Notes & Calendar 3/7/18

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


We Ask Once More: Will Willie Wilson Win?

The rumor that has been circulating for months—Willie Wilson would throw his hat back into the mayoral ring—was confirmed late February. Wilson was around last election too, and came in third behind Jesús “Chuy” García. Wilson ended up endorsing García in García’s runoff with Rahm Emanuel. But just because he lost the last mayoral election, doesn’t mean he hasn’t been doing anything for Chicago, nor does it mean that he’s been absent from the news. He achieved both between his last attempt at the mayor’s office and this one: in 2016, he ran for the Democratic nomination for president; last year, he bailed out dozens of people in jail on misdemeanor charges who were unable to pay for their own bail, and has been a vocal advocate for criminal justice reform; he also helped launch a campaign to help people pay their property taxes when they were unable to. Wilson has denied that these are media stunts to lay the groundwork for a future mayoral campaign, saying instead, “This just seemed a good way to help.” Regardless of whether or not these were cobblestones in the road to electoral victory, the road looks promising—at least according to a poll paid for by his supporters that showed Wilson to be nine points ahead of Rahm Emanuel.

Daniel Biss On Stage with Pussy Riot

If you are imagining the gubernatorial candidate singing the band’s viral hit “Make America Great Again” while wearing blue lipstick to indicate his party affiliation, you might be disappointed—Daniel Biss officially turned down a live performance. Nevertheless, at 9:30pm on Tuesday, Daniel Biss will show up to talk about the negative influence of billionaires and big corporations on politics right before the famous anti-Putin Russian feminist punk band starts their set at Subterranean. Although no official endorsement is coming from Pussy Riot, the all-female group complimentarily called Biss an “anti-corporate candidate and activist” and will encourage concertgoers to vote in the March 20 primary. This might be one of Biss’s strategies to rock the vote to recover from a recent poll suggesting he’s losing to J.B. Pritzker in the primaries by ten points. If Biss indeed succeeds in this endeavor, there might be more politician-involved music gigs for concert-going Chicagoans—could be a blessing, maybe.

Time to Switch Tracks on the Red Line Extension?

Is it goodwill or just reelection season? In January, Mayor Rahm Emanuel insisted that we’re getting an expansion to the Red Line—nearly five decades after Richard J. Daley first promised it—with four new stops on 103rd, 111th, 115th, and 130th streets. But, as usual, the state of things outside of Rahm’s press office doesn’t inspire much confidence: Illinois is strapped for cash, and Trump is gutting Department of Transit grant programs. Even if all goes according to plan, optimists put a good eight years between us and service south of 95th. So now what? For years, the Coalition for a Modern Metra Electric has pushed to cut Metra fare and integrate it with Ventra. Now, transit analyst (and Weekly contributor) Daniel Kay Hertz has estimated that retrofitting the Metra Electric line would cost a fraction of the Red Line expansion: $27 million per mile to the CTA’s $434 million. It’s not a silver bullet—renovation wouldn’t add construction jobs, and plenty of neighborhoods are equidistant between the CTA’s proposed stations and the preexisting Metra stops—but it’s a hell of a lot better than another decade of transit deserts on the South Side.



Global Strategists Association’s International Women’s Day Luncheon

DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 E. 56th Pl. Thursday, March 8, 10am–1pm. $25–$100.

This year, the Global Strategists Association’s fifth annual International Women’s Day Luncheon takes up the theme “Press For Progress: Creating New Opportunities For Women of Color.” Chicago Community Trust president and CEO Helene D. Gayle will deliver the luncheon’s keynote. (Julia Aizuss)

25th District State Representative Candidate Forum

Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church, 3235 E. 91st St. Thursday, March 8, 6pm. (708)790-7760.

Candidates for the Illinois House’s 25th District, which encompasses the south lakefront from Kenwood to the border with Indiana, will discuss labor, immigration, violence, education, and more ahead of the March 20 primary. Candidates expected to attend are Adrienne Irmer, Anne Marie Miles, Flynn Rush, William Calloway, and Grace Chan McKibben. (Adia Robinson)

The Big Idea Show

BOP Biz Chatham Suites, 644 E. 79th St. March 9–30. Fridays, 9am–11am. Free. (773) 891-5939.

Every Friday, the Big Idea Show provides a platform for business owners, activists, and entrepreneurs alike to discuss their big ideas. Hosts Linda Perez and Toure Muhammad—business owners themselves—will discuss with their guests the secret to succeeding in Chicago with their guests. Find out that secret for yourself by attending this Friday. (Michael Wasney)

Lillian Armstrong Park Advisory Council Meeting

Kennicott Park Fieldhouse, 4434 S. Lake Park Ave. Saturday, March 10, 1pm–3pm.

Anyone who lives near Armstrong Park, at 44th and Saint Lawrence, and has an interest in putting the park’s still relatively new playground equipment, sports fields, and lights to good use, should head to the PAC meeting this weekend. Extra points if you figure out a special spring/summer/fall activity for the one hundred new trees. (Julia Aizuss)

The TRiiBE Anniversary Function

Private South Loop location; receive address after ticket purchase. Saturday, March 10, 8pm–1am. $40–$55.

Celebrate and fundraise for The TRiiBE, a new Chicago media outlet for Black millennials. The function will be at a “swanky” loft in the South Loop and will feature a smoke room, live performances, complimentary food and drinks, and juking. (Sam Stecklow)

Freedom Circle: Dinner & Dialogue

The #BreathingRoom Space, 1434 W. 51st St. Monday, March 12, 6pm–8:30pm. Free.

The #LetUsBreathe artist-activist collective is partnering with R3 Coalition and the Illinois Humanities Council to hold a dinner and dialogue series called Freedom Circle. The first installation will be held at the #LetUsBreathe collective’s The #BreathingRoom space. (Michael Wasney)

Urban Think & Drink—Exposure is Key: My Block, My Hood, My City

Metropolitan Planning Council, 140 S. Dearborn St. Thursday, March 15, 5pm–7pm. $15. (312) 922-5616.

Come see Jahmal Cole—founder of My Hood, My Block, My City (MHMBMC)—speak about the subject matter of his new book, Exposure is Key: Solving Violence by Exposing Teens to Opportunities. Not only will you get to hear from Cole, some of the students that have participated in the MHMBMC program and Darryl Holliday from City Bureau will attend as well. (Michael Wasney)


Exposure Vol. II

AMFM Gallery, 2151 W. 21st Street. Friday, March 9, 8pm-midnight. $8.

Check out graphic art, illustrations, and paintings by artists like Brooke Lord, Iles Grey, Davey Friday, Bri Beckham, and Lyntaun Jones in an exhibit presented by Mo Management and Dizz Co. There also will be drinks for purchase and live performances by Solo Sam, Vice Versa, and more. (Joseph S. Pete)

Visiting Artist Series: Cam Be

Homan Square, 906 S. Homan Avenue. Saturday, March 10, 2pm-4pm. Free.

Invisible Podcast Radio and the SAIC host workshops by local artists and entrepreneurs on Saturday afternoons. Cam Be, an Emmy Award winner who’s interviewed the likes of Theaster Gates, Hebru Brantley, Maya Angelou, Common, and Questlove, will discuss what he’s learned as an interdisciplinary artist and independent film director who’s interested in progressive hip hop culture. (Joseph S. Pete)

Arte Diseño Xicágo: Opening Reception

National Museum of Mexican Art, 1852 W. 19th St. Friday, March 23, 6pm-8pm. Free. (312) 738-1503.

The National Museum of Mexican Art’s new exhibition “Arte Diseño Xicágo” examines the artistic influence of Mexican immigrants from the end of the nineteenth century through the late twentieth. This exhibition curates artworks, photographs, and objects. (Michael Wasney)

Invisible Podcast Radio x School of the Art Institute Artist Series: Samantha Jo

Homan Square, 906 S. Homan Ave. Saturday, March 24, 2pm-4pm. Sign up online. (773) 638-2712.

Invisible Podcast Radio and the SAIC have teamed up to host a twice monthly workshop that gives a platform to local artists at SAIC’s Nichols Tower satellite location. Come by March 24 to participate in a workshop by Samantha Jo, a Chicago native and graduate from Columbia College Chicago. (Michael Wasney)


Soul-Frica Sundays

Renaissance Bronzeville, 4641 S. King Dr. Sundays, 7pm. No cover. (773) 690-5416.

End your week right and dance the night away in Bronzeville. Resident DJs Terry Hunter and Greg Winfeld––each with a formidable history in Chicago’s house scene––will spin soul, R&B, and whatever else gets the people moving. (Christopher Good)

Mohsen Namjoo and Faraualla

Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St. Friday, March 9, 8pm–10:30pm. $30–$50, student tickets $24–$32. (773) 702-2787.

With On the String of the Tear’s Bow, his newest album, Iranian singer-songwriter Mohsen Namjooo captures the “journey of a corpse from Mongolia to East Europe” through plaintive setar and electric guitar. On Friday, he’ll perform On the String and a second set of fan favorites with Faraulla, an a cappella quartet from the south of Italy. (Christopher Good)

Tribute to Twista 

Harold Washington Cultural Center, 4701 S. Martin Luther King Dr. Saturday, March 10, 7pm–midnight. $25–$50. (773) 373-1900.

Kanye once said: “I can’t do it that fast, but I know somebody who can.” “It” is rapping, and that “somebody” is Twista, South Side lyricist par excellence. On Saturday, he’ll take a victory lap with a dozen other rappers, including Krayzie Bone of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony.  (Christopher Good)

Not For You with Blood Licker, La Cosa, headache

Archer Ballroom, 3012 S. Archer Ave. #3. Saturday, March 10, doors 8pm–midnight. $7–$10, pay what you can.

Self-proclaimed “popnoisegrungeslugedoom” band Not For You will celebrate their new LP, Drown, with a tinnitus-inducing evening in Bridgeport. The lineup of opening acts––a perfect cross-section of Chicago’s noise rock scene––is just as big a draw.  (Christopher Good)

DJ Activation: Ayana Contreras and Bill Walker

Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S. Cornell Ave. Sunday, March 11, 2pm–4pm. (773) 324-5520.

Ayana Contreras, DJ and host of Vocalo’s “Reclaimed Soul” show, will spin funk and R&B in homage to Bill Walker, the Chicago artist best known for Grand Boulevard’s “Wall of Respect” mural. This program coincides with “Bill Walker: Urban Griot,” a retrospective of Walker’s paintings. (Christopher Good)

Otro Ritmo South Side Punk Night

One City Tap, 3115 S. Archer. Tuesday, March 13, 8pm–2am. (773) 565-4777.

The PBR and Hamms flow freely on the second Tuesday of every month at South Side Punk Night in this McKinley Park bar. “All mutants welcome. Respect each other,” organizers say. Hear sets from DJ Malice, DJ Orno and DJ Sufrida Kahlo, as well as “two current and relevant live bands.” (Joseph S. Pete)


Collected Stories

Private Hyde Park residence, location emailed with ticket confirmation. March 9–11. Friday–Saturday, 7pm; Sunday, 3pm. $15, seniors and students $12.

The Hyde Park Community Players takes full advantage of small production size to stage this play in a real residential living room, mirroring the intimate story. It examines two women, one an established short story writer and the other her younger protégé, and their complicated relationship. The family donating their living room has a dog. (Tammy Xu)

One Earth Film Festival

Various South Side and other locations.  Through March 11. Check website for ticket and location details.

The annual One Earth Film Festival returns for its seventh year to present films and discussion about climate change, sustainability, and what we can do. With over thirty dynamic films to view, three honorable mentions are: What Lies Upstream at the Beverly Arts Center this Wednesday, an investigative film uncovering the truth behind a massive chemical spill that poisoned West Virginia drinking water; Dolores, an award-winning documentary about Dolores Huerta, at Trinity United Church of Christ this Saturday; and the Chicago premiere of Fly by Light, the story of how a group of D.C. youth used nature to transcend a cycle of violence and poverty. Catch that screening and discussion this Sunday at St. Benedict the African Parish. (Nicole Bond)

Eye of the Storm: The Bayard Rustin Story

eta Creative Arts Foundation, 7558 S. South Chicago Ave. Through 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. (Nicole Bond)

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?

Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Ave. March 15–April 15. $38-$71. (773) 753-4472.

The classic 1967 film about the latent racism that surfaces when an upper-class San Francisco couple hosts their daughter and her Black doctor fiancé has been adapted for the stage by playwright Todd Kreidler. The acclaimed Marti Lyons, who’s directed for several theaters in Chicago, makes her Court directorial debut with this still-topical adaptation. (Joseph S. Pete)

BCH Mixtape Vol. 3

Dorchester Art + Housing Cooperative, 1456 E. 70th St. Friday, March 23, 7pm–10pm. (312) 857-5561.

Black Cinema House showcases independent short films, including Rhonda Nunn’s “I Remember” and Angela Dugan’s “Jermaine,” for its Mixtape series in an effort to uplift and reflect the full breadth of Black perspective in cinema. The screenings will be followed by a discussion of themes like memory, family, and the dichotomy between past and present. (Joseph S. Pete)

The Chills – Teen Night

DuSable Museum, 740 E. 56th Pl. Friday, March 16, 6pm–9pm. Free. (773) 947-0600.

Yollocalli Arts Reach has teamed up with the DuSable to celebrate the year of creative youth in Chicago and present the first of three teen-focused evenings, featuring art activities, an open mic, opportunities to explore the museum, music, food, and more. (Nicole Bond)


Little Village Seed Exchange

Amor de Dios United Methodist Church, 2356 S. Sawyer Ave. Saturday, March 10, 2pm–4pm. (773) 542-9233.

The Little Village Gardeners Coalition will be hosting its second annual Little Village Seed Swap. Meet other gardeners, swap some seeds, and share some gardening wisdom. Bring a dish or non-alcoholic drink to share. (Sam Joyce)

Vegetable Gardening Basics

Orozco Community Academy, 1940 W. 18th St. Saturday, March 10, 3pm–6pm. Free.

This three-hour gardening workshop, offered both in Spanish and English, will get you up to speed on the 101s of outdoor gardening: what crops grow well in limited space, what vegetables are best transplanted, and which best seeded directly. Materials and refreshments will be provided. (Emeline Posner)

Midwest Urban Farmers Summit

The Plant, 1400 W. 46th St. Saturday, March 10 and Sunday, March 11, 7am–7pm. Sliding scale for tickets. (779) 772-4142.

At the Midwest Urban Farmers Summit, urban farmers will gather to discuss best practices, ask questions, and learn about financial viability at The Plant, a closed-loop food production space housed in a former pork processing plant in Back of the Yards. There will be presentations on the state of urban agriculture, a talent show, roundtable talks, and networking. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. (Joseph S. Pete)

South Lakefront Framework Plan

South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. South Shore Dr. Tuesday, March 13 and Wednesday March 14, 5:30pm–8pm.

These two meetings, the last in a series of public meetings about the impending changes to Jackson Park and the greater south lakefront area, will “be focused on the options for recreational, ecological, and cultural park uses” going forward. No new information about the Obama Presidential Center will be made available, but park planners will display the draft framework plan, including both the presidential center and golf course plans, for residents to look at and comment on. (Emeline Posner)

South Branch Parks Framework Plan

Park 571, 2828 S. Eleanor St. Wednesday, March 14, 5:30pm–7:30pm. Free. (312) 922-5616.

On Wednesday evening, the South Branch Park Advisory Council will host a “visioning meeting” for the South Branch of the Chicago River. For those who live along or spend time in any of the South Branch Parks (Canalport, Canal Origins, or Park 571), this meeting may be the place to learn about what changes are coming to these parks, and to offer input. (Emeline Posner)

Greenhouse Production Workshop

South Chicago Farm, 8900 S. Green Bay Ave. Saturday, March 17, 8:30am–5pm. $100, scholarships available. (773) 376-8882.

The Urban Growers Collective’s workshop “Greenhouse Production: Seeding, Transplanting & Marketing Crops” offers hands-on training for planting, harvesting, and packaging crops. Growers can also pick up valuable tips about marketing to sell at restaurants, farmers markets, and Community Supported Agriculture programs. In addition, the collective will host group discussions and Q&A sessions. (Joseph S. Pete)

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