Calendar for November 12, 2014


Starting with this issue, the Weekly will use this space to highlight political and civic events happening across the South Side.

City on the Make
Professor of American History and Culture at the University of Paris-Sorbonne, Andrew Diamond tours the South Side with a series of lectures and panel discussions at the UofC and UIC on questions of race, class, and ethnicity in Chicago. Diamond has authored multiple books and articles on the subject of race and politics in the American cities, including Mean Streets: Chicago Youths and the Everyday Struggle for Empowerment in the Multiracial City, 1908-1969 and the forthcoming City on the Make: Race and Inequality in Chicago. He appears at the UIC Great Cities Institute on a panel discussion moderated by Teresa Córdova with Cook County Commissioner and mayoral candidate Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, political consultant Don Rose, UIC Professor of Educational Policy Studies Pauline Lipman, and Victor B. Dickson of the Safer Foundation. Student Center, East Illinois Room, 750 S. Halsted St. Thursday, November 13, 9am. Free. (312)996-870. Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture, 5733 S. University Ave. Thursday, November 13, 4:30pm. Free. (Meaghan Murphy)

Reclaim Chicago Launch
Accusing Republican Governor-to-be Rauner and Democrat Mayor-already Emanuel of allegiance to corporate interests, the People’s Lobby and National Nurses United have launched Reclaim Chicago, a fundraising and organizing effort to support candidates who align with their progressive platform. That platform is equal parts affirmation and opposition—for living-wage jobs, against charter schools, for public financing, pro-regulation, anti-privatization. The platform also touches on incarceration reform and economic justice. The coalition’s website refers to a candidate-focused strategy to reform city council, but has yet to name candidates; it promises more information on the endorsed, and actions in their name, at Saturday’s launch. National Association of Letter Carriers Hall, 3850 S. Wabash Ave. November 15, 9:30am-11am. (Hannah Nyhart)

Whither the Movement? The Future of American Labor Unions
Just over a week after the Democratic Party’s largest electoral drumming in recent memory and just months after a summer that saw newly energized campaigns to raise the minimum wage bring thousands of activists to the streets in Chicago and across the country, three of the nation’s most prominent labor leaders—AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, United Steelworkers President Leo Gerard, and former SEIU Secretary Treasurer Eliseo Medina—­come to the UofC’s Institute of Politics to discuss the future of unions and labor activism. The discussion is moderated by The New York Times’s Steven Greenhouse. The Institute of Politics, 5707 S. Woodlawn Ave. Thursday, November 13, 6:00pm-7:15pm. Free. (Osita Nwanevu)


Seventeen years ago, Mark Horvath, a previously successful actor, found himself homeless and addicted on Hollywood Boulevard. Since then, armed with a camera and a microphone, he has made a career out of bringing the voice of the homeless to the public eye. His new documentary, @HOME, takes him across the country, from LA to Arkansas to Pittsburgh, documenting the emotional and physical trauma of homelessness. Invisible People, Horvath’s nonprofit, interviews homeless people who, according to Horvath, come to feel invisible due to society’s unwillingness to acknowledge them. He brings a powerful and invigorating message of recognizing the nationwide homelessness problem. Screening the film is the Renaissance Collaborative, a nonprofit centered in Bronzeville that provides safe and affordable housing in addition to workforce development programs. The Renaissance Collaborative, 346 E. 53rd St. November 13, 6pm-7:30pm. Free. (773)924-9270. (Clyde Schwab)

Flood Tide
“The dead don’t linger because we have nowhere to go. We stay because we’re not ready. It’s hard to let go on both sides,” says Maya, the deceased protagonist of Flood Tide. The film follows a group of artists as they accompany her body down a river on seven scrap-wood boats. What they don’t know is that Maya’s ghost is following them. Director Todd Chandler filmed Flood Tide while living on “Swimming Cities of Switchback Sea,” a floating art exhibit and collaborative space, as it traversed the Hudson River. As a result, the film draws heavily from these experiences; the scrap-wood boats were integral to the “Swimming Cities” project, and the narrative was partly inspired by real-life interactions between the artists. Before Saturday night’s screening of the film, there will be shorts with live accompaniment by Chandler, Jim Becker, Mark Trecka, and Marshall LaCount, some of whom created the film’s score with the band Dark Dark Dark. Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St. Saturday, November 15, 7pm. Free. (773)702-8596. (Julie Wu)

Der Vorführeffekt Theatre: Three Kinds of Wildness
The play Three Kinds of Wildness seems to be the result of a dare to run with the pitch, “An ice baron, a telegraph inventor, and a doctor walk into a bar.” Directed by Sarah Lowry, the show boasts a production as idiosyncratic as its plot; it is the first play of Der Worführeffekt Theatre’s to have been “100% handmade and homemade” in its new location at the Sherwood Oak in West Philly. Before landing in Chicago, the Philadelphia-based theater company will perform this play all over the country, from the Northeast to Minneapolis to New Orleans, using only repurposed materials from their home neighborhood to “offer the opportunity to take a breath, to be together, and to participate in an evening of warm, ridiculous, unpredictable theatre that is unabashed in its humanity.” Co-Prosperity Sphere, 3221 S. Morgan St. Wednesday, November 12. 8pm. $7-$10, no one turned away for lack of funds. (773)837-0145. (Lois Chen)

Joseph Clayton Mills, the musician, artist, and writer who turned white noise and Franz Kafka’s deathbed notes into sound art, and Marvin Tate, snow-globe artist, performance poet, and former front man of the critically acclaimed funk band D-Settlement, are teaming up to present the first installment of Black Cinema House’s pilot project KINOSONIK. The two artist-musicians take short films pulled from the Chicago Film Archives as varied as a slow-motion shot of popcorn dancing in oil to a direct animation using paints and scratches (lauded by Canadian animator Norman McLaren as “the best film I’ve seen drawn on 16mm”) and pair it with their own improvised live-sound performance. This Sunday, join them for a night of musical collaboration and exploratory cinema performance. Black Cinema House, 7200 S. Kimbark Ave. Sunday, November 16, 4pm. RSVP recommended. (Kathryn Seidewitz)

Story Club South Side: My Other Talent
Why read nonfiction narratives when you can watch them live? Story Club South Side is ready to deliver all the amusement of open mic combined with the thrill of live theater at this month’s show, “My Other Talent” at the Co-Prosperity Sphere. Unlike most of Story Club’s shows, participants will not only tell you a story, but they’ll enhance it with other types of performance, too. Featured performers such as playwright Kendra Stevens and activist Kim Morris may sing, recite poetry, or even bring puppets into the mix in a rare, enriched Story Club experience. Come perform as well: sign-up for open mic starts at 7:30pm, slots are eight minutes long, and the audience will vote on their favorite performance at the end. Whether you’re hoping to win over the crowd or be part of the audience yourself, it’s sure to be a good time. (But also, keep reading.) Co-Prosperity Sphere, 3221 S. Morgan St. Tuesday, November 18. 8pm. Free, $10 suggested donation. (773)837-0145. (Sonia Schlesinger)

Rocks in My Pockets
In a society where mental illness carries social stigmas, Signe Baumane presents the animated piece Rocks in My Pockets, a self-proclaimed “funny film about depression” that examines the intricate lives of five different women as they navigate the ups and downs of life. Baumane’s tale takes inspiration from her family and Latvian heritage, and the characters are based on her own personal experiences. She creates a film that explores the mysterious machinations of the brain quite fantastically, using both stop-motion and hand-drawn animation. At next Wednesday’s screening at the Beverly Arts Center, viewers can follow the narrator on her fascinating quest for sanity as she tries to escape and survive a family history rooted in mental illness and a world plagued by the horrors of marriage, divorce, and violence. Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St. Wednesday, November 12, 7:30pm. $7.50. (773)445-3838. (Michelle Gan)

Coates at the DuSable
It’s been a big year for writer Ta-Nehisi Coates. A senior editor at The Atlantic and regular blogger on the magazine’s website, Coates captured popular attention with his June 2014 Atlantic cover story, “The Case for Reparations.” The piece, a year and a half in the making, examined the historical and institutional subjugation of African Americans, with a focus on public housing policy on Chicago’s South and West Sides. Coates will bring his perspective as a journalist and educator to a Public Programs Lecture at the DuSable Museum of African American History in conjunction with the museum’s present exhibition, “Spirits of the Passage: Transatlantic Slave Trade in the 17th Century.” Don’t miss this leading public voice in American discussions of race, politics, and culture— it’s not often that you get to engage with someone who turned down a regular columnist position at The New York Times. DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 E. 56th Pl. November 13, 6:30pm-8:30pm. $10. (877)387-2251. (Olivia Myszkowski)

An Evening with Filmmaker Akosua Adoma Owusu
Akosua Adoma Owusu is one of those extremely young people who seems to have already lived a whole life, fulfilled an entire career, and achieved a grand level of success, all faster than you can click “Play Next Episode” on Netflix. On November 14, this talented experimental filmmaker will be appearing at Black Cinema House, where she will screen a wide range of her work and speak with Professor Terri Francis of Indiana University. Using a variety of avant-garde techniques, as well as inspiration from her Ghanian ancestry, Owusu explores the concepts of African identity and race through the traditional storytelling of her childhood. Her work brings a fresh perspective to the stage by offering its audience a continued dialogue concerning the connection between Africa and the United States that transcends its preconceived notions and stereotypes. Owusu is shaking up the world of cinema, and the electric narrative she’s giving us is certainly worth paying attention to. Black Cinema House, 7200 S. Kimbark Ave. Friday, November 14, 7pm. RSVP in advance, seating is limited. (Emiliano Burr di Mauro)



Road Trip
Have you ever wanted to drop all your responsibilities, gather your best friends, load them up in a VW bus, and take a road trip across the Great American Landscape? If you’re like me, just the thought makes you faint because you know the price of gas these days. Have no fear: Dennis Kowalski’s retrospective, “Road Map,” is coming to Chicago. Originally interested in architecture, the artist quickly turned to sculpture. In the exhibit, ten year’s worth of work will be on display, exploring the impact of humans on the environment and our neglect of the upkeep of civilization. Kowalski’s work spans across media, including installation and photography, as well as across the geography of the United States. Bridgeport Art Gallery, 1200 W. 35th St. November 21-December 31. Opening Friday, November 21, 6-9pm. Free. (773)247-3000. (Mark Hassenfratz)

Are we a part of modernity? Does technology play a role in today’s art? Did video kill the radio star? All of these questions will be explored, and perhaps even answered, at the Chicago Art Department’s newest exhibition, “Technologic.” Curator Chuck Przybyl’s goal is to showcase technology that has aided artists in avant-garde and creative work. “Technologic” features robotic drawings, prosthetics, 3D printing, laser cutting, image slicing, circuit bending, plus textile circuitry and algorithmic art. While it does not exhibit the artwork itself, the show represents the behind-the-scenes tools that can help artists produce work at the height of the DIY era—an ethos becoming known as the Maker Movement. With all of this (laser) slicing and dicing, “Technologic” is by nature participatory; workshops and discussions will be held throughout the two weeks of exhibition time. Chicago Art Department, 1932 S. Halsted St., Ste. 100. November 14-22. See website for event dates and times. (312)725-4223. (Sammie Spector)

The Material That Went to Make Me
This month at the South Side Community Art Center, the Prison + Neighborhood Arts Project presents a collection of artwork created in classes at the Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill, Illinois. In both visual and text-based works, inmates use art to talk about their daily experiences behind bars and their movement within the prison system. The exhibit calls to attention the many issues prisoners face, including illiteracy, gangs, and violence within prison walls. Pieces such as timelines and schedules of how prisoners spend every hour of their day within the system are also on display. The exhibit strives to offer a humanizing look at prisoners, one rarely seen in popular media. South Side Community Art Center, 3831 S. Michigan Ave. November 15-December 6. Monday-Friday, 12pm-5pm; Saturday, 9am-5pm; Sunday, 1pm-5pm. (773)373-1026. (Michelle Gan)

For the Brown Kids
For the month of November, a poem addressing “those who learned to live the blues before they could tie their shoes” is being reimagined as a visual art exhibit at the Beverly Arts Center. The EXPO collective has gathered Chicago artists and had them illustrate their take on “For Brown Boys,” Rodrigo Sanchez-Chavarria’s direct, emotional exploration of the experience of growing up brown. EXPO calls the event a celebration of “diversity in art and in society,” highlighting the fact that the show bridges mediums while wrestling with the same theme of race. The show ran for the first time in June, but if you missed it, this is your second chance to see nineteen artists do their best to transfer a powerful poem onto canvas. Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St. Through November 30. Monday-Friday, 9am-9pm; Saturday, 9am-5pm; Sunday, 1pm-4pm. Free. (773)445-3838. (Mari Cohen)

Labor Migrant Gulf
The boteh is the droplet-like shape at the heart of the paisley pattern. It is also a symbol of religion, culture, and appropriation for many in Asia. Fittingly, this symbol serves as the centerpiece of the “Labor/Migrant/Gulf” installation at Pilsen’s Uri-Eichen. The installation was developed in part as a response to the unsafe working conditions of migrant laborers in the Arabian/Persian Gulf. Additionally, the exhibit gives due attention to laborers around the Mexican-American border and the history of migrants in California. This second half of the installation can be found one door down from Uri-Eichen at the Al DiFranco Studio. In accordance with the exhibit’s theme, the music of Joe Hill, an early 20th century Swedish-American labor activist, will be played around 8pm at this neighboring venue. Uri-Eichen Gallery, 2101 S. Halsted St. and Al DiFranco Studio, 2107 S. Halsted St. Through December 3, by appointment. Free. (312)852-7717. (Emeline Posner)

10 X 10: Chicago Heroes
What do Chicago heroes look like? According to Bridgeport art gallery Project Onward, the answer depends on whom you ask. Picture ten of the most remarkable figures in Chicago’s cultural history. Now picture ten different versions of each of them, created by ten different artists. That makes one-hundred iterations of these ten heroes, all of which are on display at Project Onward. Each artist’s portrait reflects a unique perspective and artistic style, in a gallery that celebrates and examines what it means to be a hero. Project Onward is a nonprofit organization that provides resources and exposure for local artists with disabilities, so it’s not just a celebration of heroes past, but also heroes present—people who create extraordinary work, despite adversity. Bridgeport Art Center, 1200 W. 35th St. Through November 14. Tuesday-Saturday, 11am-5pm. Free. (773)940-2992. (Hafsa Razi)

Affects Illustrated
The press picture shows dismembered, vaguely architectural pieces of pink metal standing in a field. It’s actually a digitally cut-up photograph of artist and UofC Visual Arts teacher Hannah Givler’s sculpture “Avatar.” The sculpture is one of several pieces that comprise “Affects Illustrated,” a site-specific installation that plays with the dynamics of interiors and exteriors and examines spatial relationships. The show also addresses themes like materialism, fictional utopias, and city planning, which feature heavily in Givler’s research. 4th Ward Project Space, 5338 S. Kimbark Ave. Through December 21. Saturday and Sunday, 1pm-5pm. Opening reception November 9, 3pm-6pm. Free. (Julie Wu)



Alfredo Rodriguez Trio at Logan
Don’t look now, but the Logan Arts Center is becoming a hub for modern jazz. It has hosted trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, pianist Vijay Iyer, violinist and MacArthur Genius Regina Carter, and this Friday, Cuban jazz pianist Alfredo Rodriguez visits to kick off the five-country tour behind his Quincy Jones-produced The Invasion Parade. A famously intense performer, Rodriguez mixes bop and Afro-Cuban folk to create strange, ecstatic soundscapes that drip with nostalgia. Rodriguez, who’s been compared to Thelonious Monk for his off-center riffs, starts from jazz standards for what seems like the sole purpose of subverting them. Bulgaria’s Peter Slavov and Puerto Rico’s Henry Cole join Rodriguez on bass and drums. The whole trio is classically trained, too, so be prepared to come away feeling cultured. Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St. November 14, 7:30pm. $35, $5 students. (Derek Tsang)

Brother Ali at Reggies
“Terrorism is the war of the poor / Hold up a mirror so the script get flipped / ‘Cause when it’s in reverse it ain’t wrong no more / Warfare’s the terrorism of the rich,” spits seasoned rapper and activist Brother Ali on his 2012 album, Mourning In America And Dreaming In Color. The Minnesota native and longtime linchpin of the Midwest hip-hop scene has made a career out of sharp tracks that earnestly address issues of class, race, poverty, and protest. Brother Ali will bring his biting lyrical style to Reggie’s, accompanied by a set of lesser-known hip hop acts known for their honest narrative approach. Performances by Bambu, Mally, and DJ Last Word solidify this lineup as Friday’s best opportunity to see nimble musicality and political passion collide on the South Side. Reggies, 2105 S. State St. November 14, 9pm. $17-$20. 17+. (312)949-0120. (Olivia Myszkowski)

Willy Porter at Promontory
Hailing from Wisconsin, Willy Porter released his first album, The Trees Have Soul, in 1990. He has been strumming steadily since, sometimes with other musicians, but often riding stag as his own accompanist on the guitar and mandolin. Porter gained recognition as an independent singer with his lyrically driven acoustic solo act, and his most recent album, Cheeseburgers and Gasoline, feels like listening to America, Unplugged. His folksy style is nostalgic for a time that is not yet past, and the bittersweet-ness of his melodies tugs firmly on heartstrings. It’s not hard to imagine listening to him on your couch, sipping herbal tea, wrapped snugly in a heavy winter blanket. Alternatively, his sound would be just as smooth from behind a heavy whiskey cocktail this Thursday at The Promontory, where he’ll be playing with Will Phalen, creator of rock music from the American Midwest. The Promontory, 5311 S. Lake Park Ave. West. November 13, doors at 6:30pm. $15-$22. (312)801-2100. Bynum)

Respect the Mic at the Shrine
Come say goodbye to Chicago hip-hop series Respect the Mic at its final show next Friday at the Shrine. One of Chicago’s longest-running event series, Respect the Mic is dedicated to showcasing both new and old hip-hop talent. This final installment will feature local up-and-coming talents including RnR, Prafase, Beware, and Hanibl Phee, and is also on the lookout for more performers. According to the description on the Facebook event, the organization is “dedicated to the advancement of local artistry and Respect in the Hip hop culture” and is also the only concert series where artists and producers keep the profits of the show. The Shrine, 2109 S. Wabash Ave. Friday, November 21, doors open at 9pm. $25, advance tickets available online. 21+. (312)753-5681. (Clyde Schwab)

The Jungle Brothers at the Shrine
A fusion of jazz, hip-hop, and house, the Jungle Brothers are making a return next Tuesday at the Shrine. Though they’ve never reached the critical magnitude of colleagues such as a Tribe Called Quest or De La Soul, the Jungle Brothers are known for their Afrocentric lyrics and for jazz sampling that actually predates both groups. The group, composed of Mike Gee, Afrika Baby Bam, and Sammy B, have recorded hits such as “What U Waitin 4” and “Straight Out the Jungle.” Using groovy lyrics and masterful sampling to create exciting dance beats, the Jungle Brothers’ smooth rhythms should offer an interesting contrast to the current drill-rap movement in Chicago. The Shrine, 2109 S. Wabash Ave. Tuesday, November 11, doors open at 9pm. $17.50. Tickets available online. 21+. (312)753-5681. (Clyde Schwab)

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