Notes & Calendar 1/10/18

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


Diagnosis Homelessness

According to WBEZ, some Chicago hospitals have entered the housing market by instituting a program where they pay the lion’s share of housing costs for homeless Chicagoans who would otherwise frequent emergency rooms for a place to sleep. The University of Illinois Hospital was the first Chicago hospital to pilot the project in 2015. Swedish Covenant, Rush, and Stroger hospitals all recently launched similar projects to house people termed “super-utilizers” of ER services. The virtuous move feeds two birds with one worm, so to speak, and the bird’s name is economics. According to University of Illinois Director of Preventative Emergency Medicine Stephen Brown, the hospital pays only $1,000 per month in patient housing and the federal government picks up the rest, compared to the $3,000 per day it costs for hospital admission. Fifty percent of the top one hundred emergency room users are homeless. The University of Illinois program currently provides housing for twenty-six homeless patients and expects to expand the program to accommodate an additional twenty-five.

Will Willie Wilson Win?

After a third-place mayoral race finish and an entirely overlooked presidential campaign, medical supplies millionaire and gospel TV host Willie Wilson is exploring another shot at taking on Mayor Emanuel in next year’s election. A poll commissioned in December by his exploratory committee brought him within ten points of tying Emanuel. “He’s the only one that close to Rahm Emanuel,” former state senator and Wilson adviser Rickey Hendon told CBS Chicago, which may be true but conveniently sidesteps the fact that the only declared contender in the race is principals’ union president Troy LaRaviere. Still, it will be good to have Willie in the race; there aren’t many political candidates around with his particular quirks, such as filling his presidential campaign page with Bible quotes.

Clara’s Disgrace

Longtime Englewood women’s shelter Clara’s Place was abruptly shut down and declared uninhabitable by the city last week, according to ABC7. The women and children’s shelter started by Clara Kirk has had severe financial problems for some time, but it fell into disrepair after coming under the control of Kirk’s son last summer, when Kirk suffered a stroke, said 15th Ward Alderman Ray Lopez. Lopez has an office in the same building of the shelter, where building temperatures have dipped to thirty-five degrees, forcing Lopez to vacate the building as well. Perhaps the displaced women and children from Clara’s Place will have to get into the hospital housing market at University of Illinois.

Walking on Paper-Thin Ice

On Monday, a federal judge ordered that Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown provide media outlets with immediate access to electronically filed civil lawsuits within thirty days. Currently about forty percent of e-filed lawsuits are not available the same day they are filed, according to Courthouse News Service (CNS), which sued the clerk’s office last year. Brown’s office is still working on ending nearly all paper filings in civil cases, after having received a six-month extension on a state deadline. According to CNS attorney Brian Sher, it won’t be hard for Brown’s office to update the court system and make the thirty-day deadline; other cities have done so with relative ease.

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Breaking Out of Your Shell

Polsky Exchange, 1452 E. 53rd St. Thursday, January 11, 6:30pm–8:30pm, $10.

It’s time to break out of your shell and build your own brand. Gather with other women business owners, and professionals as you network, converse, and listen to great conversations and discussions. Hosted by the Chicago Women Empowerment Group. (Maple Joy)

25th House District Candidate Forum

Kennicott Park Field House, 4434 S. Lake Park Ave. Thursday, January 11, 6pm–7:30pm. Free.

Activist groups People United For Action and United Working Families are hosting eight of the nine candidates who have announced their candidacy to replace longtime State Representative Barbara Flynn Currie, who has spent nearly four decades in Springfield. The candidates include activists, attorneys, beneficiaries of political nepotism, and a good handful more. (Sam Stecklow)

Cut to the Chase—The New Tax Plan

Chicago Urban League, 4510 S. Michigan Ave. Thursday, January 11, 6:30pm–8pm. (773) 285-5800.

Wonder what the new tax plan will mean for you? The Metropolitan Board of the Chicago Urban League is hosting an event just for you. “Cut to the Chase” will explore the financial impacts that people should expect. Attendees are required to RSVP. (Michael Wasney)

Librería Donceles Spanish Language Book Exhibition

Open Books Warehouse and Bookstore, 905 W. 19th St. Friday, January 12, 6pm–9pm. (312) 475-1355.

Pablo Helguera’s Librería Donceles came to Chicago in 2016 to help make Spanish-language books more accessible to the public. In the same spirit, Open Books has created a legacy project to showcase Spanish-language books and programming. Come to a free opening reception, which will feature readings and live music. (Michael Wasney)

Burning Bowl 2018: Re-Imagining Tomorrow

Morgan Park United Methodist Church, 11030 S. Longwood Dr. Saturday, January 13, 1pm–4pm . (773) 324-0377.

At Affinity Community Services’ annual kickoff event, leave the things that no longer serve you in the past and join the social justice organization in celebrating the work they did in 2017 and setting goals for the new year. Charlene Carruthers, the founding national director of BYP100, will give the keynote speech, the Drum Divas will perform, and the organization will honor Phoenix Mathews. (Adia Robinson)

The Inaugural Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiative

Kennedy-King College, 6301 S. Halsted St. Wednesday, January 17, 11am–2pm. (773) 488-6600. Call to RSVP.

Through this partnership with the Englewood Women’s Initiative, this workshop hopes to put participants on the path to success with educational programs that will help you pursue “good-paying” manufacturing and construction jobs and maybe start your own business. (Adia Robinson)

Rebuild Knights: Chess Club

Rebuild Foundation,1456 E. 70th St. Every Tuesday from January 19 through March 20. 3:30pm–5pm. Free.

Are you up for the challenge? Rebuild Knights will be hosting a new chess club. Have fun with family and friends while learning the basic rules and strategies of chess. Young and old are welcome. (Maple Joy)


Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society

The Joseph Bond Chapel, 1050 E. 59th St. Saturday, January 13, 8pm. Free.

Joshua Adam’s Chicago-based band blends the West African guimbri, jazz, minimalism and krautrock to create a psychedelic but layered sound. Natural Information Society will bring in an expanded lineup of musicians to introduce a new piece at the UofC. Visitors also can check out new art by the painter Lisa Alvarado. (Joseph S. Pete)

Kites, Tombs, & Houses in the Land of Conjecture

The Oriental Institute, 1155 E. 58th St. Wednesday, January 10, 7:00pm−8:45pm. (773) 702-9520.

As part of the Oriental Institute’s Lecture Series, Yorke Rowan—Senior Research Associate in Ancient Studies—will be presenting “Kites, Tombs, and Houses in the ‘Land of Conjecture,’” a discussion considering cutting-edge archaeological research in the Black Desert of Jordan. (Michael Wasney)

Lewis Achenbach: The Sonic Story – Opening Reception

Café Logan at the Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St. Tuesday, January 16 at 6pm–10pm. Free.

For those of us who weren’t blessed with the gift of synesthesia, Chicago-based artist Lewis Achenbach will allow us to do something that would otherwise be impossible. Achenbach captures “the elusive artform of jazz in visual form,” in images “vibrant with color, punctuated with long lines, and surging with energy.” In addition to displaying jazz paintings and portraits from his extensive portfolio, Achenbach will be live sketching during Ari Brown’s performance during this Third Tuesdays jazz concert. (Andrew Koski)

Objects of Care: Romi Crawford on the Ed Williams Collection

Stony Island Arts Bank, 6760 S. Stony Island Ave. Sunday, January 14, 3pm–5pm. Free. (312) 857-5561.

For the second installation of the “Objects of Care” series, SAIC professor Romi Crawford will lead a workshop––and consider the “historical, social, and emotional function of toys”––in relation to the Edward J. Williams collection and the death of Tamir Rice. (Christopher Good)


I AM A MAN! A Performance by Maggie Brown

Stony Island Arts Bank, 6760 S. Stony Island Ave. Saturday, January 13, 3pm–4pm. Free. (312) 857-5561.

Hyde Park singer, activist, and all-around multi-hyphenate Maggie Brown will explore the legacy of slavery and institutionalized racism through the works of her father, Oscar Brown Jr. As she reads his sonnets on the “3/5 Myth” and the Dred Scott decision, Brown will ask “what defined Black manhood” in American history. (Christopher Good)

Joseph Chilliams with Tunde Olaniran, Mother Nature

Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln Ave. Thursday, January 11, 8pm. $12 in advance, $15 at door.  21+. (773) 525-2501.

From his collaborators (Noname, Supa Bwe, Jamila Woods) to his inspirations (werewolves, kale, Fergie), Pivot Gang’s Joseph Chilliams proved himself as one of Chicago’s most idiosyncratic voices on last year’s Henry Church mixtape. On Thursday, he’ll be joined by Tunde Olaniran, a “cultural warrior with a 4-octave range and a penchant for dirty synths,” and razor-sharp rap duo Mother Nature. (Christopher Good)

For Frankie! A Celebration of His Life

Metro and smartbar, 3730 N. Clark St. Sunday, January 14, 10pm. $20 in advance, $25 at door. 21+. (773) 549-4140.,

Just a few days shy of the late house legend’s birthday, the Frankie Knuckles Foundation has pulled together a lineup stacked with some of the city’s top DJs. In Metro, highlights include scene mainstay The Black Madonna and Mike Dunn of the Chosen Few DJs. The fifty-third most famous Chicagoan (per a 2006 Newcity article), Derrick Carter, will hold down smartbar. (Christopher Good)

Hyde Park School of Music Winter Showcase

Co-Prosperity Sphere, 3219 S. Morgan St. Sunday, January 14, 3:30pm–6:30pm. $8 adults, children free. (608) 207-6316.

On Sunday, the Hyde Park School of Music will join forces with Bridgeport’s Co-Prosperity Sphere for an afternoon of melodies, harmonies, and refreshments. Between performances––by students and teachers––there will be conversations about the school’s mission and its future. (Christopher Good)


Last Words

Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative, 1456 E. 70th St. Friday, January 12, 7pm−9:30pm. Free.

The Rebuild Foundation’s Black Cinema House is bringing in Detroit filmmaker Anthony Green to discuss his first feature-length film. Last Words, expanded from a twenty-minute short film, concerns a woman who fights to leave an abusive marriage and gain a new lease on life. (Joseph S. Pete)

32 Verses: A One-Man Show

The Revival, 1160 E. 55th St. Friday, January 19, 9:30pm, doors open at 9pm. $20–$100.

West Side native Brandon “Real T@lk” Williams, who’s been called a “lyrical scientist” by Andre 3000 and “unsigned hype” by The Source Magazine, will do an hour-long set of spoken word material, storytelling, and rap with vocal instrumentation. He has toured the Midwest, put out The Mo’ Better Mixtape, and wrote the hip-hop musical The Yard. (Joseph S. Pete)

Whose Streets? Screening

Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative, 1456 E. 70th St. Friday, January 19, 7pm–10pm. Free.

Black Cinema House presents the 2017 documentary about the killing of Michael Brown, begun by directors Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis and cinematographer Lucas Alvarado Farrar in Ferguson in 2014 with the intention to share stories of residents, activists, and the events surrounding the murder. As the national news media outlets bend the truth, watch as this trio uncovers fact versus fiction—and discuss the results after the screening. (Maple Joy)


Collaboraction Studios, Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave. Now through January 20. Show times and ticket prices vary. For complete details visit

Anthony Mosley’s Collaboraction Theater, creator of last year’s PeaceBook festival, has curated a new activism-based theater festival to inspire racial healing in Chicago. Film, staged readings, music, dance, poetry and storytelling are presented in conversation with each other, around the themes of history, identity, and resistance. The presentations are as varied as the presenters. Among the offerings are: Our Chicago Project, curated by Black Lives, Black Words International Project—a continuing dialogue examining the segregation and gentrification plaguing so many Chicago neighborhoods, and Diana Quinones Rivera’s short film D on the South Side, which tells the story of a Puerto Rican woman’s experiences living in a predominately Black Chicago neighborhood. (Nicole Bond)

Lorriane Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart

DuSable Museum, 740 E. 56th Pl. Thursday, January 11, 6pm−9pm. Free. To register, call (773) 947-0600 or visit

The Goodman Theater is co-sponsoring a documentary screening on the life and complete body of work of Chicago playwright Lorriane Hansberry. This hour-long film, presented on the eve of the fifty-third anniversary of Hansberry’s passing, features interviews with Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, Ruby Dee, and Louis Gossett, Jr. Filmmaker Tracy Heather Strain and Chicago-based film aficionado Yvonne Welbon will discuss Hansberry and the film before the screening.  (Nicole Bond)

All My Sons

Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Ave. Thursday, January 11, through Sunday, February 11. Tickets $20– $68. (773) 753-4472.

Charles Newell directs Arthur Miller’s 1947 Drama Critics’ Award-winning play–All My Sons. Featuring Timothy Edward Kane, John Judd, and Kate Collins, this dramatic tale, based on true events, weaves business, love, and tragedy and established Miller as an American theater icon. (Nicole Bond)


MLK Sustainability and Food Justice Weekend

KAM Isaiah Israel Congregation, 1100 E. Hyde Park Blvd. Saturday, January 13, 4:00pm–6:30pm; Sunday, January 14, 10am–2:45pm. Free. (773) 924-1234.

The 9th Annual MLK Sustainability and Food Justice Weekend, with the focus on climate change and Chicago’s park spaces, will provide attendees with information, workshop space, and ultimately, the tools to push for a greener, more equitable city. Activists, growers, and environmentalists will lead more than 16 workshops over the course of the two days. (Emeline Posner)

Chicago Food Justice Coalition Meeting

The Plant, 1400 W. 46th St. Thursday, January 18, 2pm–4pm. Free. RSVP by Monday, January 15 to or (312) 347-8350.

Join Legal Assistance Fund leaders for the second meeting of the newly formed Chicago Food Justice Coalition. On the agenda: discussion of the coalition’s organizational and structural goals, and welcoming new participants into the group. After the meeting, the Plant’s Farmers Market Manager will lead attendees on a tour of the Back of the Yards local food powerhouse. (Emeline Posner)

Young Life South Side Chicago 7th Annual Chili Cook Off

Kennicott Park District, 4434 S. Lake Park Ave. Sunday, January 21, 1pm–3pm.  $20–$25.

Sample various efforts to make the best chili in town at the annual fundraiser for Young Life South Side Chicago, a faith-based outreach nonprofit that mentors youth after school across the South Side. All proceeds help “overlooked or economically depressed” city kids go to summer camp for “the best week of their lives.” Donations also are welcome. (Joseph S. Pete)

Windy City Harvest Corps Info Session

Arturo Velasquez Institute, 2800 S. Western Ave., Rm. 1102. Monday, January 22, 9am–11am, and Monday, February 5, 9am–11am. Free.

Every year, Windy City Harvest runs a 14-week-long Harvest Corps training program designed to open a door into urban agriculture for those with (non-violent) criminal backgrounds. Come by on one of the listed mornings for more information on how the multifaceted training program could suit your interests, and where it might lead you. (Emeline Posner)

Urban Livestock Expo!

Southside Occupational Academy, 7342 S. Hoyne Ave. Saturday, February 3, 11am–2pm. Free. (773) 850-0428.

Advocates for Urban Agriculture, a sustainable agriculture nonprofit in Chicago, teams up with Southside Occupational Academy to showcase the high school’s urban agriculture program and give workshops on raising urban livestock. Tips on how to raise bees, goats, chickens, ducks, and other animals in the city will be available for all experience levels. (Tammy Xu)

51st Street Community Farmers Market Internship Applications

Send applications, questions, to Stephanie Dunn, Applications accepted through February 15th.

United Human Services, a food pantry that operates 12 community gardens and farms in Back of the Yards, is looking for three farmers market interns and three farming interns for the coming season. The marketing internship will offer a $500 stipend for 10 hours/week from May to October, and the farm internship is unpaid, with a free produce share and money-making opportunities at weekly farmers markets, for 16 hours/week. Candidates will be interviewed and selected by March 15. (Emeline Posner)   

1 Comment

  1. Very informative and lots to do in our own community, so happy I stumbled upon the article.
    Thank you for putting this weekly news together and continue on doing an awesome job!!

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