Notes & Calendar 2/7/18

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


A New Lease on Life

Whether it’s fashion or food, the refurbishment of lower-class necessities as trendy items for the rich is well-documented. The recent boom in “tiny homes” for the homeless, however, has flipped the script, as Deanna Isaacs details in an article for the Reader. Developers will be wrestling with zoning laws and funding issues for months (if not years) before any ground is broken, but Pride Action Tank and La Casa Norte’s proposal to house homeless students about a mile from Kennedy-King College in Englewood is a glimmer of hope in a public health crisis more pressing than ever as the city enters another week of bone-chilling cold.

Shop and Save Hairston’s Job

We at the Weekly are very afraid because we find ourselves agreeing with Mary Mitchell, which we try never to do, but she points out so well in a recent Sun-Times article that it takes an election season to get anything done in this city. And now you can bet your eggs and bacon that South Shore’s Jeffery Plaza, which is home to the only remaining vacant grocery store after the Dominick’s chain left the city four years ago, will finally house a Shop & Save market. Nice work, Hairston. Even though Mitchell could not reach you for comment, word is a deal has been struck. Just in time for the March primary. We see what you did there.

Rent Is Out of Control

Last week the Tribune posed the question: Could, and should, Illinois embrace rent control? Uh…yeah. Let’s look at the data and pose some other questions. One little known fact is that Chicago had rent control regulation in place prior to the 1997 Rent Control Preemption Act. With Chicago renters who earn the median income spending more than half of their workdays trying to earn enough to cover rent, as the Tribune reports, it seems like the answer should be a clear resounding yes. The question will be further asked on the March primary ballot in nine wards and in roughly one-hundred precincts around Chicago, according to Jawanza Malone, executive director of the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization as well as leader of the Lift the Ban Coalition—a bloc of community groups who have been leading a two-year campaign against the Illinois ban on rent control. In a recent survey, seventy-four percent of Chicagoans answered yes when asked: do you agree there should be a limit on how much rents can increase in a given year? So, who are the remaining twenty-six percent? Greedy landlords and exclusionary enthusiasts?

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Black History Month African American Lit Fest

Harold Washington Library, 400 S. State St. February 3–26. Opening program Saturday, February 3, 10am–4pm.

Kick off Black History Month by getting lit with the African American Lit Fest. The Soulful Chicago Book Fair, in partnership with the Chicago Public Library African American Services Committee, will host a series of events with local authors, poets, and storytellers throughout the month. The opening program on Saturday features Haki Madhubuti, Maggie Brown, and Princess Pe’Tehn, a five-year-old poet prodigy. (Erisa Apantaku)

Free English classes

Breakaway, 2424 S. Western Ave. Entrance on 24th Pl. Every Monday, 6:30pm–9pm. Free.

Breakaway Social Center is offering free English classes for Spanish speakers. A ninety-minute class will be followed by an informal hour-long language exchange between students and teachers. Student interests will shape topics and materials. (Rachel Schastok)

Clases de inglés gratuitas

Breakaway, 2424 S. Western Ave. La entrada está en la 24th Pl. Cada lunes, 6:30pm–9pm. Gratis.

Breakaway centro social ofrece clases de inglés gratuitas para hispanohablantes. Una clase de noventa minutos será seguida de un intercambio de idiomas informal de una hora entre lxs estudiantes y lxs maestrxs. Los temas de la clase pueden cambiarse en función de los intereses de lxs estudiantes. (Rachel Schastok)

Introduction to Transcendental Meditation

Blackstone Branch Library, 4904 S. Lake Park Ave. Wednesday, February 7, 5pm-6:30pm. Free. (312) 747-0511.

Have you always been interested in learning to meditate, but had trouble finding the opportunity to do so? Come to the Introduction to Transcendental Meditation, a free lecture at the Blackstone Branch Library, and learn what Transcendental Meditation is, the health benefits that come from practicing it, and where else it is being used. Attend this workshop and take the first step towards becoming a meditation master yourself. (Michael Wasney)

Reclaiming Our Throne

South Side YMCA, 6330 S. Stony Island Ave. Friday, February 9, 6pm–9:30pm.

Activist In You, an emerging nonprofit social justice organization dedicated to empowering minority groups, will host a Black History Month celebration in Woodlawn. The event will include plenty of vendors and activities, as well as a panel from 7pm8pm. (Jacob Swindell-Sakoor)

Hey Brown Girl: Sunday Social

The Bronzeville Incubator, 300 E. 51st St. Sunday, February 11, 12pm to 4pm. Free to enter, $5 and up for brunch. Tickets available at

Join Hey Brown Girl and aplomb for a relaxing self-care Sunday! Enjoy soulful tunes, a Southern Creole inspired brunch, and vendors selling everything from soaps to teas to clothing. (Adia Robinson)

Expanding Your Horizons Chicago

UofC Kent Chemical Laboratory, 1020 E. 58th St. Sunday, March 24, 8am-3pm. $5. Registration opens February 12.

Chicago-area girls in grades 6-8 come together each year for this career conference focused on STEM fields. Students take part in a day of workshops and hands-on activities led by women in these fields. Online registration is mandatory; scholarships are available. (Rachel Schastok)

CTA Public Hearing

Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory, Academy Gymnasium, 250 E. 111th St. Tuesday, February 13, 6pm-8pm. Free. (888) 968-7282.

The Chicago Transit Authority recently announced plans to extend the Red Line to 130th Street. Attend this public hearing to find out more about how this project might affect you. Comments can be submitted prior to the event at (Michael Wasney)


Public Newsroom: Felicia Holman on Problematic Art Reviews

Build Coffee, 6100 S. Blackstone Ave. Thursday, February 8, 6pm–8pm. Free.

Felicia Holman of the Art Leaders of Color Network will host a “Remix the Critique 2” workshop in the wake of recent controversies over arts coverage. Aimed at writers of color and writers looking to review artists of color, the session will consider the unlearning of racist frameworks and differentiate between the constructive and the problematic. (Joseph S. Pete)

Eclipsing Workshop: Nourishing Noir with Nicole Melanie

Arts and Public Life, 301 E. Garfield Blvd. Friday, February 9, 5pm-7pm. Free.(773) 702-9724.

“Nourishing Noir” is a workshop that will be led by Nicole Melanie on the nutrient dense qualities of plant-based foods in relation to their less nutrient-dense versions. This workshop will also be centered on the origins and historical context behind these foods and their cultural significance. (Roderick Sawyer)

La Cultura Cura Market: Friendship, Self Love & Healing

La Catrina Café, 1011 W. 18th Street. Friday, February 9, 6pm–10pm. (312) 473-0038.é

La Catrina Café will host a cooperative market for barrio sustainability in Pilsen, featuring local and handmade items, jewelry, love readings, and a Fundraiser for Mariposas de la Diaspora.  Come out to celebrate healing, growth, and love. (Roderick Sawyer)

Rezident: Featuring Instituto Grafico de Chicago

Lo Rez Brewing, 2101 S. Carpenter St. Friday, February 9, 7pm–11pm. Free. (312) 738-1503.

Celebrate the Instituto Gráfico de Chicago and Lo Rez Brewing’s Spring Rezident program with craft beer, live music, an auction, and “Dichos y Diretes,” a collection of the work of nine Latinx and Latin American printmaking artists from the IGC. Show up early to catch a happy hour fundraiser for the National Museum of Mexican Art. (Roderick Sawyer)

Theater of the Oppressed Two-Day Workshop

Bridgeport Art Center, 1200 W 35th St. Saturday, February 10 and Sunday, February 11. 11am–5pm. $15 suggested donation. RSVP at

Je Nepomuceno will facilitate a workshop on the techniques and games that comprise the Theater of the Oppressed and will also explain what it can teach us about our biases and contradictions. Educators, artists, and activists are encouraged to take part in exercises like “Forum Theater,” where the consequences of different actions are explored in staged scenes. (Joseph S. Pete)

New Moon Writing Circle: Valentine’s Day Edition

AMFM Gallery, 2151 W. 21st St. Sunday, February 11, 2pm–6pm. Free.

Some say love is the greatest inspiration for poetry. Come find out if that’s true at the Valentine’s Day edition of New Moon Writing Circle. The workshop will be led by poet Melissa Castro Almandina and Maya Stainback. All they’ll need from you is a notebook, a writing utensil, and an open heart. (Michael Wasney)

Embodying Diaspora: A Monthly Dance Workshop Series

Arts Incubator, 301 E. Garfield Blvd. Tuesday, February 13, 6:30–8pm. Free. 16+. (773) 702-9724.

The Embodying Diaspora series is a monthly dance workshop that focuses on Afro-diasporic movement traditions. This month’s workshop, centered on Kizomba, will be led by Arif Smith. Come by to explore linkages between various traditions across the Black Atlantic. (Roderick Sawyer)


Blanc at Blanc: Party for Awareness

Blanc Gallery, 4445 S. King Dr. Thursday, February 8, 7pm–10pm. Free. (773) 373-4320. RSVP at

Come to Bronzeville to “get taught, get tested, and get #treated:” commemorate National Black HIV Awareness Day with a fundraiser party for Austin PrEP Connect. Web brand AMFM will present live DJs and musical performances, plus a raffle and cash bar. Last but not least: embroidered beanies if you get tested. (Christopher Good)

Duffle Bag Buru with Qari, Dally Auston, Adot

Schubas Tavern, 3159 N. Southport Ave. Friday, February 9, 10pm. 18+. $10. (773) 525-2508.

Rap game upstarts Lyrical Lemonade have curated an incredible lineup of breaking talent from the South and West Sides: monochrome MC Qari, screwball crooner Adot, Dally Auston (of “Bitch I’m Beautiful”), and Duffle Bag Buru. (Christopher Good)

Mixed Signals with Jana Rush, DJ Deeon 

Exit Chicago, 1315 W. North Ave. Friday, February 9, 10pm–late. 21+. Free till 12am, $5 after. (773) 395-2700.

Two decades ago, DJ Deeon and Jana Rush held down opposite sides of a split 12” for Dance Mania. This weekend, they’re joining forces once more to ring in Teklife mainstay Nate Boylan’s fortieth birthday. Keep an eye out for Mucho Culo DJs and other special guests. (Christopher Good)

Pre-Valentine’s Day Extravaganza

7421 S. Chicago Ave. Saturday, February 10, 8pm–2am. $6 for one person, $10 for two people. Call for tickets. (773) 507-4314.

Want to get your Valentine’s festivities started on the right foot? Don’t wait for the fourteenth to come around––the Park Rangers are hosting a Pre-Valentine’s Extravaganza on the tenth. If you think there’s a more fun group of people to kick off your V-day with, come by and be proven wrong! (Michael Wasney)

Do The Winter Block Party Thing

Metro, 3730 N. Clark St. Saturday, February 10, 12pm–10pm. Free. (773) 549-4140.

Chicago Public Media is pulling out all the stops for its ninth annual celebration of hip hop arts and culture: expect breakdance battles, face paint, hopscotch competitions, a turntablism showcase, DJs from Young Chicago Authors, and a pop-up barbershop. (Christopher Good)



Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. Friday, February 9–Sunday, March 11. 7:30pm Tuesday–Saturday, 7:30pm; Saturday–Sunday, 3pm. $15–$60. (773) 871-3000.

Jeff Award-winning playwright Antoinette Nwandu’s Breach: a manifesto on race in america through the eyes of a black girl recovering from self-hate is a comedy about family, friendship, and motherhood billed as “a love letter to black women.” Caren Blackmore stars as Margaret in her debut on the Lincoln Park stage. (Joseph S. Pete)

Chicagoland Shorts at Beverly Arts Center

Beverly Arts Center, Baffes Theatre, 2407 W. 111th St. Wednesday, February 7, 7:30pm. $6, $5 members. (773) 445-3838.

Chicagoland Shorts showcases a curated selection of experimental, Asian-American, African-American, and LGBTQ films that have been screened internationally at film festivals, galleries, and art museums. Check out what some of the artsiest, edgiest young filmmakers are coming out with. (Joseph S. Pete)

Eye of the Storm: The Bayard Rustin Story

eta Creative Arts Foundation, 7558 S. South Chicago Ave. Friday, February 9–Sunday, March 11. Fridays and Saturdays 8pm, Sundays 3pm. $40, discounts available for seniors, students, and groups. (773) 752-3955.

Playwright McKinley Johnson tells the story of the behind-the-scenes Civil Rights Movement organizer Bayard Rustin, whose work garnered him the moniker The Architect of the March on Washington. Despite Rustin’s efforts and achievements, he was persecuted for being gay. In conjunction with the play, a Contemporary Conversation on Race, Sexuality and Politics will be the topic of a joint panel scheduled with eta and the UofC Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture on Saturday, February 10 at 6:30pm with the playwright as well as social justice leaders and scholars from Chicago. (Nicole Bond)

Spotlight Reading Series: Dance on the Widow’s Row

NEIU Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies, 700 E. Oakwood Blvd. Monday, February 26, 6:30pm. For free limited reserved seating visit

The Spotlight Reading Series features staged readings of plays by writers of color whose work is often missing from the traditional canon. Dance on the Widow’s Row is a comedy set in an eastern North Carolina coastal community, where four widows who have buried nine husbands between them set out to find love amidst small-town values and gossip. (Nicole Bond)

All My Sons

Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Ave. 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)

Lady Moses: The Life and Times of Harriet Tubman

DuSable Museum, 740 E. 56th Pl. Saturday, February 10, 12:00pm. $10. (773) 947-0600.

Chicago actress, playwright, and producer Cynthia Maddox uses monologue, music, and poetry to reinvent her original one-woman show, which tells the story of Underground Railroad abolitionist Harriet Tubman. (Nicole Bond)


Waging War on Food Deserts

Chicago Public Library South Shore Branch, 2505 E. 73rd St. Saturday, February 10, 1:30pm–3:30pm. Contact

How can South Siders create hunger-free zones? This discussion, hosted by A Work of Faith Ministries and Organizing for Action, aims to build a plan to “wage war on food deserts” through delivery systems and community gardens. Although it was announced just days ago that South Shore will be getting a Shop & Save after nearly four years without a grocery store, equitable food access is still far from reality. (Emeline Posner)

Windy City Harvest Corps Info Session

Arturo Velasquez Institute, 2800 S. Western Ave., Rm. 1102. Monday, February 12, 9am–11am. Free.

Every year, Windy City Harvest runs a fourteen-week-long Harvest Corps training program designed to introduce urban agriculture to those with (nonviolent) 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)

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 twelve community gardens and farms in Back of the Yards, is looking for three farmers’ market marketing interns and three farming interns for the coming season. The marketing internship will offer a $500 stipend for ten hours a week from May to October. The farming internship is unpaid with a free produce share and money-making opportunities at weekly farmers’ markets for sixteen hours a week. Candidates will be interviewed and selected by March 15. (Emeline Posner)   

Chicago Food Policy Summit

South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. South Shore Dr. Friday, February 23, summit 9am–5pm, reception 5:30pm–7:30pm. Reception $10, summit and reception $20.

Registration is now open for the thirteenth annual Chicago Food Policy Summit, organized around this year’s theme “From Survive to Thrive.” The event is hosted by the Chicago Food Policy Action Council, a volunteer organization advocating for equal access to healthy food options in the city. Details about summit workshops, speakers, and vendors to be announced. (Tammy Xu)

Healthy Food Hub Pop-Up Market Day

Chicago State University Library, 9501 S. King Dr. Saturday, February 24, 9am–1pm. (773) 410-3446.

Come find produce, spices, and other goods at the Healthy Food Hub’s Chicago State University pop-up market day. The Englewood-based agricultural cooperative is taking a break from its normal weekly schedule for the winter, so don’t sleep on what may be the Hub’s only market day until the spring. Arrive at 9am to participate in an introductory class for the Hub’s Lifeboat Permaculture Design Certification and Commercial Farm Training. (Emeline Posner)

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