as well as living up to the name of jazz legend Phil Cohran, their father (really). The band’s show at the Promontory will feature legendary guest artists De La Soul, a renowned hip-hop trio who revolutionized the genre in 1989 with their debut album. The collaboration between the two is sure to bring a night of innovative, witty, and masterfully played music. The Promontory, 5311 S. Lake Park Ave. January 15, 9pm, doors at 8pm. $25-$60. (312)801-2100. (Sammie Spector)

KRS-One at the Shrine
As the entire country once again finds itself in turmoil over issues of race and civil rights, the city of Chicago makes ready for a visit from the rap legend known as “the Teacher,” KRS-One. One of the original hardcore rappers and the former leader of Boogie Down productions, KRS-One will be performing and empowering our great city for one night at the Shrine on January 16. Attendees should expect to hear all his classics and be ready to bounce to slamming, old-school beats and sharp, smart lyrics that have stayed bitingly relevant even as the man himself has aged. Tickets are going for $30, but early birds will get a ten-dollar discount. The Shrine, 2109 S Wabash Ave. January 16, 9pm. $30. 21+. (312)753-5700. (Colette Robicheaux)

Oi! with the Punk Boys Already
“It’s time for an old-fashioned hippie ass-whomping!” proclaims the sampled voice of The Simpsons’ fictional Police Chief Wiggum at the start of “Ain’t Gonna Win,” the best-loved track on Brass Tacks’ 1999 album Just The Facts. This week, the Madison, WI, natives will bring their hardcore sound to headline the Oi! punk show of your guitar-slamming nightmares, whomping some serious hippie ass alongside seasoned acts with such intense names as Assault and Battery, Degeneration, and Brick Assassin. Rooted deep in the working-class struggle, the Oi! punk scene eschews commercialization and extols a kinship born of the hard-knock life. So, if your New Year’s resolution is to embrace your inner rage and assert a sense of tough-scrapes brotherhood, this Reggies lineup is your first (and likely your best) opportunity to make good. Reggies Chicago, 2105. S State St. January 16, doors at 7:30pm. $10-$12. 18+. (312)949-0120. (Olivia Myszkowski)

Gregory Alan Isakov
Thalia Hall, Pilsen’s freshest renovated venue, will play host to singer-songwriter Gregory Alan Isakov on January 17. Raised in Philadelphia, but with strong artistic roots in the American West, Isakov’s music is lyrically driven, often reflective, and could easily be compared to the softly sung storytelling of Leonard Cohen or Josh Ritter. Parallels aside, Isakov is a talented artist all his own, dishing out acoustic ballads lush with skilled instrumentation and his unique lilting voice. Although Isakov’s music lends itself best to solitary listening, Thalia Hall offers you the chance to listen to his melancholic, emotional compositions in the company of others who may be equally moved. Pass the tissues. Thalia Hall, 1807 S. Allport St. January 17, doors 6:30pm. $21. (312)526-3851. (Elizabeth Bynum)

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