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


Morgan Park Puts a Ring on It

Those of our readers who are high school basketball fans will surely recall Morgan Park High School’s nail-biter of a fourth-quarter comeback win last month over Oak Park’s Fenwick High School, a victory that snagged them the Illinois High School Association’s Class 3A state basketball title. What they might not have heard was that Morgan Park High did not have the money to purchase their own state championship rings, and that Chicago Public Schools (CPS), naturally, was unable to help, according to the Sun-Times. Rather than fixate on this umpteenth CPS budget shortfall, we, like the Sun-Times, would prefer to shift gears and spotlight Morgan Park’s happy ending: after Morgan Park athletic director Michael Berger tweeted about his team’s plight, he drew the attention of a variety of well-wishers. The comedian Hannibal Buress, who last demonstrated his love for the South and West Sides of this city by writing a paean to mild sauce in Chicago magazine, was the first celebrity to send over a check; next came Green Bay Packers tight end and former Chicago Bear Martellus Bennett, whose foundation offered to pay for all the rings and who now plans to design the rings himself. Perhaps most impressive, though, was the sportsmanship of the defeated Fenwick High, whose athletic director and faculty had been planning a ring fundraiser for their rival.

Maybe Rahm Needs a “Postgrad Plan”

If you’re the mayor of a large city with a school district that’s been mired in a funding crisis and forced to make huge cuts across the board, what’s your next move? Do you suddenly announce a new graduation requirement without promising to provide the resources to make it feasible for students to meet that requirement? No? Well, then you must not be Rahm Emanuel. Last week, our fair city’s problem-solving mayor announced that, in order to graduate from high school, CPS students (starting with the class of 2020) will be required to show proof of a postgrad plan in order to receive a diploma. Students can fulfill the requirement with a college or trade school acceptance, a job or internship offer, or entrance into the military. While helping students plan for the future is critical, it’s unclear whether this new requirement can be classified as “helping,” especially since many schools have already been forced to lay off their college counselors as a result of CPS’s fiscal troubles. CPS didn’t respond to DNAinfo’s questions about whether additional counselors would be hired. Let’s hope that the district has some hidden master plan to make sure that students have the guidance they need, and that they won’t become vulnerable to for-profit college scams, get pressured to join the military if they don’t want to, or fail to graduate in large numbers. Otherwise, CPS students will be further punished for school policy that is out of their hands.




Building Trauma-Sensitive Practices

UChicago School of Social Services Administration, 969 E. 60th St., room W1ab. Thursday, April 13, 5pm–8pm. RSVP at bit.ly/TRACimpact

Join the Trauma, Resilience, Advocacy Collaborative and the Center for Childhood Resilience to learn about how trauma impacts youths, adults who interact with them, and communities as a whole. This workshop hopes to help participants recognize trauma and create supportive environments for youths. (Adia Robinson)

Self-Publishing for Activism

Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry, 929 E. 60th St., ste. 112. Thursday, April 13, 6pm. (773) 834-1936. graycenter.uchicago.edu

Authors, artists, and activists gather to discuss self-publishing and its potential as a social justice tool. Hosted by the Gray Center, the panel will be peopled by members of the One of My Kind (OOMK) collective—responsible for a biannual, small-press zine—and an assortment of other artist-activists, from Chicago and beyond. (Michael Wasney)

Know Your Rights Open Mic

Hamilton Park Fieldhouse, 513 W. 72nd St. Friday, April 14, 6pm–8pm. Free. (773) 354-8581. bit.ly/kyropenmic

Join the First Defense Legal Aid Street Law Corps for an evening of performances by youth leaders and artists in Englewood. There will be a short video screening highlighting the group’s recent civil and human rights trip to New Orleans, Louisiana. (Roderick Sawyer)

’Go Run, Washington Park

Washington Park. Saturday, April 15, 9am. RSVP online. (312) 666-9836. cararuns.org

If you’re looking for the impetus to pick up running again, here it is. This weekend and every weekend afterward ’til early June, Chicago Area Runners and the Chicago Park District partner to create the ’Go Run program, designed to encourage active lifestyles and greater engagement with the city’s parks. (Michael Wasney)

Save Our Streets Picnic

Ashland/Eric Patterson Park, 149 Ashland Ave., Harvey, IL, 60426 Saturday, April 15, 12pm. Free. (708) 631-8105. sistahsistahhelpin.wixsite.com/mysite

For those passionate about addressing violence in the city, join Sistah’Sistah Helping Hands and Blissful Eats Catering for a “day full of fun, learning, and togetherness.” This event provides networking opportunities for adults and fun activities for children. (Adia Robinson)


Lesley Jackson: Walking with Rilke

4th Ward Project Space, 5338 S. Kimbark Ave. Saturdays, 1pm–5pm, through Saturday, May 6, or by appointment. Free. (773) 203-2991. 4wps.org

Multimedia artist Lesley Jackson uses objects like gathered leaves, a rubber band, and tree bark to evoke the “romantic struggle with mortality” of the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke at this month-long exhibition in Hyde Park. (Jake Bittle)


Elephant Room Gallery, 704 S. Wabash Ave. Saturdays, 11am–5pm, through April 29, or by appointment. (312) 361-0281. elephantroomgallery.com

This solo exhibition by artist BURN353, a graffiti and mixed media artist from downstate Illinois, looks back on a childhood spent spray-painting freight trains and watching hip-hop films, and showcases pieces from his extensive painting and design work. (Jake Bittle)

Hood Zine Workshops: Pilsen

La Catrina Café, 1011 W. 18th St. Wednesday, April 12, 8:30pm. culturainpilsen.com

If you missed her first workshop last week, Chicago artist Gabriela Ibarra will be leading another workshop on how communities can use zines “to reframe the narrative” around their neighborhoods. Ibarra will provide “Pilsen Zine templates” and will distribute copies of the finished zines made by the group. (Adia Robinson)

Closing Reception: Aspects of the Whole

Studio Oh!, 1837 S. Halsted St. Closing reception Friday, April 14, 6pm–10pm. Through April 27. Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, 1pm–6pm, or by appointment. Free. (773) 474-1070. art-studio-oh.com

“Aspects of the Whole,” curated by Studio Oh!’s Lisa Stefaniak, uses grid patterns to cut through and segment the work of four photographers and artists (Adam Lofbomm, Otto Rascon, Robert Tolchin, and Stefaniak herself), breaking down images and putting them back together in strange and captivating ways. (Hafsa Razi)

Intercessions: Art as Intervention and Prayer

Rootwork Gallery, 645 W. 18th St. Opening reception Friday, April 14, 6:30pm–9:30pm. Through May 21; see website for performance schedule. (917) 821-3050. facebook.com/rootworkgallery

“Intercessions” brings together visual and performance art to contemplate “the body and the spirit; the sacred and the profane.” The opening reception features the work of painter, sculptor, and performance artist Maya Amina, as well as percussion and mixed media artist Xristian Espinoza. (Hafsa Razi)


San Fermin

Thalia Hall, 1807 S. Allport St. Wednesday, April 12, 8:30pm, 7:30pm doors. $18-$25. (312) 526-3851. thaliahallchicago.com

San Fermin comes to Pilsen to perform from its third album, which marks an inward turn for the band: bandleader and songwriter Ellis Ludwig-Leone has dropped his usual fictional frameworks for more personal lyrics that chart his life in terms of his anxiety. Low Roar will open for the group. (Julia Aizuss)

Good Times with Party Noire

The Promontory, 5311 S. Lake Park Ave. Friday, April 14, 7pm. $7 pre-sale, $10 at door. (312) 801-2100. promontorychicago.com

Party Noire and Bklyn Boihood are throwing a good time with an early lineup of emerging Chicago artists, including TASHA, Jade the Ivy, Christian JaLon, and Kopano. Nappy Nina alson joins them to spit her own East Coast fire. (Adia Robinson)

Song Selectors: Sean Alvarez

Punch House, 1227 W. 18th Street. Friday, April 15, 10pm. Free. punchhousechicago.com

Nestled in the belly of Thalia Hall, Punch House is hosting Afrofuturist DJ Sean Alvarez as their selector this Friday. Sip your favorite punch as Alvarez transports the room to afro-bliss with his mix of jazzy, soulful, global deep house grooves, in celebration of the creativity birthed from the African diaspora. (Nicole Bond)

Third Tuesday Jazz: Pat Mallinger

Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St. Tuesday, April 18, 7:30pm. Free. (773) 702-2787. arts.uchicago.edu

The Hyde Park Jazz Society’s series highlighting local musicians continues this month with saxophonist Pat Mallinger, whose career has ranged from performing with luminaries like Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin to mentoring CPS students since 1994. He is also, in his own right, “one of Chicago’s most popular multi-reedists,” according to the Hyde Park Jazz Festival; Logan Café is lucky to have him. (Julia Aizuss)


Never the Milk & Honey

The Greenhouse Theater, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. Friday, April 14–Sunday, May 28. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, 8pm; Sunday, 3pm. $21-$37. (773) 609-4714. mpaact.org

It is written that there is a land of milk and honey, promised as respite for the faithful when the world ends. Explore what happens as covenants and faith are broken when the world doesn’t end as expected, in Joseph Jefferson Award winner Shepsu Aakhu’s newest play, directed by South Shore native Carla Stillwell. (Nicole Bond)

Selena: The Movie – 20 Year Anniversary

La Catrina Café, 1011 W. 18th Street. Friday, April 21, 7pm–9pm. Free, RSVP required. RSVPs for this event have sold out, but a limited number of entries will be permitted on the day of the event on a first-come first-served basis. Join the waitlist at bit.ly/SelenaMovie20 and follow the event on facebook.com/culturainpilsen for updates.

Fans of acclaimed singer-songwriter Selena, gather at this informal sister event to Selena Vive! 2017, Cultura in Pilsen’s fundraiser, to reminisce over the two decades that have passed since the film made by and about Latinx people, and starring Jennifer Lopez, debuted. This is an all-ages event. (Nicole Bond)

Love & Heroes

Harold Washington Cultural Center, 4701 S. King Drive. Friday, April 21, 7pm; Sunday, April 23, 5pm. $20-$60. broadwayinbronzeville.com

Superpowers, superheroes, comic books, R&B, and love—all find a place on the stage in Bemaji Tillman’s musical romantic comedy. See it onstage for one weekend only. (Nicole Bond)

An Evening with Dick Gregory

The Promontory, 5311 S. Lake Park Ave. Sunday, April 23, 6:30pm, doors; 7:30pm, show. $20–$60. (312) 801-2100. promontorychicago.com

Dick Gregory is such a legend that little needs to be said. Over his half-century career, he’s been a bestselling author, a television star, a civil rights activist, an official enemy of Nixon, and one of Comedy Central’s Top 100 Stand-Up Comedians of All Time. Dedry Jones of the Music Experience hosts Gregory, who’s been one of the most outspoken critics of discrimination since he ascended to the national stage in the 1960s. (Joseph S. Pete)

A Poet, A Novelist, and An Essayist Walk into a Bar

Lagunitas Brewing Company, 2607 W. 17th Street. Monday, April 24, 6pm–8:30pm. Limited student tickets $15, otherwise $45. 21+. guildcomplex.org

Poet Nate Marshall, novelist Christine Sneed, and essayist Barrie Jean Borich read original works all including the word “beer,” in keeping with the brewery theme, at the Guild Literary Complex Annual Benefit. Food, a cash bar, a photo booth, and a literary trivia station are among the offerings. (Nicole Bond)

NAJWA Dance Corps: Masks

DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 E. 56th Pl. Saturday, April 29, 7pm–9:30pm. $15-$25. (773) 727-1773. najwadancecorps.org

African dance and ceremonial masks combine in Najwa’s annual spring concert showcasing the dynamics of masks and maskmaking through the ages, whether as cultural ritual or as a retreat from personal truths. (Nicole Bond)

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