Notes & Calendar 10/18/17

A week’s worth of developing stories, events, and signs of the times, culled from the desks, inboxes, and wandering eyes of the editors


You Gotta Know When to Hold ’Em

With October 19 being the deadline for bids for Amazon’s second headquarters location or HQ2, the illustrious Rahm Emanuel is showing his trump card. No, not that one—we mean the massive acreage along Bronzeville’s lakefront left vacant by Michael Reese Hospital since 2009. The open land can be built to include 8 million to 14 million square feet of tech-oriented commercial space. Chicago-based architects Skidmore, Owings and Merrill have provided a peek at what developers Draper and Kramer, Farpoint Development, Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives and others can expect, as reported by Cubed Chicago: renderings of high-rise towers, public plazas, fiber optic data connections, and landscaped bridges connecting the compound to Lake Shore Drive with dedicated traffic lanes. Fancy. It sounds like a centrally located dream come true for job seekers citywide. Nevertheless three memories resurface: the failed 2016 Olympic Village Bid, the long-overdue plans for a Level I trauma center to serve the South Side, and the scene from the movie The Color Purple where Celie tells Mister, “Until you do right by me, everything you even think about is gonna fail.”

South Side Restaurants Exist (and Always Have)

Like other South Siders, we at the Weekly have been a bit piqued by the ongoing removal of the few restaurants south of 31st Street in the Michelin Guide’s Bib Gourmand recommended list (not that we’re exactly loyal customers of La Petite Folie or A10, but at least it was something). We’re pleased, however, to see other publications joining in on our indignation, with DNAinfo declaring, “Yo, Michelin Guide, Chicago Goes Way Past 31st Street.” As veterans with five Best of the South Sides and two Food Issues under our belt, we just have a few things to add: the ability to score a “solid meal” on the south lakefront isn’t a recent development, and, to quote, a blog that may or may not be authored by one of our contributors, “Hyde Park only sort of counts.”

Latinx Neighborhoods Report Released

Last week, two UIC-affiliated research groups—the Great Cities Institute and the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy—released a report on the state of Latinx neighborhoods in Chicago. In their introduction, the authors point out the lack of attention paid to Chicago’s Latinx neighborhoods when crafting public policy—despite the fact that the Latinx population is the second largest ethnic group in the city, as of last year. The UIC study is a comprehensive attempt to provide the information that could help fill that gap. Most notably, it argues that one of the biggest issues facing Latinx communities is education: Just over thirty percent of the city’s Latinx population has a level of education lower than a high school diploma, compared to fifteen percent and five percent for the Black and white population, respectively. (The report points out that this is probably in some part due to the high number of foreign-born Latinx residents living in Chicago.) But that’s just one example of the long list of interesting, often worrying information and analysis buried in the 172-page document—go take a look for yourself.

The full report can be found at

✶ ✶ ✶ ✶



Forms & Features: Celebrating the Poetry of June Jordan

DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 E. 56th Pl. Thursday, October 19, 7pm–9pm. Free. RSVP online.

Poetry Foundation Library Coordinator Maggie Queeney will lead a discussion and creative writing workshop to celebrate the work of June Jordan, the poet and activist known as “the Poet of the People.”  You will pen—or type, if that’s your preference—your own poems in response to her work.  (Yunhan Wen)

Laquan Day 2017

CPD Headquarters, 3510 S. Michigan Ave. Thursday, October 19, 7pm for the community rally. Progressive Baptist Church, 3658 S. Wentworth Ave. Friday, October 20, 7pm for the town hall discussion. Two-day event. Free.

Three years ago, video of the tragic death of Laquan McDonald shook the entire nation. In commemoration, a group of community activists—William Calloway, Charles Preston, and Matthew Ross—is organizing a rally in front of the headquarters of CPD and a town hall discussion on the following day. (Yunhan Wen)

Invisible No More Conversation

Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture at the University of Chicago, 5733 S. University Ave. Thursday, October 19, 7pm-9pm. Free. (773) 702-8063. Register at

UofC political science professor Cathy Cohen is joined by attorney and author Andrea Ritchie for a discussion about Ritchie’s recently-released Invisible No More: Political Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color, which discusses state violence against vulnerable members of society through a queer feminist lens. The day before, Ritchie will be participating in a public discussion with local activists at the Hull House Museum on UIC’s campus from 2 to 4pm. (Sam Stecklow)

Cristina Rivera Garza, “The Iliac Crest” Book Release

The University of Chicago Center for Identity + Inclusion, 5710 S. Woodlawn Ave. Friday, October 20, noon–1:30pm. Free. (773) 552-7440.

In its fourth year, the annual Lit & Luz Festival of Language, Literature, and Art is once again offering a platform for cultural exchange between Mexico City and Chicago. This year, Cristina Rivera Garza, the renowned Mexican author, will read from her recently-translated novel, The Iliac Crest. (Yunhan Wen)

Renew 71st Street Kickoff

2226 E. 71st St. Saturday, October 21, 5pm–8pm. Free.

The 71st Street Advisory Committee, the residents’ group created by Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) after backlash to her proposal to downzone the portion 71st Street in her ward, convenes for its first public meeting this Saturday night. There’s little public information on the event, but we’re putting good money on the Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill urban design team hired by Hairston showing some of its plans and renderings. (Sam Stecklow)

2017 Harvest Festival

El Paseo Community Garden, 944 W. 21st St. Saturday, October 21, noon–8pm. $5 suggested donation. (773) 234-6168.

The last greens of the growing season, a performance by La Danza Ballet Folklórico Maravilla, a dog costume competition: all this, and more, is in store at El Paseo Community Garden’s Harvest Festival. Don’t miss the 4:30pm dedication and discussion of the new, punchy mural overlooking the garden; the artists will be there to discuss the imagery and their community-driven process. (Emeline Posner)

Intro to Canning, Pickling, & Fermentation

The Plant, 1400 W. 46th St. Saturday, October 21, 3-4:30pm. $25. (773) 847-5523. Register at

Just in time for the cold, produce-less months to come, head to the Plant this weekend to learn how to preserve fresh vegetables. If the knowledge itself wasn’t enough for you, you’ll also take home a couple jars of prepared, pickled fresh produce—if you have spare mason jars lying around at home, you’re encouraged to bring them and return with them full of delicious fermented veggies. (Sam Stecklow)

Harvest Gathering Day

OTIS Fresh Farm, 2616 S. Calumet Ave. Sunday, October 22, 11am–3pm. (773) 747-1761. RSVP online.

Celebrate the year’s vegetal growth this Sunday by helping with the harvest at OTIS Fresh Farm. Garden experts and newcomers alike are welcomed—the day will begin with a tour of the Bronzeville farm by founder Steve Hughes and end with a “hang-out,” and throughout the day there will be opportunities to learn about recycling, worms, and rainwater. (Emeline Posner)

Annual Halloween Festival and Haunted House

Gary Comer Youth Center, 7200 S. Ingleside Ave. Saturday, October 28, 1pm–5pm. Free admission and all ages for the festival. For the haunted house: 8+. $3 adults, $2 youth. (773) 358-4100.

It’s that time of the year gain—the Gary Comer Youth Center will host its annual Halloween Festival featuring carnival games, live performances by the Jesse White Tumbling Team, and magic performed by Benjamin Barnes. For more spooks and ghouls, the door to the Haunted House is ajar and awaiting. (Yunhan Wen)

Filmmaker Haile Gerima’s “Sankofa”: Resistance Then & Now

Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St. Saturday, October 28, 3pm–7pm. Free. More information and RSVP at

Haile Gerima, renowned filmmaker and a leading member of the L.A. Rebellion movement, will introduce his best-known film Sankofa (1993), a story about slavery across the globe. The discussion will touch upon issues such as racism, identity, and culture. This event is part of Inherit Chicago. (Yunhan Wen)

Stories of Displacement

Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture, 6500 S. Pulaski Ave. Saturday, October 28, noon–2pm. (773) 582-6500.

As part of its roving programming before it officially launches, the National Public Housing Museum is hosting a pop-up exhibit at the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture on the Southwest Side. Focusing on stories of displaced people, in Chicago and around the world, the exhibit is interactive and encourages patrons to participate. (Sam Stecklow)

Learn to be an African Heritage Cooking Superstar!

St. Ailbe Church, 9047 S. Harper Ave. Saturday, November 11, noon–3pm. Free. (773) 374-2345. RSVP at

Loved last year’s Weekly article “Tradition in the Kitchen” and want to get involved in more A Taste of Heritage cooking classes? Join the Ridgeland Block Club Association in the kitchen at St. Ailbe Church to learn how to teach your own A Taste of African Heritage class. “Get equipped with the skills, knowledge, and recipes to bring ‘Health through Heritage’  back to the community at your Church, Mosque or Community Group.” (Andrew Koski)


Open Practice Committee: Amalia Pica

Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St. Thursday, October 19, 12:30pm–1:30pm. Free. Contact (773) 753-4821 or for more info.

Come out Thursday to listen to this public talk with Amalia Pica, presented by the Lit & Luz Festival and UofC Department of Visual Arts. Born in Neuquén, Argentina, Amalia now lives and works in London and Mexico City. Her work often focuses on the process, effectiveness, and performative nature of thought and speech. (Roderick Sawyer)

“Southern Exposure” Exhibit Tour with Lee Bey

DuSable Museum of African-American History, 740 E. 56th Pl. Thursday, October 19, noon-1pm. Free. (773) 947-0600. Register at

Join recent Weekly cover story interviewee and general architecture-man-about-the-South-Side Lee Bey for an tour of his “Southern Exposure” photography exhibit, highlighting the South Side’s incredible architectural stock. It promises to be a fascinating hour. (Sam Stecklow)

Roundtable Talk with Françoise Vergès

Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St. Thursday, October 19, 6pm-8pm. Free. (773) 834-8377. Register at

Join postcolonial theorist and researcher Vergès for a two-hour panel discussion on the origins on Pan-Africanism and its implications for current African diaspora culture and politics. Part of “Returns,” the Logan Center’s multi-year research project, public event series, and online platform on Pan-Africanism in contemporary art. (Sam Stecklow)

The Role of Art in Transforming Public Spaces

Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St. Thursday, October 19, 7:30pm-9:30pm. Free. (773) 445-3838.

The Chicago Architecture Biennial’s three South Side anchor site—the Hyde Park Art Center, DuSable Museum, National Museum of Mexican Art, and event host Beverly Arts Center—come together for this public talk on the role of art in transforming how people perceive and interact with public space, particularly relevant in Mayor Emanuel’s Year of Public Art and related questions about how funds have been distributed throughout the city. (Sam Stecklow)

“I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter” Book Release

National Museum of Mexican Art, 1852 W. 19th St. Friday, October 20, 6pm–8:30pm. Free. (312) 738-1503.

Erika L. Sánchez, a second-generation Mexican American and Princeton professor, has come back to her native Chicago to read excerpts of her debut novel I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter. Sánchez, who also published the poetry chapbook Letters on Expulsion earlier this year, will talk about how she wrote her first novel around a pair of sisters, parental expectations, and an unexpected tragedy. (Joseph S. Pete)

18th Street Pilsen Open Studios

Various locations around 18th Street. Kick-off Friday, October 20, 8pm–midnight; open studios Saturday, October 21, noon–8pm and Sunday, October 22, noon–6pm. (773) 830-4800.

It’s the fifteenth year of this annual art walk, organized by mainly Latinx local artists and volunteers, and for its quinceañera, Pilsen Open Studios programming includes tours of various studios around 18th Street, public art tours, a family art workshop, and, this year, programming honoring Casa Aztlan, from a teach-in about resisting gentrification to community art projects and performances. (Julia Aizuss)

Mountains, Lakes, Places I Feel Safe

Archer Beach Haus, 3012 S. Archer Ave. Friday, October 20, 8pm–midnight.

Artists Megan Eskoff, Mariana Rockwell, and Natalie González come together this Friday for a “lush” exhibition of landscape and interior painting. They’ll be dealing with interiority, too—how these spaces provide “conflicting but comfortable emotional safety.” (Julia Aizuss)

Zhou B 13th Anniversary Third Friday

Zhou B Art Center, 1029 W. 35th St. Friday, October 20, 7pm-10pm. Free. (773) 523-0200.

Bridgeport’s Zhou B Art Center turns 13 this month, and in turn, is throwing itself a celebratory Third Friday art walk, which it has hosted for nearly as many years. This week, in addition to the regular open artist studios, 10/20 sees the openings of “New Chinese Contemporary Landscape,” a group exhibit; and “Inception,” an “immersive multi-sense” installation considering the implications and presence of video art. Also on display will be the “Water Lily Pond of Life” permanent exhibit series, which the Zhou brothers have been collaborating on since the early ‘70s. Plus, a free concert by the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. This is a not-to-miss event. (Sam Stecklow)

Sarah Schulman: “Conflict is Not Abuse”

UofC Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality (Community Room), 5733 S. University Ave. Monday, October 23, 5pm–6:30pm. Free. (773) 702-9936.

Writer/activist/general figure of interest Sarah Schulman comes to the UofC to discuss her latest, award-winning book, Conflict Is Not Abuse, which explores how accusations of harm are used to avoid accountability and to manipulate fear. (Julia Aizuss)

Boo HaHa: Neon Nights

Co-Prosperity Sphere, 3219 S. Morgan St. Friday, October 27, 7pm–11pm. $30. Buy tickets online at (773) 837-0145.

Lumpen Radio, or WLPN 105.5 FM, will again bring home brewers on the verge of going pro together for an underground summit with some of Chicagoland’s top breweries, such as Goose Island, Aleman, Soma Ale Werks, Middle Brow, and 18th Street Brewery. Oh, yeah, and it’s a costume party with black lights, neon lights and “amazing DJs.” (Joseph S. Pete)


Selena Tribute Night

Punch House, 1227 W. 18th St. Wednesday, October 18, 9pm–2am. Free. (312) 526-3851.

Dance the night away to the music of Selena, one of the biggest stars in Tejano and Latin pop ever, spun by DJ’s Alive Girl and Ariel Zet. (Sam Stecklow)

Cousin Stizz

Reggies, 2105 S. State St. Thursday, October 19, 7pm doors. $20. 18+. (312) 949-0120.

There’s a case to be made that Boston’s best-known rappers are Benzino (forever known for being on the losing end of a feud with 8 Mile–era Eminem), Sammy Adams, and Mark Wahlberg; it’s a relief, then, to see Dorchester rapper Cousin Stizz gaining some traction, including a feature from Offset on his major-label debut, One Night Only. He’ll be playing at Reggies with fellow Bostonian Big Leano. (Christian Belanger)

David Archuleta

The Promontory, 5311 S. Lake Park Ave. Monday, October 30, 7pm doors, 8pm show. $17–$150. (312) 801-2100.

David Archuleta “doesn’t like attention, but deserves yours,” proclaims the description of Archuleta’s upcoming show on the Promontory’s website, which goes on to outline a career that remarkably makes no mention of his attention-bringing stint on American Idol. You will be able to give him even more attention if you pay for the $125 VIP experience of the concert; either way, fans will be able to head to the Promontory, where he’ll be singing “about the struggle of finding your own voice.” (Julia Aizuss)

Ariel Pink at Thalia Hall

Thalia Hall, 1807 S. Allport St. Saturday, October 28, 8:30pm, 7:30pm doors. $27 advance, $37 doors. 17+. (312) 526-3851.

Weird rock institution Ariel Pink comes to Thalia Hall in support of his latest album, Dedicated to Bobby Jameson, in memory of a one-time rock star who languished and died in relative obscurity. (Think a more tragic version of Searching for Sugarman). Ariel Pink himself has seen his commercial fame wane a bit in the last few years, not that he seems to care; come see him ply his trade, aptly described by his label as “earnest genre drag.” (Christian Belanger)

$5 Fridays: Color Card, Easy Habits, Skip Trace

Co-Prosperity Sphere, 3219 S. Morgan Ave. Friday, November 3, 7pm doors, 8pm–11pm show. $5, free for Lumpen Radio members. Buy tickets online. (773) 837-0145.

Lumpen Radio debuts $5 Fridays with three local bands at the Co-Pro; they promise “bleary rock music and lasers.” Color Card, Easy Habits, and Skip Trace will no doubt provide the bleary rock music; it’s unclear whether they or the Lumpen team are responsible for the lasers. (Julia Aizuss)

I Got Life – The Music of Nina Simone

The Promontory, 5311 S. Lake Park Ave. West. Friday, November 3, 7pm doors, 8pm show. 21+. $17–$45. (312) 801-2100.

Singer Jaguar Wright and bassist Gerald Veasley, both jazz and soul artists hailing from Philadelphia, front an ensemble whose presentation and re-imagination of Nina Simone’s oeuvre will, The Promontory promises, result in “more than a concert.” (Julia Aizuss)


‘63 Boycott 54th Anniversary Screening

Rainbow PUSH Coalition, 930 E. 50th St. Saturday, October 21, 1pm–3pm. Free. (773) 373-3366.

This Saturday sees the world premiere of  ’63 Boycott, Kartemquin Films’ short documentary on the 1963 CPS student boycott, which saw hundreds of thousands students taking to the streets to protest the racist policies and practices of the school board. The screening, co-hosted by Black Cinema House and the UofC’s Center for Race, Politics, and Culture with Rainbow PUSH and Kartemquin, will be followed by a discussion with both the filmmakers and some of the subjects. (Sam Stecklow)

Rebuilding a Sanctuary

Monastery of the Holy Cross, 3111 S. Aberdeen St. Saturday October 28, 6pm. Free; RSVP at

The Monastic Community of the Holy Cross will screen the documentary short Rebuilding the Sanctuary, featuring iconic altarpieces viewers can see in the sanctuary prior to the screening by attending 5:15pm Vespers—short evening prayers of Psalms and chanting of hymns by Benedictine monks. A conversation and light refreshments will follow. You can see the film trailer on the monastery’s Facebook page. (Nicole Bond)

The Belle of Amherst

Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Ave. Thursday, November 2–Sunday, December 3. $35–$68, discounts available for seniors, students, faculty, and groups. (773) 753-4472.

Emily Dickinson could not stop for death, but you should stop by the UofC’s Court Theatre to see William Luce’s play about the revered poet’s reclusive life in Massachusetts. Kate Fry stars as the prolific Dickinson who “dwells in possibility” and famously characterized hope as a “feathered thing that perches in the soul.” (Joseph S. Pete)

Spotlight Reading Series: “Trouble in Mind”

South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. Shore Drive. Saturday, November 11, 3pm. 5535 S. Ellis Ave. Free, but reservation required. (773) 753-4472.

Alice Childress’s Trouble in Mind offers a satirical take on racism in American commercial theater, spoofing a “progressive” Broadway play about race that’s anything but. The staged reading will reviv`e a play as part of Court’s Spotlight Reading Series, which aims to bring the works of people of color to the fore. (Joseph S. Pete)

The Revolution Will Not Be Improvised

The Revival, 1160 E. 55th St. Every Saturday through November 11, 7:30pm. $5–$15.

Ever since Gil Scott-Heron, people have speculated on what the revolution will not be. The Revival’s Fall South Side Sketch Comedy Review adds to that conversation and wrings needed laughs out of the current sociopolitical climate. Max Thomas, Elias Rios, Jared Chapman, Lexi Alioto, Sara Savusa, and Mo Phillips-Spotts blend improv humor and music under the direction of Molly Todd Madison. (Joseph S. Pete)

Down the Rabbit Hole Mindfuck and Mysteries Series

The Max Palevsky Cinema in Ida Noyes Hall, 1212 E. 59th St. Every Thursday through November 30. (773) 702-8574.

Doc Films, the University of Chicago’s volunteer student-run film club and cinema, is showing a series of “mindfuck and mystery” films every Thursday through the end of November. There are some real, well, mindfucks featured, including David Lynch’s Inland Empire, David Cronenberg’s Naked Lunch, and this writer’s personal favorite movie, Synecdoche, New York. Mindfucks all. (Sam Stecklow)

eta Family Theatre Initiative: “The Tiger Who Wore White Gloves”

eta Creative Arts, 7558 S. South Chicago Ave. Friday, October 20–Saturday, December 23. $40, discounts available for seniors and students. (773) 752-3955.

Nora Brooks Blakely’s musical adaptation of a book by her mother Gwendolyn Brooks was already a fitting choice, in the year of the Brooks centennial, to start off eta’s 2017–18 season. Even more fitting, given Brooks’s dedication to youth poetry, is that the musical will launch eta’s partnership with the Chicago Teachers Union Foundation. The initiative will encourage Chicago students to read the book and then to see the musical. (Julia Aizuss)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.