Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 

TODAY

Saturday, May 8

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Movie Trivia Night! @ The Logan Theatre

Tonight at 8:00pm, bring a team of up to five people to show off your totally awesome movie knowledge for Movie Trivia Night at The Logan Theatre, 2646 N. Milwaukee Ave. Each member of the winning team gets a Logan Theatre gift card! The event is free, but space is limited!

Rock'N'Roll Christmas @ Lottie's Pub

Lottie's Pub, 1925 W. Cortland Ave., hosts its 12th annual Rock'N'Roll Christmas tonight from 6pm to midnight. Bring a coat to donate, enjoy drink specials and enter a raffle for cool music-related prizes. 21+

Latkepalooza 2015 @ The Underground

Tonight starting at 9pm in The Underground, 56 W. Illinois St., dress to impress for Latkepalooza 2015, the Christmas Eve Bash featuring surprise guest DJs where you’re invited to party in the lounge or dance in the club. General admission is $20, all ticket sales are final. Must be 21+ with an ID.

Movie Trivia Night! @ The Logan Theatre

Tonight at 8:00pm, bring a team of up to five people to show off your totally awesome movie knowledge for Movie Trivia Night at The Logan Theatre, 2646 N. Milwaukee Ave. Each member of the winning team gets a Logan Theatre gift card! The event is free, but space is limited!

The Incredibly Strange Holiday Spectacular @ Emporium Wicker Park

Kickapoo Joy Juice and Ramblin' Root Beer present The Incredibly Strange Holiday Spectacular...for the Needy tonight at Emporium Arcade Bar, 1366 N. Milwaukee Ave. The evening will feature America's Funnyman, Neil Hamburger; Everything Is Terrible's Holiday Humbug video show; pin-up Masuimi Max with the Ghost of Christmas Past, Present and Future; Maya Sinstress and Mark the Knife, Celine Neon and more. Troma Films' Sgt. Kabukiman NYPD emcees. Plus, free Kickapoo Joy Juice and Ramblin' Root Beer for everyone, and drink specials at the bar. Tickets are $20 -- or free if you donate a new, unwrapped toy at Taco In a Bag, 4603 N. Lincoln Ave. Doors open at 7:30pm. 21+

Don't Call Me Sweetheart Holiday Spectacular

Lumpen Radio's "Don't Call Me Sweetheart" show presents the Don't Call Me Sweetheart Holiday Spectacular tonight from 6 to 8pm at Co-Prosperity Sphere, 3219 S. Morgan St. Hosts Stephen Sonneveld and Andrew Gregory Krzak will broadcast a live old-time holiday radio show, including music by trio Foiled Again and a Santa mystery. Tickets are $12 and include a warm beverage or baked good.

Adler After Dark Side

The Adler Planetarium's after hours party is

Chicago Art Girls Holiday Pop Up Shop

The Chicago Art Girls are hosting their annual holiday pop up shop at Alexander Graham Bell Elementary School (3730 N. Oakley Avenue) today from 11am to 5pm. More than 40 of the city's best artists and artisans will be selling a variety of items perfect for gift giving to others, or yourselves. They're also collecting donations for Common Pantry and hosting a raffle to give proceeds to them.

Half Off Sale! @ Open Books West Loop

Still looking for holiday gifts for your favorite bookworm? On December 12 and 13, all used books at Open Books West Loop, 651 W. Lake St., are 50% off! Doors open at 9:00am and sale goes till 7:00pm.

Chicago Art Girls Holiday Pop Up Shop

The Chicago Art Girls are hosting their annual holiday pop up shop at Alexander Graham Bell Elementary School (3730 N. Oakley Avenue) today and tomorrow from 11am to 5pm. More than 40 of the city's best artists and artisans will be selling a variety of items perfect for gift giving to others, or yourself. They're also collecting donations for Common Pantry and hosting a raffle to give proceeds to them.

Half Off Sale! @ Open Books West Loop

Still looking for holiday gifts for your favorite bookworm? On December 12 and 13, all used books at Open Books West Loop, 651 W. Lake St., are 50% off! Doors open at 9:00am and sale goes till 7:00pm.

Metaverse, A Multimedia Variety Show @ iO Improv

Live comedy acts by some of Chicago's most promising artists will combine digital and physical forms tonight at the Mission Theater at iO Improv, 1501 N. Kingsbury. Performances will include poetry, magic, dance, music, video, improv and sketch. Metaverse, a multimedia variety show, will also include a demo by Cubicle Ninja, a Chicago virtual reality company. Audience members will be invited to try one one of three VR rigs after the show. Tickets for $5 can be purchased online, at the box office or by calling 312-929-2401.

Lil BUB @ Reckless Records

Viral superstar Lil Bub and her handlers come to Reckless Records, 1379 N. Milwaukee Ave., on tour for their record Science & Magic: A Soundtrack to the Universe, tonight from 5:30 to 7:30pm. $60 tickets get you the record, a limited edition art print, and a chance to meet and take a picture with Lil BUB. A portion of the proceeds benefits Tree House Humane Society and Lil BUB's Big FUND.

The Last Speakeasy @ The Chicago History Museum

The Chicago History Museum celebrates the 82nd anniversary of the end of Prohibition tonight with 1930s-style music, dancing, history and cocktails at the museum, 1601 N. Clark St. "The Last Speakeasy: On the Eve of Repeal" will be celebrated from 6:30 to 10:30pm. Experts will discuss Chicago's historic gangsters and bootleggers and Chicago nightlife during Prohibition and show 1930s fashion from the museum's vintage collection.Tickets are $85 but the event is sold out. Check here for the waitlist.

Thanksgiving Day Parade

The McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade runs from 8 to 11am on State Street from Congress Boulevard to Randolph Street. Arrive early to find a spot with good sight-lines and enjoy the marching bands, floats and balloons!

Joe Hill's Funeral Reenactment @ The Hideout

The 100th anniversary of the execution and funeral of songwriter and labor activist Joe Hill will be celebrated with music and eulogies tonight at the Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia. More information here.

Chicago Book Expo Preview @ City Lit

CCLaP presents a Chicago Book Expo Preview tonight at City Lit Books, 2523 N. Kedzie Blvd., from 6:30 to 8pm. CCLaP authors Ben Tanzer, Joseph G. Peterson and Jason Fisk will read, as will four of the contributors to the recent The View From Here student anthology. Books by all these authors will be for sale, and the organizers of the Chicago Book Expo will share information about the weekend's event. Admission is free.

Opolo Vineyards Dinner @ The Park Grill

Enjoy a night of wine tasting and food pairings at the Park Grill at 11 N. Michigan Ave today at 7:30pm. With four courses and wine from the Opolo Estate Vineyards, this night is surely one to relax and eat in a comfortable setting in downtown Chicago. $99 per guest. Get more information here.

Starshaped Press Annual Open House @ Starshaped Press

Starshaped Press is celebrating their 16th anniversary of making awesome letterpress art with a pumped up version of their Annual Open House. Snacks, drinks, prints and cards will be available to all. Everyone will have a chance to pull a print on the press too. Join the celebrations 7pm-10pm at 4636 N. Ravenswood Avenue, Chicago.

Mark Pasnik and Chris Grimley Lecture @ The Charnley-Persky House

This evening MAS Context presents Mark Pasnik and Chris Grimley, principals of the Boston-based over,under. The duo will lecture about The Heroic Project, an exhibition and book documenting mid-century Boston architecture. The lecture, part of MAS Context's 2015 Fall Talks, will take place at the historic Charnley-Persky House, the headquarters of the Society of Architectural Historians. Doors open at 6pm, with the lecture following at 6:30pm. Read more about the event and RSVP on the event's page.

Meghan Daum @ UIC Forum

Author Meghan Daum (The Unspeakable) talks about her latest book Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed with author Jac Jemc today in Main Hall C of the UIC Forum (725 W. Roosevelt Road). This conversation is presented as part of the Chicago Humanities Festival. 11:30 am-12:30 pm. Book signing follows. Tickets $5-12

Roxane Gay @ Francis W. Parker School

Bad Feminist and An Untamed State author and cultural critic Roxane Gay will discuss her work with Lindsay Hunter, author of Don't Kiss Me tonight from 8-9:00 pm at the Francis W. Parker School (2233 N. Clark). A book signing will follow the event, which is presented as part of the Chicago Humanities Festival. Tickets are $5-12.

Halloween Movie Marathon @ Gene Siskel

Come see a B-Horror Double Feature at the Gene Siskel Center today! Paying for each at single admission prices, White Zombie paired with The Crime of Dr. Crespi are showing at 3:00pm, Extraordinary Tales at 5:45pm & 9:00pm, and Bram Stoker's Dracula at 8:00pm. 164 N. State Street. $7 for general admissions, $5 for students, $4 for members. Get tickets in person or online.

Geraldine Brooks @ Swedish American Museum

Women & Children First Bookstore hosts a reading and signing with Pulitzer Prize-winning best-selling author Geraldine Brooks tonight at 7:00 pm (Doors at 6:30 pm) at the Swedish American Museum (5211 N. Clark Street). A free ticket is included with the purchase of Geraldine's forthcoming novel, The Secret Chord, from Women & Children First to attend.

Central Manufacturing District Walking Tour

Join Preservation Chicago for a walking tour of Bridgeport's Central Manufacturing District (CMD). The $10 tour will visit some of the CMD's intact industrial landmarks, discuss current and future threats to the district, and look at some exciting examples of re-use in the area. The tour runs from 1 to 3pm. More details and tickets are available via the Chicago Architectural Biennial or Facebook.

The Halloween Gathering VIP After Party @ The Plaza

The Plaza (11 N. Michigan Ave.) presents the Halloween Gathering After-Party from 8pm-11pm after The Halloween Gathering at Grant Park. As The Plaza's last event for the season, make the most of the opportunity to be outside, enjoy live music, food, drinks, and interactive arts installations (by the artist George Berlin). Tickets are $125 and can be bought online.

The Halloween Gathering @ The Cultural Mile

The Chicago Cultural Mile is filling up the Halloween festivities with an amazing opportunity to experience the art world with your kids from 2pm to 8pm today! Hosting a children's costume parade at Maggie Daley Park, mask-making workshops, free performances and family-friendly activities, the Cultural Mile between Madison and Roosevelt along Michigan Ave is the place to experience everything Halloweeny with friends and family. Family-friendly festivities include theatrical performance, magic, street performers, a kids costume parade at 2pm 2pm-5pm at locations in Millennium and Grant parks, then from 6pm-8pm, a Halloween Parade will travel north on Columbus from Balbo to Monroe. Free.

Nina Rappaport Lecture @ The Charnley-Persky House

This evening MAS Context presents Nina Rappaport in a conversation about her traveling exhibition and book, Vertical Urban Factory. The lecture, part of MAS Context's 2015 Fall Talks, will take place at the historic Charnley-Persky House, the headquarters of the Society of Architectural Historians. Doors open at 6pm, with the lecture following at 6:30pm. Read more about the event and RSVP on the event's page.

DAYBREAKER @ 1st Ward at Chop Shop

Have you ever joined a group for early morning yoga, then a 7am dance party led by high-octance dance beats? No? Well, here's your chance. Chicago's first installment of DAYBREAKER, a nationwide movement to have the best morning ever, is here. The party occurs @ 1st Ward at Chop Shop, located at 2033 W. North Avenue, and features yoga by Cat Aldana, beats by Win & Woo, and hip hop jams by Kweku Collins. Grab your tickets here.

Open House Chicago

Ever wonder what the inside of those beautiful buildings around the city of Chicago look like? The Chicago Architecture Foundation opens up those buildings for an Open House. Tourists and Chicagoans alike can take a look inside the buildings you couldn't walk into before! From 9am to 5pm today, check out the site map here and go somewhere you've never explored. Free!

Open House Chicago

Ever wonder what the inside of those beautiful buildings around the city of Chicago look like? The Chicago Architecture Foundation opens up those buildings for an Open House. Tourists and Chicagoans alike can take a look inside the buildings you couldn't walk into before! From 9am to 5pm today and tomorrow, check out the site map here and go somewhere you've never explored. Free!

Movie Monday @ The Drake

The first Movie Monday hosted by The Drake, 140 E. Walton Pl., features The Gorilla (1939) tonight at 7pm. The themed menu and popcorn are available with the purchase of any beverage. This event is free and open to the public. Reservations are recommended.

Fall Adventure Day @ Northerly Island

Family, friends, one and all are invited to have some fall fun in the park at Northerly Island from 12pm to 3pm! Located at 11521 S. Linn White Dr., Fall Adventure Day will have options to kayak, identifying fossils, play in the mud, find frogs and reptiles, watch bird migration, go on a hike and more! Must be 8 or older to kayak. Free!

Chicago Museum Week

The first annual Chicago Museum Week runs Oct. 1-7. A dozen museums (Adler Planetarium, Art Insitute, Chicago History Museum, DuSable Museum, Field Museum, Lincoln Park Zoo, MCA, Museum of Science & Industry, National Museum of Mexican Art, National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and Shedd Aquarium) are offering free or discounted admission as well as special events and exhibits. See the Museum Week site for details.

Chicago Museum Week

The first annual Chicago Museum Week runs Oct. 1-7. A dozen museums (Adler Planetarium, Art Insitute, Chicago History Museum, DuSable Museum, Field Museum, Lincoln Park Zoo, MCA, Museum of Science & Industry, National Museum of Mexican Art, National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and Shedd Aquarium) are offering free or discounted admission as well as special events and exhibits. See the Museum Week site for details.

South Asian Film Festival: Satyajit Ray's "Devi" @ The Art Institute

The closing ceremony for the South Asian Film Festival takes place today showing "Devi," translated in English as "Goddess," a 1960 Bengali drama directed by Satyajit Ray. For $35, you get to watch the film, meet and converse with one of the stars, Ms. Sharmila Tagore, and the founding director of Satyajit Ray Film & Study Collection, Dr. Dilip Basu. Come for the classic at The Art Institute at 111 S. Michigan Ave. Purchase tickets here.

Chicago Museum Week

The first annual Chicago Museum Week runs Oct. 1-7. A dozen museums (Adler Planetarium, Art Insitute, Chicago History Museum, DuSable Museum, Field Museum, Lincoln Park Zoo, MCA, Museum of Science & Industry, National Museum of Mexican Art, National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and Shedd Aquarium) are offering free or discounted admission as well as special events and exhibits. See the Museum Week site for details.

Chicago Museum Week

The first annual Chicago Museum Week runs Oct. 1-7. A dozen museums (Adler Planetarium, Art Insitute, Chicago History Museum, DuSable Museum, Field Museum, Lincoln Park Zoo, MCA, Museum of Science & Industry, National Museum of Mexican Art, National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and Shedd Aquarium) are offering free or discounted admission as well as special events and exhibits. See the Museum Week site for details.

Robot Apocalypse @ Roberts Square Park

Story Luck sponsors Robot Apocalypse: Journey to the End of the Night tonight! Explore forgotten and hidden parts of Chicago for a citywide game of capture the flag to help fight the robot apocalypse. A trophy goes to the fastest human! Meet at Roberts Square Park (north of Jefferson Park Transit Center) tonight at 7:00pm. Free!

Chicago Museum Week

The first annual Chicago Museum Week runs Oct. 1-7. A dozen museums (Adler Planetarium, Art Insitute, Chicago History Museum, DuSable Museum, Field Museum, Lincoln Park Zoo, MCA, Museum of Science & Industry, National Museum of Mexican Art, National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and Shedd Aquarium) are offering free or discounted admission as well as special events and exhibits. See the Museum Week site for details.

Chicago Museum Week

The first annual Chicago Museum Week runs Oct. 1-7. A dozen museums (Adler Planetarium, Art Insitute, Chicago History Museum, DuSable Museum, Field Museum, Lincoln Park Zoo, MCA, Museum of Science & Industry, National Museum of Mexican Art, National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and Shedd Aquarium) are offering free or discounted admission as well as special events and exhibits. See the Museum Week site for details.

Chicago Museum Week

The first annual Chicago Museum Week runs Oct. 1-7. A dozen museums (Adler Planetarium, Art Insitute, Chicago History Museum, DuSable Museum, Field Museum, Lincoln Park Zoo, MCA, Museum of Science & Industry, National Museum of Mexican Art, National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and Shedd Aquarium) are offering free or discounted admission as well as special events and exhibits. See the Museum Week site for details.

Great Chicago Fire Festival @ Northerly Island

Thousands will gather at Northerly Island for a amazing spectacle that celebrates Chicago's people, history, and unique neighborhood culture. The event promises to be diverse, having been created by a big network of community artists. There will be maker stations, fireworks,a bazaar, performances and of course, cleverly flaming buildings that have been constructed to do just that. The event is free and runs from 5 pm until 9 pm. Registering for tickets is recommended.

Wicker Park & West Town Lit Day

Wicker Park & West Town Lit Day is today at various locations. A group of local organizations and businesses is getting together to promote all things literary in their bordering neighborhoods. The idea of read local and shop small is the main focus. Partnering organizations include 826CHI, Chicago Publishers Resource Center, Chicago Public Library, Quimby's Bookstore, Revolution Bookstore and Volumes Bookcafe. All will be open their regular hours. Look for events and specials throughout the day. The festivities start as early as 10am; full schedule and preview in Book Club.

Thomas Kelley Lecture @ The Charnley-Persky House

This evening MAS Context presents Thomas Kelley of the architecture collaborative Norman Kelley. Kelley will be discussing the group's current work as as part of MAS Context's 2015 Fall Talks series. The lecture will take place at the historic Charnley-Persky House, the headquarters of the Society of Architectural Historians. Doors open at 6pm, with the lecture following at 6:30pm. Read more about the event and RSVP on the event's page.

Sunnyside of Lincoln Pork Fest

The Sunnyside of Lincoln -- Bistro Campagne, Due Lire, The Grafton Pub, Miku and homesoul, all on the western side of Lincoln Avenue between Sunnyside and Wilson -- present Pork Fest, a block party of sorts, tonight from 6 to 9pm. For $50, you'll get six drink tickets (wine, beer, or cocktails) to be used at any of the four restaurants, two dishes featured by each of the restaurants, and 10 percent off purchase at home furnishings shop homesoul.

Chicago Foodseum Grand Opening

The Chicago Foodseum holds the grand opening of its inaugural exhibit, "The Hot Dog and Encased Meat of the World," this Saturday at Block 37, 108 N. State St., from 11am to 7pm. Doug Sohn of Hot Doug's will give a talk on English's two finest words between 11am and noon, and you'll be able to explore the interactive exhibit for free.

EXPO Chicago @ Navy Pier

EXPO Chicago, the International Exposition of Contemporary and Modern Art, returns to Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave., Sept 18-20. Tonight's Vernissage preview party, presented by the MCA, runs from 6 to 9pm; tickets are $100.

WRITE CLUB @ The Hideout

WRITE CLUB Chicago is 3 bouts of 2 writers with 2 opposing ideas presented in 7 minutes each where the audience chooses the winner. Themed "Class Warfare," WRITE CLUB is all the nerdery you could ask for the low price of $10 cash (there is an ATM on the premises) tonight at The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia starting at 7pm.

2015 Blind World Fleet Championship

Chicago Yacht Club presents the 2015 Blind World and International Championship for 15 Blind and Visually Impaired Sailing Teams from around the World. Located about 1.5 miles off of the Belmont Harbour, watch and cheer them at 10:55am!

Pullman Labor Day Ride

Honoring unions in the Pullman region, the Pullman Civic Organization eleventh annual Bike Ride begins at 11141 S.Cottage Grove Ave., goes 30 miles into the state of Indiana, past beaches in south Chicago and wetlands in Indiana and back to celebrate at the historic Pullman's Visitor Center. Gear up with helmet and bike, stop for a historic tour in the former steelworker town, Marktown, Indiana and other highlights along the way for only $15. Registration begins at 7am. Lunch, exercise and celebration included.

The Street Arcade @ Hyde Park Art Center

The Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S. Cornell Ave., presents The Street Arcade from 7 to 9:30pm tonight. Artists Steve Ciampaglia and Kerry Richardson are collaborating with 13 teen artists to create original, retro-style videogames. Each teen chooses an issue as the theme, then designs the gameplay, creates the 8-bit artwork and programs the game. The Plug-In Studio will feature the games in an outdoor videogame arcade with old school console controllers and large-scale video projection. The public is invited to play the games, meet the teen artists, and discuss the issues that inspired their games.

Pecha Kucha @ Martyrs'

Pecha Kucha, an event where presenters give a talk or tell a story in 20 slides shown for 20 seconds each, returns to Martyrs', 3855 N. Lincoln Ave., tonight at 8pm. This show will be "20x20x20" -- all the presenters will be 20 years old. Presenters include Anastasia Skolnik, Lissette Martinez, Ethan Krupp, Claire Montana Jencks, Erica Brooks, Elee Egz, Aquiles Dairon-Alcantara, Rachel Kimpton, Sara Muzammil Aziz and Devin Kidner. Doors open at 8pm. Tickets are $10.

ACTIVATE @ Haddock Place Alley

The Loop Alliance presents ACTIVATE tonight from 5 to 10pm in Haddock Place Alley, Enter on State Street just north of theWit Hotel. Curated by Missy Perkins, Stuart Hall and Keith Brownlee, ACTIVATE presents Steampunk Journey through Time and Space, featuring fire installations and fire spinners, aerial acrobatics, live body painting, tarot cards, a steampunk-inspired fashion show featuring Iridium Clothing Co., and art by more than two dozen artists. There's an afterparty on the roof of theWit, 201 N. State St., beginning at 10pm. Admission is free; RSVP on Do312 for a free drink ticket.

Fernet-Branca's Barback Games @ Thalia Hall

40 of Chicago's best barbacks compete in Fernet-Branca's Barback Games. A gladiator stye battle to crown Chicago's best barback. Featuring DJs: Matt Roan and Dave Mata (of Soul Summit). 21 and over. Free. 8:00 pm. Thalia Hall 1807 S. Allport St.

Bernie Fest 2015 @ The Hideout

The Hideout presents Bernie Fest 2015, a special one-day music and arts festival to raise money for Bernie Sanders' campaign. Featuring an all day long line-up of live music. Tickets are 20.00. The Hideout 1354 Wabansia

Wine & Cheese Night @ SHoP (Southside Hub of Production)

SHoP, a location in Hyde Park, is inviting individuals for a wine and cheese tasting. SHoP is located at 1448 E 57th St., and is free and open to the public. Visitors are asked to bring a bottle of wine and cheese.

Sublime With Rome + Rebelution @ First Merit Bank Pavilion

The air will be hazy and the mood will be lazy with reggae-rock legends Sublime With Rome in town tonight at First Merit Bank Pavilion on Northerly Island. Doors open at 6:00 pm and you'll get to hear performances from Rebelution, Mickey Avalon, and Pepper before the headliners take the stage. Tickets, which you can purchase here, start at $35. The secondhand high comes free.

Rubber Ducky Derby

The 10th annual Windy City Rubber Ducky Derby to benefit Special Olympics of Illinois is today! The festivities begin at 10am at 400 N. Michigan Ave.; the ducks will be dumped from the Columbus Drive bridge at 1pm. Adopt a duck now!

Steve Coleman Farewell Concert @ The Logan Center for the Arts

The Logan Center for the Arts will be presenting a farewell jazz concert by Steve Coleman and Five Elements this evening at 7:30pm. The event takes place at 915 E. 60th St. in the Performance Penthouse. Free, $10 suggested donation.

More Clowns in Cemetery @ Woodlawn Cemetery

As International Clown Week approaches, Chicagoland has it covered. Come celebrate the 16th anniversary of clown week at Showmen's Rest burial site in Woodlawn Cemetery, located at 7750 Cermak Avenue in Forest park. It is the resting place of many clowns and circus performers since the Hammond train wreck that claimed their lives in 1918. For several years, clowns and circus folk have been gathering there to honor their graves, and simultaneously put on a classic clown heavy circus event, complete with juggling, acrobatics, clowning and magic as well as free food and games for all. The event starts Sunday August 2nd from 1 to 3pm.

Gapers Block Hot Dog Cookoff @ Schubas

Gapers Block hosts the third annual Hot Dog Cookoff today from noon to 5pm in the parking lot next to Schubas, 3159 N. Southport Ave. Come taste new interpretations of the classic Vienna Beef red hot by chefs from Harmony Grill, Wiener and Still Champion, Monti's, ThePizzle.net and two-time defending champions ManBQue. Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for kids 12 and under, and get you samples of all the competitors hot dogs, as well as $3 Lagunitas draft beers, a raffle, cornhole and more. Proceeds from the event will benefit Reach Out and Read of Illinois, an early literacy organization. RSVP on Facebook.

Hook @ Wicker Park

Watch this 90s-classic take on Peter Pan at 8:30pm as part of the Chicago Park District's 2015 Movies in the Park schedule. Hook is part of Wicker Park's (1425 N. Damen) "Summer of Robin Williams," featuring several films starring the late actor. This movie is free, and bug spray is encouraged!

Summer Circus Intensive Performance Showcase @ Actors Gymnasium

The circus students of The Actors Gymnasium will perform their Summer Intensive Performance Showcase today and Sunday, featuring two completely unique shows. The Actors Gymnasium shows are lively, full of themes, costumes and innovative work by the circus artists. Both shows are directed by Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi.The Intensive II is Saturday at 4:30 and 7:30pm, and Intensive I is Sunday at 1 and 4pm. Tickets can be purchased online for $15.The Actors Gymnasium is located at Noyes Cultural Arts Center 927 Noyes St. in Evanston.

Essay Fiesta! @ The Book Cellar

Starting at 7pm, Essay Fiesta! will commandeer The Book Cellar (4736-38 N Lincoln) for an evening of live lit from some of Chicago's finest storytellers, including Erin Diamond, Katie Pecho, Jac Jemc, Katie Prout, and James Gordan. This event is free, but donations are accepted on behalf of 826Chicago.

Whiskey Myers @ Joe's on Weed Street

If you like your country music old-school, the place to be tonight is Whiskey Myers' show at Joe's on Weed Street (940 W. Weed Street). Doors open at 10 and the blistering Skynyrd-esque southern rock starts at 11. You can get general admission tickets for $10 here.

Froot Salad Pride Party @ Annoyance Theatre and Bar

Today beginning at 3PM, Froot Salad, will be celebrating love, happiness, and pride at the Annoyance Theatre and Bar located at 851 W. Belmont Ave. RSVP for a reduced price of $7.

Made-Up with Danny Volk @ MCA

The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago is hosting Danny Volk's on-going project, "Made-Up with Danny Volk" today at 3pm. While interviewing artists, Danny simultaneously allows them to do his makeup. For this particular interview, Faheem Majeed will discuss his life and art while applying makeup to the host. The event is free.


Wavelength Film Screening @ The Art Institute of Chicago

From 6-8pm, the AIC will be presenting the avant-garde film by Michael Snow, Wavelength, in Price Auditorium. The film will be shown on 16mm format and was created in 1966 over a one week time span. The event is free with museum admission. The AIC is located on 111 S. Michigan Avenue

Stardust Memories Annual Benefit and Silent Auction @ Heaven Gallery

Heaven Gallery will be hosting their 15th Annual Benefit and Silent Auction at their location in Wicker Park at 1550 N. Milwaukee Avenue. Artists, Soo shin, Liz McCarthy, Aron Gent, Marissa Lee Benedict, Phil Peters and many more will be featured in the silent auction. Tickets are $50 for VIP and $15 for the dance party. The event is from 6-11:30pm.


Obscura Day 2015

Atlas Obscura sponsors Obscura Day, an annual celebration of obscure locations and events. Many events are planned worldwide, including several in Chicago. To participate, visit the Obscura Day site and RSVP for one of the events.

Nick Offerman @ Chicago Humanities Festival

The Chicago Humanities Festival presents an evening with Nick Offerman, Chicago native and star of "Parks & Rec," tonight at 7pm at the Merle Reskin Theatre, 60 E. Balbo Ave. Offerman will do a reading and performance of his new book, Gumption: Relighting the Torch of Freedom with America's Gutsiest Troublemakers, followed by an interview with Mark Bazer. Tickets are $32-38, and include a copy of the book. Main floor tickets are sold out, but balcony seats are still available.

Belmont-Sheffield Music Fest

The 31st annual Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival helps kick off street festival season today and Sunday, from noon to 10pm, on Sheffield Avenue from Belmont to Roscoe. Enjoy live music, street fest food and check out vendors. $5 suggested donation.

Chicago Memorial Day Parade

The parade will run along State Street, starting at Lake Street and ending at Van Buren, in honor of the nation's veterans. The event will begin with a Wreath Laying Ceremony at 11am at the Eternal Flame on Daley Plaza, located at the corner of Dearborn and Washington Street. The parade, one of the largest in the country, begins at noon. Admission is free.

Josep Lluís Sert: A Nomadic Dream Screening @ Graham Foundation

This evening MAS Context and the Graham Foundation are screening the film Josep Lluís Sert: A Nomadic Dream. The documentary, written and directed by Pablo Bujosa Rodríguez, tells the story of the architect, city planner, and contemporary of Miró, Calder, and Picasso, and his indelible impact on the course of American architecture. The event begins at 6pm at the Graham Foundation, 4 West Burton Place. Space is limited, so RSVP.

ACTIVATE @ Chicago Loop

The Chicago Loop Alliance is bringing back interactive artwork, music, and culture with ACTIVATE, an alley-based pop-up experience in downtown Chicago. On May 15th, June 12th, July 30th, August 27th, September 18th, and October 16th, the event will be held from 5-10PM. Specific locations will be announced a month prior. RSVP in advance for a complimentary drink ticket for beer or wine.

Manifest Urban Arts Festival @ South Loop

Manifest Urban Art Festival is an all-day event (noon to 9pm) hosted by Columbia College and its students. With live performances, gallery exhibitions, fashion shows, original game design and literary readings, it's a don't-miss event. If you can't make the free event in the South Loop, log into FrequencyTV for exciting all day coverage!

CIADC Opening Day Celebration

The Chicago Industrial Arts and Design Center will be hosting their ribbon cutting ceremony and open house today from 10am to noon at 6433 N Ravenswood. You'll be able to tour their facilities, meet some of their instructors, learn about becoming a member, and more. There will be light refreshments and the event is free and open to the public.

2015 Chicago 7 Bus Tour

Today Preservation Chicago leads a city-wide bus tour of its 2015 7 Most Endangered Places from 10:30am to 2pm. The tour will leave from the parking lot located at 4410 N. Ravenswood. Purchase tickets before the event for $15 or $12 (members). Additional details are available on Facebook.

Test/Move/Play Ability Opening Reception @ Arts + Public Life

Arts + Public Life and the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture are featuring resident artist, Alberto Aguilar, and his culminating exhibition. The exhibition will take place at several locations which include: Logan Center, Harold Washington College, Arts Incubator, Arts Club of Chicago and 4th Ward Project Space. The opening reception will be tonight from 6-9PM at 301 East Garfield Blvd.

2015 SAIC Runway Fashion Show @ Millennium Park Chase Promenade

SAIC is hosting their annual runway fashion show today at the Millennium Park Chase Promenade, located at 201 E. Randolph St. THE WALK begins at 5:30; tickets can be purchased online.


Pitchfork Studio Visit

Visit the Pitchfork studio, 3317 W. Fullerton Ave., with MAS Context and sit down with designer and creative director Michael Renaud and art director Molly Butterfoss. The duo will discuss the ideas behind The Pitchfork Review and experience working on the first four issues of the magazine. Free registration is required. Donations to support MAS Context's public programs are welcome.

Chicago Art Girls Pop Up Shop

Forty of the best art, craft, and more vendors will be selling beautiful items today as part of the Chicago Art Girls POP-UP SHOP. You'll be able to pick up great gifts for Mother's Day, Father's Day, and for yourself. The show runs from 10am to 5pm at Bell Elementary School located at 3730 N. Oakley Ave. They will also be raising funds for women at Sarah's Circle who are homeless or who need a safe space.

Chicago Art Girls Pop Up Shop

Forty of the best art, craft and more vendors will be selling beautiful items today as part of the Chicago Art Girls POP-UP SHOP. You'll be able to pick up great gifts for Mother's Day, Father's Day, and for yourself. The show runs from 10am to 5pm at Bell Elementary School located at 3730 N. Oakley Ave. They will also be raising funds for women at Sarah's Circle who are homeless or who need a safe space.

Kartemquin Films Showcase @ Siskel Film Center

Previews of four new documentary films by Chicago's Kartemquin Films will be shown tonight at the Gene Siskel Film Center in an exclusive, one-night-only event. The films to be previewed are: All the Queen's Horses, directed by Kelly Richmond Pope; Keep Talking by Karen Weinberg; Minding the Gap by Bing Liu; and The Prosecutors by Leslie Thomas. The four directors will be present for discussion. A dessert and wine reception will follow the screenings. The event is sold out.

Hairy Who & The Chicago Imagists​ Screening & Discussion @ UIC

This evening the film Hairy Who & The Chicago Imagists will be screened at Gallery 400 with a panel discussion addressing gender equality in the visual arts. The schedule for the free evening begins with a reception with refreshments at 5:30pm, followed by a 6pm screening and an 8pm discussion with Claudine Isé, Barbara Rossi, Sue Williams, and moderator Judith Russi Kirshner. The event is supported by the Terra Foundation for American Art and is co­sponsored by Gallery 400 and the Jane Addams Hull­ House Museum. Gallery 400 is located at 400 S. Peoria St. More information about the event is available on Facebook.

Explore the Ryerson & Burnham Libraries @ The Art Institute

This morning readers of MAS Context will get a behind-the-scenes tour of the Art Institute's Ryerson & Burnham Libraries. The visit will by guided by Mary Woolever, Art and Architecture archivist, and Nathaniel Parks, assistant archivist. The event starts at 11am and is free with museum admission. Participants must register online before the event.

WORK WERQ: Opening Reception @ FLATSstudio

FLATSstudio is presenting WORK WERQ, an exhibition which focuses on Asian American identity. Music by Carla Starla and beverages by KOVAL Distillery will be presented at the show. FLATS is located at 1050 W. Wilson Ave. Please RSVP to rsvp@flatschicago.com and include the number of guests.


Sensing and Sensibility Panel Discussion @ SAIC

This afternoon MAS Context and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago present a panel discussion entitled "Sensing and Sensibility: Politics and Technology in the Contemporary City," featuring Javier Arbona, Ingrid Burrington, Laura Forlano, and Douglas Pancoast. The free event will be moderated by Iker Gil. The event runs from 4:30-6:30pm at the Columbus Auditorium, 280 S. Columbus Dr., Room 203.

YarnCon

If you like to do anything with yarn, anything that requires yarn, or if you just like being surrounded with pretty soft things, then you'll want to go to YarnCon today. There are a wide variety of classes offered for all skill levels, many vendors who are hard to find at larger yarn shows around the country, and so much inspiration that you'll leave agog and full of ideas. Head over to Chicago Journeyman Plumbers Union Hall (1340 W Washington St.) today from 10am to 3pm.

20x2 Chicago @ Schubas

Gapers Block is proud to present 20x2 Chicago, a live event where 20 people given 2 minutes each to answer the same question in whichever way they choose. The results may take any form, from spoken word to music to film, and can be as varied as the emotions and reactions they evoke. This edition's question is "What's Next?" and the speakers include Safia Abdalla, James Allenspach, Veronica Arreola, Lily Be, Blagica Bottigliero, Ramsin Canon, Jasmine Davila, Mike Ewing, Sarah Hollenbeck, Felix Jung, Dubi Kaufmann, Rosamund Lannin, H.Melt, Coya Paz, Curtis Shaw Flagg, Jeremy Scheuch, Moshe Tamssot, Sandor Weisz and Ernest Wilkens. See the answers tonight at 7pm at Schubas, 3159 N. Southport Ave. Tickets are $10 online or at the door. Doors open at 6:30pm. 21+

Home Video Day @ Nightingale Cinema

Chicago's first Home Video Day will be held today from 1-5pm at the Nightingale Cinema, 1084 N. Milwaukee Ave. To participate, bring your VHS, VHS-C, Betamax, Hi-8, Video 8 or Mini-DV cassette to have it inspected and repaired (if necessary) before playing up to 5 minutes of the video for the audience. Visit the event's Facebook page for the compete details.

Chicago Crafter and Musicians Spring Pop-Up Market

The joy of spring brings the desire for new, pretty things. And the Chicago Crafter and Musicians make it possible to pick up delightful things for yourself, or for gifts, while listening to great local music. Head over to Ebenezer Lutheran Church at 1650 N Foster today from 11am to 6pm to shop from ~25 vendors while several different bands will play.

YarnCon

If you like to do anything with yarn, anything that requires yarn, or if you just like being surrounded with pretty soft things, then you'll want to go to YarnCon today. There are a wide variety of classes offered for all skill levels, many vendors who are hard to find at larger yarn shows around the country, and so much inspiration that you'll leave agog and full of ideas. Head over to Chicago Journeyman Plumbers Union Hall (1340 W Washington St.) today from 10am to 5pm.

Pump & Dump Show @ Mayne Stage

The Pump & Dump Show, a comedy show for parents, returns to the Mayne Stage, 1328 W. Morse Ave., tonight at 7:30pm. "Comedian/musician Shayna Ferm and her sidekick, MC Doula, host this irreverent evening of comedy, music, games, prizes, drinking, swearing and parental commiseration." Doors open at 6:30pm, and tickets are $23 in advance, $28 at the door. 18+

Michael Kubo Lecture @ SAIC

MAS Context and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago present a lecture at 6pm by architect and author Michael Kubo at the School of the Art Institute's LeRoy Neiman Center, 37 S. Wabash Ave. Details via MAS Context.

Coming Through @ Defibrillator Gallery

Defibrillator Gallery is presenting, a performance convergence tonight from 7-10PM. Five performance artists will be featured this evening at 1463 W. Chicago Ave. *Please bring an object that reminds you of your mother.

Chatter: Architecture Talks Back Discussion @ The Art Institute

This afternoon the Art Institute's new exhibition "Chatter: Architecture Talks Back," which looks at "the diverse contemporary methods and approaches wielded by five emerging architects," opens with a conversation among contributors Jimenez Lai of Bureau Spectacular, John Szot of John Szot Studio, and Chris Grimley of over,under, among others. Details on the Art Institute website. Free with admission.

Transit-Oriented Development Bike Tour

Streetsblog Chicago leads a bike tour of 10 transit-oriented developments throughout the city today as a fundraiser to bring the site back to full time. The tour meets at Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington St., at 1pm and runs till 4pm. At each stop, representatives from the development or architecture firm will give a short presentation about the project. Tickets are $20. RSVP on Facebook.

OUTspoken! LGBTQ stories @ Sidetrack

OUTspoken! holds performances the first Tuesday every month and that tell LGBTQ stories. With no cover, there is no excuse why you shouldn't come! Doors open at 6 p.m., but the performances don't start until 7. Sidetrack is located at 3349 N. Halsted. 21+

Deniz Gül: Experimental Music Performance @ The Hyde Park Art Center

Turkish artist, Deniz Gül, is presenting 5 Person Bufet this evening at 6:30 PM. The event is a collaborative experimental music performance which is free and open to the public. The Hyde Park Art Center is located at 5020 S. Cornell Avenue.

DarkMatter: #ItGetsBitter @ Arts Incubator

DarkMatter, a trans south asian performance art duo, will be inviting the public for an evening of poetry, discussion, and healing, over the topic of new queer futures. The show will be followed by a Q&A at the Arts Incubator location at 301 E Garfield Blvd. Doors open at 5PM. Free and open to the public.

Guest Bartender Series @ CH Distillery

Tonight at 8 p.m. CH Distillery (564 W Randolph) continues with another installment of its guest bartender series with James Beard award-winning Charles Joly. Joly will create two cocktails: one with CH spirits and one wildcard with ingredients of his choosing. A portion of the proceeds will go to Un86'd, a local charity that aids in monetary relief for restaurant professionals in need. The guest bartender series will continue through August.

Starting at 6 p.m., guest chefs Alfredo Nogueira of Analogue, Ryan Pfeiffer of Blackbird, and Aaron Thebeault of Girl & The Goat will join CH Distillery's executive chef Bobby Mayo for "That's What Cheese Said," where each chef will create a unique grilled cheese of their choosing. Cocktails and grilled cheeses will be served until midnight while DJ Bart Lazar takes care of the tunes.

Dance Anywhere Event

Dance Anywhere is a party where everyone is invited. Today at 2pm marks the worldwide public art performance where everyone is a performer. Wherever you are at 2pm today, whether it's your work place, school, a street corner or museum, you are encouraged to dance. The event marks the 10th year anniversary of Dance Anywhere.

Pop-Up Dinner @ The Dawson

From 6 p.m.-9 p.m. tonight, The Dawson (730 West Grand Avenue) hosts their first pop-up dinner event in collaboration with Wisconsin-based Death's Door Spirits and Bittercube. Inspired by camping and Wisconsin's outdoors, the event, "From Wisconsin...With Love," features a six-course cocktail menu that will be paired with dishes from The Dawson's executive chef Shaun King. Pairings include Baraboo Trail (Death's Door gin, grapefruit, mezcal, Wisconsin maple syrup, salt, Bittercube corazon bitters) with Romanesco steak, and Ghost Story (dried orange and cherry-infused Death's Door white whiskey, raisin brandy Syrup, Bittercube cherry bark vanilla bitters, orange, cherry) with black sugar flambe. Tickets, which include tax and gratuity, are $65.

Girl Scout Cookie & Beer Pairing @ Fountainhead

For their March meeting, Barley's Angels is hosting a Girl Scout cookie and beer pairing tonight from 7 p.m.-9 p.m. at Fountainhead (1970 W Montrose Ave) with chef Cleetus Friedman as the guide. A portion of the proceeds will go toward the Girl Scouts of the Greater Chicago area. Tickets are $27 per person.

Uptown Poetry Slam @ Green Mill

Enjoy a night at the Green Mill, 4802 N. Broadway, and see open mic performances of poetry and the end-of-the-night competition for just $7. The Uptown Poetry Slam starts at 7pm and is hosted by the slam originator, Marc Smith. Winners receive $10 and bragging rights.

My Kind of Town Opening Reception @ FLATSstudio

FLATSstudio is celebrating Chicago's 178th birthday with the event and exhibition, My Kind of Town. The work in the show will exemplify the architecture, history and culture which thrives in Chicago. The opening is from 6-10PM at 1050 W Wilson Avenue. Beverages will be provides by KOVAL Distillery and music by The Luke Saladin Jazz Trio. The event is free but please RSVP to rsvp@flatschicago.com.

James Welling @ Art Institute of Chicago

James Welling will be speaking at the Art Institute of Chicago tonight from 6-7pm in Fullerton Hall. The event is offered on the occasion of the launch of the new University of Chicago Press monograph, James Welling: Diary/Landscape and the Art Institute of Chicago's exhibition of the same name. Free with museum admission. More information about the event is available from the Art Institute.

Ireland: Crossroads of Art and Design @ The Art Institute of Chicago

If you want to avoid the crowded streets of Chicago, come celebrate St. Patrick's Day at The Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan Ave. See the exhibit titled Ireland: Crossroads of Art and Design with over 300 pieces of art and from Ireland's 18th century. Tickets range from $20 to $14, with discounts available for Chicago residents, students and seniors. Doors open at 10:30am and don't close until 5pm. Children under 12 are free, so bring the whole family.

Chicago Foodways Roundtable @ Hungarian Kosher Market

At 1 p.m. today, the Culinary Historians of Chicago host their Chicago Foodways Roundtable with Lynn Kirsche Shapiro, author of Food, Family and Tradition: Hungarian Kosher Family Recipes and Remembrances at the Hungarian Kosher Market (4020 Oakton Street in Skokie). The program costs $3 (an optional lunch is available for a separate fee). To reserve a spot, email chicago.foodways.roundtable@gmail.com

Matthew Metzger Opening Reception @ Regards Gallery

Regards is featuring the artist Matthew Metzger this afternoon in his opening reception from 4-7PM. The exhibition will be up until April 25th and is located at 2216 West Chicago Avenue.

Faces of Eurydice @ The Flat Iron Arts Building

The Pentagon Theater in The Flat Iron Arts Building presents Faces of Eurydice, a performance piece by the CUBE Ensemble. Dance, opera and theater will be retelling the myth of Orpheus with choreographic work by Hope Goldman and music by Hope Littwin. Faces of Eurydice will premiere from March 12 at 7:30PM until March 21 at 9:30PM. Resale Tickets are $25 admission; $10 industry/student; Regular Tickets are $35 admission; $15 industry/student. The Flat Iron Arts Building is located at 1575 N Milwaukee Ave.


Belfast, Northern Ireland Photography Exhibition Opening @ Art Works Projects

Tonight "Bonfires and Effigies: The Contested Territories of Belfast, Northern Ireland" opens at Art Works Projects, 625 N. Kingsbury St. The free opening runs from 6:25 to 9pm, with a conversation between sociologist and photographer David Schalliol and playwright Terry Boyle taking place from 6:45 to 7:30pm.

The Missing Picture @ Gene Siskel Film Center

Instant Histories: New Documentary Forms In The Digital Age is held by the Gene Siskel Film Center (164 N. State St.) and offers a new documentary every Tuesday until May 5. Today, The Missing Picture, about a childhood survivor of the Cambodian killing fields revisiting the time of terror that killed his family, will be shown at 6pm. Tickets are $5 for members and $11 for non-members and include a lecture by Daniel Eisenberg, an international renowned filmmaker. Additional screenings of the film are on Friday and Saturday, but do not include Eisenberg's lecture.

Jesse White @ Maggiano's

The City Club of Chicago will have Secretary of State Jesse White speak at Maggiano's, 111 W. Grand Ave., today at 11:30am. Seating is limited. $35 for City Club members and $45 for non-members.

Chiditarod

The 10th annual Chiditarod, the crazy shopping cart race that raises money and food donations for the Greater Chicago Food Depository, kicks off from the corner of Wolcott and Hubbard today at 12:30pm. Find a spot to watch and cheer on your favorite team!

Ultimate Painting / Michael Rault / Clearance @ Empty Bottle

Ultimate Painting (ex-Mazes, ex-Veronica Falls) are a couple of dudes hailing from London, though you might be able to more easily pinpoint their sound to late-60s New York. Their smart, groove-based psych is reminiscent of the Velvets at their most down-tempo and intimate, and they're also a worthy addition to the clutch of groups who can claim a triple-eponymous band/album/track. They are in excellent company. Be sure to show up early to catch West Coast pop-rock auteur Michael Rault and local postpunkers Clearance, who kick things off. Catch it all at the Empty Bottle on Wednesday, March 4. $10, 21+.

Chicago Urbanists @ Green Door Tavern

The Chicago Urbanists meetup celebrate Chicago's birthday with a party at Green Door Tavern, 678 N. Orleans St., tonight at 6pm. There will be a birthday cake, as well as drinks and conversation about urban issues. No cover, RSVP on Anyvite. 21+

Moon Duo (record release) / Verma / Richard Vain @ Empty Bottle

Moon Duo are back in town to celebrate the release of their latest platter for Sacred Bones, Shadow of the Sun, at the Empty Bottle. Local kraut-jammers Verma support, with Richard Vain (of Bare Mutants) setting the tone. Doors at 9:00, tickets are $10. 21+.

2015 Hashbrown Chili Cook Off @ Spudnik Press Cooperative

The annual Hashbrown Chili Cook-Off is happening today at 6pm at Spudnik Press Cooperative, 1821 W. Hubbard St., Suite 302. Enjoy an evening filled with food, games and celebration. General Admission $10; VIP Package $22; Royalty Package $65.

A Portrait Gallery @ Living Room

Arts mentorship organization Ag47 presents A Portrait Gallery!, its annual fundraiser, today from 4 to 7pm at the Living Room, 2423 W. North Ave. For a $5-$10 donation, you'll get a one-of-a-kind work of art in the form of a picture, song or choose-your-own-adventure story.

MoCP 2015 Benefit Auction

Tonight at 5:30pm, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, holds its annual benefit auction at 195 E. Delaware Ave. All proceeds go to MoCP exhibitions, events and public programs. Tickets are $150; register online.

Underground Unseen Opening Reception Exhibition @ FLATSstudio

Tonight at 6PM, FLATSstudio located at 1050 West Wilson Avenue, will be presenting their first exhibition of 2015 with Underground and Unseen. The launch of VAM, a Chicago based magazine, is celebrating the night in conjunction with FLATS. Beverages will be provided by KOVAL Distillery and Lakeshore Beverage. Artists include: Krista O'Meara, Todd Diederich, Alison Van Pelt, Misha Khokhlov, Ali6, AntiBodyCorp, and Owen Bones. Don't forget to RSVP by Thursday, February 19th to rsvp@flatschicago.com; free and open to the public.

Chicago Auto Show Opens

The Chicago Auto Show opens today from 9am to 10pm at McCormick Place, 2301 S. Lake Shore Dr. See the latest models from all the car makers, as well as their cool new concepts. The Auto Show runs till Feb. 22. Admission is $12 for adults, $6 for kids and seniors.

Try Youth as Youth Impact Night @ David Weinberg Photography

Tonight the ACLU of Illinois and David Weinberg Photography are hosting a special impact event before the official opening of a new exhibition about the juvenile justice system in America, "Try Youth as Youth." Proceeds from the night's ticket sales will benefit the ACLU of Illinois' Children's Rights Initiative. Buy tickets online. The opening reception for the show follows the next night. The exhibition will run from February 13 to May 9 at David Weinberg Photography, 300 W. Superior Street, Suite 203.

Table Talks: Chi-chi Nwanoku @ The Currency Exchange Cafe

The Currency Exchange Cafe in Washington park is hosting Table Talks, which are intimate lunches with visiting artists, and will be inviting Chi--chi Nwanoku today from 1-3PM. The event is free but RSVP is required. Email artsandpubliclife@uchicago.edu with "Table Talk: Chi-chi Nwanoku in the subject line, and include name and email address for anyone you are having as a plus one.

Videos by Hannah Piper Burns @ The Nightingale

Indie movie theater The Nightingale,1084 N. Milwaukee Ave., hosts THROUGH THE PRISM, a night of films by the artist Hannah Piper Burns, tonight beginning at 7pm. Burns' work has been described as, "fun, funny, feminist, physical, 'found footage.'" $7-10 donation requested at the door.

Footwork Workshop @ High Concept Labs

Today, from 1-4PM, Mana Contemporary is hosting an opening house at 2233 S. Throop St. During the open house, High Concept Labs will adjunctly invite visitors to learn from THE ERA, a footwork dance crew. The event is free and located on the 4th floor.

2nd Floor Rear 24 Hour Art Festival

2nd Floor Rear is a 24-hour arts festival featuring apartment galleries, migrant projects, experimental spaces, and Chicago's DIY art community. The festival will take place at various locations near the Blue Line. The contributors make the festival free so check out 2nd Floor Rear's Indiegogo for support.

Ultimate Painting @ Double Door

The Double Door, 1572 N. Milwaukee Ave., is the setting tonight for Ultimate Painting, a speed painting competition in which artists do the best work they can in 20 minutes and the audience judges the winner. Tickets are $8; doors open at 7pm. 21+

Quimby's 2015 Zlumber Party

Quimby's is throwing a slumber party for zine makers. The Zine Slumber Party, or Zlumber Party, starts tonight at 10pm when the store is closed to customers. Attendees are then free to work on their zines overnight, and hopefully have a finished publication by the time you leave in the morning. Quimby's is located at 1854 W. North Ave.; for more details on the event, give them a call at (773) 342-0910, or email info at quimbys dot com.

Build Presence: Public Interactive Art Project @ Chicago Cultural Center

The growing movement in support for racial justice and an end to police brutality is the core of "Build Presence". The interactive art project will encompass this social movement and create a space for the public to meditate, cultivate, and embody knowledge. The event will be held at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington, today from noon-5:30 and Sunday February 1st, noon-4:00. Alexandria Eregbu will be opening up her studio on the first floor for this public installation.


Scrabble for Cheaters @ 826CHI

826CHI hosts Scrabble for Cheaters, a Scrabble tournament in which the teams can get a little extra "help" through sanctioned cheats they purchase with donations to the literacy organization. The tournament starts at noon at 1276 N Milwaukee Ave. It's free to watch, $30 to register to play -- not including donations.

Belgian Beer Tasting with Barley's Angels @ Bar on Buena

Barley's Angels is hosting a guided tasting of Belgian beers tonight from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. at The Bar on Buena (910 W. Buena Ave). Christina Canto from Penrose Brewing will be on hand to talk about what makes Belgian Beers unique. Snacks will also be provided. Tickets are $20.

Spirit of du Sable launch @ CH Distillery

Tonight from 5 to 11pm, CH Distillery (564 W. Randolph) celebrates the launch of a new spirt they made in collaboration with Ale Syndicate (2601 W. Diversey). Spirit of du Sable is a barrel-aged and distilled version of Ale Syndicate's du Sable Hoppy Saison beer, a spirit that CH's head distiller described as having "a hop and saison yeast aroma with a malty palate... underpinned by oak aging." At the event, CH Distillery is offering a Side by Side, which is a sample of the spirit and beer ($14) and specialty cocktail In Good Company (Spirit of du Sable, honey syrup, walnut bitters, orange bitters, angostura; $11). Local band Big Sadie will perform from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.

The Impossible Maze Unveiling @ Block Thirty Seven

Today at 3pm on the second floor of Block Thirty Seven, maze maker Matthew Haussler will unveil a record-breaking 73.5-foot-long maze illustrating scenes from around Chicago. Leave your pencil at home. Free.

Late-Night Party @ Art Institute

The Art Institute, 111 S. Michigan Ave., is hosting Late-Night Party: After Dark, an event in celebration of "Temptation: The Demons of James Ensor," from 9pm to midnight tonight The party will include live music, after-hour tours of the exhibition, and refreshments. Tickets can be purchased online, at the museum, or by phone at 877-307-4AIC. Evening associates $15, Members $20, Nonmembers $30.

Longman & Eagle's Five-Year Anninversary

Tonight, from 5 p.m.-10 p.m., Longman & Eagle (2657 N. Kedzie Ave.) is hosting an open house in celebration of their five-year anniversary. They're offering complimentary servings of house favorites, including 'baby' Steigls, Negroni di Aquila cocktails, and wild boar sliders. Dinner menus won't be available, but the bar and snack menus will be throughout the evening.

Open Studios @ Fine Arts Building

Every second Friday of each month, the Fine Arts Building, located at 410 S. Michigan Ave., opens their doors and studios to the public for a free evening event. Starting from 5pm and ending at 9pm, the event will include fiber artists, musicians, yoga, and tap dancing lessons.

No Media Performance Event @ High Concept Laboratories

No Media is a realtime performance, media, and improvisational art event held at High Concept Laboratories in Mana Contemporary, 2233 S. Throop St., tonight at 8pm. The event consists of matching random artists who are registered on the No Media website and given ten minutes to perform. Sign up is free and open to all artists.

Shop Lula Launch @ Lula Cafe

In celebration of the launch of shoplulacafe.com, the newly-launched site that sells the crafts, art, music, and literature of Lula Café's staff, Lula Café (2537 N Kedzie Avenue) hosts a bazaar-inspired event tonight from 7 p.m.-10 p.m. The event features the site's artists such as Ogechi Anyanwu as well as neighborhood shops such as Eskell, Fleur, and Tusk.

Windy City Soul Club Six Year Anniversary Show

Chicago's finest monthly dance party, Windy City Soul Club, celebrates six years of spinning the finest Northern Soul records with this party at Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western Ave. Happiness abounds, with DJs spinning only original 45rpm records of forgotten soul gems, with the occasional mainstream hit peppered in the mix. Get there early if you don't fancy waiting outside, as the show always sells out. $5 cover at the door. 21+

Crafters and Musicians Holiday Pop-Up Market

Looking for creative and original gifts for people this year? Then you'll enjoy shopping at this holiday pop-up market presented by Crafters and Musicians. And you'll get to listen to some great music while you check your list twice and buy gifts from local artists and crafters. Stop on by today at Ebenezer Lutheran Church, 1650 W. Foster Ave., from noon to 5pm.

Beer Sleigh Brewery Tour

Barley's Angels organizes a Beer Sleigh today, which includes beer flights and transportation to three area breweries as well as the tours at Metropolitan Brewing, Lagunitas Brewery, and Lake Effect Brewing. Tickets are $60. The tour kicks off at 11am at Metropolitan Brewing, 5121 N. Ravenswood Ave.

Chicago Arts District Second Fridays

The September edition of 2nd Fridays Gallery Night in Pilsen will feature work by multi-disciplinary artists in 30-plus galleries and creative spaces in the Chicago Arts District. You'll find all manner of art and artists, as well as explore the gorgeous architecture and courtyards on Halsted Street between 16th and Cermak. Plan your stroll by picking up a map at the info center at 1821 S. Halsted St., or check out the event calendar. 6pm-10pm.

Candlelight Tour @ Museum of Surgical Science

An assortment of wines, holiday cookies, a candlelight tour and a historic mansion are what the International Museum of Surgical Science, 1524 N. Lake Shore Dr., has in store for this evening from 6 to 8:30pm. A slideshow of photographs which feature the home in the 1940s will follow the candlelight tour. Admission is $10 or $5 with a IMSS membership. Details on Facebook.

Chicago Literary Hall of Fame Inductions @ Roosevelt University

Six Chicago literary figures will be inducted into the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame tonight from 7 to 9pm. The event is at Roosevelt University's Ganz Hall, 430 S. Michigan Ave. The event is free but registration is requested. Details on the Book Club page.

Sistah Sinema Chicago Film Screening: Thick Relations @ Gallery 400

Today from 2pm-4pm, Gallery 400 will be teaming up with the UIC Gender and Sexuality Center and the organization Sistah Sinema to launch a monthly event which features queer women of color. The December film is titled, "Thick Relations" and will follow with a discussion expanding on the topics presented in the film and elsewhere. Admission is $10 for the general public and free for those with a UIC card. Snack and beverages will be provided. Gallery 400 is located on 400 S. Peoria St.

Chicago Book Expo @ Columbia College

Buy books, listen to authors converse at the Chicago Book Expo today from 11am to 5pm at Columbia College, 1104 S. Wabash Ave. The free event will have 75+ exhibitors selling books, including local presses, authors and literary organizations, and 17 sessions featuring more than 40 Chicago authors and other literary events are on the schedule.

Krampusnacht @ Co-Prosperity Sphere

Tonight from 8pm until midnight, the Co-Prosperity Sphere, 3219 S. Morgan St., hosts Krampusnact, which features artwork, treats and an all-around Krampus theme. Wear your favorite Krampus costume, or simply attend the event. $10 admission includes drink ticket, $5 with Krampus related costume (includes drink ticket). Must be 21 to enter.

David Schalliol @ International Museum of Surgical Science

This evening MAS Context and the Society of Architectural Historians present a talk by David Schalliol regarding his feature-length documentary project about a community being displaced to make way for an intermodal transportation facility. The first short from the project can be viewed on GB. The event runs from 6pm-8pm and is hosted by the International Museum of Surgical Science, 1524 N Lake Shore Dr. There is a suggested donation of $10, wine included. More information about the event and its co-sponsrs is available via Mas Context. RSVP via eventbrite.

Amanda Gutierrez Talk @ Mana Contemporary

GRIDS artist, Amanda Gutierrez, will be giving an artist talk today at Mana Contemporary in the Radius Space. The talk will begin at 3pm and is located at 2233 S. Throop St in Pilsen. Gutierrez's work focuses on performance and sound, which she fuses together in her projects and pieces. In addition, the talk will broadcast live on NUMBERS.FM at the Comfort Station in Logan Square. The event is free and open to the public.

Chicago Thanksgiving Parade on State St.

Want to see the parade in person rather than on TV? Go to State Street (between Congress Parkway and Randolph) and watch the bigger than life floats, cartoon characters and marching bands as they come through our city today starting at 8 AM.

Chicago Literary Hall of Fame to Induct Six Authors

Six Chicago literary figures will be inducted into the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame Saturday, Dec. 6, at Roosevelt University's Ganz Hall.

The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame honors and preserves Chicago's great literary heritage through educational programming, awards, exhibits and other special events. One of its current projects is creating a repository of detailed information about Chicago's past, present and future literary life, through such projects as the Chicago Literary Map, the Chicago Book of the Day, and the Chicago Literary Calendar.

This year's Literary Hall of Fame inductees are three poets, a legendary editor, a novelist and an author of iconic childen's books.

Mac & Cheese Takedown @ Lincoln Hall

The Takedowns host a Mac & Cheese Takedown this afternoon at Lincoln Hall (2424 N Lincoln Ave) from 2- 4 p.m. The event is +21. Tickets are $20 and include tastings of the competitor's mac & cheese. Anyone interested in competing in the takedown should email chilitakedown@gmail.com.

Chicago Toy & Game Fair

The Chicago Toy & Game Fair is at Navy Pier Saturday and today. Check out new and old board games and other toys, compete in Settlers of Catan and Rummikub tournaments, and meet game inventors and more. Tickets are $10 for adults and kids 13 and up, $5 for kids aged 3-12, and free for kids under 3. The fair is open from 10am to 5pm today.

Chicago Toy & Game Fair

The Chicago Toy & Game Fair is at Navy Pier today and Sunday. Check out new and old board games and other toys, compete in Settlers of Catan and Rummikub tournaments, and meet game inventors and more. Tickets are $10 for adults and kids 13 and up, $5 for kids aged 3-12, and free for kids under 3. The fair is open from 10am to 6pm today.

Traci Fowler Opening Reception @ C33 Gallery

The Love That Let Us Share Our Name is Traci Fowler's first solo exhibition, and it opens at C33 Gallery, 33 E. Congress Pkwy, 1st floor, at 5pm tonight. The show will feature sculptural pieces, domestic objects and foliage that "pump up the tackiness" of traditional materials. The exhibition will be on view until Dec. 5.

ART21 Screening and Conversation with Jennifer Reeder @ Gallery 400

Today at 12pm, Chicago-based filmmaker and artist, Jennifer Reeder and UIC MA candidate, Andie Kimura will be holding a conversation and leading a viewing of ART21's Episode 4. Katharina Grosse, Joan Jonas, and Omer Fast are the artists featured in the episode tonight. Event is free, snacks will be provided and Gallery 400 is located on 400 S. Peoria St.

Blue November Opening Reception @ NYCH Gallery

Tonight at 6pm, NYCH Gallery, 643 W. 18th St., will feature 10 artists who express personal emotions, social relevance and craft in their work. The artists exhibited are: Abraham Brand, Cesar Conde, Jaime Foster, Michael William Foster, Nasim Hantehzadeh, Lexygius Calip, Phillip Scott, Chantala Kommanivanh, Christie Chew-Wallace, Shana Zentner. Free.

Hairy Who & The Chicago Imagists Screening & Discussion @ U of C Film Studies Center

Hairy Who & The Chicago Imagists will be screened this evening at University of Chicago's Logan Arts Center, 915 E. 60th St., followed by a panel including Rebecca Zorach, professor of Art History, University of Chicago; Richard Born, senior curator, Smart Museum of Art; Allison Peters Quinn, director of exhibitions and residency programs at the Hyde Park Art Center; Jim Falconer [pdf], member of the original Hairy Who exhibition group. Additional details on the Film Studies Center website.

SAIC Visiting Artists Program: Lewis Hyde

Tonight from 6 to 7:30pm, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago hosts their visiting artists program in the Rubloff Auditorium, 230 S. Columbus Dr. Lewis Hyde is a critic, poet and translator who will be discussing his recent publications and their relations to the arts. SAIC's Visiting Art Program lectures are always free and open to the public, however, seating is first come first serve.

Nik Wallenda Tightrope Walk

Nik Wallenda will walk a tightrope from the west tower of Marina City, 300 N. State St., to the Leo Burnett Building, over the Chicago River, at 6pm tonight. He'll then walk a tightrope between the two Marina City towers while blindfolded. Watch it in person, online or on Discovery Channel.

Day of the Dead @ Museum of Mexican Art

The National Museum of Mexican Art, 1852 W. 19th St., hosts a family-friendly Day of the Dead celebration today from 3 to 5pm. Make Cempasuchil flowers, papel picado and other crafts; get your face painted dia de los muertos style; take a photobooth portrait; enter a drawing for a sugar skull; and enjoy light refreshments and pan de muerto. Free.

Halloween Party @ Flats Studio

Looking for an open bar, photo booth pictures and devilish tunes on your Halloween night? Flats Studio is hosting a party with Hello Mr., a magazine that discusses men who date men, and the celebration of their bi-annual publication. The party takes place at 1050 W Wilson Avenue from 10pm-2am. RSVP here for $30.


Moonlight Manor @ Moonlight Studios

Moonlight Studios (1446 W. Kinzie) hosts the Reader's Halloween party Moonlight Manor tonight (8pm-Midnight). Cocktails created by folks from Longman & Eagle and the Drawing Room, food from the Chop Shop, Katherine Anne Confections and El Ranchito, DJs, and frivolity. Tickets $50.

Northalsted Halloween Parade

The 17th annual Northalsted Halloween Parade -- the only Halloween costume parade where anyone can march -- is tonight on Halsted Street from Belmont to Addison. Registration begins at 6:30pm at Belmont and Halsted; the parade begins at 8pm. The theme this year is "Twisted Circus," and there are prizes for the best costumes in several categories. Or just hang out and watch!

20x2 Chicago @ Schubas

Gapers Block presents 20x2 Chicago ! Come to Schubas, 3159 N. Southport Ave., tonight to see 20 people from all different walks of creative life -- writers, musicians, filmmakers, web geeks and other bon vivants -- take two minutes each to answer the question of the day. The results can be as varied as the emotions and reactions they evoke. This edition's question is "How do you do?" The featured speakers this time around are Brandy Agerbeck, Gaylon Alcaraz, Bobby Biedrzycki, Jayson Brooks, Jasmine Davila, Melissa Du Prey, Mike Ewing, Hannah Gamble, Fuzzy Gerdes, James Gordon, Darryl Holliday, Leah Jones, Felix Jung, Coya Paz, Melissa Pierce, Erica Reid, Monica Reida, Eden Robins, Jack Silverstein and Jeff Solin. GB Publisher Andrew Huff hosts. Tickets are $10 online or at the door. Doors open at 6:30pm, and the show will start at 7pm. RSVP on Facebook. 21+

Opening Reception: Thresh/hold @ Roman Susan ANNEX

Megan Sterling's exhibition at the Roman Susan Annex, located in the Howard Theatre at 1637-1643 W. Howard St., is a compilation of work that focuses on hands and feet and the physical and psychological tension that follows. This afternoon at 5pm, the ANNEX will be hosting the opening reception until 8pm. The exhibition is on view until October 29th. The Roman Susan Annex is the gallery's space's off-site program which explores alternative spaces in Rogers Park. The event is free and open to the public.

Project Recall: HCL @ Mana Contemporary

Utilizing sound and visual components, Project Recall aims to achieve a sense of nostalgia, memory and perception through a set of three live performances at High Concept Laboratories. HCL has a beautiful studio space on the fourth floor of Mana Contemporary, 2233 S. Throop St. The artists include Anthony Janas /Amanda Gutierrez, Nick Briz, The Fortieth Day + Noise Crush. Doors open at 7:30 and the show starts at 8 and goes on until 10pm. $5 admission.

Story Collector Presents: A Live Lit Showdown, Readers v. Tellers @ Haymarket

Ray Teresi, AKA The Story Collector, is bringing a dozen live lit performers, representing as many shows, for a one night "battle" between readers (performers who read from pages) vs. tellers (performers who tell stories without pages) at Haymarket (737 W. Randolph.) Heading up the Readers team is Write Club Overlord Ian Belknap; captaining the Tellers team is The Moth's Don Hall. The Readers team includes: Josh Zagoren, JH Palmer, Gwynn Fulcher, and Samantha Irby; Tellers include Stephanie Douglass, Andrew Marikis, GPA James Gordon, and Lil Be. Co-hosted by Janna Sobel of Here, Chicago and Chad the Bird of The Paper Machete. Timekeeper duties by the Awkward Intern of Shame That Tune. Doors open at 6pm, show starts at 8pm. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased here

American Homebrewers Association Rally @ Lagunitas

The American Homebrewers Association is throwing a Rally at Lagunitas Brewing Company in Chicago to celebrate the joys of homebrewing and connect beer enthusiasts in the area.The Rally will feature a VIP tour of the brewery, beer samples, gifts, prizes and more. Lagunitas Chicago TapRoom at 1843 S. Washtenaw Ave. 1-4pm. Information and tickets available online.

Lebowski Fest @ Diversey Rock 'n Bowl

Lebowski Fest goes bowling at Diversey Rock 'n Bowl, 2211 W. Diversey Pkwy., from 8pm to midnight tonight. There'll be costume contests, trivia contests, and of course bowling -- plus the debut of the new Big Lebowski pinball game. Tickets are $25. All ages, man.

Chicago Artist Month 3rd Friday @ Zhou B Art Center

The Zhou B Art Center is celebrating 10 years this 3rd Friday! The art center will be hosting an exhibition art, music, food and entertainment for the night from 7-10PM. The location of the event is 1029 W. 35th St. Contact 773-523-0200 or info@zhoubartcenter.com for more information. FREE!

Jordan Martins Artist Talk @ Chicago Artists Coalition

Tonight from 6-9PM, Jordan Martins will be bringing selections of his work as well as conversation to the Chicago Room & Board Showroom located on 217 N. Carpenter St. Jordan is also the program director at the Comfort Station, a creative space located in Logan Square. The event will include wine and snacks and is open to the public.

BOO HAHA Beer Tasting at Chicago Truborn

Are you a beer lovin', snack tasting, art lover? Then come to the BOO HAHA event at Chicago Truborn located at 1418 W. Division St. to view "Chicago's Best New Art Gallery". Tickets are $10, event starts at 6pm and ends at 10pm. Call 773-420-9764 for more information regarding the event.

American Homebrewers Association Rally @ Lagunitas

The American Homebrewers Association is throwing a Rally at Lagunitas Brewing Company in Chicago to celebrate the joys of homebrewing and connect beer enthusiasts in the area.The Rally will feature a VIP tour of the brewery, beer samples, gifts, prizes and more. Lagunitas Chicago TapRoom at 1843 S. Washtenaw Ave. 1-4pm. Information and tickets available online.

John Darnielle & Unabridged Books @ Lincoln Hall

John Darnielle, writer, composer, guitarist, and vocalist for the band the Mountain Goats, has finally translated his tremendous lyrics to prose with the release of new novel, Wolf In White Van, "the story of the Trace Italian, a game of strategy and survival! You may now make your first move." Join Unabridged Bookstore for an unforgettable evening as John Darnielle sits in conversation with Mairead Case, columnist for Bookslut who has spent a decade working in Chicago schools, small presses, and libraries, at Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln Ave. Darnielle's debut novel, hailed as moving, menacing, and brillliantly constructed, is not to be missed. $30 for entry plus a copy of the book; doors open at 7pm.

Meet Your Maker @ Links Hall

Chicago Artists Month and Links Hall to host a Creative Conversation in Chicago. This Creative Conversation, titled "Meet your Maker" is envisioned as an opportunity for local arts leaders to engage and meet face-to-face - bridging the divide between artists and arts administrators. Creative types, at any stage in their professional career, are encouraged to join us for an evening of exploration among arts-passionate people.

"Meet your Maker" is produced in the spirit of relationship and community building in the arts. Rather than a panel discussion or facilitated conversation about a particular topic, attendees 'come-as-they-are'. This smorgasbord of backgrounds, experiences and knowledge will provide a framework for interdisciplinary networking. Attendees are encouraged to break away from the comfort of the known and enter an unfamiliar space. Through informal round-table discussion "Meet your Maker" aims to foster new relationships and introduce arts professional to resources they may never have known existed!

Special guests include: • Chris Barrett, visual artist • Marie Casimir, Links Hall• Jeanelle Chang, Chicago Sinfonietta• Martin Garcia, Surmount Studio • Nikki Jolly, Chicago Park Chicago Arts District • Jessica Kaswiner, Artists Mean Business podcast • Merideth Lacina, Illinois Artisans Program, Illinois State Museum • Jenny Lam, Sixty Inches From Center • Jennifer Jansen, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago Alumni • Marivi Ortiz-Shoda, photographer • Meida Teresa McNeal, Changing Worlds • Eva Silverman, Arts Alliance Illinois

Sunday, October 19, 2014
5:30pm-7:30pm
Links Hall
3111 N. Western Ave | Chicago, Illinois
Suggested donation of $5 to cover food and refreshments.

Open to the public. RSVP here:

www.fanfueled.com/Event/Details/3773-meet-your-maker-where-chicago-creatives-connect

Great Chicago Fire Festival

The City of Chicago, Chicago Park District and Redmoon present The Great Chicago Fire Festival, a spectacle honoring "Chicago's grit, greatness and renewal following the fire of 1871," tonight beginning at 8pm on the Chicago River. Watch as fiery cauldrons drop from the bridges, kayakers pull flaming buoys, and floating sculptures of pre-1871 homes go up in flames. The finale will be a fireworks display and tribute to the city's neighborhoods. Free.

Taste Talks Kicks Off in Chicago

Starting tonight until Sunday, the second annual Taste Talks, launched last year in Brooklyn, makes its debut in Chicago, bringing together chefs and mixologists in an innovative and experiential three-day food symposium. Presented by Mario Batali and curated by James Beard Award-winning chef Paul Kahan, Taste Talks will provide access to chef panels, tastings and behind the scenes tips. Tickets for single events start at $10. All access passes are also available. View the schedule and ticket prices at the official website.

500 Clown at the Threshold @ Smart Museum

What happens when you begin as an observer and then transition into a participant when viewing artwork in a museum? The Smart Museum in Hyde Park is seeking out the answer to this question in their event this afternoon/evening titled, "500 Clown at the Threshold." Starting at 5pm, the event will feature live performances and conversations inspired by the sculptures that are on view currently from the show, Carved, Cast, Crumpled: Sculpture All Ways. The Smart Museum is located at 5550 S. Greenwood Ave. and is free to the public.


Edgewater Fall Art Fair

The best way to wrap up the summer is by purchasing something awesome that was made by a local artist or craftstperson. The best way to do this is at the Edgewater Fall Art Fair that runs today from 11am to 6pm. The fair will host at least 100 local artists on Granville between Broadway and Kenmore Avenue. You'll be able to view and purchase paintings, photographs, jewelry, mixed-media, accessories, pottery, and so much more.

Edgewater Fall Art Fair

The best way to wrap up the summer is by purchasing something awesome that was made by a local artist or craftstperson. The best way to do this is at the Edgewater Fall Art Fair that runs today from 11am to 6pm. The fair will host at least 100 local artists on Granville between Broadway and Kenmore Avenue. You'll be able to view and purchase paintings, photographs, jewelry, mixed-media, accessories, pottery, and so much more.

Ditka Dash @ Soldier Field

There have been plenty of Chicago sports icons in this town throughout the years: MJ, The Big Hurt, Augie Ojeda. None of them hold a candle to former Bears coach and gum-chewing enthusiast Mike Ditka. Now is your chance to dress up like Da Coach (mustache and shades included) and run frantically for five kilometers like he once ran the sidelines. It's the Ditka Dash 5K and it kicks off at Soldier Field at 8am on Saturday, September 27. All proceeds benefit Special Olympics Chicago.

Martha Bayne speaks at Ethical Humanist Society of Chicago

Today at 10:30 am, Martha Bayne (of Soup & Bread fame) will share her ideas on Building Community--One Soup Pot at a Time. She'll speak at the Ethical Humanist Society of Chicago (7574 Lincoln Ave. Skokie IL; corner of Howard and Lincoln Avenues) about how social justice can be accomplished via traditional and non-traditional soup kitchens.

Luftwerk @ Chicago's Couch Place alley

The collaborative art duo, Luftwerk, will be showcasing a light and water installation titled, "FLOW/Im Fluss" from September 17th until the 20th from 5 PM - 12 AM on State St. between Lake and Randolph Streets. The opening night of FLOW/Im Fluss will be Sept. 17th and will include a complimentary drink ticket for those who RSVP. The location of the installation is 190 North State Street. More information will be updated on ACTIVATE

Taste Around Town Begins

Taste Around Around, a two-week long wine event billed as Restaurant Week for wine lovers, starts today and runs runs through September 28. Participating restaurants, including Au Cheval, Maude's Liquor Bar, and Carriage House, are preparing select pairing menus and tasting flights with wines from Chateau Montelena, Penfolds, and Wines of France. Specials on wine by the glass or bottle will also be available for lunch and/or dinner throughout the two-week event.

Front & Center Exhibit and BBQ @ The Hyde Park Art Center

The Center Program is presenting the work of its 2014 students at the Hyde Park Art Center, September 13th from 5-8 PM. During this exhibition, the art center will also be celebrating it's 75th Anniversary BBQ from 12-9 PM which will include bouncy houses, a petting zoo, food trucks and three bands/DJ's playing throughout the day. The Hyde Park Art Center is located at 5020 S. Cornell Avenue. To contact the center, email generalinfo@hydeparkart.org. The event and exhibition is free and open to the public (food is not free).

Taste Around Town Launch Party @ Hub 51

Tonight at 6pm, Bottlenotes kicks off Taste Around Around, a two-week long wine event billed as Restaurant Week for wine lovers, at Hub 51, 51 W. Hubbard St. Tickets, which includes wine and house-made bites, are $25 with a special Gapers Block discount code, which can be accessed here. Taste Around Town itself runs September 15-28. Participating restaurants, including Au Cheval, Maude's Liquor Bar, and Carriage House, are preparing select pairing menus and tasting flights with wines from Chateau Montelena, Penfolds, and Wines of France. Specials on wine by the glass or bottle will also be available for lunch and/or dinner throughout the two-week event.

Goose Island Lilith Release @ Kaiser Tiger

Goose Island taps Lilith, their new Pomegranate Berliner Weisse, tonight at Kaiser Tiger. Stop by for beer, commemorative Lilith glassware, posters, and more from 7-9pm. Fulton & Wood. Free.

Three Floyds and Pipeworks @ Roots

Three Floyds and Pipeworks Brewing join forces tonight for the "Let's Drink Beer & Eat Pizza: The Ten" event hosted by Roots Handmade Pizza (1924 W Chicago Ave). Starting at 6 p.m. pizzas will be on special and 10 kegs with featured brews from Three Floyds and Pipeworks will be tapped. Those in the lineup from Pipeworks include Ninja vs. Unicorn (Imperial IPA) and Saison du Soleile (Belgian-style ale brewed with grapefruit). Those from Three Floyds include Space Station: Middle Finger (Pale Ale) and Gumballhead (Pale Wheat Ale). Guests mentioning "The Ten" to their server or bartender will receive 20% off their Quad Cities malt crust pizzas during the event.

Software <3 Hardware: A Makers' Field Day

Polymathic and Catalyze Chicago host Software <3 Hardware: A Makers' Field Day Sept. 7 near the Humboldt Park boathouse, beginning at 2pm. Afterparty at the Living Room, 2423 W. North Ave., from 6 to 11:30pm. Get $15 off tickets by using the code "gapersblock" on checkout.

Dill Pickle Block Party @ Comfort Station

The Dill Pickle Food Co-op hosts their first Block Party, at the Comfort Station (2579 N. Milwaukee) today from 11 am-4 pm as part of their expansion effort. Attendees are encouraged to bring a snack to share, or to enjoy locally sourced burgers, veggie burgers, brats, and freshly harvested vegetable. Events and activities are scheduled throughout the day including live music, games, chair massages, and a pie contest. The Block Party is free and open to the public.

Chicago All-Star Softball Challenge @ Schaumburg Boomers Stadium

Where can you find Ryan Dempster, Carlos Zambrano, Billy Williams and Ozzie Guillen (to name a few) all on one baseball diamond? In Schaumburg at Boomers Stadium, that's where! It's the Second Annual LAP (Larry A. Pogofsky) Chicago All-Star Softball Challenge with tickets as low as $15 and all proceeds going to benefit Chicago White Sox Charities, Cubs Charities, and local children's charities.

Arcade Brewery Launch @ Logan Arcade

Arcade Brewery leaps onto the Chicago beer scene with a launch party featuring their signature brews William Wallace Wrestle Fest Scotch Ale and Grapefruit IPA on tap. Look forward to 8-bit caricatures by artist Matthew Waite, music from local hip-hop artist Auggie the 9th, and pizza from Dimo's while supplies last. Starts at 8pm at Logan Arcade, 2410 W. Fullerton Ave.

Heritage BBQ @ Goose Island Barrel Warehouse

Starting at 4 pm today, five chefs competing for the title of Chicago's "BBQ King or Queen" will create six dishes with 200-pounds of pig in an effort to promote the consumption of heritage breed pigs raised by local family farms. This year's competitors include Chrissy Camba of Laughing Bird, Carlos Gaytan of Mexique, Abraham Conlon of Fat Rice, Cary Taylor of Big Star and Nathan Sears of The Radler and D.A.S. The BBQ will take place at Goose Island's barrel warehouse (605 N. Sacramento Blvd.) Tickets start at $125 for general admission and $200 for and VIP tickets, which includes 60-minute early access to all food. Both tickets include all-inclusive of food and beverage.

Boulevard Festival

Logan Square comes alive at this three-day street festival of music, food and booze (the Holy Trinity of Chicago summers), which kicks off today at 5:30pm and runs through Sunday night. Dean Ween Group and JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound are among the bands in attendance. Event at 3100 W. Logan; your $5 admission benefits St. Luke's Lutheran Church.

Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone @ Lincoln Park Zoo

Movie night takes a wild twist with Zoovies at Lincoln Park Zoo. The park is open after hours for screenings on the South Lawn. Tonight's feature is one that isn't shy to the world of magic: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Admission is free. Movies start at dusk. Seating is general admission on the South Lawn grass and Park Place Café patio. Low chairs and blankets (no larger than 5 feet by 5 feet) permitted. 2200 N Cannon Dr.

Chicago Air & Water Show

The Air & Water Show runs Saturday and today from 10am to 3pm, centered on North Avenue Beach. The Blue Angels are back this year, along with a wide variety of professional and amateur aerial teams. Free.

Albany Park World Fest @ Lawrence & Kimball

The Albany Park neighborhood represents a very diverse area in the city, so what better event to host than World Fest at its doorstep! The entertainment starts Saturday at 12:30pm with Tsukasa Taiko (Asian drumming) and continues with many other acts through the evening Saturday and Sunday.

Chicago Air & Water Show

The Air & Water Show runs today and Sunday from 10am to 3pm, centered on North Avenue Beach. The Blue Angels are back this year, along with a wide variety of professional and amateur aerial teams. Free.

The Tequila Tales @ Nouveau Tavern

The Tequila Tales, a monthly online webseries focused on "adventures in love and lust," holds a live taping at Nouveau Tavern, 358 W. Ontario St., tonight from 6 to 10pm. Tickets are free, but you can reserve a table for $20. Two drink minimum. 21+

Chicago Hot Dog Fest @ Chicago History Museum

Relish your weekend at the Chicago History Museum's second annual hot dog fest. Grab a sausage from one of eight Chicago vendors and check out 90s tribute bands like Hello Weekend and Don't Speak. 1601 N Clark St., 11am-7pm. Free.

Brain Frame Finale @ Thalia Hall

Brain Frame hosts its third anniversary and final show tonight at Thalia Hall, 1807 S. Allport Ave. Doors open at 6pm for a gallery of screen printed Brain Frame posters, live experimental ambient music sets and interactive art installations, then at 8pm founder Lyra Hill hosts collaborative performances by Anya Davidson and Carrie Vinarsky, Aaron Renier and Jessica Campbell, Ian McDuffie and Emily Hutchings, the Rough House puppetry collective, Nick Jackson, and Gina Wynbrandt, and Hill performs a piece of her own. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door. 21+

Chicago Hot Dog Fest @ Chicago History Museum

Relish your weekend at the Chicago History Museum's second annual hot dog fest. Beginning today, you can grab a sausage from one of eight Chicago vendors while checking out tribute bands like Who's Who and Kashmir. 1601 N Clark St., 10am-5pm. Free.

My Big Fat Greek Grand Opening @ Corks & Brushes

Corks and Brushes is an alternative art space located in Greektown. The space offers BYOB painting classes as well as kids painting and craft classes. Tonight from 7pm to 11pm is the grand opening celebration of their second location, at 770 W. Gladys Ave., which will feature meet and greets, artwork, Greek food and plenty of wine. RSVP online or choose to make a small donation to the art space.

David Schalliol @ Washington Park Arts Incubator

This evening David Schalliol will be presenting his work on his Isolated Building Studies, along with two projects that started on Gapers Block, "To be Demolished" and "The Area." The conversation will be hosted by Andres L. Hernandez, who is repurposing an underutilized space behind the Arts Incubator into "Hush Harbor," a pop-­up, open-air forum inspired by historical accounts of bush arbors or hush harbors, which were covert outdoor spaces created by African-Americans for sacred and secular cultural activities. The event is free, but RSVP and get additional details on Facebook. The University of Chicago Arts Incubator is located at 301 E. Garfield Blvd, just off the Green Line.

Choucroute Series @ TÊTE Charcuterie

Chefs Thomas Rice and Kurt Guzowski of TÊTE Charcuterie and Pat Sheerin of Trencherman kick off the Choucroute Series at TÊTE Charcuterie (1114 W Randolph St) tonight, starting at 10pm. Each chef will get half a hog to prepare on site, along with vegetables, which will then be served to an intimate crowd of 20 people. Cocktails will be provided by CH Distillery. Tickets cost $70. Call (312) 733-1178 or email info@tetechicago.com for reservations.

So You Think You're a Foodie @ Frontier

Frontier's (1072 N Milwaukee) monthly, five-course "So You Think You're a Foodie" dinner feature's lamb this month. The $65 dinner starts at 8:00pm tonight with optional course pairings for an additional $25. Call (773) 772-4322 to reserve.

Katherine Anne Confections Preview Party

Chocolatier Katherine Anne Confections (2745 W Armitage) hosts an open-house-style preview party for their August line of caramels and cocktail-inspired truffles, such as French Gimlet, Mojito, and Sangria, tonight from 5:30 p.m.- 8:30 p.m. CH Distillery will be whipping up a cocktail to pair with the truffles and Ale Syndicate will be serving tastings of their microbrews. The party is $25. RSVP here.

Nature on Tap: Butterflies & Beer @ The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Beginning at 6:00pm tonight, The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum (including the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven) will host an adult-only event as part of their monthly "Nature on Tap" series. For only a dollar more than general admission prices, everyone 18+ gets access to all the exhibits along with games, crafty projects, and a beer and wine bar. Featured breweries include Finch's, Revolution, 5Rabbit, Metropolitan Brewing and Two Brothers. 2430 N Cannon Dr., $10.

30th Annual Book Fair @ Newberry Library

The Newberry Library, 60 W Walton St, celebrates the 30th year of its Book Fair on July 24 through July 27. Everything for sale at the Book Fair has been generously donated, and this year's items include books autographed by President Obama, Desmond Tutu, and Albert Schweitzer (all Nobel Peace Prize winners); a large offering of 17th and 18th century French literature (in French); many books of Japanese and Chinese poetry (translated); and much more.

Hours are Thursday-Friday, noon to 8pm, and Saturday-Sunday, 10am to 6pm. Admission is free and open to the public. All proceeds help further the mission of the Newberry.

2014 Bughouse Square Debates @ Washington Square Park

On Saturday, July 26, The Newberry Library and Chicago Tribune columnist Rick Kogan host the 2014 Bughouse Square Debates at Washington Square Park, 901 N Clark St (across from the Newberry). There will be musical performances at noon, and the debates will begin at 1pm.

The program includes performances by the Shakespeare Project of Chicago and the Environmental Encroachment Marching Band; and lending their voices to the public discourse are 2014 John Peter Altgeld Award for Freedom of Speech winners Ben Joravsky and Mick Dumke. Soapbox Speakers will include candidate for 2nd Ward Alderman, Enrique G. Perez; author Mike Flores; and Brian Terrell of Voices for Creative Nonviolence.

30th Annual Book Fair @ Newberry Library

The Newberry Library, 60 W Walton St, celebrates the 30th year of its Book Fair on July 24 through July 27. Everything for sale at the Book Fair has been generously donated, and this year's items include books autographed by President Obama, Desmond Tutu, and Albert Schweitzer (all Nobel Peace Prize winners); a large offering of 17th and 18th century French literature (in French); many books of Japanese and Chinese poetry (translated); and much more.

Hours are Thursday-Friday, noon to 8pm, and Saturday-Sunday, 10am to 6pm. Admission is free and open to the public. All proceeds help further the mission of the Newberry.

30th Annual Book Fair @ Newberry Library

The Newberry Library, 60 W Walton St, celebrates the 30th year of its Book Fair on July 24 through July 27. Everything for sale at the Book Fair has been generously donated, and this year's items include books autographed by President Obama, Desmond Tutu, and Albert Schweitzer (all Nobel Peace Prize winners); a large offering of 17th and 18th century French literature (in French); many books of Japanese and Chinese poetry (translated); and much more.

Hours are Thursday-Friday, noon to 8pm, and Saturday-Sunday, 10am to 6pm. Admission is free and open to the public. All proceeds help further the mission of the Newberry.

30th Annual Book Fair @ Newberry Library

The Newberry Library, 60 W Walton St, celebrates the 30th year of its Book Fair on July 24 through July 27. Everything for sale at the Book Fair has been generously donated, and this year's items include books autographed by President Obama, Desmond Tutu, and Albert Schweitzer (all Nobel Peace Prize winners); a large offering of 17th and 18th century French literature (in French); many books of Japanese and Chinese poetry (translated); and much more.

Hours are Thursday-Friday, noon to 8pm, and Saturday-Sunday, 10am to 6pm. Admission is free and open to the public. All proceeds help further the mission of the Newberry.

Free Flamenco Class @ Clinard Dance Theatre

In conjunction with 2nd Fridays, Clinard Dance Theatre hosts two free flamenco dance classes at 7:30pm and 8pm. Attendees will also get a sneak peek at Clinard Dance's latest original work, Chicago's Watershed: A 156-Mile Choreography. Clinard Dance Theatre, 1747 S. Halsted St, Rear House.

Artisan Market @ Gallery 19

Beginning at 9am today, Gallery 19 (1967 1/2 W. Montrose Ave.) hosts a collection of craftspeople in their first Artisan Market. Alapash Terrariums, Real.Soaps, Johanna Winter Harper, and more will be displaying their wares until 4pm. Concurrently, "Brunch with the Artists" runs from 9am to 10:30am, with artisans participating in the market as well as those featured in Gallery 19.

Artisan Market @ Gallery 19

Beginning at 9 a.m., Gallery 19 (1967 1/2 W Montrose Ave) hosts a collection of craftspeople in their first Artisan Market. Alapash Terrariums, Real.Soaps, Johanna Winter Harper, and more will be displaying their wares until 4 p.m.

2nd Fridays @ Chicago Arts District

The July edition of 2nd Fridays Gallery Night in Pilsen will feature work by multi-discipline artists in 30+ creative spaces in the Chicago Arts District (formerly known as PilsenEast). You'll find all manner of art and artists, as well as explore the gorgeous architecture and courtyards on Halsted Street between 16th and Cermak. Plan your stroll by picking up a map at the info center at 1821 S. Halsted St., or check out the event calendar. 6pm-10pm.

Hideout Veggie Bingo @ The Hideout

It's time again for Hideout Veggie Bingo at The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia Ave. Get there by 5:30pm for bingo games that run until 8pm. Cards are $4 each, or 3 for $10, and this month's proceeds will benefit El Paseo in Pilsen. There's a grand prize of fresh produce from Irv and Shelly's Fresh Picks and a cornucopia of other prizes drawn from local artisanal food producers, farmers, and gardeners. Also: hot dogs will be donated by Hot Doug's! Co-sponsored by NeighborSpace

Fireworks @ Navy Pier

Navy Pier's fireworks are pretty good all summer, but they're particularly great on the Fourth. The show starts at 9:30pm, and can be seen from vantage points all along the lake shore, from Oak Street Beach to the Adler Planetarium. Free.

Tenth Annual Printer's Ball @ Hubbard Street Lofts

Spudnik Press Cooperative is thrilled to announce the 10th annual Printers Ball: Chatter. The 10th annual celebration of literary culture and printmaking will be held at the Hubbard Street Lofts, 1821 W. Hubbard St., offering a robust schedule of performances, live printmaking demos, exhibitions, and food and drink tastings. This year's festivities will run from 4 to 9pm, and includes outdoor entertainment with a DJ set with Odd Obsession and a beer garden hosted by Maria's Packaged Goods. Admission is free.

Hideout Veggie Bingo @ The Hideout

Wednesday night marks the return of Hideout Veggie Bingo at The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia Ave. Bingo games run from 5:30pm-8pm; cards are $4 each, or 3 for $10, and proceeds help support Chicago's community gardens. There's a grand prize of fresh produce from Irv and Shelly's Fresh Picks and a cornucopia of other prizes drawn from local artisanal food producers, farmers, and gardeners. Also: hot dogs will be donated by Hot Doug's! Co-sponsored by NeighborSpace

Our Public Space: Who Owns It, Who Shapes It & Who Benefits From It @ Lathrop Homes

The second day of Our Public Space brings together designer Quilian Riano and artist John Preus for a workshop engaging the site at Lathrop Homes, 2000 W. Diversey Ave. The event runs from 10am to 4pm, with a lunch break at noon. Free.

World Naked Bike Ride Chicago

The World Nake Bike Ride: Chicago is tonight at 6pm, departing from a secret location. Get on the mailing list for details on participation -- or just keep your eye out for a bunch of naked/semi-nude/bodypainted people riding their bikes.

Culture Creators @ 2628 W. Division St.

Kick off the Puerto Rican Festival & Parade weekend with the Culture Creators Pop-Up Shop at 2628 W. Division St. Poet, playwright, and activist Michael Reyes hosts and performs alongside comedian Melissa DuPrey and spoken word artist Eddie Alvarado (The Prince of Pain). $15 tickets ($25 for admission and T-shirt). Drinks available for purchase.

Is This A Thing? @ O'Shaughnessy's Public House

Check out the June edition of Is This A Thing? at O'Shaughnessy's Public House, 4557 N. Ravenswood Ave. Join host Jake Cowan and featured storytellers M. Molly Backes, Elizabeth Gomez, Rachel Cromidas, Natasha Mulholland, Lisa Scott, Claire Muller, and Valentine Soposky for stories of distance and travel. 7pm-9pm. Free. 21+.

57th Street Art Fair @ Hyde Park

Saturday, June 7th 11 AM-6 PM and Sunday June 8th 10AM-5PM, Hyde Park is hosting their annual 57th Street Art Fair. This will mark the 67th year that Hyde Park has been hosting this event. The fair is located between Kenwood and Woodlawn. Admission is free!

Pivot Arts Festival : Art Meets Science

From May 28th until June 14th, the Pivot Arts Festival will be hosting a variety of performances which focus on gender and sexuality, the intersection between art and science, environmental issues and many more themes at various times throughout the day. Check out the calendar for times, locations and pricing.

Bike the Drive

Strap on your helmets, it's Bike the Drive day again! Sign up for this once-a-year morning where bikes rule Lake Shore Drive! Proceeds benefit the Active Transportation Alliance, which works to provide transportation alternatives in Chicagoland. The biking begins at 5:30am and ends at 10:30am! More info and tickets/packages.

Memorial Day Parade

Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth is grand marshal for the Memorial Day Parade today, which is marches down State Street from Van Buren up to Lake beginning at noon, following a wreath-laying ceremony at 11am at the Eternal Flame in Daley Plaza. Free.

Live Mud Wrestling And Rock 'N Roll @ Reggies

If authentic mud wrestling and rock and roll are your thing, then the Chicago Mud Queens are here for you. Head over to Reggies at 2105 South State to cheer on Calamity Pain and Harlot O'Scara while jamming out to Get Up with the Get Downs: A James Brown cover band and Caveat Empire, to name a few. Tickets are available via Reggie's site and are $12 in advance, $15 at the door and $30 for VIP (a portion of the proceeds to local women-oriented charities) -- doors open at 7:30pm.

Andersonville Wine Walk

The 8th annual Andersonville Wine Walk is today. Guests can choose between the North or South route through Andersonville, each of which has stops at 10 area businesses who are pouring three wines a piece. Check-in starts at 1:00 p.m. at the Swedish American Museum (5211 N Clark); the Wine Walk runs from 3 p.m.-6 p.m. Tickets are $35 in advance, or $45 the week of the walk.

WWIMM Makeopver & Headshot Event

Women Working in Mixed Media, a networking group for women in media arts, hosts a makeover and headshot session and networking event at Emporium, 1366 N. Milwaukee Ave., today from noon to 5pm, co-sponsored by Strange Beauty Show. For $5, get your hair or makeup done, and for $40 get a photo session for your new headshot. Meanwhile, hang out and meet other female creatives. 21+

Dose Market @ Chop Shop

Treat Mom, or yourself, to the goodies at Dose Market on Sunday from 10am-4pm at The Chop Shop, 2033 W. North Ave. Handcrafted goods, artisanal foods, and a Smilebooth will all be on hand to make this a great Mother's Day. Free and open to the public.

Kieran McGonnell Round Trip Ticket Exhibit

The Ugly Stepsister Gallery, located on 1750 S Union Avenue in Pilsen, will be hosting the first exhibition of Kieran McGonnell since his passing on May 9th from 6-8:30 PM. The exhibition runs through July 6 and is open and free to the public.

SAIC Graduate and Undergraduate Festival

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago Graduate and Undergraduate Film, Video, New Media, Animation, and Sound Festival is today, Wednesday May 7th, Thursday May 8th and Friday May 9th. The festival will begin all three days at 4:30PM at the Gene Siskel Film Center located at 164 N. State Street. Admission is free.

2014 MFA Photography Exhibition @ Columbia College

May 6-17 marks the beginning of the MFA Photo exhibition for Columbia College. The Glass Curtain Gallery located at, 1104 S Wabash Avenue, will be featuring six photographers in the Masters program.

Here's the Story Anniversary Show @ Stage 773

Here's the Story celebrates three years of storytelling and potlucks on Sunday at Stage 773.
The lineup features Shannon Cason, Angela Vela, EZ, and Nate Parks. The show will be co-hosted by Janna Sobel and Ian Belknap. Event starts at 8pm. For more info and tickets, please click here.

Randolph St. Market Festival

Today, May 24th and tomorrow, May 25th, the Randolph Street Market Festival will be occurring on 350 Block West Randolph and 1340 W. Washington Street. The festival is an urban antique market which features fashion, art, treasures, as well as food, drinks and music. General admission is $8, $10 at the gate.

Revolution Craft Show @ Salvage One

Revolution Craft Show will hold its first event at Salvage One, 1840 W. Hubbard St., from 12pm-5pm on Sunday. Locally organized and curated by two artists, Revolution Craft Show is on a "mission is to give artists and the public a fun and affordable way to interact and hopefully sell their work." There will be music, food trucks, and great art for sale. Free and open to the public.

Wine Riot @ Union Station

On May 3, Wine Riot returns to Union Station to educate consumers about wine during a tasting extravaganza with a DJ, photo-booth, and temporary tattoos. Enjoy unlimited tastings of 250 wines from around the world, learn about wine at the Bubbly Bar, in Wine 101, or in a 20-minute Crash Course. Tickets for each four-hour riot are $60. Saturday sessions are from 1 to 5pm and from 7 to 11pm. 21+

Once I Was Cool Release Party @ Women & Children First

Join Curbside Splendor for the release of Megan Stielstra's collection of personal essays, Once I Was Cool. Stielstra, a Chicago author, teacher, mom, and the Literary Director of 2nd Story, will read from her book at Women & Children First at 7:30pm, and stick around for a signing and Q&A.

Wine Riot @ Union Station

On May 2 and 3, Wine Riot returns to Union Station to educate consumers about wine during a tasting extravaganza with a DJ, photo-booth, and temporary tattoos. Enjoy unlimited tastings of 250 wines from around the world, learn about wine at the Bubbly Bar, in Wine 101, or in a 20-minute Crash Course. Tickets for each four-hour riot are $60. Tonight's session runs from 7 to 11pm. 21+

Hair Wars @ The Mid

Hair Wars, a hair styling competition, hits the Mid, 306 N. Halsted St., tonight at 8pm. Watch Chicagoland stylists battle it out with outrageous displays of skill and creativity. Admission is free till 11pm, $10 for VIP. 21+

Pet Health Expo @ Canine Crews

From 11:00a.m.-3:00p.m., Canine Crews (1616 N Washtenaw) hosts the first annual Pet Health Expo. Sponsored by Canine Crews, Chicago Canine Concierge, One Tail at a Time, and Alive Rescue, the Expo showcases companies offering health-and-wellness products, from food and vitamins to dog training and veterinary care, for pets.

Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo

C2E2 returns to McCormick Place, 2301 S. Lake Shore Dr., this weekend, April 25-27.Meet Hulk Hogan, Gene Ha, Brian Posehn, Scott Adsit, Ernie Hudson and Stan Lee (check the guest list for details), attend sessions and walk the floor. The show's open from 11am to 5pm today; tickets are $25 in advance, #35 at the door; $5 for kids 12 and under. Three-day passes are $60 preshow, $70 at the door.

Tour South Shore's Historic 71st Street

Join five community organizations for a free walking tour of South Shore's historic 71st Street. Highlights will include President Obama's first campaign office, the Jeffery Theater and the thoroughfare's early 20th century streetscape. Meet at Give Me Some Sugah bakery at 1pm. Visit the tour's Facebook page for more information.

Battle of the Bard @ Francis W. Parker School

Chicago Youth Shakespeare holds its annual Battle of the Bard Team Shakespeare Competition. Teams from public and private high schools throughout the Chicago area, including Francis W. Parker's own Shakespeare team, will compete in a "slam-style Shakespeare competition with the goal of promoting student achievement and building community across demographic boundaries through Shakespeare performance, friendly competition and team spirit." The event will be judged by a panel of professional Shakespeare actors, directors and teachers. Free.

Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo

C2E2 returns to McCormick Place, 2301 S. Lake Shore Dr., this weekend, April 25-27.Meet Hulk Hogan, Gene Ha, Brian Posehn, Scott Adsit, Ernie Hudson and Stan Lee (check the guest list for details), attend sessions and walk the floor. The show's open from 10am to 7pm today; tickets are $25 in advance, #35 at the door; $5 for kids 12 and under. Three-day passes are $60 preshow, $70 at the door.

Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo

C2E2 returns to McCormick Place, 2301 S. Lake Shore Dr., this weekend, April 25-27.Meet Hulk Hogan, Gene Ha, Brian Posehn, Scott Adsit, Ernie Hudson and Stan Lee (check the guest list for details), attend sessions and walk the floor. The show's open from 11am to 7pm today; tickets are $25 in advance, #35 at the door; $5 for kids 12 and under. Three-day passes are $60 preshow, $70 at the door.

"Whiskies of the World" Dinner @ Schubas

Starting at 6:00 p.m., the multi-course dinner at Schubas' Harmony Grill features pairings of different whiskies or scotch, such as Bushmills Irish Whiskey, Crown Royal Canadian Whiskey, and Bulleit. Diageo Master of Whisky Kyle McHugh will host and bartend. Tickets are $60.

Not Another Beer Dinner @ The Dawson

Tonight from 6:00p.m.-9:00p.m., The Dawson (730 W Grand) hosts a beer dinner featuring Brooklyn's Evil Twin Brewery. Five food stations (including a cheese table, carving station, and raw bar) designed to be paired with one of six of their brews is setup on the restaurant's second floor. Evil Twin brewer Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergso is also on hand to chat. Tickets are $60 per person (tax and gratuity included).

Easter Egg Hunt @ Longman & Eagle

The 4th Annual Easter Egg Hunt starts today at 11 a.m. at Longman & Eagle (2657 N Kedzie), which is also hosting the festivity's food and music. There is a $5 donation for each team of two, which will benefit the Logan Square Boys & Girls Club. Egg hunters will receive gift baskets stuffed with goods from Fleur, Lula Cafe, Provenance, Wolfbait & B-Girls, and more.

Steven Szegedi Collage Exhibition @ Harold Washington Library

Long time artist, Steven Szegedi, AKA Vaucanson's Workshop is introducing his work to a wider audience with his exhibition, Sergeant Vaucanson's Raree-Show, at the Harold Washington Library, 400 S State Street (eighth floor), from today until May 30th. Steven has a studio at the Bridgeport Art Center as well and will be having open studios in the near future.

Favorite Poem Project @ Poetry Foundation

The Favorite Poem Project comes to Chicago for an event at the Poetry Foundation, 61 W. Superior St., tonight from 7 to 9pm. Find out the favorite poems of Mayor Emanuel and five other Chicagoans as part of the video initiative. The evening is hosted by former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky and the Poetry Foundation President Robert Polito. RSVP to Ashley Sheehan at 312-799-8026 or in person at the Poetry Foundation. Read our preview in Book Club.

In Solidarity: How we win the battle for Labor's future @ Jaks Tap

Haymarket Books and Jacobin Magazine present an evening with Labor Notes founder Kim Moody to discuss his latest book, In Solidarity, and explore methods for revitalizing the present state of the US labor movement. The presentation will be followed by a conversation with Micah Uetricht, assistant editor at Jacobin Magazine and author of Strike for America. This event runs from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Jaks Tap Restaurant Bar (901 W. Jackson). See Facebook event for full details.

Night in the Stacks with Chicago Public Library Foundation

We've all wondered what happens in the library after hours. Do the books come to life and suck you in for wild adventures? Do the ghosts of self-help books past roam the corridors? Or maybe, you can dance and laugh and be merry with the CPLF Junior Board! Night in the Stacks is a fundraiser that promises just such merriment, from 7 to 11pm. We promise you won't even get shushed! UPDATE: Sold out.

2014 Shamrock Shuffle

Let's face it, this winter was the worst, and the cold remains this early into the spring. Show Mother Nature who's boss and head out to watch the 2014 Shamrock Shuffle. It's the world's largest timed 8K race and the unofficial kickoff to the Chicago running season. Afterwards, head over to the Post-Race Party at Grant Park's Buckingham Fountain and carb up with a beer or two. Or three.

Harts for Arts @ LVL3

LVL3 art gallery in Wicker Park, 1542 N. Milwaukee Ave, will be presenting their 5th annual art auction and benefit raffle today for the non profit Arts of Life. The event runs from 6pm-10pm; bidding ends at 9:30. All of the presented artwork start at $30, raffle tickets are 1 for $3 or 2 for $5.

Chi-Fi Geek Convention

The first-ever Chi-Fi geek convention runs from 3pm to 3am today at the Palmer House Hilton, 17 E. Monroe St. The programming celebrates geekdoms of all sorts, from ren faire to gaming to cosplay and beyond. Special guests include "Babylon 5" star Jason Carter, the Great Luke Ski, Fangirl Sarah, Skepchick and more, plus vendors and artists and numerous room parties Registration is $20 in advance or at the door; children under 12 are free.

Women's History Month @ Chicago Public Library

The Chicago Public Library is hosting a Women's History Month art exhibition presenting sisters, Jessie Winslow and Rachel Winslow. Jessie will be giving an artist talk today at 2pm at the Lincoln Park branch, 1150 W Fullerton Ave. Event is free and open to the public.

RAW Chi Town @ Bottom Lounge

The local "chapter" of RAW:natural born artists helps kickstart spring at Bottom Lounge this Thursday with RAW Chi Town Presents: MOSAIC. The celebration will feature over 40 local artists, as well as a film screening, musical performance, fashion show, art gallery, performance art and a featured hairstylist and makeup artist.

Hosted by Victoria Messina, with music by Deejay Saccs. Event is 18+. Cocktail attire encouraged. $15 pre-sale, $20 at the door. You can get tickets here.

Visting Artist: Jennifer Doyle @ SAIC

The Art Institute of Chicago has invited Jennifer Doyle, Professor of English and Co-Chair of the LGBIT Studies Minor at University of California to speak about her newest book, "Hold It Against Me: Difficulty and Emotion in Contemporary Art". The event is this evening at 6pm located at 280 S. Columbus Drive at the SAIC Columbus Auditorium. For more information call 312-899-5185 or email events@saic.edu

2nd Story Fundraiser @ Revolution Brewing

2nd Story holds their annual fundraiser at Revolution Brewing on Sunday, March 23 from 6pm-8pm. Game On: Stories of Turning It Up will feature seasoned storytellers Bobby Biedrzycki and Margaret Marion sharing tales of triumph and destruction. Tickets are $40, and include 2 hours of unlimited tasting of Revolution's signature food and brews. This event is 21+. Buy tickets here.

"M"... is for Murder @ The Peanut Gallery

Artist, Corinne Halbert, will have a solo exhibition at the Peanut Gallery tonight from 5-9pm. The exhibition "M"...is for Murder features a maniacal mouse named "Mikee" and his beloved "Minee". The event, located at, 1000 N. California Ave, is free and open to the public.

Bike Day @ Comfort Station

Celebrate the start of bike season today with The Post Family as they celebrate their first month in Comfort Station (2579 N Milwaukee Ave.) Join them today from 2:00 to 6:00 for a for some bike-maintenance tips from a variety of bike-centric businesses.

Spring Artisan Trunk Show

It's Spring! So shake off your winter blues and head to Blue Buddha Boutique (1127 W Granville Avenue) today from 11am to 6pm to shop for pretty things. You'll be able to find everything from art, to jewelery, to messenger bags, to candles, soaps, and more. All items are made by local artists and makers.

Live Music Performance @ Roman Susan Gallery

Tonight the Roman Susan Gallery, located at 1224 W Loyola Avenue, will be featuring the musician and performer Steven Snowden. His performances include the vibraphone and electronic sounds sampled from 1970s pay phones around the US. The event is free and open to the public; doors open at 7:30pm, performance begins at 8pm.

Breakfast with John Kass

Want to meet Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass? Now you can at Butterfield's Pancake House, 1504 N. Naper Blvd in Naperville. Tickets: $18. Visit here for more info.

St. Patricks Day Scavenger Hunt @ Lomography Chicago

Calling all film photographers! Today at 12pm the Lomography Embassy Chicago store located at 1422 N. Milwaukee Ave will be hosting a scavenger hunt which includes a 3 hour shooting excursion. 21+ for bar hopping. Prepay $20/ Day of registration $25

I Heart Core! @ Matilda's

Interested in live music, dancing and visual art? The Core Project is an arts company which focuses on the art of storytelling. The event is tonight from 7:30 to 10:30, at 3101 N Sheffield Ave. Light snacks and drinks are provided. Prepay for $8 or pay $10 at the door tonight!

Post Family Party @ Comfort Station

The Post Family will be moving into their new home at Comfort Station (2579 N Milwaukee Ave.) this month and are kicking off a month of events for "Family Friends" and new friends alike. Join them today from 2:30 to 6:30 for a public collage and doodle party with tasty comfort food provided by Plenty Grocery and Deli. The event is free, and open to adults and children.

Maker's Day: Watch. Make. Take. @ Blue Buddha Boutique

To honor National Craft Month, the Chicago Craft Mafia and Blue Buddha Boutique are teaming up to create a day of sessions where you can watch things being made, make things with your own hands and take those items home with you. There will be a lock-picking class, card-making, lampwork glass making, a photo booth, a 3D printer demonstration, and a demo on making your own bath salts. The event is free and open to adults and children. Donations are encouraged to offset materials costs for some of the demos. Demos will rotate through the day today from 11am to 6pm at Blue Buddha Boutique (1127 W. Granville).

First Friday @ Flat Iron Building

Join the party at the historic Flat Iron Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave, for tons of open artist studios and living spaces. The event takes place tonight from 6pm until 10pm. There is a suggested donation of $5.

Opening Reception @ Jackson Junge Gallery

Entitled, A Symphony of Realism and Abstraction, the Jackson Junge Gallery has a free exhibition running from March 7-April 27th. Located at 1389 N Milwaukee Ave, from 6-10pm. General gallery hours are 11-8 and Sundays 12-5.

Louder Than A Bomb: Annual Mixtape Release Party @ Schubas

Louder Than A Bomb is the largest youth poetry festival in the world. Throughout the year, the Young Chicago Authors lead workshops and poetry slams all over Chicago. They are having their annual mixtape release party tonight at Schubas, 3159 North Southport Avenue, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 and all ages are welcome.

Stand Up Throw Down @ Township

Stand-Up Throw Down is a team of six Chicago stand-up comedians aiming to push stand-up to the front of the comedy scene. They will have a performance tonight at Township, 2200 North California Avenue. The doors open at 7 p.m. and tickets run for $5.

Chicago Polar Plunge @ North Avenue Beach

The 14th annual Chicago Polar Plunge will take place today at 10 a.m. at North Avenue Beach. The money raised by participants supports the Chicago Special Olympics, but non-participants can still support those participating in the excitement as thousands plunge into Lake Michigan. This year, Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon has accepted Mayor Rahm Emanuel's challenge to participate in the plunge.

Chicago Jazz Philharmonic Mardi Gras Carnival: A Salute to New Orleans

Mardi Gras is arriving to Chicago a day early due to Orbert Davis' Chicago Jazz Philharmonic concert tonight at 8 p.m.. Davis and the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic will present a Mardi Gras Carnival tonight at the Governors State University Center for Performing Arts, 1 University Parkway. Tickets are $35. A New Orleans Style buffet is also available before the performance for $25.

Oak & Iron @Jerry's- Wicker Park

Jerry's- Wicker Park (1938 W. Division) hosts Oak & Iron III tonight, which features myth, music, and barrel-aged beer (from Perennial, Haymarket, Revolution, Virtue, and more). Action kicks off at 6:00 p.m. with Dýrbjörn Grimsbørg "spinning an array of fantasy-inspired prog, dungeon synth, and assorted metals, while regaling you with tales from forgotten sword-wielding cinema on our ten-foot screen." Live music follows at 10:30 p.m. No cover; pay as you go.


Bell's Brewery Beer Event @ Plum Market

This event aims to salute a pioneer craft brewery, Bell's Brewery from southwest Michigan. Hosted by the WineBar at Plum Market, 1233 North Wells Street, festivities begin tonight at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are available for $10 for guests 21+. The event will provide a survey of the brewery's popular ales, lagers and seasonal offerings. The extremely limited Hopslam will also be on tap.

Social Media Club Chicago: Fashion Meets Social Media @ Grind

Join the Social Media Club Chicago as they discuss how designers use social media to promote their apparel and generate an income tonight at 5:30 p.m. at Grind, 2 North LaSalle Boulevard. Tickets are $10 in advance and $20 at the door. The price includes beer, wine, sandwiches and snacks.

International Kennel Club of Chicago Dog Show

The International Kennel Club of Chicago's annual dog show is at McCormick Place, 2301 S. Lake Shore Dr., Saturday and today from 8am to 4pm. Watch the dogs compete, meet the breeders and check out the vendors of various dog supplies. Admission is $20 for adults, $15 for seniors, free for kids 12 and under. Discounts for two-day passes.

International Kennel Club of Chicago Dog Show

The International Kennel Club of Chicago's annual dog show is at McCormick Place, 2301 S. Lake Shore Dr., today and Sunday from 8am to 4pm. Watch the dogs compete, meet the breeders and check out the vendors of various dog supplies. Admission is $20 for adults, $15 for seniors, free for kids 12 and under. Discounts for two-day passes.

Luis Gutierrez talk @ Harold Washington Library

The congressman will discuss his latest memoir--Still Dreaming: My Journey from the Barrioto Capitol Hill. 6pm at Cindy Pritzker Auditorium. Free.

Youth Perspectives Summit @ Field Museum

Little Village Environmental Justice Organization is teaming up with Chicago schools, environmental sustainability organizations and professionals from the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields to create an interactive, educational space for young people to collaborate and discuss solutions for environmental and climate justice. This summit runs from 9:30am to 12pm in Ward Lecture Hall at the Field Museum (1400 S. Lake Shore Dr.). Registration required. Event details here.

Dimo's/Greenbush -- Beer & Pizza: A Love Worth Celebrating

Dimo's in Bucktown and Greenbush pair up for this all-you-can eat beer and pizza Anti-Valentine's Day ticketed event. On the menu: regret and vindication.

Chicago Auto Show

My god, it's full of cars: the Chicago Auto Show opens Saturday at the McCormick Place, and runs through Feb. 17. See practically every car currently on the market, as well as plenty that aren't. Tickets are $12 for adults, $6 for kids 7-12 and seniors 62 or older, and free for kids under 7. The show is open from 10am to 10pm.

Chicago Motorcycle Show

The Chicago Motorcycle Show is at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N. River Rd. in Rosemont, Jan. 7-9. See new and vintage bikes of all makes, meet championship racers and more. Tickets are $17 or $25 for a two-day pass, $35 for a three-day pass. The show is open from 10am to 5pm today.

Chicago Auto Show

My god, it's full of cars: the Chicago Auto Show opens today at the McCormick Place, and runs through Feb. 17. See practically every car currently on the market, as well as plenty that aren't. Tickets are $12 for adults, $6 for kids 7-12 and seniors 62 or older, and free for kids under 7. The show is open from 10am to 10pm.

Chicago Motorcycle Show

The Chicago Motorcycle Show is at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N. River Rd. in Rosemont, Jan. 7-9. See new and vintage bikes of all makes, meet championship racers and more. Tickets are $17 or $25 for a two-day pass, $35 for a three-day pass. The show is open from 9am to 8pm today.

Chicago Auto Show First Look for Charity

The Chicago Auto Show opens Saturday at the McCormick Place, and runs through Feb. 17, but you can get in early tonight during the First Look for Charity: from 7 to 11pm, check out the cars while enjoying wine, hors d'oeuvres and live music. Black tie required. Tickets are $250. Proceeds benefit Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago, JDRF and the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago and other local nonprofits.

Chicago Motorcycle Show

The Chicago Motorcycle Show is at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N. River Rd. in Rosemont, Jan. 7-9. See new and vintage bikes of all makes, meet championship racers and more. Tickets are $17 or $25 for a two-day pass, $35 for a three-day pass. The show is open from 1pm to 9pm today.

China Town Lunar New Year Parade

Marching bands, lions, dragons and more. Celebrate the Year of the Horse at China Town's official Lunar New Year parade from 1pm to 3pm. More information here. Free.

Chinese New Year Celebration @ Daley Center

Kickoff celebration for Chinese New Year, featuring food, dance and more. Happening at the Daley Center, 50 W. Washington. Beginning at 12 pm.

Affordable Care Act information session @ Bezazian Library

Representatives from Heartland Health Outreach on hand to answer questions about the Act. Beginning at 10:30am at Bezazian: 1226 W. Ainslie Street

Mercy Home Poker Night @ Gibson's Steakhouse

Playing cards, eating steak and knocking back some drinks sounds like a great night out with the crew. Now imagine doing all of this for a worthy cause! Mercy Home, which provides lifesaving services to young boys and girls, will its first ever Poker Night at Gibson's Bar and Steakhouse with a $200 buy-in, or just toss in $100 to come by and watch. Prizes will be awarded, as well as your chance to win a seat at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas!

Social Media Panel @ Next Door Chicago

Social media pros will be on hand to talk about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the next big thing at Next Door Chicago, 659 W. Diversey at 6:30 pm. Learn about online marketing and creating your own brand. Hosted by Chris Brohead, founder of SuitSocialMedia.com. RSVP here. Free.

It Might Get Dark @ Fountainhead

Fountainhead (1970 W. Montrose Ave) celebrates the dark side of beer starting at 4:00 p.m. today. They'll have a cask of Revolution Eugene Porter with Dark Matter Coffee Beans, a bottle list of their own cellared and barrel-aged dark beers, as well as a selection of dark draft beers on hand. Prices for draft beers range from $6-$12. No cover.

Game Day @ Co-Prosperity Sphere

The Co-Prosperity Sphere, 3219 S. Morgan St., hosts a game day today from 11am till late. Play RPG and story games, and meet local game designers. Admission is $5.

Donut Fest

Donuts are the new cupcake, or so Becca Skoch and Alyssa Erickson want you to think. The first (and hopefully not last) Donut Fest will take place today at The Chop Shop's 1st Ward (2033 W. North Avenue) from 8am to 9am for VIP ticket holders and 9am to 1pm for everyone else. Tickets are $45 for VIP and $30 for general admission (with a Paypal surchage tacked on). There are 15 donut makers (expect a quarter donut from each maker) and coffee. This is a fundraiser for Un86'd, a nonprofit that provides monetary aid to restaurant professionals in need.

Junk Food & Wine Pairing @ Volo

Volo Restaurant & Wine Bar (2008 W Roscoe) is pairing a selection of eight wines with housemade junk food today from 3 p.m.-5 p.m. Last year's menu included chocolate truffles and moon pies. Tickets are $30 in advance.

The Lakeview Polar Bear Club Polar Bear Plunge

At exactly noon today, dozens of brave and hearty souls will strip to their bathing suits and dive into the frigid waters of Lake Michigan. In addition to being fun it is a fundraising effort for two are families with ill children need expensive treatment. Each swimmer has to pay at least $30 ($40 the day of the event) to participate (and sign a legal waiver), but if you raise more you can receive a t-shirt, drinks at the afterparty at Fatpour Tap Works, and if you raise the most, you can lead the charge. Arrive by 11am if you want to swim, and celebrate shrinkage at noon.

A Fetching Affair

Chicago Blackhawks left winger Bryan Bickell and his wife Amanda will host a benefit to raise funds for their foundation (the Bryan & Amanda Bickell Foundation) and its programs for pit bulls and abused children. The event takes place on January 24 from 7pm to 10pm at Paris Club for A Fetching Affair. Grab a drink tended by a Chicago Blackhawks player, snack on hors d'oeuvres and bid on one-of a-kind auction items that will go towards a great cause.

The Dinner Party @ City Winery

The Dinner Party returns to City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph St., tonight with guests Chef Joho of Everest, Sun Times film critic Richard Roeper, Tributosaurus lead singer and Wire club owner Chris Nevile, and rapper DESSA. Members of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra open the show, and Chef Joho will cook roasted sturgeon with speck and escargot risotto for both the guests and audience. Tickets are $40 and include food. Doors open at 6:30pm, show's at 7pm.

Martin Luther King Day Celebration @ DuSable Museum

The DuSable Museum, 740 E. 56th Pl., hosts a Martin Luther King Day celebration today from 10am to 6pm. The theme for this year's celebration is "Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community," after the title of Dr. King's final manuscript. Among the festivities will be readings, a spoken word battle, live media shows and a reenactment. Admission is $10.

Black Creativity Family Day @ Museum of Science and Industry

The Museum of Science and Industry (5700 S. Lake Shore Dr.) commemorates Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day with Black Creativity Family Day. The annual celebration explores the legacy, contributions and achievements made by African Americans while engaging children with science and technology. This year's programming focuses on inspiring today's youth to become innovators of tomorrow. The event runs from 10am to 2pm today and is free with museum entry (Museum admission is free for Illinois residents today).

Chicago Winter Bike Swap

Got a bike to sell? Need a bike? Then it may be worth your time to drive to Harper College (1200 W. Algonquin) in Palatine for the 7th annual Chicago Winter Bike Swap. No matter the type of bike you may be interested in, or even if you're just interested in parts or any biking-related item, you're likely to find at this event. Admission is $5 but children under 12 are free, as is parking. For your car. The event is open from 9:30am to 3:30pm.

Chicago Writers Conference Presents Query Letter 101 @ Lillstreet Loft

The Chicago Writers Conferences presents the next installment of its Writers Night Out series tonight from 6:30-9pm. Query Letter 101 will be held at Lillstreet Loft, 4437 N. Ravenswood Ave. Literary Agent Joanna MacKenzie of Browne & Miller Literary Associates will host a discussion and Q&A moderated by CWC Founder and Executive Director Mare Swallow. Registration is required.

Write Club Chicago--Chapter 55: Gender Studies

If you feel like live lit events just aren't competitive enough, then this is the bare knuckled literature event for you. Write Club Chicago is six readers who each have 7 minutes to share their opposing ideas, and the audience votes for a winner. The winner gets to chose the nonprofit organization where a portion of the evenings proceeds will be donated. Normally it is only two readers, but tonight you'll get to see three men face off against three women. Arrive at SPACE (1245 Chicago Avenue in Evanston, near the Dempster stop on the Purple line) at 7:00pm (doors open at 6:30pm). Tickets are $10 each for general admission seating.

Cake & Whiskey Club @ The Den Theatre

Cake & Whiskey Club hosts their December event, "Whiskey, Frankincake, & Myrrh", tonight at The Den Theatre (1333 N Milwaukee) from 8 pm- 12 am. Signature cocktails and a featured whiskey (Fireball, a cinnamon red hot whiskey) will be served along side MaddieBird's favorite chocolate cake with chai spice buttercream frosting. The attire is either Dasher or Vixen. Tickets are $18-$30. A portion of the proceeds will benefit La Casa Norte.

Adler After Dark: Season of Wonder

The Adler Planetarium, 1300 S. Lake Shore Dr., hosts Adler After Dark tonight from 6 to 10pm. The theme this month is "Season of Wonder," with Chicago Cultural Alliance partners showcasing their cultural holiday traditions and craft work in a holiday marketplace, as well as an ugly holiday sweater contest, in addition to the usual live music and drinks. Tickets are $15 in advance ($10 for members), $20 at the door ($15 for members). Tours of the Doane Observatory are an extra $5.

The Second City That Never Sleeps

They say laughter is the best medicine, but laughter also can be great for raising money for a great cause during the holiday season. The 24-hour marathon of laughs for all ages begins at 6pm in the Second City's E.T.C. stage and will feature Portlandia star Fred Armisen, Internet cat sensation Lil Bub and musicians Bob Mould, Bonnie Prince Billy, Sally Timms and Chicago's J.C. Brooks & The Uptown Sound. There's also word of a Veruca Salt reunion, its first in 15 years. Tickets are $20 and are available at the theater (1608 North Wells Street).

Handmade Market

Got a list? Checking it twice? Then get over to Handmade Market today from Noon to 4pm at Empty Bottle (1035 N. Western Ave.). There are more than 30 vendors selling local, handmade goods. You'll find cards, jewelry, candles, accessories, children's items, and so much more. And you'll even get to drink a tasty bloody mary while supporting the local economy and checking things off your list.

Chicago Art-Girls Holiday Pop-Up Shop

Do you have one or more someones on your holiday shopping list who are really hard to shop for because they love truly unique items? Then there is a very good chance that at least one of the 40ish vendors at the Chicago Art-Girls Holiday Pop-Up Shop will have that perfect something. You can see them today from 11am to 6pm at Pulaski Park (1419 W. Blackhawk St.). Admission is free.

Holiday Trunk Show at Blue Buddha Boutique

If you get overwhelmed at large craft shows, then you'll love the Holiday Trunk Show today from 11am to 6pm at Blue Buddha Boutique (1127 W. Granville Ave.). Browse the work of a dozen carefully-selected vendors and finish at least some of that remaining holiday shopping, or find the perfect thing for yourself. Admission is free.

Red Hot Christmas Charity Pub Crawl

A pub crawl always is a fun time for anyone involved. But how about a pub crawl that benefits kids at Advocate Children's Hospital this Christmas season? That's right, grabbing a few drinks along Chicago Avenue, with stops at Cleo's (6:30pm), High Dive (8pm) and Roots Pizza (9:30pm) for a mere $15 online at redhotchristmas.com ($20 at the door) certainly will go a long way. Come on out, grab a drink or two, a little nosh, and don your free Santa hat and spread a little cheer along the way.

Chicago Elite Classic @ UIC Pavilion

Seven basketball games, each featuring a Chicago area high school team, will be on display at the UIC Pavilion in the 2013 rendition of the Chicago Elite Classic. 17 top prospects in the next three recruiting classes will be featured, including Chicago's own seniors Jahlil Okafor and Cliff Alexander in this one-day event. General admission tickets starting at $22 (per session) are available through the UIC ticket office, or online via Ticketmaster. The early session tips at 10:30am, while the afternoon/evening session gets underway at 6pm. Tickets to each are sold separately.

Whiskey Pairing @ The Drawing Room

The Drawing Room (937 N Rush St) hosts a whiskey tasting tonight at 7:00 to celebrate the 80th anniversary of Repeal Day. Four small batch whiskeys from Compass Box are accompanied by four small plates prepared by Tommy Sheean. The cost is $45 per person; reservations required by phone at (312) 266-2694.

Ditka Dash 5K Run

Git yer mouth shut, stretch out your hammies and head over to Soldier Field for the Ditka Dash 5K. Thousands of runners and walkers will receive a mustache, aviator glasses and a shirt that would make Da Coach proud (chewing gum not included). Afterwards, stick around for the post-race "Mustache Bash," which will include live music, cold beer and so many Ditkas you'd think you were in a Saturday Night Live sketch. Entry is $45, with a start time of 9am.

Juicy J @ UIC Pavilion

It may be hard out here for a pimp, and, more recently according to Lily Allen, a bitch, but things seem to be going pretty nicely for Juicy J, one of the original cofounders of Three 6 Mafia. Riding the wave of his career resurgence at age 38, Oscar-winner Juicy J plays at UIC Pavilion, 525 S. Racine Ave, tonight. Expect lewd and irresistible anthems like party banger "Bandz A Make Her Dance" and maybe even a few Three 6 Mafia throwbacks. Here's to hoping the encore is "Stay Fly." Machine Gun Kelly and Saguto are also on the bill. Tickets begin at $29, and the show starts at 8 p.m.

Chance the Rapper @ Riviera Theatre

Chicago's favorite chain-smoking, name-dropping, Frank-Ocean-listenin' MC plays the Riviera Theatre, 4746 N. Racine, on Thanksgiving eve. After Chance's Acid Rap made waves in hip hop this summer, expect nothing less than complete chaos at this hometown show. With DJ Rashad and Spin also on the bill, tickets are $21 in advance and $23 at the door. The show begins at 7:30pm and is all ages. Doors open at 6:30pm. Preview in Transmission.

Show of Hands @ Ravenswood Event Center

Presented by local design company OrangeBeautiful, the Show of Hands craft fair brings together designers, illustrators, jewelry-makers, and several other craftspeople at the Ravenswood Event Center Showroom (4043 N Ravenswood) from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday.

"Vanishing Neighborhoods" Film Shorts @ Comfort Station

This evening Preservation Chicago, the Chicago Film Archives and Kartemquin Films are screening three short 16mm films documenting Chicago's demolition and change in 1960s and 1970s at Comfort Station, 2579 N. Milwaukee Ave. For additional details about the films and the event, check out the event's Facebook page.

Logan Square Chef's Dinner @ Lula Cafe

Tonight at 6pm, Logan Square restaurants (including Fat Rice, Telegraph, and Longman and Eagle among others) team up for the second annual Logan Square Chef's Dinner to benefit Comfort Station gallery. The six-course meal includes wine, cocktails, and hors d'oeuvres. Hosted by Lula Cafe, 2537 N. Kedzie Blvd. Tickets are $175.

Chicago's Perfect 10 -- 10 Mile & 10K Run

Just because the marathon is long gone doesn't mean you can't start training for next year's 26.2 jaunt. You can do so with either a 10-mile or 10K run that starts and finishes on Navy Pier in Chicago's Perfect 10. It's the perfect excuse to get into shape before the holidays while raising money for your favorite charity.

Lincoln Square Wine Stroll

Today is Lincoln Square's annual fall Wine Stroll, when 12-14 businesses along each of the four select routes serve a selection of wines and small bites. Tickets start at $40. Stroll from 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.; exact locations along Lincoln Ave. or Ravenswood Ave. very by route.

Entrepreneurs Pitch to Shark Tank Star @ Park West

Entrepreneur and investor Daymond John, one of the sharks on ABC's Shark Tank, will lead the judging panel at the Miller Lite Tap the Future business plan competition tonight at Park West, 322 W. Armitage. Hundreds of would-be entrepreneurs entered the competition and 25 semifinalists will pitch at five events nationwide for a chance to win cash prizes of $20,000. Five semifinalists, including two from the Chicago area, will pitch their businesses to the Daymond John panel. The event is free and open to the public; an RSVP is required. Doors open at 6:30pm. You must be 21 or older to attend and show a photo ID at the door.

Woodford Reserve Flavor Dinner Series @ Hub 51

"Small batch" bourbon enthusiasts unite! Hub 51 plays host to this month's Woodford Reserve Dinner Series, which offers up a chef and mixologist to tell the story of Woodford's sources of flavor in the most unique and exclusive settings. General admission is $50 for the two-hour event.

The CakeEasy @ Homegrown Cafe

Dust off your favorite Prohibition-era casual outfit for the inaugural Cake & Whiskey Club event tonight. The CakeEasy kicks off at 8 p.m. at Homegrown Cafe (4343 N. Lincoln Ave). Enjoy 2-3 cocktails per person, lots of cake, and music. Tickets are $28 and include tax and tip. No tickets will be sold at the door.

Gapers Block Microbrewery Crawl

The Gapers Block Microbrewery Crawl is back, taking you inside four of the city's microbreweries for a tour and a taste. This time we begin at Lake Effect Brewing, 4727 W. Montrose Ave., and continue on to Finch's Beer Company, Metropolitan Brewery and DryHop Brewers, after which you're free to stick around and have dinner, keep drinking or make your way to the next pub. More details in Drive-Thru. Transportation is included between destinations; you're on your own afterward. The crawl is limited to 60 participants. Tickets are $45 in advance, or at the door if any remain. Registration opens at 11:30am, tour begins at noon. 21+

Pickle Night @ CH Distillery

Recently opened CH Distillery hosts Pickle Night tonight at 5:00 p.m. in their West Loop bar/distillery (564 W Randolph). Pickletinis, Bloody Mary shots, and pickle-themed hors d'oeuvres will be on hand as well as New York City-based pickle producer Rick's Picks and a sample of his products. Make-Your-Own-Pickletini kits (Rick's Classic Sour Pickles, CH Vodka, and pickletini recipe) will be available while supplies last for $45. Event is from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Admission is free.

Horror Movie Night @ Delish Diner & Bakery

Come celebrate Halloween at Delish Diner & Bakery (2018 W. Division St.) with a three-course prix fixe meal and showings of classic horror movies including The Shining, Carrie, Night of the Living Dead and more. Starts at 7pm. $10.

Printers Row Presents Elizabeth Gilbert @ Palmer House

Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love and Committed, will discuss her new novel, The Signature of All Things, as part of the Trib Nation Events' Printers Row series. The event takes place on Wednesday, October 30, at 7pm at the Grand/State ballroom of the Palmer House Hilton (17 E. Monroe St.). Tickets alone are $25, and a ticket plus a copy of The Signature of All Things is $53.

Horror Movie Night @ Delish Diner & Bakery

Come celebrate Halloween at Delish Diner & Bakery (2018 W. Division St.) with a three-course prix fixe meal and showings of classic horror movies including The Shining, Carrie, Night of the Living Dead and more. Starts at 7pm. $10.

Horror Movie Night @ Delish Diner & Bakery

Come celebrate Halloween at Delish Diner & Bakery (2018 W. Division St.) with a three-course prix fixe meal and showings of classic horror movies including The Shining, Carrie, Night of the Living Dead and more. Starts at 7pm. $10.

StoryCorps Tenth Anniversary and Book Release

StoryCorps founder Dave Isay will stop in Chicago to celebrate StoryCorps' tenth anniversary and promote the new book Ties That Bind: Stories of Love & Gratitude from the First Ten Years of StoryCorps on Friday, October 25 at 7pm. The event will take place at the Chicago Cultural Center's Preston Bradley Hall (78 E. Washington St).

MakeItFor.Us Open House

MakeItFor.Us holds an open house today as part of Chicago Ideas Week. Stop by 401 N. Michigan Ave. between 2 and 5pm today for a tour and to see what cool things people are making. Free, but ticket required.

Hartman Farms Rabbit Dinner @ Nightwood

Join Nightwood tonight for the four-course Hartman Farms Rabbit Dinner. Rabbits are raised on all-natural feeds on the family farm. Dinner begins at 7; tickets are $75 and include pairings.

Paul Kahan, Alain Roby and Richard Melman Inducted into 2013 Chefs Hall of Fame

Three Chicago restaurant industry leaders will be honored as inductees into the 2013 Chefs Hall of Fame by the Chicago Culinary Museum tonight: James Beard Award winner and executive chef of soon to be opened Nico, Chef Paul Kahan (2013 Chef of the Year), the brains behind All-Chocolate Kitchen in Geneva, Chef Alain Roby (2013 Pastry Chef of the Year), and Lettuce Entertain You, Richard Melman (2013 Industry Leader of the Year). This event is open to the public, and tickets are $125 each in advance or $149, if available, at the door. Tickets will include a full bar, dinner, and awards presentation.

Story Club South Side @ Co-Prosperity Sphere

Come see Story Club tonight at the Co-Prosperity Sphere (3219 S Morgan St) The theme this month is "Are We Uncomfortable Yet?" and features readings from actor and solo performer Jane deLaubenfels, Writer and Host of The Encyclopedia Show Patrick Allen Carberry and Storyteller Extraordinaire Lara Levitan. Open mic slots are also available for storytelling hopefuls. Open mic signup starts at 7:30, show beings at 8pm. Entrance is free and a suggested $5 donation is greatly appreciated


Everything Is Practice @ Fulton Street Collective

Fulton Street Collective's artist curators Kyle Fletcher and Steve Juras collaborated to bring "Everything is Practice" into being. Visit the Collective (2000 W. Fulton Street) at 7 PM this Friday (10/11) or Saturday (10/12) for the opening of the exhibit, which explores the repetitive motions and gestures that produce works of art. The exhibit features performances by the Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble.

Meet Your Maker

Meet your Maker is an opportunity for artists and arts administrators to interact and meet face-to-face bridging the divide between them. Join your colleagues from the creative sector to make a dynamic difference in the community. The event is tonight from 6 to 8pm at Fulton Street Collective, 2000 W. Fulton St. Suggested donation of $5 to cover food and refreshments; register to attend.

St. Matthias Presents: Friends of the Grape

Still ale-ing from Friends of the Craft a few nights ago at the St. Matthias school hall (4910 North Claremont Avenue)? Well, there's no better way to cure a little hangover than with a little wine at Friends of the Grape. For just $50 at the door ($45 pre-sale) you can turn a donation into fine wines, just as Jesus did with water, from local Lincoln Square restaurants, while bidding on golf packages and other quality items in their silent auction.

St. Matthias Presents: Friends of the Craft

Microbrews are all the rage these days, especially in our fair city. And if there's anything more certain than death and taxes, it's beer and God. Well, at least at St. Matthias school hall at 4910 North Claremont Avenue this particular evening. Come join Friends of the Craft, and for just $35 you can enjoy samplings from Half Acre, Begyle, Lake Effect to name a few. You'll thank the good Lord you did.

Pilot Light Back to School Block Party @ Publican Quality Meats

Pilot Light, a non-profit organization, pairs chefs with Chicago Public Schools to teach and encourage kids how to develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle. The organization hosts its first fundraiser today at Publican Quality Meats (825 W Fulton Market). Chefs cooking include Jason Hammel of Lula Café, Sarah Mispagel of Nightwood, and Paula Haney and Allison Stout of Hoosier Mama Pie Company, among several others. Event begins at 6:00 p.m. Tickets are $175.

A (Mostly) Veggie Affair Fundraiser

Green City Market Junior Board hosts the fundraiser "A (Mostly) Veggie Affair: Cheat on Meat or Go Whole Beast!" with proceeds going to their LINK Card matching program. Mixologists from The Aviary, Big Star, Scofflaw, and Embeya will craft drinks while a gang of chefs including Zoe Schor (Ada Street) and Eric Mansavage (Farmhouse) prepare veggie dishes and Paul Virant (Perennial Virant) and Bill Kim (bellyQ) cook up whole animals. All this set to the tunes of local synth-pop band Hey Champ. The event starts at 7 p.m. at The 1st Ward (2033 W North Ave). Tickets are $45.

October Drink & Draw Surrealist Games @ Spudnik Press

There are no teachers and no pretensions at this bi-monthly get together devoted to drawing practices and having a good time. This month's design theme is surrealist games. Theme beverage is Oktoberfest beer. Bring your sketchbook, drawing utensils, and friends. Surrealist games an will be provided. Drink & Draw goes from 7 to 9:30pm at The Annex at Spudnik Press, 1821 W. Hubbard St., Suite 303. $5 suggested donation.

Government Shutdown Rally

Join Organizing For Action volunteers and concerned community members at the Chicago Social Security Admin Office (77 W Jackson Blvd #3) for a government shutdown grassroots action event from 1-2pm today.

An Evening for Freedom @ Crimson Lounge

Heartland Alliance's Northern Tier Anti-Trafficking Consortium(NTAC) is hosting An Evening for Freedom to benefit survivors of human trafficking. The event will take place at Crimson Lounge, inside Hotel Sax, located at 333 N Dearborn from 6pm to 9pm. Come enjoy hors d'oeuvres, beer and wine, a unique silent auction, and live jazz entertainment. NTAC will also be honoring Google Inc. with the 2013 Bridge to Freedom Award at tonight's event. Tickets are $35 in advance, $45 at the door. Student tickets available for $20 (student ID required at the door).

Vintage Illinois Wine Tasting @ Matthiessen State Park in Utica

Ever wonder if the wines produced in Illinois are any good? Vintage Illinois is your chance to find out! Over 25 wineries across the state will be pouring their finest wines in picturesque Matthiessen State Park. There'll also be entertainment and food vendors at the festival, and guests can bring their own food. Pets are welcome. The festival runs from 11-6 on Saturday and 12-5 on Sunday. Tickets are $20 for wine tasters and $5 for designated drivers. Tickets available here.

EXPO CHICAGO @ Navy Pier

The second annual EXPO CHICAGO, the International Exposition of Contemporary and Modern Art, opens for the fall art season at Navy Pier's Festival Hall (600 E. Grand Avenue). This three day convention features a broad spectrum of modern and contemporary artwork from over 125 top international galleries. Studio Gang Architects' Jeanne Gang designed this year's clever floor plan, patterned after Chicago's gridded streets and lined with gallery exhibitions. The 2013 redesign also includes EXPO VIDEO, featuring modern and contemporary video artwork. 11am - 6pm. One day pass is $20.

Vintage Illinois Wine Tasting @ Matthiessen State Park in Utica

Ever wonder if the wines produced in Illinois are any good? Vintage Illinois is your chance to find out! Over 25 wineries across the state will be pouring their finest wines in picturesque Matthiessen State Park. There'll also be entertainment and food vendors at the festival, and guests can bring their own food. Pets are welcome. The festival runs from 11-6 on Saturday and 12-5 on Sunday. Tickets are $20 for wine tasters and $5 for designated drivers. Tickets available here.

EXPO CHICAGO @ Navy Pier

The second annual EXPO CHICAGO, the International Exposition of Contemporary and Modern Art, opens for the fall art season at Navy Pier's Festival Hall (600 E. Grand Avenue). This three day convention features a broad spectrum of modern and contemporary artwork from over 125 top international galleries. Studio Gang Architects' Jeanne Gang designed this year's clever floor plan, patterned after Chicago's gridded streets and lined with gallery exhibitions. The 2013 redesign also includes EXPO VIDEO, featuring modern and contemporary video artwork. 11am - 7pm. One day pass is $20 and three day weekend pass is $30.

EXPO CHICAGO @ Navy Pier

The second annual EXPO CHICAGO, the International Exposition of Contemporary and Modern Art, opens for the fall art season today at Navy Pier's Festival Hall (600 E. Grand Avenue). This three day convention features a broad spectrum of modern and contemporary artwork from over 125 top international galleries. Studio Gang Architects' Jeanne Gang designed this year's clever floor plan, patterned after Chicago's gridded streets and lined with gallery exhibitions. The 2013 redesign also includes EXPO VIDEO, featuring modern and contemporary video artwork. 11am - 7pm. One day pass is $20 and three day weekend pass is $30.

TIF 101 @ The CivicLab

There's been a lot of recent talk about Tax Increment Financing (TIF) in Chicago, but how much do you really know about TIF's? Tom Tresser, co-founder of the CivicLab and organizer of the TIF Illumination Project, will break it down for you at this engaging and informative workshop. Event runs from 7-8:30pm, at The CivicLab (114 North Aberdeen Street). Tickets are $10.

Lecture on Architect Barry Byrne at Unity Temple

Vincent Michael, author of The Architecture of Barry Byrne: Taking the Prairie School to Europe, will speak at 6pm tonight at Unity Temple's Unity House, 875 Lake St. in Oak Park, on the influential Prairie School architect. Michael is executive director of the Global Heritage Fund in Palo Alto and director of the Historic Preservation program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Tonight's event, sponsored by the Society of Architectural Historians, includes a reception and exhibit of photos taken for the book by Felicity Rich, Byrne's granddaughter (and Michael's wife). Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing. Tickets are $10 for SAH members and $15 for non-members. You can pay at the door but reservations are required: email sahchicago@gmail.com.

2013 Mad Dash To Madison

Your 2013 Stanley Cup champs are getting ready to get back into shape and defend their title. Here's your chance to get back into shape and watch them do it. The 2013 Mad Dash to Madison 5K Walk/Run/; 10K Skate kicks off at 5:30pm for the 10K Skate, followed by the 5K Walk/Run at 6:30pm at the United Center, 1901 West Madison Street. Registration can be done through the team's site.

Solo in the 2nd City: Featuring Curbside Splendor Publishing @ Beauty Bar

The Solo in the 2nd City Reading Series starts on its new night, the 2nd Wednesday of the month, tonight at 8pm at Beauty Bar, 1444 W. Chicago Ave. A handful of writers, comedians, and authors tell their stories on being single, dating, and sex in Chicago. This month will feature authors from Curbside Splendor Publishing. Authors and readers include Samantha Irby, Meaty, Chris Terry, Zero Fade, Megan Stielstra, Once I Was Cool , Jacob Knabb, Senior Editor at Curbside, and James Tadd Adcox, Editor and Writer, Artifice. Some titles will be available for purchase. Hosts are Carly Oishi and Melinda McIntire. Event is free and 21+.

Cultivate @ Lincoln Park

Food and farms, music and. . . Chipotle. At the Cultivate Festival, that Mexican fast food joint aims to illustrate the relationship between the food you eat and where it comes from by bringing together big name chefs like Graham Elliot, local farms, some of who supply ingredients to Chipotle, and regional food vendors. Plus live music. See schedule of bands and chefs demonstrations here. Admission is free. Lincoln Park, South Entrance from 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Positive Babel Mural Dedication

The Old Irving Park Association will dedicate its latest mural, Positive Babel, at 11am today at the Union Pacific Railroad viaduct at Irving Park Road and Keeler Avenue. The mural, the 11th created in the community since 2003, is subtitled "The world lives, works and plays in Old Irving." The mural features 70 world landmarks that represent the home countries of residents.

OIPA president Marlena Ascher will emcee the event. Speakers will include Tony Sparrow, the lead artist, and public officials such as Congressman Mike Quigley, State Rep. Jaime Andrade Jr., and Aldermen John Arena and Tim Cullerton.

Electric Sheep @ Den Theatre

Replicants meet Archandroids in this musical mash-up the 1982 science-fiction epic Bladerunner with R&B maestro Janelle Monae's 2010 album, which runs Aug 29-31 at The Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. Bar opens at 10pm, show begins at 10:30. Tickets are $15 and available online.

Delilah's 20th Anniversary Party

Delilah's celebrates its 20th anniversary this evening starting at 4:00pm. Among the events scheduled: an art opening featuring local artists; a tasting of their 20th anniversary whiskey; DJ-ing by Casino El Camino from Austin, TX; and many more surprises. Delilah's: 2271 N. Lincoln Avenue. (773) 472-2771.

March on City Hall to Stop Police Crimes

To mark the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Oppression has organized a march on City Hall to stop police crimes and demand the passage of an elected Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC). Buses leave at 9:30am from Englewood, Woodlawn, Lawndale, Garfield Park, Austin, Pilsen, Little Village, Hegewisch, Humboldt Park, and Rogers Park. Demonstration begins at 11am at Federal Plaza (Dearborn & Adams). Call 312-939-2750 for information, or email contact@naarpr.org.

That's Weird, Grandma

Barrel of Monkeys is an ensemble of actors/educators who hold creative writing workshops with Chicago Public School students and perform their pupils' imaginative stories. The result is That's Weird, Grandma, their weekly show presented every Monday at the Neofuturarium in Andersonville. The show is wackily witty, fast-paced, laugh-a-minute, and truly a thrill for all ages, and has been hailed by chicagotheater.com as "part pep rally, part musical theater extravaganza - and one of the most real, uplifting and engaging theatrical experiences in town." $10 for adults, $5 for children, tickets available at the box office or on the BOM website.

Go Topless Day @ North Avenue Beach

Go Topless Day takes place annually, around the world, on the Sunday closest to Women's Equality Day (August 26). Today, Chicagoans will gather at North Avenue Beach, where women will exercise their right to go topless and men will wear bikini tops to symbolize obvious gender-based inequalities and stand up for gender equality. Festivities begin at noon. Admission in free.

WORD Chicago: Women's Equality Day Speak Out and March

Join WORD (Women Organized to Resist and Defend) Chicago at Federal Plaza (50 W. Adams St.) for a speak out and march to defend women's rights and promote women's equality. This action takes place in solidarity with the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, a historic turning point in the struggle for civil rights. Speak out begins at 5pm. March at 6pm. See Facebook event for more details.

Solo in the 2nd City: Sweatin' in Chicago @ Beauty Bar

This month's Solo in the 2nd City Reading Series features author Joe Meno, Tequila Tales host Isaac Paul, comedian Bobby Hill, and storyteller Dena Saper. The performers share stories of single, sex, and dating in our fair city. Hosts are bloggers and storytellers Carly Oishi & Melinda McIntire. Event starts at 8:00 PM at Beauty Bar, 1444 W. Chicago Avenue. The event is 21 and over and free. Donations are collected for Chicago Women's Health Center.

That's Weird, Grandma

Barrel of Monkeys is an ensemble of actors/educators who hold creative writing workshops with Chicago Public School students and perform their pupils' imaginative stories. The result is That's Weird, Grandma, their weekly show presented every Monday at 8pm at the Neofuturarium in Andersonville, 5153 N. Ashland Ave. The show is wackily witty, fast-paced, laugh-a-minute, and truly a thrill for all ages, and has been hailed by chicagotheater.com as "part pep rally, part musical theater extravaganza -- and one of the most real, uplifting and engaging theatrical experiences in town." $10 for adults, $5 for children, tickets available at the box office or on the BOM website.

Friday Night Fights @ U.S. Cellular Field

Round 3 Productions, 8 Count Productions and Warriors Boxing come together to put on ESPN Friday Night Fights, the first fight card at a Chicago ballpark in 50 years when Sonny Liston knocked out Floyd Patterson at Comiskey Park in 1962. Local light heavyweight Andrzej Fonfara takes on former world titleholder Gabriel Campillo, and heavyweights Artur Szpillka and Mike Mollo square off in a rematch. The event kicks off at the Cell at 6pm, with tickets ranging from $40 to $250.

Cook-Off For Cancer

North side first baseman Anthony Rizzo, the Chicago Cubs and some local chefs are teaming up for an event to help raise money for cancer research to support children and their families. The Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation is proud to lead off the inaugural "Cook-Off for Cancer" event, which takes place at Cafe Brauer at Lincoln Park Zoo, Wednesday, August 14, from 6:00pm to 10:00pm.

Rizzo, who was diagnosed with limited state classical Hodgkin's lymphoma in April of 2008, and his foundation will donate proceeds from Cook-Off for Cancer to Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation's Bear Hugs Program, Family Reach Foundation and Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. Some of the city's best chefs at the event include:

Giuseppe Tentori, GT Fish and Oyster
Tony Priolo, Piccolo Sogno
Nate Henssler, Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab
Cosmo Goss , Publican
Jimmy Bannos SR, The Purple Pig
Mark Sparacino, Proseco
David Burns, Wrigley Field Executive Chef

That's Weird, Grandma

Barrel of Monkeys is an ensemble of actors/educators who hold creative writing workshops with Chicago Public School students and perform their pupils' imaginative stories. The result is That's Weird, Grandma, their weekly show presented every Monday at the Neofuturarium in Andersonville. The show is wackily witty, fast-paced, laugh-a-minute, and truly a thrill for all ages, and has been hailed by chicagotheater.com as "part pep rally, part musical theater extravaganza - and one of the most real, uplifting and engaging theatrical experiences in town." $10 for adults, $5 for children, tickets available at the box office or on the BOM website.

Chicago Botanical Artists

Chicago Botanical Artists, sponsored by Chicago Academy of Sciences/Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, is open to all artists, beginners or advanced, who want to sketch together, share works in progress, and develop a supportive community of fellow artists. The group meets from 3 to 5pm today at 2430 N. Cannon Drive, to sketch native plants in and around the Nature Museum's gardens. Artists are welcome to bring their own botanic specimens for sketching. Registration is free and required. To register, call 773-755-5100 ext. 5028, or email adultprograms@naturemuseum.org

Chicago History Museum Hot Dog Fest

Get your red hot on at the Chicago History Museum's first Hot Dog Fest. The Fest will celebrate this important part of Chicago history with eight different interpretations of the classic Chicago dog, plus music, games, and booze. Hear Man Bites Dog authors Bruce Kraig and Patty Carroll expound on hot dog culture while you taste the real deal.

11 am - 3 pm at the Chicago History Museum. Hot dogs are $2 a pop, so bring your appetite.

"Chiditarod" for Kids @ Garfield Park Conservatory

The folks behind the Chitidarod grocery cart race are conducting the kid-friendly Kiditarod to raise funds and collect food for the Greater Chicago Food Depository today and Sunday at the Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N. Central Park Ave., as part of the FIGMENT Festival. Check-in starts at 1pm on Saturday and the race begins at 3pm. Admission to the event is free; however, all teams must register online to participate. Read our preview in Tailgate.

Snow City Arts Film Festival @ Adventure Stage

Snow City Arts is presenting 2013: A Film Festival, a retrospective of 15 years of productions made by children in Chicago hospitals. The screening runs from 1pm-5pm at the Adventure Stage Chicago at Vittum Theater, 1012 N. Noble St. Tickets are free, but RSVP.

ALEC Exposed in Chicago Rally

A coalition of activists will gather outside the Palmer House Hilton (17 East Monroe St.) in downtown Chicago to protest the American Legislative Executive Council's 40th anniversary conference being held inside the hotel. Rally begins at noon. See Facebook for more details.

August Drink & Draw Comics @ Spudnik Press

There are no teachers and no pretensions at this bi-monthly get together devoted to drawing practices and having a good time. This month's design theme is comics. Theme beverage is vodka BYO mixer. Bring your sketchbook, drawing utensils, and favorite mixer. Comic books and vodka will be provided. Drink & Draw goes from 7-9:30pm at The Annex at Spudnik Press (1821 W. Hubbard, Suite 303). $5 suggested donation.

Novelima @ Old Town School of Folk Music

Sound Culture, Aguzate.org, and Old Town School of Folk Music present Novelima - Afro Peruvian Electronic Fusion! Show starts at 7:30pm at Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N Lincoln Ave. Tickets are $22. 18+

"Love Young People" Book Distribution Tour

On Thursday, July 25, 2013, Acts of Love will kick off its 2nd "Love Young People" Tour distributing books and bookbags to young people in need. Beginning at 6:30pm at Hamilton Park located 513 W. 72nd St. (72nd & Stewart Ave.), Acts of Love, along with local officials, volunteers from across the city, and Englewood residents will walk the streets giving out book donations. Volunteers will give away 1,000(+) books, distribute book bags filled with new books, encourage local residents to build a reading room in their homes, and ask adults in Englewood to take the Acts of Love Pledge to love young people in their homes and on their block. Volunteers should report to Hamilton Play Park at 6:30pm and bring a bookbag or tote. For more information, visit the Acts of Love site.

That's Weird, Grandma

Barrel of Monkeys is an ensemble of actors/educators who hold creative writing workshops with Chicago Public School students and perform their pupils' imaginative stories. The result is That's Weird, Grandma, their weekly show presented every Monday at the Neofuturarium in Andersonville. The show is wackily witty, fast-paced, laugh-a-minute, and truly a thrill for all ages, and has been hailed by chicagotheater.com as "part pep rally, part musical theater extravaganza - and one of the most real, uplifting and engaging theatrical experiences in town." $10 for adults, $5 for children, tickets available at the box office or on the BOM website.

Mac Demarco, Ex-Cult @ Empty Bottle (P4K Fest Aftershow)

Empty Bottle's Pitchfork fest aftershow, hosted by Panache booking, features the cracked-'n'-slacked stylings of Toronto troubadour Mac Demarco and Memphis hardcore revivalists Ex-Cult, each of whom can be counted among the best new recruits in the game right now. Both have appeared at the Bottle earlier this year to sold-out crowds (with Ex-Cult appearing with Ty Segall, no less) and we expect an equally packed and slightly more sunburned crowd for this one. Austin punkers OBN IIIs open. Tickets $13, available here.

Disability Pride Parade

Chicago's 10th annual Disability Pride Parade, starting from Plymouth Court at 11am, is part of a movement to change the way people think about disabilities and to promote the dignity and worth of every individual, regardless of ability status. The lineup for a post-parade celebration at Daley Plaza includes the likes of dance troupe Collective Sole, Vaughn Demeanor, The Eden Band and more. Visit the Disability Pride Parade website for details. Free.

Reading & Signing with Vickie Matthews

Local author Vickie Matthews will read and sign copies of her new novel 'The Goddess Letters.' Matthews' novel is a thriller that taps on issues of past loves and feminism. Vickie Matthews is a naturopathic physician and has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show. The reading will start at 7:30 pm at Women & Children First. 5233 N. Clark Street.

Reading & Signing with Sam and Peter Stamatis

Local father and son duo Sam and Peter Stamatis will read and sign copies of their book 'Dandelions for Dinner: Greece at War and a Family's Dream of America.' Their book is a hopeful family saga spanning from the late 1800s to the Greek Civil War during the 1940s.
The reading will start at 7 p.m. at the Book Cellar. 4736-38 N. Lincoln Ave.

ACLU Volunteer Night

Join like-minded civil liberties advocates at the American Civil Liberties Union's Chicago July Volunteer Night, tonight from 5:30-8:30 pm at the ACLU of Illinois' Chicago office, 180 N. Michigan Avenue. Activities will include creating posters and signs for the upcoming Disability Pride Parade, July 20th. This event is free, with dinner provided, but RSVP required.

Free Minds Free People Conference

Free Minds Free People, a national conference organized by the Education for Liberation Network, takes place July 11-14, at Uplift Community High School, 900 W. Wilson Ave. Activities at this education justice oriented conference include workshops, panels, assemblies, radical professional development, lesson planning lounges, and site visits. Registration fees range from $75 to $315. High level contributions go towards ensuring access to all community members. If unable to pay registration fees, email Tara (tara@edliberation.org) to discuss other options. Childcare available. For details, full schedule of events, and registration, visit the Free Minds Free People website.
Schedule of Activities
9 am - Breakfast (provided by conference)
9:30 am-12:15 pm - Assemblies, Young Activists
12:15-12:45 pm - Closing Ceremonies

Free Minds Free People Conference

Free Minds Free People, a national conference organized by the Education for Liberation Network, takes place July 11-14, at Uplift Community High School, 900 W. Wilson Ave. Activities at this education justice oriented conference include workshops, panels, assemblies, radical professional development, lesson planning lounges, and site visits. Registration fees range from $75 to $315. High level contributions go towards ensuring access to all community members. If unable to pay registration fees, email Tara (tara@edliberation.org) to discuss other options. Childcare available. For details, full schedule of events, and registration, visit the Free Minds Free People website.
Schedule of Activities
8:30-9:30 am - Registration and breakfast (provided by conference)
9:30-11 am - Workshops/Panels, Assemblies, Lesson Planning Lounge, Young Activists
11:15 am-12:45 pm - Workshops/Panels , Assemblies, Lesson Planning Lounge, Young Activists
12:45-2:15 pm - Lunch
2:15-4:30 pm - Plenary Panel Town Hall, Young Activists
7:30-9 pm - Evening Activities (TBA)

Lillstreet Art Center Creative Retreat: Travel Photography

The Lillstreet Art Center will host a creative retreat at its Lillstreet Loft location at 4437 North Ravenswood Avenue. Those interested will check-in at 10am for their retreat at the front desk at Lillstreet Art Center (4401 North Ravenswood Avenue) and will be directed to the loft from there. The event lasts from 10am until 4pm, and will offer a 75-minute yoga class taught by Bloom Yoga© (all levels welcome), as well as a three-hour, hands-on art instruction.

Make some new friends while you learn all the secrets to taking professional-looking photos for your next big trip. A guided tour and photo shoot throughout Lincoln Square will allow those to learn how to observe different compositions, see familiar situations in a new perspective and how to find great light.

The cost is $115 for Lillstreet members, $120 for others, and the tab includes a healthy, catered lunch. Items to bring include a notebook and pen, digital camera (DSLR preferred, Point & Shoot okay), an extra battery and an empty or extra memory card.

*Please note that Lillstreet Loft is only accessible by stairs.

Free Minds Free People Conference

Free Minds Free People, a national conference organized by the Education for Liberation Network, takes place July 11-14, at Uplift Community High School, 900 W. Wilson Ave. Activities at this education justice oriented conference include workshops, panels, assemblies, radical professional development, lesson planning lounges, and site visits. Registration fees range from $75 to $315. High level contributions go towards ensuring access to all community members. If unable to pay registration fees, email Tara (tara@edliberation.org) to discuss other options. Childcare available. For details, full schedule of events, and registration, visit the Free Minds Free People website.
Schedule of Activities:
8:30-9:30 am - Registration and light breakfast (provided by conference)
9:30-11 am - Opening Keynote
11:15 am-12:45pm - Workshops/Panels, Young Activists, Site Visits (Uptown Tour)
12:45-2 pm - Lunch (provided by conference)
2-3:30 pm - Workshops/Panels, Critical Media Literacy for Young Activists
2-5:15 pm - Site Visits (Little Village Environmental Tour/ Logan Square Tour)
3:45-5:15 pm - Workshops/Panels, Young Activists
7:30-9 pm - Documentary Screening and Open Mic

Free Minds Free People Conference

Free Minds Free People, a national conference organized by the Education for Liberation Network, takes place July 11-14, at Uplift Community High School, 900 W. Wilson Ave. Activities at this education justice oriented conference include workshops, panels, assemblies, radical professional development, lesson planning lounge, and site visits. Registration fees range from $75 to $315. High level contributions go towards ensuring access to all community members. If unable to pay registration fees, email Tara (tara@edliberation.org) to discuss other options. Childcare available. For details, full schedule of events, and registration, visit the Free Minds Free People website.
Schedule of Activities:
1:30 - 6pm - Radical Professional Development
7:30 pm - Opening Ceremony: Honoring the 1963 Chicago School Boycott

Hot Dog Photography Exhibit

Peruse an exhibit of over 30 photographs of iconic Chicago hot dog culture while enjoying the breathtaking view at the Cliff Dwellers Club, one of Chicago's hidden cultural gems. The images are featured in a new book, Man Bites Dog: Hot Dog Culture In America by Patty Carroll and Bruce Kraig (who will also be judging the GB Hot Dog Cookoff!). Free, with a cash bar from 5:30 to 7:30pm at 200 S. Michigan Ave, 22nd floor.

Chicago Botanical Artists

Chicago Botanical Artists, sponsored by Chicago Academy of Sciences/Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, is open to all artists, beginners or advanced, who want to sketch together, share works in progress, and develop a supportive community of fellow artists. The group meets from 3-5 pm at 2430 N. Cannon Dr. to sketch native plants in and around the Nature Museum's gardens, working outdoors when weather permits, or indoors with specimens. Artists are welcome to bring their own botanic specimens for sketching. Registration is free and required. To register call (773)755-5100 ext. 5028, or email adultprograms@naturemuseum.org

Wine Tastings at Provenance Food & Wine

Provenance Food and Wine, 2312 West Leland Avenue in Lincoln Square, will host its weekly *free* wine tasting. The informal, open-house event starts at 6pm and goes until 8pm. While you're there enjoying the fruit of the vine, check out some of the shop's gourmet items, including Gary Poppins Popcorn, Smoke Daddy BBQ sauces and Salted Caramel Sweet & Savory Confections. For any questions, give them a call at 773-784-2314.

Socialism 2013 Conference

Socialism 2013 runs this weekend, June 27-30, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel & Conference Center - Chicago O'Hare. The four day conference includes dozens of scheduled discussion sessions on topics such as economics, education, human rights, civil rights, and labor. Speakers include the likes of Jeremy Scahill, Glenn Greenwald, Jesse Sharkey, and many more. Details and a complete schedule of sessions available at the Socialism 2013 website.

28th Ward Bike Ride

To celebrate the new protected bike lane on Jackson and Lake St., Alderman Jason Ervin will lead a leisurely bike ride around the 28th ward this Saturday, on the protected lane. Following the ride, organized by Chicago's Active Transportation Alliance, there will be bike games, basic bike repairs, free food, and free raffles of a bike and helmet. The free ride meets at Jackson and Central Park, and goes from 10am- 12pm.

Socialism 2013 Conference

Socialism 2013 runs this weekend, June 27-30, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel & Conference Center - Chicago O'Hare. The four day conference includes dozens of scheduled discussion sessions on topics such as economics, education, human rights, civil rights, and labor. Speakers include the likes of Jeremy Scahill, Glenn Greenwald, Jesse Sharkey, and many more. Details and a complete schedule of sessions available at the Socialism 2013 website.

Socialism 2013 Conference

Socialism 2013 runs this weekend, June 27-30, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel & Conference Center - Chicago O'Hare. The four day conference includes dozens of scheduled speakers and discussion sessions, on topics ranging from economics, education, human rights, civil rights, labor, and more. Speakers include the likes of Jeremy Scahill, Glenn Greenwald, and Jesse Sharkey, to name a few.


Solo in the 2nd City @ Beauty Bar

Solo in the 2nd City Reading Series is back for the monthly reading at Beauty Bar, 1444 W. Chicago Avenue at 7:30 PM. Solo in the 2nd City is a collective of stories of single, sex, and dating centered in our fair city. Music starts at 7:30pm by DJ Continental and readings begin at 8pm. The event is free and collects donations for Chicago Women's Health Center. This month's edition features Jen Bosworth, Angela Benander, Whit Nelson, Linda Montgomery and AJ Aronstein. The event is hosted by bloggers Melinda McIntire and Carly Oishi.

SKALD @ Strawdog Theatre

The 14th annual SKALD, a storytelling contest produced by WNEP Theater, returns to the Strawdog Theatre (3829 N. Broadway). This years list of competitors includes: Lily Be, Erin Diamond, Stephanie Douglass, Kevin Gladish, Marsha Harman, Greg Ledger, JH Palmer, Angelina Pizzi, Sheri Reda, and Scott Whitehair. Winner is determined by a panel comprised of Director and Storyteller Matt Miller, Lifeline Theatre Artistic Director Dorothy Milne, and Bitches Gotta Eat blogger/wordsmith, Samantha Irby. Winner gets a $100 cash prize. Hosted by Ian Belknap. Doors open at 7pm, event begins at 8pm. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online or at the door.

MAELSTROM @ Strawdog Theatre

The 14th annual MAELSTROM, an improvised storytelling contest produced by WNEP Theater, returns to the Strawdog Theatre (3829 N. Broadway). This years list of competitors includes: Lily Be, Regan Davis, Erin Diamond, Dave Goss, Merrie Greenfield, and Marsha Harman. Winner is determined by the audience and gets a $50 cash prize. Hosted by Don Hall. Doors open at 7pm, event begins at 8pm. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased online or at the door.

Laydeez Do Comics @ Quimby's

Indie comic artists Sarah Morton and Tyrell Cannon come to Quimby's for the May installment of the Wicker Park bookstore's monthly series Laydeez Do Comics, which features women (and friends of women) discussing their comics, complete with snacks. The event is free and starts at 7:00 p.m. at 1854 W. North Ave.

Me So Far: Nerd Alert 2

Me So Far hosts Nerd Alert 2, its final event of the season, tonight at 6:30pm at Sushi Taiyo 58 E. Ontario St. Tonight's singles event features nerds of all sort: code, design, citrus and more. Admission is $30, or $50 for two friends.

Chicago's Largest Non-Profit Fair

Chicago Non-Profit, the Young Professionals of Chicago and the Chicagoland Chamber present the Chicago's Largest Non-Profit Fair tonight at the Embassy Suites Lakefront, 511 N. Columbus Dr., from 5:30 to 8pm. Meet more than 90 local non-profits and network with other professionals. Tickets are $12, or $7 for YPC members.

Cocktail Tasting @ Joe's Wine Cellar

Andersonville's own Koval Distillery will be holding a tasting of cocktails made with their locally distilled, specialty spirits at Joe's Wine Cellar (2108 W. Division) tonight from 6 - 8 pm. The cocktails and excellent people watching from the patio are both free.

Open house @ Pumping Station: One

Pumping Station: One, the Chicago hackerspace, presents an open house tonight starting at 6:00pm. The public is invited to come learn about the space, what the group does, and how you can join them. The event is free and open to the public. Pumping Station: One is located at 3519 N. Elston.

Remembering Harold Washington @ DuSable Museum

The DuSable Museum, 740 E. 56th Pl., presents "Remembering Mayor Harold Washington," today from 2pm-5pm. This special tribute to Washington, Chicago's first African-American mayor, will feature a documentary of his speeches as well as words from his friends and colleagues around the city. General admission is $5.00; free for museum members. For more information or to RSVP, call 773-947-0600 ext. 290.

Artisanal Producer Festival @ French Market

Pastoral is hosting dozens of artisanal cheese, wine, meat, bread, and confection producers from around the world at the French Market from 11-3 pm. Spend a lovely afternoon schmoozing with farmers, distillers, and chefs, sample to your heart's content, and leave with unique, hard to find gourmet treats. And if that weren't enough, it's also free. 131 N. Clinton. More information here.

Bike a Bee Fundraiser in Logan Square

Support Bike a Bee at its fundraiser in Logan Square. Everything from bikes to bacon are up for auction. Proceeds will cover the costs of another year of urban beekeeping and earning nonprofit status. Bike a Bee is Chicago's bike-powered beekeeping project, run by nature-lover Jana Kinsman. The fundraiser will be from 5pm to 12am and will be held at a co-working space in Logan Square, 3624 W Wrightwood Ave. ROADIECAB is offering discounted pedicab rides to the fundraiser from the Logan Square blue line stop. Admission to the fundraiser is free. For more details, see the group's event on Facebook.

Birdemic 2 @ Patio Theater

The Patio Theater and the Chicago Cinema Society presents a one-night-only screening of Birdemic 2: The Resurrection. The very special guests at the screening will be the film's director James Nguyen and producer Jeff Gross, which will be abailable for Q&A after the movie. (And there WILL be many questions.) The screening starts at 9:00pm. Advance tickets can be purchased through Eventbrite.

Me So Far: Educated in CHI

Me So Far, the slideshow storytelling singles event series, focuses on graduates of Chicago-area universities in this month's event. Hear Tickets are $30, or $50 for two if you bring a friend. Doors open at 6:15pm, presentations begin at 6:30pm.

Zines and the Meaning of Girlhood

Tonight at 7pm, Janice Radway will be presenting a talk at the Evanston Public Library (1703 Orrington Avenue) in the Community Room named "

Open house @ Pumping Station: One

Pumping Station: One, the Chicago hackerspace, presents an open house tonight starting at 6:00pm. The public is invited to come learn about the space, what the group does, and how you can join them. The event is free and open to the public. Pumping Station: One is located at 3519 N. Elston.

One-Night-Only Performance: Jay Chandrasekhar @Laugh Factory

Laugh Factory Chicago will host a one-night-only comedy performance by Jay Chandrasekhar, known for his role as Thorny in Super Troopers and Barry in Beerfest.

Friday April 19. Show begins at 8pm. Laugh factory is located at 3175 N. Broadway at Broadway and Belmont. 18+ show. $20-$30 tickets. For more info or to make reservations visit www.LaughFactory.com or call (773) 327-3175 x1.

Ag47 Showcase @ Hairpin Arts Center

Logan Square arts mentorship collective Ag47 (previously profiled on Gapers Block) holds its fourth annual showcase at Hairpin Arts Center, 2800 N Milwaukee, from 7 to 10pm. For the event, youth artists and their adult mentors collaborated to create art that explores the questions "How does the world infect you? How will you infect the world?" The suggested donation for the event is $10, which supports Ag47's arts mentorship programming with girls aged 11-17. Live poetry, performance, and multimedia art exhibits promise an infectious evening.

Third Fridays @ Zhou B Art Center

Every third Friday of the month, from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Zhou B Art Center,1029 W. 35th Street, a multi-floor, multi-discliplinary art and culture venue composed of artist's studios, art galleries, gathering spaces and the Zhou B Café & Art Lounge opens its doors to the public. On Third Fridays, resident and international artists exhibit their newest works in various media for the consumption of collectors, artists, and anyone else with an interest in art. The event also offers the opportunity for the public to interact with the artists who created the exhibited works. The event is free to attend, and free refreshments are provided.

#DocYourWorld @ Columbia's Film Row Cinema

Today Columbia College continues its free #DocYourWorld documentary panels and screenings from noon until 9:30pm in their Film Row Cinema on the 8th floor of 1104 S. Wabash Ave.

#DocYourWorld @ Columbia's Film Row Cinema

Today Columbia College continues its free #DocYourWorld documentary panels and screenings from noon until 9pm in their Film Row Cinema on the 8th floor of 1104 S. Wabash Ave.

The Chicago Children's TV Show @ Gallery Cabaret

This afternoon, Gallery Cabaret (2020 N. Oakley Ave.) hosts Chicago historical reenactment group Pocket Guide to Hell as they put up their second installment of The Chicago Television Project: The Chicago Children’s TV Show. In the style of a variety hour revue, Pocket Guide performers incorporate a Magician, a Clown, the Young Stracke All-Stars, cartoons by local artists, and much more in this celebration of children’s entertainment past and present. There will be two performances: one at 3 pm for kids and family, and one at 5 pm for everybody else. Free! RSVP to pocketguidetohell@gmail.com.

'The Way We Sleep' Reading @ The Book Cellar

Tonight, The Book Cellar (4736 N. Lincoln Ave.) presents a reading of recently published anthology The Way We Sleep: a collection of short stories, comics, and interviews all based around the ways in which our sleeping and waking lives collide. The reading will feature contributors Billy Lombardo, Ben Tanzer, Dakota Sexton, and Natalie Edwards, as well as a shadow puppet show presented by Jill Summers and Susie Kirkwood. RSVP here. 7 pm, Free!

International Tom Hanks Day

Celebrate the day of Hanks--not that rapscallion NU student Chet Haze, but his far more affable, talented dad Tom--at two side-by-side bars (Uncle Fatty's, 2833 N. Sheffield, and Headquarters Beercade, 950 W. Wolfram) today starting at noon. Drinks, raffles, movies starring Tom played on heavy rotation, and more drinks await you. The event is also a benefit for one of Hanks' favorite charities, Lifeline Energy, which provides solar-powered media players and radios for people in developing countries. Admission $5.

2013 CHIRP Record Fair

CHIRP Radio's 11th Annual Record Fair & Other Delights returns to The Chicago Journeymen Plumbers Union, 1340 W. Washington Blvd., for the fifth consecutive year. The fair runs Saturday, April 13 from 10am to 7pm. Admission is $7, or $5 with an ad or flyer, with a special $25 pre-opening session from 8 to 10am. Tickets available here.

CAKE FRAME (Fundraiser / Silent Auction) @ Peanut Gallery

The fabulous, annual Chicago Alternative Comics Expo is coming up again this summer, and to prepare for it, they've organized a big fundraising event at Peanut Gallery (1000 N. California Ave.) tonight from 7 to 11pm. There will be a rowdy live auction featuring a whole lot of work by talented local artists (some big names) and live performances by Paul Nudd, Jeremy Pettis, Alyssa Herlocher and Andy Burkholder. Facebook invite here. Free admission.

Sweethearts Comedy Duo @ Upstairs Gallery

Comedy Duo Sweethearts returns for their second installment of sketch shows tonight at Upstairs Gallery (5219 N. Clark St.) at 8 pm. As always, the pair will perform a brand new set of sketches, with each show based around a different theme. This week, treat yourself to a night of "Bliss"-themed comedy, brought to you by comedians Adam Schreck and Ben Ryan. BYOB, free.

Art Reception @ Art on Armitage

A reception featuring artists Stacy Peterson, Pei San Ng, and Amie Sell will be held tonight from 6pm-8pm at Art on Armitage, 4125 W. Armitage. Stop by to check out their new nebulous work/ window exhibit inspired by a trip to Creative Reuse Warehouse. The cloud of up-cycled industrial hardware and metal wires plays on modern communication and acts as a visual representation of how people work together to create communities, social networks, and how molecular structures build. Meet these artists and better understand their new installation's subject and inspiration.

Gapers Block Microbrewery (& Distillery!) Crawl

Gapers Block hosts the second-ever Microbrewery (& Distillery!) Crawl, a tour through some of Chicago's best microbreweries and small distilleries, today beginning at noon at Metropolitan Brewery, 5121 N. Ravenswood Ave. (entrance on Winona), and continuing to Koval Distillery, Begyle Brewing, Spiteful Brewing and Atlas Brewing, 2747 N. Lincoln Ave. For $45, you'll get samples of beers and spirits at each stop, and learn about the inner workings of some very different operations. Capacity is capped at 60 people; get your tickets now! Note: Note: Transportation is provided from stop to stop, but will not be returning to Metropolitan. You'll probably want to leave your car at home. 21+

Sweethearts Comedy Duo @ Upstairs Gallery

Newly-Minted Comedy Duo Sweethearts kicks off a five-week sketch series tonight at Upstairs Gallery (5219 N. Clark St.) at 8 pm. Each week the pair will perform a brand new set of sketches, with each show based around a different theme. This week, comedians Adam Schreck and Ben Ryan debut the series with sketches fittingly based around the theme of "Hello". BYOB, free.

Parlour Car @ Bar Deville

Parlour Car is a free, weekly stand-up comedy show at 8pm on Thursdays at Bar Deville, 701 N. Damen Ave. Produced by local comics Adam Burke, Matty Ryan, and Kenny DeForest, Parlour Car combines "top notch comedy with top notch booze." The show is followed by Bar Deville's weekly dance party that features a rotating cast of local DJs. 21+

2nd Annual Wicker Park Mixologist Mash-Up

Vote for the drink of Wicker Park at tonight's Wicker Park Mixologist Mash-Up which returns for its second year at Dolphin (formerly known as Green Dophin) 2200 N. Ashland Ave., with twice as many competing bartenders and even more libations. Club Lucky took the honors last year with the "Six Corner Fizz" and returns again to defend their title along with Antique Taco, Fatpour Tap Works, Lottie's Pub, Prasino, Red Door Kitchen & Bar, The Boundary, The Savoy and Wicker Park Tavern. Get tickets here. Doors open at 6pm. 21+

Brain Frame Comics Reading

The 11th installment of Brain Frame, a "peformative" comics reading, happens tonight at Heavy Gel, 2335 W. Lake St., starting at 8pm. The lineup includes the talent of Bill Cleveland, Krystal DiFronzo, Ian Endsley, Marieke McClendon, Otto Splotch and Jim Trainor. Live musical accompaniment will be provided by by Tyson Torstenson. Cover is $7.

MeSoFar: Lady Luck

Lady Luck is Me So Far's first event exclusively for women seeking women dating event, tonight from 6:30 to 9pm in the private lounge at Sushi Taiyo, 58 E. Ontario St. Tickets are $30; get them and more information here.

Ray's Tap Reading Series @ Prop Theater

Ray's Tap Reading Series, produced and hosted by Chris Bower, presents "Manners Please" at the Prop Theater, 3502 N. Elston Ave., tonight at 9pm. The event is described as "a show about manners, etiquette and politeness and what other words might be out there to describe how we should behave and interact with each other and how we actually do." The series is held twice a year and includes Chicago area writers, artists and musicians. This show will feature Martha Bayne, Brian Nemtusak, Robin Cline, Ian Belknap, Mason Johnson, Dave Synder in tandem with Naomi Washer, Matt Test, Megan Larmer, Daniel Shapiro, Randall Colburn, Margaret Chapman, Chris Schoen and the music of Tijuana Hercules. The show is $15 or-pay-what-you-can. All proceeds go directly to the artists.

That's All She Wrote @ Swim Cafe

That's All She Wrote, a live lit show held at Swim Cafe @ 1357 W. Chicago Avenue in Noble Square, will be back on Sunday, March 10 at 8:00 PM (doors at 7:30). The event is hosted by the lovely Angela Benander and J.H. Palmer. This month's featured readers include Eric May, Ellen Lekostaj, Lynne Adams-Whitaker, and Jim Stevens. The event is BYOB and free. For more information, visit thatsallshewrotechicago.com.

Activist Authors Read @ No Nation Gallery

Art and activism converge in a reading by authors Dan P. Moore and Becky Dernbach at 2pm on March 10, at No Nation Gallery (formerly known as Happy Dog Gallery). With his Graphic Novel, Mark Twain Was Right, Moore tells of his experience as a high schooler living through the Cincinnati Riots, and Dernbach lends accessibility to the story of America's housing crisis with her picture book, Fannie and Freddie. Come check out the free show at 1542 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Wicker Park!

Open House @ U of C's New Arts Incubator

The U of C's new Arts Incubator in Washington Park is having its first big open house from 3pm-6pm at 301 E. Garfield. There will be free tours of the new space, music and a new exhibition, "Feedback." See more on Facebook.

Parlour Car @ Bar Deville

Parlour Car is a free, weekly stand-up comedy show at 8pm on Thursdays at Bar Deville (701 N Damen). Produced by local comics Adam Burke, Matty Ryan, and Kenny DeForest, Parlour Car combines "top notch comedy with top notch booze." The show is followed by Bar Deville's weekly dance party that features a rotating cast of local DJs.

Here's the Story @ Stage 773

Here's the Story, a storytelling series combined with a potluck is back at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont, tonight. Doors open at 7:30pm, show starts at 8pm. This month's featured performers include Ian Belknap of Write Club, author Paulette McDaniels, musical duo River Rising, and actress Audrey Flegel. There is also an opportunity to sign up for open mic slots, to be drawn. Tickets are $8 or free if you bring a dish to share for the potluck. Buy tickets here.

Windy City BREWHAHA

Unlimited beer tastings from some of the United States' best breweries? You had me at "beer." For $45, join other Chicagoans looking to escape the winter blues at BREWHAHA, a "celebration of beer" located at the Skyline Loft at the Bridgeport Art Center, 1200 W. 35th St. Featured breweries include Half Acre, Revolution, Three Floyds and Haymarket. Tasting sessions run from 1pm to 4pm and 6pm to 9pm.

Me So Far 40+ Dating Event

Me So Far's first-ever Forty Plus event is tonight from 6:15 to 9pm in the upstairs lounge at Sushi Taiyo, 58 E. Ontario St. Hear the slideshow stories of singles on or around their 40th birthday. Tickets are $30-50.

The Moth StorySLAM @ Martyrs

Martyrs', 3855 N. Lincoln Ave., presents the monthly Moth StorySLAM. Storytelling audience members are judged by a panel of their peers, and the winner of tonight's event goes to the storytelling finals. Show starts at 8pm, and admission is $8. 21+

Adler Planetarium After Dark

The Adler Planetarium, 1300 S. Lake Shore Dr., presents their monthly Adler After Dark event tonight from 6pm to 10pm. An evening for adults that includes a rare chance to look through the planetarium's Doane Observatory telescope, the largest publicly accessible telescope in the Midwest. Full details on the event at the Planetarium's website or call all 312-922-7827 for more info.

Michael Salvatore @ Heritage Bicycles

MAS Context and Heritage Bicycles present a conversation with Michael Salvatore, CEO and owner of Heritage, who will discuss the company's bicycle production process, bicycle styles and how Heritage brings bicycles and coffee together. Free and BYOB at 2959 N. Lincoln Ave. 7pm.

Chicago League of Lady Arm Wrestlers Competition

Head over to the Logan Square Auditorium, 2539 N. Kedzie Blvd., tonight at 10pm for CLLAW XV, and take in some pressed-flesh competition. Tickets are just $25, which gets you in to cheer on the brash beauties of the Chicago League of Lady Arm Wrestlers, and offer your future special someone a cocktail at the three-hour open bar ($10 without the drink package). Your heart will throb as you root on the likes of Lumberjack Jill as she looks to defend her title. A portion of the CLLAW XV proceeds will benefit Girls Rock! Chicago, a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering girls' creative expression, positive self-esteem and community awareness through rock music.

Gilda's Club Chicago's 15th Anniversary

Tonight Gilda's Club Chicago will be celebrating their 15th Anniversary with and open house and comedy performance by Second City. Celebration starts at 5pm at their main clubhouse at 537 N. Wells St. Open to the public.

OfficeMax Hockey City Classic

The OfficeMax Hockey City Classic is coming to Soldier Field this weekend. Outdoor college ice hockey is coming to Soldier Field for the first time. The doubleheader will feature four of the nation's premier men's college ice hockey programs. The puck drops Sunday, Feb 17 at noon when Notre Dame faces off against Miami University, followed immediately by Minnesota vs. Wisconsin at approximately 3:30 p.m. Tickets are valid for both games and may be purchased at Ticketmaster.com, by calling 1-800-745-3000 or at Ticketmaster outlets.

Spacewarming Party

Jackalope Theater Company is celebrating the grand opening of their new multi-use rehearsal and educational space at 8 p.m. in the north-side neighborhood of Edgewater. The party will feature visual art by Mikey Rioux, a performance in the spoken word by Shannon Matesky, live jazz by Blue Whale, and a performance by Brandon Moorehead and Rhapsody Snyder.

If you'd like to go to the event, you can simply rsvp on the event's Facebook page. The party is at 1106 W. Thorndale Ave, just steps from the Thorndale Red Line stop. The show is at 9, and last call is at midnight.

WRITE CLUB! @ SPACE

WRITE CLUB Chapter 38, Conquest of Space takes place at SPACE (1245 Chicago Ave. in Evanston, two blocks from the Purple Line) tonight at 7pm. Described by the Chicago Reader as "The punchiest thing to hit literature since Hemingway," WRITE CLUB is: three bouts of two opposing writers working with two opposing ideas (assigned in advance). They each get 7 minutes to present their side, then the audience picks a winner. A cut of proceeds to charities of the winners' choosing. This month the battles are between Lindsay Muscato ("the quick") and JW Basilo ("the dead"), Erin Kahoa ("accept") and Joe Dempsey ("reject"), and host Ian Belknap ("whisper") and Susan Karp ("scream") Admission is $10, with a cut of the proceeds going to the charities of the winners' choice.

artEdge at the MCA

The Museum of Contemporary Art is throwing its annual fundraising benefit, artEdge, on Feb. 2 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. The event offers guests a decadent evening filled with the romance of the Industrial Age and features a concert by the critically-acclaimed indie pop band, Fitz and the Tantrums.

Attendees will begin their evening with hors d'oeuvres in the Chain-Link Room. They'll then make their way through the Automation Room, Corrugated Room and Chain Room, sampling food from an automated conveyor belt and experiencing live performances curated by Peter Taub, the MCA's Director of Performance Programs.

The event takes place at the MCA Warehouse, 1747 W. Hubbard St. Individual tickets are available for $1,000, which includes the cocktail reception, dinner, dessert reception and concert performance. Table packages begin at $15,000. Concert tickets are available for $150 and include the dessert reception, open bar and concert performance. To purchase tickets, table packages, make reservations, or to inquire about sponsorship, email hhanas@mcachicago.org or call (312) 397-3868.

Kiss Kiss Cabaret 2nd Anniversary Party

Kiss Kiss Cabaret is celebrating their second anniversary and their 100th performance with a blow-out bash featuring their burlesque dancers, the Kiss Kiss Coquettes.
The company's full cast, including its comedians, magicians, jugglers, and hosts will also be performing at the show, February 1, at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. There will also be cake.
KKC suggests this event only for an 18+ audience. Tickets are $15 in advance at $20 at the door.

Free book swap @ Murphy's Bleachers

Take a book or leave a book today at Murphy's Bleachers, 3655 N. Sheffield Ave., 5pm to 9pm.

A Concert Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. @ Symphony Center

The Chicago Sinfonietta presents "A Concert Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr." tonight at 7:30pm. Led by noted music director Mei-Ann Chen and held at the Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave., the concert will pay tribute to the late civil rights leader with opera and choir selections. Tickets are $10-$50; for more information, call 312- 236-3681.

A Personal Project Show at Defibrillator Gallery

A Personal Project Show gives audiences the opportunity to peek into the personal worlds of 13 Chicago artists. The show features photography and paintings completed by artists for their own personal purposes, and not for commercial use. The event offers fine art, music, and drinks, and it's FREE tonight from 6-11 p.m. at Defibrillator Gallery, 1136 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, 60642.

Two Cookie Minimum

Reading series Two Cookie Minimum is back in 2013, proclaiming it to be the year of the cookie. Featured readers include Grant Reynolds (comix artist, member of Self Publishers of Chicago), Collin Brennan (poet),
Thomas Simmons (stand-up comedian). Hosted by Johnny Misfit at the Hungry Brain, 2319 W. Belmont Ave., at 9pm. No cover, 21+.

WBEZ Meetup w/Me So Far

WBEZ holds a member meetup tonight with Me So Far at Revolution Brewing Co., 2323 N. Milwaukee Ave. Doors open at 6:45pm, event starts at 7:15pm. Admission is free with registration: RSVP or sign up as a single.

8th Annual Alex Chilton Birthday Bash @ Empty Bottle

Debunking the old adage that "December boys got it bad," a slew of bands will be on hand for the eighth Annual Alex Chilton Birthday Bash at the Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western Ave. The event gathers groups like Azita, Certain Stars and Liam Davis & The Contestants and about a dozen others to play Chilton's songs from all stages of his career throughout the night. Tickets are $8 and are available here. Doors open at 8pm. 21+.

3rd Annual New Year's Eve Metropolis Ball

Collaboraction, a groundbreaking Chicago arts organization, along with acclaimed burlesque sensation Angela Eve, cordially invite you to the Metropolis Ball 2012: a decadent and interactive night filled with Burlesque, art, music, dancing, physical theater, fashion and a sexy circus. Monday, December 31, 2012 @ 8:30pm Collaboraction Speakeasy Space,3rd floor of the Flat Iron Arts Building 1579 N. Milwaukee. Tix- $75 and up.

Body Wisdom

Neighborhood Writing Alliance is hosting an evening of performance art and creative expression featuring adult students from their writing workshops. The theme is "Body Wisdom" and will focus on movement, creating community and sharing personal stories. The event is free and open to the public from 6-8pm tonight at the Pritzker Auditorium at Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State.

Last Two Cookie Minimum Reading of 2012

Reading series Two Cookie Minimum closes out 2012 tonight at the Hungry Brain, 2319 W. Belmont Ave. The lineup features Neil Brideau, a comic artist and organizer of CAKE; Lisa Mrock; Piper Pennigan; Jason Fisk, author of Hank and Jules; Elizabeth Tieri, editor-in-chief of Back to Print Publishing; and Rosamund Lannin, former editor of Gaper's Block Book Club. The event is hosted by Johnny Misfit. Be sure to show up by the 9pm start to grab some cookies!

MeSoFar: Red Line/ Brown Line Dating Event

Me So Far presents a dating event for Red Line and Brown Line riders. Ten singles living on the Red and Brown lines present their lives in 4-minute PowerPoint presentations to a crowd of 50 more singles. Gapers Block's Chicago Bucket List columnist Niki Fritz will be one of the presenters. The event is tonight from 6:30pm to 9pm at Sushi Taiyo, 58 E. Ontario Ave., in the upstairs lounge. Admission is $35, with a portion of the proceeds going to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.

Ultraviolet Hippopotamus @ Double Door

Progressive rock band Ultraviolet Hippopotamus, a.k.a. UV Hippo, will play tonight at the Double Door, 1572 N. Milwaukee Ave. IndigoSun, Genome and Jib 'n' Jab will also perform. Doors open at 8pm, show starts at 8:45pm. Tickets are $8 in advanced and $10 at the door. 21+.

Thanksgiving Parade

The 79th annual McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade travels through downtown Chicago on State Street from Congress to Randolph, from 8am until 11am. It features giant helium balloons, decorative floats, marching bands, celebrities, and even Santa Claus. Free, all ages.

North Shore Turkey Trot

The North Shore Turkey Trot runs through downtown Highland Park with a 5K race at 7:30am and a 10K race at 8am. Registration has closed, but the participation fee was $35-45.

Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

Chicago's 99th annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony kicks off the official holiday season in Daley Plaza tonight. Live performances and festive music begin at 4:30pm, and the tree is illuminated at 5pm. Free, all ages.

Hayward Williams @ Space

One of Milwaukee's finest folk songwriters, Hayward Williams, will be at Space, 1245 Chicago Ave. in Evanston, tonight at 7pm on the back of his excellent new LP, Haymaker. Appearing in support of Kris Delmhorst, Williams's soul-drenched Americana evokes equal parts early Springsteen and modern folk acts like Ray LaMontagne or Sam Beam, with a rocker's attention to volume and spontaneity. He's strongest, however, in the kinds of intimate performance settings that Space has built its name upon, so be sure to catch his set there on Sunday night. Tickets are $15.

Beers O Plenty @ Whole Foods Halsted

Give thanks for beer, and plenty of it. The Boystown outpost of Whole Foods Market, 3640 N. Halsted, is hosting a beer tasting from 12-4 p.m., featuring craft beers from 5 Rabbit, Left Hand, Two Brothers, Lagunitas, Bell's and more. Register in advance and you'll get a free pilsner glass. (773) 472-0400.

The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival

The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, presented by BMO Harris Bank, brings its annual spectacle back to the city's best stretch of shopping. There are holiday festivities throughout the day, but the real magic happens when 200 trees are illuminated on the Mag Mile as Minnie and Mickey Mouse lead the lighting parade at 5:30pm. More than 40 floats will travel down the parade's route on Michigan Avenue from Oak Street to Wacker Drive. Fireworks will be launched over the Chicago River at 6:57pm to end the parade with a bang. Free, all ages.

Vivian Maier Book Discussion @ DePaul Art Museum

Co-authors Michael Williams and Rich Cahan will discuss their newest book, Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows, at the DePaul Art Museum, 935 W. Fullerton, this evening from 6-8PM.

Nas & Ms. Lauryn Hill @ Congress Theater

Hip-hop artists Nas and Lauryn Hill bring their Life Is Good/Black Rage tour to the Congress Theater, 2135 N. Milwaukee Ave., tonight. Tickets are $49.50. The show starts at 7:30pm, 17+.

30 Seconds Over Chicago @ Double Door

The premier and finals for the 30 Seconds Over Chicago competition happen tonight at Double Door (1572 N Milwaukee Ave). 30-second commercials crowdsourced from Chicago's top filmmaking and copywriting talent will be presented one at a time, followed by critiques from three creative directors from local ad agencies. The winners will be decided by the votes of the audience--a combination of those in attendance at the Double Door and those watching the live stream on GigityTV. Musical interludes provided by The Sometimes Family. $10 admission. Goes down at 8pm.

This Must Be the Band @ the Vic

This Must Be the Band, an incredibly accurate, talented and entertaining Talking Heads tribute band, plays at the Vic Theatre, 3145 N. Sheffield Ave., tonight. TMBTB will recreate the the Talking Heads' famous concert movie Stop Making Sense, which features all of their greatest hits. Doors open at 7:30pm, and the show starts at 8:30pm. Tickets are $21, 18+.

Make the Case

A night of celebrating literacy and supporting a slue of local nonprofits while having some grown up fun is in store this evening, hosted by Open Books' Associate Board. The event centers around bookcase decorating in teams of five; finished cases will be judged by a panel of local celebrities, including The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks author, Rebecca Skloot, co-editor of The Art Friction, Charles Blackstone and WBEZ reporter/producer, Anthony Martinez.

Entry is $40 and includes two drink tickets, a "People's Choice Award" vote and light snacks. Tonight from 7-9pm at Smart Bar, 3730 N. Clark, 21+.

Toots and the Maytals @ SPACE

The Jamaican ska and reggae group Toots and the Maytals will play an acoustic show in Evanston at SPACE, 1245 Chicago Ave., tonight. Anders Osboune, a singer/songwriter and instrumentalist, will also perform as the special guest. Tickets range from $37-77. A charitable donation of $1 is included in each ticket to benefit the Toots Foundation. The show starts at 10pm.

Dan Deacon @ Lincoln Hall

Electronic musician Dan Deacon will perform tonight at Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln Ave. Height with Friends, Chester Endersby Gwazda and Alan Resnick will also play as the supporting acts. The show starts at 9pm. Tickets are $15, 18+.

Xavier Rudd @ House of Blues

Xavier Rudd, a talented Australian musician and conscientious individual, will play tonight at the House of Blues, 329 N. Dearborn St. Yeshe, a world citizen and musician, will also perform as the opener. The show starts at 8pm. Tickets are $25 in advance, and $27 at the door. 17+.

Reading Under the Influence Teams Up with 2nd Story

Reading Under the Influence partners with reading series 2nd Story for a mix of performances, readings, and trivia. Promoting 2nd Story's new print anthology Briefly Knocked Unconscious by a Low-Flying Duck will be contributors Julie Ganey and Matt Miller. Rounding out the lineup will be Adam McOmber author of The White Forest and Chris Terry.

Drop into Sheffield's 3258 N. Sheffield
at 7pm, $3.

Vote Two Cookie Minimum Reading Series

Two Cookie Minimum's scheduled reading lands on Election Day Tuesday November 6th. The event begins with featured readers Stuart Ross, Patrick Andrews and Hillary Stone. Simultaneously there will be a live writing exercise with readers Mason Johnson (co-host of Karaoke Idol) and Matt Rowen (editor of Untoward magazine). After a brief intermission these two we will share what they wrote. The audience will vote on which piece should be chosen to win a prize of immense proportion.

Cast your vote for Two Cookie Minimum, hosted by Johnny Misfit at the Hungry Brain
2319 West Belmont, 9pm.

Misfits @ House of Blues

The hardcore punk rock legends Misfits will play tonight at the House of Blues, 329 N. Dearborn St. The Attack and Private Investigators will also perform. Doors open at 6:30pm, show starts at 8pm. Tickets are $20 in advance, and $22 at the door. 17+.

Carl Weathersby @ Kingston Mines

Carl Weathersby, a local musician and regular fixture at the legendary blues club Kingston Mines, 2548 N. Halsted st., will play a show with J.W. Williams tonight. Tickets are $12 in advance or at the door. Admission is free for college students and faculty with a valid university ID. The show starts at 8pm, 21+.

Halloween Cosmic Bowling Bash @ Diversey Rock n Bowl

Come to the Rock For Kids Halloween Cosmic Bowling Bash and have a spooky time on the lanes, while raising funds for children’s music education! Tickets for open bowling from 8-10pm cost $20 in advance/$25 at the door. Tickets include two hours of unlimited bowling, shoe rental, pizza and a pitcher of beer per lane. There will also be DJs and a costume competition, so come freaky, funny, and scary! Proceeds benefit Rock for Kids, who provide music education to at risk kids in Chicago. Diversey Rock n' Bowl is located at 2211 W. Diversey Parkway.

Halloween on Halsted

Celebrate the most creative holiday of the year in one of Chicago's most colorful neighborhoods. The 16th annual Northalsted Halloween Parade kicks off at 7pm on Halsted St., traveling from Waveland to Belmont. The theme this year is "Apocalypse 2012."

Double Door Halloween Bash

The Double Door, 1572 N. Milwaukee Ave., celebrates its 16th annual Halloween Bash with live music, dancing and of course, costumes. The bands will dress up and attempt to personify popular artists. The Last Vegas will perform as Billy Idol, AM Taxi as the Replacements, Hessler as Iron Maiden, Ryan Powers as Tom Petty, Black Box as Social Distortion, The Sweeps as Beck, and Panther Style as The Cult. Doors open at 8pm, show starts at 8:30pm. Tickets are $12, 21+

SAIC's Fashion Resource Center presents Isabel and Ruben Toledo

Fashion designer Isabel Toledo and fashion illustrator and artist Ruben Toldeo will speak at a special event put forth by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its Fashion Resource Center. The lecture will take place at Fullerton Hall, 111 S. Michigan Ave., at 6pm. Tickets are $25, or $10 with a current student ID.

Roosevelt Road Zombie Walk & Pub Crawl

The third annual Roosevelt Road Zombie Walk and Pub Crawl kicks off tonight at 7pm -- but get started at the zombie makeup and costume staging session from 4:30 to 6:30pm at Horrorbles, 6729 W. Roosevelt Rd. Then set off from there on a bar crawl that ends with an afterparty at FitzGerald's, 6615 W. Roosevelt Rd., featuring food, horror films and more. Tickets are $15, with proceeds benefiting West Suburban PADS. 21+

Me So Far: "Just for the Fellas"

Me So Far presents "Just for the Fellas," a singles event for men seeking men. Come hear the slideshow stories of single fellas at Sushi Taiyo's private lounge, 58 E. Ontario Ave., from 6:30 to 9pm. Audience tickets are $30.

Live Band Karaoke @ Subterranean

The Association House of Chicago hosts a special edition of Live Band Karaoke tonight at Subterranean, 2011 W. North Ave. Singer Leslie Beukelman emcees, and comedian Nate Burrows will entertain between sets. Tickets are $15 in advance or at the door; proceeds will go directly to starting an emergency fund for Association House's child welfare program. Doors open at 7:30pm, singing starts at 8pm. 21+

Solo in the 2nd City Reading Series: Bold Moves October

Solo in the 2nd City Reading Series, Chapter 5: Bold Moves October will be held at 8 PM at Beauty Bar Chicago, 1444 W. Chicago. Check our the blog at SoloInThe2ndCity.com.

Featured readers tell us stories of love, dating, sex, and the like in our fair city. Readers include Shannon Cason, Keith Ecker, Rachel Collins, Tim Barnes, and Alicia Sowisdral. Hosts are Melinda McIntire and Carly Oishi.

Also, stick around for Timbuk2esdays and RSVP for a hosted bar from 10-11 pm here.

Dress Code at Fashion Focus Chicago

Dress Code is a student runway show that is part of Chicago's annual Fashion Focus week. The show takes place in the Sidney R. Yates Gallery on the 4th Floor of the Chicago Cultural Center on 78 E. Washington St. The show is free, but tickets are required.

CLLAW-o-Ween @ O'Malley's Liquor Kitchen

Join CLLAW (the Chicago League of Lady Arm Wrestlers) at CLLAW-O-WEEN tonight at O'Malley's Liquor Kitchen located at 3551 N. Sheffield Ave. CLLAW's 14th match will feature fearsome lady arm wrestlers decked out in outrageous outfits, an open bar, shady referees and audience participation all wrapped into one wild, crazy, theatrical Halloween event. A three-hour open bar package is $25. Not interested in the open bar? A $10 entry fee will get you into the event, and a cash bar is available. The doors open at 9:30 pm, the first match is at 10 pm. Proceeds benefit Rock For Kids. More info. on Facebook.

Open House Chicago

Today and tomorrow go behind the scenes at more than 150 area buildings with Open House Chicago. Use their handy map or site list to see what's open and for how long.

Chicago Battle of the Jug Bands @ Logan Square Auditorium

The 5th annual Chicago Battle of the Jug Bands at Logan Square Auditorium, 2539 N. Kedzie Ave., features nine bands that will each have 15 minutes to win the audience members over. Reigning champs Strictly Jug Nuts will open, followed by the battle between Deep Fried Pickle Project, The Hump Night Thumpers, The Jubilee Jug Band, Mr. Mayor and the Highballers, Otisco, The Schticklers, The Wampler Jug Stompers, and Whiskey Bob Taylor & The Twelve Steps. Doors open at 6pm, show starts at 7pm. Tickets are $9 at the door, all proceeds will go to the Old Town School of Folk Music. 21+

SMALL is Ordinary Shop opening @ Chicago Cultural Center

The Small Manufacturing Alliance hosts the free "SMALL is Ordinary Shop" opening today from 5:30-7:30pm at the Chicago Cultural Center (78 E Washington). The shop showcases locally-made goods such as organic soaps and furniture, as well as food and drink tastings from local vendors.

GirlForward Girl Jam

GirlFoward, a local nonprofit that works with refugee teen girls, is having a party to support programming and the resilient spirit. Music, food and fun are on the agenda, along with networking and a chance to win raffle prizes. Tonight from 6-9pm at Uncommon Ground, 1401 W. Devon. $40 or $45 entry plus ten raffle tickets.

House of Trends Presents the Ready-to-Stare & VO Jewelry Trunk Show

Local underground "It" jewelry designer Alysse Dalessandro of Ready-to-Stare and celebrity nail artist and designer of VO jewelry, Tacarra "Spifster" Sutton, join forces for this collaborative event tonight at boutique House of Trend celebrating the fall release of their respective lines. Dalessandro unveils her major collection trunk show while Sutton introduces her wares. Complimentary Xante cocktails will be served and guests can receive entry to a raffle for exclusive pieces and services from House of Trend, Ready-to-Stare, and Spifster upon purchase at the event. The event lasts from 6-8pm and designer presentations begin at 6:30. House of Trend is located at 688 N Milwaukee.

Open House Chicago

As part of the Architecture Foundation's Open House Chicago, the Poetry Foundation will open it's doors and offer a sneak-peak at the space as well as a behind-the-scenes view of the making of Poetry magazine, celebrating 100 years in 2012. Today and tomorrow from 9am-5pm at the Poetry Foundation, 61 W. Superior. Free.

Lizz Free or Die Book Reading and Signing

Lizz Winstead, co-creator of "The Daily Show" and author of Lizz Free or Die: Essays, brings her political humor to town for a book reading and signing tonight from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The event is free, as are the cocktails and light appetizers. The signing will be in the FoodEase Party Room at 835 N. Michigan Ave. Send an RSVP to NARAL Pro-Choice America to get in on the wit and wise-cracking for the night.

Chicago Uncubed @ River East Arts Center

Chicago Uncubed, the city’s largest ever tech talent fair, crashes the River East Arts Center today with over 50 of Chicago startups putting on live art battles, tech demos, a speaker series, poetry slam, and lean startup machine workshops. The daylong recruiting festival will pit recent grads and employers together under one roof in an open, casual environment that, we can only hope, will result in getting some talented kids employed. Doors and registration begin at 1pm, event ends at 7pm. Register as an attendee. The River East Arts Center is located at 435 E. Illinois St.

Spudnik Press Benefit Auction: In Progress

Spudnik Press is auctioning print, sketches, and other framed pieces of art made by a diverse group of artists to help pay for its recent expansion. Additional auction items will be provided by Star Lounge, Busy Beaver, Eye Works Festival, Bloom Yoga Studio and Museum of Contemporary Art. In Progress is from 6 to 10 pm at 1821 W. Hubbard Street, Suite 302 & 303. Admission is free, and there will be beer, signature cocktails, and food by Antique Taco.

Taste of France in Chicago

Taste of France in Chicago is a guided neighborhood tour that also supports Action Against Hunger's mission to end world hunger. Saturday's 10 a.m. tour is of the Chicago French Market in the West Loop. Purchase tickets and learn more about the tour here.

Oktoberfest Chicago

Oktoberfest kicks off in the West Lakeview neighborhood at St. Alphonsus Church, 1429 W. Wellington Ave., with German food, music, arts & crafts, and of course, beer. Join the fun to celebrate Deutschland the Chicago way. Festivities begin at 5pm, and end at 11pm. $5 admission.

Main Stage
5:30 - The Bratwurst Brothers
7pm - 'Stache!
8:30 - Wedding Banned

Beer Hall
7:15 - The Bratwurst Brothers
9pm - Dot Dot Dot

Blues Traveler @ Navy Pier

Blues-rock band Blues Traveler plays a free show on the patio of Harry Caray's Tavern at Navy Pier tonight. The band will be playing songs from their new album, Suzie Cracks the Whip, as well as some of their most popular songs. A limited number of free tickets will be distributed, starting at 11am. Doors open at 6:30pm, and the show starts at 7:30pm.

Windy City Coop Tour

The Chicago Chicken Enthusiasts host their 3rd annual Windy City Coop Tour Sept. 22-23 from 10am-2pm at various locations around the city. Talk with Chicagoland chicken-keepers about their experiences raising chickens in the city. A map of locations and tour guidelines are available on the Windy City Coop Tour website. The event is free and self-guided. Children are welcome when accompanied by an adult. No dogs or other pets allowed on the tour.

Bloodshot Records' 18th Birthday @ Mayne Stage

Chicago's own Bloodshot Records is turning 18 years old, and to celebrate, they're teaming up with 93XRT and Lagunitas Brewing to ring in their birthday. Join them for a night of live music and beer tastings for just $12 (advance tickets only). The music kicks off at 7pm with performances from Lydia Loveless, Jon Langford & Skull Orchard, Dex Romweber Duo, Deadstring Brothers, Shake'em On Down (featuring Rick Sherry and Joel Paterson). Plus, enjoy a Lagunitas beer tasting starting at 6pm. Download a sampler of the artists playing. The Mayne Stage is located in Rogers Park at 1328 Morse Ave. 773-381-4550.

Art on Track @ CTA Blue Line

Art on Track, the world's largest mobile art gallery, takes place this evening aboard a 6-car CTA Blue Line running between the Logan Square and UIC-Halsted stations. Each train car features a different Chicago artist or arts group. Passengers are invited to board the gallery train and engage with the artists and artwork. Purchase tickets in advance or at any of the four stops along the AoT train's route: Logan Square, Damen, Clark & Lake and UIC-Halsted. The train (and gallery) runs from 5-10pm. Afterwards check out the after party.

Dating in your Quarterlife

Me So Far presents Tales from the Quarterlife, a singles event for people on or around their 25th year, tonight from 6:15 to 9pm in Sushi Taiyo's Upstairs Lounge, 58 E. Ontario St. Admission is $25.

Open Streets Chicago

Open Streets Chicago empties Milwaukee Avenue of cars from Ashland to Western today from 10am to 3pm, and fills them with foot-friendly activities such as yoga, relay races and a mobile skate park. Free.

Chipotle Cultivate Festival

Chipotle Cultivate Festival brings fun and food to Lincoln Park, 2045 N. Lincoln Park West. Twelve culinary experts will demonstrate sustainable cooking. Enjoy free music, food, and educational food-related activities. The festival runs from 11am to 7pm. Free.

Chefs' Tent West:
11:30am - Jon Shook & Vinny Dotolo
1pm - Zakary Pelaccio
2:30pm - Chipotle Chefs
4pm - Amanda Freitag
5:30 - Richard Blais

Chefs' Tent East
11:30am - Paul Kahan
1pm - Danny Grant
2:30pm - Matthias Merges
4pm - Sarah Grueneberg
5:30pm - Chris Pandel

Music Stage
12:15pm - JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound
1:45pm - J Roddy Walston & the Business
3:15pm - LP
4:45pm - Allen Stone
6:15pm - G. Love & Special Sauce

Criminal Class Press Benefit

Criminal Class Press is hosting Punks Promoting Prison Literacy: A Yardtime Prison Literacy Benefit Show tonight at 7pm at Beauty Bar, 1444 W. Chicago Ave.to raise money for the literacy program at San Quintin. The show will feature readings by Dmitry Samarov ( Hack), Luke Crumley (The Last Time I Died) and Kathryn Morrill, (Godisnowhere). There will also be live music by Rufis Roberts & The Smoking Rabbits, The Hamburglars and Island of Misfit Toys. $5 cover. 21+

Style Down the Aisle @ Conrad Ballroom

Featuring lifestyle trends for fashion, home, and entertaining in the bridal market, this show features host and bow-tie expert Ryan Beshel leading guests through interactive vignettes. Expect fashion, food, and sweet cocktails to please even the most finicky of brides. 521 N Rush St., 6-8pm. Tickets $15 and available here.

Chicago SandCastle Open

Edgewater's second annual Chicago SandCastle Open begins today at 10am and runs till 3pm at Osterman Beach, 5800 N. Sheridan Rd. There are categories for adults and children, with the overall winner receiving $500. Registration to compete is $25; attendance is free.

Eliza Frye @ Quimby's

Tonight, Eliza Frye reads from Regalia, featuring the Eisner-nominated short story "The Lady's Murder," at Quimby's. Frye is in town for the Wizard World comic convention (find her at Artists Alley 3418). Quimby's, 1854 W. North Ave., 7pm.

Bob Riesman & Billy Bob Arnold @ SPACE

Author Bob Riesmand and Chicago blues man Billy Bob Arnold will be presenting a tribute to blues & folk man Big Bill Broonzy in I Feel So Good: The Life and Times of Big Bill Broonzy.

Join Bob Riesmand & Billy Bob Arnold tonight at Evanston SPACE, 1245 Chicago Ave, Evanston @8pm. Tickets can be purchased on the SPACE website for $15-27.

Girl & The Goat Dinner for Seedling Farm

Join Girl and the Goat, 809 W. Randolph St., tonight as they support local farm, Seedling Fruit, who lost most of their apple production due to crazy weather, with a fruit inspired dinner. Tickets are $195 with all food and drink included. All proceeds benefit Seedling Fruit Farm. To purchase tickets, call 312-602-2588.

Encyclopedia Show Season 4 Anthology

The Encyclopedia Show hosts is annual Anthology show tonight at 7:30pm at the Vittum Theater, 1012 N. Noble St. The organizers, Robbie Q Telfer and Shanny Jean Maney, have pulled one reader from their past year to give a best of variety show. Talent includes Lynda Barry, an interview with Joaquin Vieira, LeKeja Dawson, David Kodeski and musician Naomi Ashley, Peter Cook (ASL performance poet), Jamila Woods, Chris Bower, Dan Shapiro and Janna Sobel. Tickets are $9, $6 for students.

Benefit for Ashley @ The Dark Room

The Dark Room (2210 W. Chicago) is putting on a benefit event for Ashley Pruneau, the Mana Food Bar cook who was assaulted in her home on July 1. $15 will get you music from DJ White Shadow, Casa del Sol, and Lightfoils, and food and gift cards from a number of local businesses. Event starts at 7pm, for more details visit Facebook.

Two Cookie Minimum Two Year Anniversary Reading

Today the reading series Two Cookie Minimum, known for having free cookies at each reading, will celebrate its second anniversary. For the occasion readers Ben Spies (author of No More Coffee zine), Natalie Edwards, L.B. (author of Truckface zine) will read. A shadow puppet show by sisters Jill Summers and Susie Kirkwood will open the night. Hosted by Johnny Misfit at the Hungry Brain, 2319 W. Belmont, 9pm. Party hats optional.

Wit Rabbit Reading Series: 10th Reading

Wit Rabbit is having their 10th reading tonight with readers Glenn Shaheen, Traci Brimhall, Kyle McCord, Sophie Grimes, and Larry O. Dean. Wit Rabbit showcases poetry and narrative from writers from UIC, SAIC, and Columbia College.

Stop by Quenchers Saloon, 2401 N. Western Ave, tonight @ 7pm. 21+

Forgotten Chicago's "The Bloomingdale Line" Discussion @ Comfort Station

This evening Terence Banich of Forgotten Chicago will present a lecture and discussion entitled "The Bloomingdale Line, a study of a former link to interstate commerce." The event runs from 7pm-9pm at the Comfort Station, 2579 N. Milwaukee Ave. Also on view will be David Schalliol's photographs of The Bloomingdale. Free.

The Bloomingdale Exhibition Opening @ Comfort Station

David Schalliol is exhibiting photographs from his project about The Bloomingdale, a near northwest side former rail line that is being converted into a park and trail. The opening is from 7pm-10pm at the Comfort Station, 2579 N. Milwaukee Ave. The exhibition runs from July 20-August 26.

First Ever SHOP Story Slam

Created by Southside Hub of Production, SHOP is having its first ever south side story slam. Reservations are recommended, and if you plan to participate contact Laura at laura.shaeffer at gmail.com, and/or Judith, juhestories@aol.com. Come on down to Southside of Hub Production, 5638 S. Woodlawn Ave tonight from 7pm-9pm. $5 suggested donation will get you a free drink. 18+

Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival @ Logan Square

The annual Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival continues three days of music, art, theater, dance and food in Logan Square. Events run from 11am-10pm today on Milwaukee Ave. between California and Kimball.

Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival @ Logan Square

The annual Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival continues three days of music, art, theater, dance and food in Logan Square. Today events run from 11am-10pm on Milwaukee Ave. between California and Kimball.

Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival @ Logan Square

The annual Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival kicks off three days of music, art, theater, dance and food in Logan Square. Events start this afternoon at 4pm and run all weekend on Milwaukee Ave. between California and Kimball.

Chicago Food Truck Day

Chicago celebrates one small step for man and his stomach with the first annual Chicago Food Truck Day, an event to rally city support for the upcoming July 19th hearing. The first 19 visitors of participating food trucks will receive something free. The day ends with a celebration at Fishman's LIquors.

Beer Church @ Pumping Station: One

Pumping Station: One presents Beer Church, an afternoon of beer tasting and discussion of the science of brewing. Attendees are invited to bring beer for a "potluck beer tasting," and also any homebrewing equipment you might have and perhaps are willing to let others use. Beer Church begins today at noon. Full details at the Pumping Station: One site. Needless to say, this is a 21+ event. Pumping Station: One: 3517 North Elston.

L.A.T.E. Ride @ Buckingham Fountain

From the night of June 30 into the dawn of July 1, bring your bike and take a 25-mile ride around Chicago's neighborhoods and parks. Festivities begin after midnight at Buckingham Fountain, and the ride ends on the Lakefront Path with a (hopefully spectacular) sunrise over Lake Michigan. Tickets to participate are $45, which gets you refreshments and a T-shirt, along with a goodie bag. The proceeds support Friends of the Parks. For more info and to register, visit lateride.org.

Old St. Pat's World's Largest Block Party

Nothing says summer in Chicago like partying in the street. Live music, food and that warm, fuzzy feeling of knowing your entry fee went toward a good cause. Tonight and tomorrow, 5:30-10:30pm, Madison and DesPlaines. Entry fee includes some bonuses.

Culinary Fundraiser for DIFFA/Chicago Tonight

Jared Van Camp of Nellcôte and Celeste Campise of Spiaggia to name a few will be gathering tonight at Reid Murdoch Building to help raise money for DIFFA/Chicago in the annual Chef's Table culinary event. Tickets can be purchased online for $150.

Philanthropy with a Twist II

Mingle and nosh at NV Penthouse Lounge located at 116 W. Hubbard (near the Merchandise Mart Brown line and Grand Red line stops) from 7-10pm tonight. Tickets are $45 ($35 if purchased before June 20) and gain you free beer, wine, vodka drinks and appetizers. Buy tickets. Proceeds of ticket sales go to four local charities: Rock for Kids, Lupus Foundation of America - Illinois Chapter, Youth Services of Glenview, and Found.

Slow Food Chicago's 4th Annual Pig Roast

Slow Food Chicago and Goose Island pair up again for their 4th annual Pig Roast.1800 West Fulton St from 2-5 pm. General Admission ticket: $60.

Chicago Forward: The Status of Women in Chicago

The Tribune's Bruce Dold and Melissa Harris moderate a discussion about women in the workplace and society at the Chase Auditorium. Panelists include Christine Bork, CEO, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago; Nora Dunn, actor and comedian; Cheryle Jackson, VP Government Affairs and Corporate Development, AAR Corp. and Sheli Rosenberg, Of Counsel, Skadden. Tickets are $15 for program and reception and are available here.

A Gallery Talk with Virgil C. Johnson @ Harold Washington Library

The Harold Washington Library, 400 S. State St., presents award-winning costume designer Virgil C. Johnson, renowned for his spectacular drawings of the costumes from the Goodman Theatre's 1994 production of Stephen Sondheim's musical A Little Night Music. Held from 2pm to 3pm, this free event and tour are in conjunction with the library's exhibit, A Little Night Music: Costume Designs by Virgil C. Johnson, on display through August 12. For more information, call 312-747-4300.

CNU-Illinois Bus Rapid Transit on the Western Avenue Corridor Event @ Floyd's Pub

Join CNU-Illinois at Floyd's Pub with special guests Josh Ellis and Peter Skosey from Metropolitan Planning Council and Chris Zeimann from the Chicago Transit Authority for a discussion on Bus Rapid Transit.

The event will include a short tour of Western Avenue where our guests will point out opportunities and challenges of retrofitting a street with BRT.

RSVP and learn who else is coming via Facebook.

FREE, 5:30 pm, Floyds Pub, 1944 N Oakley Ave (1 block east of Western Blue Line station).

Exposures@FSC Featuring Holiday House

Dream Chicago hosts their first "Expsures@FSC" series tonight with the dreamy, rough and tender mash of music that is local duo Holiday House, as well as an interview with the group about their upcoming album. Tonight at 7PM at Fulton Street Collective, 2000 W. Fulton.

THE MALL Launch Event @ ZaZaZoo Nail Salon

Matt Kasin (The Gaudy God) and Alysse Dalessandro (Ready-to-Stare) officially launch THE MALL, an Etsy-based concept store comprised of vintage and handmade jewelry inspired by cult '90s teen films such as Clueless and Spice World. Tonight's launch party includes complimentary nail services, drinks, and baked goods from Delectables. The full collection will be available for purchase and guests may RSVP here. ZaZaZoo Nail Salon is located at 1842 N. Damen Ave. and the party starts at 7pm. An after party at Local Option, 1102 W. Webster St., starts at 10pm.

Myopic Poetry Series: Deborah Morkun & Don Share

Tonight Deborah Morkun & Don Share will be reading at the Myopic Poetry Series. Soak in some poetry @ 7pm at Myopic Books, 1564 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Gumbo Fiction Salon

Thursday May 17 the Gumbo Fiction Salon, a reading series welcome to all genres of fiction followed by an open mic, sponsors a fundraiser for the John Schultz and Betty Shiflett Story Workshop Scholarship fund at Columbia College. All readers are Columbia College Fiction Writing faculty, alums, or students including Jeff Jacobson, Patricia Rosemoor, Geoff Hyatt, Jenine Arteaga, Ellis Wylie, John Dowds, and Michelle Cachey.

$4 cover, $2 for students, with this month offering two-for-one admission. The event is upstairs at the Galway Arms Irish Pub 2442 N. Clark beginning at 7pm.

Granta Magazine @ The Book Cellar

Granta magazine is in Chicago tonight with the launch of their latest issue Granta 119: Britain. Featured contributors Tania James, Atlas of Unknowns, and Gary Younge will be reading from their work.

Readings will be held at The Book Cellar, 4736 N. Lincoln Ave @ 7pm.

100 Years of Studs Terkel

Studs Terkel — author, historian, radio host and listener extraordinaire — may be gone, but his legacy of the importance of listening and the power of the human voice has inspired one heck of a party. Today, the 100th anniversary of his birth, the Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton St., will host a birthday party to celebrate "one of the most prolific writers and cultural critics in the history of Chicago letters." 5:30pm reception; 6pm program. Free.

Arcade Brewery Fundraising Event @ Threadless Headquarters

New local brewery Arcade Brewery hosts their first fundraising event tonight at the Threadless Headquarters (1260 West Madison). Running in conjunction with their Kickstarter campaign, this fundraiser includes a dj set by Martin Atkins; performances by Ones Bent to Zero, Prom Band, and sketch comedy group Comedy Think Tank; and haircuts from Rock Razors Scissors. Guests may bring their own beer for a "beer potluck." A suggested donation of $20 goes toward startup costs for the brewery and the event runs from 7 to 11pm. 21+.

Free Comic Book Day 2012!

Free Comic Book Day today Saturday May 5th is a great way for families, children, comic book enthusiasts and newcomers to check out their neighborhood comic store. Go the Free Comic Book Day website to find a location nearest you.

Reading Under the Influence's Seventh Anniversary

Wednesday, May 2 marks the seventh anniversary of the reading series Reading Under the Influence. The monthly series has a unique format. It showcases featured writers who read their work along with published work followed by trivia.

To celebrate their anniversary, RUI will feature readings by co-founders Rob Duffer and Julia Borcherts, longtime co-hosts Amy Guth and Jesse Jordan and RUI co-founder emeritus, Carly Huegelmann.

RUI is the first Wednesday of each month in the back room of Sheffield's, 3258 N. Sheffield Ave, 7pm, $3.


Two Cookie Minimum Presents Industry Night

Two Cooke Minimum is back on Tuesday May 1. Join industry professionals from all areas of the literary and publishing community for a night of reading.
Readers include Rob Duffer, Ben Tanzer, , Wly Villacres, Sarah Dodson, Daniel Majid, and Naomi Huffman. Hosted by Johnny Misfit.
This series is the first Tuesday of the month at the Hungry Brain 2319 W. Belmont, 9pm. And always, there will be free cookies!

Tuesday Funk @ Hopleaf

Come down to Hopleaf to listen to the latest in fiction, poetry, and essays. Reading tonight will be B.C. Bell, Susanna Lang, Chris Mendius, Julie Rosenthal, and Tom Underberg. Tuesday Funk will be at Hopleaf, 5148 N. Clark St. @ 7:30pm, 21+, Free.

Timtacular @ Goose Island

Local author and fan of nonprofits Tim Sarrantonio is celebrating his birthday today at Goose Island, and YOU'RE invited! He's raising money for 4 separate local nonprofits (Reading With Pictures, The Art of Life, the Neo-Futurists, and ARISE Chicago), and the admission price of $60 will get you food and drinks, a tour of the Goose Island brewery, live entertainment by the Neo-Futurists, a live auction, and much more. Details at the event's Facebook page.

Zombie Pub Crawl @ Andersonville

The undead will walk the earth today from 2:30 pm until 9 pm for the fifth annual Zombie Pub Crawl. The rotting masses will shuffle through Mary's Attic, Simon's Tavern, and other Andersonville bars while supporting Lakeview's comedy theater company pH Productions. Register for $20 beginning March 1, and $25 after March 15 here. Registration includes a t-shirt, access to drink specials, and all the brains you can get your teeth around (just look out for those shotgun wielding farmers).

The Abstract of ThYck @ Grossinger City Autoplex

The Grossinger City Autoplex, 1530 N. Dayton, hosts the ThYck Troupe of Chicago's "The Abstract of ThYck," tonight at 7pm. The troupe, which features and promotes full-figured women in arts and entertainment, will perform in a showcase featuring live music, spoken word, a runway fashion show and more. General admission tickets are $25; VIP tickets are $50-$100. For more information, call 847-582-0555.

Beast Women @ Greenhouse Theater

Beast Women, now in its fifth season, is a cabaret-style show that features some of the best female talent in Chicago.

The details:
Saturday Nights at 10:30pm
April 7th - May 12th *
Greenhouse Theater Downstairs Main Stage
2257 N. Lincoln
* Special Performance of Beast Women - Rising Sunday, April 22nd at 7:00pm
For Tickets: Box Office 773-404-7336 or
Online at www.greenhousetheater.org

The Moth StorySLAM @ Haymarket Pub and Brewery

The Haymarket Pub and Brewery hosts a special mid-month instance of the Moth StorySLAM. Willing audience members are randomly selected to deliver a story on the agreed-upon topic (tonight's topic: "Silver Lining"), and a winner is chosen by a panel of judges and invited to appear at the storySLAM finals, happening later in the year. Doors open at 5pm, show starts at 8pm. Tickets are $8 at the door, but advance tickets are available for $16 through The Moth Website. Haymarket Pub and Brewery: 737 W. Randolph (at Halsted). (312) 638-0700.

Beast Women Opening Night @ Greenhouse Theater

Beast Women, now in its fifth season, is a cabaret-style show that features some of the best female talent in Chicago.

The details:
Saturday Nights at 10:30pm
April 7th - May 12th *
Greenhouse Theater Downstairs Main Stage
2257 N. Lincoln
* Special Performance of Beast Women - Rising Sunday, April 22nd at 7:00pm
For Tickets: Box Office 773-404-7336 or
Online at www.greenhousetheater.org

Chicago Mobile Food Symposium

Join the My Streets! My Eats! campaign and the Institute for Justice for the Chicago Mobile Food Symposium, a community symposium on mobile food in Chicago. The event runs from 8:30am to 1:30pm today in the University of Chicago Law School Auditorium 1111 E. 60th St., and will include a session for food vendors on understanding local legal issues, a panel discussion, and a food truck meetup. The event is free and open to the public, but space is limited. Attendees can register here.

"Celebrating Life" With R&B Singer Conya Doss @ Ruth CORE Center

The Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center, 2020 W. Harrison, presents "Celebrating Life," with special guest R&B songstress Conya Doss, today from 11:30am-1:30pm. The event, which targets individuals living with HIV who live in homeless shelters, recovery centers, transitional correctional facilities, etc., will also highlight the "healthy living" concept of health care. For more information, call 630-709-8536.

Two Cookie and P. Fanatics Team Up Part Two!

The two literary series Two Cookie Minimum and P Fanatics for a second time this week. They meet up today. Easter Sunday, with free cookies, zines and a festive lineup including Dan Shapiro, Lindsay Hunter, Matt Rowan, Fred Sasaki and Fred Sasaki (father/son duo!), musical comedy by Rich Salamander, and house band Hawaiian Death Folk Presents. The show will be hosted by Mason Johnson and Johnny Misfit, 7:30pm at Cole's Bar, 2338 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Rock for Kids charity art exhibit @ Hinge Gallery

Rock For Kids will be hosting Shifting Focus, a fine arts exhibit held one night only &mdsah; tonight — at the emerging contemporary art gallery Hinge from 6-9:30pm. The event is free to attend and will exhibit various works from seven different contemporary artists: Zack Balber, Tim Buwalda, Typoe, Debbie Carlos, Alex Colindres, Sarah Newby, and Lucia Palmarini, all at various stages in their careers. A portion of all proceeds will benefit Rock for Kids as well as further arts education. Hinge Gallery is located at 1955 W. Chicago Ave. More on Facebook.

Reading Under the Influence

Reading Under the Influence celebrates the book release of one of it's co-founding members Jesse Jordan. In keeping with their format, the theme of the monthly reading will be the title of Jordan's debut novel, "Gospel Hollow." Along with Jordan, readers will include Jamison Spencer, Joan Friedrich and RUI's most-requested-reader ever, Darwyn Jones.

RUI is always in the back room of Sheffield's, 3258 N. Sheffield Ave, 7pm, $3.

Two Cookie and P. Fanatics Team Up Reading!

Two literary series team up twice this week, bringing featured readers, zines and cookies. Two Cookie Minimum and P Fanatics first mash up is scheduled for Tuesday April 3rd. The lineup includes Dan Shapiro, Maggie Ritchie, Laura Szumowski, Dave Snyder, Kieth Rosson (Avow zine from Milwaukee), Jill Summers, and Adam Drent.
Join hosts Mason Johnson and Johnny Misfit. The event at the Hungry Brain 2319 W. Belmont at 9pm. As always, there will be cookies.

Here's the Story @ Stage 773

Tonight, Here's the Story will celebrate one year. If you haven't checked them out yet, their anniversary show would be the perfect time to do it! Come to Stage 773 (1225 W Belmont) at 7:30pm (no fooling, we promise) to share some food, some fun, and, of course, some stories. Admission is $5, but if you bring food to participate in the potluck, you get in free. Click here to check out the great line-up of story-tellers they have for you!

MeSoFar: New in Town

Check out a unique kind of singles event with MeSoFar. Ten single Chicago newbies will share their stories with a crowd of similarly single Chicagoans and see if sparks fly. For tickets and to learn more, check out MeSoFar's website.

The New Colony's Fools Ball @ The Dank Haus

If you've enjoyed getting to know the characters from New Colony theater productions over the last few years (particularly FRAT and Five Lesbians Eating a Quiche), you may want to check out the Colonists' first annual Board Fundraiser, featuring favorite characters from shows past as well as The New Colony's upcoming production in partnership with Bailiwick Chicago, Rise of the Numberless. $40 ticket includes live entertainment, hors d'oeurves, wine and beer, games, and silent auction; group discounts available, booked over email. 8pm, The Dank Haus, 4740 N. Western Avenue, 6th Floor.

Songs of Innocence and of Experience @ the Poetry Foundation

Tonight at 6pm, the Poetry Foundation (61 W. Superior) invites you to watch a modern interpretation of William Blake's Songs of Innocence and of Experience, performed by Billy Blake and the Vagabonds. Using folk, pop, country, and gospel music, so it's a must see! Especially considering attendees will receive a free edition of the April 2012 Poetry magazine and an Edie Fake print of "The Little Vagabond" by William Blake. The event will also celebrate Billy Blake and the Vagabonds release of Billy Blake and the Vagabonds Live in Concert.
Admission is free, and you can save yourself a seat here.

The Moth StorySLAM @ Martyrs'

Martyrs plays host to this month's Moth StorySLAM, starting tonight at 8pm. Willing participants are picked from the audience to deliver a story on the evening's topic (tonight's topic: "Kiss of Death"). The winner is selected by a panel of judges and invited to return to the Moth's finals, happening later in the year. Martyrs: 3855 N. Lincoln Avenue. (773) 404-9494.

St. Patrick's Day Parade & River Dyeing

The annual dyeing of the Chicago River an even brighter shade of green than normal kicks off the city's official St. Patrick's Day celebration. The dying begins at 10am this morning at around Columbus and Wacker. At noon, the Chicago St. Patrick's Day Parade steps off down Columbus Drive, starting from Balbo and ending at Monroe Drive.

The Sweet and Sour Poetry Hour @ Let Them Eat Chocolate

Chocolate and poetry--do we need to say any more? Tonight The Sweet and Sour Poetry Hour celebrates its third edition with an open mic (starting at 7pm) and special guest performances (starting at 7:30pm), including Kevin "Bam" Smith and D-Nick the Microphone Misfit, at Andersonville's Let Them Eat Chocolate. Bring some of your own poetry, stories, or monologues at 6:30pm to sign up for the 7 open mic slots. Or come at 7pm, buy some delicious chocolate, and settle in for some seriously sweet fun. (Admission is free!)

"Redefining Convenience" @ Inland Steel Building

A daylong event hosted by the Chicago Loop Alliance, and thrown by the Congress for the New Urbanism's Illinois Chapter, "Redefining Convenience" examines and explores the Chicago as a venue for effective placemaking, as an increasing number of households are looking towards urban amenities to fulfill their daily needs.

How do we bring about positive changes amidst challenging times? How do we achieve great things by invigorating local economies and investing in incremental changes to our built environment?

This daylong workshop on the ground floor of the Inland Steel Building, 30 W. Monroe, is divided into three parts, $15/per. For more information and to register, click here.

Chicago Zine Fest 2012!

The third annual Chicago Zine Fest is on Saturday March 10th. The fest features over 150 zine exhibitors, a DIY Film Festival, an exhibitor Art show, Discussions and Workshops, and Kid's activities. The fest is from 11am - 6pm at Columbia College's Conaway Center 1104 S. Wabash Ave.

Chicago Zine Fest Pre-fest Events

Friday March 9th kicks off the third annual Chicago Zine Fest. Events begin Friday afternoon with a reading and panel presented by Columbia College's Silver Tongue reading series. Gender, Race and Sexuality: A Discussion with Women in Self-Publishing: A panel discussion to feature Cristy Road, Anne Elizabeth Moore and Mimi Thi Nguyen. Drop by from 1-3pm at the Conaway Center Columbia College, 1104 S. Wabash Ave.

Next there are a double feature of zinester readings with a Youth Zine Reading from 6 - 7pm and an Exhibitor Zine Reading from 7- 9pm at 826CHI, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave.

The night finishes off with the Spring 2012 Zine Olympics from 9:30- 11pm at Quimby's Bookstore, 1854 W. North Ave.

Stars! Wars! The Musical! @ Mercury Theater

Chicago-based improv group Octavarius is performing a one-night showing of Stars! Wars! The Musical! tonight at the Mercury Theater, 3745 N Southport Ave. The musical will be followed by a bonus improv set. Show starts at 8pm. Tickets are $10. Discounted tickets of $7 are offered to attendees who dress in Star Wars attire or bring a light saber.

Deep Rooted & Growing @ Galleria Marchetti

Umoja celebrates 15 years of student achievement tonight at Galleria Marchetti (825 W Erie). The Spring Fling features an auction, raffle and buffet dinner. Tickets range from $60 to $120. 6-10pm.

Reading Under The Influence Collaborates with CPL and Story Week Festival

Reading Under the Influence returns tonight at 7pm, collaborating with Columbia College's Story Week Festival of Writers and Chicago Public Library's One Book, One Chicago program. Featured readers are all Columbia College Fiction Writing department faculty and staff. Showcasing original work will be Fiction Writing Chair Randy Albers and professors Eric May and Ann Hemenway. The department's secretary Nicole Chakalis will read a selection from this year's chosen "One Book," Gold Boy, Emerald Girl by Yiyun Li. RUI is always in the back room of Sheffield's, 3258 N. Sheffield Ave. $3 cover. 21+

Two Cookie Minimum All Zinester Reading

Two Cookie Minimum reading series is back with an all zinester reading. Zinesters will be showcasing new works, before they will have them at the Chicago Zine Fest. Featured zinesters include Jonathon Cannon, Liz Baudler, Nicole Baiel, Carrie Colpitts, Dave Roche, and Eric Bartholomew. As always, the event boasts they will provide free cookies. Stop by Hungry Brain, 2319 W. Belmont at 9pm.

Chicago Bike Swap

The Chicago Bike Swap runs from 10am to 5pm today at the Pulaski Park Fieldhouse, 1419 W. Blackhawk St. Browse bikes and gear from local bike shops and private sellers, and attend bike safety and repair demos and discussions of transportation policy. Admission is $10, or $5 if you're a member of the Active Transportation Alliance. Proceeds benefit the Active Transportation Alliance, Bike Winter and The Chainlink.

An Evening of Word and Image @ Stop Smiling Storefront

As the new biannual Chicagoan magazine gains steam, editor-in-chief J. C. Gabel shuts a door: to the former Stop Smiling storefront. As founder of the late Stop Smiling magazine (and current publisher of Stop Smiling Books), Gabel hosts one last hurrah in the the space at 1371 N. Milwaukee Ave., starting at 7:30 on March 2.

Poets Jill Magi, Amaranth Borsul, and Michael Robbins; fiction writers Danielle Dutton and Justin Taylor; photographer Erica Baum; and more present work in which "they re-envision the form of 'the book' itself."

But that isn't all, promises Gabel: "Dance party afterward."

AWP Off Site Event: Literature Party

Chicago's lit scene lets it all hang out for an AWP inspired event aptly titled the Literature Party.

There are scheduled readings by Tim Kinsella, Dorothea Lasky, Mary Miller, and a shadow puppet show by Jill Summers and Susie Kirkwood set to text by Jesse Ball. As for the party side of things, the evet kicks off with an opening DJ set by James Yeh and Lincoln Michel of Gigantic and a closing dance party by Matt Roan. Sharing the duty of hosting alongside Dodson will be Lindsay Hunter (Quickies reading series).

Join the party Friday March 2nd, 8pm at Lincoln Hall 2424 N Lincoln Avenue.

Kevin O'Rourke art opening @ Inkling

Lakeview gift and art shop Inkling is hosting an opening reception tonight for artist Kevin O'Rourke. His collection of linoleum block prints focus on Chicago music and entertainment venues such as the Green Mill, Aragon, and more. (See a full gallery of some of his work on the store's blog.) The opening reception takes place tonight from 6-10pm at 2917 1/2 N. Broadway. 773-248-8004. RSVP on Facebook. FREE.

Goose Island Beer Academy -- Stouts & Porters

Pub Brewer Jared Rouben returns at Goose Island Clyborn with this month's beer academy theme - Stouts & Porters. The Beer Academy is featured the last Wednesday of each month and you get to try at least 12 beers from both Goose Island and other craft breweries. If you're a beer aficionado or just want to learn more about the liquid, this is a great $20 to spend. Expect a round-table (except not in the round) discussion and make sure you eat something beforehand. Like grade school, you can't eat in class.

To RSVP and reserve your spot call 312.915.0071.
1800 N Clybourn Avenue

AWP Women's Caucus @ Women & Children First

Tonight, Women & Children First (5233 N Clark) will play host to one of the many AWP Conference kick-off events happening around the city. Poets from the AWP Women's Caucus will do a poetry reading starting at 7:30. Admission is free.

TallGrass Writers Guild Open Mic @ The Bourgeois Pig

The TallGrass Writers Guild is hosting an open mic with Charlotte Hart tonight at 7:30pm at The Bourgeois Pig (738 W Fullerton, use the right-hand doorway). For $6 ($5 for students), you can captivate the audience with your poetry, fiction, non-fiction, etc.

55-cent Drinks for 55 Years at The Lodge Tavern

Yeah, you heard that right. Gather up your loose change tonight and head on over to The Lodge Tavern, located at 21 West Division Street to help them celebrate 55 years in business with 55-cent beers, wine, well and call cocktails from 9pm to 4am. And you thought a PBR was a good deal.

Jamal Joseph@Harold Washington Library

Former Black Panther Party member Jamal Joseph is reading from his new novel Panther Baby: A Life of Rebellion & Reinvention at the Harold Washington Library, Cindy Pritzker Auditorium, 400 S. State St. @ 6pm. Seating is first come, first served.

Spanish Wine and Dinner Night at D.O.C. Wine Bar

D.O.C. Wine Bar in Lincoln Park features its evening of Spanish wine and gourmet four course dinner tonight at 7:00 with Juan Muga of Bodegas Muga Winery as the host. Check out the write-up in Drive Thru for more information on the menu. Cost is $70 (excluding tip and tax). Call to reserve your spot. 2602 N Clark 773-883-5101

Me So Far - LGBT

MeSoFar is hosting its very first LGBT event on Feb. 19th at the Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. The event will feature 10 single "presenters" who will each give six-minute slideshows about themselves to 50 other single audience members. Speakers and listeners mingle during and after the presentations. The speakers are already lined up but there are still some spots open for listeners. Sign up here.

Dateless in Chicago

Didn't get so lucky on Valentines Day? No worries. Dateless in Chicago is hosting its very first charity event tonight at The Catalyst Ranch, 656 W. Randolph Street, #3W, from 8pm to 11pm. The evening will be filled with entertaining activities, interactive match-making games, swing dance lessons, photo booths and the beats of DJ Trimm. The event will benefit Bin Donated, a Chicago-based non-profit organization that promotes charitable giving through collection and donation services. Get your tickets here.

Catherine Theis and Jessica Savitz @ Women and Children First

Tonight, Chicago authors and Iowa Writers Workshop alumns Theis and Savitz read from their first published collections, The Fraud of Good Sleep and Hunting is Painting, respectively. Taking place at Women and Children First, the reading is free and begins at 7pm.

Erotica Exotica Poetica @ Weeds

Wanna spice up your Monday? Check out the annual Erotica Exotica Poetica open mic at Weeds (1555 N. Dayton) tonight, starting at 10pm. Gregorio Gomez hosts as poets bring their "most sexiest, seductive, sensual, and orgasmic poetry" to read to (and turn on) the audience. Admission and parking are free, but it's 21+ only! (IDs will be checked.)

Night Lab: The Science of Love and Attraction @ Schubas

Science is Sexy brings you a night of learning the science behind l'amour and all that other smooshy stuff in addition to research on online dating, and how sex is portrayed in films. NU Psychology professor Eli Finkel and Rebecca Fons of the Chicago International Film Festival will be in attendance to talk and be talked with. Are you that special someone? Event is at Schubas (Belmont and Southport) from 6:30pm to 8:30pm. Free.

Gapers Block Dance-a-Thon @ Quenchers

Join us at Quenchers Saloon for a full-day dance marathon this Sunday, February 12th at 3pm. We will have a DJ Mu-Mu James spinning live, all sorts of entertainment and the afternoon will be hosted by the country's most listened to LGBTQ podcast, Feast of Fun! Comic Kristin Clifford and go-go dance troupe The Revelettes will add entertainment value. Bring a can of food for our food drive, and enter to win dance-related raffle prizes! Your $10 door fee will help Gapers Block keep the lights on. More details on Facebook. 21+

Shaken and Stirred Singles Event at Oak Park Library

Where's a nerdy guy or gal suppose to find love post-college these days? At the Oak Park Library of course! The library is hosting a "Shaken and Stirred" speed dating and online dating panel on Sat. 11 February from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. The list is full of lovely ladies but some book-loving men are still needed. Registration needed!

Super Button Mashers @ OHNO!DOOM ARCADE

The OhNo!Doom gallery, 1800 N. Milwaukee, becomes the OhNo!Arcade tonight as it hosts it's Super Button Mashers exhibit from 6pm to 10pm. The night will feature an eclectic arsenal of artists from the city and beyond including Jeremiah Ketner, Aya Kakeda, Max Bare and many more. The deal maker may very well be the local eats by Duck N Roll, coffee courtesy of The Wormhole, and brew brought to you by LowDive.

Granta Magazine Reading

The British literary magazine Granta celebrates its winter issue, Exit Strategies, with a reading and conversation between Chinelo Okparanta (faculty of University of Iowa) and Nami Mun (faculty at Columbia College's Fiction Writing department) tonight at 7:30pm at Woman and Children First, 5233 N. Clark St.

Chicago Zine Fest Fundraiser with Punk Rock Karaoke

Chicago Zine Fest is holding its last fundraiser before the fest. They team up with Punk Rock Karaoke Chicago, who bring DIY music to a one of a kind karaoke experience. The co-hosts will be Johnny Misfit and Mason Johnson.

The event begins at 9pm, Beauty Bar, 1444 W. Chicago, 21+. There is a $5 cover which goes to the zine fest.

Reading Under the Influence Celebrates Mardi Gras

Reading Under the Influence aims to celebrate Mardi Gras at their February reading (the first of 2012). Readers will feature Patricia Ann McNair (author of The Temple of Air), Seth Alexander (writer and religious scholar), Quinn Stephens (writer and animator of Laser Dragon University) and Kyle Chaney (a RUI co-host). The month's theme will be "carnival" just in time for Fat Tuesday.

Stop in to at the back-back room at Sheffield's, 3258 N. Sheffield Ave, 7pm with a $3 cover.

Two Cookie Minimum Reading Series Year One

Two Cookie Minimum returns in 2012 with a lineup of readers culled from the laundry list of guests that appeared at the series in 2011. There's a mix of zinesters and writers featuring:
Lara Levitan, Carrie Colpitts (my aim is true zine), Tom Lynch, Georgi Johnson (cursive zine), and Jim Joyce (or let it sink zine).

The event is back at the Hungry Brain 2319 W. Belmont at 9pm. As always, there will be cookies.

Celebration of Shrinkage 2012 @ Oak Street Beach

The Lakeview Polar Bear Club is set to take the plunge at Oak Street Beach, 1000 N Lake Shore Dr., today at noon. Shrinkage swimmers should arrive at 11am. Registration is $30, unless already preregistered.

Lightness & Darkness Release Party @ Happy Dog

Brand-spankin' new multimedia book project Lightness & Darkness will throw its release party and first performance tonight at Happy Dog Gallery (1542 N. Milwaukee), a Wicker Park apartment gallery and alternative art space. For more information about Lightness & Darkness, and/or to support them on Kickstarter click here. For more information about the release event, visit the FB event page.

Solace in So Many Words

Weighed Words, micropublisher and imprint of Hourglass Books since 2010, will present Solace in So Many Words at the Wilmette Public Library on Thursday, January 26.

"Solace in So Many Words, featuring Wilmette writer J. Scott Smith, along with contributors Joan Corwin, Pamela Miller, Pat Rahmann D. J. Lachance and editor Ellen Wade Beals. What does solace mean? Come hear these distinguished writers share their poetry, fiction and essays on the very pertinent subject of solace."

Details:
Wilmette Public Library
1242 Wilmette Avenue, Wilmette
Thursday, January 26 at 7:30 pm

Lightness & Darkness "BABY SHOWER" Fundraiser @ Uncharted Books

Lightness & Darkness is crowning, guys! Shower the baby with your love at Uncharted Books, a brand spanking new book store in the heart of Logan Square. Grant Reynolds will be doing commissioned drawings for donations for the book as well as selling some of his own publications to benefit L & D! There will be snacks, refreshments and other sort of fun stuff available for small donations. The event is today from 3:30 to 7pm at Uncharted Books: 2630 N. Milwaukee. More info here.

Four Monologues @ Poetry Foundation

Four Monologues is an excerpt from author and poet Aram Saroyan's play, The Laws of Light, done as a staged reading. Taking place at the Poetry Foundation (61 W Superior) at 7pm, the reading coincides with a letterpress book release. The artist's book edition was created by students in the Book and Paper Arts MFA program at Columbia College Chicago. Reserve your spot here or call (312) 787-7070.

Northwestern MFA Grads @ Stop Smiling Storefront

Northwestern MFA graduates, poets Christine Pacyk and Lana Rakhman, will receive a grand introduction by established poets Ron Gibbons and Simone Muench at a reading and reception tonight at 7pm at the Stop Smiling storefront (1371 N Milwaukee Ave). Admission is free, so come congratulate the new grads!

MLK Day Celebration @ Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center

The African American Arts Alliance of Chicago presents a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration tonight at 7pm. This tribute to the late civil rights leader, held at the Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 N. Clark St., will feature live performances including music, short scenes and poetry. Free. For more information, call 773-754-3923.

King Day Celebration @ DuSable Museum of African-American History

The DuSable Museum of African-American History, 740 E. 56th Pl., presents "King Day Celebration," today from 10am-7pm. This day-long, family friendly celebration will feature live performances including A Legacy for America's Children¸ a musical play by Chicago's own, Joan Collaso, a performance by Hip Hop Detoxx, films and other activities. Tickets are $8-$10; for a full line-up, visit the museum's website or call 773-947-0600.

Empty Bottle Book Club

Did you know The Empty Bottle has a book club? For its first meeting this year, stop by Sunday Jan 15th at 1pm for a discussion around Jennifer Egan's novel "A Visit from the Goon Squad." Their bar is open as is their neighboring kitchen at Bite Cafe.

The Chicago Way Literary Series Welcomes Charlie Newton

For all you crime and mystery fans out there, join The Chicago Way literary series as they bring out authors Charlie Newton (who's new novel is Start Shooting) and Chicago native Jonathan Eig. The series is hosted by local author Michael Harvey (writer of the Chicago Way crime novel series)

There will be interactive Chicago-crime themed games with prizes. Stop at the The Hidden Shamrock (back room), 2723 N. Halsted Tuesday, January 10 at 7pm.

Poetry on Screen @ The Poetry Foundation

Watch the story of Carl Sandburg--his life and his work--at the Chicago premiere of Bonesteel Films' The Day Carl Sandburg Died. After the screening, Marc Smith, the founder of slam poetry, will discuss all things Sandburg with the filmmaker, Paul Bonesteel. Tonight at 7pm and Saturday, January 7, at 3pm at The Poetry Foundation (61 W. Superior St.). Reserve your spot for free!

Book Promotion: What's Your Problem?

Tribune columnist Jon Yates (the "Problem Solver") has heard a lot of people's problems. Enough to fill a thrice-weekly column for the past six years.

If you've missed out on those 900-odd advice columns and could use a helpful synopsis, then you may want to check out Yates' new book -- titled, appropriately enough, What's Your Problem? Cut Through Red Tape, Challenge the System and Get Your Money Back.

Tonight at 6pm, Yates will be promoting his new advice compendium at the Billy Goat Tavern (430 N. Michigan Avenue). Go for the tips, stay for a burger.

The 2nd Story NYE Special

Looking for a literary start to the new year? 2nd Story's NYE celebration can do just that. The experimental storytelling series has a packed lineup with guests Stephanie Chavara, Julie Ganey, Deb Lewis, and Doug Whippo. The event is curated by Bobby Biedrzycki, directed by Thrisa Hodits and sound by Seeking Wonderland.

Tickets are $40 in advance ($50 at the door) which includes a drink and a champagne toast. The festivities begin at 9:30pm at the Morseland 1218 W. Morse Ave.

Eve of the Eve @ Union Station

The 18th annual Eve of the Eve gala will be held in Union Station's Great Hall, 500 W. Jackson Blvd., tonight at 8pm. Welcoming more than 2,000 of the city's young professionals, the black-tie optional event's proceeds will benefit the HighSight fun, which provides scholarships, tutoring, and mentoring for high school students. Tickets are available at $125 in advance or $140 at the door. 21+

Write Club: The War on Christmas - Boxing Day Massacre

The Reading series Write Club is back in time for the holidays with an appropriate theme: The War on Christmas - Boxing Day Massacre. Like the series' name suggests, there are bouts between writers, each given an opposing idea.
GIVE (Ian Belknap) vs. RECEIVE (Jen Ellison)
NAUGHTY (Annie Kincade) vs. NICE (Bilal Dardai)
SANTA (Keith Ecker) vs. JESUS (Steve Walker)
Tuesday Dec 27th, 7pm, $8 with all proceeds going to charities selected by the winner of each bout. As always its at the Hideout 1354 W. Wabansia.

Zoo Lights

Still looking for some holiday activities, go out and enjoy the Zoo Lights at both Chicagoland zoos.

Brookfield Zoo Lights continue from the 26th through the 31st. Regular admission fees apply with lights on from 4 to 9pm. The Brookfield Zoo is located at First Avenue between Ogden Avenue and 31st Street in Brookfield, IL. Directions to the zoo.

The Lincoln Park Zoo Lights run nightly through January 1. Admission is free to the public and lights begin at 5pm and run until 9pm. Lincoln Park Zoo is located off Lake Shore Drive at the Fullerton Parkway exit. Directions.

Christmas Crisis @ Challengers Comics

It's game time at Challengers Comics, 1845 N Western Ave., as it kicks off its 30-hour event,Christmas Crisis 2011. Visitors are welcome to shop, play games, or chat and hang from 11am today until 5pm tomorrow. Free.

Blue Monday @ Double Door

Double Door, 1572 N Milwaukee Ave., is going totally 80's tonight for its monthly Blue Monday. The retro dance party promises nothing but the greatest songs from the era that brought the likes of Madonna, MJ, and Prince at their best. A $5 cover gets attendees one free Old Style. 21+

The Chicago Way: Operation Family Secrets

The Chicago Way reading series welcomes New York Times bestselling author Frank Calabrese, Jr. reading from his book Operation Family Secrets. To follow will be a conversation regarding his experiences in organized crime, his role with the FBI, working with the Zimmerman Brothers to document his story, and his current lifestyle.

The series welcomes audience interactive with a quiz, prizes and a book signing.
It all happens December 18th, 7:30 p.m. at the Hidden Shamrock 2723 N. Halsted.

International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers Vigil

The Sex Workers Outreach Project holds a vigil in honor of International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers tonight from 7pm to 8:30pm at the Jane Addams Hull House Museum, 800 S. Halsted St. Join current and former sex workers, allies, friends, families and others in remembrance of sex workers who have died at the hands of violent crimes.

Santa Rampage Bike Ride

Stay active this winter by attending the Santa Rampage today starting at 11am with a meetup at the Twisted Spoke downtown followed by a journey to various liquor stores and holiday shops (arrive on time - there's a noon departure). The only caveat -- on this bike outing, you'll need a full costume. Only fully-dressed Santas, elves, or dreidels are allowed (homemade costumes are completely fine). RSVP on Facebook. The Twisted Spoke is located at 501 N. Ogden Ave, Chicago.

Ms. Mint's Holiday Bazaar

Ms. Mint's 2nd annual Holiday Bazaar is a curated grassroots gift bazaar that brings together regional food artisans, fair trade businesses, designers, authors, community organizations, and more!

The Bazaar will be held at Grossinger City Autoplex 1530 N. Dayton St.

Friday, December 16 from 3-8pm; Saturday, December 17 from 11-6pm

For more information, visit Ms. Mint's website.

Windy City Fight Night 20 @ UIC Pavillion

The Polish Prince, Andrzej Fonfara headlines Windy City Fight Night 20 at the UIC Pavillion, 525 South Racine Ave., tonight, in a ten-round bout against Minnesota native, Phil The Drill Williams. Undercard fights include local favorites Adrian Granados, Jaime Herrera, and newcomer Luis Santiago. Tickets are priced between $31 to $76. Doors open at 7pm. First Bell at 8pm.

Peter Sis @ The Art Institute of Chicago

Tonight at 6pm, at the Art Institute of Chicago (Fullerton Hall, 111 S Michigan Ave), Poetry Off the Shelf hosts author Peter Sís as he reads from his new book The Conference of the Birds. Barbara Robertson and Brad Armacost perform some of the stanzas, and a book signing follows. Admission is free, but it is first-come, first-served.

Beautiful Outsiders: Talk @ The Poetry Foundation

In connection with the Poetry Foundation's Beautiful Outsiders exhibition, this event features Poetry senior editor Don Share talking about how important design is when it comes to independent presses. The exhibition itself revolves around independent presses Black Sparrow, Burning Deck, and Fulcrum and their histories and aesthetics. The talk takes place at The Poetry Foundation (61 W. Superior) tonight at 6pm, first-come, first-served. And free!

Untoward Magazine Anniversary Event

A new year is here early for Untoward Magazine who celebrates their one year anniversary.

To celebrate they offer a packed lineup of local readers including:
A D Jameson, Russ Woods, Meghan Lamb, James Tadd Adcox, Dan Shapiro, John Thurgood, Ben Tanzer, Samantha Irby, Lindsay Hunter, Chris Bower and Joshua Young.

Hosting will be magazine staffer Matt Rowan, P. Fanatics Reading series host Mason Johnson, and Jon Mau. Come out Wednesday December 14th, 7pm at Beauty Bar 1444 W Chicago Ave.

Logan Square Literary Review Issue 9 Release Party

The Logan Square Literary Review drops their 9th issue in style with a reception at an art gallery in Humboldt Park (they support their neighboring communities). The cast of readers are contributors to the current issue. All past issues will be available for sale. Also, art work of the gallery will as well. Think about a one stop shop for some holiday gifts.

The event is free and open to the public Wednesday, December 14, 7pm Peanut Gallery 1000 N California ave.

St. Lucia Festival of Lights

The Andersonville neighborhood observes the darkest time of year at the St. Lucia Festival of Lights. Meet at 4:45pm at the Swedish American Museum, 5211 N. Clark for a candlelight procession to Ebenezer Lutheran Church, 1650 W Foster, for a special church service. Museum admission $1 or a canned food donation.

Hideout Holiday Sale

It's free to attend this annual crafty sale nestled in the Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia. The Hideout Holiday Sale takes place tonight from 6-9pm. Bonus: this year learn about the Hideout 2012 CSA with Peasants Plot Farm. (After the sale, stick around for some banjo twangin' by The Dog Patch Ramblers. $5 suggested donation, starting at 9pm.) 21+

Star Wars Trivia Night @ Harrigan's Pub

Star Wars trivia titans can test their skills tonight at 7:30pm at Harrigan's Pub, 2816 N. Halsted. Participation costs $5. 21+

Robin Thicke @ The Mid

Robin Thicke, a R&B crooner with a classic twist, is coming to The Mid, 306 N Halsted, tonight, as he continues his Love After War tour. Doors open at 7:30pm, at which time ticket sales will end. $25 for general admission. 21+

SchadenBears @ Lincoln Hall

Schadenfreude, Chicago’s long-running, critically acclaimed sketch comedy ensemble, performs new material to skewer Bears football today starting at 3pm at Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln Ave (in Chicago’s Lincoln Park), $5. Yes, they're wittier than you. Go. Laugh. Cry. Enjoy.

Pete Rock @ The Shrine

Pete Rock, from the veteran hip-hop duo Pete Rock and Cl Smooth, will be spinning classic hip-hop, soul, breaks and rare grooves at The Shrine tonight. Tickets are available online for $15. Doors open at 9pm. 21+

Tao Lin at Columbia College

Columbia College's student reading series Silver Tongue welcomes author Tao Lin. He will be lecturing on his new column "drug related photoshop art" for Vice magazine. Afterwards, participants from the audience will be called up to take part in an interactive conversation with the author. The event is at 618 S. Michigan, 2nd floor, Stage Two, at 6pm. It's free and open to the public.

All Your Paths in a Single Pocket @ The Poetry Foundation

This theatrical performance is inspired by poet Anna Kamienska's "Notebooks" and brings together text, music, and dance to spotlight the work of making art. All Your Paths in a Single Pocket runs for three more days, tonight and December 9 and10 at 7:30pm at the Poetry Foundation (61 W. Superior). Admission is free but first-come, first-served!

The Encyclopedia Show Gets XTREME!

The Encyclopedia Show returns with their December show themed Xtreme Sports.
Appropriately, entertainment will feature an interview with professional mixed martial artist fighter Shonie Carter. There will be a presentation from Anne Elizabeth Moore (zinester and author of Cambodian Grrrl), on the appropriation of skateboard culture. Plus Susan McLaughlin-Karp (BoyGirlBoyGirl) on the Iditarod, Jamila Woods (National Poetry Slam Finalist) on Kobayashi's Retirement, Dominique James (Louder Than a Bomb Champion) on Murderball, Natalie Edwards (local writer on Nickelodeon Guts and Guybrush Taylor (visual artist) on Extreme Ironing!

This all happens Thursday Dec 8th, at the Theater (1012 N. Noble), 7:30pm, $8 gets you in the door.

Reading Under the Influence: Infamy

Reading Under the Influence returns Wednesday, December 7. This historical date, "a day that will live in infamy", lends itself as this month's theme Infamy. Featured readers are Dennis Frymire (SKALD storytelling champion), Cyn Vargas, Brandon Will (worker at The Book Cellar) and Ray Lumpp (a RUI co-host). All will read original work and then host trivia segments.

Stop by RUI in the back room at Sheffield's, 3258 N. Sheffield Ave., $3, 7 p.m.

The Last So You Think You Have Nerves of Steel of 2011

The last 2011 monthly and oh so legendary So You Think You Have Nerves of Steel is
Tuesday, December 6th.

This edition is more musical than most. They will have a house band, Good Evening and as always host Harold Ray will croon for your entertainment. Writer Jac Jemc will read, enjoy some stand-up by Natalie Edwards, a pairing surprise by Mason Johnson & Daniel Shapiro and more.

The series is always at the Hungry Brain 2319 W. Belmont at 8 p.m.

Journal of Ordinary Thought Reading @ St. Leonard's House

Tonight, JOT releases its winter 2011 issue and, in celebration, is hosting a reading with the National Writing Alliance at St. Leonard's House (2100 W. Warren Blvd) from 6 to 8 pm. Free!

Fenn Fair Multiples Sale @ SHOP

Southside Hub of Production (SHOP), 5638 S Woodlawn Ave, is hosting Fenn Fair, a weekend exhibition and art/craft sale of multiples and reproducible objects. It is the kickoff of REPRODUCE+ABILITY. The exhibition will include printmakers, mixtape artists, self-publishers, photocopy artists, object and image-makers, and others. 11am-5pm. Free.

Ugly Sweater Pub Crawl

The fourth annual Ugly Sweater Pub Crawl kicks off today at noon at Houndstooth, 3369 N. Clark St. Wear the ugliest sweater you can find (holiday themed sweaters a plus) and drink in support of Imerman Angels. Tickets (aka donations) are $20 in advance, $30 at the door. 21+

What's Your Art?: Celebrating Chicago's Art Centers @ The Cultural Center

Simultaneously embracing the holiday season and celebrating Chicago's rich landscape devoted to emerging artists and art education, "What's Your Art? Celebrating the Art Centers of Chicago" will take place at the Chicago Cultural Center (Yates Hall, 78 East Washington) today from 12 to 5pm. The event is free, but reservations are recommended. Across the city, remarkable places of art exhibition, classes, and public events exist to foster and inspire the development of art and culture. Each unique location has its own style, feel, and expertise and in an effort to share their mission and motivate those outside their regular audience, 12 extraordinary Art Centers from all across Chicago will come together under one roof. Additionally, new this year is the Marketplace where guests can purchase a variety of original artwork from the participating Art Centers perfect for the holiday season! There will also be a unique wrapping station where guests can add their own artistic touch. To RSVP and for more information, visit http://www.wbez.org/event/2011-12-03/whats-your-art.

Fenn Fair Multiples Sale @ SHOP

Southside Hub of Production (SHOP), 5638 S Woodlawn Ave, is hosting Fenn Fair, a weekend exhibition and art/craft sale of multiples and reproducible objects. It is the kickoff of REPRODUCE+ABILITY. The exhibition will include printmakers, mixtape artists, self-publishers, photocopy artists, object and image-makers, and others. Sales run from 11am-5pm, followed by music and screenings throughout the evening. Free.

Late Night Andersonville

From 6-10pm, a bunch of shops in Andersonville will be open late for shopping, drinking and special deals on their merch.

Write Club 20: Stuck at the Kids Table

Looking for a way to get ride of those Thanksgiving leftovers, stop by Chicago literary series Write Club Tuesday November 29th with their theme Stuck At the Kids' Table.

Write Club, is a reading dual consisting of 3 bouts of 2 competing writers.

Bouts and writers include:
LEG (Diana Slickman) vs. BREAST (Chris Bower),
HUNGRY (David Kodeski) vs. FULL (Rachel Claff),
THANKS (Edward Thomas-Herrera) vs. BUT NO THANKS (Ian Belknap).

Catch it at the Hideout 1354 W. Wabansia, $8, 7:30pm.

World of Dance Tour @ Copernicus Theater

The World of Dance Tour, an international urban-dance-competition that's been moving, shaking, and breaking-it-down across the nation, makes its way to the Copernicus Theater, 5216 W. Lawrence Ave., tonight. Welcoming some of the most respected names in the industry from within the city and beyond, the performance promises a night of culture and creativity for all those with a craving for the urban arts. Doors open at 4pm and tickets are $25. For other tour dates and ticket purchases visit worldofdance.com.

Vintage Heaven "In the Black" Big Sale @ Heaven Gallery

Heaven Gallery is holding its Vintage Heaven "In the Black" Big Sale today and tomorrow from 12pm to 6pm. Located at 1550 N. Milwaukee Ave. on the second floor, the non-profit gallery and art space showcases works from local artists and hosts vintage resellers once a month.

Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony @ Daley Plaza

Mayor Rahm Emanuel will do the honors of lighting the tree in Daley Plaza today, for the city's 98th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. Festivities including holiday musical performances by the Suzuki-Orff School of Music Children's Choir and The Chicago Urban Children's Choir begin at 4:30pm, followed by the lighting of the tree; beginning at 5pm.

Turkey Testicle Festival @ Timothy O'Toole's

Timothy O'Toole's, 622 N. Fairbanks Ct., is hosting a Turkey Testicle Festival tonight at 9pm. The pub will challenge participants to consume the testicular treats for a chance to win a whole turkey. A pumpkin-pie-eating contest for the softer stomachs will follow, with a $20 bar tab for the winner. 21+

Cuban Rum Revolution Dinner

Tonight beginning at 7pm, Nacional 27 (located at 325 W. Huron) will host a dinner party dedicated to the Cuban "rum revolution." Guests will start the evening off with a 30-minute rum cocktail mixology class and tapas, followed by a three-course Cuban inspired dinner at 7:30pm. The event will also feature live Latin music and Cuban rhythms. Tickets are $50 per person, which includes drinks tax and gratuity. To make reservations call (312) 664-2727.

Chicago Toy & Game Fair

The Chicago Toy & Game Fair runs today from 10am to 6pm and Sunday from 10am to 5pm in the Festival Hall at Navy Pier. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children 3-13.

Tankedgiving @ Nisei Lounge

Head out to Wrigleyville's Nisei Lounge tonight for a special charity hosted bar benefiting Rock for Kids. Volunteer bartenders will be filling glasses with special cocktails, and there will be free food from PopChips, and lots of fun. Tips go right to Rock for Kids! The event takes place from 6-8pm tonight at the Nisei, located at 3439 N. Sheffield Ave., Chicago. RSVP on Facebook if you like.

Chicago Zine Fest Bingo Night

Friday marks return of Chicago Zine Fest Bingo Night! There will be many rounds of bingo, delicious snacks, and awesome prizes.
Plus, special guest caller Dave Roche! There is $5 donation (with proceeds going to the Chicago Zine Fest). The event is Friday November 18th, 7pm at 826CHI 1331 N. Milwaukee.

Appropriating Art: Art Theft Unveiled @ Chicago Artist's Coalition

This event exposes the depths of the art world rarely discussed: forgery, fraud, and theft. The evening will begin with a presentation and discussion with former FBI agent and art security consultant Robert Spiel. Following this discussion will be a screening of the Don Argott documentary The Art of the Steal, exploring the controversy behind the theft of pieces from the Barnes Collection (Philadelphia). For more information click here or call 312-491-8888. The event will take place tonight at 6:30pm at the Chicago Artists Coalition, 217 N. Carpenter St. Admission is $10 for members, $15 for everyone else.

Two Cookie Minimum reading with Spectaular All Female lineup

Two Cookie Minimum's next reading is Tuesday November 15th and will feature an all female line up of local zinesters and writers including: Curiouser Jane (Apple Pickers Union zine), Amy L. Hayden (writer for Time Out Chicago), Nichole Baiel (Pieces zine), Emily Witte (Chicago Way literary series organizer), Jac Jemc (forthcoming novel "My Only Wife" on Dzanc),Liz Mason (Caboose zine), and Jami Sailor (Your Secretary zine). The event at Hungry Brain 2319 W. Belmont, 9pm, Free, includes cookies.

Author Talks - Umberto Eco

The Tribune's Author Talks fall series concludes this afternoon with writer and philosopher Umberto Eco (of the infamous Foucault's Pendulum, and the upcoming The Prague Cemetery). The event, in co-presentation with the 22nd annual Chicago Humanities Festival, takes place at the Thorne Auditorium of Northwestern University Law School, 375 E. Chicago Ave., at 3pm, and costs $15.

P. Fanatics reading series: Choose Your Own Adventure

End Sunday night right by attending the P. Fanatics reading series as emcee Mason Johnson blows the audience's mind by bringing out the laughs with the theme: Choose Your Own Adventure. Like those books from our childhood, readers that will tackle the subject include Meghan Lamb, Nick Narbutas, Maggie Ritchie, Matt Rowan, Daniel Shapiro, Ben Tanzer, Jill Summers,Fred Sasaki, and Tim Jones-Yelvington. Light musical fare performed by house band Hawaiian Death Folk Presents. First reader goes on around 7:30pm at Cole's Bar, 2338 N Milwaukee Ave.

The 2nd Story "A Cold Day in Hell"

With the weather getting worse, The 2nd Story aptly titles its November reading "A Cold Day in Hell." Storytellers sharing their stories include Alex Bonner, Deb Lewis, Brandon Will, and Earl McLaurin. The stage is curated by CP Chang, directed by Tyler James Greene, with sound by Nick Kawahara. Tonight at 7pm at Webster Wine Bar, 1480 W Webster Ave.

Two With Water Reading Series Gets Occupied

The monthly installment of the Two With Water reading series at Beauty Bar, 1444 W. Chicago Ave., carries the theme "Occupy." The evening begins at 7pm with an open mic, and featured readers include Julia Borcherts, Bobby Evers, Geoff Hyatt, Tanner McSwain, Delphine Pontvieux and John Wawrzaszek. No cover. 21+

Chicago Zine Fest Open Meeting

Join the Chicago Zine Fest Sunday afternoon as they hold an open meeting to discuss the 2012 fest. Discussions will include what is planned so far, what you might want to see, and how to become more involved. The meeting is at 2pm at the new Read/Write Library space (914 N. California).

Handmade Holidays Craft Fair @ Chicago Urban Art Society

Today's HANDMADE HOLIDAYS CRAFT FAIR features over 30 vendors, selling their hand-made crafts at the fair, including: clothing, jewelry, pottery, leather goods, soaps, paintings, silk-screens, etc. and an additional 15 vendors selling homemade food. The first and second place winners of the Sixth Annual Feria del Mole will be selling their famous mole. This fair takes place today from 11am to 6pm at the Chicago Urban Arts Society at 2229 South Halsted Street. The Second Annual Craft Fair a fundraiser to benefit programs at Universidad Popular and to help support the Students for Students scholarship. More info here.

Party Tonight at Maria's Packaged Goods

Maria's Packaged Goods & Community Bar is hosting a party tonight to celebrate 20 years of Lumpen with the release of The Chairman, an Imperial Red Ale created to remember the men and women who worked on the magazine. Enjoy some Korean Polish BBQ and a Half Acre takeover along with DJ action by Joe Bryl. Maria's is located at 960 W 31st Street at the intersection of Morgan Street and 31st. 773-890-0588.

Me So Far @ Den Theatre

Me So Far, the dating event designed around personal storytelling, focuses on teachers tonight at 7:30pm at Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave., 2nd floor. Register to be a "listener" to the available speakers; the cost is $20.

Grand Opening of the Read/Write Library Chicago

The Read/Write Library Chicago (formerly the Chicago Underground Library) celebrates the opening of its new space and re-branding tonight at 6:30pm at 914 N. California (use the Walton Entrance). Entertainment will include live jazz by Studio 914, reading and writing performances, activities, crafts and games to help you explore the stacks. The first 50 attendees will receive a limited edition poster. Free, all ages.

Bacon and Whiskey Tasting

Everyone loves bacon, so why not add some whiskey to the mix as well? The Irish Oak, 3511 N. Clark St., will be hosting bacon and whiskey tastings tonight beginning at 7:30pm, where connoisseurs of both can come mingle and taste the mouthwatering pairings. Tickets are $35 per person; space is limited. Call 773-935-6669 for more information.

The Encyclopedia Show Presents: The Railroad

The Encyclopedia Show is back rolling down the tracks with their theme, this installment being: the Railroad! Readers will include Second City's Tim Baltz, experimental MC Emanuel Vinson, blogger Susannah Breslin, mysterious writer Abigail Vic, John "Jughead" Pierson of The Neo-Futurists and legendary punk band Screeching Weasel, plus a lecture from Jason Rothstein the author of Carless in Chicago.The train leaves the station at 7:30pm at the Vittum Theater. 1012 N Noble, $8 (or $5 for students). All aboard.

Connecting The Beats panel discussion @ DePaul

Free and open to the public, attend a panel discussion on music journalism featuring bloggers and editors from Pitchfork, Daytrotter, Gapers Block (including our own Anne Holub), Fake Shore Drive, Chicago Mixtape, and Crowd Noize. The event is hosted by the DePaul Music Business Organization (DMBO) in DePaul's School of Music Recital Hall tonight at 7:30pm. There will be an opportunity to meet the panelists afterwards in the lobby. The discussion takes place at School of Music Recital Hall, DePaul University, 804 West Belden Ave., Chicago, IL. RSVP and get more info on Facebook.

Logan Square Chamber of Commerce 2011 Harvest Dinner

The Logan Square Chamber of Commerce hosts a benefit dinner at the Logan Square Auditorium. Sample food from neighborhood restaurants, enjoy local music, and bid at the silent auction, which benefits the Logan Square Farmers Market and other programs of the Chamber of Commerce. Tickets are $45 in advance and $55 at the door ($10 for children under 12). Reserve tickets online or by calling the Chamber at 773-489-3222.

America: Now and Here @ 30 East Cedar Street

America: Now and Here, a national project connecting artists and social issues, has its second Chicago event. Artists and expert presenters include Eric Fischl, Michelle Boone, Dawoud Bey, Jan Tichy and Erika Hanner. The free event runs from 2-5pm at the Sandra and Jack Guthman residence, 30 East Cedar Street. RSVP to Jessica at 248.770.0260.

Todd Ritter @ Centuries & Sleuths

Starting at 2pm today, mystery author Todd Ritter will be available for conversation and signing books at Centuries & Sleuths (7419 W. Madison Street, Forest Park), in honor of his upcoming Bad Moon.

Nerds at Heart @ Frontier

Nerds at Heart, the dating event series for smart singles both queer and straight, celebrates its fifth anniversary at The Frontier, 1072 N. Milwaukee Ave., tonight from 4pm to 7pm. Admission is $20, which includes one cocktail. Register here.

Shit Show After-Mic Dance Party @Shambles

Shit Show open Mic is hosting a spooktacular after-Mic dance party: October 31 at 11:30 pm. Located at Shambles bar (2050 west division), $6 burger and fries and $2 off ALL drafts and $3 jameson shots.Prizes to best dancer. Costumes are encouraged

Rooftop Halloween Party

The Newly opened III Forks Steakhouse, 333 E. Benton Plc., will be throwing a Halloween party tonight from 5-11pm under the stars. Guests are invited to dress up in their best costumes and head up to the heated rooftop for the costume contest. Dinner for two for III Forks will be awarded to the best female, male, and couple costumes. III Forks will also be offering complimentary hors d'oeuvres from 5-7pm and the bar will be mixing cocktails perfect for the spooky evening. No cost to attend. For more information call 312-938-4303.

Halloween Magic Comes to Rosemont

The Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River Road, will have an afternoon full of spooky Halloween tricks and fun for everyone with Halloween Magic. An old deserted mansion on "Boo Street" will be the backdrop for this year's show and at midnight the mansion comes alive with eerie residents. Also included in the program is "Quick Change." An amazing act of non-stop excellently executed dance with rapid costume transformations in seconds. 100% of proceeds from ticket sales will go to Salute, Inc. a non-profit organization that provides financial support for military men and women and their familes. Tickets are on sale now, $20 for adults 13 and older, $10 for children 12 and under, $30 for VIP. For more information call (800) 745-3000. Show starts at 2pm.

"Scary Canary" Halloween Bash

The Red Canary,695 N. Milwaukee Ave., will host the "Scary Canary" Halloween bash from 9pm-3am tonight. Don your creepiest wittiest or most original costume for a chance to win the $1,000 cash prize. Second and third place winners will also receive a prize and judging will be held at 1am by applause. Guest can dance the night away to the mash ups and beats straight from the nights DJ. Dinner service at the gastro-lounge will be offered at 6pm and brunch on Sunday begins at 10am. For reservations call 312-846-1475 or visit Open Table. No fee to attend.

Karaoke Costume Party

Kicking off the Halloween weekend the right way Timothy O'Toole's Pub, 622 N. Fairbanks Ct., will host their annual Halloween Karaoke Costume Party with a $200 cash prize for the best dressed. Judging will take place at midnight. In addition to all the costumes participants are encouraged to pick out a song and karaoke the night away starting at 10pm. Free to attend. 10pm-3am.

Bottomless Pig Roast

Division Ale House, 1942 W. Division St., will be celebrating the Purdue Homecoming game today at 11am by offering an all-you-can-eat roast pig with sides and accompaniments. The pig meal package also includes Miller Lite Drafts and goes from 11am-2pm. There will also be a prix-fixe brunch for $25 dollars, which will include brunch entrees and breakfast cocktails- also from 11am-2pm. All day deals include $5 22oz Miller Lite mugs and $8 22oz imported mugs. For more information call 773-384-6886.

Logan Square Lit Review Halloween Reading

The Logan Square Literary Review hosts an evening of spooky readings Friday October 28th. Readers include Lara Levitan, Michael McCauley, and Alicia Hilton, but who else is a mystery, ooohh ahhhh. This event is BYOB, but there will be spiked cider and Halloween candy. While you're there, pick up past issues of the review. Come in costume if you dare!.The reading is at Quimby's, 1854 W. North ave, 7pm.

MAKE Literary Magazine Issue 11 Release Party

The Chicago literary magazine MAKE will have a release party for it's 11th issue on Friday October 28th. The issue's theme "Neither/Nor" will include readings from contributors, an animation installation, DJ, guest emcees, candy and beverages galore. The event kicks off at 7pm, Rational Park, 2557 W. North Ave, $8, 21+.

The Literary Life, a conversation with two women writers @ Maxim's

Meghan O'Rourke, author of The Long Goodbye, a memoir of loss, and Rachel DeWoskin, who has most recently published a novel, Big Girl Small (2011), speak about their work at Maxim's: The Nancy Goldberg International Center (24 E. Goethe St.). The event is free, but RSVP to info@chicagopublishes.com. A cocktail reception starts at 6pm; the program runs from 6:45 to 8pm.

Elaine Equi & Jerome Sala @ POETRY Reading Series

The Department of English at Columbia College Chicago welcomes Elaine Equi and Jerome Sala for their Fall 2011 Reading Series. Reading is tonight, at 5:30pm, at Hokin Hall (623 S. Wabash Ave., 109). The event is free and open to the public.

Women's Voices from Ireland @ the Poetry Foundation

The Poetry Foundation is hosting a national tour of four Irish poets: Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Rita Ann Higgins, Caitríona O'Reilly, and Leontia Flynn. The tour is part of Imagine Ireland 2011 and also coincides with the release of the poetry anthology The Wake Forest Book of Irish Women's Poetry. Poetry of the Shelf: Women's Voices from Ireland will feature the four women poets tonight at 7pm at the Poetry Foundation (61 W Superior). First-come, first-served! But admission is free.

The 2nd Story, Everyone Remain Calm book release

The 2nd Story, Chicago's amalgamation of music, literature and performance art, will celebrate a book release of the show's longtime director Megan Stielstra tonight at 7:30pm at the Morseland 1218 W. Morse. Her book, Everyone Remain Calm, will come to life with stories and music inspired by the book. Storytellers will include Megan Stielstra, Bobby Biedrzycki and J. Adams Oaks. Tickets are $15.

Pumpkin Carving Party

The Boundary, 1932 W. Division St., will be throwing a pumpkin carving party from 5pm to 11pm tonight; 4pm to 6pm is family time for kids of all ages. $5 for a pumpkin provided by The Boundary alongside a make-your-own candy apple bar as well. So bring out the family for some tricks-and-treats for everyone. For more information call 773-278-1919.

Write Club (Chapter 19) Halloween Edition

Write Club has it's 19th Chapter Tuesday October 25th. Like its name sounds, Write Club is a literary bout between writers with each given a theme. This chapter, the Halloween themed match ups are:
DEAD (Emily Rose) vs. UNDEAD (Samantha Irby),
DUSK (David Isaacson) vs. DAWN (Noelle Krimm), and
TRICK (Ian Belknap) vs. TREAT (Whit Nelson).
Each writer chooses a charity, the winner's benefits.
The event is at the Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, 7:30pm, $8, 21+.

Women's Voices from Ireland @ the Poetry Foundation

The Poetry Foundation is hosting a national tour of four Irish poets: Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Rita Ann Higgins, Caitríona O'Reilly, and Leontia Flynn. The tour is part of Imagine Ireland 2011 and also coincides with the release of the poetry anthology The Wake Forest Book of Irish Women's Poetry. Poetry of the Shelf: Women's Voices from Ireland will feature the four women poets on Wednesday, October 26, at 7pm at the Poetry Foundation (61 W Superior). First-come, first-served! But admission is free.

Interested in more Imagine Ireland 2011 activities? Click here for info on literature, architecture, and music events around the city.

Chicago Zine Fest 2012's Kickoff Fundraiser

Chicago Zine Fest is holding it's first fundraiser for thier 2012 festival by holding a zine and comics reading October 24th. Local self-publishers and mini-comics artists are scheduled to read. With zines being DIY in nature, the cover is $3-5 and is at a house, the Moving Castle 3317 N Kedzie. The event is all ages and begins at 7:30.

MDW Fair + Hand in Glove Conference @ The Geolofts

Starting Friday and running through this weekend, The MDW Fair presents a Fall Showcase of solo and duo exhibitions curated by small not-for-profits, artist-run spaces, independent galleries, collectives and curators from around the country. This iteration of the MDW Fair runs in conjunction with The Hand in Glove Conference and will highlight innovative curatorial and administrative practices happening in independent arts initiatives. The Fall Showcase will focus on the practices of individual artists, offering the opportunity for each artist to mount an ambitious project. The Fall Showcase, like the previous MDW Fair, will also feature an independent arts publisher's forum. The fair is open today from noon to 6pm at The Geolofts (3636 S. Iron St.).

Soraya Miré @ Women & Children First

Soraya Miré, author, filmmaker and activist, appears this afternoon at Women & Children First (5233 N. Clark Street) at 4:30pm. She will be reading from her recent memoir, The Girl With Three Legs, which chronicles her life growing up in Somalia, being subjected to the ritual of female genital mutilation, and her years of both escape and healing.

PHONEBOOK 3 Release Party @ threewalls

Fans and newcomers are invited to attend the release party for PHONEBOOK 3 at threewalls. PHONEBOOK 3 includes critical essays, a directory, and practical information on independent art spaces, programming, and projects throughout the U.S. Essayists include Renny Pritikin, Susan Sakash, Faheem Majed, Chances Dances, Paul Durica, Dara Greenwald, Amy Franceschini, Jon Brumit and Sarah Wagner, PLAND, Andy Sturdevant, Robby Herbst and more. The party begins at 8pm and lasts until 11pm. Hosted by and featuring a special edition of Salon Saloon, local artists, writers, designers and musicians are encouraged to share stories, photos, essays, and performances on a theme. Copies of PHONEBOOK 3 will be available for purchase. threewalls is located at 119 North Peoria, #2c.

Handshake Lit Mag Release Party

The Handshake literary magazine holds its second issue release show this Saturday the 22nd. Readers, which are published in the issue, include
Dmitry Samarov,
Lindsay Hunter,
Winter Goebel, and Wyatt Roediger-Robinette. With a $10 you also receive a copy of new the issue. Schubas, 3159 N. Southport Ave., 10pm, 21+.

Author Talks - Jeffrey Eugenides

The Tribune's series of conversations with authors continues today with Pulitzer Prize winner Jeffrey Eugenides (Middlesex, The Virgin Suicides). The event will be held at the Murphy Auditorium at 6:30pm, and costs $30 -- which includes a copy of The Marriage Plot, his much-anticipated follow-up to Middlesex.

Roxana Saberi @ Thorne Auditorium

In 2009, Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi was arrested in Iran and detained in Evin Prison. She was released 100 days later, after her case captured the world's attention. Her book Between Two Worlds: My Life and Captivity in Iran tells the story of her arrest and captivity, shares the struggles and courage of her cellmates that inspired her along the way, and describes her personal journey as she strives to defy her captors and be true to herself, regardless of the consequences. She is now writing and speaking out for human rights and "prisoners of conscience" in Iran. In a Facing History Community Conversation facilitated by former WBEZ journalist Victoria Lautman, Saberi will speak about her experiences at Thorne Auditorium, 375 E. Chicago Avenue (on the downtown Northwestern campus). Doors open at 5pm, and seating is limited for this FREE event. RSVP online or by calling (312) 345-3203.

Chicago Black Authors Network Presents: Urban Arts Expo @ Charles Hayes Center

The Charles Hayes Center, 4859 S. Wabash, presents the Chicago Black Authors Network's (CBAN) first Urban Arts Expo today from 11am-7pm. This free expo, a showcase of Chicago's African-American arts and culture, will feature authors, dancers, artists, poets, workshops and much more. For more information, email the Chicago Black Author's Network at Chgoban@yahoo.com or contact at 773-443-3763.


CWA Silent Auction @ Cliff Dwellers Club

Tonight the Chicago Writers Association hosts a silent auction and cocktail party fundraiser for the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame. Hosted by ABC's Janet Davies, items for auction include vacations, artwork, writing workshops and more. Cliff Dwellers Club, 200 S. Michigan, penthous, 5:30-8pm. $20 admission includes open bar and appetizers 'til 6:30 and a Kovel whiskey tasting from 6:30-8pm.

HOMO-COMING @ Beauty Bar

Join DJs Reaganomix of FKA and Black Gold of Queerer Park for this throw-back event at Beauty Bar featuring a photo booth from Glitter Guts. Tickets can be purchased for $5. All proceeds benefit CHIRP, Chicago Independent Radio Project. Beauty Bar is located at 1444 West Chicago and the events starts at 10pm.

Help A Sister Out Silent Auction @ DePaul University

Wandering through Lincoln Park on Columbus Day, just wishing you had an opportunity to buy art, jewelry, gourmet food and coffee, AND support a good cause, AND not pay any sales tax? Maybe you should drop by a silent auction organized by DePaul students to raise funds to support a colleague (who's a nun -- a Sister, get it?) in her fight against breast cancer. Almost $1,000 worth of items have been donated, including photography prints, records and iTunes cards, cookbooks, and much more. 4pm-7:30pm, DePaul Lincoln Park Student Center, 2250 N. Sheffield, Room 105a (near the Kenmore entrance), free. Call (773) 220-7371 with questions, and check out the online giving portal to learn more about the fundraiser's beneficiary (and maybe even make a donation!).

The Trial of the O'Leary Cow @ ComedySportz

Marking the 140th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire (October 8-10, 1871), Chicago improv group Octavarius is putting the oft-blamed perpetrator of the fire on trial. The Trial of the O'Leary Cow will " finally bring this villain to justice," with the audience as the jury. Tonight, 7pm at ComedySportz (929 W. Belmont).

Andersonville Dessert Crawl

Andersonville's 6th annual Dessert Crawl will be held today from 2pm to 5pm, where over two-dozen stores and restaurants in the area will showcase their sweet treats. The crawl begins at the Swedish American Museum, 5211 N. Clark St., where participants will pick up their "Dessert Crawl Passport" then continue on their journey to 10 different locations. Participants can also choose between three different sugary routes on the crawl. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 day of. Call (773) 728-7552 for more information.

Family Farmed's Autumn Harvest Supper @ Heritage Prairie Farms

In case your celebrity chef addiction wasn't adequately sated at Chicago Gourmet, here's another chance to mingle with the big names. Family Farmed's Autumn Harvest Supper this year features Stephanie Izard and Giuseppe Tentori of the BOKA Group, who will create a multi-course (and given the timeline, lengthy) meal. Buses equipped with mixologists are available for the first 100 attendees who register, meaning you can start the party downtown and not have to worry about getting back from Elburn -- which is a trek, believe me. A book singing for Izard's new tome, as well as tours of the Heritage Prairie operations will round out the day. Tickets are $125, available online; dinner starts at 3:30pm at Heritage Prairie Farms, 2N308 Brundige Road, Elburn, IL 60119. Buses will depart Chicago at 2pm from The Girl and the Goat and from BOKA.

International Hotdog Forum @ Roots & Culture

It's an age old debate: which city boasts the best style of hotdog? The International Hotdog Forum aims to put this argument to rest by bringing together a dozen regional hotdog recipes to celebrate their nuanced differences and diversity. Chef Eric "E-Dog" May has assembled a caucus of 11 guest chefs who have contributed recipes representing their chosen city's style of dog. Sample their creations at Roots & Culture, 1034 N. Milwaukee Ave., from 4pm to 7pm today. $10 donation.

Author Susan Orlean @ the Music Box

Author Susan Orlean will be on hand at the Music Box to present an excerpt from her new book RIN TIN TIN: The Life and the Legend. Special screening and book signing to follow. Event begins at 5:30pm. You can purchase tickets here. The Music Box is located at 3733 N. Southport. 773-871-6607.

"Chicago Read-In" @ DuSable Museum of African-American History

The DuSable Museum of African-American History, 740 E. 56th Pl., presents WVON-1690 and Literacy Live's "Chicago Read-In," today from 10am-12pm. In addition to readings by local authors, this family-friendly event also features spoken word artists, dance performances by Madd Rhythms and the Mayfair Academy and a special guest appearance by Chicago's own, rapper Che "Rhymefest" Smith. This event is free; however, registration is required. For more information, call 773-247-6200.

Small Business Expo @ UIC Forum

The City Treasurer's FREE Small Business Expo is today at the UIC Forum from 8:30am to 3:30pm. A full day of free expert business workshops--ranging from social media skills to business plan writing to financing, and many other topics--will be offered. 125 exhibitors with small business expertise will be on hand, as well as more than 3,000 fellow small business owners to network with. More information here.

Coming Out Ball!

The annual Coming Out Ball will be held tonight from 7pm-12am at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St. The theme for this year is "Circus," which will include dancing, drag shows, floor performances and much more. Come with your ringleader and fellow clowns for some one-of-a-kind celebration while supporting "coming out" and making a difference. $10 admission; tickets sold at the door. All proceeds benefit the Broadway Youth Center.

Wet Hot American Summer with David Wain @ the Music Box

Director David Wain will be on hand for a special screening his film Wet Hot American Summer at the Music Box Theatre. Sponsored by the A.V. Club's long-running series The New Cult Canon, writer Scott Tobias will moderate a Q&A session with the director following the film. Event starts at 7:30pm and the tickets are on sale here. The Music Box Theatre is located at 3733 N. Southport Ave. 773-871-6607.

BYOB Drinking and Drawing @ Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Arts

Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Arts, 1012 N. Dearborn St. 3rd floor, will be hosting their most requested event, Drinking and Drawing, tonight between 6pm and 9pm. Starting off the night will be a BYOB reception from 6-6:45pm, giving everyone a chance to socialize and enjoy their drinks. Following the reception will be instructor-led drawing session from 7pm-9pm, which includes drawing a live model. Let the creative juices and drinks flow while creating a piece of artwork. Tickets are $49 or $38 for early bird. All art supplies are included. 21+

River North Oktoberfest

River North will be celebrating Oktoberfest this evening from 5pm-9pm with an adventure to six different restaurants in River North. Participants will spend about 25 minutes at each location sampling food and drinks. The party will end at Rockit Bar & Grill, where there will be an hour long open bar, more food, and also music. Registration will be held from 5pm-6pm at Nick's Fishmarket Bar and Grill, located in the north lobby of the Merchandise Mart. Tickets are $50 per person.

Literati Networking Event

Today from 6pm-9pm you can join Chicago's second ever Literati event, aimed at "building a community of authors, playwrights, and literary professionals."

Details:

Featured speakers include bestselling authors Jamie Freveletti (Running Dark) and Wendy Corsi-Staub (Hell To Pay), as well as director and playwright, Byron Hatfield (Bye Bye Liver). Takes place at The Hidden Shamrock, 2723 N. Halsted, $20 at the door.

Rib-A-Que Smoke Out @ Moonshine Brewery Co.

The 4th annual Rib-A-Que Smoke Out will be hosted today by Moonshine Brewing Co., 1824 W. Division St., from noon to 6pm. Chicago's top chefs, BBQ restaurants and even amateurs will compete for the Gilded Grill trophy, $350 and bragging rights as the "Smoke-out Champion." Each competitor will rub, slather, grill or smoke their way to the best version of BBQ baby back ribs they can produce along with a side dish for rib lovers and guest judges to devour. The audience will place their votes along with the celebrity judges, while listening to live music all day. Tickets are $25 in advance or $35 at the door and one ticket samples all. Event happens rain or shine. Call (773) 862-8686 for more info.

Backyard Film & Music Fest

From 2-6pm today at the Wicker Park Art Center, 2215 W. North Ave., the Backyard Film and Music Fest will hold the film portion of day. The short films will feature local and international artists. The festival will also feature a performance by Judson Claiborne to a silent 1942 documentary. Afterwards the music portion of the evening will be held at the Viaduct Theater, 3111 N. Western Ave., beginning at 9pm. Patrons will also have access to drinks and several food from several of Chicago's best food trucks throughout the day. Full event tickets are $20 per person, film only tickets are $10, and music only tickets are $15.

Open Streets on State Street

Open Streets on State Street will open from 10am-3pm today for pedestrians to enjoy some healthy recreation in the heart of the city. Seven blocks on State Street will be closed off to traffic for people to come and participate in activates such as yoga, dance classes, scavenger hunts and even a mobile skate park.

The Pink Dress Run

The Chicago Thirstday Hash House Harriers' Pink Dress Run is being held today to help raise funds for the Imerman Angels charity. This year the goal is to raise $10,000 for the charity. Registration is $30 and shirts are available for an extra $15. The Pink Dress Run is a standard hash with all the runners wearing pink dresses to raise awareness of breast cancer. Participants will meet at Rebel, 3462 N. Clark at 7pm and running begins around 7:30pm. Drinks and socializing will follow the run.

The Evolution @ Navy Pier

Enjoy a night of fabulous fashion featuring Chicago-based designers at "The Evolution," from 5pm-10pm tonight at Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand. Celebrating "the journey of every woman," the event, held in the Crystal Gardens Ballroom and hosted by WCIU-The U's Art "ChatDaddy" Sims, will showcase designs by The Double Stitch Twins, GOCA Designs Fraley Le and Bouye Designs. Tickets are $35; contact evolution@thebydesignnetwork.com for more information.

Screening of Urban Roots @ Chicago Center for the Performing Arts

Urban Roots is a story of the growing urban farming movement in Detroit. The film focuses on people from all over Detroit coming together to build a community on growing food. Doors open at 5:30pm for a reception before the film begins at 7pm. Once the film is over there will be a panel discussion of local experts along with Q&A. Tickets are $18 in advance $20 at the door. A portion of the proceeds from the film will go towards putting farms in schools. Cash bar. Chicago Center for the Performing Arts is at 777 N. Green St.

Raúl Zurita @ the Poetry Foundation

As part of their Poetry Off the Shelf series, Chilean poet Raúl Zurita will read tonight at the Poetry Foundation (61 W. Superior), beginning at 7pm. Admission is free!

Write Club Chapter 18

Write Club Chapter 18 is upon us. This time themes and writers facing off will be:
REVENGE (Dina Walters) vs. MERCY (Scott Whitehair), ORDER (Ian Belknap) vs. CHAOS (Don Hall), and ROOTS (Susan Karp) vs. BRANCHES (Patrick Carberry). Match ups begin at 7pm. Tuesday September 27th at the Hideout 1354 W. Wabansia.

Former Bear Jim McMahon @ Quay Bar

Former Bear Jim McMahon will be hosting a viewing party at 1pm for the highly anticipated Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers game today at Quay Restaurant & Bar in Streeterville, 465 E. Illinois. McMahon will be available for autographs and photos before, during, and after the game. Guests will be able to enter to win a McMahon jersey, which will benefit The Dave Duerson Foundation to help athletes deal with mental illness. Quay will also offer a free bus ride to and from Soldier Field for patrons call for reservations. (312) 981-8400. No Cover.

No Place Like Home Opening @ HPAC

This afternoon the Hyde Park Arts Center opens No Place Like Home, a photography exhibition curated by Dawoud Bey that features Chicago-based photographers Lisa Lindvay, John Lowenstein, Jason Reblando, Jessica Rodrigue, David Schalliol and Leilani Wertens. The opening reception runs from 3pm-5pm in Gallery 4 at the Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 South Cornell Ave.

Chicago Culinary Throwdown @ Goose Island Brewery

Chicago's WBEZ 91.5FM will kick off their Off-Air Event Series with the budding tradition of a Chicago culinary throwdown. Chefs Jill Barron of MANA Food Bar, Chris Curren of Blue 13 and Elate, Carlos Ysaguirre of Anteprima, Leonard Hollander of Marion Street Cheese Market and Heather Terhune of Sable will each be paired with a different Goose Island beer, that must be included in their finished dish. The Goose Island Brewery, 1800 W. Fulton St., hosts the event with complementary beer and free food. $15/general admission, $12/WBEZ members and $10/students (with ID). Event begins at 4pm.

Bears vs Packers Game

The Bears play the Green Bay Packers. The game is at Soldier Field, 1410 S. Museum Campus, and begins at 3:15 p.m. Available tickets are priced between $74-$385, per game. Tickets can be purchased by phone (Operator: 800-745-3000, Ticketmaster Express: 866-448-7849) or online through Ticketmaster.

Tamale Hut Reading Series

The Tamale Hut reading series will host a special night for one of its frequent readers, Claire Suzanne Elizabeth Cooney. She will be debuting a recently completed play. The festivities happen tonight, 7pm at the Tamale Hut Café, located at 8300 W. Cermak Road in North Riverside, IL. Lots of tamales, great stories.

Chicago TomatoFest Potluck

Do you grow your own tomatoes? Don't worry, there's a fest for that! Come to the Chicago Honey Co-op for a TomatoFest potluck tonight. Bring your home grown beauties, a potluck dish to share, and chairs or picnic blankets to sit on. Event held in partnership with Slow Food Chicago. The Chicago Honey Co-op is located at 3740 W. Fillmore. Cost is $10 for Slow Food Chicago and Chicago Honey Co-op members (plus side dish or dessert); $15 for non-members (plus side dish or dessert). Children are free. 4pm-5pm -- Help harvest at the preSERVE garden (at 12th Pl and Central Park Ave); 5pm - 8pm -- TomatoFest Potluck at the Chicago Honey Co-op. Tickets can be purchased here.

Jayson Home Fall Flea Market

This weekend not only welcomes the first days of fall, but also the Jayson Home Fall Flea Market. With vintage & antique furniture, lighting, rugs, artwork & other curiosities, you're sure to find something you'll be dying to take home with you. Plus, be one of the first 200 people to arrive and receive a free gift. Hint: the gift will be edible and definitely chocolate. Sold!
Gates open Friday at 8am. 1885 N. Clybourn Ave. Open Fri 8-6, Sat 10-5, Sun 11-5. Free Parking.

Preservation Chicago Benefit @ Logan Square Arts Center

Preservation Chicago's annual benefit, "Le Festival de Preservation," runs this evening from 6pm to 9pm at the Logan Square Arts Center, 2800 N. Milwaukee Ave. Enjoy old world jazz, carnival performances, appetizers, an open bar (including Revolution brew) and a silent auction. Tickets can be purchased online for $85 in advance or $100 at the door. All proceeds from the tax-deductable tickets benefit the protection of historic architecture.

Douglas Kearney @ Harriet Reading Series

Tonight, poet Douglas Kearney will be on hand to inaugurate the first Harriet Reading Series. Future series events will have readings and presentations by the "Craft Work" and "Open Door" writers on The Poetry Foundation's Harriet Blog. The reading starts at 7pm at The Poetry Foundation (61 W. Superior St). Admission is free, but please RSVP here.

Epitonic's Founder @ Public Works Gallery

Epitonic's founder and president, Justin Sinkovich, will be speaking tonight at Public Works Gallery, 1539 N. Damen Ave. Sinkovich will be making his first public appearance to talk about running and relaunching the influential MP3 site.

Chicago Women in Publishing Fall Reception

Tonight, CWIP will hold its fall kickoff event at the Gleacher Center, 450 N. Cityfront Plaza Dr., from 6:30pm to 8:30pm. The keynote speaker will be Jennifer Parello, director of marketing and communication for World Book. Come for her tips for successfully navigating the publishing industry today, and stay for networking and hors d'oeuvres from Wolfgang Puck. Win-win. Admission (cash or check only) is CWIP members $35, nonmembers $45, students $40.

Mira Bartok @ the Book Cellar

Mira Bartok, SAIC alum and author of several children's books, promotes the paperback release of her memoir, The Memory Palace. Bartok will read excepts from her work beginning at 7pm at the Book Cellar 4736 N Lincoln Ave # 1.

Anna Solomon at Woman and Children First

Anna Solomon will read from her first novel, The Little Bride. Special guest Audrey Niffenegger will introduce the event. This begins at 7:30pm at Women and Children First 5233 North Clark Street.

Local Author Conversations at Harold Washington Library

Join Booklist's Donna Seamen moderate a conversation with award winning authors Dominic Smith (Bright and Distant Shores) and Billy Lombardo (The Man with Two Arms and How to Hold a Woman). The event is at 6pm in the Harold Washington Library Center, Cindy Pritzker Auditorium 400 S. State Street.

Two and a Half Cookie Minimum reading

Two and a Half Cookie Minimum will be a pairing of Two Cookie Minimumreading series andHalf Nelson press, a self-published literary journal. Readers will include contributors to Half Nelson issue two alongside Mairead Case (co-conspirator of Dil Pickle Club) and Mason Johnson (host of P. Fanatics reading series). The event begins at 9pm at at the Hungry Brain 2319 West Belmont.

Brinksmen Press reading, Revolutions: The Gamble, part II

The Brinksmen Press reading, Revolutions: The Gamble, part II. will mix story and musical performances. Featured readers include Dan Duffy (editor of The Handshake magazine) and Patricia Ann McNair (author of The Temple of Air) will close the night. This event begins at 7pm, Brando's Speakeasy, 343 S. Dearborn St.

Windy City Story Slam Fundraiser event

Windy City Story Slam, John and Betty Scholarship fundraiser, Sunday September 18, 7:30pm, Double Door 1572 N. Milwaukee Ave. Readers include Columbia College Fiction Writing faculty Joe Meno, Sam Weller, Ann Hemenway, and Gary Johnson.

Orange Alert! Reading Series

The September Edition of the Orange Alert Reading Series will feature readers
Mason Johnson, Susannah Breslin, Meghan Lamb, and Joseph G. Peterson.
Join them Sunday September 18th, 6pm at the Whistler 2421 N Milwaukee Ave.

ART WAR @ Treasure Town

This epic, experimental, two-day art/performance fest in Little Village promises to deliver -- with interactive installations, live murals, combative performance, culinary experiments, sustainable fashion, fire-spitters, a skate park, a tattoo artist & the tamale guy (to skim the surface). If you're looking for a lively, unusual time, look no further. Tonight's event starts at 8:08pm. Treasure Town is located off the Pink Line at 2106 S. Kedzie. More more information, click here and here.

Half-Way to St. Patrick's Day Party

Timothy O'Toole's Irish Pub, 622 N. Fairbanks Ct, goes green for their half-way point to St. Patrick's Day party today. The all-green celebration goes on all day and includes a special menu offered by Chef Corey Grupe and plenty of St. Patrick's Day drink specials we all love. Free to attend, 11am-3am. 21+

Dock 6 Collective Fall Design and Art Series Opening Party

Dock 6 Collective presents Fall Design and Art Series, curated by Hinge Gallery. The opening night party is tonight from 6pm to midnight, followed by Saturday, September 17 viewing hours from 11am to 3pm. Friday night refreshments will be served. Fall Design and Art Series features the work of the seven design companies that comprise Dock 6 Collective along with an exhibition of 13 artists curated by Hinge Gallery. Each artist has created a site specific piece that interacts within Dock 6 Collective's 24,000 sq. ft. raw workshop space. Artwork includes fiber installation, performance, light sculpture, and video. Featured design companies include Carson Maddox Studios, -ism Furniture, Lagomorph Design, Navillus Woodworks, SAP Design, Inc, Thomeworks, and zakrose. Exhibiting artists include Scott Ashley, Jeffrey Forsythe, Chris Lin, Raul Mendez, Rusty Shackleford, Ben Stagl, Russ White, Kayce Bayer, Karolina Gnatowski, Laura Lulu, Matthew Schlagbaum, Rana Siegel, Bill Talsma. Dock 6 is located at 4200 W. Diversey. Details here.

ART WAR @ Treasure Town

This epic, experimental, two-day art/performance fest in Little Village promises to deliver, with interactive installations, live murals, combative performance, culinary experiments, sustainable fashion, fire spitters, a skate park, a tattoo artist & the tamale guy (to skim the surface). If you're looking for a lively, unusual time, look no further. This event starts at 8:08pm tonight and basically continues on until about 3am on Satuday night. Treasure Town is located off the Pink Line at 2106 S. Kedzie. More more information, click here and here.

Dikanda & House of Waters @ Old Town School

Tonight at the Old Town School of Folk Music (4544 N. Lincoln Avenue), starting at 8pm, you can catch some Polish/Eastern European and progressive instrumental music.

Dikanda, from Szczecin, Poland, takes inspiration from Polish, Balkan, Macedonian and Romanian culture. House of Waters, which cites numerous traditions as formative, was hailed as the "Jimi Hendrix of the hammered dulcimer" by NPR.

There is a $10 suggested donation.

Author Talks - Elizabeth Berg and Jacquelyn Mitchard

Join the Chicago Tribune for the first of this fall's intimate conversations with authors. Helmed by Chicago Tribune Literary Editor Elizabeth Taylor, the "salons" allow you to have your burning questions answered by the writers, who will also attend a "meet & mingle" reception where you can continue the dialogue up close and personal.

The Author Talks series begins today with Elizabeth Berg (of the recent Once Upon a Time, There Was You, and before that Talk Before Sleep) and Jacquelyn Mitchard (of the upcoming Second Nature, A Love Story, and previously The Deep End of the Ocean). This installment of the series takes place at the Tribune Tower (435 N. Michigan) at 6:30pm, and costs $20 -- which includes reception and book signing.

Messing For A Cause @ Mary's Attic

Susan Messing and Tim Baltz will be performing improv a la "Messing with a Friend," to support GLBT youth along with the Alliance, Jeanie Doogan & Adam Guerino and Krystal LaFianza-Pitzen. Show up at Mary's Attic, 5400 N. Clark, at 8pm. $5 suggested donation. More information is available on facebook.

The Chicago Way Reading Series

The Chicago Way is a new reading series that focuses on Chicago authors. Local authors Michael Burke, Geoff Hyatt, Patricia Ann McNair, and Megan Stielstra read from their new novel or story collections. Tonight at the The Hidden Shamrock, 2723 N Halsted, 7pm.

Chicago Bears Season Opener

The Bears play the Atlanta Falcons. The game is at Soldier Field, 1410 S. Museum Campus, and begins at noon. Available tickets are priced between $74-$385, per game. Tickets can be purchased by phone (Operator: 800-745-3000, Ticketmaster Express: 866-448-7849) or online through Ticketmaster.

Get Back II Cool w/ Neutron Bomb (reading series)

The Punk rock reading series Neutron Bomb collaborates with the Handshake (an online literary publication) for a Columbia College centric Back II Cool extravaganza. Readings by Columbia College Fiction Writing students and faculty, Handshake contributors and even a band.
Saturday, September 10, 7:00pm at Cal's Liquors (400 S. Wells St.).

Reading Under the Influence: Apocalypse

Reading Under the Influence is back tonight at 7pm at Sheffield's, 3258 N. Sheffield Ave., with the theme being "the Apocalypse." This is a release party for featured reader Geoff Hyatt's book Birch Hills at World's End, hence the theme. Other readers will include James Finn Garner, Ilana Shabanov and Nick Delehanty. $3 cover. 21+

Collections and Cocktails @ The Poetry Foundation

Not literally, of course. But The Poetry Foundation is having another open house -- this time to showcase its library's programs and expanded hours. The library at the newly built Poetry Foundation building has around 30,000 books and is open to the public. Why not stop by and celebrate it? The open house, dubbed Collections and Cocktails, is tonight from 5:30pm to 8:30pm and will feature library collection readings from local poets, poetry fortune-telling, and more. Admission is free but first-come, first-served, so make sure you're in line early at the Poetry Foundation, 61 W. Superior St.! RSVP here.

So You Think You Have Nerves of Steel?

The monthly series So You Think You Have Nerves of Steel? is back with a mixed variety show, including Brandon Will and Nick Bitonti with some sketch comedy of sorts, the poetic styling of Dave Snyder, and literary stand-up by Daniel Shapiro. The series is always on the first Tuesday of the month, which is tonight. See it live at the Hungry Brain, 2319 W. Belmont Ave, at 9pm.

Makeover Anniversary @ Maria's Community Bar & Co-Prosperity Sphere

Join the party tonight to celebrate the 1-year anniversary of a makeover that transformed Bridgeport's favorite friendly neighborhood watering hole, located at 960 W 31st St, into the Maria's Packaged Goods and Community Bar. Craft brew fans will be delighted to know that "Half Acre, Three Floyds, 5 Rabbit and Dogfish Head are bringing a ton of their flagship and rare beers to the party." Events begin at Maria's at 4pm (until 4am), with Co-Prosperity Sphere events from 6-10pm, including an "all you can eat and drink" offer for $15 admission.

The Interview Show

Join host Mark Bazer at Chicago's "most loved small venue," the Hideout, for another edition of The Interview Show. Held the first Friday of every month, September's lineup includes Tavernita Chef Ryan Poli and "Big Questions" author Anders Nilsen. Tickets are $8, show starts at 6:30pm at The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia Ave. 21+

Guilt First Friday at the MCA

Mix and mingle amongst exhibits at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago while listening to fresh beats by DJ Madrid. Go on an exhibit scavenger hunt and get a sneak peak of the UBS 12 x 12 New Artists/New Work exhibition currently featuring abstract objects by artist Dan Gunn. Specialty cocktails will be available at the cash bar and guests will have the opportunity to unwind even further at the Equinox pampering station. Event runs from 6-10pm. 21+ only (ID required). The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago is located at 220 E Chicago, Chicago, IL 60611. General admission is $18; advance tickets: $13; MCA members: $10. For tickets, visit mcachicago.org or call the MCA box office, 312-397-4010.

Encyclopedia Show Series 4: SAINTS

The Encyclopedia Show kicks off it's 4th Series with the theme SAINTS. All featured performances of music, poetry, visual art, and spoken word will have some insanely Saintly tie in, Thursday September 1st at the Vittum Theatre, 7:30p.m.

D. Wade's Chicago Has Talent @ Chicago Theater

Tonight at the Chicago Theater, 175 N. State St., watch talented hopefuls compete at the third annual "D. Wade's Chicago Has Talent," a competition that gives Chicago youth, ages 7-18, a chance to show off their talent for NBA superstar Dwyane Wade and some of his celebrity friends, who will crown one lucky act as the winner. The showcase, hosted by Chicago comedian Lil Rel and television personality Rocsi (BET's "106th & Park") also features performances by rapper Diggy Simmons, ("Run's House"), and local Chicago group, Kids These Days. The showcase begins at 7pm; tickets are $20 and are available at the door, at Ticketmaster and the Chicago Theater box office. For more information, contact 312-477-6893.

Food Truck Social

Time Out Chicago presents a Food Truck Social. Your favorite food trucks will be on display in this eat, drink and listen event (music lineup booked by the Empty Bottle); featuring such stand-out Chicago eateries and chefs as Bill Kim of Urbanbelly (Noon-2pm), Michael Carlson of Schwa (2:30pm-4:30pm), Justin Large of Big Star (5pm-7pm), and Stephanie Izard of Girl & the Goat (7:30pm-9:30pm), just to name a few. So stop by and get your favorite street food fare all in one place, without having to chase down the trucks. Noon-10pm at 700 N Ashland Ave, $5 suggested donation.

Julia V. Hendrickson Reading @ Andrew Rafacz Gallery

Tonight Julia V. Hendrickson will release a new book of poetry entitled Grow No Moss at the Andrew Rafacz Gallery, 835 W. Washington Blvd. Julia will read selections from the book alongside performances by Mairead Case, Zach Dodson, Denise Dooley and Gabriel Wallace. Books, zines, and prints will be available for sale. Doors open at 6:30pm, reading begins at 7pm.

Rock for Kids Tour and Tasting @ Koval Distillery

Koval Distillery is opens their doors tonight to host two tours of their facilities for good people like you and me, ending with a whiskey tasting complete with light snacks--all for charity. Rock for Kids will receive 100% of the $20 admission fee. The special tours will begin at 6:15pm and 8:30pm.

Little City Book Fair @ Harper College

Book lovers with a car should consider making the trek to Harper College in Palatine (about 15 minutes Northwest of O'Hare) for the Little City Book Fair which boasts, "hundreds of thousands of new and gently used books," as well as CDs and DVDs, all for between 50 cents and $5. Free all day Sunday (10am - 5pm).

Little City Book Fair @ Harper College

Book lovers with a car should consider making the trek to Harper College in Palatine (about 15 minutes Northwest of O'Hare) for the Little City Book Fair which boasts, "hundreds of thousands of new and gently used books," as well as CDs and DVDs, all for between 50 cents and $5. 10$ donation to get in Friday (5pm - 10), but free on Saturday (10am - 9pm) and Sunday (10am - 5pm).

Smart Readings @ Smart Museum - Part Two

This afternoon from 1pm-3pm at the Smart Museum (5550 S. Greenwood Avenue), poet Matthias Regan presents the second of two workshops combining the sensibilities of reading and looking. Intended to "explore the relationship between figures and genres of personhood," this (free!) workshop consists of a brief lecture, tour of exhibit "Go Figure," and a conversation about related stories and poems.

This last of the two-workshop series, "Bodies Among Other Things," pairs Sylvia Sleigh's painting The Turkish Bath with passages from Lord Byron's mock epic poem Don Juan, "in order to contemplate how sexualized bodies receive, hold onto, and return the viewer's desire."

56th Annual Ginza Holiday @ Midwest Buddhist Temple

The 56th Annual Ginza Holiday, a large Japanese cultural festival, will be presented by the Midwest Buddhist Temple (MBT) Aug. 12 - 14 at 435 W. Menomonee Street in Old Town. Flown in from Tokyo for this event, four master craftsmen (Waza) will demonstrate their generations-old skills creating unique crafts. The public will have the opportunity to meet the Waza and purchase their crafts. Several other exhibits and booths will be filled with Japanese dry goods, snacks, kimonos and jewelry. An abundance of traditional Japanese cuisine will be offered, from udon to kintoki. Featured in the festival will be ongoing stage performances with the energetic taiko drumming, classical dance, traditional and not-so-traditional music, martial arts and a ukulele group! Aikido, Judo and Karate schools will demonstrate self-defense tactics, while Kendo (Japanese fencing) will entertain the crowd. The chapel will be open for guests who are interested in observing the place of worship and learning the basics of Buddhism. During stage intermissions, Rev Ron Miyamura will deliver short Dharma talks. A benefit donation of $6 for adults, and $5 for students and senior citizens will be collected at the gate. Children under 12 will be admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Details here.

Poetry Series 2011 @ Myopic

Stop by Myopic Books (1564 North Milwaukee Avenue) tonight at 7pm for their reading series. Featured readers will be Noelle Kocot and Mike Hauser. Admission is free!

56th Annual Ginza Holiday @ Midwest Buddhist Temple

The 56th Annual Ginza Holiday, a large Japanese cultural festival, will be presented by the Midwest Buddhist Temple (MBT) Aug. 12 - 14 at 435 W. Menomonee Street in Old Town. Flown in from Tokyo for this event, four master craftsmen (Waza) will demonstrate their generations-old skills creating unique crafts. The public will have the opportunity to meet the Waza and purchase their crafts. Several other exhibits and booths will be filled with Japanese dry goods, snacks, kimonos and jewelry. An abundance of traditional Japanese cuisine will be offered, from udon to kintoki. Featured in the festival will be ongoing stage performances with the energetic taiko drumming, classical dance, traditional and not-so-traditional music, martial arts and a ukulele group! Aikido, Judo and Karate schools will demonstrate self-defense tactics, while Kendo (Japanese fencing) will entertain the crowd. The chapel will be open for guests who are interested in observing the place of worship and learning the basics of Buddhism. During stage intermissions, Rev Ron Miyamura will deliver short Dharma talks. A benefit donation of $6 for adults, and $5 for students and senior citizens will be collected at the gate. Children under 12 will be admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Details here.

56th Annual Ginza Holiday @ Midwest Buddhist Temple

The 56th Annual Ginza Holiday, a large Japanese cultural festival, will be presented by the Midwest Buddhist Temple (MBT) Aug. 12 - 14 at 435 W. Menomonee Street in Old Town. Flown in from Tokyo for this event, four master craftsmen (Waza) will demonstrate their generations-old skills creating unique crafts. The public will have the opportunity to meet the Waza and purchase their crafts. Several other exhibits and booths will be filled with Japanese dry goods, snacks, kimonos and jewelry. An abundance of traditional Japanese cuisine will be offered, from udon to kintoki. Featured in the festival will be ongoing stage performances with the energetic taiko drumming, classical dance, traditional and not-so-traditional music, martial arts and a ukulele group! Aikido, Judo and Karate schools will demonstrate self-defense tactics, while Kendo (Japanese fencing) will entertain the crowd. The chapel will be open for guests who are interested in observing the place of worship and learning the basics of Buddhism. During stage intermissions, Rev Ron Miyamura will deliver short Dharma talks. A benefit donation of $6 for adults, and $5 for students and senior citizens will be collected at the gate. Children under 12 will be admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Details here.

Prasino Opening

Tonight, CS Modern Luxury Chicago sponsors an exclusive opening event for the new Wicker Park restaurant Prasino. With two successful locations already operating in LaGrange and St. Charles, tonight the restaurant debuts in Chicago. Prasino is the Greek word for "green" and they strive to serve clean food in a modern, environmentally conscious setting. 6pm-9pm. Located at 1846 W. Division St.

Scary Funny @ Argo Tea

Tonight, author Alan Goldsher (Paul Is Undead) presents "Scary Funny: The Art of Combining Horror and Humor" at Argo Tea on Broadway. It's free and you can win tickets to Comic Con. Argo Tea, 3135 N. Broadway, 7pm.

Tim Burtonwood Artist Talk @ Hinge Gallery

Tom Burtonwood's exhibition Permutations examines color and shape through a formalistic approach to paper compositions and three-dimensional wall reliefs. Visit Hinge Gallery (1955 W. Chicago Ave.) today at 4pm to hear/take part in a discussion with the artist about his work.

A Sustainable Reality Kickstarter Fundraiser Party 2.0

In order to reach their goal of $11,000 by midnight (central time) on August 12 A Sustainable Reality is hosting one final Kickstarter bonanza tonight from 5pm to 10pm at The New Chicago Brewing Company, 1400 W. 46th St., the soon-to-be sustainable brewery that operates within The Plant located in the Back of the Yards on the South Side. They will be providing live entertainment all evening long via a large eclectic ensemble of local bands and artists. Booze and food will be served all night, complimentary with ticket purchase. Tickets are $20.

The Interview Show @ Hideout

WBEZ blogger Mark Bazer brings his Interview Show to The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, from 6:30pm to 8pm tonight. This evening's lineup includes comedian Marc Maron, musicians Jon Langford and Lawrence Peters (who will also be performing), and writer James O'Shea. Doors open at 6pm, tickets are $8. Call 773-227-4433 for more information.

West African Music Workshop @ Old Town School of Folk Music

How often do you get the chance to learn how to play the guitar, Fulani-style? You can tonight starting at 6pm, at a workshop with Mauritanian folks singer Samba Django.

4544 N. Lincoln Avenue, 6pm - 7:20pm, $20. Register here, or call 773-728-6000 for more information.

Samba Django @ Old Town School of Folk Music

Tonight's "World Music Wednesdays" performance at the Old Town School will be helmed by Mauritanian musician Samba Django. This folk singer of traditional Fulani music has been based in Belgium since 2002. Like what you hear and wish you could mimic these musical stylings? Follow up with tomorrow's workshop!

For tickets, call 773-728-6000. 4544 N. Lincoln Avenue, 8:30pm, $5 suggested donation.

Poetry Slam's 25th Birthday @ the Metro

In honor of the birth of poetry slams, Chicago Slam Works is hosting a birthday bash that will blow the top off of slams everywhere. The Poetry Slam 25th Birthday Extravaganza will take place at the Metro (3730 N. Clark) tonight, starting at 8pm (6pm if you have Pre-Show VIP tickets). The party will feature Slam Champions and slammers from all over the globe, including a group from Germany! And as if that isn't enough, there will also be live slam translations and music. Tickets are $25 general admission, $45 VIP. 18+

Annual Used Book Sale @ Women & Children First

Who doesn't like foraging through great books for even greater deals? If you count yourself among those so inclined, stop by Women & Children First today or tomorrow for their annual used book sale. You'll find steals on "fiction, nonfiction, children's books, LGBTQ titles, CDs, DVDs, and collectables" -- all for a good cause. Proceeds from the weekend benefit the bookstore's non-profit arm, the Women's Voices Fund, which supports all the wonderful programming they make free to the public. July 30 - 31st, 10am - 7pm.

Summer Stroll @ Lurie Garden

Kick back and relax with a calming walk through downtown's Lurie Garden. Don't just enjoy these 2.5 acres of local flora, learn about it, too: garden experts will be there to answer all your questions. Meet at the south end of the boardwalk (overlooking Monroe) at 6pm, 55 N. Michigan Avenue (between Randolph and Jackson). Call (312) 742-5519 for further information.

"The Music Never Ends": Celebrating the Life of Joe Vito @ Chicago Cultural Center

A group of some of Chicago's best jazz and cabaret musicians will honor the life of legendary Jazz pianist Joe Vito, who passed away last year, at the Cultural Center's Preston Bradley Hall (78 E. Washington) today at 2pm. Admission is free. The program will feature musings by musicians Jim Widlowski, Ken Haebich, Audrey Morris, Laury Shelley, Sean Harris, Frank Caruso, Frank Winkler, Frank D'Rone, Mark Madsen, Larry Novak, Bob Sutter, KT McCammond and Carole Loverde.

Smart Readings @ Smart Museum

This afternoon from 1pm-3pm at the Smart Museum (5550 S. Greenwood Avenue), poet Matthias Regan will begin a series of two workshops combining the sensibilities of reading and looking. Intended to "explore the relationship between figures and genres of personhood," each (free!) workshop consists of a brief lecture, tour of exhibit "Go Figure," and a conversation about related stories and poems.

The first of the two workshops, "Bodies Among Other Things," pairs Kerry James Marshall's painting Slow Dance with a short story by detective novelist Walter Mosley.

The second workshop will be held on August 14th.

Puzzle Hunt @ Marbles Lincoln Square

Chase down clues and figure out puzzles in Marbles' first annual puzzle hunt. Teams of up to five people pit their puzzle prowess against each other for a grand prize of a $100 gift certificate to any Marbles store (and glory, of course). The hunt kicks off at 10am starting at the Marbles at 4745 N Lincoln Ave. Registration is $25 per team, but that fee is waived if you solve the puzzle on the event flyer. Check out their site for more information.

The Chicago Vegan Chef Showdown

Are you a fan of Upton's Naturals? Serving the finest in faux meat products, Upton's seitan will be the secret ingredient to this weekend's Vegan Chef Showdown held at The Funky Buddha Lounge. Twenty individual chefs, or teams of chefs, will compete for the title of Chicago's Best Vegan Chef! All ages, open to the public. $1 suggested donation per sample. The Funky Buddha Lounge is located at 728 W. Grand Ave. Event runs from 3pm to 7pm.

The Dollhouse Reading Series #4 @ 1850 W. Belle Plaine

This Dollhouse reading is called Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. Come to 1850 W. Belle Plaine, Apt. 3 tonight at 8pm (reading starts around 9pm) to hear what it's all about. Featured readers are Jaswinder Bolina, Amy McCann, MC Hyland, and Rich Smith.

After Dark in The Modern Wing @ The Art Institute of Chicago

Explore the after-hours side of The Art Institute tonight with After Dark in The Modern Wing (125 E. Monroe). Check out cutting-edge contemporary works and a live performance by indie electronic duo Rites with DJ sets by Disrupt the Scene and DJ Madrid. Complimentary appetizers with cash bar from 9PM to 12AM. $20 for members/students and $25 for everyone else.

Conversation & Cocktails: An Evening with Barbara Hashimoto

Chicago Artists' Coalition presents "Conversation & Cocktails: An evening with acclaimed artist Barbara Hashimoto." This event, taking place from 6pm to 8pm tonight at BauerLatoza Studio: 2241 S. Wabash Ave., will include an artist talk, a tour of the studio and a chance to experience Hashimoto's installations, as well as a cocktail reception. Tickets are on sale now. Space is limited. Tickets are $15 for CAC Collectors Circle Members and $40 for the general public.


Nikki Herd & T. C. Tolbert @ Women & Children First

Tonight's poetry reading at Women & Children First (5233 N. Clark St.) will feature Nikki Herd and T. C. Tolbert. The reading starts at 7:30pm and admission is free.

Palabra Pura @ La Bruquena Restaurant

Palabra Pura is a bilingual poetry reading series that takes place monthly and features Chicano and Latino artists. At each reading, a local poet is paired with a visiting writer, and an open mic is thrown in to foster interaction. Tonight's reading starts at 7:30pm at La Bruquena restaurant (2726 W. Division) and is curated by Rafael Franco Steeves with Rey Andujar and Carlos Vázquez Cruz. Admission is free!

Get Up and Go @ Chicago Cultural Center

Columnist Mark Bazer is hosting a free conversation at the Chicago Cultural Center this afternoon about the now posh neighborhood Lincoln Park. Join for the chat and stay for the hour-long walking tour of the 'hood to follow. 77 E. Randolph, 12:15pm. Call 877-244-2246 for more information.

OFF! @ Reggie's

Head over to Reggie's Rock Club, 2105 S. State St., for OFF!, Ratasucia, All Eyes West (members of The Bomb, Noise By Numbers) and Vicelords (members of Apocalypse Hoboken, The Brokedowns). OFF! is Keith Morris (Black Flag, Circle Jerks) and Dimitri Coats (Burning Brides), Steven McDonald (Redd Kross) and Mario Rubalcaba (Rocket from the Crypt, Hot Snakes). Ratasucia is the newest project from Dan Hanaway, (The Honor System/The Broadways/Slapstick) Chris Carr, (The Honor System) and Tim Scare. You can order their record "White Noise Pollution" on Asian Man Record's website. Doors open at 7pm, it's 17+ and $15 in advance or at the door.

Uptown Poetry Slam @ the Green Mill

Come slam some poetry at the Green Mill's (4802 North Broadway Avenue) Weekly Poetry Slam tonight at 7pm. Cover charge is $6, and the host will be slam's originator, Marc Smith.

Soup & Bread: GP Conservatory Benefit @ The Hideout

The Hideout is hosting a special Soup and Bread benefit program tonight to help fund the cleanup and repairs of the Garfield Park Conservatory, which was severely damaged by last Thursday's hail. Stop by The Hideout (1354 W. Wabansia) tonight (5:30 - 8pm) and stuff your face for a good cause. Details here.

Pig Roast @ Oak Street Beach Restaurant

If you're feeling brave to face the crowds at the Lake, Oak Street Beach Restaurant is also roasting a hog and serving sugarcane-melon margaritas, all-you-can style for $30. Monday 2-6pm.

Vintage Heaven United We Buy Sale @ Heaven Gallery

Heaven Gallery (1550 N. Milwaukee Ave.) hosts a two-day vintage sale featuring local vendors, including Buried Bones, Jenstyle Chic Vintage, and Venus Meets Vintage. 12pm-6pm.

Get Baked

Back by popular demand! Fulton's on the River is bringing back their wildly popular 'Get Baked On The River' Summer Clambake Series. Indulge in an all you can eat clambake with two craft brews from Midwest craft brewer Great Lakes Brewing Company out of Cleveland, Ohio. All for just $25 per guest! Tuesday, July 5 from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM, Fulton's riverfront veranda transforms into the ultimate clambake! Guests can relax and enjoy the (hopefully) amazing weather, lively music and city views in this ultimate post-work atmosphere.

Seating is first-come, first-serve.

For more information call Fulton's at 312.822.0100 or click here. Fulton's on the River is located at 315 North LaSalle in Chicago.

Vintage Heaven United We Buy Sale @ Heaven Gallery

Heaven Gallery (1550 N. Milwaukee Ave.) hosts a two-day vintage sale, featuring local vendors including Dethrose Vintage, Lipstick Dinosaur, and the adorably named Penguiny Vintage. 12-6pm.

Fashion Loves Music @ Harold Washington Cultural Center

Tonight, the Harold Washington Cultural Center, 4701 S. King Dr., presents "Fashion Loves Music," hosted by model and actress Eva Marcille ("America's Next Top Model") and actor Pooch Hall from BET's "The Game." The event is a mix of music and fashion, with a runway show featuring fashion from local Chicago designers and boutiques, accompanied by live performances from various musical genres including jazz, rock, hip-hop and R&B. A "meet and greet" takes place at 6pm and the show takes place at 8pm. Tickets are $10-$26 and can be purchased online. For more information, call 773-669-7212.

Mandy Van Deven @ Women and Children First

Mandy Van Deven reads from Hey, Shorty! A Guide to Combating Sexual Harassment and Violence in Schools and On the Streets at Women and Children First tonight. Ms. magazine says "If you want to read about some truly inspiring young feminists, pick up Hey Shorty! This book is full of great ideas for youth organizing and coalition work. [It] encouraged girls to articulate their issues and goals, and then worked with them to learn the skills they needed to achieve their goals. The result? A whole new generation of smart, knowledgeable, articulate and empowered young women. Women who will change the world." Women and Children First, 5233 N. Clark, 7:30pm.

Atomic Sketch Event @ Green Eye Lounge

The BCD Collaborative hosts another Atomic Sketch Event tonight from 6-11P at Bucktown's Green Eye Lounge (2403 W. Homer). The event showcases established and emerging artists of various disciplines offering original finished works of art, design and illustration at at incredibly affordable prices. Plus, it's a great place to have a few drinks and unwind. June's panel of featured artists includes: Matthew Bremer, Laura Berger, John Airo, BINX, Jessie Winslow, Jason Scanlon and
SOOPAQOOT. In addition to its panel, Atomic Sketch fans are encouraged to work on the sidelines and hang their own pieces on the wall too. 21+

Chicago's Best Friend @ Double Door

Chicago's Best Friend, a canine talent show, is described as "'American Idol' for dogs" by its creator. See the finals at the Double Door, 1572 N. Milwaukee Ave., today at 4pm. Tickets are $5.

Luxury Garage Sale @ Sofia

Sofia welcomes Luxury Garage Sale for a pop-up store inside of their boutique. Luxury Garage Sale features new or gently used contemporary and designer clothing, artwork, and other items for the home. Featuring designer clothing, jewelry, and handbags, the sale lasts until 5pm. Sofia is located at 72 East Oak Street. The store is open 11am to 7pm, Thursday through Saturday, and on Sunday from 12pm to 5pm.

Piven Theatre Workshop's 40th Anniversary @ MCA Loft

Piven Theatre Workshop will celebrate its 40th anniversary with a red carpet evening of dinner, cocktails and an exciting live auction at the MCA Loft (1747 W. Hubbard) tonight from 6pm to 10pm. For more information and to purchase tickets call (847) 866-8049 or visit Piven's website.

Luxury Garage Sale @ Sofia

Sofia welcomes Luxury Garage Sale for a pop-up store inside of their boutique. Luxury Garage Sale features new or gently used contemporary and designer clothing, artwork, and other items for the home. Featuring designer clothing, jewelry, and handbags, the sale lasts through Sunday at 5pm. Sofia is located at 72 East Oak Street. The store is open 11am to 7pm, Thursday through Saturday, and on Sunday from 12pm to 5pm.

Black Eye #1 @ Quimby's

Ivan Brunetti, Lilli Carre, Paul Nudd , Onsmith and upcoming Gapers Block book club author Paul Hornschemeier will sign the comic and essay collection Black Eye #1: Graphic Transmissions to Cause Ocular Hypertension tonight at Quimby's. The jury's out on whether it actually provokes the titular medical condition, but it was badass enough to be seized at the Canadian border on obscenity charges a month ago. Quimby's, 1854 W. North Ave., 7pm.

Rafaël Rozendaal Artist Talk @ The Nightingale Theatre

Experimental new media artist Rafaël Rozendaal is speaking about his work at The Nightingale Theatre (1048 N Milwaukee Ave.) at 6pm tonight. Admission is free.

Art Openings All Over Town

Visit this post in A/C to see what to see...

Luxury Garage Sale @ Sofia

Sofia welcomes Luxury Garage Sale for a pop-up store inside of their boutique. Luxury Garage Sale features new or gently used contemporary and designer clothing, artwork, and other items for the home. Featuring designer clothing, jewelry, and handbags, the sale lasts through Sunday at 5pm. Sofia is located at 72 East Oak Street. The store is open 11am to 7pm, Thursday through Saturday, and on Sunday from 12pm to 5pm.

WI Rise Up: An Art In These Times Exhibition

Art In These Times, the community gallery at In These Times' office (2040 N. Milwaukee Ave.), presents a new exhibition of posters and photographs from ongoing labor demonstrations in Wisconsin that began on February 14, 2011. The exhibition is a collaboration with Nicolas Lampert and will feature prints and placards he has collected as an active participant in the labor and community rallies in Madison. An opening party will be held at 7pm tonight, in conjunction with the Working-Class Studies Conference at UIC. "The Hard Times Trio," a jazz group which performs classic labor songs, will perform. The artwork will be on display through the summer and fall. The exhibition features screenprints and off-set posters from rallies in Madison and Milwaukee and features prints by Nicolas Lampert, Colin Matthes, Eric Drooker, Jesus Barraza, Josh MacPhee, Jesse Graves and others. The photography of Lauren Cumbia (who co-organizes the gallery space with Daniel Tucker), Brandon Pittser and the Public Collectors archive will also be exhibited.

Grafitti Zone's Spring Fundraiser @ Chicago Urban Arts Society

Four youth artists -- winners of Graffiti Zone's Next Top Artist Contest will be honored tonight at GZ's Spring Fundraiser. The event will take place at Chicago Urban Arts Society: 2229 S. Halsted from 6 to 9pm. Hosted by Chicago hip hop performer Philip Morris, described as "one of the ultimate word smiths of hip-hop (Skope Magazine)," the evening will feature catering by Green Cuisine, open bar, silent auction and performances by Opera-Matic with sound by Mark Messing. Ample free parking is available behind the building, off of Cermak. Tickets are $35 at the door, or online at graffitizone.org. All proceeds to benefit Graffiti Zone, a non profit arts organization serving the 29th ward.

Luxury Garage Sale @ Sofia

Sofia welcomes Luxury Garage Sale for a pop-up store inside of their boutique. Luxury Garage Sale features new or gently used contemporary and designer clothing, artwork, and other items for the home. Featuring designer clothing, jewelry, and handbags, the sale begins today and lasts through Sunday at 5pm. Sofia is located at 72 East Oak Street. The store is open 11am to 7pm, Thursday through Saturday, and on Sunday from 12pm to 5pm.

Make Music Chicago Festival

Make Music Chicago is a live, one-day, completely free music festival on the first day of summer, inspired by France's "Fête de la Musique," a national musical holiday marking its 30th anniversary this year. People of all ages, music of all genres, and musicians of all levels are invited to gather throughout the day in Chicago's public spaces to engage in spontaneous music-making. These events go on all day: 7am to 5pm culminating to a grand finale concert from 5:15 to 9pm at St. James Cathedral Commons. This event takes place at public spaces citywide, including Daley Plaza (50 W. Washington), Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington), Alliance Française (810 N. Dearborn) and St. James Cathedral Commons (65 E. Huron). For details, visit makemusicchicago.com.


YCA Fundraiser & Poetry Expo @ Elastic Arts

The Young Chicago Authors Fundraiser & Poetry Expo (Elastic Arts, 2830 N. Milwaukee Ave.) happens tonight from 7-10pm! Your $5 (under 25) or $10 (over 25) will get you food and drinks, as well as performances by a wide range of people, including poets, singers, DJs, and MCs. Your money will also be put to good use: it will help send YCA youth to the Allied Media Conference in Detroit.

Minor Art Attack Craft Fair/Benefit @ 2055 W. Erie

This is not your run of the mill craft fair. This is a community gathering together to help a school in need, with local crafters and artists coming together in support of Madero Middle School in Little Village (28th St. and Kedzie), a 90% reduced/free lunch school in need of books. Check out the newest goods from over 20 kick ass local crafters, artists and vintage sellers.

Want to kick it up a notch? Bring books (any subject manner as long as in decent condition) to donate to Open Books Ltd., an organization that helps provide funding for literacy programs right here in Chicago. This event takes place today from 12pm to 6pm at 2055 W. Erie. More details here.

Minor Art Attack Craft Fair/Benefit @ 2055 W. Erie

This is not your run of the mill craft fair. This is a community gathering together to help a school in need, with local crafters and artists coming together in support of Madero Middle School in Little Village (28th St. and Kedzie). They are a 90% reduced/free lunch school, in need of books. Check out the newest goods from over 20 kick ass local crafters, artists and vintage sellers. The first 50 attendees will receive a free Minor Art Attack tote bag. Want to kick it up a notch? Bring books (any subject manner as long as in decent condition) to donate to Open Books Ltd., an organization that helps provide funding for literacy programs right here in Chicago. This event takes place today from 12pm to 8pm and tomorrow from 12pm to 6pm at 2055 W. Erie. Details here.

7th Annual Guerrilla Truck Show

This is a collection of new works by local, independent object and furniture designers. 5:30pm-9:30pm at 1052 W. Fulton Market. For more information, click here.

NeoCon Opening Night

NeoCon is North America's largest design exposition and conference for commercial interiors, providing over 40,000 architecture and design professionals with more than 140 CEU-accredited seminars and association forums, top-notch keynote speakers, taking place today through Wednesday, June 15, 9am-5pm at the Merchandise Mart (222 Merchandise Mart Plaza). Even though it's intended for commercial consumption, there are several independent local furniture designers showing, so furniture junkies shouldn't miss it. For more information, visit NeoCon's website.

Wells Street Art Festival

Art, entertainment and delicious food (I had a memorable steak sandwich a few years ago from the Bistro Margot tent--ah, the memories) are part of the Wells Street Art Festival, which runs today and tomorrow at North and Wells, 10am-10pm. Suggested donation $7 before 5pm, and $10 after 5pm.

Etsy Birthday Party @ Inkling

Come celebrate the birthday of Etsy.com with a crafting extravaganza at Inkling (2917 1/2 Broadway) from 6:30 to 9pm. Suggested donation to cover your crafting supplies is $2, and benefits Chicago Style Crafters.

Gift Circle @ Mess Hall

How a gift circle works: people meet, share some food and introduce themselves, form a circle, then go around and share what they need. All kinds of things have been asked for: bodywork, help healing a broken heart, advice on marketing a product, someone to talk to about life goals, help cleaning out files, etc.Then people go around again and offer a gift, something they would like to share with no expectation of it being accepted. Again, a wide range of things have been offered: a dreamcatcher, a vacuum sealer, shamanic healing, handquilted potholders, research help (from a librarian), help writing a simple will (from a lawyer), etc, etc. Afterward, people check in with those who responded to the gifts/needs/wishes and schedule them. (Bring your calendars!) 6:30pm to 7pm: Potluck (BYOB, dish). 7pm to 8:30pm: Gift Circle. Free & open to the public. Mess Hall is located at 6932 N. Glenwood Ave.

WPA Mural Tour @ Lane Tech High School

Tonight Preservation Chicago and portoluz are hosting a tour of the Great Depression-era murals at Lane Tech High School. The tour begins at 5pm at Entrance M of the school, 2501 W. Addison. $10 donation is requested at the door but RSVP to spfingsten@preservationchicago.org.

Printers Row Lit Fest

It's the last day of Printers Row Lit Fest: today, Printers Row (Dearborn Street, Congress to Polk streets) will be filled with literary events, authors/speakers, and of course many, many books. Check out the full event schedule (all free, but you need to reserve your ticket for Harold Washington Library Center and University Center events) and full list of appearing authors. Find out about exact details, contact information, kids' activities and more here.

Comic Book Swap Meet @ Evil Squirrel Comics

If you're sitting on a stack of comic books that are collecting dust, and maybe not quite worth the hassle of eBay or Craigslist, check into the Evil Squirrel Comic Book Swap! It's recommended you arrive by 2pm with a typed (or well written) list of the books you wish to swap. The swapping will begin promptly at 2:30pm. It's recommended to limit your comics to swap to a short-box. Evil Squirrel Comics 6928 N Glenwood Ave, Chicago, IL 60626. Begins at 2pm ends when all swapped out or 4pm. RSVP via Facebook.

Printers Row Lit Fest

Today and tomorrow, Printers Row (Dearborn Street, Congress to Polk streets) will be filled with literary events, authors/speakers, and of course many, many books. Check out the full event schedule (all free, but you need to reserve your ticket for Harold Washington Library Center and University Center events) and full list of appearing authors. Find out about exact details, contact information, kids' activities and more here.

Brian Azzarello @ The Comic Vault

Brian Azzarello, author of the crime comic gem 100 Bullets and the upcoming Flashpoint: Batman - Knight of Vengeance, will be at the Comic Vault's Uptown location, 1530 W. Montrose, at 3pm to sign comics and to chat with fans. Come prepared to meet one of Chicago's slickest comic writers.

The Dollhouse Reading Series @ 1850 W. Belle Plaine

If you haven't been to The Dollhouse Reading Series yet (1850 W. Belle Plaine Ave, Apt 3), you won't want to miss this one. Tonight the series has a celebrity theme: it's BYOB and bring your favorite celebrity quote (they've specifically requested no Charlie Sheen -- everyone's probably heard enough by now). Featured poets include Nick Demske, Sarah Fox, Daniel Borzutzky, and Sarah Carson. The doors open at 8pm, and the reading begins at 9pm. Admission is free.

Chicago Foodways Rountable: Ken Hom @ Kendall College

Writer and chef Louisa Chu will interview Ken Hom as part of the Chicago Foodways Roundtable of the Culinary Historians of Chicago. A native Chicagoan, Hom started out washing dishes at King Wah, became a cooking mentor to Charlie Trotter and Ming Tsai, and lends his name to an extremely popular line of woks. Surely there are more exciting details to learn as well! Talk starts at 7pm, tickets are $5 per person (free to Kendall students and faculty with ID). To reserve a spot leave a message at (847) 432-8255 with your name, telephone number and how many people in your party or e-mail the Roundtable. Kendall College, 900 N. Branch Street.

Art Futura Opening Night Awards Party

The 9th annual ArtFutura is a juried art exhibition of more than 150 emerging and established artists benefiting the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago's Art Therapy program. All events including the Opening Night Awards Party tonight take place at the Ryan Family Atrium of NU Lurie Center (303 E. Superior St.). Proceeds from this event allow the hospital to maintain an Art Therapist at the hospital to work with patients. More information about this event can be found here.

"Speakin' of the Blues" @ Harold Washington Library

The Harold Washington Library Center (400 S. State St.) presents "Speakin' of the Blues," with musician and author 'Chicago Beau,' today at 12:15pm. Born Lincoln Beauchamp on Chicago's South Side, the entertainer will discuss his life and career, and will treat the audience to a live musical performance. This free event will be held in the library's Pritzker Auditorium. For more information, call (312) 747-4850.

Leslie Jamison and Kiki Petrosino @ Women and Children First

It's a literary debutante ball (of sorts) at Women and Children First tonight: Leslie Jamison reads from her debut novel The Gin Closet and Kiki Petrosino from her debut poetry collection Fort Red Border . Women and Children First, 5233 N. Clark St., Thursday, June 2, 7:30pm.

Bike the Drive

Lake Shore Drive closes from Bryn Mawr to 57th from 5:30-9:45am today for Bike the Drive, an opportunity for cyclists to take over for a quiet, gorgeous ride along the Lake. Event sponsored by Active Transportation Alliance; admission $40-55.

Memorial Day Parade

Perhaps this is Mayor Rahm's first time to pull on a weird sash and walk the parade route! Parade starts at noon at State and Lake.

Ta Da! The Assistant's Revenge @ Underground Lounge

If you've ever thought modern dance suffered from a lack of magic tricks and booty shaking, this may change your mind. We Stand Sideways performs "Ta Da! The Assistant's Revenge," playing off the well-worn trope of the magician's assistant to explore objectification and gender equality. If that sounds too heavy, rest assured there will also be nudity (!), though it's not clear if anyone will be sawed in half. Last performance! $12 at the door, $10 for artists, The Underground Lounge, 952 W. Newport Ave., (773) 327-2739. Show starts at 10pm.

Ta Da! The Assistant's Revenge @ Underground Lounge

If you've ever thought modern dance suffered from a lack of magic tricks and booty shaking, this may change your mind. We Stand Sideways performs "Ta Da! The Assistant's Revenge," playing off the well-worn trope of the magician's assistant to explore objectification and gender equality. If that sounds too heavy, rest assured there will also be nudity (!), though it's not clear if anyone will be sawed in half. Two nights only! $12 at the door, $10 for artists, The Underground Lounge, 952 W. Newport Ave., (773) 327-2739. Show starts at 10pm.

Family Firsts: 3 Tales of Immigration Film Screenings @ the Cultural Center

Chicago Film Archives presents a rare opportunity to see three newly restored Chicago-centric films that look at personal stories of immigration, acculturation and assimilation in Chicago and its surrounding suburbs. This event is free and open to the public at Chicago Cultural Center's Claudia Cassidy Theater (78 E. Washington St.), and happens at 6:30pm. Details here.

Wort Workshop Series #4 @ Spoke

PUBLIC BREWERY is part art installation, part DIY brewery, and completely community oriented. Visitors are invited to bring an ingredient they have grown or purchased locally to be used as part of today's workshop demonstrating home-soda making techniques. Today's drink will be a crabapple blossom soda incorporating crabapple blossom syrup donated by the Chicago Rarities Orchard Project (CROP). A representative from CROP will also facilitate discussions about this new project taking place in Logan Square. An exhibition at the end of the month allows today's participants to taste the fruits of their labor. Today's workshop runs from 12pm - 3pm. This event is all ages and families with children are strongly encouraged to attend. All children must be chaperoned by an adult. $5 per family/group. Spoke is located at 119 North Peoria, #2D.

Schizcago @ The Building Stage

The film Schizcago will screen at 10pm tonight at The Building Stage, 412 N. Carpenter Street. $5. As described by the filmmakers: "This bricolage comedy follows Lacey and her friends as they fake their way into clinic trials and peddle their tastes as corporate youth consultants. A surreal portrait of wage relations, Schizcago wryly presents the changing desires of privileged city youth."

Local Craft Beer Parties @ Maria's & Co-Prosperity Sphere

Hey beer lovers, tonight three of the country's most rad craft breweries are hosting a double event in Bridgeport: One at Maria's Packaged Goods & Community Bar (960 W. 31st St.) and a simultaneous event takes place two blocks away at the Co-Prosperity Sphere (3219 S. Morgan St.). These events are being held to celebrate Chicago Craft Beer Week. Half Acre, Three Floyd's and Dogfish Head will be stocked at Maria's, with some rare beers on draft. 7pm til 2am. No cover.

The event at Co-Prosperity Sphere takes place from 8pm to 11pm. Admission is $10, which entitles you to complimentary craft beers. There are no online or presale admission tickets. Meet the staff of your favorite breweries: Three Floyd's Gregg Alzinga will be on the decks. Lord of the Yum Yum will perform at both venues. Proceeds will go to the non-profit arts organization Public Media Institute.

Rebecca Skloot @ Harold Washington Library

Rebecca Skloot reads from The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks tonight. Henrietta Lacks was a poor Southern tobacco farmer whose cells (dubbed HeLa cells) were taken without her knowledge and were of vital use in developing the polio vaccine, in cancer research and in gene mapping, among other things. Her cells helped launch a multimillion-dollar industry that sells human biological materials, yet her family never saw any of the profits. Seed magazine says "The history of HeLa is a rare and powerful combination of race, class, gender, medicine, bioethics, and intellectual property; far more rare is the writer that can so clearly fuse those disparate threads into a personal story so rich and compelling. Rebecca Skloot has crafted a unique piece of science journalism that is impossible to put down - or to forget." Harold Washington Library, 400 S. State, 6pm.

Bomb & Bird @ Innertown Pub

Bomb & Bird is the latest reading series taking place tonight at Innertown Pub (1935 West Thomas St), starting at 7:30pm. Bring poetry, prose, what have you (the brave souls even say they'll accept your worst work as well as your best). The event is free, and you get five minutes of open-mic floor time -- first come, first-served.

Chicago Craft Beer Week Begins

Today marks the first day of Chicago Craft Beer Week, a citywide event of samplings, parties, lectures and demonstrations of the Devil's Water. Series runs through May 27.

ECLIPSE Master Class: Man, Woman, and the Beast Within @ Columbia College

Columbia College Chicago and Fulcrum Point New Music Project, in association with Fujitsu Ten Ltd., will present ECLIPSE Master Class: Man, Woman, and the Beast Within, a free, one-time-only film music screening event with live orchestra, at the sound stage of the Columbia College Media Production Center (1600 S. State St.) today at 7:30pm. This special ECLIPSE Master Class event is free and open to the public but advance registration and ticket reservations are required. For more information and to reserve tickets, please visit www.ccc-emc.org or call 312-726-3846.

Mayoral Tutorial Launch Party @ Heartland Cafe

Mayoral Tutorial, the local site that was an indispensable reference during the recent mayoral race, holds a relaunch party to celebrate the soon-to-star Rahm Emanuel era. The party starts tonight at 7pm at the Heartland Cafe (7000 N. Glenwood) and features contributions by local authors, speakers, activists and performers. The show will be hosted by Mayoral Tutorial's own Don Washington, and runs until the last attendee leaves.

Flights and Bites @ The Bad Apple

Join the lovely Bapple staff and Founders Brewing for an evening of appetizers paired with beers at the Bad Apple to kick of American Craft Beer Week. Beers from the Grand Rapids, MI brewer will include Curmudgeon, Double Trouble, Imperial Stout and more, with such accompanying snacks as pulled pork corn arepas, oxtail sliders, cirtus scallops and asparagus, and coffee cupcakes. $30 covers the spread, more details on the Bad Apple website.

4th Annual Andersonville Wine Walk @ In Fine Spirits

On a sunny Sunday afternoon, you can walk through Andersonville's shopping district sipping on your favorite newly-found pinot. In Fine Spirits has spread around some of their most popular wines to retailers in the area. You bring your "Andersonville Wine Walk" specially marked glass into the store and they give you three samples of wine. One glass gains you access to 11 stores with 3 samplings each, plus a refreshment stop at which you can kick it up a notch and enjoy a beer and liquor tasting to cleanse your palate.

Your wine chalice is $30 available here. Happy sauced shopping!

Farm Tour and Dinner @ Slagel Family Farms

Featuring a dinner cooked by the chefs from The Bristol, Nightwood, and one sixtyblue, as well as a butching demonstration from Rob Levitt of the Butcher and Larder, this all-day trip to Slagel Family Farms (bus transportation to and from Chicago included) offers a step closer to the farm-to-table trend for the average diner. Compared to other, similar farm dinners in the Chicagoland area, this packs an awful lot of punch for the ticket price, with three excellent chefs in charge of the goods (which you'll see! On the farm!). Kids are welcome with adult supervision, and tickets can be purchased online for $200 $125 per person (less for young ones). The bus picks everyone up at Nightwood, 2119 S. Halsted, promptly at noon; Slagel Farms is located at 23601 E. 600 North Road in Fairbury, IL. Call 815-848-9385 with any questions.

LUCKY 13: Give Back, Shake Your Backside

Reunion and the Auxiliary Board of Chicago are pleased to present LUCKY 13 party, joining local residents Phil Free Art andDJ Misfit, along with Reunion resident and Bay Area import Papa Tony with headliner Robot Bomb Shelter of San Francisco. LUCKY 13 will be fighting musical superstition, and removing hexes through dance and art, with a percentage of the door and all raffle proceeds benefiting the Association House of Chicago. 1375 W. Lake St., 8pm.

DJ Misfit and Papa Tony will get the groove established with a mix of house, breaks, techno and drum 'n bass, leading up to headliner Robot Bomb Shelter, a Bay Area controllerist who will write his set live, inspired by the ever-changing energy in the room. Phil Free Art's live art studio will be operating during the performances, and his art will be raffled off with other awesome shiny things with all raffle proceeds benefiting Chicago's own Association House of Chicago, who have been creating opportunity in the community for over 110 years.

Bottom Lounge
, 1375 W. Lake St. Tickets are $10 at the door. Doors open at 8pm. For more information: email Kristina at kzivich@gmail.com

Ol' Time Mississippi Fish Fry @ Da Sto

Tonight, check out the Ol' Time Mississippi Fish Fry and Hip Hop Storytelling Revival. The night will feature Grammy winning rapper and former 20th Ward alderman candidate Che "Rhymefest" Smith, spoken word by the Neighborhood Writing Alliance, food and cooking demonstrations, a West Woodlawn TIF photo gallery and more. Brought to you by Blacks In Green , a community education and trade association working to foster and sustain green, neighbor-owned businesses in African-American communities. Da Sto, 460 E. 61st, 6-10pm, $35 for dinner, show and festival; click here for tickets

VISITORS Book Launch @ ISR Pop-Up Gallery

One year after taking a photograph of every visitor gracing his Pilsen studio, Chicago-based music and fashion photographer Kyle La Mere is launching his first self-published book of work tonight at his IshootRockstars pop-up gallery (1823 S. Halsted). Named one of Chicago's Hottest 30 Under 30, La Mere's limited-edition VISITORS books feature more than 300 portraits of all types (from musicians, to plumbers, to designers to dogs) and is a true testament to the uniqueness of the Chicago community, as well as the style of La Mere's work. If you want your own copy, they're $30 online. The event runs from 6pm to 10pm.

Gift Circle @ Mess Hall

How a gift circle works: people meet, share some food and introduce themselves. Then they form a circle. People go around and share what they need. All kinds of things have been asked for, and the need is spoken with no expectation of it being fulfilled. People in the circle respond if they feel it. Then people go around again and offer a gift, something they would like to share with no expectation of it being accepted. Again, a wide range of things have been offered. Afterward, people check in with those who responded to the gifts/needs/wishes and schedule them. (Bring your calendars!)

6:30pm to 7pm: Potluck (BYOB, dish). 7 to 8:30pm: Gift Circle. Free & open to the public. Mess Hall is located at 6932 N. Glenwood Ave.

Demitri Martin Book Signing @ DePaul Bookstore

Demetri Martin will be at the DePaul University Bookstore (1 E. Jackson) tonight at 6pm to sign and read excerpts from his new book, This is a Book. For details, click here.

Chris Burnham @ The Comic Vault Downtown

Meet Batman Inc. artist Chris Burnham between noon and 3pm at the Comic Vault's downtown location, situated at 108 N. State St. inside Block 37. Come prepared to spend your lunch hour with one of Chicago's biggest up and comers in the comic business.

"The Cannon" Performative Reading Series @ Bonny's

"The Cannon," a monthly event starting tonight, (and part of Logan Square's "Strongworks" performance programming) will feature six Chicago actors
performing short stories chosen by Will Litton, fiction editor of the literary magazine
Wag's Revue, and Sam Nyhart, company member of Strong Works. Readings will be "performative, polished and punchy," according to Amanda Rozmiarek, production manager of Strong Works. Tonight's event will be held at Bonny's (2417 N. Milwaukee Ave.) from 9 to 10. Afterward, the Strong Works jazz band will play, followed by DJs, dancing and drinks. A $5 donation will be gently suggested at the door to keep their otherwise entirely unfunded season going.

Bark in the Park @ Montrose Harbor

The Anti-Cruelty Society welcomes pet lovers to its seventeenth annual Bark in the Park, featuring a 5k walk and all sorts of fun for humans and their animal companions alike. The walk kicks off at 9 am at Montrose Harbor. The day will also feature dogs in costume, a pet talent scout, and doggie massage, among other activities. More information and registration for the walk is available at the Anti-Cruelty Society's site.

Wort Workshop Series #3 @ Spoke

PUBLIC BREWERY is part art installation, part DIY brewery, and completely community oriented. Visitors are invited to bring an ingredient they have grown or purchased locally to be used as part of today's workshop demonstrating home-brewing techniques. Today's brew will be a Pilsen Beekeeper's Ale incorporating malted honey and three pounds of local honey from beekeeper Donna Oppolo. Oppolo will also facilitate discussions on local food production. An exhibition at the end of the month allows today's participants to taste the fruits of their labor. Today's workshop runs from 3 - 8pm. Participants must be at least 21 years old. $5 entry fee. Spoke is located at 119 North Peoria, #2D.

Jonathan Hickman Signing and Q&A

Writer Jonathan Hickman, best known for his work on Marvel Comic's Fantastic Four, Secret Warriors and SHIELD, will be signing at The Comic Vault, located at Ashland and Montrose, for Free Comic Book Day. The signing will begin at noon and run until 4pm. Limit two items per person.

The Q&A session is by ticket only and will be moderated by local Chicago writer Elliot Serrano. Tickets are limited to the first fifty people who pre-order Hickman's latest hardcover, SHIELD: Architects of Forever.

Free Comic Book Day 2011

It's that time of year again, Free Comic Book Day! Check out any one of Chicago's many comic book shops this Saturday for a whole host of free product available from Marvel, DC and pretty much every other comic book publisher in the business. Visit your local shop for this year's offerings.

Ed Roberson @ Northwestern University

Ed Roberson, Northwestern's Distinguished Artist in Residence in the Department of English, reads tonight at Northwestern in The Hagstrum Room (#201), University Hall (1897 Sheridan Road, Evanston). The reading starts at 5pm and is presented by UniVerse. Admission is free!

Ravenswood Run 5k

New to Lincoln Square, and not sure how best to get the lay of the land? Or just feeling sporty with all this spring(ish) weather? Fleet Feet and and Ravenswood Community Services invite you to exercise either impulse in the 5k Ravenswood Run. Registration is $35 during race week (that's now!), or slightly more if you add an optional donation to a local food pantry. The other beneficiaries will be the student health centers at Amundsen and Lake View High Schools. Register online here, race starts at 8am, 4550 N. Hermitage Ave. (If you're not running, be sure to move your car before 5am!)

Wort Workshop Series #2 @ Spoke

PUBLIC BREWERY is part art installation, part DIY brewery, and completely community oriented. Visitors are invited to bring an ingredient they have grown or purchased locally to be used as part of today's workshop demonstrating home-brewing techniques. Today's brew will be a Humboldt Part Cherry Pale Ale incorporating cherries picked from a Humboldt Park resident. Local urban agriculturalists also facilitate discussions on local food production. An exhibition at the end of the month allows today's participants to taste the fruits of their labor. Today's workshop runs from 3 - 8pm. Participants must be at least 21 years old. $5 entry fee. Spoke is located at 119 North Peoria, #2D.

Global Activism Expo @ UIC Forum

Derived from the "Global Activism Series" hosted by "Worldview"'s Jerome McDonnell, the Global Activism Expo has become WBEZ's largest event of the year, happening again today (complete with music & food) and gathering hundreds of Chicago-area global activists, each providing ways you can immediately get involved and join their efforts. Doors open at noon and stay open until 6pm; it's FREE -- so bring your classes, your children, your neighbors, your friends and family. The address is 725 W. Roosevelt. Details here.

Haymarket Affair Reenactment

Join the Pocket Guide to Hell for a full-scale reenactment of the Haymarket Affair today on Randolph Street between Desplaines and Halsted. At 2pm, the Illinois Labor History Society dedicates a new plaque commemorating the event, then at 3pm the reenactment begins. At 4pm, head over to Zepf's Hall (now the Haymarket Pub & Brewery, 737 W. Randolph St.) for an afterparty. More info here.

How We Got On by Idris Goodwin @ New Leaf Theatre

This is part of the Treehouse Readings Series at New Leaf Theatre. The revamped series, which kicked off last fall, is dedicated to providing an incubator for new play development, specifically for plays that have received an initial reading and are in the more advanced stages of polishing before their premieres. Tonight at 7pm they will be reading How We Got On by Idris Goodwin, a classic American coming-of-age tale with a unique hip-hop treatment: domestic suburban life remixed. The Selector, our DJ/Narrator, samples and loops us through the lives of three Midwestern teen rappers who have yet to discover the power of harmony over discord. This reading will take place at New Leaf Theatre's home at the Lincoln Park Cultural Center, 2045 N. Lincoln Park West. Free, For more information, visit newleaftheatre.org.

Joe Bonomo & Jim DeRogatis @ Ferguson Hall

Bonomo (author of Highway to Hell (33 1/3 Series) and Sweat: The Story of The Fleshtones, America's Garage Band) and DeRogatis (of "Sound Opinions" and Vocalo.org) will talk about rock 'n' roll writing tonight at Ferguson Hall (600 S. Michigan Ave), Room 101, at 6:30pm.

Official Lollapalooza Lineup Announcement Party @ Debonair Social Club

Do312 and Rehab host the Official Lollapalooza Lineup Announcement Party at Debonair Social Club tonight. Doors open at 10pm and at midnight the lineup will be revealed to partygoers on a videoscreen. Join other Lolla fans for a night of drink specials, house DJs and performances from 2011 Lollapalooza artists. Artists will be announced the day of the event.

RSVP here for the party and for a chance to win Lollapalooza tickets. Debonair Social Club is located at 1575 N. Milwaukee Ave. Call 773-227-7990 for more details.

The MDW Fair @ the Geolofts

Three of Chicago's most celebrated art spaces - threewalls, Roots and Culture, and Public Media Institute - present the MDW Fair, a celebration and gathering of Chicagoland area independent art initiatives, spaces, galleries, publishers, and artist groups. Featuring exhibited works, talks, and performances, the fair aims to "demonstrate the diversity, strength, and vision of the people/places making it happen in the art ecology of our region." The MDW Fair takes place at the Geolofts (3636 South Iron Street) on April 23 from 1pm to 10pm and April 24 from 1pm to 6pm. Admission to the fair is $5.

The MDW Fair @ the Geolofts

Three of Chicago's most celebrated art spaces - threewalls, Roots and Culture, and Public Media Institute - present the MDW Fair, a celebration and gathering of Chicagoland area independent art initiatives, spaces, galleries, publishers, and artist groups. Featuring exhibited works, talks, and performances, the fair aims to "demonstrate the diversity, strength, and vision of the people/places making it happen in the art ecology of our region." The MDW Fair takes place at the Geolofts (3636 South Iron Street) on April 23 from 1pm to 10pm and April 24 from 1pm to 6pm. Admission to the fair is $5.

WONKA BALL 2011: A Royal Wedding @ SAIC Ballroom

Polish your tiaras! Before Prince William and Kate Middleton tie the knot across the pond, About Face Theatre is throwing its own royal wedding at WONKA BALL 2011. AFT's premier fundraising event will be held tonight at the School of the Art Institute Ballroom, 112 S. Michigan Ave., at 6:30pm with a VIP reception at 5:30pm. Tickets are currently available at www.aboutfacetheatre.com or 773-784-8565. The evening will include a silent auction, open bar, mouth-watering edibles from some of Chicago's best restaurants including Atwood Café, Garrett Popcorn, J&L Catering, Polo Café, Terry's Toffees and more. WONKA BALL wouldn't be complete without plenty of music, dancing, entertainment and of course lots of surprises--including a "Wonka-style" visit from Queen Elizabeth herself! Tickets are a steep $250/VIP reception or $150/general admission. Details here.

Local Poet Night @ The Book Cellar

In honor of National Poetry Month, come out to The Book Cellar (4736-38 Lincoln Ave.) tonight at 7pm to celebrate local poets Robert McDonald, Katie Phillips, Richard Fox, and Larry Dean.

Live Taping of "Who Knows Her Better?" @ Mary's Attic

Tellofilms.com announces "Who Knows Her Better?" a new game show hosted by Elizabeth Keener from The L Word that asks the question: who knows a woman better -- her husband or her gay best friend? The premiere episode will be taped in front of a live audience tonight from 6pm to 9pm at Mary's Attic (5400 N. Clark St.). Tickets include two shows of "Who Knows Her Better?" and can be purchased in advance for $10 at BrownPaperTickets.com. Tickets will also be available at the door for $15. The minimum age for attendees is 21 years old.

Essay Fiesta @ The Book Cellar

Tonight at 7 pm. Essay Fiesta is a monthly reading series at the Book Cellar (4736 N. Lincoln Ave.). Five artists and their personal essays are featured each month. All money goes to benefit 826CHI.

Native American Poetry Night @ Mitchell Museum of the American Indian

Tonight the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian will host its first Native American Poetry Night. Kimberly Blaeser, Mark LaRoque, and Thirza Defoe -- Native American poets from the Midwest -- will read and talk about their poetry from 5 to 7pm at the museum (3001 Central St, Evanston). Admission is $8 for the public and $5 for Mitchell Museum members. For more information, visit the museum's website.

Anniversary Party @ Pumping Station One

Hacker space Pumping Station One, 3354 N. Elston Ave., celebrates its second anniversary and grand reopening tonight starting at 6pm. Drinks and other refreshments will be served, and DJ DSTROY spins. $5-10 donation at the door requested. RSVP on Facebook.

Gift Circle @ Mess Hall

How a gift circle works: people meet, share some food and introduce themselves. Then they form a circle. People go around and share what they need. All kinds of things have been asked for: bodywork, help healing a broken heart, advice on marketing a product, someone to talk to about life goals, help cleaning out files, etc. The need is spoken with no expectation of it being fulfilled. People in the circle respond if they feel it. Then people go around again and offer a gift, something they would like to share with no expectation of it being accepted. Again, a wide range of things have been offered: a dreamcatcher, a vacuum sealer, shamanic healing, handquilted potholders, research help (from a librarian), help writing a simple will (from a lawyer), etc, etc. Afterward, people check in with those who responded to the gifts/needs/wishes and schedule them (bring your calendars!).

6:30pm to 7pm: Potluck (BYOB, dish). 7pm to 8:30pm: Gift Circle. Free & open to the public. Mess Hall is located at 6932 N. Glenwood Ave.

Live Sketch Event w/ Shawnimals @ Urban Outfitters

11 Kidrobot artists will be at Urban Outfitters stores nationwide today from 6pm to 8pm to sign and sketch Munnyworld figures in person, featuring Shawnimals at the State Street store (20 S. State) here in Chicago. Admission is free and open to the public. Kids are encouraged to attend.

Maureen McLane @ Hilton Orrington

Tonight at 5pm at Hilton Orrington (Hinman Auditorium, 1710 Orrington Ave) in Evanston, poet and literary critic Maureen McLane will read as part of Northwestern University's 4th Annual Writers' Festival. Admission is free.

Gaiman and Niffenegger @ Harold Washington Library Center

You may remember us reporting that One Book, One Chicago chose Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere for this year's citywide reading program. Tonight Gaiman will talk with Audrey Niffenegger about imagination and creativity at the Harold Washington Library Center auditorium (400 S. State St) at 6pm. Event is free!

Reginald Gibbons and Cornelia Maude Spelman @ The Cliff Dwellers Club

Reginald Gibbons and Cornelia Maude Spelman are married. They are also the authors of Slow Trains Overhead: Chicago Poems And Stories and Missing: A Memoir, respectively. Tonight they will come together to present their poetry and prose in a program by the Society of Midland Authors at the Cliff Dwellers Club (200 S. Michigan Ave, 22nd floor). Complimentary snacks and a cash bar will be available starting at 6pm, with the reading beginning at 7pm. And admission is free, but the Society would be grateful for any donations to offset the cost of their programs.

Baconfest @ UIC Forum

This year's Baconfest, a celebration of all things swine, is a huge space upgrade from last year, but given the honor roll of this year's vendors (Longman and Eagle, Balsan, Purple Pig, among many others), this doesn't mean the event won't sell out immediately. Event is at UIC Forum (725 W Roosevelt); tickets $65-100.

Quarantined Release Party @ The Comic Vault

The Comic Vault, located near Ashland and Montrose at 1530 West Montrose, will be hosting a release party for the new graphic novel Quarantined written by Mike Moreci with art by Monty Borror. The book focuses on a group of stranded survivors in Michigan's Upper Peninsula during an outbreak of a mysterious contagion that turns people into bloodthirsty killing machines.

The event begins at 5pm and lasts until 8pm. A second day of celebration commences on April 10th from 2pm to 6pm. Baked goods will be available, courtesy of Moreci's wife (a professional baker), alongside the creators of the book. Come on over and support local Chicago creators taking their first steps into the world of graphic fiction.

The City in Which @ The Nightingale

Joshua Dumas and Christy LeMaster gave brand-spankin' new rolls of 16mm film to 12 Chicago-based experimental filmmakers, and then asked these filmmakers to respond to Chicago poet Li-Young Lee's "The City in Which I Love You," while adding in their own creative experiences in Chicago. The end result is The City in Which, a Chicago cine-poem, a short film made from splicing all of the filmmakers' work together. The film's premiere is tonight at 8pm, with a second showing tomorrow, April 9, at The Nightingale (1084 N. Milwaukee). Lee's poem will be read live to accompany the film, and a cine-poem program, curated by LeMaster, will follow.

Third Coast Listening Room: The Power of Voice @ Old Town School of Folk Music

Go out for an evening of memorable radio stories teeming with a wide range of voices -- from shrill to soothing, angry to joyful, animal to human. Third Coast directors Johanna Zorn and Julie Shapiro lead, with special guest musician Abraham Levitan (Baby Teeth, Shame That Tune) bringing his trademark razzle dazzle. The event is tonight at 7pm. Admission is $10 / $8 for students, seniors, children and Old Town School members. The Old Town School of Folk Music is located at 4544 N. Lincoln Avenue

Story Club @ Uncommon Ground

Story Club's show tonight at Wrigleyville's Uncommon Ground (3800 N Clark St) will feature Rites of Passage stories by Jen Bosworth (Stories at the Store) and JT Berg. There are also 5 open mic spots -- get there for open mic sign-up from 8 to 8:15pm. The event is free, but if you want to make sure you get a seat, call for dinner reservations (773/929.3680).

The Well Read Affair @ Chicago Cultural Center

If you've some extra tax return money rattling around in your pocket, consider putting it to a good cause. Tonight is the Well Read Affair at the Chicago Cultural Center, a benefit for Literacy Chicago. The Affair features music from the
Myles Hayes Quintet and the a capella punk rock Blue Ribbon Glee Club as well as food, cocktails, a silent auction and readings from Literacy Chicago students. Emmy award winner Catie Keogh hosts. Literacy Chicago is a nonprofit organization that empowers individuals to achieve greater self sufficiency through language and literacy instruction. Their programs include ESL, adult literacy, GED and workforce literacy tutoring. They offer tuition-free classes to the greater Chicago community and are always looking for volunteers. Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St., (312) 744-6630. 6-9pm. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased here.

The Spleling Be @ Rocking Horse

If the words "spelling bee" bring to mind grade school grudges (you purposely misheard me, Sister Ann!), here's your chance for a do-over amongst friends and well-crafted beer. Head out to the Rocking Horse in Logan Square tonight for the Spleling Be, brought to you by the Louisville, Kentucky-based Idea Festival. You can compete in teams of up to three people; if one team member wears a bee suit, you get a round of immunity, meaning you can misspell one word and remain in the competition. The winner(s) get handmade trophies and all-access passes to the Idea Festival (worth $400 each) held this September. Similar to TED Talks, The Idea Festival has been bringing together leading thinkers in science, the arts, business, design, technology, education, medicine and more in a heady cocktail of ideas since 2000. Yes, redeeming the passes will involve travel to the Bluegrass State (road trip!). Rocking Horse, 2535 N Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL 60647 (773) 486-0011. Sign-up starts at 7:30, spelling bee starts at 8:30. Free.

Mary Karr @ The Art Institute

The Poetry Foundation's Poetry Off the Shelf welcomes Mary Karr to the Art Institute of Chicago, Rubloff Auditorium (230 S Columbus Dr) tonight at 6pm. Karr is an accomplished poet and memoirist (you may have heard of The Liars' Club), not to mention a winner of various awards and fellowships. Admission is free and first-come, first-served, so don't be late!

Playful Poetry @ Harold Washington Library Center

Heidi Bee Roemer will share poems from some of her children's stories and poems at this interactive program for ages 6 to 9 years old. It starts today at the Harold Washington Library Center (Thomas Hughes Children's Library, 400 S. State St) at 11am, and if you have a group of six or more, you need to make reservations by calling (312) 747-4200.

"Gala Undone" Benefit Art Party & Auction @ Venue One

"Gala Undone" is Urban Gateway's 50th anniversary party, hosted by New Arts Forum. The party will feature an open bar, snacks, and silent art auction. There will also be a performance by UG group, BAM!, live mural art by UG artist James "Casper" Jankowiak and tunes by DJ Mister Wolf (of Only Children). 21+. Tickets are $40 in advance or $50 at the door. The party is from 9:30pm to midnight tonight at Venue One: 1044 W. Randolph. More information and tickets can be found at urbangateways.org.

Dandelion Momma by Greg Romero @ New Leaf Theatre

This is part of the Treehouse Readings Series at New Leaf Theatre. The revamped series, which kicked off last fall, is dedicated to providing an incubator for new play development, specifically for plays that have received an initial reading and are in the more advanced stages of polishing before their premieres. Tonight they will be reading Dandelion Momma by Greg Romero. Synopsis: A 100-year old woman reflects on her life through broken pieces of memory. An eight-year old girl takes care of wayward dandelions and sees the lights inside of people. A farm girl and a writer search for life while planting seeds in the hardened ground of the Great Depression. The ground becomes harder, the girl becomes tired, the air becomes heavier and something new must be born. This reading will take place at New Leaf Theatre's home at the Lincoln Park Cultural Center, 2045 N. Lincoln Park West. The staged readings will be followed by a talk-back. Admission is free to all readings. For more information, visit newleaftheatre.org.

Goose Island Beer Dinner @ Harmony Grill

Join Goose Island brewmaster and dean of Chicago brewers Greg Hall for a meal built around fancy, special Goose Island beers from the Reserve (e.g. Matilda and Pere Jacques, Pepe Nero), and Extreme Ale (e.g. Nightstalker) families. Harmony Grill's Chef Rafael Lopez has designed a four-course menu around the beer selections, with a watercress and pear gelee salad, roasted Asian-style bbq duck, seared goat (!) served with a stuffed triple-creme cheese (!!!), and a banana split with Matilda-orange ice cream for dessert.

Seating is limited to only 55 guests. Tickets are $48 per person, dinner starts at 7:30pm. For more information and reservations, visit Schubas online (scroll down to find the event) or call 773.525.2508 x17. Harmony Grill and Schubas, 3159 N. Southport Avenue.

"Unschooling Arts Education" SALON @ threewalls

If you've been craving some serious art talk but don't have the loot to go to art school, stop by threewalls tonight (or across the hallway at Western Exhibitions, rather) for their "Unschooling Arts Education" SALON-- part of their monthly, (free!) super-educational and interactive discussion series. This event is from 7 to 9pm tonight at Western Exhibitions: 119 N Peoria St., unit 2A. Admissions is free and open to the public. More info here. Super-specific all-encompassing details with supplementary readings and profiles of the guest speakers here.

Long Lazy Lunch Picnic @ ACRE

ACRE hosts a "Long Lazy Lunch" picnic today from 4-8pm at 1913 W. 17th St.-- an afternoon of treats and libations featuring musical performances by ACRE residents. This is a celebration of the release of KADABRA: Recipes and Miscellany from ACRE 2010-- part cookbook, part scrapbook created by Melissa Damasauskus and Rachel Ettling, who command the kitchen at ACRE's summer residency program. Also available are ACRE's new calendar tea towels designed by Alex Chitty and Jessica Taylor Caponigro. Performances include improvised acoustic melodies by Matt Austin and EJ Hill, noise influenced tunes by Marvin Astorga and Young Joon Kwak, and experimental video djing by John Paul Glover. KADABRA: Recipes and Miscellany from ACRE 2010 contains excerpts from the original overflowing binder of recipes used to feed the residents of ACRE's 2010 summer residency program. This handmade book is documentation of the first ACRE residency kitchen, highlighting favorite recipes and featuring notes, anecdotes, photographs and reflections on learning to cook creatively and resourcefully for a large group of varied eaters. More info can be found at acreresidency.org.

Maple Syrup Festival @ North Park Nature Village

Maple syrup's all the rage these days. Learn about its humble roots (hardy har) and the time-consuming-yet-remarkably-simple syrup-making process at the park district's free Maple Syrup Festival, today and tomorrow. Samples + snacks + free music + arts and crafts = fun for the whole family. 5801 N. Pulaski Road, from 10am to 3pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Al Burian & Aaron Cometbus @ Columbia College (Conaway Center)

Presented by Columbia College's Silver Tongue Reading Series and as part of the Chicago Zine Fest (now in its second year), Al Burian and Aaron Cometbus will discuss DIY publishing and punk culture this afternoon from 2pm to 4pm at the Conaway Center, 1104 S. Wabash Ave. Very exciting.

David Sirota and Nathan Rabin @ UIC

Tonight at the UIC Student Center East Building, Cardinal Room (750 S. Halsted St), join bestselling author David Sirota and The Onion A.V. Club's Nathan Rabin at 7pm for a 1980s themed evening. Sirota just published Back to Our Future: How the 1980s Explain The World We Live In Now, and he and Rabin will try to stump you with '80s trivia and get you talking about how '80s culture still affects us today. Event is free, and a book signing will follow.

Sneak Preview of Potiche TONIGHT @ the Music Box!

That's right! The new comedy from Music Box Films will open New York and L.A. this Friday, but the Music Box Theatre has a special early preview of the film TONIGHT where you can see the film for free! TIME Magazine says Potiche is "a glittering showcase for [Catherine] Deneuve!" Only the first 200 will be admitted, so RSVP here. The Music Box Theatre is located at 3733 N. Southport Ave.

From the Gutters @ Oak Park Public Library

The Oak Park Public Library is getting in on the graphic novel scene! Their new From the Gutters series will meet on the fourth Wednesday of every month to discuss a particular graphic novel. The series kicks off March 23 at 7:30pm at the Main Library (834 Lake St, Oak Park) with Persepolis I & II by Marjane Satrapi. From the Gutters is open to anyone interested in reading and talking about books (and refreshments will be served!). Future graphic novels to be covered include Maus I & II by Art Spiegelman, Watchmen by Alan Moore, and The Dark Knight by Frank Miller.

What to Wear During an Orange Alert @ The Whistler

This month's reading hosted by What to Wear During an Orange Alert will take place tonight at The Whistler (2421 N. Milwaukee Ave), starting at 6pm. Admission is free and featured readers include Victor David Giron, James Payne, Luis Humberto Valadez, Natalie Edwards, and Ben Tanzer.

hArts for Art: 2nd Annual Benefit Auction + Raffle @ LVL3

This is an art auction, with proceeds benefiting arts education at www.associationhouse.org. Contributing artists include Alysia Kaplan, Amy Yao, Andrew Holmquist, Austin Eddy, David Geeting, David Leggett, Easton Miller, Erin Zona, Fraser Taylor, Gary Petersen, Heidi Norton, Jacob Goudreault, James Cooper, Jason Benson, Jason Lazarus, Jenny Kendler, John Campbell, Jon Rafman, Kate Ruggeri, Kate Steciw, Leslie Supnet, Liz Nielsen McKeever Donovan, Michael Hunter, Paul Kenneth, Racer Levan, Richard Galling, Robin Cameron, Ryan Fenchel, Stephen Eichhorn, Timothy Bergstrom, Vanesa Zendejas, Veronica Rafael, WarpWeftWoof and Wyatt Grant. Advanced bids start Saturday, March 12 at www.lvl3auction.info. All bidding ends at 10pm on March 19 (tonighht). Raffle immediately after auction. All artwork starts at $20. Bids can be made in $5 increments. Artwork must be picked up by Sunday, March 20. Cash and check accepted.Raffle tickets: 1 for $3 or 2 for $5. Must be present to win raffle. This event is from 6 to 10pm tonight at LVL3 Gallery: 1542 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Mar(t)ch Madness Art Tournament @ Fulton St. Collective

Mar(t)ch Madness is an art show and event conceived in the spirit of a certain famous collegiate basketball tournament, organized by Lion vs. Gorilla. The show will begin with artwork from 16 established and emerging artists. Over the course of four bracketed rounds, viewers will vote to narrow down the playing field to their two favorite artists, and those artists will then compete for the championship trophy. Artists can (and will!) do whatever they can to court votes from audience members, to increase their odds of victory. There will be a half-time show, featuring Chicago's own cheerleading team, The Chicago Spirit Brigade. After the crowning of the Mar(t)ch Madness Tournament champion, there will be a tailgate reception, with refreshments and live music by Ludus Lovestyle. This is going to be a high-energy, fun event, and it is an opportunity for members of Chicago's arts community to come together and celebrate some of the amazing work being produced in this city. This event begins tonight at 8pm tonight at the Fulton Street Collective: 2000 W. Fulton. $5 suggested donation. Part of the proceeds will go to The Howard Brown Health Center.

Slow Motion Action/Research Collective @ Mess Hall

Join the folks at Mess Hall for this, the third meeting of the Slow-Motion Action/Research Collective (Chicago Branch) w/Brian Holmes. From noon to 2pm today there will be an open meeting & "lunchluck", where proposals morph into action plans. Then from 2pm to 4pm is a "public feelings experiment"-- experiments in data collection to produce knowledge-in-common. Brian Holmes' lecture-workshop at Mess Hall in January, "Four Pathways through Chaos," gave a broad overview of the current economic crisis and its effects -- on our city, region, and country as well as on our ways of living and sense of self. Details at messhall.org. Mess Hall is located at 6932 North Glenwood Ave. All events there are free, all ages and open to the public.

ChicagoLive! @ Chicago Theatre Downstairs

Tonight, ChicagoLive! celebrates St. Patrick's Day with Irish singer and musician Paddy Homan, former Irish Queen and "Chicago's Irish Diva" Catherine O'Connell along with newly crowned 2011 Queen, Sarah Gorecki; and country music artist Robbie Fulks. The show takes place at Chicago Theatre Downstairs, 175 N. State St.; doors open at 5:30pm and the show starts at 6:30pm. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online, by phone at 800-745-3000, or at the Chicago Theatre box office.

Next Objectivists Poetry Workshop @ Mess Hall

The Next Objectivists is a free, open-to-the-public poetry & poetics workshop dedicated to the study & reproduction of the outside-real. Mess Hall's Winter/Spring seminar (tonight) focuses on the reproduction of specific aesthetic effects related to objectivism in modern & contemporary short fiction and poetry. We read together, write together & enjoy each others' company. Beginners are always welcome. Feel free to leave your expertise at the door!
Please visit nextobjectivists.blogspot.com for specific information about the workshop. This workshop is from 7 to 10 tonight at Mess Hall: 6932 N. Glenwood Ave.

Luis J. Rodriguez @ Hull House

Tonight, Poetry Off the Shelf presents Luis J. Rodriguez at a reception and reading at Jane Addams Hull-House Museum (800 S. Halsted St). Rodriguez helped start Tia Chucha Press, a poetry publisher, that began in Chicago in 1989. He has since moved to L.A., and, as an activist in gang intervention, he published a 1993 memoir of gang life, Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A., and is set to release It Calls You Back: An Odyssey through Love, Addiction, Revolutions, and Healing this fall. The reception will begin at 5:30pm, with Rodriguez doing a reading of his work at 6pm. Admission is free, but it's first-come, first-served, so don't be late!

Eileen Myles @ Gallery 400

Eileen Myles, author of Inferno: a poet's novel, will give a talk called "MYSELF (pornography)" this evening at Gallery 400, 400 S. Peoria, for the Upcoming Voices Lecture series. It will be at 5pm. It will be great. It is free.

"I Always Like Plenty of Napkins" @ Jane Addams Hull-House Museum

A reading and release party for the latest issue of the Journal of Ordinary Thought will take place tonight from 6 to 8pm at Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, Residents' Dining Hall (800 S. Halsted). This season's JOT, "I Always Like Plenty of Napkins," features reflections on food in poetry and prose, with photography by students at DePaul University. Admission is free and complimentary copies of the journal will be available!

Almost Pi(e) Day @ Firkin & Pheasant

The Chicago Nerds Social Club presents their second annual Pi Day pie bake-off and competition. This year the event happens on the day BEFORE Pi Day, so it's an Almost Pi(e) Day event. Attendees are invited to bring their home-baked pies in for the tasting competition, and there will be trivia competitions, prizes to people who memorize the most digits of pi, and other geeky edu-tainment. The event happens tonight from 6pm to 8pm at the Firkin & Pheasant (670 W. Diversey). See the Chicago Nerds event page for full details and to buy tickets.

Octavarius: Battle for the Belt @ Stage 773

Critically acclaimed improv comedy troupe Octavarius is premiering a new show series titled "Octavarius: Battle for the Belt," tonight at 7pm at Stage 773: 1225 W. Belmont Ave. Additional performances will take place on March 20 & 27. Colt Cabana, former WWE and current Ring of Honor superstar, is a special guest of the series, making an in-person appearance on night two (the 20th) and video appearances on night one and three. "The Ego" Robert Anthony, CZW Heavyweight Champion, will make a surprise appearance on the final night of the series (the 27th). Tickets are $15 per show, or $25 for a ringside pass to all three nights. Audience members are encouraged to make a sign cheering or jeering their favorite Octavarius superstars, and receive tickets at a discounted rate of $12. For more information, visit Octavarius.com.

Creative Chicago Expo @ Chicago Cultural Center

The Creative Chicago Expo is a free, day-long event that connects Chicago's creative community -- including individual artists, businesses, and organizations -- with services, spaces, information, and networks. More than 130 vendors will participate in this year's Expo, including arts services, community organizations, arts educators, space and housing providers, health care and financial consultants, and more. Who should attend? Dancers, writers, musicians, actors, performers, theater professionals, visual artists, fashion designers and marketers, graphic designers, new media and filmmakers...and all other Chicago creatives. This event is today from 10am to 5pm at the Cultural Center:
78 E. Washington. Admission is free. More info here.


Good Evening Poetry Reading @ Mess Hall

The Good Evening Poetry Reading Series features ABI STOKES, TATIANA M. UHOCH, & BRIAN MORNAR. The open mic begins at 7pm and the featured readers at 7:45pm. Free & open to the public! BYOB! Mess Hall is located at 6932 N. Glenwood Ave.

Gift Circle @ Mess Hall

How a Gift Circle Works: people meet, share some food and introduce themselves. Then they form a circle. People go around and share what they need. All kinds of things have been asked for: bodywork, help healing a broken heart, advice on marketing a product, someone to talk to about life goals, help cleaning out files, etc. The need is spoken with no expectation of it being fulfilled. People in the circle respond if they feel it. Then people go around again and offer a gift, something they would like to share with no expectation of it being accepted. Again, a wide range of things have been offered: a dreamcatcher, a vacuum sealer, shamanic healing, handquilted potholders, research help (from a librarian), help writing a simple will (from a lawyer), etc, etc. Afterward, people check in with those who responded to the gifts/needs/wishes and schedule them. (Bring your calendars!) 6:30 to 7pm: Potluck (BYOB, dish). 7 to 8:30pm: Gift Circle. Free & open to the public. Mess Hall is located at 6932 N. Glenwood Ave.

ChicagoLive! @ Chicago Theatre Downstairs

Tonight, ChicagoLive!, the Chicago Tribune's live weekly stage and radio show, will feature interviews with Chicago Grammy-Award winning rapper Lupe Fiasco, founder of Interfaith Youth Core Eboo Patel, Ronit Bezalel, Mark Pratt and Brenda Schumacher, the filmmakers behind the documentary Voices of Cabrini, Cleetus Friedman, owner of City Provisions, comedy from The Second City and a special performance by the winner of Kyles Files Track-Off, led by the Tribune's Kyra Kyles. The show takes place at Chicago Theatre Downstairs, 175 N. State St.; doors open at 5:30pm and the show starts at 6:30pm. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online, by phone at 800-745-3000, or at the Chicago Theatre box office.

Awe Dub Sessions @ Rodan

AWE DUB SESSIONS is a night of rare and classic sci-fi film & reggae. All vinyl, all night selected by RUFFY, TUFFY, and RAD BRIAN. Special guests include a rotating cast of musicians, selectors, and chanters-- both local and international. Tonight's session: "Give Thanks & Praises Ina Topo Duh Holy Mountain!" features a crucially projected double feature from the great Alejandro Jodorowsky! El Topo (1970) & The Holy Mountain (1973) meet the sweetest in obscure roots, rockers, dub & dancehall vinyl. Awe Dub Sessions takes place every second Thursday of every month from 10pm to 2am. 21+. No Cover. Rodan is located at 1530 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Luis Alberto Urrea @ UIC, Student Center East

Today author and UIC professor, Luis Alberto Urrea, will be presented with the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences distinguished professorship. At this time, Urrea will also give a presentation entitled, "Awakening to the World: From Tijuana to Here." Urrea is a UIC professor of English who teaches creative writing. He was born in Tijuana, Mexico, and has won awards for his writing, including the Lannan Literary Award and the Kiriyama Prize in fiction. Urrea's presentation will begin at 3pm at UIC, in Student Center East (750 S. Halsted St), Room 302. Admission is free!

Jeffrey Rasley @ Barbara's Bookstore - UIC

Tonight at Barbara's Bookstore - UIC (1218 South Halsted St), Jeffrey Rasley will be discussing his trek to a village in Nepal and his philanthropy there. For 15 years, Rasley has led Himalayan mountaineering treks, and he's in charge of fund raising for Basa Village Foundation, a Nepal-based non-governmental organization. He also wrote a book about his experiences, published in October: Bringing Progress to Paradise. Come to Barbara's at 7pm to see Rasley's slide show and hear about his good deeds in Basa village, which include finishing a school and a hydroelectric system.

Audrey Niffenegger @ Cliff Dwellers Club

The Society of Midland Authors hosts a great monthly lecture series, all open to the public. Tonight, enjoy a talk by Audrey Niffenegger, author of novels Her Fearful Symmetry and The Time Traveler's Wife and the graphic novel The Night Bookmobile.

All programs are held at 7pm at the Cliff Dwellers Club, 200 S. Michigan Ave., 22nd floor, free. Complimentary snacks are served at 6pm, with a cash bar.

826CHI Prom @ Pulaski Park Fieldhouse

Tonight is 826CHI's annual prom fundraiser. This year's theme is Keep Promme and Carry On. The dress is second-hand formal and/or dress as a person, landmark or theme from England. Tickets include open beer bar, snacks, performance by Rod Stewart impersonator Steve Bobbitt (wow, he's a dead ringer), silent auction, music and dancing. Must be 21+, tickets are $40 in advance, $50 at the door. All proceeds go to 826CHI, which tutors students aged 6 to 18 in creative and expository writing skills. You can check out pics from prior years' proms here and order tickets here. Pulsaki Park Fieldhouse, 1419 W. Blackhawk, 8pm.

Chiditarod

If you can't participate, at least show up for the kickoff at noon today of Chiditarod, a grocery cart-based race that is a food drive, pub crawl, and opportunity for people to look all crazy. Event starts at Hubbard and Wolcott.

Chicago's 174th Birthday @ Chicago History Museum

Your beloved city gets a year older, and you get a little bolder. Birthday party festivities start at 9:30am at the Chicago History Museum, Clark and North. Free (cake!).

Illumination @ 914

Illumination kicks off 914's First Friday gallery event (914 N. California Ave) and marks the West Town/Humboldt Park loft collaborative's grand opening. Challenging the conventional notion of light in art and space, Illumination's 14 featured artists explore light as a medium and the source of their work. A live performance by Chicago experimental sound duo l'éternèbre divides a downtempo-turned-dance DJ set by Tony Junior. Mediterranean fair from Todd's Workshop Catering will be passed. 7p to midnight. A $10 donation is suggested. Details and RSVP via Facebook.

Word to the Mother in Logan Square

In celebration of Logan Square, I AM Logan Square is kicking off its grand opening tonight with "Word to the Mother", an exhibition of street-inspired art featuring new works by homegrown artists Lauren Feece, Chris Tavares Silva, Robert Stevenson and Lindsey Meyers. In addition to art, the opening festivities include music by DJ Kusi, delicious hors d'oeuvres from Cafe con Leche, wine and samplings of local brewer, Wil Huffman's, newest brew and delicious treats from local baker Paper Moon. For more details about IALS's first opening, visit their blog or Facebook event page. 6 to 9pm.

Buddy Wakefield @ 1104 Center, Columbia College

Buddy Wakefield is performing as a part of the noncompetitive events of Louder Than A Bomb. Tonight at 7pm at the 1104 Center, Columbia College (1104 S. Wabash Ave.), you're lucky enough to see him as an extended feature set of the Silver Tongue Reading Series. Admission is free!

Mexican Cooking Class @ Mercadito

You may have seen the Mercadito deal on Gilt City Chicago back in December for an evening of cooking and cocktails with Chef Patricio Sandoval and a group of your friends. If $2,500 was a bit too rich for your blood, however, and you like meeting new people, consider yourself presented with a second chance now, since Mercadito is holding a chef-led cooking class for only $70 per person on Monday, February 28. The evening, "Explore the South of Mexico Region," will feature five dishes, from tamales to flan (and who hasn't been to intimidated to try either of those in their apartment's galley kitchen?), with paired cocktails from the mixology staff. Reservations are required in advance. Mercadito, 180 W. Kinzie, 312.329.9555, class starts at 6pm.

Chicago Cycle Swap @ Pulaski Park Fieldhouse

Even if you're not a winter warrior, gear up to ride with this event co-sponsored by Chicago Bike Winter and the Active Transportation Alliance. Local bike shops and individual sellers will have some great deals, and presentations will cover topics like cargo bikes and custom frame building. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children, or check out this site for an admission coupon and further information. The swap runs from 10am to 6pm at 1419 W. Blackhawk.

IKC Dog Show @ McCormick Place

Chicago hosts the 2011 International Cluster of Dog Shows, an annual event organized by the International Kennel Club. One of the largest all-breed benched dog shows in the country, the shows take over McCormick Place North Building, 2301 S. Lake Shore Dr., today, Saturday and Sunday from 8am to 5pm. See more than 10,000 dogs from 167 breeds compete to be Best in Show, and explore a trade show floor full of dog products. Tickets are $18; admission is free for children 12 and under with the purchase of an adult ticket. More info and a coupon for discounted admission available here.

Bingo Night Fundraiser for Chicago Zine Fest @ Beauty Bar

Come by the Beauty Bar, 1444 W Chicago Ave, to join the folks of the Chicago Zine Fest for a night of bingo, prizes, music, and drinks as they celebrate one more month until zine fest! Open Bar starts at 7pm, bingo at 8 (with prizes from Quimby's, Renegade Homemade, and 826CHI), and music by DJ Steve Kane at 9. Send an email to register for the Open Bar hour. $5 donation.

Schadenfreude's "Alderman Ed Bus Victory Party (and variety show)" @ Gallery Cabaret

Schadenfreude (Chicago's critically acclaimed comedy group) is performing tonight at the Gallery Cabaret in Bucktown. The comedic variety show will focus on the upcoming mayoral election in Chicago. Alderman Ed Bus (53rd) is running for mayor. He will host. Guests include Alderman Scott Waguespack (32nd Ward), former 42nd Ward Alderman Burt Natarus, Grammy Award winner and 20th Ward candidate Rhymefest, Cook County Social Club (2010 Best Comedy Group, Chi Reader), Comic and future Chicago Wingman: Ernest Wilkins, Beatbox sensation Yuri Lane and Paul Thomas (Rum Emanuel). Gallery Cabaret is located at 2020 N. Oakley St. Admission is $10. Show starts at 9pm.

Two With Water Fundraiser @ Beauty Bar

Local lit mag Two With Water hosts a fundraising party featuring booze, literary games, and a live show by Chicago band Helicopters. $5 cover.
Beauty Bar, 1444 W. Chicago Ave., 7-10pm.

Ox-Bow Benefit Dance Party @ Architectural Artifacts

Join the artists and creative people who work/play at Ox-Bow artist "colony" for a night of art, auctions, eating, drinking, dancing and FUN, benefiting Ox-Bow. Tickets are $25 after 9pm. Come hear DJ Eric May spin the jams (reggae, funk, soul, dub). Dance with your pals. Take in the art. Have a few drinks. Take a gamble on the works on paper raffle. Get your glamor shots taken by Glitter Guts. If you want to come earlier, tickets are $100 and include food and drinks and a live and silent auction. This party is tonight from 6:30 to 11pm at Architectural Artifacts: 4325 N. Ravenswood Ave.

Elizabeth Bishop's Correspondence with The New Yorker @ University of Chicago

To celebrate Elizabeth Bishop's 100th birthday, tonight at 6pm, actors will read letters between Bishop and her New Yorker editors at the University of Chicago, Home Room, International House (1414 East 59th Street). As an added bonus, Joelle Biele, editor of Elizabeth Bishop and The New Yorker: The Complete Correspondence will be on hand to answer any questions you may have. Admission is free, but space is first-come, first-served, so make sure to get there early!

Rock the Vote Debate After-Party @ RockIt

Rockit Ranch Productions presents Rock The Vote Nights, a mayoral debate after-party at RockIt's River North location, tonight at 8 p.m. sponsored by Grey Goose. There will be a performance by Lee DeWyze, as well as possible appearances by the candidates.

RSVP to rockthevote@rockitranch.com. An RSVP does not guarantee admission and attendees should arrive early. Must be 21 or older to enter.

Anti-Valentine's Day Party @ Lincoln Hall

For those who would rather not listen to all 69 love songs alone this year, there is an Anti-Valentine's Day Party presented by the Chicago Reader, and the themes will be Twisted Tales of Love & Dating in the Windy City, featuring performances from 2nd Story, hosted by WBEZ's Alison Cuddy. You can even submit your "Best Bad Date" story here and if it is that bad, the Chicago Reader might select it for a performance! The event will take place at 8pm tonight at Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln Ave. Tickets are $14. 21+

The Gold and the Beautiful

If you're a plus-sized fashion maven who has clothes that no longer ring true for you, but might for others, then get your fabulous self over to the Kathryn Kerrigan Shoe Boutique (
2031 North Damen Ave) from 5pm to 10pm to participate in a clothing swap. With dancing, drinks, food, fashion, and a raffle going on, what is stopping you from doing a little early Spring cleaning?

The Good Evening Reading Series @ Mess Hall

The reading series tonight will feature K. Bradford, whose poems dabble in "the spectacle of drag, pageantry & disco balls." Sound intriguing? Come to Mess Hall (6932 N. Glenwood Ave. in Rogers Park) at 7:45pm to take it all in. If you wanna read your own stuff, come early for the open mic that starts at 7pm. And it's all free!

John Hagedorn @ Cliff Dwellers Club

The Society of Midland Authors hosts a great monthly lecture series, all open to the public. Tonight John Hagedorn, a UIC criminal-justice professor and author of A World of Gangs: Armed Young Men and Gangsta Culture, will discuss gangs in Chicago and other cities.

All programs are held at 7pm at the Cliff Dwellers Club, 200 S. Michigan Ave., 22nd floor, free. Complimentary snacks are served at 6pm, with a cash bar.

Lunar New Year Parade @ Chinatown

Head to Chinatown this morning for their annual Lunar New Year Parade; event starts at 1pm and runs from Wentworth and 24th St. to Cermak; pre-parade activities start at 11:30a.m.

RUI @ Sheffield's

Reading Under the Influence, "because everyone needs a literary hangover," takes place tonight at 7pm at Sheffield's (3258 N. Sheffield). This month's theme is "Love, Baby!" Stop by to hear readings by Chicago writers, along with readings of Ric Hess's original works. Admission is $3.

Indie Wed @ Ravenswood Event Center

If you're into planning yourself or others a DIY wedding, then don't miss out on the first midwest Indie Wed event at the Ravenswood Event Center today. There will be 90+ vendors from the Midwest and beyond over two floors, music and dance performances, food tastings, bride and groom lounges with free massages, mini manis, more. Swag bags for the first 75 pre-sale ticket-purchasers (1 per order), and for the first 50 couples in line. The event will take place from 10am-4pm at 4043 N. Ravenswood Ave. Tickets are $12 for a single admission and $18 for two tickets, and there will be a runway show as well (tickets $5).

Drinking & Writing Theater @ Haymarket Pub and Brewery

Haymarket Pub and Brewery (737 W. Randolph) wants to teach you how to get through your hangovers with their latest Drinking & Writing Theater -- Volume III: To Cure a Hangover. The show runs Saturdays at 4pm until February 5, so buy your ticket and join Sean Benjamin and Steve Mosqueda as they talk about some good ol' drinker-writers (John Cheever and Charles Bukowski anyone?) and possibly even provide you with some morning-after cures.

Printapalooza @ The Block Museum

Cutting-edge independent print-makers and graphic artists from the Chicago area and around the country will show off their skills and their work at Printpalooza, a print fair and sale at Northwestern University's Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art today. Admission is free and open to the public. Printpalooza takes place from noon to 4pm today at the Block Museum, 40 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston campus. Free parking is available. For more information, including driving directions as well as directions from the CTA Purple Line and the Metro/Union Pacific North Line, visit www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu or call (847) 491-4000.

Find a Place and Hold It for a While Opens @ Peanut Gallery

Find a Place and Hold It for a While is a cyclical performance of labor, documenting moments of various weaving processes, addressing how loss can create opportunities for transformation through the construction and deconstruction of a hand-woven cloth. The artist, Lauren La Rose, is a BFA candidate at SAIC. She has installed a giant loom in the gallery and will be working on the cloth during the opening tonight and for several weeks thereafter. A video of the performance as it has been done before will be projected on the wall in the gallery. The opening reception is from 7 to 10 tonight at Peanut Gallery: 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave. Rm. 345. All ages and breeds are welcome.

Contraphonic's 3rd Annual Winter of Love @ Roxaboxen

Local label Contraphonic fetes winter yet again in the latest installment of their Winter of Love party. This year they've teamed up with Pilsen gallery Roxaboxen Exhibitions to stage a decidedly more rock-focused show than previous events.

Wishgift, Magic Gloves, and Contraphonic DJs get the party people dancing. 8pm, 2130 W. 21st St. Donations Welcome.

Urban Gateways Interactive Launch Party @ Chicago Urban Art Society

In commemoration of the last 50 years of bringing arts education to Chicago youth, Urban Gateways: Center for Arts Education invites you to celebrate the momentous anniversary with them at an interactive launch party tonight at the Chicago Urban Art Society's Gallery at 2229 S. Halsted St. and will feature a visual art and graffiti gallery exhibition by some of Chicago's most notable contemporary artists, the debut of their new interactive website, "I Am Urban Gateways", live student performances and an Urban Gateways art exhibition. Free and open to anyone 12 and up, but RSVP is required.

Peter Saul and Brian Calvin Opening @ Corbett vs. Dempsey

Corbett vs. Dempsey presents "Stupid Arguments," the first gallery exhibition of work by Peter Saul in Chicago in 25 years. Additionally, work by Brian Calvin will be displayed in the gallery's east wing. The reception will run from 5:00-9:00pm. The exhibition will be on view through March 12th, 2011.

Ric Hess Memorial @ Sheffield's

Ric Hess, owner of Sheffield's, died unexpectedly last Monday, January 17. A memorial service will be held today at the bar, 3258 N. Sheffield Ave.. Doors open at 3pm, service at 6:30pm.

MAZE: Work By Hyeon Kim Opens @ Roxaboxen Exhibitions

Kim's most recent work, Maze, an installation and video work, is a reflection of the labor-intensive practices of her parents' new working situation after immigrating to America. Maze revolves around the social and cultural aspects of life in America through the lens of a Korean immigrant family living in the US. For the past few months, Hyeon accumulated large amounts of shirts left behind at dry-cleaners around the Chicago area. In her video, she travels throughout Maze putting dry-cleaning bags on every shirt to explore how labor and physical objects can hold the stresses of everyday life, as well as the public perception of this type of work. The opening reception for this show is tonight at Roxaboxen Exhibitions (2130 W 21st St.) from 7pm to 10pm. For more information, visit Roxaboxen's website.

B Sides Opens @ Coalition Gallery

Curated by Pepper Coate and Susan Aurinko, B-Sides is an exhibition featuring works by each of the Coalition Gallery artists (Adrienne Pike, Bernell Loeb, Brad Nugent, Bryan Boomershine, Christie Helm, Connie Wolfe, Dimitri Pavlotsky, Jori Foreman, Kevin Wisor, Nathalie Gribinski, Robin Dluzen, Sarah Rehmer, Shawn Stucky and Zach Mory), created in a medium separate from their primary genres. As painters exhibit sculptures and glassworks, printmakers present photographs, and figurative artists deviate from the human form, this exhibition is an opportunity for the artists to showcase successful works in a medium for which they are not well known to employ. The opening is tonight from 6:30 to 9 at Coalition Gallery (2010 W Pierce Ave, Suite 102).

Scrappers Screening and Q&A with Co-Directors @ Doc Films

Doc Films is hosting a screening of Scrappers followed by a question and answer session with the co-directors at 7pm tonight. The locally made film was included on Roger Ebert's list of the best documentaries of 2010. Additional information about the film is available in this October interview with GB and a recent feature in The Core. The event is $5 and located in the Max Palevsky Cinema in Ida Noyes Hall, 1212 E. 59th St. Co-sponsored by Fire Escape Films and the Center for Latin American Studies.

Dr. King Day Celebration @ DuSable Museum

The DuSable Museum of African American History (740 E. 56th Pl.) presents "Dr. King Day Celebration," today from 10am-5pm. This family-friendly, event-filled tribute to the late Civil Rights leader features a full program with film, spoken word, children's storytelling and theatrical and dance performances from the Chocolate Chips Theatre Company, the Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre and more. Admission is $10 adults, $5 for children age 12 and under. For more information, call (773) 947-0600.

RE:COM Comedy Show & Launch Party @ Crown Tap Room

The official launch party for RE:COM's Social Media issue begins at 8pm tonight at the Crown Tap Room: 2821 N. Milwaukee. RE:COM is a national publication, headquartered in Chicago, that focuses on alternative stand-up comedy. In this issue, they feature Marc Maron, of the WTF podcast, plus Paul F. Tompkins and Comedy Death-Ray Radio's Scott Aukerman. The launch party doubles as the inaugural edition of the Crown Comedy Show, and features James Fritz (whose debut comedy album "Deflated" was recently the No.1 seller on iTunes); Ricky Carmona (featured on HBO Latino); Chad Briggs (winner of Impress These Apes Season Four); Natalie Jose (comedian and singer of the beloved Patsy Cline cover band, the Weepin' Willows); and Sean White, recent Chicago transplant and winner of the RE:COM Perfect Tweet Contest. The show starts at 9pm. There will also be a FREE TACO BAR. More info here.

Chicago Poetry Brothel @ House of Blues

The Chicago Poetry Brothel is back to share more whiskey, burlesque, and poetry whores tonight at the House of Blues (329 N. Dearborn) Foundation Room. Pay $10 (or $5 if you're dressed Victorian), and take part in the brothel's latest: Dangerous Amusements.

Winter Block Party @ Chicago Urban Arts Society

The 3rd Annual Winter Block Party kicks off today at Chicago Urban Arts Society (2229 S. Halsted St). Celebrating Chicago's hip hop arts, the event features a visual art and graffiti exhibition by some of the city's most notable and up and coming contemporary artists, along with a marketplace, hip hop barbershop, film screening, live sampling showcase, B-Boy/B-Girl battle hosted by The Legendary Brickheadz, an Open Mic Academy open mic, and music all afternoon by some of Chicago's favorite DJs. The free event runs from 11am to 10pm. For special event ticketing and additional information, check out WBEZ's official event page.

Steve Wiebe @ Logan Hardware

Steve Wiebe, star of acclaimed documentary King of Kong, will appear at Logan Hardware (2410 W. Fullerton) today at 2pm to celebrate the re-opening of the store. Wiebe was the first person to achieve over one million points on Donkey Kong and will be conducting his DK101 Donkey Kong tutorial. For a schedule of the day's events or to register for the course, visit the website.

The StatiCCreep Exhibition of Sequential Art Opening @ Las Manos Gallery

Chicago has a bastion of sequential artists that enrich the world of comic books through the imprint the city leaves on them -- a certain noir factor absorbed through brick and steel-heavy architecture, inky black alleys and a history of subversive characters has worked its way under their skin. Las Manos Gallery will be the vessel holding more than one hundred original, hand-drawn and painted pieces by more than twenty of these artists. Participating artists include: Alex Wald, Andrew Pepoy, Chris Burnham, Corinne Mucha, Doug Klauba, Hilary Barta, Heather McAdams, Jeffrey Brown, Jenny Frison, Jill Thompson, Tony Akins, Nicole Hollander, Mike Norton, Mitch O'Connell, Sarah Becan, Dave Dorman, Nicole Hollander, Tim Seeley, Lucy Knisley, Gary Gianni, Steve Krakow and Bill Reinhold. The opening reception is tonight at Las Manos Gallery (5220 N. Clark St.) from 6 to 10pm.

Heads On Poles Opens @ Western Exhibitions

Heads on Poles features over 60 local, national and international artists organized by the Chicago-based artists Paul Nudd and Scott Wolniak. The artists, ranging widely in discipline and style, were invited to produce sculptures loosely based on the formula of Head On Pole, in any material. In the side room Terence Hannum's drawings, paintings and video installations cull the periphery of heavy metal and hardcore music subcultures to analyze the nexus of music, myth, audience and ritual. Both shows run through February 19. The opening reception is tonight from 5 to 8pm, which is free and open to the public. Western Exhibitions is located at 119 N Peoria St.

The Spirit Molecule @ Portage Theater

The Spirit Molecule a "poetic interpretation of the elusive and enigmatic compound, DMT", premiers in Chicago tonight at 8pm at the Portage Theater (4050 N. Milwaukee). Following the screening, there will be a Q & A with the director of the film, Mitch Schultz. Tickets are $10.

Poetry Off the Shelf @ Art Institute of Chicago

Poet and professor Matthea Harvey will be at Fullerton Hall at the Art Institute of Chicago (111 S. Michigan) for a reading at 6pm, presented by The Poetry Foundation and the Art Institute of Chicago. Admission is free.

The Beats @ 16th Street Theater

The Beats focuses on those well-known beat writers such as Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti, among others. Adapted by Marilyn Campbell and directed by Ann Filmer, The Beats lets its actors dive right into everything involved in the beat culture. The first show is tonight at 7:30pm at the 16th Street Theater (6420 16th St). Tickets cost $18. Can't catch it? It also runs throughout Jan and Feb. Check here for specific dates.

The History of Chicago's Mayoral Race @ Cliff Dwellers Club

The Society of Midland Authors hosts a great monthly lecture series, all open to the public. Tonight authors will discuss of the history of Chicago's mayoral race.

All programs are held at 7pm at the Cliff Dwellers Club, 200 S. Michigan Ave., 22nd floor, free. Complimentary snacks are served at 6pm, with a cash bar.

Quennect 4 Benefit Dance Party @ Danny's

Do you remember the story about Quennect 4 that we published last year in A/C? No? This awesome Humboldt Park venue for all forms of art with a strong slant toward world music and local politics was shut down by the city last year, and since then they've been fund raising to relocate-- putting on events around town at places like Multikulti, Wickerwell, and The Music Lounge. Tonight they're hosting a big ole' FREE fundraiser/dance party at Danny's Tavern (1951 W. Dickens) with Peace Party DJs Naomi Walker & Dave Marques + Special Guests DJs Raj Majal & Nate Wells spinning funk, soul, and afrobeat all night. A portion of all sales will be donated toward Q4's mission to reopen legitimately this year. The party is 21+ from 7pm to 2am. No cover charge, as far as we can tell...

Chicago Artists' Coalition Holiday Sale

For one last weekend, Coalition Gallery artists are offering original works, ALL PRICED UNDER $100. Art for sale includes pottery, works on paper, glassware, photography and more. This sale is going on today from 12pm to 6pm at 2010 W. Pierce Ave. Admission is free. For more information call the CAC at (773) 772-2385.

Gerard Byrne A thing is a hole in a thing it is not Opens @ Renaissance Society

The Renaissance Society, the Lismore Castle Arts, and 2010 Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art have co-commissioned in collaboration with the Van Abbemuseum a new multi-channel film installation titled "A thing is a hole in a thing it is not." As the title -- a reference to Carl Andre's famous dictum -- suggests, Byrne's attention will be on the historical reception of Minimalism as a movement, a history that is resonant within the context of The Renaissance Society's early engagement with that movement's artists. The opening reception for this installation is today from 4pm to 7pm, with a discussion with the artist from 5 to 6pm. The Renaissance Society is located at 5811 S. Ellis Ave.


A Certain Ratio Opens @ Roots & Culture

The five artists in A Certain Ratio (Elijah Burgher, Ryan Fenchel, Jonah Groeneboer, Shane Huffman, and Erin Zona) engage abstraction to investigate classic philosophical inquiries -- where math intersects with science, religion and art. A reduction of form to symbolic or geometrical composition imparts their work with a depth of mystical pursuit. The opening reception for this exhibition is tonight from 6pm to 9pm at Roots and Culture: 1034 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Talia Chetrit, Daniel Gordon, & Matthew Metzger Exhibitions Open @ Tony Wight Gallery

In the north gallery, two young photographers (Talia Chetrit and Daniel Gordon) show collaborative work that utilizes the studio as a site of production. While there is an evident parallel between their practices -- both artists compose and photograph temporal situations in their studios -- this exhibition aims to articulate divergences as well as similarities. In the south gallery, three paintings by Matthew Metzger explore the dependency and exchangeability within Figuration and Abstraction as a method to portray the liminal and fleeting qualities that compose aspects of being. The opening reception for these exhibitions is tonight from 5pm to 8pm at Tony Wight Gallery: 845 W. Washington.

Chicago Artists' Coalition Holiday Sale

For one last weekend, Coalition Gallery artists are offering original works, ALL PRICED UNDER $100. Art for sale includes pottery, works on paper, glassware, photography and more. This sale is going on today and tomorrow from 12pm to 6pm at 2010 W. Pierce Ave. Admission is free. For more information call the CAC at (773) 772-2385.

Confessions of a Chubby Tomboy @ Gorilla Tango Theatre

Stacey Smith brings us her one-person show, Confessions of a Chubby Tomboy tonight only. As a one-night showcase to build exposure, she will not only deliver humorous anecdotes, but share life lessons gleaned from personal experiences. COACT starts at 8pm tonight at Gorilla Tango Theatre (1919 N. Milwaukee Ave.).Tickets are $10; to purchase tickets call (773) 598-4549 or visit www.gorillatango.com. For more information about the show visit staceyelisabeth.com.

Krueger, Moore, Baker Group Show Opening Reception @ Packer Schopf Gallery

Michael Krueger: So Alone and Mystified-- drawing/prints, Dominic Paul Moore: you're partially to blame (drawing/painting), and Deborah Baker: Cryptogram (embroidery) opens at Packer Schopf gallery tonight. The reception is tonight from 5 to 8pm at Packer Schopf Gallery (942 W. Lake St.). For details call the gallery at (312) 226-8984 or visit their website: http://www.packergallery.com.

The Collective (Final Exhibit) Opens @ David Weinberg Gallery

Tonight the David Weinberg Gallery will host its last opening. The show, entitled The Collective, will be a salon style exhibition featuring 21 of their artists. This final exhibit is an opportunity for the gallery to support their artists and display some of their finest works for the last time. The gallery was around for over four years, and this show acts as a thank-you to all those who made it possible. The reception is today from 5pm to 8pm at David Weinberg Gallery: 300 W. Superior, Suite 203. Click here for more details.

$6 Menu @ Dunlays On The Square

Tonight, Dunlays On The Square will be offering all their menu items, and every bar beverage for $6 to celebrate their sixth birthday at the Logan Square location. 3137 West Logan Blvd, (773) 227-2400.

The Encyclopedia Show @ The Vittum Theatre

For tonight's production, The Encyclopedia Show is taking on the word BRAINS and featuring writers, composers, and even a special interview with a professional neurologist! The show starts at 7:30pm at The Vittum Theatre (1012 N Noble St), with tickets at the door ($8 adults, $5 students).

Chuckle Bowl Spectacular @ Lincoln Square Lanes

Tight Five Productions is teaming up with Blewt Productions, the team that bought you the smash hit live game show Impress These Apes, to present the city's most off-beat and affordable alternative to this year's New Year's Eve events. The fifth annual "Chuckle Bowl Spectacular" takes place at Chicago's retro Lincoln Square Lanes (4874 North Lincoln Avenue) on the North Side and features the following: a one night only revival of Blewt's popular live audience-interactive game show Don't Spit The Water, open bowling in all 12 lanes throughout the event - enhanced by theatrical lighting and music from renowned DJ "Bubbles Sanchez", multiple video screens showing some of the funniest offbeat film footage ever committed to celluloid, a midnight toast with Miller High Life, free pizza and full, value-priced bar featuring $3.50 domestics and $5 shots. 9pm - 1:30am at Lincoln Square Lanes (4874 North Lincoln Avenue). Admission is $30 in advance, $35 at the door. 18 and over. Advanced tickets available at Uncle Fun (1338 W. Belmont Ave., 773-477-8223) and on-line at chucklebowl.com.

Best of 2010 Poster Art Show Opens @ Roxaboxen Exhibitions

Roxaboxen Exhibitions has gathered some of the best handmade posters made in 2010 from events around the city. The mediums include everything from silk screens to embroidery, including posters by Ryan Duggan, Aay Preston-Mynt, Josh Davis, April Camlin, Spudnik Press Members, and lots more! Roxaboxen Exhibitions is located at 2130 W 21st St. The reception is from 5pm to 9pm today with a live musical set by A Jacob Wick Band.

NYE Global Dance Party @ HotHouse

This Global Dance Party will host some of Chicago's top musicians and purveyors of sound. From the sexy soul fusion of Nguzo and the Groovement to the dynamic Gypsy dance of Eyes Manouche to global gypsy beats from DJ RomaSoul-- this party is your best bet for all-night ass-shaking. The party will be at Wicker Park Art Center (formerly St. Paul's Cultural Center). 9pm doors, 10pm show. Tickets are $40 in advance and $50 at the door. For tickets, visit hothousechicago.org. The Wicker Park Art Center is located at 2215 W. North Ave.

2nd Story's New Year's Eve Party @ Morseland

Join 2nd Story tonight as they ring in the New Year at Morseland (1218 W. Morse Ave., 773-764-8900). Enjoy a complimentary drink, light buffet, live music by Mikhail Fiksel & Seeking Wonderland and four stories revolving around the New Year theme, told by Molly Each, Bobby Biedrzycki, Andrew Reilly and Megan Stielstra. A DJ will follow the performances until 2am. Doors open at 9:30pm. Tickets can be purchased ahead of time online at 2ndstory.com for $35 or at the door for $40. For more information information contact Nick Ward at nicholas@serendipitytheatre.org or visit www.2ndstory.com.

You, Me, Them, Everybody LIVE @ The Hungry Brain

Visit The Hungry Brain tonight for a live podcast recording of "You, Me, Them, Everybody" hosted by Brandon Wetherbee and Esmeralda Leon. Writer, co-founder of the Chicago Underground Library, and comedian Emerson Dameron will perform. Known more for his zine writer, he's contributed to The 2nd Hand and Chunklet. He's also published many of his own zines including Wherewithal. There will also be a special solo set from Mike Pritchard, the lead singer of Otter Petter. Following YMTE Live! will be a screening of "A Proud Tradition" featuring Ned Hepburn, narration by Emerson Dameron and music by Daniel Knox. View the trailer here. 21+. No Cover. Doors open at 8pm and the show starts at 9. The Hungry Brain in located at 2319 W. Belmont Ave.

Slam Poetry @ Green Mill

It's the weekly Uptown Poetry Slam at the Green Mill (4802 N. Broadway), from 7pm to 10pm. Hosted by the man who started slam, Marc Smith, with a $6 cover. Oh, and the Open Slam win is $10!

Spike Lee Booksigning @ Barbara's Bookstore

Spike Lee will be at Barbara's Bookstore at 4pm today signing his new book, Do The Right Thing. Barbara's Boostore is located at 1218 S. Halsted St. Contact the bookstore at 312-413-2665 for more information.

Pop Serial Reading @ Cafe Ballou

It's the first-ever Pop Serial reading, AND it's at an all-ages place, Cafe Ballou (939 N. Western), so everyone can enjoy. Reading starts at 7pm, featuring Sam Pink, Carrie Lorig, and Andrew James, just to name a few. Admission is free.

Orange Alert Reading Series @ The Whistler

Orange Alert Press hosts their (almost) monthly reading series this time featuring: Victor David Giron (Sophomoric Philosophy), Sam Pink (Person and The Self-Esteem Holocaust Comes Home) Micah Ling (Sweetgrass) and Stephen Tully Dierks (Pop Serial) starting at 6pm Sunday, December 19 at The Whistler, 2421 N. Milwaukee Avenue. RSVP on Facebook.

GOD Group Exhibition Opens @ Peanut Gallery

GOD, a multimedia group exhibition featuring work by local emerging artists all about God, opens tonight with a reception from 7 to 11pm at Peanut Gallery. All are welcomed-- including animals, gradmothers, and babies of all ages. Wear your Sunday Best. Peanut Gallery is located at 1579 N. Milwaukee (the Flat Iron building) in room 345. Details here.

MAKE Magazine Issue 10 Release Party @ Stop Smiling Storefront

MAKE: A Chicago Literary Magazine is celebrating the release of their 10th issue--"At Play"--tonight at the Stop Smiling Storefront, 1371 N. Milwaukee Ave. Between 7:30 to 11:30pm, the event will feature: readings by Alvide Falck, Judith Goldman, Elizabeth Hildreth, Devin King, Fred Sasaki; music by TCB (Tiny Cover Band); a mini Chicago Ward Primer from Joe Drogos with the "top 5 things that are 5 things," as well as DJ Joel Craig and guests. A $10 donation will include complimentary PBR, wine, and holiday snacks. Magazine subscriptions and individual copies will be available at a discount. 21+

Check out the event page to see who will be there.

A Christmas Story Screening @ Pritzker Park

You'll shoot your eye out, kid! Is there a favorite scene in A Christmas Story that you watch year after year? Movies in Pritzker Park will allow you to catch that scene, recite your favorite quote and head on your way. New to Winter WonderLoop this year is a special three-week series of holiday film screenings Wednesday evenings at 5:30pm, from Dec. 1-15, in Pritzker Park at State and Van Buren Streets. This winter, Pritzker Park, the former home of Tony Tasset's EYE sculpture, will be transformed into an outdoor movie theater allowing patrons to stop by or enjoy a full screening of some iconic holiday films. Tonight you can see A Christmas Story there for free at 5:30pm. For more information about Winter WonderLoop, please visit http://www.winterwonderloop.com.

Joanna Wilson and Local Author Night @ The Book Cellar

Joanna Wilson, author of The Christmas TV Companion: A Guide to Cult Classics, Strange Specials and Outrageous Oddities and the forthcoming Tis the Season TV: The Encyclopedia of Christmas-Themed Episodes, Specials and Made-For-TV Movies, will visit The Book Cellar during her national, 12-city author tour.

It's also Local Author Night, featuring Thomas Crumm, David Berner (Accidental Lessons: A Memoir of a Rookie Teacher and a Life Renewed) and KJ Larsen (Liar, Liar: A Cat DeLuca Mystery). This all starts at 7pm tonight, at The Book Cellar, 4736 N. Lincoln.

The Second City That Never Sleeps: Letters to Santa @ Second City ETC

This 24-hour-long party, which begins at 7pm tonight, features music from a range of local acts (among them Jeff Tweedy, JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound, Robbie Fulks, Steve Albini and Danielson Famile) and comedy from local improvisers and actors. Your $15 ticket, which is good for exit and re-entry (if you have to go to work, blegh), benefits needy families. Event is at Second City ETC, 1608 N Wells.

Sunday Dinner @ Floriole

I ate a sandwich at Floriole earlier this fall that just about melted my face off. (In a good way.) An impressive feat when all you're working with is bread, ham, cheese, butter and mustard. So imagine what's going to happen when roaming restaurateurs Sunday Dinner comes over to use the bakery's giant, sky-lighted space to whip up a multi-course meal on Monday and Tuesday, December 13 and 14. According to Tasting Table, winter salads, truffled mac and cheese and chestnut soufflé are to be expected, as well as wine pairings! Call or email the bakery to make a reservation. Dinner starts at 7pm, and will cost you $85. (But remember, wine! Face-melting! Totes worth it.) Be sure to pick up a peanut butter and jelly cookie on the way out -- you can thank me for the tip later. Floriole Cafe and Bakery,1220 W. Webster Avenue, 773.883.1313.

Sunday Dinner @ Floriole

I ate a sandwich at Floriole earlier this fall that just about melted my face off. (In a good way.) An impressive feat when all you're working with is bread, ham, cheese, butter and mustard. So imagine what's going to happen when roaming restaurateurs Sunday Dinner comes over to use the bakery's giant, sky-lighted space to whip up a multi-course meal on Monday and Tuesday, December 13 and 14. According to Tasting Table, winter salads, truffled mac and cheese and chestnut soufflé are to be expected, as well as wine pairings! Call or email the bakery to make a reservation. Dinner starts at 7pm, and will cost you $85. (But remember, wine! Face-melting! Totes worth it.) Be sure to pick up a peanut butter and jelly cookie on the way out -- you can thank me for the tip later. Floriole Cafe and Bakery,1220 W. Webster Avenue, 773.883.1313.

Under Milk Wood @ Victory Gardens Richard Christiansen Theater

Did you miss The Second City founder Bernard Sahlins directing The Misanthrope in October? Don't despair, he's directing again! This time it's a staged reading of Dylan Thomas's Under Milk Wood (the radio play written by Thomas just a month before his death). Presented by Poetry Foundation at Victory Gardens Richard Christiansen Theater (2433 N. Lincoln), there will be two performances: tonight and tomorrow night, both at 7:30pm. Tickets are $10 ($5 for students) and can be purchased here.

Indie Lit Roadshow - Chicago @ The Green Lantern Gallery/The Paper Cave

You don't know about the Indie Lit Roadshow? Well, read up! The best indie lit comes together all over the nation this weekend, and the Chicago roadshow is today at The Green Lantern Gallery (2542 W. Chicago) from 10am to 10pm. Come on over to experience the best Midwest indie lit, random performances, AND a papier-mâché cave.

Family Day: 'Tis the Season @ MCA

'Tis the Season invites families to celebrate the season with contemporary art at the Museum of Contemporary Art today from 11am to 3pm.Families can connect and explore ideas in the galleries, using the designs and colors they see to create their own projects. At 1pm, families can celebrate the season with a special holiday Taiko drumming performance featuring three generation of artists. This performance is a preview for Taiko Legacy 7 on the MCA Stage, December 18 and 19. Free for families with children 12 and under. The MCA is located at 220 E. Chicago. 312-280-2660.




The Eyes Are The Windows To The Skull New Works by Greg Shirilla Opens @ Revolution Gallery

Greg Shirilla will be showing new works, in 3 distinct styles (painting, digital collage, and photography) at Revolution Tattoo & Gallery. An opening reception will be held tonight from 8pm to midnight. You can see Greg Shirilla's work online at http://www.mistershirilla.com or call (773) 704-7382 for additional information. Revolution Tattoo & Gallery is located at 2221 N. Western Ave.

"Dr. Margaret Burroughs: In Her Own Words" @ DuSable Museum

The DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 E. 56th Pl., presents "Dr. Margaret Burroughs: In Her Own Words," a tribute to its late founder, artist and poet, Dr. Margaret Burroughs. This family-friendly celebration is from 10am-5pm today, and includes a full program with film, musical and spoken word performances based on Burroughs' poetry and art, museum exhibit tours, children's art workshops and more. This event is free; RSVP to (773) 947-0600 x627.

Chained

If you are still interested in making gifts for people on your gift-giving list, then today's book launch party of Chained by Blue Buddha Boutique owner Rebeca Mojica, is where you must be today from 1:30 to 5:30 at Lillstreet Art Center, 4401 N. Ravenswood Avenue. Not only will there be copies of the book, and kits for making projects from the book (starting at $7.20 to make 3 pair of earrings), but there will be wine, snacks, and cake. And an official Q&A session will start at 3pm.

Cricket Magazine Holiday Fair @ Chicago Publisher's Gallery

Today from 2 to 4pm, Chicago Publisher's Gallery (78 E. Washington) is playing host to the Cricket Magazine Holiday Fair. The writers, editors, and artists of Cricket Magazines are on hand to help kids make their own magazines, read stories, write poetry, and even check out science experiments and take-home tricks. Admission is free!

Reply All

Head to the Evil Olive tonight (1551 W. Division St.) for Reply All -- put on by Merge, a small group of community-minded AIGA Chicago members, it's "like a conference after-party without the long day of conferencing." 7pm-4am.

ACRE Winter Benefit Country in the City (aka ACRE County Fair) @ Heaven Gallery

Join the rest of the art school elite and bohemian set this Friday for ACRE's Winter Benefit at Heaven Gallery. ACRE needs your support to continue to provide resources for and programming by emerging artists from Chicago and beyond. Hang out with some sheep and chicks in the Petting Zoo! Deck yourself in plaid and grab a corn cob pipe for the photo booth! Sip some home-made hard cider from our new ACRE mugs! Sign up for the cake eating contest with a spin, led by Industry of the Ordinary. Try your luck on our prize wheel! Get some great deals on art by local and national contemporary artists at the art auction and sale.

Keep that warm feeling going and join us for an after-party a few doors down at The Crocodile (1540 N Milwaukee Ave) featuring DJs and dancing, starting at 11pm. Heaven Gallery is located at 1550 N Milwaukee Ave. on the second floor. Admission is $20 ($10 for students) suggested donation, and includes 3 raffle tickets. More details here.


Edie Fake Celebrates Release of Gaylord Phoenix @ Quimby's

Gaylord Phoenix follows the danger-fraught journeys of the Gaylord Phoenix, a creature willing to sacrifice anything for lost love and hidden memories. Make a plan to pick up your copy of Edie Fake's newly collected volume in person, at Quimby's, 1854 W. North Ave, tonight at 7pm, and Edie Fake might hand you a homemade penis-shaped cookie, a limited-edition mix tape, and objets-de-arte.

More info here.

Chicago History Museum Holiday Pub Crawl

Join the Chicago History Museum for their "Deck the Pubs! Christmas Caroling" pub crawl along Armitage Avenue. Learn the history of the songs and pubs visited. Begins at 6:45pm, tickets are $25 or $20 for members. To purchase tickets or for more information, check out the Chicago History Museum website.

Proximity 008 Release Party @ Maria's Packaged Goods & Community Bar

The Public Media Institute opens Select Media Festival 9: Infoporn II with the release of their own contribution to the information overload. Proximity magazine's Issue 008, themed Education as Art, is a 230 page opus and represents our latest and greatest effort in publishing. Stop by and get a copy at a discount ($10), enjoy some beverages and meet the creators. The upcoming issue of Proximity takes on this theme through a number of profiles, interviews, essays, and narratives. This issue includes meditations, conversations, and collaborations around "education as art" from a number of perspectives. The party is from 7 to 11 tonight at Marias: 3219 S Morgan St. 21+. No Cover.

The Dil Pickle Club @ Nightingale

No, it's not a club for pickled cucumber fans. In the 1900s, the Dil Pickle Club was a speakeasy/caberet/theatre that became the center of the "Chicago Renaissance." Formed by Wobbly Jack Jones, and located in Tooker Alley (now Tooker Place), off of Dearborn downtown, the Dil Pickle Club was frequented by many activists, writers, and speakers, such as Clarence Darrow, Elizabeth Davis, Upton Sinclair, and Carl Sandburg. These "Dil Pickle Artisans" convened to promote arts, crafts, science, and literature, and the club was a place for debates and sharing ideas, as well as a spot for plays, opera, poetry readings, and jazz. Once the Great Depression hit, the club began to decline and finally shut down in 1934.
Well, tonight the Dil Pickle Club is coming back! From 7 to 11pm at the Nightingale (1084 N. Milwaukee), join a discussion group rife with prominent speakers and be prepared to delve into controversial, off-beat, and intellectual topics. Tonight's club emphasis will be on FIGHT/FLIGHT which will include:


  • How to Take a Punch by Bill Hillmann, with an interlude about Chicago Park District Boxers by Fred Sasaki and Jacob S. Knabb

  • Flight Painting by Peggy Macnamara and notes on Nathan Leopold's Warblers by Paul Genesius Durica

  • Rocket Launch by Nat Ward and Kenneth Morrison

  • And much, much more!

The Dil Pickle Club Revival is free and open to the public, and beverages will be available for sale. (Because you can't have the revival of a controversial club without beverages!)

How the Grinch Stole Christmas Screening @ Pritzker Park

Is there a favorite scene in A Christmas Story that you watch year after year? Movies in Pritzker Park will allow you to catch that scene, recite your favorite quote and head on your way. New to Winter WonderLoop this year is a special three-week series of holiday film screenings Wednesday evenings at 5:30pm, from Dec. 1-15, in Pritzker Park at State and Van Buren Streets. This winter, Pritzker Park, the former home of Tony Tasset's EYE sculpture, will be transformed into an outdoor movie theater allowing patrons to stop by or enjoy a full screening of some iconic holiday films. Tonight you can see How the Grinch Stole Christmas there for free at 5:30pm. For more information about Winter WonderLoop, please visit http://www.winterwonderloop.com.

Poetry Theater @ Oracle Theatre

Tonight Kenning Editions, Oracle Productions, and The Poetry Foundation is proud to present an evening where six poets will present their work -- which they've come up with just yesterday. The poets met for the first time, conceived their brilliant ideas, and rehearsed on December 4 and tonight they'll perform for you at Oracle Theatre (3809 N. Broadway) starting at 6pm with a roundtable discussion, followed by the performance at 7:30pm. Admission is free but reservations are strongly recommended. Reserve your seat here.

UNEARTHED @ No Nation Gallery

Illinois Institute of Art designers Carmen McGhee and Aris Sergakis collaborated to produce this eventful evening, featuring an art exhibition and a runway show of work by 15 student designers, either original or refurbished from vintage clothing. There is a suggested donation of $3 and the evening will include a cash bar and music. UNEARTHED begins at 7pm and takes place at No Nation Gallery, located at 1542 N Milwaukee.

Erin Edmister and Three Tons, the Vindits, and Kent Rose @ Cole's

Local country boys Erin Edmister and Three Tons headline a show at Cole's in Logan Square (2338 N. Milwaukee). The Vindits, playing some new music, and Kent Rose open. The show starts around 9pm. Free.

Julmarknad @ Swedish American Museum

Music, food and handmade crafts mark the annual Julmarknad event, which takes place today from 10am-5pm (and tomorrow from 11am-4pm) at the Swedish American Museum, 5211 N. Clark. Admission $2.

Joy of Toys Holiday Toy Drive @ Mario's Ristorante

The North Dearborn Association hosts its 18th annual Joys of Toys holiday wrap party this afternoon at Mario's Ristorante (21 W. Goethe St) in the Gold Coast. Admission is a minimum of one new, unwrapped toy valued at $20 for a 5-7 year old child. The family-friendly event runs from 1pm-3:30pm with complimentary food and beverages for the "wrappers". This year, toys will be distributed to students at George Manierre School and the Catherine Ferguson Child Parent Center. Suggested items include: dolls, action figures, sports gear, hand-held electronics and remote controlled toys (with batteries included). Kindly avoid items that require a computer or other hardware, toy guns, oversized toys, strictly educational or religious-themed items.

Parallel Lines Never Intersect: The Artwork of Connie Noyes Opens @ ThreePeas Gallery

The opening reception for this show is tonight from 6 to 10pm at ThreePeas Gallery: 75 E. 16th St. For details, please visit the gallery's website or Connie Noyes' website.

A Tribute to Kate Bush @ Late Bar

Despite never touring in this city, for a dedicated number of fans the lasting influence of Kate Bush's music permeates in a variety of different artistic and cultural realms. During this eclectic tribute to the singer, DJs play Bush's music along with the music of artists she has influenced. Two performers will also make their drag debut in full-Kate Bush regalia. A Tribute to Kate Bush takes place from 10pm to 4am at Late Bar, located at 3534 W Belmont. This event is 21+ and free.

Holiday C.A.R.E. Faire @ Unitarian Church of Evanston

From 11 am to 5 pm at the Unitarian Church of Evanston, 1330 Ridge (at Greenwood), the Evantson Animal Shelter presents their Holiday C.A.R.E. Faire. Visitors can bring their puppies or kittens for a picture with Santa Claus, purchase homemade cookies in the Cookie Walk Bake Sale, buy gifts for pets, and enter a raffle to win a range of prizes. For more information, call (847) 866-5080, or visit http://www.care-evanston.org.

Two Cookie Minimum Reading Series

The price is two cookies for an evening of readings by top-notch literary pupils from Columbia College's Fiction Writing Program at Fritz Pastry in Lakeview. Featured readers include: Jenele Anderson, Liz Baudler, Kate Kirk, Benny Kumming, Lauryn Allison Lewis, Frank Migacz, and John Wawrzaszek. Two Cookie Minimum promotes self publishers, new writers, and the Chicago zine scene. Free, but donations will be accepted towards the upcoming 2011 Chicago Zine Fest. Fritz Pastry is located at 1408 W. Diversey Pkwy (between Southport Ave & Janssen Ave). Two Cookie Minimum Reading starts at 4pm on Saturday, November 27.

Bring the General Home Benefit @ Revolution Brewing

The Logan Square Draught Beer Preservation Society hosts a benefit tonight from 6-9pm at Revolution Brewing, 2323 North Milwaukee, to raise funds to relocate a statue of General John Logan from a corner of Grant Park to the neighborhood named after him. I'm glad someone cares.

Pre-Thanksgiving Feast

Brand BBQ is teaming up with the organization for men who love to grill, Man B Que, to create a Pre-Thanksgiving Feast. The dinner costs $45 per person and includes a starter, main course and dessert. To make a reservation call Brand BBQ at 773.687.8148

Brand BBQ Market
2824 W. Armitage Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647

Two With Water Rx Reading Series @Beauty Bar

Two With Water 's Rx Reading Series @Beauty Bar is the by-product of collaboration between Chicago literary magazine Two With Water and Curbside Splendor Publishing, a new, local small press.

This month's readings uses the theme of "b(u)y-product," or unconstrained interpretations of the approaching holiday decadence.

The evening begins with a brief open-mic- arrive early to sign-up for 5ish minute time slots.
Featured readers are Ben Tanzer, Luis Humberto Valadez, and Miranda Barnes.

Free. Doorbusters for the first 20 shoppers audience members to arrive.

Two With Water Rx Reading Series at Beauty Bar, 1444 W. Chicago Avenue, Sunday, November 21, 7pm. RSVP on Facebook.

DIY Trunk Show 2010

The Chicago Craft Mafia and Amy Carlton are happy to present the 8th annual DIY Trunk Show today at Pulaski Park (1419 W. Blackhawk) from 10am to 5pm. This fantastic craft show proves Chicago-area crafters are ready to Cre-8 and Celebr-8, yet again. They'll be showing off the best jewelry, clothing, accessories, kids items, art, home accessories, plush, and more that can be purchased straight from the person who made it. Come on out and get a jump on your holiday shopping and stay to have a bite of Celestial Kitchen's fantastic vittles.

Ntozake Shange @ DuSable Museum

Join authors and sisters Ntozake Shange and Ifa Bayeza for an evening of spoken word and music from 6pm-9pm tonight at the DuSable Museum of African-American History, 740 E. 56th Pl. Shange, author of the acclaimed For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf (and from which the recently-released film For Colored Girls is based) and Bayeza will read excerpts from their new novel Some Sing, Some Cry, with accompaniment by some of Chicago's finest musicians. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, call 773- 947-0600.

The Universe in Miniature in Miniature Release Party @ The Hideout

Patrick Somerville's latest, The Universe in Miniature in Miniature, is out now from featherproof Books. And to celebrate, featherproof is hosting a release party at The Hideout (1354 W. Wabansia) tonight from 8 to 11:30pm. Entrance is free, and if you come dressed as your favorite alien, the first 15 aliens will receive a copy of the book! Other fun stuff: featherproof authors Benjamin Nugent and Hannah Pittard will put in an appearance, along with DJ Fabulette. There will also be an alien costume contest, judged by a surprise guest.

Christine Sneed's Book Release @ Women and Children First

Celebrate the release of Christine Sneed's short-story collection Portraits of a Few of the People I've Made Cry -- the first story in the collection, "Quality of Life, was included in the Salman Rushdie-edited The Best American Short Stories 2008. Women and Children First, 5233 N. Clark St., 7:30-9pm.

Wine 101 @ Cellar Rat

Don't know cabernet sauvignon from sauvignon blanc, or the difference between a nose and a finish? Not sure what to take to that BYOB, or to pair with your dinner tonight? Sounds like you need to sign up for Wine 101 at Cellar Rat. Learn how to match food with wine, describe what you like, and get the most bang for your buck, whether at a wine shop or restaurant. The class, which of course includes tasting, costs $25 and starts at 5:30pm. Cellar Rat is located at 1811 W. North Avenue.

Adler & Sullivan Book-Signing @ Charnley House

Visit the Charnley-Persky House Museum in the Gold Coast tonight for the opportunity to purchase The Complete Architecture of Adler and Sullivan. Authors John Vinci and Ward Miller will be present, and proceeds from the sale of the book will benefit the Charnley-Persky House Museum Foundation and the Richard Nickel Archive. The Charnley-Persky House is located at 1365 N. Astor St, and the event runs from 4:30pm to 7:00pm. For price details or to reserve a copy of the book, see the event flier.

Stew and The Negro Problem @ MCA

Check out Stew, the Tony Award-winning creator and star of Broadway's Passing Strange, and collaborator Heidi Rodeward with bands The Negro Problem and Stew. They've recorded seven albums and are performing tonight and tomorrow night at the Museum of Contemporary Art (220 E Chicago Ave). Both shows start at 7:30pm. Tickets are $28, $22 for members, and $10 for students. You can purchase tickets and get more information here.

"Escape Route" Exhibit @ Chicago Art Department Gallery

Go to the Chicago Art Department (1837 S. Halsted) tonight from 6 to 10pm to see works of art by the youth at the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center. The art was created as part of the Free Write Jail Arts and Literacy Program, which offers writing and poetry workshops to incarcerated youth.

Every Person is a Philosopher Launch @ Intuit

The Neighborhood Writing Alliance is hosting a launch party for its new blog, "Every Person is a Philosopher," at Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art (756 N. Milwaukee) from 6-7:30pm. The free event will include hors d'oeuvres, giveaways, open discussion and short speeches from Journal of Ordinary Thought writers and others. The blog will "provide provocative dialogue, fresh writing, and Chicago-focused news and ideas in literary arts and social justice."

First Annual Whistler Talent Show

The First Annual Whistler Talent Show: So You Think You Can Talent? has an arsenal of entertainments for the casual observer. They put our hosts through a rigorous selection process. Even their panel of celebrity judges, led by America's internet sweetheart David Perez, will have you rolling with laughter and deluding your craft cocktails with tears of joy. There will be judges, there will be an Applause-o-Meter, there will be prizes of value awarded at random. This is a celebration, not a competition. You are the big winners here; you don't have to compete, because you've already won. The show is from 8 to 11 tonight at The Whistler: 2421 N. Milwaukee Ave. No Cover. 21+. More info here.

Little Red Leaves @ Open Books

Contributors to the online poetry journal Little Red Leaves will be reading their work at Open Books (213 W. Institute Place) tonight at 7pm. Come by (for free!) and watch some of LRL's finest do their thing.

Fractured Lens Video Showcase @ The Portage Theater

Tonight short filmmakers and aspiring video artists from the tri-state area will converge on the Portage Theater (4050 North Milwaukee) for the Fractured Lens Video Festival. Going on its fourth incarnation, this festival highlights the best in short film and video projects made locally by amateurs, professionals and hobbyists by giving them a platform to display their work to the public and on the big screen. This year's event will contain live elements, including a big show opener.

The doors open at 7pm and the show starts promptly at 8pm. For more information about this event, or if you are interested in submitting work to be considered for inclusion in the festival, please visit www.fracturedlensvideo.com.

Writing the Poetry of Your Dreams @ Near North Chicago Public Library

Tonight Krista Franklin will teach you how to channel your dreams into insightful, beautiful (and perhaps nightmarish) poems. Bring paper, a pen, and your creativity to Near North (310 W. Division) at 6:30pm. Free!

Jonathan Eig @ Cliff Dwellers Club

The Society of Midland Authors hosts a great monthly lecture series, all open to the public. Tonight journalist Jonathan Eig, author of Get Capone, will speak about Chicago's most famous gangster. (Capone has recently been brought back to life thanks to the HBO series Boardwalk Empire -- played by Stephen Graham, he's what Eig says is "maybe the best Capone I've ever seen," including De Niro!)

All programs are held at 7pm at the Cliff Dwellers Club, 200 S. Michigan Ave., 22nd floor, free. Complimentary snacks are served at 6pm, with a cash bar.

Coffee & Art: Urban China @ MCA

Urban China: Informal Cities, a retrospective of the only magazine devoted to issues of urbanism published in China, marks Urban China's first U.S. commission. Employing diagrams, photographs, texts, and archive of artifacts and images, Urban China has become a think tank and databank recording the fastest urbanization in history. After viewing Urban China in the MCA's gallery, the group considers it within the context of a long history of exhibitions about the city, discussing what aspects of cities are represented, and which aspects tend to be left out. Led by architect, writer, and UIC professor Alexander Eisenschmidt. To register, call the MCA Box Office at (312) 397-4010. This event is today from 10am to noon. Admission is $20, $14 for students.

Poetry and Prints Reading Series @ Spudnik Press Cooperative

Watch San Francisco, New York, and Chicago poets and artists -- and one musician -- perform tonight at the Spudnik Press Cooperative (1821 W Hubbard, Suite 308) from 8 - 11pm. $5 suggested donation.

Marwen Benefit Art Fair with Threadless @ Marwen's Gallery

Marwen announces its fifth annual Art Fair, a celebration, exhibition, and sale featuring approximately 150 works created by Marwen students, alumni, staff, and teaching artists. Half of the proceeds of each work sold benefits Marwen's free art programs for Chicago's under-served young people; the other half benefits the artist.Lowry Hill is the presenting sponsor of Art Fair. Art Fair attendees may vote for the winners of the "Threadless Live at Marwen" t-shirt design challenge; full proceeds of Threadless display art sold at the event benefit Marwen.

The Art Fair is today from 5:30 to 11pm (DJ set begins at 8pm) in Marwen's River North gallery space at 833 North Orleans. A suggested donation of $40 includes food and drinks; $30 advance tickets available (before October 31) at Marwen.org. The phone number for general inquiries is (312) 944-2418.

Chicago Poetry Brothel @ House of Blues

Tonight is the last Chicago Poetry Brothel of the year. Come to the House of Blues Foundation Room (329 N. Dearborn) at 8pm to see the them take a burlesque twist, featuring Columbia College's recent MFAs, as well as Chicago favorites such as Kathleen Rooney and Susan Slaviero. As always, admission is $5 if you're dressed Victorian and $10 if you're not. Don't miss out this time!

My Drink On Launch Party @ Rebel Bar & Grill

The newest iteration of the daily-deal phenomenon is My Drink On, a group-couponing site offering drink deals for Chicago bars.

Tonight MDO hosts its 8pm-1am launch party at Rebel Bar & Grill (3462 N. Clark St.). Rebel is also the location of its very first featured deal: $40 worth of drinks for $20. For celebration's sake, buying the deal is not required for the complimentary cocktail reception (8-10pm).

Naomi Shihab Nye @ Fullerton Hall

Self-proclaimed "wandering poet" Naomi Shihab Nye reads at Fullerton Hall (Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan Ave.) at 6pm tonight.

Creatures of the Night @ Garfield Park Conservatory

From bats to owls to spiders, discover how some creatures have special adaptations that help them roam in the dark, at Creatures of the Night at the Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N. Central Park Ave., today from noon to 3pm. Admission to Creatures of the Night is $3 and ages 3 and under are free. This day-time Halloween-themed event is a unique take on the season, taking place among the lush, tropical environment of the Garfield Park Conservatory.

Families can also enjoy the following special activities: spooky spider planting, "Creatures Features" face painting, a wormy apple "snactivity" and snack-o-lantern oranges, bat origami, grow in the dark necklaces, live music and a straw bale maze for toddlers. For more information go to garfield-conservatory.org or call (773) 638-1766.

Nerd-O-Ween 2.0

The Chicago Nerds Social Club present their second annual Nerd-O-Ween celebration tonight at Flounders Bar & Grill (2201 N. Clybourn) starting at 8pm. Dressing in costume is encouraged, and prizes will be given out for the best, silliest, most accurate, nerdiest and most original costumes. Admission is $10 in advance, $15 at the door, or free if you bring a Nerd O'Lantern (a jack o'lantern with a nerdy carving). See the Chicago Nerds Website for full details and to purchase tickets.

Darger Puppet Show by The Anatomy Collective @ Intuit

Following the Contemporary Authors and the Artistic Process panel event, theater group The Anatomy Collective (TAC) was given about three weeks to develop an exclusive puppet show that blended the tracings, clippings, ephemera and writing generated and collected by Darger with the book collectively created by attendees of CUL's panel. The resulting performance today showcases TAC's talents and resourcefulness in a whimsical epic that re-interprets Darger's (home) life and (studio) work and the readers and viewers it continues to inspire. Admission: donations. 6pm. Intuit is located at 756 N. Milwaukee Ave.

NUF SAID Launch Party

Youth media project NUF SAID celebrates the launch of its website tonight at the Chicago Urban Art Society, 2229 S. Halsted St., from 6:30 to 8pm. There will be live entertainment, refreshments and a DJ. Free. More info here.

Paranormal Preservation @ Excalibur with Preservation Chicago

Join Preservation Chicago at Excalibur, 632 N. Dearborn St., from 6-8pm for a Halloween celebration. Sean Parnell, author of Historic Bars of Chicago, will give a brief talk about the haunted history of the Dome Room and will sign books. The $30 ticket includes two drinks, an appetizer buffet and a one year membership for new members.

7 For All Mankind Warehouse Sale @ Union Station

All weekend, go to Union Station for big discounts on 7 For All Mankind clothes, from jeans to jackets. Today, jeans start at $45 (typical prices are close to $200). 210 S. Canal St., Great Hall, 10am-6pm. RSVP required.

The Misanthrope @ Victory Gardens Theater

Bernard Sahlins, the founder of The Second City, is directing two performances of The Misanthrope by Molière, presented by the Poetry Foundation. Intrigued? Then come see Chicago actors do a staged reading of the French satire, as translated by Richard Wilbur. Performances are tonight at 7:30pm and tomorrow, Oct. 25, at 7:30pm at the Richard Christiansen Studio, Victory Gardens (2433 N. Lincoln). Tickets can be purchased here for $20 ($10 for students).

7 For All Mankind Warehouse Sale @ Union Station

All weekend, go to Union Station for big discounts on 7 For All Mankind clothes -- from jeans to jackets. Today, jeans start at $55 (typical prices are close to $200). 210 S. Canal St., Great Hall, 10am-6pm. RSVP required.

Red Rover Series @ Outer Space Studio

The Red Rover series is back with Experiment #40, and this time they're doing Poetry TV. Come to the Outer Space Studio (1474 N. Milwaukee) at 7pm tonight to watch Red Rover do what it does best -- host a "reading that plays with reading." Participants include Carrie Olivia Adams, Justin Cabrillos, Laura Goldstein, Amira Hanafi, Kurt Heintz, Mark Jeffery, Judd Morrissey, and Marissa Plumb. (Donations suggested.)

7 For All Mankind Warehouse Sale @ Union Station

All weekend, go to Union Station for big discounts on 7 For All Mankind clothes, from jeans to jackets. Today, jeans start at $65 (typical prices are close to $200). 210 S. Canal St., Great Hall, 12-8pm. RSVP required.

Scott Kenemore @ DePaul Center Barnes and Noble

Scott Kenemore, zombie enthusiast, reads from his new book, which combines two of everybody's favorite villains: The Code of the Zombie Pirate: How to Become an Undead Master of the High Seas. Join him at the DePaul Center Barnes and Noble, 1 E. Jackson Blvd., 6pm.

Gurlesque @ Hokin Hall

When poet Arielle Greenberg says "Gurlesque," she means "an emerging Third Wave feminist aesthetic that foregrounds the girly in work that is subversive, carnal, performative, grotesque, and brash." And Greenberg, along with poet-critic Lara Glenum, have edited an anthology of Gurlesque work for everyone to enjoy. Tonight, hear them tell you what it's all about -- for free! -- at Hokin Hall, Room 109 (623 S. Wabash), at 5pm. Catherine Wagner will also be on hand to read some Gurlesque poems.

2nd Annual Cooking Up a Cure @ Salvage One

Eating excellent food tastes a little better when you know it's for a good cause. Chicago's top chefs are teaming up to for Cooking Up a Cure, a culinary all-star dining event, to support the Chicago area chapter of the Scleroderma Foundation and promote continued research into a cure for the disease. This delicious event will be chaired for the second time by Cleetus Friedman, owner of City Provisions, and will be held at Salvage One.

Doors open at 5:30pm and tickets cost $100.

Salvage One
1840 W. Hubbard St.
Chicago, IL 60622

DA! @ The Abbey Pub

DA! is making a rare appearance at The Abbey Pub (3420 W. Grace) tonight with Radar Eyes, The Green Lady Killers, DJ Joe Losurdo, and Anatomy of a Habit. Doors open at 8pm, show starts at 9pm. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. For more info call (773) 478-4408 or visit The Abbey Pub.

Robin Chapman @ Unity Temple

Tonight, the Unity Temple in Oak Park (875 Lake St., Oak Park, Il.) will host Madison, Wis., poet Robin Chapman. Open mic starts at 8pm (7:30pm sign-up) and Chapman goes on at 9pm. A $3-5 donation is suggested.

(hybrid)nate * germinate Opens @ Church of T.H.ink

(hybrid)nate * germinate is an interactive group exhibit promoting a hybrid of visual, audible, and functional arts in a environment playfully designed to elicit humor, expression, TEXTural touch, and productivity, opening tonight. Church of T.H.ink is in an under developed district in need of artistic renewal and has given the artists and gallery an ability to hibernate and compose ideas which can stimulate and redefine the germination of new concepts and products. Church of T.H.ink is located at 3722 W. Chicago Ave. For event details, click here. Contact the people behind the madness at 773-269-8351 or churchofthink@gmail.com.

This is Great! We're Great! Bomb Ass Dance Party @ Cole's

This is Great! We're great! is a "bomb ass dance party" with CHIRP/Toast & Jam DJs Dustin and Dena. Be forewarned, more than one song will ask you to put your hands up in the air. You don't have to if you don't want to, but really, you'll probably want to. Oh and hey! It's FREEEEEE! Cole's is located at 2338 N. Milwaukee Ave. 21+. For event details, click here.

Licking Eyeballs & Loving it! Opens @ Pawn Works

Tonight Pawn Works presents Licking Eyeballs & Loving it!: New works by Matt Scobey x Josh Wills. The opening reception is from 7-11pm. Pawn Works is located at 1050 N. Damen Ave. For event details, click here or visit Pawn Works' website.

Cocktail Class and Adopt-an-Herb @ Nacional 27

Next up in Nacional 27's monthly cocktail class series: heirloom apple- and pear-based drinks. Mixologist Adam Seger will demonstrate two cocktails -- an apple/pear sangria with a local apple wine base, and a hard cider-spiked pear and apple mojito. The class fee -- which is $27, of course -- includes cocktail samples, passed appetizers, and recipe cards.

After the class, the restaurant will host its second annual Adopt-an-Herb cocktail party -- aspiring plant parents will have the opportunity to take home a plant from N27's Mojito Garden. The party's free, and will include passed appetizers and a cash bar. Adopters will receive a plant, an adoption certificate, plant care instructions, and recipe cards for re-creating Seger's herbed cocktails at home.

Nacional 27's located at 325 W. Huron. The cocktail class starts at 5:30pm, and the adopt-an-herb party kicks off at 7pm. Don't dawdle -- plants are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Poetry Day @ Cindy Pritzker Auditorium

Started by Robert Frost, the Poetry Day reading series has been around for 56 years. This year, spend your Poetry Day with poet Frank Bidart at the Cindy Pritzker Auditorium in Harold Washington Library Center (400 S. State St.) starting at 6pm -- for free!

Bill Bryson @ Harold Washington Library

Everybody's favorite travel writer, Bill Bryson, looks to the domestic sphere for his most recent book, At Home: A Short History of Private Life. Tonight, he speaks about At Home at Harold Washington Library. Free, 6pm, 400 S. State St.

POW-WOW Tuesday Series @ Jeffrey Pub

Rumored to be an "authentic alternative reading series," POW-WOW runs every Tuesday at Jeffrey Pub (7104 S. Jeffrey). For the $5 cover, you get food served at 7:30pm with an open mic at 8:30pm. Tonight, POW-WOW will celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Week with African drumming (with Yaounde Olu) + poetry readings. Come out in support of boobs! And poetry!

Chicago Marathon

What this means for the estimated 45,000 people coming to our fair city to run 26.2 miles throughout the streets of Lakeview, Old Town, Greektown, Chinatown, etc.: that they can succeed at a grueling test of their strength. What it means for us is that a lot of bus lines will be rerouted into the early afternoon. Event starts 7:20am at Grant Park.

Winifred Haun & Dancers Flash Mob @ Oak Park

Winifred Haun & Dancers are hosting a flash mob in Oak Park today as part of Oak Park's annual Artrageous!. One performance will take place on the steps of the Hemingway Museum (aka Arts Center), 339 N. Oak Park Ave., at 11am, and the other on the plaza of the Oak Park Public Library, 834 Lake St. at 12pm. Come out and watch! Or join the flash mob! To find out how, visit WinifredHaun.org, email wini@winifredhaun.org, or call (773) 454-9843.

Noodle Class @ Ben Pao

National Noodle Day was this past Wednesday, but you can belatedly celebrate the holiday by taking a noodle dish cooking class at Ben Pao, 52 W. Illinois St. Ben Pao's chef Jim Hoveke will team up with "noodle expert" Phil Lee to demonstrate several noodle recipes, including peanut noodles, veggie chow fun noodles, and spicy dragon noodles. The class, which includes lunch (of noodles, natch), an apron, and a $10 Ben Pao gift certificate, costs $35 and starts at 10:30am. Call (312) 222-1888 for more info or to register.

Cornucopia Fall Festival @ Eugene Field Park

The Eugene Field Park Advisory Council is excited to present the first-annual fall festival and craft fair, Cornucopia. This event will take place today from 10am to 4pm. Cornucopia will have something to offer every member in the family, including a petting zoo, pony rides, and pumpkin patch. We’ll also have local performers and tasty snacks for purchase. Inside the Field House, local artisans will sell handmade wares. Eugene Field Park is located at 5100 N. Ridgeway, Chicago, IL (in the Albany Park neighborhood).

Chicago VeganMania @ Pulaski Park Fieldhouse

Celebrate all things meatless and dairyless at Chicago VeganMania, a festival of vegan culture, commerce, community, couture and cuisine. Chefs, authors, speakers, craft vendors, nonprofit groups and bands will be featured from 10am to 6pm at the Pulaski Park Fieldhouse, 1419 W. Blackhawk.

Vacation Group Art Show Opening @ Peanut Gallery

Peanut Gallery is having their third opening tonight-- a vacation-themed group show with paintings, drawings and photographs by twelve local artists: Daniel Schmid, Justin Nalley, Anna Timmerman, Bill Guy, Aaron Tucker, Christina Anderson, Jack Edinger, Edmund White, Sheena Jones, Kerry Couch, Charlie Megna and Kelly Reaves. BONUS: A performance by the majestic Brandon Howe during the opening reception, which is tonight from 7 to 10 at Peanut Gallery: 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave. Rm. 345.

Love Flows Both Ways: Street Culture x Contemporary Art @ Chicago Loop Alliance

Love Flows Both Ways: Street Culture x Contemporary Art was curated by Oliver Hild of the Maxwell Colette Gallery. This show features artwork by monster-sized international art-stars: Banksy, Bast, Faile, Keith Haring, Shepard Fairey, Kaws, Buff Monster, Crash, Space Invader, Takashi Murakami, Damien Hirst, Saber, Slinkachu, Barry Mcgee, Ray CRO Noland and others. See the Facebook event page for details. The opening for this show is tonight from 5:30-10pm at 11 E. Adams St.

Sneak Preview of Nowhere Boy @ Music Box Theatre

Come celebrate John Lennon's 70th birthday at the Music Box Theatre with a live performance by his old band, The Quarrymen, followed by a sneak preview of the of the new film Nowhere Boy. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased through Brown Paper Tickets. They're $30 each, but well worth it. The Music Box Theatre is at 3733 N. Southport. The show starts at 7pm!

Switchback Books Salon & Fundraiser @ 4745 N. Beacon St.

Help Switchback Books promote women and poetry! Come to their salon and fundraiser at 4745 N Beacon St. #3S at 7pm -- salon starts at 8pm. $10 will get you a Switchback Book, but $20 will get you a book and all-you-can-drink! Enjoy some music, some lit, some food, and oh yeah -- some readings by Arielle Greenberg, Becca Klaver, Dolly Lemke, and Sarah Carson. (And there's talk of an 18-liter bottle of wine!)

The Night Kite Revival @ Chopin Theatre

Robbie Q. Telfer and students from Young Chicago Authors will join forces with Anis Mojgani, Derrick Brown, and Buddy Wakefield to bring you "the ultimate uplift spoken word party experience"! Come to the Chopin Theatre (1543 W Division) at 4pm for the Poetry Revival's latest and greatest tour. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students at the door.

Rocktoberfest at Rockit

From Thursday, September 30th through Sunday, October 3rd, Rockit Bar and Grill will be celebrating Rocktoberfest, a hip take on the autumnal German celebration. They'll be serving up gigantic soft pretzels, mini brats with tangy sauerkraut, bockwurst with red cabbage and spaetzle, and over-sized slices of German chocolate cake. Wash it all down with a keepsake 32 ounce Rocktoberfest mug, which you can take home with you and remember all the good times you had at Rocktoberfest...which may be tricky if you refill your mug! Rocktoberfest is happening at Rockit's River North location (22 West Hubbard Street) and their Wrigleyville location (3700 N. Clark Street) too.

Chicago Wine Club Presents the Cabernet Wine Tasting

The Chicago Wine Club will be hosting a Cabernet wine tasting at Blue Star Wine Bar (1209 N. Noble St.) from 6-8:30pm.

The event will include multiple stations where guests can blind taste over 30 Cabernets from around the world. Over ten non-Cabernet beverages will also be available, along with light appetizers. Guests will also have the opportunity to vote for their favorite Cabernet.

Tickets are $30 in advance online or $40 (cash only) at the door. Advanced tickets can be purchased here.

The Encyclopedia Show and Silver Tongue @ The Conway Center

The Encyclopedia Show is a variety show that has its participants perform pieces on encyclopedia topics. Silver Tongue is Columbia College Chicago's student-run reading series. Watch them come together tonight at The Conway Center (1104 S Wabash) at 7pm and define the topic "bears" with poetry, film, music, and anything else they can think of. Admission is free!

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy and The Cairo Gang @ Lincoln Hall

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy & The Cairo Gang will perform beautiful songs together twice tonight at Lincoln Hall, 2424 N Lincoln Ave. The early show (18+) begins at 7pm and the late show (21+) at 10pm. Purchase tickets here.

Michal Pawel Markowski on Polish Literature @ UIC

If asked to name as many Polish novelists as I can think of, I might only be able to come up with one. But the University of Illinois at Chicago can help save me from my ignorance: they've hired world-renowned scholar of Polish literature and culture Michal Pawel Markowski as the inaugural Stefan and Lucy Hejna family chair in Polish language and literature.

Tonight at UIC, join Markowski as he answers the question "What is Polish Literature?" Room 302 in Student Center East, 750 S. Halsted St., 5-7pm.

Free Dance Performances and Instruction @ The Dance Center of Columbia College

In celebration of ten years at their 1306 S. Michigan Ave. location, the Dance Center of Columbia College will present 13 hours of free dance performances, workshops, and classes. The event, 1306 - Ten Years Later, will fill the studios, theater, hallways, and even the stairwells of 1306 S. Michigan Ave. with activites from 10am until 11pm. 1306 - Ten Years Later is free to the public, and requires no tickets or RSVPs. For the full schedule of events, visit the Dance Center of Columbia College website, or call (312) 369-8300.

Celebrate the Power of Preservation @ The Former Sears Power House

Preservation Chicago's annual fund-raising event will be held this evening at the historic Sears Power House in Chicago's Lawndale neighborhood, 931 S. Homan Avenue. The party will run from 7pm-10pm, with an open bar, hors d'oeuvres, music by the Corey Wilkes quartet, tours of the building and a silent auction. Tickets are $85 in advance or $100 at the door. Free valet parking will be provided.

Tours and Showcase @ Growing Home

Growing Home hosts an Employment Training Program Showcase at the Wood Street Urban Farm, 5814 S. Wood, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission includes refreshments made from the farm's organic produce; access to the farm stand; farm tours; and produce-related workshops.

Suggested donation is $5, or the pile of used plastic grocery bags you've got stuffed under your sink (Growing Home can re-use them at the farm stand).

Kegs for Kids @ Metropolis Roasting Garage

The Hopleaf and Metropolis Coffee Company host a Kegs for Kids fundraiser for Helen C. Peirce School of International Studies tonight from 4pm to 9pm at the Metropolis Roasting Garage, 5545 N. Clark Street. The event will feature live music, a silent auction, and 30-plus one-off beers from breweries like Dogfish Head, Dark Horse, 3 Floyds, Founders and Half Acre. Tickets are $40 in advance or $50 at the door, and include unlimited beer, food, and coffee.

Banned Books Week Readout @ Bughouse Square

Celebrate your freedom to read this year with the kick-off to Banned Books Week! The Banned Books Week Readout will feature the authors of the ten most challenged books of 2009, who will read excerpts from their challenged works and do book signings. Admission is free! Just come to Bughouse Square (located across Walton Street from the Newberry Library). You can also check out more planned events and ideas for creating your own events on the Banned Books Week website.

Rock for Kids, Junior Board Night Out @ Reggie's Music Joint

Join the Rock for Kids Junior Board as they party to raise money for a worthwhile cause: music education for at-risk youth! A $30 wristband Includes food, drink and live music with The Blind Staggers, BugGiRL, & Admiral of Black. Also, raffle prizes including 2 tickets to see The XX at the Chicago Theater in the PIT row, Sox tickets, XRT Studio X Passes, gift certificates for Ann Sathers, Paninos, Angie's Pizza, Superdawg and more! All proceeds benefit Rock For Kids. The Reggie's Bus will provide transportation if you want to get picked up 6:30pm at Ashland/Divison/Milwaukee. More on Facebook. Reggie's Music Joint is located at 2105 S. State St. (312) 949-0120.

Chicago Poetry Brothel @ House of Blues

It's first event over the summer was a success (really, poetry + brothel -- who wouldn't love it?!), so the Chicago Poetry Brothel is here to stay. Check out their second costume party/poetry reading/performance art tonight in the Foundation Room at the House of Blues (329 N. Dearborn), starting at 8pm. Tickets at the door are $10, unless you "come dressed Victorian," then you only have to shell out $5.

Shonen Knife @ Schubas

All-girl Japanese rock band Shonen Knife ( 少年ナイフ) formed in the early 80s and were influenced by 60s girl groups and punk bands like the Ramones. The attention they had received led to a double-album tribute, featuring bands like Sonic Youth, L7, Babes in Toyland. Don't miss out on them when they return to Chicago tonight, performing at Schubas (3159 N Southport Ave) at 9pm. Tickets are $14 and can be purchased here. 21+.

Pirate Party @ Pumping Station: One

Pumping Station: One, the Chicago hackerspace, presents a pirate-themed costume party tonight at its HQ (3354 N. Elston). The fun begins tonight at 9pm. Full information available at the Pumping Station: One Website.

Sappho's Salon @ Women & Children First

Women & Children First's (5233 N. Clark St.) monthly Sappho's Salon: A Provocative Night of Lesbian Diversions takes place tonight. Your $7-10 (sliding scale fee), will get you wine, food, and the spoken work of Nikki Patin, the comedy and overall punk-rockishness of Sissy Van Dyke, and Sappho's house DJ SpinNikki's tracks. The "diversions" start at 7:30!

A Night With Continuum's 33 1/3 Series @ Quimby's

Two Pitchfork editors and an NIU English instructor will read and discuss their books from Continuum's 33 1/3 Series tonight at Quimby's Bookstore, 1854 West North Avenue. The lineup of discussion includes AC/DC's Highway to Hell, Flaming Lips' Zaireeka, and Belle & Sebastian's If You're Feeling Sinister. The event is free and begins at 7pm. For more information, visit this page.

20x2 @ Martyrs'

20x2 is a show in which 20 people are each given two minutes to answer the same question, in whatever way they choose. The question for this show, the first in Chicago for this long-running Austin show, is "Who Knew?" The 20 people are Veronica Arreola, Adrienne Canzolino, Ricky Carmona, Eamon Daly, Steve Delahoyde, Laura Gray, John Greenfield, Felix Jung, Jennifer Luby, Tim Morrow, Dan Polydoris, Jenni Prokopy, Kyle Ryan, Scott Smith, Paul Thomas, Michael Tolva, Sarah VonderHaar, Sandor Weisz, Ernest Wilkins and Claire Zulkey. Come see how they respond tonight at Martyrs', 3855 N. Lincoln Ave., starting at 8pm. Doors open at 7pm, and tickets are $10 online or at the door.

Ice Cream 101

Summer's over, but ice cream's still delicious. So learn to make your own! In this class, taught by Sunny from the food blog Smart Cabbage, you'll learn about -- and taste! -- the difference between sorbet, sherbet, frozen yogurt, ice cream and custard. You'll leave with some great recipes that will work with or without an ice cream maker. I scream, you scream... well, you know. $10 class fee includes samples and instructional materials. Pre-registration strongly recommended. Sundae school (hardy har) will be held at Whole Foods Market Lakeview, 3300 N. Ashland Avenue, at 7 p.m.

Chicago Open Science meeting @ Pumping Station: One

Chicago Open Science, a local group dedicated to open science research, has its inaugural meeting today at 4pm at the hackerspace Pumping Station: One (3354 N. Elston). The event is free and open to the public.

Sex, Power & Labor Opens @ Co-Prosperity Sphere

Intentionally and ironically falling on September 11, this show is devised as an interdisciplinary conversation addressing systematic institutional oppressions of 'other'. In addressing the 'other' through the queering of pieces, the art works re-evaluate race, gender, class and systems of power that oppress. Commencing as a one night event on the 9th anniversary of September 11, the curators have sought to bring together works, pieces, actions to negotiate a new media-ridden contemporary art space. Notably loaded and intertwined, Sex, Power & Labor are chosen categorizations to implicate the works in an intricate visual landscape. The opening and closing for this show is tonight from 7 to midnight at Co-Prosperity Sphere (3219-21 South Morgan Street) with an after party at Maria's Packaged Goods & Community Bar.

Sónar Chicago

Esteemed Barcelona music festival Sónar makes its first appearance in Chicago starting today. Continuing through September 11, the event brings a host of experimental electronic luminaries to Millennium Park's Pritzker Pavilion and the Chicago Cultural Center, including Oval, Ben Frost and Martyn. Today's events occur entirely in the Chicago Cultural Center and feature two rooms of music and one room of film screenings. Sónar Chicago occurs in conjunction with the Empty Bottle and Wire magazine Adventures in Modern Music festival. All Sónar Chicago events downtown are free, while the Empty Bottle / Wire gigs start later in the evening and range in price from $10 to $30.

Art Opening After Party @ Maria's Packaged Goods & Community Bar

Lord of the Yum Yum plays Maria's Packaged Goods & Community Bar with Lazer Crystal guest spinning all night. Lord of the Yum Yum will go on at 11pm. Maria's is located at 960 W 31st Street. Admission is free. 21+. For details, visit Maria's website.

Megan Greene & Carolyn Ottmers Exhibition Opens @ Carrie Secrist Gallery

Megan Greene's current body of work includes drawing and collages built using Audubon bird prints. This exhibition showcases her interest in hybridization, extended to the treatment of surface, i.e. the seamless and discordant shifts between passages drawn v. photographic and representational v. abstract. The original image of each creature is elaborated and dissolved, elided with found images and subsumed by pattern. As a result the images are intermediate, shifting, and newly animate. Carolyn Ottmers work often calls attention to the detail and beauty of the natural world. She accomplishes this by representing it in an exaggerated scale. In her most recent body of work, the artist has made use of her exceptional fabrication skills, by producing absurdly oversize yet still delicate models of plants cast in stainless steel. In the "Splice" series Ottmers has completed studies of plants that thrive in urban environments, such as those that are seen breaking through cracks in city sidewalks and growing up sides of buildings. The sculptures produce lyrical shadows on the gallery walls, creating an installation that mimics a forest or jungle. The opening reception for these shows is today from 5 to 8pm at Carrie Secrist Gallery: 835 W. Washington Blvd. Visit the gallery's website for details.

Michael Nudelman's Light & Magic & Samantha Bittman Open @ Thomas Robertello Gallery

Nudelman's painstaking process of creating ballpoint pen drawings, rendered in tens of thousands of small diagonal lines, currently is engaged with the hyper-romanticized landscape. The sources of his imagery are reproductions of famous artists' work. For this show, consisting of nine drawings made in the past two years, Nudelman explores the work of American landscape artists, including several Hudson River School painters. Exploring the relationship between structure and image, Bittman's paintings follow a predetermined set of guidelines dictating color, pattern, order, and texture. Four of the five paintings in the exhibition are on stretched handwoven cloth. The warp, weft, and weave structures remain visible, and are underscored or fully revealed by the painted patterns. A balance of play and logic becomes evident as underlying texture and form melds with a rational but imperfect overlay of painted areas. This subtle juxtaposition often gives way to an optical buzz that breaks down upon close inspection, making perception elusive and fully dependent on the viewer's physical proximity to the work. The wide array of visual effects produced by individual works is extraordinary, ranging from a razor sharp flicker, much like a strobe light, to a meditative calm. The opening reception for these shows is today, probably from 5 to 8pm, but please contact the gallery to be sure. Thomas Robertello Gallery is located at 939 W. Randolph St.

PDBTS Book Signing & Reading @ Chicago Urban Art Society

In Please Don't Bomb the Suburbs, graffiti artist-turned-organizer Billy Wimsatt charts the rise and future of Obama movement, hitting the road for a book tour through twelve swing states. Equal parts hip-hop memoir, razor-sharp analysis of the current political climate, and self-help manual for the progressive movement, Please Don't Bomb the Suburbs: A Midterm Report on My Generation and the Future of Our Super Movement (Akashic) will hit bookstores in September.
Limited Edition designed PDBTS screen printed posters designed and signed by Erik RISK DeBat available. For more information about Please Don't Bomb the Suburbs or Wimsatt's Swing State Book Tour, please visit http://www.akashicbooks.com/pleasedont.htm. This event is tonight from 6 to 11pm at Chicago Urban Art Society: 2229 South Halsted Street.


Michael Ferris Jr., Eric Stotik & Frank Trankina @ Packer Schopf Gallery

To start their 23rd fall season Packer Schopf gallery has grouped three artists into three solo exhibitions: Michael Ferris Jr., Eric Stotik and Frank Trankina. All three artists work in a traditional format (painting, drawing, and/or sculpture) but share an underlying forwardness in the way they approach their particular subject matter through composition. They all mine the figure, directly or indirectly, and communicate different aspects of art history and personal narrative via their straightforward mediums. Each is obsessive in their own way and manifests it through exceptional technique. The opening reception is today from 5 to 8pm at Packer Schopf: 942 W. Lake St. Visit the gallery's website for details.

Ben Stone & Joey Fauerso @ Western Exhibitions

Western Exhibitions kicks off the fall season with new work by Ben Stone and Joey Fauerso. Stone's six new sculptures and one small painting transform two-dimensional images culled from popular sources into compelling and uncanny three-dimensional forms. "Act Natural", a solo exhibition by Joey Fauerso opens in Gallery 2. Fauerso will show two videos and figurative watercolors on paper that combine landscapes and figures, exploring a grey area between fantasy and reality. The opening reception for these exhibitions is tonight from 5 to 8 at Western Exhibitions: 119 N. Peoria, #2A. For details, visit Western Exhibition's website.

Justin Henry Miller: Remnants of a Radiant Tomorrow Opens @ Zg Gallery

Justin Henry Miller's new paintings and altered vintage photographs will be on display at Zg Gallery today through October 23. The opening reception is today from 5:30pm-7:30pm at Zg Gallery: 300 W. Superior. The artist will be on hand for conversation. For details, click here.

Kelly Kaczynski's The Stagehand's Unseen & Kirsten Leenaars Exhibitions Open @ Threewalls Gallery

In The Stagehand's Unseen, Kelly Kaczynski constructs a stage that fills threewalls gallery to its perimeter. Arranging sculptural objects from "Olympus Manger" onto the stage, the objects take the place of actors and propose narrative as a topography that is open to the wanderings of the individual. Unlike previous installments of "Olympus Manger", The Stagehand's Unseen does not invite the audience to interact with the exhibition, rather this landscape of objects creates desire through their stasis and limited accessibility, as the props remain just on the verge of being re-deployed yet on pause. Kirsten Leenaars work is also on exhibit in the project room. The opening reception for these shows is tonight from 6 to 9 at Threewalls: 119 N. Peoria #2C.

John Henley & Carol Jackson Exhibition Opens @ Roots & Culture

The work of John Henley and Carol Jackson exists in a world where ideological fervor and the quest for power have become empty exercises. Henley's paintings of primitive figures comingle with Jackson's icons of former triumph in a still hopeful ghost town of former
sophistication and glory at Roots and Culture gallery. The opening reception is tonight from 6 to 9 at Roots & Culture: 1034 N Milwaukee Ave. For details, visit Roots & Culture's website.

Chris Johanson Backwards Toward Forwards Opens @ Kavi Gupta

Chris Johanson's Backwards Toward Forward opens in the main gallery and a group show curated by Johanson, including work by Julia Asherman, Gary Groves, Dave Schubert and Masao Yamamoto opens in the project room. Visit Kavi Gupta's website for details. The opening reception is from 5 to 8 tonight at Kavi Gupta Gallery: 835 West Washington Blvd.

R'Fuah: New Works by Max Kauffman Opens @ Pawn Works

Popular Denver folk artist Max Kauffman is showing new work at Pawn Works: 1050 N. Damen. The opening is tonight from 6pm to 10pm.

Sónar Chicago

Esteemed Barcelona music festival Sónar makes its first appearance in Chicago starting today. Continuing through September 11, the event brings a host of experimental electronic luminaries to Millennium Park's Pritzker Pavilion and the Chicago Cultural Center, including Oval, Ben Frost and Martyn. Today's events occur entirely in the Chicago Cultural Center and feature two rooms of music and one room of film screenings. Sónar Chicago occurs in conjunction with the Empty Bottle and Wire magazine Adventures in Modern Music festival. All Sónar Chicago events downtown are free, while the Empty Bottle / Wire gigs start later in the evening and range in price from $10 to $30.

Night Moves at L&E

Longman & Eagle, our favorite winter addition to Logan Square is pairing up with local breweries, wineries and distilleries for a series of evening pairings. First up: Two Brothers Brewing Company on Tuesday, September 7th at 9pm.

Seating is limited, the first 25 hipsters to buy tickets here make the cut.

Warehouse Junkies Vinyl Swap @ Chicago Urban Art Society

Using their gallery to its fullest, the Chicago Urban Art Society will re-purpose their space as the official "Warehouse Junkies" venue. In this non-traditional environment, vendors will consist of Chicago-based music retailers as well as local independent dealers, collectors, and DJs. Customers are invited to shop - buy/trade - rare, valuable and classic merchandise while local DJs talents provide the soundtrack. Early bird admission at 11am is $10, regular admission from 1pm to 6pm is $5. Warehouse Junkies is at Chicago Urban Art Society Gallery: 2229 S. Halsted. This event goes until 6pm. Click here for more info.


First Annual GingerFest

Redheads Unite! Tonight at Mrs. Murphy & Son's Irish Bistro, 3905 N. Lincoln Ave., gingers from across Chicago will meet to celebrate their fair skin, freckles and unique hair. The festivities -- which will include live music, food, drinks and the crowning of King and Queen Ginger -- run from 8 to 11pm. Tickets cost $20, but redheads (real or artificial) will be admitted at half-price. To make a reservation (suggested, but not needed) call (773) 248-3905.

Maximalism: Fashion Show @ Happy Dog Gallery

The Sometimes Store, The Gaudy God and Sisterman present Maximalism: Fashion Show tonight at Happy Dog Gallery (1542 N. Milwaukee Ave.). The show will feature 24 all nude and black looks comprised of '80s and '90s new vintage. All looks will be available for purchase after the show. Doors open at 7pm, show starts at 8, and the afterparty runs until midnight.

Maria's Packaged Goods & Community Bar Grand Opening Party

Formerly known as Kaplan's Liquors, Maria's is an old style Chicago tavern: half liquor store, half bar. Maria Marszewski has owned it since 1986 and is now handing off the managerial reigns to her sons Mike and Ed (co-creator of Co-Prosperity Sphere and The Public Media Institute). The bar has been given an artsy makeover and has been re-purposed as a place for artists to gather and commune in Bridgeport. There are some nice features: chandeliers made of beer bottles; recycled hardwood benches; hand crafted butcher block tables; and Mike's beer can collection is featured in the bathrooms. Local artists' work adorn the walls, and a vast network of artists, musicians and cultural workers of all stripes DJ each night. Bobby Conn and Julie Pomerleau will perform tonight and spiritual guru and advisor, Joe Bryl, the DJ of Djs will be on the turntables playing some of his esoteric collection of 45s. The party is from 7pm to 2am tonight at Maria's: 960 W 31st Street in Bridgeport. 21+.

COLOR @ 345 Gallery

A dynamic and colorful multimedia group show by about a dozen local, emerging artists focusing on color opens tonight at 345 Gallery (Flat Iron Arts Building: 1579 N. Milwaukee, Rm. 345). Artists include A/C writers Hiba Ali and Kelly Reaves, among others. The opening reception runs from 6 to 9pm.

Stacks! Soul Library Dance Party @ Late Bar

Who doesn't love a sexy librarian with soul? Come on out to the Stacks! Soul Library Dance Party to benefit Chicago Underground Library. Featuring DJs John Ciba, Lady J, MLE, and JJ, and prizes for "best '60s/soul/mod librarian style." Tickets are $7 in advance, $10 at the door. Late Bar, 3534 W Belmont Ave., (773) 267-5283, 9pm-midnight (true to their name, bar's open 'til 4am).

Bar AIDS 2010

EdgeAlliance (formerly known as AIDSCare) presents Bar AIDS 2010, a companion event to the annual Dining Out For Life event to raise money for local people living with HIV. Visit the Chicago Bar AIDS Website to see a list of participating bars, cafes and pubs. Bar AIDS ambassadors will be on hand at each location to sell tickets for raffle prizes and to collect donations for EdgeAlliance. See the Website for full details.

Poem as Dream @ Mess Hall

Lose yourself in the "outsidereal" with The Next Objectivists at Mess Hall (6932 North Glenwood) in Rogers Park. Starting at 7pm, you'll talk about your dreams, poems about dreams, and do a bit of writing together. The workshop is free and open to the public.

Pizza & Beer School @ Sheffield's Bar

Ian's Pizza in Wrigleyville & Sheffield's Bar are hooking up to host their second annual Pizza and Beer School. Your class schedule will cost $30 and begins tonight at 7pm. Be ready with $30, an empty stomach and summer-lulled mind. @ Sheffield's Bar: 3258 N. Sheffield Ave. RSVP: tchicagoevents@rocketmail.com or call (773) 716-7200.

Nerd Trivia Night @ Flounders

The Chicago Nerd Social Club invites you down for an evening of trivia quizzes at Flounders Bar *2291 N. Clybourn) tonight from 8pm to 10pm. This is a nerds event, so expect trivia categories to include comics/graphic novels, The Simpsons, Star Trek/Wars, videogames, etc. The event is free. For more information and to RSVP please see the Chicago Nerds Website.

The Great Midwest Ukefest

The Great Midwest Ukefest, presented by the Chicago Ukulele Carabet, will feature eight hours of live uke music today from 2 to 10pm at Chief O'Neill's Pub and Restaurant, 3471 N. Elston Ave. In addition, there will be a BBQ, an outdoor beer garden, and raffle items, with proceeds benefiting the Intonation Music Workshop. Tickets are $10. For more information and tickets, click here.

Grigsby Award for Excellence in the Art of Solo Performance @ Theater Wit

On the final day of Lifeline Theater and Live Bait Theater's annual Fillet of Solo Festival, Tekki Lomnicki will be presented with the Grigsby Award for Excellence in the Art of Solo Performance at Theater Wit (1229 W. Belmont). Beginning at 7pm, Ms. Lomnicki will be recognized for her achievements and talent, and celebrated with an industry roast. Tickets are $50 for VIP, $35 for regular admission, for more information call (773) 761-4477 or visit Lifeline Theater.

Michael Sandler @ REI Lincoln Park

Barefoot running is apparently a thing: Michael Sandler, author of Barefoot Running: How to Run Light and Free by Getting In Touch with the Earth , speaks at REI Lincoln Park to give tips on how barefoot running can, from the press release, "help you run lighter, faster and more injury-free than you've ever imagined." Register for the event at www.rei.com/lincolnpark. REI Lincoln Park, 1466 N. Halsted St., second floor community room, 7-8pm.

Prose and Poetry Karaoke @ Jak's Tap

UIC's literary journal, Packingtown Review, is hosting a fundraiser at Jak's Tap (901 W. Jackson) tonight, 7-10pm. Stop by for readings from Chicago writers and a book sale, not to mention a drawing. Oh, and take part in a Prose and Poetry Karaoke contest: bring your poem or short prose work to be read by a randomly selected reader, and if the judges select your piece, you win a prize! The suggested donation is $10, and if you want to take part in karaoke, it's $5. All proceeds go to Packingtown Review's third issue.

The Orbit Room's Third Anniversary Tiki Party

Avondale's Orbit Room is celebrating their third anniversary today with a tiki party on their enormous tiki patio tonight, featuring complimentary steak and chicken tacos, $2 PBR drafts, $2 lowrider (teq & rRse's) shots, and $4 Jameson. Local rockabilly band Hillbilly Idle will perform as well. This event is from 6pm to 3am at The Orbit Room (2959 N. California.)

Mabel's Wayback Machine @ The Op Shop 3

Mabel Stark, world famous tiger trainer from the 1920s, is hosting a variety show based around the ideas of improbable histories and hyperbolic figures. With a handmade time machine that doubles as a players' stage, Mabel will take us through history in an effort to prevent her true love's death. Along the way, she discovers an odd cast of characters who share their stories through word, song, sound, and movement. Acts include: a puppet show, sing-song storytelling, poetry, comedy, music performances, tiger wrestling, and more. The performance starts at 6:30pm, followed immediately by a (pot luck) dinner at 8pm. This event is FREE and open to the public--just bring a dish to share. The Op Shop 3 is located at 5226 S. Harper Ave. For more info contact Kayce Bayer: (773) 827-7502, kaycebayer [at] yahoo.com.

Carlos Cortez Birthday Party @ Carlos & Dominguez Fine Arts

Celebrate the life of the late Carlos Cortez (1923 - 2005) tonight! Starting at 6:30pm, Carlos & Dominguez Fine Arts (1538 W Cullerton) in Pilsen is hosting his 87th birthday party with readings, speakers, and a book and poetry sale. Admission is free.

Bird Sanctuary @ Nomadic Studio, DePaul University Art Museum

DePaul's University Nomadic Studio is transforming itself into what it calls the "Bird Sanctuary," for a month-long exhibition of various Avian-focused works by the likes of artists such as Jay Ryan, Christopher Roberts, Susan Hall, Rob Funderburk, and Dayton Castleman. The space will also resurrect defunct loft space A/V Aerie through its music programming later on in the month. It all begins tomorrow with an opening reception event featuring a screen printing booth by Jay Ryan and music by locals Zikr. 5-8pm. DePaul University Art Museum, 2350 N Kenmore Ave, Chicago.

Future of Girls, Gaming & Gender @ Columbia College

The 3G Public Forum will feature presentations by, and a lively conversation with, five leading women gaming scholars and design artists discussing such topics as the gender gap in the gaming industry, the growing ubiquity of gaming and its role in education and culture, and the potential for gaming as a tool for civic engagement and social change.

6pm-8pm
Media Production Center Soundstage, 1600 S. State
Admission is free.
For more information, visit www.colum.edu/3gsummit.

Presented by Interactive Arts and Media Department and the Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in Arts and Media at Columbia College, the event features Mary Flanagan (artist and scholar, author of "Critical Play"); Tracy Fullerton (game designer, educator and writer; "Cloud;" "flOW;" "The Night Journey"); Jennifer Jenson (scholar of gender and technology, York University); Susana Ruiz (independent game designer ("Darfur is Dying" and "Finding Zoe"); Erin Robinson, Indie Game Designer ("Puzzle Bots" and "Nanobots")

Girls Rock! Chicago End-Of-Camp Extravaganza @ Metro

Girls Rock! presents their end-of-camp session concert featuring campers aged 8-16. The nonprofit organization runs a summer camp dedicated to musicianship for girls. The campers have formed bands, and will be performing in front of a live audience this afternoon at Metro (3730 N. Clark). Doors open at 3pm, show starts at 3:30. Tickets are $7 in advance, $8 at the door. For more info call (773) 549-0203 or visit Metro.

The Chicago Metaphysical Circus presents: PSYCHAPALOOZA @ Locked Out

This show, organized by The Chicago Metaphysical Circus, features a slew of good bands from Chicago and the Detroit including The Great Society of Mind Destroyers, Sisters of Sunshine Vapor, Hands of Hydra, Black Wyrm Seed, Michael Michael Motorcycle, and DJ Psychadelix. BYOB or you can get some homemade sangria there. All ages. Donation at the door. This event is from 9pm to 2am at Locked Out (3951 W Fullerton.)

Cheap Art for Chicago! Benefitting AREA @ Yollocalli Arts Reach

AREA Chicago is hosting their second annual art show and auction, featuring work inspired by Chicago and made by artists living in the city. They'll have paintings, sculptures, photographs, and more, with starting bids as low as $5! Artists include: Charlie Vinz, DiDi Grim, Mary Patten, Mathias Regan and Amy Partridge, Jayne Hileman, Mary Sea, Marian Hayes, Rachel Wallis, Robin Hewlett, Annie Siegler, Laura Szumowski, Csi...lla Kosa, Frank Rico, Nicole Marroquin, Rebecca Zorach, Claudia Garcia-Rojas, Kolektif Atis Jakmel, Josephine Ferorelli, Jhonathan F. Gómez, Neil Brideau, Alex Guzman, and more! This event is from 4 to 11pm at Yollocalli Arts Reach (1401 W 18th St.) For more information, email Rachel at rachel.a.wallis@gmail.com.


Carrie Gundersdorf @ MCA First Friday

Carrie Gundersdorf's colored-pencil drawings are images of outer space and movement that depict abstract cosmic time. The exhibition opens during First Fridays at the Museum of Contemporary Art on August 6.

You must be 21 to attend First Fridays. General admission is $18. You can buy tickets online or call the MCA box office at 312-397-4010.

Gundersdorf will lead a gallery talk on Tuesday, August 10, 2010, at 6 pm.

Pop Up Loop Gallery Walk

This month's walk features five pop-up gallery spaces with work from more than 10 Chicago artists spanning from sculpture to photography and works on paper. Pop-Up Art Loop, an initiative of the Chicago Loop Alliance, is working to bring art to unexpected places and the association with the Chicago Artists' Coalition and their 1800+ artist members enables this program to help artists gain exposure, while enhancing the cultural experience of visitors to the Loop. Today's gallery walk will include five spaces: 23 E. Madison Ave, 29 E. Madison Ave, 208 S.
Wabash Ave, 220 S. Wabash Ave, and 240 S. State St. This event is from 5-8pm today at all of those locations. Contact Alyson Koblas (alyson@chicagoartistscoalition.org or 773-772-2385) for more information.


"JUBA! Masters of Tap and Percussive Dance" @ MCA

The Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP), concludes its annual festival of American tap dance and contemporary percussive arts with the three performances at the Museum of Contemporary Art MCA Stage (220 E. Chicago Ave.). "JUBA! Masters of Tap and Percussive Dance" begins at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $30 for non-Rhythm World participants, and may be purchased
online
.

Rooftop Summer Soiree to Fight Pediatric Cancer @ The Southern

The Southern is partnering with the Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation to throw a charitable summer soiree tonight. The rooftop celebration will feature hors d'oeuvres, Effen vodka cocktails and tropical music. The event runs from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Cost to attend is $30 in advance or $35 at the door. All proceeds benefit the Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation. Call (773) 474-2668 or visit the website to buy tickets. 1840 W. North Ave.

The Great Giveback @ Mess Hall

Here's an interesting workshop for ya: Humble Pile Chicago, the soil nutrient looping project, is now in it's fourth and final stage: THE GREAT GIVE BACK. After two years of composting, the nearly 1500 gallons of human waste collected from 22 individuals for three months has now been transformed into lovely, rich, pathogen-free compost and will be given back (privately, not at this event!) to these folks so they can then return it to Mama Earth where and in a form she'd actually appreciate. Come hear Nance Klehm report back on all the dirt to soil phases, sift your fingers in the lovely stuff and find out how you too can loop your poop. This event is at Mess Hall (6932 N Glenwood) today from 11am to 1pm.

The Polkaholics @ Quenchers

The Polkaholics perform their polk-rock opera Wally, which tells the story of Lil' Wally's rise to polka glory, at Quenchers (2401 N. Western). Released in 2009 on CD, the polk-rock opera includes the songs Son of a Gun Polka, Division Street, King of Happiness, and more. Opening for the Polkaholics is The Johnny Thunders tribute band DTKLAMF, featuring Don Dandy of the Polkaholics. Admission is $5, show starts at 9pm. For more info call (773) 276-9730 or visit Quenchers.

Birute Regine @ Barbara's Bookstore UIC

Developmental psychologist Birute Regines reads from from her 2010 book Iron Butterflies: Women Transforming Themselves and the World, which tells the stories of 60 successful women from all over the world -- doctors, artists, educators, housewives, even a Nobel laureate. Free wine and cheese. Barbara's Bookstore, 1218 S. Halsted, 312-413-2665, 7:00pm. Free and open to the public.

Success in Government @ V Live/Fuego

University of Illinois Latina/Latino Alumni Association presents its "Success Stories in Government" networking event tonight at V Live (2047 N. Milwaukee Ave). Open to all Chicagoland professionals, the evening will include networking, appetizers and cocktails from 6 to 9 pm. City Colleges of Chicago Chairman, Gery H. Chico will provide the keynote. For a complete list of special guests and speakers and to RSVP, check out the Association's event page.

Atomic Sketch 2-Year Anniversary @ evilOlive

Celebrating its 24th installment at evilOlive (1551 W. Division St), the Atomic Sketch Event features a special giant-sized, all-star panel and group show. As the event's single largest showing of artwork and artists in its two year history, the lineup includes 16 fan favorites: Keely Hakala, Sara Renae Jones-Lubin, Brian Hofmeister, Stephanie Combs, Ken Carrano, MR. Shapeless, John Airo, revise cmw, Joey Potts, CHema Skandl!, [ad7m], Michael Frank, Michelle Mashon, emmy star brown, SOOPAQOOT, and Jon Scordato. Tonight's free event runs from 6-10pm.

Hubbard Street Dance Company Wine Tasting Benefit @ The James Hotel

Wine promotes dancing in more ways than one at the Hubbard Street Dance Company's third annual Twilight on the Roof benefit. From 7 to 9pm, taste the fruits of 12 Napa and Sonoma wineries, including Blackbird Vineyards and Pride Mountain Wines; buying a VIP ticket ($145) gets you an extra hour (6-9pm), wines that aren't available to the general crowd, and private tastings with vintners. Regular admission tickets are $95. James Chicago, 55 E. Ontario.

Spirited Dinner @ Kith and Kin

Summer's the time for iced tea and flowery patio drinks. Tonight's 6-course dinner at Kith and Kin combines both by partnering with Adam Seger's Hum Spirits Company for hibiscus-infused rum spirits (hibiscus-rum, get it?), and teas from the Rare Tea Cellar and Ineeka Organic Tea. Courses include such mouth-watering notables as wasabi-smoked mussels, summer pea soup poured around lamb carpaccio, and an island-style wild boar sausage and stuffed goat bbq. Each course comes with a specially designed and paired Hum- and tea-based beverage. Cocktail reception begins at 6:30pm, full menu is available on their Facebook page, reservations are required. For more details and to claim a spot at the table, call (773) 472-7070. $65 per person. 1119 W. Webster Avenue.

Mary-Arrchie Rock-N-Bowl-a-Thon @ Timber Lanes

Bowl-a-Thon teams will be competing for prizes to benefit Mary-Arrchie Theater so come cheer on your favorite team! There will also be wonderful prizes in a raffle and a silent auction. Click here for details on the teams and prizes. The Bowl-a-Thon goes from 7 to 11 tonight. Timber Lanes is located at 1851 W. Irving Park.

Recent Work by David Schalliol @ The Op Shop

Recent work by photographer David Schalliol will be featured on Sunday, July 25 at the newest location of The Opportunity Shop, 5225 S. Harper Ave. The show will be open from 12:00pm-5:30pm, with a community dinner open to the public to follow at 6pm.

Backyard Film and Music Festival @ The Pullman State Historic Site

Head down to the historic Pullman neighborhood today to check out the Backyard Film and Music Festival. Eleven bands that veer from the Americana such as Judson Claiborne and Nathan Blake Lynn to the experimental workouts of Martin Dosh set up shop within the Pullman State Historic Site and get down. When not enjoying the music or the eclectic lineup of short films, wander around the Soloman Beman-designed neighborhood and wrap yourself in its past. $15. From Noon-Midnight. The Pullman State Historic Site, 11057 S. Cottage Grove.

SAIC's MFA in Design Thesis Exhibition @ Sullivan Galleries

Showcasing design from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago's Architecture, Interior Architecture, Designed Objects, and Fashion departments, this graduate thesis exhibition comes to a close tonight. This is your last opportunity to check out the newest work from the freshest young local designers and talk to them about their work. The reception is from 5 to 7pm today at SAIC's Sullivan Galleries at 33 S. State St. on the 7th Floor. Click here for details and pretty pictures.

Milwaukee Avenue Arts Fest

The second annual MAAF begins today in Logan Square, featuring curated art galleries filled with eclectic works in all media, live music on three stages boasting diverse and critically-acclaimed line-ups, theater, dance, film, vaudeville and other live performances, an indoor art market, a community mural, children's activities, local cuisine and Magic Hat craft brews, and last but not least, a freaking trolley! Most importantly, don't forget to stop by the Gapers Block booth. The festival is from 4pm to 11pm today, and from noon to 11pm Saturday and Sunday. It runs along Milwaukee between Kimball and California Ave. in Logan Square.

Art Your Heart Out in Bridgeport

Looking for something to do tonight? Start at Eastern Expansion (244 W 31st Street) to see Paul Rizzuto's Carny photographs. Then make your way to the Co-Prosperity Sphere (3219 S Morgan Street) for Corporate Psychedelia 1968-1975 where you can view silkscreen prints from the collection of Jason Pickleman. If you make it to C-PS you will also be able to check out James Jankowiak's new front window installation. Everything's going on from 6-10pm.

Chefs and the City @ Peninsula Chicago

Non-profit Vital Bridges, an HIV/AIDS outreach organization, teams up for a benefit with over 30 high-profile Chicago chefs, including Arun Sampanthavivat (Arun's), Chris Pandel (The Bristol), Bill Kim (Urban Belly), Shawn McClain (Green Zebra) and others, for a tasting and a fashion show. Hob-nob with the big wigs, and enjoy the sights and tastes atop the terrace of the Peninsula Hotel, all for a good cause. 6pm. $250. Peninsula Chicago, 108 E. Superior. For more info, call Vital Bridges at (773)-271-5117.

Write Club @ Hideout

The Hideout plays host tonight to the mighty return of WRITE CLUB, where two opposing writers are given 7 minutes to write on a specific topic, and then the audience picks the winner. Three bouts are scheduled: Mind vs. Body, Heaven vs. Hell, and Fight vs. Flight. The artists scheduled to fight: Write Club host Ian Belknap; Emily Rose; Edward Thomas-Herrera; Ali Weiss; Steve Heisler; and David Kodeski. The show runs from 6pm to 7:30. Hideout: 1354 W. Wabansia. (773) 227-4433.

Sappho's Salon @ Women & Children First

Women and Children First, 5233 N. Clark, hosts Sappho's Salon: A Provocative Night of Lesbian Diversions tonight at 7:30pm, featuring ragtime artist Sabrina Chap and writer Megan Milks with music by DJ SpinNikki. Admission is $7-10 (sliding scale) and includes food & wine. Proceeds will benefit the artists and the Women's Voices Fund. For more details on the event, click here.

Raiders of the Lost Ark @ Jonquil Park

Do you remember the first time you saw preeminent archaeologist Indiana Jones outrun a giant boulder, uncover the Ark of the Covenant, and just generally kick a whole lotta Nazi ass? If you answered "on VHS cassette tape" -- and unless you're over the age of 35, chances are you did -- then you're in luck! See Raiders of the Lost Ark on the big screen under the stars at Jonquil Park tonight. Admission is free, but get there early to stake out a good spot. Movie starts at dusk (around 8:30pm). Jonquil Playlot Park: 1023 W. Wrightwood Ave. Chicago, 60614

Bitchpork Fest @ Mortville

This underground alternative to Pitchfork Fest is guaranteed to be entertaining. There are a TON of bands playing today, tomorrow, and Sunday (mostly local!) so click here for the details. Bitchpork will be at Mortville in Little Villiage (2106 S. Kedzie) this year. The first band goes on at 5pm today.

The Art of Touring Opening @ Johalla Projects

This is a multimedia exhibit of work by musicians, inspired by touring and life on the road. It brings together some of the talent from the book Art of Touring (square root books) and the local music community, to showcase creative endeavors when not rockin' on the stage. Whether video, pictures, sketches or written word, these musicians keep their creative edge sharp while whittling away the hours in a van, on a plane or walking about the cities they frequent. The opening is tonight from 7-11pm at Johalla Projects (1561 N Milwaukee Ave).

Schematic Records Tour @ Co-Prosperity Sphere

This party features the musical stylings of Romulo Del Castillo (Phoenecia / Soul Oddity), Joe Lentini, and Ay (of Ken Rei). Plus DJ J+J+J will be tearing in up in the dance club in the basement, Tech Noir. Admission is $10. This event is from 9pm to 2am at Co-Prosperity Sphere in Bridgeport (3219 S. Morgan).

EMPACT Benefit Party for West Town Bikes @ Wicker Well

In light of the recent BP Oil disaster, and because of our increasing need for environmental sustainability, this month's EMPACT event will celebrates West Town Bikes. Please bike out and help support this group, whose mission is to promote bicycling in Chicago and to educate youth with a focus on under-served populations. DJ Limbs, Scrabblor, Ang G & Dave Marques from the People's DJs Collective will be rocking the house on the 1's and 2's, and Eastern Blok will play. This event is from 9pm to 2am at the Wicker Well (1637 W North Ave). $5 donation please. 21+.

TV Carnage presents: Let's Work it Out @ The Empty Bottle

TV Carnage presents its latest release, Let's Work It Out! A mash-up workout videos, with the promise to "mutate everything from above your eyes to below your thighs." Show starts at 7pm at The Empty Bottle (1035 N. Western), tickets are $9. For more information visit TV Carnage or The Empty Bottle.

ChristMisfits in July @ Lily's

The Misfits tribute band ChristMisfits plays tonight with guests TurboVamps at Lily's (2513 N. Lincoln). The lyrics to the ChristMisfits' songs are altered from the originals, the enthusiasm is not. The theme to tonight's performance is "Fiends and Ghouls" -- come dressed for surfing! Doors open at 9pm, entry is $6. For more info call (773) 525-2422 or visit Lily's MySpace page.

The Cardboard Show Opens @ Co-Prosperity Sphere

Mike Pocius organized and hosts this works on carboard group exhibition. This community art project shows works made on cardboard only! The opening reception is tonight from 6-11pm. This show will be up for one day only. Co-Prosperity Sphere is located in Bridgeport at 3219 S Morgan St. Click here for more information.

The Poetry Brothel @ House of Blues Foundation Room

The Poetry Brothel, a poets/artists/designers organization, is setting up shop in the House of Blues Foundation Room (329 N. Dearborn) tonight from 8pm to midnight. This event series incorporates a bit of performance art as the showcased poets...well...seduce you. Tickets are $15 at the door, $10 if you bring along the flier. Stop by and enjoy poetry + absinthe + music + anything else you may expect at a brothel.

The Interview Show @ Hideout

Mark Bazer once again brings The Interview Show to the Hideout tonight. Special guests include: Chef Graham Elliot Bowles, singer-songwriter Matthew Santos, author Robert K. Elder and see short films by Steve Delahoyde! $5 6:30pm. The Hideout is located at 1354 W. Wabansia.

The Nomadic Studio Begins @ the DePaul Art Museum

Tonight the Stockyard Institute's exhibit, Nomadic Studio opens at the DePaul University Art Museum (2350 N. Kenmore). Nomadic Studio is a four and a half month exhibit about the artist and non-traditional studio spaces. For the month of July, they are focusing on the musician and the home studio. They have built a replica of the Rumpus Room in the center of the gallery. As the event progresses, the space will be transformed every month to reflect a new theme, as well as to feature different artists and spaces. Doors open at 5pm. At 6pm is a performance by Steve Albini. At 7pm there will be live music by Bric-a-Brac, onono, and Small Awesome. Music performances will take place in the Rumpus Room, a fully-functioning 'home' recording studio. All three bands consist of musicians that have rehearsed or recorded in the Rumpus Room. For more information, click here.

2nd Story @ Morseland

2nd Story continues their monthly live storytelling series at Morseland (1218 W. Morse Ave.) tonight featuring Kim Morris, Deb Lewis, and Doug Whippo. Live music by Los Peregrinos. Doors open at 7, music begins at 7:30pm, storytelling starts at 7:45. Tickets are $10, available online or at the door. For more information visit 2nd Story or Morseland.

Pride Parade

With Grand Marshal (and country-singing lesbian) Chely Wright at the helm, the 41st annual Pride parade kicks off at noon at Belmont and Halsted (although it never runs on time, be prepared). The route winds through Boystown and ends at Diversey Harbor.

Michele Fitzsimmon @ Bar Wine Cafe

Come out this afternoon to Bin Wine Cafe, (1559 North Milwaukee Ave) from 3pm to 5pm for Michele Fitzsimmon's opening reception. He will be debuting his recent prints and collages. The collages previewed on his website here, crash together the western and eastern perspectives of the feminine, one can't help but interpret theology as a mode of introspection.

Dyke March @ Jackson Park

Lesbians march in solidarity today at the Dyke March, which moves to the South Shore neighborhood this year. Event kicks off from the Shore Bank parking lot at 7054 S. Jeffery at 2:30pm. A post-march rally will take place at 4pm at Jackson Park, 63rd and Hayes.

The Neo-Futurists Present The Paper Machete: Special Pride Edition 2010

The Neo-Futurists team up with the local weekly performance series The Paper Machete for a special Pride edition this evening at 7:30pm at the Neo-Futurarium (5153 N. Ashland at Foster). Hosted by Neo-Futurist alumnus Dave Awl, the evening will feature readings and live performances from plenty of artists, some of whom are former & current Neo-Futurists. Admission is a suggested $10; proceeds go to Test Positive Aware Network (TPAN). For more information on the event, please see the event's Facebook page.

Girls Rock! Chicago End-Of-June Camp Extravaganza @ Metro

Girls Rock! presents their end-of-June concert featuring campers aged 8-16. The nonprofit organization runs a summer camp dedicated to musicianship for girls. The campers have formed bands, and will be performing in front of a live audience this afternoon at Metro (3730 N. Clark). Doors open at 3pm, show starts at 3:30. Tickets are $7 in advance, $8 at the door. For more info call (773) 549-0203 or visit Metro.

Michael Jackson Memorial Procession

The Michael Jackson Memorial Procession, organized and led by Chicago based artist Jason Lazarus, is a commemoration to the dynamic pop legend. At 6pm, a 50 car-long caravan will proceed from his boyhood home in Gary, IN and travel throughout the city of Chicago, IL. All procession participants will be given disposable point and shoot cameras and video cameras for documentation of their journeys to contribute to the project. For more information, please contact Jason Lazurus.

Switchback Books @ Irish Eyes Pub

The ladies who run Switchback Books will be bartending at Irish Eyes Pub (2519 N Lincoln Ave) tonight, with all tips to benefit Switchback. Stop by starting at 7:30 pm to not only grab a drink but get your custom erasure poem, put some change in the coin-operated poetry machine, and receive an "unprofessional" tarot reading. No cover charge!

Janet Kuypers @ The Cafe

Writer/poet (among other things) Janet Kuypers will be featured at The Cafe's (5115 N. Lincoln) open mic night, starting at 8:30pm. Admission is $2, and there's a donation for the feature.

Puerto Rican Pride Parade

The Puerto Rican Pride parade kicks off at noon at Columbus and Balbo; festivities follow at Humboldt Park, California and North Avenues.

Free Independent Publishing Workshops @ Quimby's

Today is the Learnapalooza festival held at various spots around Wicker Park from 10am to 5pm. The event is a community skill exchange chockfull of free workshops, including yoga, cooking, self defense, swing dancing, poker, and more. Complete at-a-glance schedule of events here. Quimby's Bookstore is getting in on the action with three free 45 minute workshops on how to get involved in independent publishing. RSVP not necessary but appreciated. Quimby's Bookstore, 1854 West North Avenue, (773) 342-0910. Saturday, June 19, 2pm, 3pm, and 4pm.

Laura Doherty Pajama Party @ Welles Park

Celebrate the Wiggleworms Program's quarter century mark with a pajama party lead by kids' musician Laura Doherty. Bring a picnic, a teddy and binkie and get ready to sing a long to classic kids' songs as well as inspired originals. The event is all ages and starts at 6:30pm. Welles Park is located at 2333 W. Sunnyside Ave. For more information call (773) 728-6000.

Chicago Blues Festival

The Chicago Blues Fest returns again to Grant Park for a long weekend of music that is just so Sweet Home Chicago. See a full schedule of Sunday's performances at Explore Chicago. As always, the Blues Festival is FREE. Music runs from 11:30 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.

Artist Books and Original Drawings @ Home Gallery

Come on out this afternoon from 12pm to 3pm to Home Gallery, 1407 E. 54th Pl for the closing brunch. This exhibition features the drawings, sketchbooks, and artist's books from Michael Brehm, Amanda Vahamaki & Michelangelo Setolo from Souvlaki Circus, Anders Nilsen from Big Questions and Doug Shaeffer.

Midsommarfest

Andersonville's annual outdoor festival brings it: music, food, shopping, dancing--everything you need for one of the summer's first parties. Admission $5. Foster and Clark, all day through late evening.

Chicago Blues Festival

The Chicago Blues Fest returns again to Grant Park for a long weekend of music that is just so Sweet Home Chicago. See a full schedule of Saturday's performances at Explore Chicago. As always, the Blues Festival is FREE. Music runs from 11:30 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.

For The Love Of Hops Festival 2010

Two Brothers Brewing Company is at it again. Hosting this year's For The Love of Hops Festival 2010 today at their brewery in Warrenville, they're celebrating that delicious bittering agent during the second annual release of their Hop Juice Double IPA!

There will be guest beers from around the country. Four bands (TBA) will be playing during the day, admission is free, and 50 percent of sponsorship funds will go to the Muscular Dystrophy Association. All this will take place at their brewery, 30W315 Calumet Ave. Warrenville, Illinois 60555. You can find out more at the event website here!

Strange Beauty Show Gallery Event Featuring Eric Lower

Strange Beauty Show's (1118 N. Ashland Ave) June Gallery Event will feature paintings and prints by Eric Lower and DJ sets by Whoa-B. There will be music and refreshments.

Printers Row Lit Fest

Today and tomorrow, one of the Midwest's largest literary festivals will once again take place in Printers Row in the South Loop. You'll find tons of books for sale (old, new, rare -- you name it, they got it), author readings, panel discussions, and much much more. They even have special events just for kids. Admission is free, but some events may require pre-registration. Check out the daily schedule of events and all that Printers Row Lit Fest has to offer here.

Midsommarfest

Andersonville's annual outdoor festival brings it: music, food, shopping, dancing--everything you need for one of the summer's first parties. Admission $5. Foster and Clark, all day through late evening.

Chicago Blues Festival

The Chicago Blues Fest returns again to Grant Park for a long weekend of music that is just so Sweet Home Chicago. See a full schedule of Friday's performances at Explore Chicago. As always, the Blues Festival is FREE. Music runs from 11:30 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.

Taste of Chicago Preview

Get a preview of the 2010 Taste of Chicago at Daley Plaza, where you can try out "Taste Portions" of select menu items that will be available at the big event this June 25-July 4 in Grant Park. Admission is free, but bring cash if you plan on eating anything. 11am-2pm. 50 W. Washington.

The Encyclopedia Show @ Vittum Theatre

Winner of a 2009 Orgie Theatre Award, The Encyclopedia Show presents its season finale (and biggest show ever) tonight at The Vittum Theatre (1012 N Noble St). Showcasing visual art, comedy, music and spoken word on a wide variety of subjects related to this month's topic of "the circus", The Encyclopedia Show draws its novice and notable talent from Chicago Area and National Artists in the Slam, Academic and Youth artists' communities. The all-ages event starts at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $6 at the door.

Taste of Chicago Preview

Get a preview of the 2010 Taste of Chicago at Daley Plaza, where you can try out "Taste Portions" of select menu items that will be available at the big event this June 25-July 4 in Grant Park. Admission is free, but bring cash if you plan on eating anything. 11am-2pm. 50 W. Washington.

Head-Fi CanJam 2010 @ Hyatt Regency O'Hare

Head-Fi's CanJam brings together some of the largest and most well-respected headphone manufacturers and experts the world has to offer. Devoted to fostering the world of high-fidelity audio in the digital music era, today's event at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare (9300 Bryn Mawr Ave) will feature high-performance manufacturers and demos from the likes of Phiaton Audio and Chicago's own Shure and Etymotic Research. Audiophiles and headphone enthusiasts should visit the site's forum for details. Sunday's event runs from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Constructor Craft Fair

Get your DIY on in the western suburbs today at Constructor Craft Fair. Cute and useful goods abound at Fitzgerald's, 6615 W. Roosevelt Road, Berwyn. 10am-6pm. Free!

Jerome Powers and Heidi Van Wieren @ Roy Boyd Gallery

Come to Roy Boyd Gallery (739 N. Wells) from 5pm to 7pm to see the new work of Jerome Powers and Heidi Van Wieren. Jerome Powers combines the austerity of minimalism with a distinctly humanist sensibility by using common materials like hair and pencil. Heidi Van Wieren fascinated by captured and layered light uses Elmer's Glue and ink to emphasize these qualities by building up layers. Exhibition runs through July 20th.

Eulalio Fabie de Silva @ Sapere Art Gallery

Come out tonight at 7pm to Sapere Art in the Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 Milwaukee Avenue, 3rd Floor Studio, 341. Bay Area Figurative and Plein Air Painter Eulalio Fabie de Silva will be performing live painting. Friday night will be spontaneous works on paper modeled after masters works and Saturday will be a live model setting.

Red Rover Series @ Damen/North/Milwaukee

Founded in 2005, the Red Rover Series is an experiment in reading, with writers, artists, and performers from all over the city, the United States, and the world as participants. Experiment #37, Part One will take place from 2pm to 8pm, at the six-way intersection at Damen Ave. Be there to ask Jen Hofer to type up a Spanish or English letter for you (letters are $2, with $3 for a love letter and $5 for an "illicit" love letter).

Pub Quiz Against Poverty @ Burwood Tap

The Heartland Alliance is holding a pub quiz this evening at The Burwood Tap (724 W. Wrightwood) to raise funds for their From Poverty to Opportunity Campaign to work towards ending poverty in Illinois. The quiz happens this evening from 6 to 9pm, and the event also includes a raffle to win some great prizes. For full information on the event and to purchase tickets please see the Heartland Alliance Website.

Office Romance Fundraiser & Auction @ The Library

This party/fundraiser for threewalls will feature performances by Dog & Pony Theater Co., Naked Girls Reading, Chances Dances and much more! Live and silent auction artworks by a huge list of local emerging and established artists (who are really, really good). The VIP hour is from 7:30-8:30pm with general admission after that 'till midnight. The Library is located at 190 S LaSalle. Click here for details.

Poetry Bomb Tour of Words 2010 @ Chopin Theater

Poet/actor S.A. Griffin brings his Poetry Bomb Tour of Words to the Chopin Theater (1543 W. Division) tonight at 8pm (doors open at 7:30). Hosted by Chicago Slam Works, admission is $10 at the door, and proceeds go to OUTSPOKEN: Chicago's Poetry & Spoken Arts Festival. Come out and help CSW and Griffin launch a poetic bomb!

The Legacy of Chess Records @ Blue Heaven Studios

Take a rare look at the Chess Records Studio, where the likes of Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, Howlin' Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson, and Chuck Berry lay down their tracks. In 1993 the building was bought by Marie Dixon, Willie Dixon's widow, and donated to the Willie Dixon Blues Heaven Foundation. Visitors will be given a tour of the space, and participate in a blues harmonica workshop taught by musicians Doktu Rhute Muuzic and Fernando Jones. Ticket holders will also have the chance to meet Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot, hosts of WBEZ's Sound Opinions, who will share their thoughts on the Chess Records legacy. 2120 S. Michigan Avenue, tickets $15.

Green Festival @ Navy Pier

Today and tomorrow's Green Festival offers workshops on gardening, community advocacy, and home conservation to green up your world. Event is at Navy Pier, 10am-7pm (11am-6pm tomorrow).

Riot Grrrl Cover Band Show @ Locked Out

The Bloody Rag Collective hosts a riot grrrl cover band show, including songs by Bikini Kill, Huggy Bear, Heavens To Betsy, and other '90s female-fronted punk bands. Benefiting the Chicago Women's Health Center -- and promoting healthy vaginas -- the show features local bands like Bird Talk, the Classy Ladies, and Tiger Spirit. The poster promises, "Yes, we will write slut on your stomach." Locked Out, 3951 W. Fullerton Ave., 5pm. $5-$10 suggested donation.

Gardening Event @ Cob Connection

Come out on from 10am-3pm to the 415 N. Kedzie farm. There will be workshops and live demos (10am-12 noon) as well as special events, food and live music (12pm-3pm). Learn about volunteering with Cob Connection. Mike Nowak from WCPT will be there to interview you!


5th Annual Blood Drive @ Sacred Art

Sacred Art hosts its 5th annual blood drive at its store in Lincoln Square (4619 N. Lincoln Avenue). A bloodmobile from Lifesource will be accommodating blood donors from 9:00am to 3:00pm. Walk-ins are welcome, but reservations are recommended. For more information contact Sacred Art at (773) 728-2803.

Wired Up @ Congress Lounge

Join Beyondmedia Education for Wired-Up: Youth Takes on Violence today at Roosevelt University's Congress Lounge (430 S Michigan Ave). Celebrating the work of the Chain of Change project and other Beyondmedia programs, the event engages both youth and adults in productive dialogues and aims to strengthen the bonds between participants from diverse communities. Featuring panel discussions and interactive media kiosks the free event runs from 10am until 5pm. For more info, visit beyondmedia.org

Joe Shanahan @ Transistor

Famed Metro owner Joe Shanahan and Metro box office manager and DJ Pete Rullo spin at Transistor, 5045 N. Clark, tonight at 8pm. Expect a one-of-a-kind set, perhaps a little Johnny Cash or Passion Pit, essentially the promise of an epic fun night. The DJs are said to be inspired by the eclectic, vibrant atmosphere of the little gallery/bookstore/electronics shop Transistor, truly a passion pit in its own right. Be sure to show up by 8pm, capacity tops at 65 revelers with a suggested donation of $5.

Good Evening Reading @ POST

The 123 Collective is hosting their Good Evening Series tonight at POST (1816 S. Racine) in Pilsen. Stop by to hear Zach Kolodjeski, Kat Sanchez, and John Franklin Dandridge read, and then get on stage yourself for an open mic! Space opens at 7pm and reading begins at 8pm. The event is free, but BYOB.

Annual Juried Reading & Awards Ceremony @ SAIC Ballroom

The Poetry Center of Chicago has announced seven finalists for their 16th Annual Juried Reading Competition -- read about them here. The first through third place winners will be announced at an awards ceremony tonight at 7:30 pm, at the SAIC Ballroom (112 S. Michigan). Admission is free.

Adler After Dark

You can start your weekend early every third Thursday of the month at the Adler Planetarium's Adler After Dark event. This month's schedule includes Lunar Lounge in the Historic Sky Theater featuring live music by Persus Noble, Royce, and Black Umbrella Brigade. See Saturn and the first quarter moon in the Doane Observatory (weather permitting). Next event is Thursday, May 20, 6 - 10pm. Advance tickets are $10, $15 at the door. 21+

Local Cocktail Co-Op @ In Fine Spirits

Join North Shore Distillery and Koval Distillery for the Local Cocktail Co-Op at In Fine Spirits Lounge in Chicago from 7 to 9 pm on Monday, May 17. This monthly all-local cocktail party includes free cocktail samples and food and cocktail specials.

Michigan Craft Beer Celebration @ Small Bar Logan

Tonight, Small Bar Logan Square hosts an evening highlighting some of Michigan's finest craft brewers. Eight rare tap beers will be available from Bells, Founders, Dark Horse, Jolly Pumpkin and New Holland. All kegs will be tapped at 7 pm. Small Bar Logan Square is located at 2956 N. Albany. (773) 509-9888.

Laughter Yoga Workshop @ Old Town School

The Old Town School of Folk Music presents a Laughter Yoga workshop by instructor Judith Sample. From the workshop description: "Laughter Yoga is a non-traditional form that uses “fake” laughter in spontaneous ways along with yogic breathing to stimulate inner joy.The laughter becomes spontaneous very quickly." The workshop happens this afternoon from 2pm to 3pm. The class is $15 and seats are limited, so sign up today at the OTS Website. Old Town School: 4544 N. Lincoln Avenue. (773) 728-6000.

SELF Magazine Workout in the Park

Love taking yoga, pilates and dance classes, but don't like being cooped up indoors and surrounded by all of those mirrors? Sick of the same old exercise routine and want to shake things up with a little Masala Bhangra? Well, get out of the gym and start your weekend off right with a four-hour power workout in Grant Park. Access Hollywood and NBC News correspondent, filmmaker and actress, Maria Menounos, will be appearing exclusively at the Chicago event. 11am - 3pm. Rain or shine. Butler Field, Grant Park. 350 East Monroe Street. A free one-year subscription to SELF magazine is included with the purchase of a $20 ticket.

Children's author and environmentalist Alexandra Gnoske @ Drew's Eatery

Local author, illustrator, and self-described "eco-chick" Alexandra Gnoske celebrates the release of her children's book Loui Saves the Earth, about a little boy in Chicago and his dog, who try to clean up the planet one discarded bottle or plastic bag at a time. Founder of organic-cotton clothing company Recycle Me, Gnoske plans to give free signed copies to the first 15 people and distribute free passes to the Chicago Green Festival. Readings at 3:30 and 4:30pm; Drew's Eatery, 2207 W. Montrose Ave.

Beer Under Glass @ Garfield Park Conservatory

The Illinois Craft Brewers Guild sponsors an evening of drinking and contemplating the greenery of the Garfield Park Conservatory (300 North Central Park) tonight. Microbrews from local crafters such as Argus, Goose Island, & Half Acre will be on tap, along with food (to wash it all down). Beer Under Glass runs 5:30-8pm; tickets $35 ($45 day of).

Second Coming of Our Green Book @ The Dana Hotel & Spa

Our Green Book and ExploreChicago.org host an event at The Dana Hotel & Spa, 2 West Erie, from 7-10pm. Laura Chmielewski, Deputy Director of the Chicago Office of Tourism, will be discussing all the great green initiatives and attractions the City has to offer. Free 360 Vodka Cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, and goodie bags will be on hand. Email launchCHI@ourgreenbook.com to RSVP for this free event.

The Order of Odd-Fish with James Kennedy

Head on over to the Book Cellar tonight at 7:30 to meet author James Kennedy and discuss his first book The Order of Off-Fish. It's listed as Young Adult novel so even if you haven't picked it up yet, there's a pretty good chance you can get through it in time. Even if you don't get a chance to read it, or finish it, you'll still find Kennedy, who really likes his fans.

Dandridge Chapbook Release Party @ Tonic Room

Hear John Franklin Dandridge read from his new poetry collection from Fast Geek Press, Further Down Rd, at Tonic Room (2447 N. Halsted) starting at 8pm. Other featured readers include Charly "the city mouse" Fasano and Jennifer Steele. Admission is free.

Starting Today Reading @ The Book Cellar

Listen to a reading from the anthology Starting Today: 100 Poems For Obama's First 100 Days at The Book Cellar (4736 N Lincoln Ave) starting at 7pm. Reading their work from the anthology will be Tony Trigilio, Josh Corey, Chris Green, John Beer, John Gallaher, Patrick Culliton, and Cin Salach.

River North Sleep Around Challenge

Ever watch the Amazing Race and think you could do it -- if it weren't for the jetlag? Take part in the River North Sleep Around Challenge, and you won't even need to leave the 312 area code. The Challenge Starts at the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza and ends up at Martini Park. Along the way, there are stops at 7 hotels that will provide challenges and refreshments. Lots of prizes will be offered. Tickets are $35 per individual, or $125 for team of four people .

Chicago Nerds Speed Dating (LGBT Night) @ Cuna Chicago

The Chicago Nerd Social Club presents their first evening of speed dating for nerds! This evening is for LGBT nerds (hetero nerds had their own date night on Thursday, April 29). Date night takes place at Cuna Chicago (1113 W. Belmont) tonight from 6pm to 9pm. Tickets are $25 and include 2 complimentary cocktails and appetizers; please see the Chicago Nerds Website for tickets and full information.

James Shapiro @ The Newberry Library

Author and Columbia University professor, James Shapiro, speaks at the Newberry Library tonight at 6pm. Shapiro's latest book Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare examines the centuries-old hypothesis of some historians and critics (including Mark Twain and Sigmund Freud) who argued multiple writers or more affluent, well-educated authors penned the Bard's works. Free and open to the public. Reservations are not required. The Newberry Library is at 60 West Walton Street in the Gold Coast neighborhood.

Metropolitan Brewing IPL Release @ Fizz

Ravenswood's Metropolitan Brewing will be releasing their India Pale Lager (yep, you read that right. An India Pale Lager) exclusively at Fizz (3220 N. Lincoln) as part of Chicago Craft Beer Week. There is no cost to attend the tasting which starts at 7pm.

Florecita Soul II @ Darkroom

DJs King Hippo, Gogo, Shazam Bangles and Tony Junior play a solid spring set of Latin funk, salsoul, Tropicália, bossa nova, boogaloo and samba at the second annual Florecita Soul event tonight at Darkroom (2210 W. Chicago Ave). Proceeds from this year's dance party fundraiser benefit Beyondmedia's nonprofit documentary work and programming initiatives. The music starts at 9pm with a suggested donation of $10 at the door. RSVP via Facebook. 21+

Them Damn Kids @ Schubas

Chicago folk band Them Damn Kids headline Schubas Tavern (3159 N Southport Avenue) tonight as part of the New York Songwriters Circle, a collaborative performance of five distinct artists. Admission ($10) includes a signed, advance copy of their new EP. Show starts at 8pm.

Art Chicago, Artropolis, and NEXT Art Fairs @ Merchandise Mart

This is your last chance to see the biggest annual art fairs in the city. Kazillions of local and not-so-local artists will be on display, both established and emerging -- just about every Chicago gallery has a booth set up at the Merchandise Mart to showcase their artist's work. The show is open from 11am to 4pm today. Tickets range from $15 to $20. Click here for details.

Art Chicago, Artropolis, and NEXT Art Fairs @ Merchandise Mart

The biggest art fair in the city is this weekend at the Merchandise Mart. Kazillions of local and not-so-local artists will be on display, both established and emerging, as just about every Chicago gallery has a booth set up this weekend at the Mart to showcase their artist's work. The show is from 11-6 today and 11-4 on Monday. Tickets range from $15 to $25. Click here for details.

Bagels and Bloodies @ Monique Meloche

From 9am-noon, there is a private viewing of Monique Meloche Gallery's current exhibition, Karl Haendel & Walead Beshty,Sheree Hovsepian and Barbara Kasten, which will be on view through May 5. Bagels and bloody marys will be served. RSVP to info@moniquemeloche.com

Roots & Culture Gallery's 4th Annual Fundraiser Party

Featuring a full bar, Chicago style street food, funky DJ's (DJ Ryon (Healing of the Nation Sound System), Rock Hard Gym (NIGHT SCHOOL), and Ross Kelly (Chicago Workgroup, Kokorokoko) spinning the funky business, and a world class art auction featuring the generosity and talents of just about every talented young artist in this beautiful city. $10 Admission from 8pm to midnight. Roots & Culture is located at 1034 N. Milwaukee Ave.

A.R.T. Celebrates Art & Hispanic Culture @ the National Museum of Mexican Art

Chicagoans can celebrate Cinco de Mayo early with the entire family at the National Museum of Mexican Art (1852 West 19th St) today from 5 to 8pm. A.R.T. is Chicago's oldest and largest educational organization dedicated to providing vibrant visual arts programs to elementary school children, teachers and parents in underserved neighborhoods and schools. This event-- designed to raise awareness and funds for the organization-- will feature art making, live music, activities for children and open museum galleries to celebrate Hispanic culture. It will highlight Mexican and Latin American artwork and will include a silent auction, dinner and drinks.

Two-Craft Minimum @ Cole's

Crafts and beer? Where do you sign up? The Chicago Style Crafters are holding a craft fair at Cole's (2338 N. Milwaukee) tonight from 4:30-9pm. Admission is free but the handmade stuff isn't.

Art Chicago, Artropolis, and NEXT Art Fairs @ Merchandise Mart

The biggest art fair in the city is this weekend at the Merchandise Mart. Kazillions of local and not-so-local artists will be on display, both established and emerging, and just about every Chicago gallery has a booth set up this weekend at the Mart to showcase their artist's work. The show is from 11-7 today, 11-6 Sunday, and 11-4 on Monday. Tickets range from $15 to $25. Click here for details.

Honor Thy Mother @ Skokie Doubletree

Today marks the 10th annual "Honor Thy Mother" literary event and luncheon sponsored by Literature for All of Us, a 501(c)(3) organization which connects young people to their strengths through literature, engaging them in book groups where they read and discuss literature and write poetry. Event includes lunch, poetry readings by teen LFAOU poets, and keynote speech from author Elizabeth Berg. Doubletree Hotel, 9599 Skokie Boulevard, Skokie. Begins at 11:30am. Tickets are $100 per person. Registration details available on the LFAOU website or contact Maria Ballantyne at (847) 869-2249.

Friday Night Live @ Transistor

Spoken word performers Michelle Renae and Sondra Morin read at Transistor, 5045 N. Clark, as part of "Friday Night Live," April 30 at 8pm. The event is BYOB with a suggested donation of $5. Transistor is an eclectic, "arty" space, selling quality, well-chosen books, music, and electronics, encouraging community interaction through classes, performances, podcasts, and more.

Art Chicago, Artropolis, and NEXT Art Fairs @ Merchandise Mart

The biggest art fair in the city is this weekend at the Merchandise Mart. Kazillions of local and not-so-local artists will be on display, both established and emerging, and just about every Chicago gallery has a booth set up this weekend at the Mart to showcase their artist's work. The show is from 11-7 today and tomorrow, 11-6 Sunday, and 11-4 on Monday. Tickets range from $15 to $25. Click here for details.

Joel Ross @ The James Hotel

Monique Meloche hosts a toast to Joel Ross at the James Hotel (55 E. Ontario St). Joel Ross is a Chicago-based artist whose work includes the photo installation, Leaving Stories. From 6-7pm, there will be cocktails served in the lobby with the exhibition viewing. From 7-8:30pm, food will be served, compliments of David Burke's Primehouse and signature Tequila sunROSS cocktails. RSVP to info@moniquemeloche.com

Tom Morello IWW Benefit @ Bottom Lounge

Tom Morello, of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave, will be performing as the folk/rock Nightwatchman tonight at a benefit for the Industrial Workers of the World at the Bottom Lounge, 1375 W. Lake St. The Rust Belt Ramblers and Bucky Halker also perform. Tickets are $16 and are available online.17 and over.

FoosCup Tournament @ Small Bar

Join America SCORES Chicago for the SCORES World FoosCup at Small Bar (1415 W. Fullerton). This table-soccer fundraiser costs $20 per person and all proceeds go directly to America SCORES Chicago. Doors open at 6:30pm and tournaments starts promptly at 7pm. To register for the tournament, click here. For more information on America SCORES Chicago check out their website at www.americascoreschicago.org.

Chicago Nerds Speed Dating (Hetero Night) @ Cuna Chicago

The Chicago Nerd Social Club presents their first evening of speed dating for nerds! This evening is for hetero nerds; LGBT nerds can look forward to their own date evening tonight. Date night takes place at Cuna Chicago (1113 W. Belmont) tonight from 6pm to 9pm. Tickets are $25 and include 2 complimentary cocktails and appetizers; please see the Chicago Nerds Website for tickets and full information.

Take Back the Night @ DePaul

DePaul students will participate in the annual Take Back the Night rally against sexual assault with The Clothesline Project, a display of t-shirts with art depicting the impact of sexual assault during the day, and a rally at 4:45pm on the university's Lincoln Park campus, 2250 N. Sheffield Ave. RSVP on Facebook.

CHIRP Reading Event: The First Time @ Uncommon Ground

CHIRP Radio presents its inaugural reading event, "The First Time," at Uncommon Ground's Devon Avenue location (1401 W. Devon). A series of authors will read essays about "Their First Time," and each essay will include a song or artist. After each reading the band (Liam Davis, Steve Frisbie and Gerald Dowd) will play that song or artist. The show begins tonight at 8pm and seating is limited; if you make dinner reservations you're guaranteed a seat for the show. Admission is a suggested $10 donation; if you can't attend the event you can also make a donation at the CHIRP Radio Website.

Unearthed Arcana: Narrative Art for Others @ LVL 3

This show consists of thirteen living artists representing several generations of American life-- Family-men, healers, care-takers, lovers, and a space goddess, with stories told through psychedelic non-fiction and future traditions. Artists include: Roderick MacKenzie, Gunsho, Kyla Cech, Scott Alerio, Margeurite Keyes, Nemo Boko, Travis Millard, James Bruce King, J. Chris Johnson, Lisabeth Gutierrez, Peter Karpick, Goddess Irena, & Orion Dommisse. The show is tonight at LVL 3 Gallery: 1542 N Milwaukee Ave., third floor from 6-10pm (free afterparty @ Rodan: 1530 Milwaukee Ave.).

Last Q4 Open Mic Benefit @ The Wicker Well

This will be the last of the family night/20hz/20klz open mic fundraisers to support Quennect 4 Gallery with some of the bands who were there from the beginning: The Blah Blah Blahs, BBU, Unearthed and Alicia with DJs Offbeat and Je'july laying down beats. This event is tonight at The Wicker Well: 1637 W. North Ave. from 9pm to 2am. 21+.

Free Books and Beer @ Sheffield's Beer Garden

Today marks the release of the Not For Tourists Guide To Chicago 2010 iPhone app. Attendees of the launch party who print a voucher from the NFT site can pick up a free NFT Guide to Chicago 2010 and enjoy a 312 Urban Wheat Ale while supplies last. Sheffield's Beer Garden and BBQ Restaurant, 3258 N. Sheffield, 7-10pm, FREE, 21+.

Printervention Part 2 @ The Whistler

Printervention is an exhibition of over 70 posters and prints at the Chicago Tourism Center Gallery. For the show, artists from around the country created works to raise awareness of modern social and political issues. The show also features a mobile silk screen cart for distributing work in parks and on the street, as well as workshops and demonstrations which are part of Version Festival. Tonight there will be an opening party for Part 2 of the Printervention show, with prints on display. The party/show is tonight from 7pm to 1am at The Whistler: 2421 N Milwaukee. 21+.

826CHI Prom Hanks @ Pulaski Park Fieldhouse

826 Chicago invites you to their annual prom, held tonight at 8pm at the Pulaski Park Fieldhouse (1419 W. Blackhawk). The prom theme: "Prom Hanks". You are invited to dress as a person, place or thing from a Tom Hanks movie. Tickets are $35 in advance ($50 at the door), and include food & drink, a silent auction and plenty o' dancing. See the 826 Chicago Website for for details and to purchase tickets.

Kanikapila with Uke Nation @ Grafton Pub

Ke Ali`i Victoria Ka`iulani Hawaiian Civic Club and 'Uke Nation present a kanikapila (Hawaiian jam session) at the Grafton Pub (4530 N. Lincoln) this afternoon from 3pm to 5pm. Musicians, dancers and singers are invited to join in a two-hour get-together to celebrate the music of the Pacific Islands. Admission is a suggested contribution of $5, which goes to the local branch of the Hawaiian Civic Club, a nonprofit community-based organization. Full information available at the Facebook event page.

Meet Da Coach and Support Da Cancer Research

This charity event gives Chicagoans an opportunity to meet legendary NFL player and coach, Mike Ditka, as he attends a fundraising event for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLC). On top of meeting Coach Ditka, guests will participate in raffles and auctions to help raise money for the LLC. The event also supports the recent Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Survivor and candidate for 'Woman of the Year' for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Rose McDermott Astorina. She hopes to raise money in honor of the LLS boy of the year, Griffin Marks, who is battling Leukemia at the age of four. The event is set to take place at Cork & Kerry located at 10614 S. Western Avenue, Chicago, IL 60655. The cost is $35 per person and all proceeds benefit LLC.

Version Fest Opening Night Party/Concert @ Co-Prosperity Sphere

If you like art or arty music you need to go to this event. This year's Version Fest Kicks off tonight at Co-Prosperity Sphere with a wild party, an art installation, and a slew of great local live music. Tonight, Telefantasy Studios will create a temporary soundstage for performance. Please come in costume as a Sci-Fi/fantasy character to be filmed, photographed, interviewed, and auditioned. Best Costume wins a surprise. Also! Browse the 15 Minute Museum (ephemera, drawings, costumes, and models exhibited by Telefantasy Studios), enjoy a Hornswaggler retrofuturist concoction at Tech Noir Bar (by Image Search LTD and Nick Bahr, with light fixtures by Kevin Rhee), gawk at a new installation of silkscreened sculptural forms and prints by super art duo Seripop, be amazed by Go.Go!, a "Fuck-n-Go" performative installation (by Adam Van Eeckhout and Zihan Loo) and freak out with SWERVE, a dance duo from outer disco space. At 8pm: World Premier of Multinauts (episode 2) (Click here for a trailer for epsiode 1.) Finally, there will be live performances by Chandeliers, Mahjongg, Brilliant Pebbles, Mr666, Extreme Animals and D J+J+J. This event is at Co-Prosperity Sphere (3219-21 S Morgan St) from 8pm to 2am tonight.

The Nicest Man Dave Thomas Benefit Concert @ The Empty Bottle

This is a benefit to help raise money to cover Dave Thomas' massive hospital bills from cancer, featuring an assortment of local art, retail, and food up for auction.It also features live performances by The Record Low, Follows, and Amalea Tshilds. Show starts at 9:30pm, admission is $12, 21+. The Empty Bottle is located at 1035 N. Western Ave.

Chicago Nerds Show & Tell @ Dolce Casa Cafe

The Chicago Nerd Social Club invites all nerds young and old to stop by for a Show & Tell session. Attendees are encouraged to bring along a recent purchase "that excited the nerd inside you", and give a 5-minute talk about it to the assembled nerds. Show & Tell starts tonight at 6pm at Dolce Casa Cafe (4947 N. Damen), and admission is free, although you should visit the Chicago Nerds Website to RSVP for this event.

Global Activism Expo @ UIC Forum

Hosted by Worldview's Jerome McDonnell, Chicago Public Radio Presents... is thrilled to again present this remarkable celebration - complete with food, music and over 100 Chicago-area Global Activists, all featured guests of Worldview's Global Activism Series. On the air for seven years now, the series continues to be inspirational, and bringing everyone together for this Expo has quickly become an annual event. This event is free and takes place from noon to 6pm. Click here for all the juicy details.

Do It Your Own D*mn Self

If you've been thinking about trying your hand at a cool craft, getting back into creating art, or maybe you're a school teacher who likes cheap art and craft supplies, then this show is for you! The Chicago Craft Mafia has put together their 2nd annual craft supply show today from noon to 4pm at 2312 N. Milwaukee Avenue. It's near the California Blue Line stop at the corner of California and Milwaukee and 30+ sellers have gathered up a horde of supplies to practically give away. Admission is free and more details can be found here and here.

Humboldt Park Clean Up @ Paseo Boricua

Humboldt Park's Live and Help to Live Community Service and Engagement Day aims to "clean, plant and spruce up" Paseo Boricua, the public corridor marked by the neighborhood's giant Puerto Rican flags. Sponsored by the DSBDA (2459 W. Division St), neighborhood residents and outside volunteers are all invited to join together and pitch in from 9am until 3pm.

Common Borders Opens @ 33 Collective Gallery

Common Borders, a show of work by Pedro Palacios and Joe Milosevich, opens at 33 Collective Gallery (1029 W. 35th St.) tonight. The opening reception is from 7-10pm and the show will stay up through May 7.

Tradition & Reinvention Exhibition Opening and Performance Party @ Packer Schopf Gallery

This opening night event is designed to complement the two shows upstairs (Friese Undine and Ian Weaver). It's a curated show of global street banner paintings culled from the
tradition of Cantastoria. Performers Dave Buchen and Chris Schoen will perform a "scrolly" show, which consists of pictures on a scroll, which is unwound as a singer sings the narration. Clare Dolan will present a short sung history of the form using brightly colored illustrations painted on her dress, and Spiro Dousias, a Chicago puppeteer, will perform a short sung piece with pictures as well. Meredith Miller will also perform. Golosá is Chicago's premiere Russian folk choir, founded in 1997 at the University of Chicago. They will enhance this evening and sing sacred and secular Russian folk songs a capella, and will perform at various points through the night. This event is from 5-10pm tonight at Packer Schopf Gallery: 942 W. Lake St.

In a Paperweight Opens @ Tony Wight Gallery

In a Paperweight is a group show featuring the work of Walead Beshty, Sebastiaan Bremer, Daniel Gordon, Tamar Halpern, Barbara Kasten, Sara VanDerBeek and James Welling. Also opening tonight is Allison Schulnik's Home for Hobo Too. For information about the show visit Tony Wight's website, call John Henderson at 312-492-7261 or email them at info@tonywightgallery.com. Tony Wight Gallery is located at 119 N. Peoria St. The opening reception is tonight from 5-8 and the show will stay up through May 15.

MMX Spring Group Show Opens @ Zg Gallery

A selection of really talented local artists will be showing their work at Zg Gallery (300 W. Superior) starting tonight. The opening reception is from 5:30 to 7:30pm, and the show will stay up through May 22. Participating artists include Molly Briggs, Ben Butler, Amy Casey, Bill Frederick, Dan Gamble, Steve Hough, Regin Igloria, Gregory Jacobsen, Anna Jóelsdóttir, Justin Henry Miller, Mark Murphy, Martina Nehrling and Jackie Tileston. Click here to see examples of their work.

likemind Chicago @ Argo Tea

Today's the next meeting of likemind, a gathering of creative people. The meeting will be held at Argo Tea (140 S. Dearborn) this morning from 8am to 10am. No RSVP is required, though you might want to join the likemind Chicago Facebook group.

8th Annual CHIRP Record Fair And Other Delights

Now that you've got your bike out and are riding it to and fro in the early spring warmth, it's time to fasten that milk carton to the back seat as well - Spring means Record Fair season is here as well. Returning to the Chicago Journeymen Plumbers Union (1340 W. Washington) from 10am-5pm, the 2010 CHIRP Record Fair and Other Delights should be good cause to warm up your vinyl-scouring fingers. Local shops and labels, record distros, and personal collections will all be in attendance, as well as entertainment from bands and DJ sets throughout. And proceeds go to CHIRP, so you can support independent radio (even if you secretly just want to be a vinyl junkie).

Chicago Art Department Open Studios

Today from 12-4pm the Chicago Art Department opens their studio space to the public, showing their shared studio facility located at 1732 West Hubbard. In addition to studio practice, CAD will also be showing a collection of member and resident art inside of a dedicated gallery area called "Tetris". Separate from studio practice and art on the walls, drop by to learn about their upcoming programs and events, and also to meet some of our CAD artists, who will be on hand to explain their work.

Baconfest @ Stan Mansion

Baconfest, a celebration of the porky treat that has touched hearts and minds all over the world, awaits you today. Watch the website for further details.

Creative Chicago Expo @ Chicago Cultural Center

Now in its 7th year, this highly successful event connects artists and art organizations in all disciplines -- music, dance, theater, film, design, new media, fashion, publishing, visual art -- with the support, services and networks they need. This event is free and open to the public. There will be over 20 workshops, 100 vendors, and 40 consultants to help you out with anything you might need to know. The workshop topics range from grant writing to a public art crash course to "cultivating shamelessness." The expo is from 10am to 4pm today at the Cultural Center (78 E. Washington). Visit this website for details.

8th Annual CHIRP Record Fair and Other Delights

Now that you've got your bike out and are riding it to and fro in the early spring warmth, it's time to fasten that milk carton to the back seat as well - Spring means Record Fair season. Returning to the Chicago Journeymen Plumbers Union (1340 W. Washington) from 10am-5pm, the 2010 CHIRP Record Fair and Other Delights should be good cause to warm up your vinyl-scouring fingers. Local shops and labels, record distros, and personal collections will all be in attendance, as well as entertainment from bands and DJ sets throughout. And proceeds go to CHIRP, so you can support independent radio (even if you secretly just want to be a vinyl junkie).

Handmade Market

About 30 of the city's greatest makers of handmade goods will be gathering today at Empty Bottle (1035 N. Western Avenue) from noon to 4pm for another Handmade Market Chicago. The sellers will help you you pick out a few gifts for others, or yourself. You can see who is selling at the show here. And one of the best parts of this show is that you get to sip a tall frosty something while you peruse fantastic products. If you don't leave with full shopping bags, you may leave inspired, or at least a little tipsy.

Dogfish Head Night @ Sheffield's

13 draft beers from Dogfish Head plus the renowned craft brew's founder and staff will be on hand at Sheffield's (3258 N. Sheffield) from 6-11pm. The full list of brews is available here.

Chris Hales Tribute Show @ The Chicago Art Department

This event features music, words, and art for, about, by or inspired by Chris Hales: DJ Tapedek, Anti-Matter Media, and the Afters Cool Society. It is a tribute exhibition/benefit for Chris Hales, who recently passed away at the young age of 27 years. He was a devoted musician, artist, and friend. Join CAD as they celebrate his life by showing a variety of art made in his honor. Music and Poetry Performances by: Maggie Litgen, Ryan Clark, Diori, Amanda Furdge, Ryan Miller, Sharrief Muhammed, Nat Soti. This event runs from 6-10pm at the Chicago Art Department, 1837 S. Halsted St.

Emily Wardill Screening and Q&A @ SAIC

Tonight at 6pmm, Emily Wardill will be at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago for the Chicago premiere of her feature film, Game Keepers without Game, and a discussion afterward. This event is free and open to the public. 112 S. Michigan Ave. Rm. #1307.

No Impact Man @ Green Street Theater

Mindful Metropolis presents a special Chicago showing of No Impact Man, a documentary that follows the life of Colin Beavan as he decides to completely eliminate his personal impact on the environment for one year. This means going vegetarian, buying locally, avoiding elevators, television, cars, buses, and airplanes, as well as toxic cleaning products, electricity, and all material consumption. Doors open at 5:30pm for the reception, with food catered by City Provisions and desserts by The Chicago Diner. The film will begin at 7pm, followed by a presentation from local experts, including Associate Director for the Delta Institute and Director of the Green Business Development Center, Wyllys Mann, and Journalist, Writer, and Homesteader, Deborah Neiman-Boehle. Tickets are $15 in advance. The Chicago Center for Performing Arts, 777 N. Green St.

Emily Wardill Screening and Q&A @ Gene Siskel

Everything I Tell You Now Is True: The Short Films of Emily Wardill
is being screened tonight at 6pm as part of the Conversations at the Edge series at Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St. Wardill will be at the screening in person for a discussion afterward. General admission is $10.

Performance Anxiety Video Program @ Gallery 400

Go for UIC's MFA Thesis Exhibition opening from 5-8pm, and stay for Performance Anxiety, a program of short video works dealing with performances of cultural identity. In navigating complicated understandings of gender, race, class, sexuality, or existence in on- and off-line spaces, individuals accept and internalize cultural rules or ideologies and "pass"; reject them, identifying such performances as a form of cultural oppression; or even scramble and combine rules and codes in personalized constructions. Performance Anxiety (run time: approximately 50 minutes) features the work of American artists Rochelle Feinstein, Kate Gilmore, James Murray, Jeroen Nelemans, Greg Stimac and Stacia Yeapanis. Gallery 400 is located at 400 S. Peoria St. Visit their website for details.

Meetup Mashup @ Mystic Celt

The Chicago Nerd Social Club is organizing a meetup mashup for this evening at 7:30pm at the Mystic Celt (3443 N. Southport). Several other groups will be in attendance, including: a Chicago Board Games Meetup; RPG Chicago; a Chicago Horror Meetup; a Chicago Sci-Fi/Fantasy Meetup; and many more. Come along and intermingle with several other groups of like-minded people! The event is free, but you should visit the Chicago Nerds Website to RSVP for this event.

Version Fest Fundraising Party @ Co-Prosperity Sphere

In preparation for a fresh new bigger-than-ever Version Fest this year, the folks behind this amazing shindig need to find the money to pay for it all. There will be a silent auction, an art raffle, live bands, and a cash bar. Click here for details. Co-Prosperity Sphere is located in Bridgeport at 3219 S. Morgan St. and this event will take place from 7pm to 1am tonight.

I'm OK You're OK: The Art of Self Improvement Opening @ Concertina Gallery

For I'm Ok You're Ok: The Art of Self-Improvement, a group exhibition of six artists who explore appropriations of popular self-help and healing techniques. Neither entirely mocking new age and self-help trends nor blindly subscribing to their alluring promises, each artist approaches their subject in an exploratory manner. Artists include Jacob C. Hammes, Faith La Rocque & Jaimie Henthorn, Gregg Louis, Habby Osk, and Jill Pangallo. The opening reception is tonight from 7-10pm at Concertina Gallery: 2351 N. Milwaukee, 2nd Floor.

First Friday @ Flat Iron Arts

It's First Friday again, which means the studios and galleries in the Flat Iron Arts Building (1579 N. Milwaukee) in Wicker Park are all set up and open to the public. Go buy some art. Click here for details.

Casual Object Garden Opening @ Roots & Culture Gallery

Casual Object Garden features new work by Carson Fisk-Vittori and Michael Hunter. Topics covered include re-arranging pre-arranged non-arrangements through formal, temporary and permanent situations. Roots & Culture is located at 1034 N. Milwaukee Ave., and the opening is from 6-9 tonight. Click here for details.

Ted Halkin's Relief Opening @ Corbett vs. Dempsey

In his signal works of the 1950s and early 1960s, when he first emerged as one of the most important artists in Chicago, Halkin created fantastic figurative scenes painted atop topographic surfaces made of modeling paste and papier-mache, facial features and body parts poking out from the canvases in a vivid 3-D tableaux. In his most recent body of paintings, he extends the abstract elements of recent years, exploring a bright, rich, hard-hitting palette, sometimes tempered with greys and greens, featuring his virtuoso handling of multi-layered totemic and hieroglyphic forms. In many of the paintings made over the last two years, Halkin introduces papier-mache and carefully placed cotton twine as both dimensionality and image, creating yet another layer and heightening the funky energy of new works. This show of his new work, titled Relief, opens tonight at Corbett vs. Dempsey (1120 N. Ashland Ave. #3.) The reception is from 5-9pm.

Daniel Everett Opening @ MCA

Artist Daniel Everett uses technology like video games and the Internet to question everyday life. His exhibit opens today at First Fridays in the Museum of Contemporary Art's UBS 12x12 Gallery for new work and new artists. One piece in the exhibit, THE END, is a looped video clip accompanied by a photograph of crumpled papers from Everett's journal which tracks the Internet search terms that have led people to his website.

"You, Me, Them, Everybody" Live Show @ The Hungry Brain

The "You, Me, Them, Everybody" podcast is hosting it's monthly live show. Guests include author/musician/general raconteur Brian Costello, stand up comedian Cameron Esposito and Trevor McFadden of The Hoyle Brothers performing a special solo set. Jeremy Tromburg from The Ragtones will be playing piano throughout the night. Brandon Wetherbee hosts with co-host Kevin McGuire. The Hungry Brain is located at 2319 W Belmont. Doors at 8pm, 21+, no cover.

Chicago Nerd Social Club Robot Workshop @ Robot City Workshop

The humans are dead...

If you want to do your part to purge our planet of the fleshy ones, make sure you clear your calendar for the Robot Wars Robot Workshop.

From Rossum to WALL-E, geeks around the world have envisioned both robotic dystopias and utopias, and today from 2pm-5pm @ The Robot City Workshop (3226 N. Sheffield) the Chicago Nerd Social Club is assembling its first Robot Workshop.

Seats are $60 which includes your kit and the workshop fee, and are limited, so make your reservation for robotic world domination now!

Binary solo!

0000001
00000011...

IN>TIME @ The Cultural Center

IN>TIME is a Chicago performance series of local, national, and international artists. Developed as a collaboration between DCA Theater and the Chicago Performance Network, the event features practitioners working with ideas of time and body, crossing the performing body with text, objects, sounds, visual art, and technology. This year's showcase event is co-sponsored by The School of the Art Institute of Chicago's Performance Department and features performances by Justin Cabrillos, Angela Ellsworth, Every House has a Door and Jessica Hannah. This event will take place at the Cultural Center (78 E. Washington) tonight from 6 to 9.

Politics of the Black Body Lecture @ Intuit

Using Ulysses Davis's series of presidential portrait busts as a point of departure, art historian Amy Mooney, Ph.D. will explore the politics of black representation in art and visual culture from the 19th to 21st centuries today at Intuit. From the recent controversy over Sheppard Fairey's depiction of President Obama to the stereotypes found in Sigmund Krausz's 1896 publication Street Types of Great American Cities, Dr. Mooney will consider the ways in which U.S. social institutions employed the black image as a means of furthering opposing political agendas of uplift and oppression. Sharing an excerpt from her forthcoming book, Portraits of Noteworthy Character, Dr. Mooney will present the historic framework that continues to inform our expectations of representation. Dr. Mooney is Associate Professor of Art History, Visual Culture, & Critical Theory at Columbia College in Chicago. This lecture starts at 11am today at Intuit (756 N Milwaukee) and is free and open to the public.

Richard Hull Solo Show Opens @ Western Exhibitions

This is renowned local artist and SAIC instructor Richard Hull's first solo show at Western Exhibitions. Gallery 1 will be devoted to paintings and in Gallery 2, Hull will show one large charcoal drawing of a concentrically repetitive amoeba-like form, two crayon drawings and two watercolors featuring imagery related to his Klein bottle inside/outside concerns. Click here for images of his work. Western Exhibitions is located at 119 N. Peoria, Suite 2A. The reception is from 5-8pm tonight. Click here for more information.

Cigar Tweetup @ Tesa Cigar

Daniel Honigman and the #cigarchat crew host a Chicago Cigar Tweetup tonight at Tesa Cigar, 464 N. Halsted St., from 6 to 10pm. Tesa Cigars will be running a buy three get one free deal on its own cigars, and complementary Wild Scotsman scotch samples will be served. Free. 21+

Culinary Conversation with Food Women @ The Downtown Farmstand

In celebration of Women's History Month, Judith Dunbar-Hines will lead a lively conversation with five women who own and operate Chicago area food businesses to learn about their journey establishing, operating and marketing their successful operations. This event will take place at Chicago's Downtown Farmstand (66 E. Randolph), which will remain open until 8pm to accommodate post-event shoppers. Participants include Nicole Bergere, Nicole's Crackers; Jessica Volpe, Pasta Puttana; Jenny Yang, Phoenix Tofu; Meg Dhamer, Pigtales Twist; and Elizabeth Madden, Rare Bird. Admission is free but capacity is limited. Advance registration is required by calling (312) 742-8497.

Improvised Electro-Acoustic Concert @ U of C

Tonight at 8pm the University of Chicago hosts this electro-acoustic concert of improvised music, inspired by space, place, and energy. The combined credits for the three musicians playing reads like a who's who in experimental music, both home and abroad. Moments of combustion. Moments of meditation. Their work can revolve around a gestural dynamic one minute and a serendipitous serenity the next. This concert will take place in Bond Chapel, 1050 East 59th Street (directly east of Cobb Hall). Admission is free.

Chicago Chef Week Begins

Chicago Chef Week is a prix fixe promotion at a juicy list of local places (Boka, Spring, Province, etc.): diners will be treated to $20 lunch and $30 dinner specials. No complaints here. Event starts today and runs through March 28.

Sillier Than Thou Tour @ Elastic Arts

The Sillier Than Thou Tour stops at Elastic Arts tonight and features Louis Logic and Type with Dubasaurus vs. Phillip Morris and DJ White Owl. Elastic Arts is located at 2830 N. Milwaukee, Floor 2. Show starts at 9pm. $7. All ages.

Annual Real St. Patrick's Day Parade @ The Whale

The Annual Real St. Patrick's Day Parade is today! It will kickoff between 3-5pm and go 'till 4am, or come at noon to help with floats (2025 S Halsted -- enter through back alley). All -- people, costumes, floats, music, intoxicants -- are welcome. So are kids, but if you bring them you are responsible for their safety at the Whale, in the Tetanus Garden, and on the street.

Looking For: New Works @ Salvage One

The Looking For: New Works project asks a simple question: What are you looking for? Mike Nourse and Marta Sasinowska ask people what they are looking for in life, and the answers point to the power of searching and how jobs can lead to a sense of self. Answers are also used to setup scenes that are digitally shot. Images from the photo shoot are mined and ultimately a large-scale portrait is gel-medium transferred onto a found window. With the finished works and exhibition Nourse and Sasinowska present a time and place to feature individuals who are searching, and a forum to discuss the larger questions behind employment. The opening reception for this show will be from 4 to 7 tonight at Salvage One: 1840 W Hubbard.

Scavenger Hunt @ Hoosier Mama

Hoosier Mama Pie Company celebrates its first birthday today with a scavenger hunt. Participants (teams of 1-3) will complete for a year's supply of pie (say it with me!). Must register in advance. Event begins at noon, 1618 West Chicago

Cordy Ryman @ Kavi Gupta

With accessible materials like Velcro, manufactured woods, enamels and various other found objects, Ryman constructs simple and elegant forms that conflate the aesthetics of Minimalism and Post Painterly Abstraction. Rough and casual, Ryman's sculptures treat the reductive movements that form the apex of Modern Art as pliable components employed toward a yet unfinished project. Without being overwrought or playing to the lowest common denominator, they represent a strategy for how art can leave behind the limiting principles of our last century and engage formalism for today. His solo show opens today at Kavi Gupta Gallery (835 W. Washington) and will stay up through April 24. Click here to see images of Ryman's work.

Then is Now at Carrie Secrist Gallery

Then is Now is a dual exhibition featuring works by Phyllis Bramson and Judith Geichman, opening tonight. Both Bramson and Geichman are interested in unconventional beauty and a certain kind of visual clarity in their work. Additionally, they share several common sources including including Chinoiserie, Toile de Jou, Chinese scholar rocks, Rococo, abstraction, and elements of collage. The opening reception for this show is tonight from 5 to 8 at Carrie Secrist Gallery (835 W. Washington Blvd.) and the show will stay up through April 24. Visit the gallery's website for more information.

Swap-O-Rama-Rama @ Chicago Waldorf School

The international phenomenon Swap-O-Rama-Rama is a clothing swap and series of do-it-yourself workshops in which a community explores creative reuse through the recycling of used clothing. SORR explores a new kind of studio, bringing together the art-knowledgeable and the art-curious in a spontaneous maker-centic community. Promoting the DIY ethos of creators not consumers, the SORR "studio" is manifested when hundreds of makers congregate; bringing with them clothing, materials, tools, and knowledge. The shared space has rules (such as "no mirrors") to force interaction: the catalyst for community. This crowded, noisy, joyous, creative, energetic event forces participants to share materials, space, tools, ideas, opinions and knowledge. Art emerges as a product of interaction and exploration around reuse. To get in, bring a bag of clothes and a $20 donation ($10 students/seniors) or pay what you can. This event is from 9-5pm today at Chicago Waldorf School: 1300 W Loyola. (And 1-5pm tomorrow.) There are other events as part of the SORR Chicago weekend such as an Inspiration Fashion Show and a screening of "Handmade Nation" - see Swap-IL.com for details.

Chicago Alderman Project @ Johalla Projects

50 artists from across Chicago have made portraits of 50 Chicago alderman in a project that was conceived as a vehicle to get people who don't normally think about politics to think again. Go and try to find your alderman. The opening is tonight from 7-11pm at Johalla Projects: 1561 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Wet Paint Closing Exhibition @ Zhou B. Art Center

This is your last chance to see the wildly popular Wet Paint exhibition, a collection of new paintings by 52 MFA students hand picked from around the country. The closing reception is tonight from 7 to 10pm at the Zhou B. Art Center: 1029 W. 35th St. For more information about the show, visit this website.

AROUND @ EBERSMOORE

Around was curated by William Staples and features artists Dianna Frid, Deva Graf, Anne Simon, Brian Taylor, and Scott Wolinak. What is intended by this small exhibit is to concentrate solely on one formal quality (3-dimensionality, viewed from 360 degrees) of the discipline of sculpture so as to examine how some contemporary artists approach this essentially exclusive experience of it. The opening reception is from 6-9 tonight at EBERSMOORE gallery ( 213 N Morgan #3C) and the show will stay up through April 17. For further information, please contact the gallery: info@ebersmoore.com or call 312-772-3021.

Anti-War Rally @ Federal Plaza

Rally on the anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. The rally will focus on the war in Afghanistan as well. Organized by the Chicago Coalition Against War and Racism, the protest will begin at 5:30pm at Federal Plaza, 200 S. Dearborn St.

RSVP on Facebook.

E.M.P.A.C.T. Fundraiser Party @ The Wicker Well

The goal of E.M.P.A.C.T. is to spread culture, diversity, and knowledge of community issues while providing a common ground for activists, educators, artists, and community organizers to celebrate the commonality of their struggles. Tonight's party is a fundraiser for the Latino Union of Chicago. MC Luis Tubens will perform and there will also be live music from Magic Carpet, Matt Ulery's Loomand as always the People's DJs Collective spinning dance tunes. $5 donation, 21+. The Wicker Well is located at 1637 W North Ave. This party goes from 9pm to 2am tonight.

Tiny Houses @ (C)TAS

Take a peek at the lives of inhabitants and the transgressions they commit in the privacy of their little homes in this gallery installation by Ania Greiner-- 3 Card Molly and a sound performance at 7pm by Joseph Kramer. The reception is tonight from 4:30-8:30pm at The (Con)temporary Art Space: 208 S Wabash. The installation will stay up through March 24.

Two Brothers Tapping Event @ Hopleaf

Two Brothers Brewing Co. is celebrating the release of two of their new J-Series ales at Hopleaf (5148 N Clark).

On tap are the new Resistance IPA and Long Haul Session Ale. Both use French Oak Brewing Tanks (called "foudres") to age the ales. Swing by and see if you can taste the difference! Event details are located on the Hopleaf website, found here.

Pi(e) Day @ Firkin

The Chicago Nerd Social Club presents a Pi(e) Day celebration at Firkin (670 West Diversey). Among the events: a pie contest; a contest to see who can rattle off the most digits of pi; and a one minute basic math test. The event runs from 5pm to 8pm. Tickets are $5, or free if you're participating in the pie contest. Full information and tickets available at the Chicago Nerds Website.

Hideout "Sending the Four-star City to the Lone Star State" All-Day Party

The Hideout once again throws a big (and we mean BIG) send-off bash for some of their favorite Chicago bands heading down south to show Austin how we do at SXSW. Come and spend the day and listen to the likes of The Hood Internet, Via Tania, The Life During Wartime DJs, Plastic Crimewave Sound, Tom Schraeder, and many more! Details. Tickets are $10 and are available at the door only (first come, first served). Music starts at 3pm. The Hideout is located at 1354 W. Wabansia. (773) 227-4433.

Handmade Market

About 30 of the city's greatest makers of handmade goods will be gathering today at Empty Bottle (1035 N. Western Avenue) from Noon to 4pm for another Handmade Market Chicago. The sellers will help you you pick out a few gifts for others, or yourself. You can see who is selling at the show here. And one of the best parts of this show is that you get to sip a tall frosty something while you peruse fantastic products. If you don't leave with full shopping bags, you may leave inspired, or at least a little tipsy.

Lecture: Cinema and Hypnotism @ U of C

Today at 6:30pm Stefan Andriopoulos (Associate Professor, Department of Germanic Languages at Columbia University) gives a lecture on hypnotism in cinema. Andriopoulos is the author of Possessed: Hypnotic Crimes, Corporate Fiction, and the Invention of Cinema, which won the SLSA Michelle Kendrick award for best academic book on literature, science, and the arts. Tracing a preoccupation with mesmerism and possession through the era of silent films, Andriopoulos pays particular attention to the terrifying notion of murder committed against one's will. Films like The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler famously portrayed the hypnotist's seemingly unlimited power on the movie screen. This event will take place in Swift Hall room 106. 1025 East 58th Street (on the Main Quadrangle of the University, directly east of Cobb Hall). Admission is free.

Diez de Marzo Rally Para Derechos De Immigrantes

The annual march for immigrants' rights organized by the March 10th Movement. This year the theme is "National Coming out the Shadows Day." The march will begin at Union Park at 2pm and will end at Federal Plaza.

RSVP on Facebook.

Westboro Baptist Church @ UIC, Newberger Hillel Center, National Committee Office

The group that brought the world www.godhatesfags.com, and the same church that picketed outside of Iraq veterans funerals will be coming to Chicago today. Several GLBTQ groups are planning pickets and protests against the Westboro Baptist Church.

The Westboro Baptist Church will be local hillels in the morning, and various other locations throughout the day. RSVP on Facebook and go here for more details.

What the Hell Do You Know About Afghanistan?

With Obama sending thousands of more troops to Afghanistan, now would be a good time to learn a bit about the country that we may spend the next few decades occupying. Luckily Iraq Veterans Against the War are hosting a forum at 8 PM at the Hideout on 1354 West Wabansia, for everyone who didn't do so well in geography to catch up. $10 requested donation


RSVP on Facebook.

Iron Cupcake Chile @ Smash Cake

This month Iron Cupcake challenge is between Irma from Beautiful Cake and Michelle from Bleeding Heart Bakery and the special ingredient is chile. $5 gets you in the door and plenty of cupcakes. Other food and beverages will be available for sale. The event will be hosted at Smash Cake, located at 2961 North Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL. To register or more info: beautifulcakes@sbcglobal.net. For more information on the history of Iron Cupcake, go here.

Video Game LAN Party @ Ignite Network

The Chicago Nerd Social Club is hosting a LAN party at Ignite Network (3171 N. Clybourn) from 4pm to 7:30pm. All levels of player are invited to attend ant play Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2. The cost is $10 for 3 hours, or $4/hour. Full details and RSVP at the Chicago Nerds Website.

Oscar Night at Gene Siskel Film Center

Gene Siskel Film Center, located at 164 N. State Street, will be offering everything just short of acceptance speeches for this year's Oscar night, including complimentary food and drinks, a red carpet entry, and of course, a live showing of the Academy Awards on two big screens! It is the only Chicago event recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Tickets are $100- call (312) 846-2072 to purchase.

Vibrator Opens @ Knock Knock Gallery

Vibrator: New Work by Jacob Goudreault and Carmen Price, with special guests Billy Kang, C.J. Matherne, and Tyson Reeder opens tonight at Knock Knock Gallery. Expect to see some serious dude art. Seriously, dude. The reception is from 6-10 tonight. Knock Knock Gallery is located at 3658 S. Wolcott Apt 2F.

Strange Tales Saturday @ Challengers Comics

Chicago Comics and Challengers team up today for a celebration of Marvel's Strange Tales hardcover, featuring creators Michael Kupperman, Becky Cloonan, and Jeffrey Brown. Signings and panels take place at both stores: go here for the details. 1pm-4pm. The only catch to this two-store extravaganza is that purchase of a Strange Tales hardcover from either store the week of signing (with receipt as proof) is required to attend the signing.

Third Coast Filmless Festival @ MCA

The MCA partners with the Third Coast International Audio Festival to present the Filmless Festival. This all-day event presents a variety of storytelling, audio documentaries, and sound in the form of unique audio screenings from some of the most innovative and celebrated radio producers. Highlights include a special presentation of a documentary-in-progress with Joe Richman, a celebration of the launch of the book Reality Radio with Ira Glass and the Kitchen Sisters, and presentations from past winners of the Third Coast/Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition. Q&As with the producers follow each presentation. This is the seventh event in the second season of Chicago Public Radio Presents. A festival pass is $30, MCA members $24 (subject to availability), evening screening only is $15, $12 MCA members. Any single daytime screening: $8, $6 for MCA and WBEZ members. Get your tickets through the MCA website. The festival begins at 11:30am and the evening event begins at 8pm. All performances take place in the MCA Theater and Kanter Meeting Center at the MCA: 220 E. Chicago Ave.

Against Budget Cuts @ UIC

Today is a National Day to Defend Education from privatization and budget cuts. Several organizations such at the Graduate Employees Organization, SEIU Local 73 and the Against Budget Cuts Coalition at the University of Illinois Chicago will be hosting events.

The first event is debate with UIC administrators at noon in Room 605 Student Center East, 750 S. Halsted. However the administrators have already said that they will not attend. The coalition will then rally in the UIC Quad and march at 2pm.

I'm There: A Birthday Celebration for Chicago @ Chicago Art Department

I'm There: A Birthday Celebration for the City of Chicago is meant to give a celebratory real-time, ground level look at the current state of three pivotal neighborhoods in Chicago--Wicker Park, Wrigleyville and Pilsen. Each neighborhood will be represented visually by a photographer and musically with a DJ from each 'hood. Each photographer and DJ collaborated to take unique shots for a one night only photography exhibit that is meant to produce a truly unique and personal journey into their neighborhood and lives as influential artists in the city. America's Dog will be providing food, 404 Wine Bar will be sampling some spectacular wines, and Bleeding Heart Bakery is putting together a cake of epic proportions. There will be a hosted Old Style bar from 7-8pm with a donation-based wet bar after that. Admission is free from 7-11pm. Chicago Art Department is located at 1837 S. Halsted.

First Tuesdays with the Midwest Independent Film Festival

This event showcases work by Midwest filmmakers on the first Tuesday of the month, providing an opportunity to view upcoming talent, network, or just talk about film. This Tuesday welcomes in Female Filmmakers Night. Cocktails at 6pm, film screens at 7:30pm. Landmark Century Centre Cinema, 2828 N. Clark St., $10-$15.

Matt Saunders Exhibition Opens @ The Renaissance Society

In drawings, paintings, short films, and photographic works, Matt Saunders recasts images, often taken from film or television, into new narratives about portraiture and spectatorship. His subject matter is a diverse cast of characters, spanning World War II and the Cold War, providing a kind of stuttering record of 20th Century lives. This is an exhibition about painting, and also about moving pictures, how they are found, loved, and lost. The opening reception is today from 4-7pm with a talk with the artist from 5-6 pm, in Cobb Hall Room 307 (directly below the gallery.) The Renaissance Society is located on the U of C campus, at 5822 S. Ellis Ave. This show will stay up through April 11.

South Shore Opera Company of Chicago Salutes Black History Month

The South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. South Shore Dr., welcomes the South Shore Opera Company of Chicago tonight at 5:30pm for its Black History Month concert. This musical tribute will feature selections from pianist/composer George E. Cooper, who will be accompanied by singers Robert Sims, Kimberly Jones and Cornelius Johnson. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Dr. Marvin Lynn, Executive Director, at marvinlynn@southshoreopera.org or (773) 241-6147.

Laura Veirs @ Corbett vs. Dempsey

Singer/Songwriter Laura Veirs performs an acoustic set at Corbett vs. Dempsey today. With a personal songwriting sensibility and fantastical lyrics that emanate from her native Portland, Oregon, Veirs has carved a unique niche for herself. She'll start her set at 5:30pm. The event is free, but space is limited so go early, and be prepared to sit on the floor. It will be worth it! Corbett vs. Dempsey Gallery is located at 1120 N. Ashland Ave. #3.

VIPink @ Cuvee Lounge

Bright Pink holds their fourth annual VIPink event on Friday February 26th. Stop by the Cuvee Lounge (308 W. Erie Street) from 8 to 11 p.m. to help fund Bright Pink's information sessions about breast and ovarian health. Tickets are $50 in advance and $60 at the door. Visit Bright Pink's website for more information.

Alumni Opens @ David Weinberg Gallery

Alumni features the new work of a handful of recent graduates from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago-- Noelle Allen, Helen Maurene Cooper, Amy Mayfield and Michael Ratulowski. There is something for everyone at this show. The opening is from 5-8 tonight and the show will stay up through April 10. David Weinberg Gallery is located at 300 W. Superior St. Suite 203.

Fever Dream Opens @ Roots & Culture Gallery

The premise of this exhibit is to address painting as an increasingly abstract notion, and to consider its inherent sculptural and object based possibilities. Work will be shown by Jacob Goudreault, Angel Otero, Max Reinhardt, Simon Slater, and Easton Miller. Also, a new installation by Jessica Labatte will be featured in the project window. The opening for this show is tonight from 6-9pm and the show will stay up through March 27. Roots & Culture Gallery is located at 1034 N. Milwaukee Ave. Call them at 773-235-8874 for more information or visit their website.

Soundings: The Chayah Drawings @ Experimental Sound Studio

Michele Feder-Nadoff's chayah drawings are large suspended pieces, viewed from both the front and rear. They engage the viewer like manuscript sheets or layers of tanned skin, unattached to walls and wafting in the air currents stirred up by passers by. The opening reception will run from 6-9pm and features a musical performance by Douglas Ewart at 7. Experimental Sound Studio is located at 5925 N. Ravenswood. Call them at 773-769-1069 for more information.

Human Rights Watch Happy Hour @ Flatwater

Human Rights Watch is hosting a free happy hour and brief discussion with South Asia experts tonight from 5:30pm - 7pm at Flatwater (321 North Clark ). Ali Dayan Hasan (Lahore) and Meenakshi Ganguly (Mumbai) work together to expose and prevent human rights abuses in Southern Asia. They will share their personal experiences investigating and reporting on both sides of the conflict in Kashmir and examine the challenges to security in India and Pakistan that have come to dominate today's headlines.

Flatwater is providing complimentary appetizers. RSVP to Stephen Steim at stephen.steim@hrw.org or (312) 573-2452.

Ken Fandell @ Donald Young Gallery

Arguably the best artist in Chicago, Ken Fandell, has a show opening today at Donald Young Gallery called Squares and Circles and Sex and Stardust. Don't miss it! Donald Young is located at 224 S. Michigan Ave., Suite 266, and the reception starts at 5pm. Call the gallery at (312) 322-3600 for more information.

Agents of Change @ the Korova

Sonic terrorists Agents of Change bring their funkified political punk rock to the southwest suburb of Morris at the Korova, 425 E. US Rt. 6. If there is a riot, at least there will be a good soundtrack. Also performing Lethal Scriptures, Sicken With You, AllGood, and Black Matt. $8 cover. RSVP on Facebook.

Culinary Conversation with Terra Brockman @ The Downtown Farmstand

Tonight from 6-7:30pm at Chicago's Downtown Farmstand. (66 E Randolph)Terra Brockman, author of The Seasons on Henry's Farm: A Year of Food and Life on a Sustainable Farm, will join Judith Dunbar-Hines of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs for a conversation and reading followed by a book signing. Capacity is limited, advance registration is required by calling (312) 742-8497 or clicking here.

D&D 101 @ Dice Dojo

Always wanted to play Dungeons & Dragons, but never had enough friends to start? The Chicago Nerd Social Club has you covered. This afternoon you can attend D&D 101 at Chicagoland Games: The Dice Dojo (5550 N. Broadway), which includes a discussion of the history and importance of the game before attendees are split up into groups to play D&D. The event starts at 5:30pm and runs through (at least) 8:30. Admission is a mere $2. For more information and to sign up please see the Chicago Nerd Social Club Website.

Dame-Nation @ The Portage Theater

Chicago Girls Rock presents Dame-Nation, an evening of homegrown hard rock, featuring seven female-led bands. VH1's Ambre Lake presents the lineup: Whiskey Blonde; Losing Scarlet; The Hannah Ford Band; SAGE4, F.H.O.D.; Dead Man's Wake; and headliner High Gloss Black. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. For tickets and info go to Chicago Girls Rock.

Polar Adventure Days

Don't forget to dress warm for the fifth annual Polar Adventure Days series, an all ages event featuring a real dog sled team, ice sculptures as well as winter tales told by story tellers. A great activity for the whole family! This free event takes place on February 20 from noon to 4PM @ 1400 S. Lynn White Drive. Check out the website for more info.

Speakeasy Reading Series Presents: The Heart @ Worshop

This is a collaborative reading performance by a bunch of local, young, super-creative creative writers featuring art installations and snacks donated by Bleeding Heart Bakery. They are asking for a $5 donation to benefit The International Medical Alliance Relief Effort in Haiti. This event is from 7-9pm at Workshop (818 W. 18th St.).

Grand Opening Group Show Opens Today @ The (Con)Temporary Art Space

As part of the Chicago Loop Alliance's Pop-Up Art Loop Gallery Project, The (Con)Temporary Art Space celebrates their grand opening today from 4:30 to 8:30pm with a group show by its founding members. Stop by and find out how you can have a show in their Display Case Gallery or participate in the space, or help them create a collaborative map of the city's "Other Culture." The (Con)Temporary Art Space is located at 208 S. Wabash. Visit their website for more information.

Animal City, Members Only, etc. @ The Empty Bottle

Go the the Empty Bottle tonight for an evening of cheap drinks and great tunes from three times zones, starting with State Champion, followed by a set of newly arranged gems by locals Animal City. The talented Weatherbox from San Diego play after that. Headliners Ed Mar (Co-Prosperity Sphere co-founder) and Kenny Z's karaoke brain child, Members Only, will have you dancing the beer off 'till 2am. The doors open at 8:30pm tonight at The Empty Bottle (1035 N. Western.) Tickets are $8 at the door. 21+.

E.M.P.A.C.T. Fundraiser Party @ The Wicker Well

This month E.M.P.A.C.T. is raising funds for the Chicago Delegation to The U.S. Social Forum in Detroit so folks who can't otherwise afford it can make it to this historic gathering of 15,000+ activists, artists & cultural workers. The process is bringing together Chicagoans across the city & across sectors so folks can get down with building a city that works for everyone. Live Brasilian music will be provided by Planeta Azul Samba Band, an artistically rich group of Brazilian musicians complimented by the "Passistas" Samba dancers. And Ang G, Brotha Onaci, David Marques & Scrabblor of the People's DJs' Collective will keep the dance floor hot! There will be art, vendors and drink specials too. $5 donation. 21+. This event will run from 9:45pm to 2am tonight at The Wicker Well (1637 W. North Ave.).

Get Up With The Get Downs @ Cobra Lounge

This is the last show of their Cobra Residency, and afterward they're taking time off to work on new stuff for the James Brown birthday party in a few months. Elev8or opens for them at 9:30pm and then it's a night of jumpin', screamin', and dancin'. Good times to be had. The Cobra Lounge is located at 235 N. Ashland. 21+.

Soul Summit Dance Party @ The Double Door

Local DJ's spin explosive, raw R&B, Soul and Funk at the Double Door Tonight. The party starts at 10pm... there are bands playing before it starts, so tell the doorman you're there for the dance party to get in free. The Double Door is located at 1572 N. Milwaukee Ave. 21+.

Wildbirds & Peacedrums @ Metro

Sweden's Wildbirds and Peacedrums performs at Metro (3730 N. Clark) tonight, with Brooklyn's St. Vincent headlining. Doors open at 8pm. The show starts at 9pm and is 18 and over. Tickets are $16 in advance, $18 day of show.

Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade

Ring in the Year of the Tiger 4708 in Chinatown today, starting with the parade at 1pm and a host of other events throughout the area. The parade runs on Wentworth from 24th St. to Cermak Rd. Details.

Strange Tales Saturday @ Challengers Comics Postponed

The Strange Tales signing with Michael Kupperman, Becky Cloonan and Jeffrey Brown has been postponed to Saturday, March 6.

Damian Abraham's X420X @ Concertina Gallery

Damian Abraham, perhaps better known as Pink Eyes, frontman of Toronto-based punk band Fucked Up, is an accomplished illustrator whose work constructs a visual language based on highly detailed and grotesque characters. X420X is Abraham's first solo exhibition, and is comprised of two serial projects and a site-specific wall drawing. His show opens tonight at Concertina Gallery (2351 N Milwaukee, Floor 2). The opening reception is from 6-8:30pm. Fucked Up will perform at the Viaduct Theater (3111 N. Western) immediately following the opening.

Cupid Cats of Chicago @ GTT

Animal trainer Samantha Martin brings her troupe of trained felines to Gorilla Tango Theatre for two shows tonight. Cats aren't the only animal Martin has trained in her career; her previous work includes chickens in the award-winning documentary Natural History of the Chicken, which led to an appearance, with chickens, on The Tonight Show. Martin's cats perform a variety of entertaining tricks involving wheels, hoops, and a musical act called The RockCats.

The cats will be performing today at 1919 N. Milwaukee Ave at 4pm and 5:30pm, tickets are $15. For tickets and info call (773) 598-4549 or visit Gorilla Tango Theatre's website. To view a clip of Martin and her charges, visit YouTube.

Paczki Eating Contest @ Bennison's Bakery

If I'm not a contestant, I will be enviously watching eight teams of two gobble down paczki for money and prizes today at Bennison's Bakery, 1000 Davis Street in Evanston at 3pm. Join me. Or join a team; call (847) 328-9434 to register.

Painting Panel Discussion & Gallery Openings

Today, Chicago celebrates painting. Starting with a panel discussion all about painting at 9:30am, (until 12pm at the Hyatt Regency) and continuing on with several gallery openings: JULIUS CÆSAR at 4pm, continuing to Shane Campbell Gallery at 6pm, and ending at the 119 N Peoria Building in the West Loop at Rowley Kennerk Gallery and Western Exhibitions, from 7 to 10pm. Both the panel discussion and the exhibitions feature some of the best and most well-versed painters in Chicago. Visit the individual galleries' websites (linked above) for more information.

Handmade Market

About 30 of the city's greatest makers of handmade goods will be gathering today at Empty Bottle (1035 N. Western Avenue) from noon to 4pm for another Handmade Market Chicago. The sellers will help you you pick out a few gifts for others, or yourself. You can see who is selling at the show here. And one of the best parts of this show is that you get to sip a tall frosty something while you peruse fantastic products. If you don't leave with full shopping bags, you may leave inspired, or at least a little tipsy.

Sweet Saturday @ Garfield Park Conservatory

Sweet Saturdays return to the Garfield Park Conservatory (300 N Central Park Ave) today from 11am to 4pm. Focused on plants that provide the key ingredients to some of our favorite sweet treats, this family friendly event allows visitors of all ages to sample the facts, the flavors and the fun of some of the most tantalizing tropical treats. Today's feature is vanilla tasting, brought to you by Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Specialists of Waukegan, Illinois. There's also live music in Horticulture Hall's Sweet Saturdays' Tropical Café and hands-on activity stations. Suggested donation is $3.

Photographs by Jeff Harvey @ Strange Beauty Show

Strange Beauty Show, the funky salon at 1118 N. Ashland, hosts the opening of In Bed: Photographs by Jeff Harvey from 7pm-10pm. Jeff Harvey is an artist, graphic designer and musician who explores the personal space of peoples' bedrooms and how beds themselves function in our lives. The artwork will stay up in Strange Beauty Show until the end of April.

Cocktails and Clay @ Hyde Park Art Center

Think night on the town meets playing in the mud. Join Vocalo for a late night clay-making, dance-partying, gallery-hopping good time. There will be 45-minute sessions in the clay studio at Hyde Park Art Center, a DJ mixing live and drink specials from 8pm to 12am. The suggested donation for this event is $15. The Hyde Park Art Center is located at 5020 S. Cornell Ave.

ANTEXPAGNA and 4x4 @ EBERSMOORE Gallery

An exhibition of trippy graphite drawings by Chicago artist Ryan Travis Christian and equally trippy geometric paintings by San Francisco artist Jonathan Runcio opens today at EBERSMOORE Gallery, which is located at 213 N Morgan, #3C. The opening reception is from 6-9pm tonight and the show will stay up through March 13. Call the gallery at 312) 772-3021 for more information, or visit their website.

UIC Open Studios @ Gallery 400

Come out and see what the future of art looks like. UIC's MFA students open up their studios and show their newest work to the public today, from 5:30 to 7pm at 400 S. Peoria St.

Sweet Tooth Bake Sale/Art Show for Chicago Art

This bake sale benefit features an art installation by James Casper Jankowiak, art display by glitter artist Sue Zola and an art raffle by 12 artists, and music by local DJs. A $20 door donation gets you complimentary wine and beer along with a complimentary pastry ticket. The money goes to several Chicago-based arts organizations. This event is from 6-10pm at 2003 S. Halsted. Click here for more information.

Merge @ evilOlive

Indie design meetup Bevel--Emboss Merge kicks off another collaborative networking (and drinking) event at evilOlive (1551 W. Division St) tonight from 8p until 3a. Described as a "free party for passionate people in the creative industry", the event's young ambassador, Mig Reyes, seeks to creates alternative spaces for Chicago's design talent to meet, collaborate and make the industry better. Designer? Copywriter? Photographer? Illustrator? Motion Artist? Filmmaker? It doesn't matter--as long as you're into drinks.

Blowing Kisses @ EP Theatre

Chicago-based indie film collective Rubbish launches their experimental public art project Blowing Kisses tonight at EP Theatre (1820 S. Halsted). Originally created for the 2008 Looptopia event, Blowing Kisses offers anyone who loves Chicago a chance to write or record a personal love letter to the Windy City and be featured on the Blowing Kisses website. The launch party will also feature work from local artists and designers Long Live Analog, Visual Armory, Art School Girl, Dessert for Breakfast, Mean Millies, Emmy Star Brown, Aaron Scamihorn, Joe Van Wetering, Firebelly Design and soopaqoot as well as live acoustic sets from Miles Benjamin of The Loneliest Monk, Jason Ewers & Emmy Chen of Ornery Little Darlings, Reddelicous and others. Come on out and blow your kisses from 7pm to midnight.

Dancers at Work Forum: New Directions in Presenting Chicago Dance @ Cultural Center

In this panel discussion, dance artists learn about the range of spaces available for presenting new dance work in Chicago. Presenting organizations discuss their missions in featuring dance to local audiences in addition to opportunities or services they offer for developing local artists. From new community collectives to experimental spaces to established presenting venues, this panel will offer the scoop on ways to build a profile as a dance artist in Chicago. This discussion starts today at 6pm on the 5th floor of the Chicago Cultural Center: 78 E. Washington. Admission is free.

Ice Skating Lessons @ McCormick Tribune Plaza and Ice Rink

Lace up and show off your skills in skating... or falling at the ice rink on Michigan Ave. For those who wish, there will be free ice skating lessons today through February 28, Saturdays and Sundays 8am-10am. Open to all ages and skill levels. Millennium Park is also host to one of Chicago's hottest dance parties this winter with extended skating hours and a dance theme each weekend in February. A few themes include a tribute to Michael Jackson, Love songs and Twilight. Admission is free with own skates; skate rental is $10. Visit the website for a complete schedule and more information.

Sweet Saturday @ Garfield Park Observatory

Sweet Saturdays return to the Garfield Park Conservatory (300 N Central Park Ave) today from 11a to 4p. Focused on plants that provide the key ingredients to some of our favorite sweet treats, this family friendly event allows visitors of all ages to sample the facts, the flavors and the fun of some of the most tantalizing tropical treats. Today's feature is honey tasting, brought to you by the Conservatory's Volunteer Beekeepers, who care for the Conservatory's 12-hive apiary. There's also live music in Horticulture Hall's Sweet Saturdays' Tropical Café and hands-on activity stations. Suggested donation is $3.

D. Rider, I Kong Kult, and Avagami @ The Hideout

Yep. That's all. D. Rider, I Kong Kult, and Avagami play the Hideout tonight. Should be a wild show. Starts at 10pm. The Hideout is located at 1354 W. Wabansia.

Paul Kahan @ The Hideout

Chicago culinary idol, Paul Kahan of Blackbird, Avec, The Publican, and Big Star is the subject of the two-year anniversary of The Interview Show at The Hideout. Hosted by Mark Bazer and joined by the founders of Bloodshot Records, The Blacks and comedy duo Dominizuelan. 6:30pm-8:30pm. $5.

Now You See it, Now You Don't @ Flat Iron Arts

At 6pm tonight about 40 local artists -- many of them artists-in-residents at the Flat Iron -- unveil interconnected murals throughout the building's hallways and then, at 10pm, destroy the work by painting over it. While you're there, visit the open galleries to see more of the artists' work. A $5 donation for admission includes snacks and booze. The Flat Iron Arts Building is located at 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Benefit for the Whale @ Co-Prosperity Sphere

In December an electrical fire destroyed the Whale, home of the utopian secret society/art collective, The Order of the Lamprey. All three Pilsen artists and their pets survived, but now they need to pay bills, rebuild, and above all, return to their former glory. To help, Lumpen Magazine is throwing a party, with a suggested donation of $10. Bands performing include Black Nag, Thin Man, Son of Cops (ex-Drapes), Members Only (80s glitter covers), and DJaded. This show's also a release party for the special 114th issue of Lumpen, "Looking for Answers." The magazine is free upon entry. The party will go from 9pm-2am at Co-Prosperity Sphere: 3219 S. Morgan, Bridgeport.

Education Policy Summit

The fiscally conservative Illinois Policy Institute is hosting this free summit-and-luncheon, "In Our Hands: Vouchers and the Future of Education in Illinois," to discuss school vouchers in the state. The Reverend Sen. James Meeks will speak after the meal. Who says there's no such thing as a free lunch? Panel Discussion begins at 9am; lunch is at noon, 190 S. LaSalle, 40th floor.

Armita Raafat Artist Talk @ threewalls

This month, Armita Raafat has a solo show at threewalls gallery at 119 N. Peoria #2d. Raafat was born in Chicago but returned to her parents' homeland, Iran, in the 80s, during the Iran-Iraq War. This experience, as well as her cultural background, informed the concepts in her work. Raafat incorporates the architecture of muqarnas with Persian textiles, plaster, mirrors, paint, and papier mache and creates pieces that make the viewer question if the art is half-done or perhaps falling apart before their eyes.

At 6pm, Raafat will speak about her processes and influences.

Dirty Needles Craft Night @ The Hideout

Hang out with the coolest chicks (and the occasional dude) in town tonight, at the coolest bar in town, making stuff! What kind of stuff? Whatever you want! Mostly scarves, I think, but tonight Vera Videnovich will teach you how to build a drop spindle out of old cds. So bring your old CDs. Oh, and valentines. Lots of valentines will be made. This event is from
5:30pm - 8:30pm at The Hideout: 1354 W. Wabansia.

HEAVEmedia's Midstates & the Choir of Ghosts Show @ The Empty Bottle

The illustrious HEAVEmedia is sponsoring a free show tonight at The Empty Bottle. House of Normandie will kick off the set at 9:30pm, followed by Camera, and ending with Midstates & the Choir of Ghosts. Admission is free, though it is limited, as always, to people who are 21 or older. The Empty Bottle is located at 1035 N. Western Ave.

Groundhog Day @ Swissôtel

If you live anywhere in the United States except for Punxsatawney, Pennsylvania, then Groundhog Day is an amusement; perhaps an opportunity to complain about the current weather or harbor a hope for better.

But the folks in Phil's hometown are serious about his prognosticative ability, and it seems that Swissôtel (323 E. Wacker)in Chicago is as well.

Today through Sunday, February the 7th, Swissôtel will be hosting a Groundhog Day promotion in The Lobby Lounge. There's a custom menu courtesy of Executive Chef Dan McGee that consists of a selection of German bratwurst and specialty bretzels from Hannah's Bretzels (180 W. Washington), as well as a signature drink: The Ground Hog.

Other attractions include Groundhog Day film trivia to win complimentary appetizers.

For more information, you can check out Swissôtel's website here.


Indie Wed @ Ravenswood Event Center

Getting married this year? Interested in using vendors that get your unique tastes? Check out Indie Wed, the unique wedding show and marketing featuring independent, modern, edgy and eco-friendly wedding vendors from the Midwest and beyond. At the Ravenswood Event Center, 4025 N. Ravenswood Ave, today from 11am to 5pm. $20 admission at the door, $10 advance (or $15 per couple advance).

Gracen Brilmyer's To Come From @ Knock Knock Gallery

Based on the artist's time spent while living in Sweden, Gracen Brilmyer's latest show, To Come From is a site-specific body of work that sifts through memories while living abroad. Working intuitively within self imposed time constraints, Brilmyer embraces the unique possibilities and foibles inherent within the printmaking process. Creating layers by printing over original drawings, paintings and other prints, the final pieces reference both reality and characters form the artist's own imagined narratives. Drawing influence from traditional comic books, the passage of time is depicted as multiple points within a single panel. Knock Knock Gallery is located at 3658 S. Wolcott #2F. The reception starts at 6pm.

The Masked Winter Ball @ Kimball Arts Center

The city is frozen. If you listen, you can hear the cold. Snow muffles the sounds of tires and brakes, howls and laughter, errands and wishes. The familiar rumble of the el pulses slightly farther away. Trees pose in heavy gowns of the softest snow, brick buildings wear glittering necklaces of icicles. Winter has dressed the city in her mysterious finery. The city whispers to you to celebrate winter! Swap your scarf for a mask, lose your boots for dancing shoes and go to the masked ball tonight. There will be music by Can Ky Ree, Baby Alright, DJ's Naomi Walker and Jocelyn Brown, and Ringmistress Cameron Esposito, as well as wild installations by several popular local artists. Masks encouraged, costumes adored, and dancing highly recommended! The party goes from 8pm - 2am. $15 - $50 sliding scale suggested donation. Space is limited so get there early! Kimball Arts is located at 1757 N. Kimball.

The Power of Selection @ Western Exhibitions

The Power of Selection, the first in a series of three shows curated by Ryan Travis Christian, has been up in gallery 1 since January 2, but the public reception for it is tonight. In gallery 2 is a video show curated by Scott Wolniak titled Suitable Video: Works from the Suitable Exhibitions Archive. Visit Western Exhibitions website for more information about the exhibition. The gallery is located at 119 N. Peoria, 2A, and the reception is from 6-9pm.

9th Annual Polar Plunge

The Lakeview Polar Club's 9th Annual Celebration of Shrinkage takes place today at Oak Street Beach, where those brave enough to jump into the lake will do so to raise money to help two families who need help paying medical or educational expenses. Get to the beach around 11:30am to set up your dry clothes and prepare for the plunge at noon. For more information, e-mail lakeviewpolarbearclub@gmail.com. Donations accepted.

Touch with Your Eyes: Recent Works by Angel Otero Opens @ Cultural Center

Chicago painter Angel Otero's largest solo show to date opens at the Cultural Center (78 E. Washington) today. The opening reception is from 6-8pm tonight and the show will be up through March 28.

Mid Winter Night's Dream @ Cal's

Tonight at Cal's Rabid Rabbit plays with Dave Rempis and special guest on third bass, Inge Flaten and Nate Mcbride duel out on electric bass, and Loto Ball Show headlines.
Show starts at 10pm. $5 admission. Cal's is located at 400 S. Wells.

Art Auction Fundraiser @ Johalla Projects

Our economic mess has not spared art. A lot of exhibition spaces drowned and several, including Johalla Projects, are hanging on by a thread. So, they have organized their first Art Auction Fundraiser, taking place tonight. Proceeds from the auction will go towards improving their exhibition space and continuing to support artists in Chicago. This is an event fit for the collector on a budget. Whether you are a seasoned art investor fixing your eyes on a steal or a budding enthusiast looking for that first piece of art to kick start your collection, this auction has something for everyone. Over 50 artists have donated original work. Participating artists are Nathan Baker, Bridgette Buckley, Elijah Burgher, Philip Dembinski, Anni Holm, Aron Gent, Jon Gitelson, Chad Kouri, Daniel Shea, Montgomery Perry Smith, Myles Smutney-Hyde, and many, many others. The auction viewing is from 7-11pm, bidding closes at 10pm. Tickets to bid are $5 for one or $20 for five. There is no limit on how many times one may bid during the evening. Johalla Projects is located at 1561 N. Milwaukee Ave., 2nd floor. Email them at johallaprojects@gmail.com for a full list of participating artists or additional auction details.

Critical Mass Polka Ride @ Lincoln Square Lanes

Critical Mass is joining forces with The Polkaholics tonight for the Critical Mass Bowlin' Polka Ride Party. Join this great group of cyclists as they pedal from the Daley Center to Lincoln Square or just come to Lincoln Square Lanes (4874 N. Lincoln Ave) for the polka and bowling afterparty. The event runs from 8pm-1am and is free and open to the public.

Snow Days Chicago

For those of you looking to come out of hibernation this winter season, Snow Days Chicago is the perfect way to do it. Snow Days is a three day winter festival on Michigan Avenue in Grant Park and will feature a national snow sculpting competition, dog sled demonstrations, an activities igloo and you will get to see several one of a kind sculptures made entirely out of snow. Snow Days Chicago is free and will taking place in Grant Park, January 29 thru January 31, 2010. Check out the website for more information.

Understanding Cyberattack as an Instrument of U.S. Policy

Given the nation's and much of the western world's dependence on information technology networks, the threat of cyberattacks from both hostile regimes and non-nation-states on U.S. interests has been well publicized. But less talked about, says the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, is the potential use by the U.S. of cyberattacks, both defensively and offensively. Join the council in welcoming University of Chicago Professor of American & Foreign Law Kenneth W. Dam; CEO of Hong Kong-based AEA Holdings Admiral William A. Owens; and Herbert S. Lin, chief scientist at the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, National Research Council of the National Academies. Cash bar opens at 5:30pm, presentation and discussion at 6; 81 E. Van Buren. Go here for prices and additional information.

Angel Otero @ Cultural Center

Chicago art-darling Angel Otero leads a gallery talk through the exhibition of his work Touch with Your Eyes. This exhibition of 12-15 new works is Otero's largest solo show to date and promises to be stunning. Otero's talk begins at 12:15pm at the Chicago Cultural Center: 78 E. Washington.

Atomic Sketch Event @ evilOlive

Promising "new directions, a new DJ rotation and longer featured artist exhibitions", the bcd collaborative has big plans for their Atomic Sketch Event in 2010. Combining art and drink, ASE presents a panel of emerging and established Chicagoland talent as they creating art live throughout the night. Media ranges from pencil and ink drawings to paintings and collage, with most pieces selling for less than $50. January's panel consists of featured artist Jason Brammer and CHema Skandal, Penny Boedigheimer, Timothy Buebel, Blütt, Joey Potts, Revise CMW and Czr Prz. As always, drop-in artists are welcome to create and sell work, but space fills up quickly so show up early. Tonight's free event at evilOlive (1551 W. Division) features music from DJ Marc Ruvolo and drink specials from 6 to 10p.

Free Store Opens @ Gallery 400

The Free Store is a nomadic, temporary free store that irregularly visits a variety of Chicagoland neighborhoods. The Free Store, open during all gallery hours, invites you to be involved: come to the store, bring stuff you want to give away, and take stuff that you want. There is no restriction on what you can take--you don't have to trade or barter. Just take it. The Free Store will be up through March 6, and the opening reception is tonight from 5 to 8. Gallery 400 is located at 400 S. Peoria.

Red Scarf Dying at Lillstreet Art Center

Just in time for Valentine's Day, attendees learn about the history and chemistry of all-natural dyes as they blend dyes to create their own red scarf. Red Scarf Dyeing Workshop invites all skill levels. The class runs Thursday, Jan. 28 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. $70 for members/$75 for non-members

Book Signing for The Rockabillies @ The MCA

Chicago native photographer Jennifer Greenburg will be at the MCA today to sign copies of her first monograph, The Rockabillies. The book features a series of photographs of members of Greenburg's own community in Chicago and across the country, whose worlds revolve around the 1950's rockabilly aesthetic. For more information, visit the MCA's website. The signing begins at 6pm at the MCA: 220 E. Chicago.

Obama at One Year

Chief Washington correspondent for the New York Times David Sanger will speak at this Chicago Council on Global Affairs event, giving his take on the president's first year in office and offering insight on the year to come, an "insider's view of the Obama national security team." Sanger's best-seller The Inheritance: The World Obama Confronts and the Challenges to American Power, now updated to reflect the past year, will be available for purchase and signing. Cash bar opens at 5:30, Presentation and Q&A begins at 6; 81 E. Van Buren. See here for prices and other details.

A Bake Sale for Haiti

Medici on 57th (1327 E. 57th) is hosting a charity bake sale to benefit the people of Haiti affected by the recent earthquake. Medici will be selling their sweets at the event, along with Luscious Layers Bakery, Bleeding Heart Bakery, Jimmy Jamm Sweet Potato Pies, Sugar Beez Custom Cookies and Katherine Anne Confections. All proceeds will be donated to Doctors Without Borders and Oxfam for their ongoing relief efforts in Haiti. Event runs from 2:30pm-6pm. Email bakesale4haiti@gmail.com if you have questions or would like to donate to the cause.

We Are The World Group Show Opens @ Roots & Culture

We are the World showcases work by 12 emerging international artists. The exhibition features work in a wide range of media including illustration, new media, painting, photography, sculpture, textile, and video. Prompted by the 1985 music project "We Are the World," co-written by Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson, and recorded by nearly 50 of the biggest names in music in an effort to raise money and awareness of the famine crisis in Africa, this current show asks artists born in the 1980s to reimagine on the original project. Conceived as both a critique of the ineffectiveness of the original
program and an embrace of its cultural significance, the show reflects on the
ways in which we can make and think art in the midst of crisis. This show will be up through Feb. 20 but check out the opening tonight from 6 to 9 at Roots and Culture Gallery: 1034 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Arm Wrestle a Windy City Roller

The Windy City Rollers are hosting an arm-wrestling tournament at Reggie's Music Joint (2105 S. State) on Saturday, Jan. 23, from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Crazy Rocket Fuel, an all-girl rockabilly band out of Milwaukee, will also be playing. The winner of the competition receives $100, and the runner-up gets $40 in Reggie's Bucks. Check here for more info.

We Ride No Brakes Too @ Untitled

Fresh new artists Charlie Megna, Jake Gillispie, and Matthew Jorgensen show their new work at Untitled (1941 W. North Ave.) tonight. The opening is from 7-10pm. Dave Mata (A.K.A. White Devil) will provide musical refreshments.

Dance Party @ Co-Prosperity Sphere

Publicist (Seb from Trans Am), Waterbabies, DJ Ryan Stinson, Gatekeeper, and Joe Kisser provide musical refreshments at this dance party. A Dutch art exhibition by The Tupajumi Foundation will be on display. The exhibition opens at 7pm and the party starts at 8. Admission is $8. Co-Prosperity Sphere is located at 3219 S. Morgan.

Jeff Marlin Painting Show Opening @ Corbett vs. Dempsey Gallery

Spanning a period of about ten years, this survey includes various series in the oeuvre of Chicago painter Jeff Marlin (1969-2009), which, in the artist's words, "...is always a dialogue between hand and machine systems." The selection of works extends back to early paintings exploring dot matrix disintegrations of images (UFOs, mushroom clouds, fascist architecture), all using scanned and manipulated photographic sources, Xeroxes and stencils in the development of the paintings. His more recent work has evolved into minimal abstraction. The show will be up through Feb. 6, but check out the opening tonight from 5-9pm at Corbett vs. Dempsey: 1120 N. Ashland Ave. #3.

A Moral Compass for the New Global Economy

Jim Wallis, widely-published writer and founder of Sojourners, visits the Chicago Council on Global Affairs to speak with Eboo Patel on what the financial crisis reveals about the moral underpinnings of our economic system. The talk is at the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies, 610 S. Michigan Ave. Registration and pre-talk reception begins at 5:30pm; the talk is at 6pm. Tickets range from $10 to $30; details here

E.M.P.A.C.T. Party @ The Music Lounge

E.M.P.A.C.T.- Everyone's Music Politics Art and Community Throwdown, is a monthly series that showcases live band's and DJ's while fundraising for deserving not-for-profits and community organizations. The goal of E.M.P.A.C.T. is to spread culture, diversity, and knowledge of community issues while providing a common ground for activists, educators, artists, and community organizers to celebrate the commonality of our struggles. Tonight's live music includes EveryPeople Jazz Workshop, Rebel Rhythm Collective, and DJ David Marques. The show starts at 9pm and ends at 2am at The Music Lounge: 3017 W. Armitage. $5 donation, benefiting the Rumble Arts Center.

Goatwhore, DevilDriver, Suffocation and Thy Will Be Done @ HOB

New Orleans Black Metal giant Goatwhore performs at the House of Blues (329 N. Dearborn) tonight, as part of the Bound by the Road tour with DevilDriver, Suffocation and Thy Will Be Done. Doors open at 5pm. The show starts at 5:30pm and is all ages. Tickets are $15 in advance, $18 day of show.

Human Rights Watch - Exposure of Blood Diamonds

Human Rights Watch Chicago Committee, in partnership with the Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago, presents a report from the field: Exposure of Blood Diamonds in Zimbabwe.

In late June 2009, Human Rights Watch published a report documenting horrific human rights abuses by Zimbabwe's police and military in the Marange diamond mines. Tiseke Kasambala has covered Zimbabwe for Human Rights Watch since 2004 and is widely recognized as among the world's leading experts on Zimbabwe's blood diamonds.

5:30pm
Fourth Presbyterian Church - Anderson Hall
126 E. Chestnut Street

Free and open to the public
RSVP to Stephen Steim at stephen.steim@hrw.org or (312) 573-2452.

Slam Champion Eboni Hogan @ Butterfly Social Club

Mental Graffiti presents an open mic and open poetry slam followed by readings by featured poet Eboni Hogan at the Butterfly Social Club (728 W Grand) at 8pm. $5 donation, 21 and up.

DuSable Museum Celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr.

The DuSable Museum of African-American History will host a full day of events to commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. To celebrate the memory of the late Civil Rights leader, today, guests of the museum will get to enjoy a variety of family-friendly activities that include not only films and documentaries, but also live dance and musical performances by theatre groups from all over Chicago.

The event is from 10am to 6pm; admission prices are as follows: $8 for adults, $5 for children (4 years and up), and $6 for museum members. Contact the museum at (773) 947-0600 for more information.

Anne Frank: A History for Today

The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center (9603 Woods Dr.) is aimed at preserving the memories of those lost and affected by the Holocaust and "teaching current generations about the need to fight hatred, indifference and genocide in today's world." This new exhibit features photographs of the Frank family as well as other members of the Secret Annex. Through Feb 28. General admission is $10, free for museum members. Museum hours are Monday - Friday 10am - 5pm and 11am - 4pm on weekends.

Winter Block Party for Chicago's Hip-Hop Arts @ Victory Gardens Theatre

The 2nd annual Winter Block Party for Chicago’s Hip-Hop Arts gets going today with a large cast of performers at the Victory Gardens Theatre in Lincoln Park. Hosted by WBEZ, the event will feature a visual art and graffiti gallery exhibition with works-for-sale by some of Chicago's most notable and up and coming contemporary artists, a B-Boy/B-Girl battle, a special installment of "Word: Across the Generations," an open mic showcase, music all afternoon by DJ Itch13, DJ Issues and DJ Seanile, and more. Details here. The day events (11am-4pm) are free, while the evening events, starting at 7:30pm, costs $10-$15. Tickets available online. The theatre is located at 2433 N. Lincoln Ave.

Paul Green's School of Rock @ Schubas

As part of Schubas' five-day Tomorrow Never Knows festival, The Paul Green School of Rock will showcase student musicians playing cover songs at the Women Who Rock show. The school, founded in 1998 in Philadelphia and now in 49 locations around the country, is grounded in the belief that the best way to learn is by doing. Catch the Women Who Rock show today at 2pm. For tickets and information call (773) 525-2508 or visit Schubas Tavern.

Proximity Release Party @ Co-Prosperity Sphere

Tonight Proximity Magazine celebrates the release of their sixth issue. There will be an evening of performances by Proximity friends and family as well as an exhibition of works by artists featured in past magazines. There will be performances by Implodes, Aleks and the Drummer, Maxwell Citron and Members Only. With DJ J+J+J. For this issue they invited friends and friends of friends to contribute to their annual geographically and territorially-based examinations of some other art worlds. This not so random survey of under-represented art scenes, movers and shakers, artist run initiatives, groups, spaces and theoretical constructs helps us imagine and remake the worlds we want to live and work in. It features reports from not only Chicago but around the world. For $10 you get admitted into the party as well as a copy of the new issue. The party is from 9pm-1am at Co-Prosperity Sphere (3219 S Morgan St.)

Paul Green's School of Rock @ Schubas

As part of Schubas' five-day Tomorrow Never Knows festival, The Paul Green School of Rock will showcase student musicians playing cover songs at the Women Who Rock show. The school, founded in 1998 in Philadelphia and now in 49 locations around the country, is grounded in the belief that the best way to learn is by doing. Catch the Women Who Rock show today and tomorrow at 2pm. For tickets and information call (773) 525-2508 or visit Schubas Tavern.

Five Star Bar/Half Acre Brewery Bus Tour

Just $10 gets you a seat on the bus taking off from Five Star Bar (1424 W Chicago Ave) traveling to Half Acre Brewery in Lincoln Square (and back) for a special brewery tour and tasting today. Bus leaves at 1:30pm from Five Star and returns at 5pm. Details online. RSVP to info@fivestarbar.com or buy tickets at the bar. 21+

CHIRP Launch Party with The Yolks @ The Empty Bottle

The Chicago Independent Radio Project is launching a new radio station online this month and they celebrate said launch tonight at The Empty Bottle. Committed to local, independent programming and focusing on Chicago's diverse music, arts, and cultural scenes, CHIRP's local dedication is reflected in the party-starting Chicago-based bands they have invited to play tonight. Soul-rock band The Yolks headline and Rabble Rabble and Hollows open. The show starts at 10pm, admission is $8. The Empty Bottle is located at 1035 N. Western Ave. 21+.

3rd Annual Winter Block Party for Chicago Hip-Hop @ Chicago Urban Art Society

Kicking off 2011, Chicago Public Media (WBEZ 91.5 FM) continues its Off-Air Series with the 3rd Annual Winter Block Party for Chicago's Hip-Hop Arts at Chicago Urban Art Society today from 11am to 10pm. Created to celebrate Chicago's hip-hop arts, this annual party begins at 11am with free events such as: a visual art and graffiti gallery exhibition; marketplace; hip-hop barbershop; the Vocalo Sampling Showcase with Vocalo host Jesse Menendez leading a presentation on the art of sampling; lots of special guests; music all afternoon by some of Chicago's favorite DJs including Itch 13, Sweatpants Money, DJ Susannah Kim; and more! Ticketed programs this year include a screening of Copyright Criminals, which examines the creative and commercial value of musical sampling, tracing the rise of hip-hop from the urban streets of New York to its current status as a multibillion-dollar industry, and the popular "First Come, First Served!" one-on-one B-Boy/B-Girl battle hosted by Chicago's own Legendary Brickheadz. Highlighting the event will be a ticketed evening program titled Original Style: Exploring the History of Chicago House hosted by Kevin Coval, which will include archival film of the scenes and sounds of the 1980s and 90s, music selections courtesy of SilverRoom founder DJ Eric Williams, plus the founders of Chicago House: DJ Frankie Knuckles, known as 'The Honorary Godfather of House Music'; Robert Williams, owner of the Warehouse and Music Box; Frederick Dunson, original warehouse manager; Reggie Corner, House music promoter; Lewis Lazu, dancer and promoter; and many more. The evening will wrap up with an After Party with legendary house DJ Ron Trent and seminal Hip-Hop DJ Jesse De La Pena! Admission during the day is free with optional ticketed programming for $5 general admission or $3 for WBEZ members. Tickets for the evening program are $15 general admission, $12 for WBEZ members, and $10 for students with a valid ID. Tickets are available at www.wbez.org/events. The Chicago Urban Art Society is located at 2229 S. Halsted Street.

Armita Raafat Solo Show Opens @ threewalls

Raafat's installation subtly transforms the 'pristine' gallery, drawing on the wall with mirror, paint, plaster, cardboard, papier-mâché and cloth to sculpt a crumbling architecture from Middle Eastern structures, patterns and motifs. Referencing Islamic and Persian architecture, Raafat applies ornament in a state of ruin, often to the perimeter of the site, with patterns spreading, dripping and crumbling from corner to floor. This exhibition opens tonight at threewalls(119 N. Peoria #2D)-- the reception is from 6-9pm.

Art Shay's True Colors @ Thomas Masters

An exhibit of color photographs by Art Shay, who is known for his black and white photography, opens tonight at Thomas Masters, 245 W. North Ave. The opening reception will be held from 6-9pm. For more information, call (312) 440-2322.

Three Peas Art Lounge Presents: Kevin Powell

Meet multimedia personality, author, and activist Kevin Powell tonight from 6pm to 8pm at Three Peas Art Lounge, 75 E. 16th Street. Powell will be part of a panel discussion on the "the future of urban America" in the Obama era. Admission is free, but RSVP to Randy Crumpton at rancrump@aol.com. Call (312) 933-5977 for more information.

Octavarius Improv @ Underground Lounge

Chicago-based improv group Octavarius performs tonight at 8pm at Underground Lounge (952 W. Newport Ave.) Call them (773-327-2739) for more information.

City Provisions Supper Club

City Provisions kicks off its monthly Supper Club event with a cocktail party at Architectural Artifacts (4235 N. Ravenswood Ave.). The party gets under way at 7pm and features cocktails from Death's Door Spirits, heavy finger food from City Provisions, and desserts from Floriole Bakery. Cost is $75, all inclusive. Make reservations by calling (773) 293-2489 or e-mail supperclub@cityprovisions.com.

Model Casting Call @ PLP Studios

PLP Studios by Parrish Lewis, 329 W. 18th St., is holding open casting calls today from 5pm to 8pm for Hispanic and African-American female commercial and fashion models (25 years or older). If selected, models must be available for a photo shoot on Tues., Jan. 19th and Wed., Jan. 20th. Contact the studio at (312) 243-4822 for more information.

CORE's Educational Summit on School Violence and Renaissance 2010 @ Malcom X College

Last Winter, target="_blank">The Caucus of Rank-and-File Educators (CORE) asked Chicagoans to attend a community forum and voice their grievances against Renaissance 2010. There was a blizzard and over 500 people still showed up. This year, CORE will be hosting another community forum, where they will unveil their slate of officers who will run against Marilyn Stewart and the UPC Machine in the May 2010 Chicago Teachers Union elections. CORE will also be hosting workshops where they will teach you how to fight and win! 10 AM-1 PM. Malcom X College 1900 W. Van Buren 60612. Parking Available off Jackson. Refreshments and childcare will be provided. $10 suggested donation. For more information, contact Mechanics own, Kenzo Shibata .

Handmade Market

About 30 of the city's greatest makers of handmade goods will be gathering today at Empty Bottle (1035 N. Western Avenue) from noon to 4pm for another Handmade Market Chicago. The sellers will help you you pick out a few gifts for others, or yourself. You can see who is selling at the show here. And one of the best parts of this show is that you get to sip a tall frosty something while you peruse fantastic products. If you don't leave with full shopping bags, you may leave inspired, or at least a little tipsy.

Gregory Jacobsen's Prostrate @ Zg Gallery

Gregory Jacobsen's fifth solo show opens tonight at Zg Gallery. Titled Prostrate: New Paintings & Drawings, the show features new works from his botanical heaps series-- still life bouquets composed of such disparate elements as meat and muscle tissue, wigs, secreting organs, petit-fours, flora, fauna and various food stuffs, set in romantic landscapes, tenderly gathered into bundles and tied with ribbons. The show opens tonight at Zg Gallery (300 W. Superior.) The public reception will go from 5:30 to 7:30pm. For more information, visit Zg's website or call them at (312) 654-9900.

Elvis Fest

Today the King would have turned 75, and The Original Mother's (26 W. Division St.) is celebrating with Elvis Fest. Seminal DJ Dick Biondi from Oldies 94.7 will broadcast live from 7pm - midnight, and the evening will include Elvis tributes, Elvis karaoke, an Elvis costume contest (winner receives a trip to Graceland), a peanut butter and banana buffet, birthday cake, and more. Doors open at 6pm. The event is free, but a recommended donation of $5 will go toward the New Orleans Musicians Clinic. For more information call (312) 642-7251.

Mucca Pazza and Friends @ The Empty Bottle

Chicago's beloved gypsy-circus-punk-marching-band Mucca Pazza return to The Empty Bottle tonight to tear through their raucous set with a gaggle of trombones, trumpets, woodwinds, and cheerleaders. The thirty-some piece group is known for putting on memorable shows, occasionally with members perched atop bars and cheerleaders swinging from rafters. Fellow local stop-and-go post-punkers Paper Mice are expected to put on an equally impressive performance. Andrew Taylor opens. The show starts at 10pm and admissions is $12. The Empty Bottle is located at 1035 N. Western Ave. 21+.

iPhone Therefore I Art @ CAD

iPhone Therefore I Art is an exhibition of new art (of various forms) made with iPhones by 25 artists from around the world. The show, curated by Mike Nourse of the Chicago Art Department, is the culmination of an iPhone art class he led at CAD. Go to the opening at CAD tonight to see how yet another use for the ubiquitous iPhone has been discovered. CAD is located at 1837 S. Halsted, and the opening is from 6-10pm.

Complimentary Cake @ Brasserie Jo

In celebration of the French holiday King Day, Brasserie Jo is offering complimentary "King's Cake" to all dining guests. This flaky, puffed-pastry is filled with almond creme and is being specially prepared for Brasserie Jo by the French Pastry School. Brasserie Jo is located at 59 West Hubbard, Chicago. (312) 595-0800.

One Day Only: Quimby's Becomes Svymby's

Hey, Chicago hipster old-timers (and young-timers): Steven Svymbersky, founder of Quimby's, is visiting from Amsterdam and hanging out at the store (1854 W. North Ave.) today from 1 to 5 p.m. He'd love to see all his old friends, so stop by!

15th Annual Kwanzaa Observance Program @ Malcolm X College

Malcolm X College is hosting the 15th Annual Kwanzaa Observance Program today, starting at 10am. This is the last day of the largest known seven-day celebration of Kwanzaa in the country publicly held in an institution of higher learning. Admission is free. For more information contact Jessica Holloway: Kwanzaa Chairperson at 312-850-7472 or arhoden@ccc.edu. Malcolm X College is located at 1900 W. Van Buren. For more information, including the schedule, check out this press release.15th Annual Kwanzaa Observance Program at Malcolm X College today, starting at 10am. This is the last day of the largest known seven-day celebration of Kwanzaa in the country publicly held in an institution of higher learning. Admission is free. For more information contact Jessica Holloway: Kwanzaa Chairperson at 312-850-7472 or arhoden@ccc.edu. Malcolm X College is located at 1900 W. Van Buren. For more information, including the schedule, check out this press release.

Chicago Polar Bear Club @ North Ave Beach

You resolved to "try new things" in 2010, right? Then head out for the annual Polar Bear plunge into Lake Michigan. Details here. Arrive by noon with swimsuit under your clothes (no birthday suits).

New Year's Eve Ball @ Reversible Eye Gallery

The amazing Reversible Eye Gallery is hosting what will surely be a wild New Year's Eve party tonight. Aerial acrobatics from Aloft will be performed throughout the evening, and breakfast and mimosas will be served at 5am New Years Day. Bands performing includeSpires that in the Sunset Rise,Loto Ball Show,ReDeMer,Loto Ball Stupid Dans,The Funeral and the Twilight, and Grace Kulp. Admission is $25 in advance and $30 at the door--not bad if you consider all the live entertainment and the free food and booze 'till dawn. The party starts at 9:30pm. Reversible Eye Gallery is located at 1103 N. California. Call them at (773) 862-1232 or email info@reversibleeye.com for more information.

NYE Party @ Kaplan's Liquors

Each year Kaplan's Liquors hosts a New Years Eve party, and this year is no different, but they're expecting quite a crowd. There will be free Korean and Polish Food and a Youtube Karaoke performance with VJ Eddie Gymkata of the 80's performance art band, Members Only, among other things. Korean ladies, mutants, and sexy co-eds will be mingling with intellectuals, art fags, old men, and union guys. Should be pretty fun. Should be free, too, except for the booze. The party will be from 8:30pm to 2am. It's a bar, so only go if you're 21+. Kaplan's Liquors is located in Bridgeport at 960 W. 31st. St. Call them at 773-890-0588 for information.

Guinness 250th Anniversary Toast @ Smoke Daddy

If you haven't yet celebrated the 250th anniversary of Guinness beer, Smoke Daddy (1804 W. Division) is giving you a chance to raise a pint. Mingle with Guinness reps and enjoy Ireland's favorite brew. The party starts at 7pm and is free. Pints of Guinness, Smithwick's Ale, and Guinness' 250th Anniversary Stout will be on special for $6/pint. A flight of all three will also cost $6. For more information call (773) 772-MOJO (6656).

Chicago Sports Fest @ McCormick Place

This all-ages sports festival includes both tournaments and interactive zones. Pre-registered teams compete in tournaments for basketball, soccer, volleyball and table tennis. Interactive activities include wall climbing, football, golf, skateboarding, badminton, boxing, tumbling, fencing, etc. Registration is not required for any of the Interactive Zones, and admission to them is free. Sanctioned tournaments require pre-registration and there is a fee for Volleyball. CSF takes place from 10am-4pm on December 27 & 28, 2009 at McCormick Place in Halls A & B (2301 S. Martin Luther King (LSD) Drive.) This event is great for kids. Click here for more information.

Chicago Sports Fest @ McCormick Place

This all-ages sports festival includes both tournaments and interactive zones. Pre-registered teams compete in basketball, soccer, volleyball and table tennis tournaments. Interactive activities include wall climbing, football, golf, skateboarding, badminton, boxing, tumbling, fencing, etc. Registration is not required for any of the Interactive Zones, and admission to them is free. Sanctioned tournaments require pre-registration and there is a fee for Volleyball. CSF takes place from 10am-4pm on December 27 & 28, 2009 at McCormick Place in Halls A & B (2301 S. Martin Luther King (LSD) Drive). This event is great for kids. Click here for more information.

15th Annual Kwanzaa Observance Program @ Malcolm X College

Malcolm X College and the Bolozi Wazee (Council of Elders) - Shule Ya Watoto (School for Children) are celebrating 15th Annual Kwanzaa Observance Program at Malcolm X College, starting today and continuing through Kwanzaa every day starting at 10am, until January 1. This is the largest known seven-day celebration of Kwanzaa in the country publicly held in an institution of higher learning. Admission is free. For more information contact Jessica Holloway: Kwanzaa Chairperson at (312) 850-7472, or arhoden@ccc.edu. Malcolm X College is located at 1900 W. Van Buren. For more information, including the schedule, check out this press release.

LTH Forum's 5th Annual Christmas Eve @ Happy Chef

If you don't celebrate Christmas (or need a reason to escape from a get-together), LTH Forum is holding their annual Chinese Christmas Eve dinner tonight at Happy Chef at 6pm (2164 South Archer). Meal price around $30. RSVP required.

Christkindlmarket (Last Day)

It's your last chance to celebrate baby Jesus like a German! Today is the last day of the annual Christkindlmarket (the "Charming German American Holiday Festival for Friends and Families") at Daley Plaza. If you are looking for something to do with your kids because they've been out of school all week for Winter break and are spazzing out, or if you've got in-laws in town for Christmas and you don't want them sitting around your house, judging you, this may be your answer. 11am-4pm. Daley Plaza: 50 W. Washington. Ho Ho Ho.

Covers for Cover II @ Lincoln Hall

Tonight, female bands pay homage to their favorite rock, new wave, and punk bands to benefit the CAWC Greenhouse Shelter. The musicians include members of The Mekons, The Dials, The Venom Lords, Kim, WLUW DJs, etc. They'll cover songs from bands like The Cars, Kiss, David Bowie, and The Breeders. The music styles range from alt-country to new wave to Hawaiian to rock and roll. This fun benefit is MCed by Rattina, the rat puppet co-host of "Chic-A-Go-Go." The show starts at 8pm and admission is $12. 18+. Lincoln Hall is located at 2424 N. Lincoln.

Hideout Holiday Sale

The Hideout Holiday Sale is your last chance to buy handmade crafts at the Hideout before Christmas rolls around. Get in there from 6pm-9pm tonight and fill your sacks with goods from the Soup n' Bread Cookbook, Bloodshot Records, Kiku Handmade and lots of others! The Hideout is located at 1354 W. Wabansia, Chicago. 773-227-4433

Indie Arts Market @ Schubas

Sponsored by Paper Boy, this holiday craft market features the latest creations from Chicago illustrators, artists and crafters. Jewelry, screen prints, letterpress, housewares and more for sale. At Schubas, 3159 N. Southport, from 11am to 5pm today. Admission is free. For more information visit the Indie Arts Market website.

Found Footage Festival @ Lakeshore Theater

"A celebration of odd and hilarious found videos" is the slogan for the Found Footage Festival, hosted and narrated by comedians Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher. In 1991 they found a video titled "Inside and Outside Custodial Duties," which was filmed inside a McDonald's break room, and launched their mission to find similarly intriguing videos.They have since been collecting them from dumpsters and garage sales. This now large collection is comprised of outrageous, stupid, strange and outlandish videos. There are two screenings tonight-- one at 7:30pm and one at 10:30pm. Tickets are $12. Lakeshore Theater is located at 3175 N. Broadway. Call them at (773) 472-3492 for more information.

Songwriter Showcase and Open Mic @ Elastic Arts

Justin Petertil of Love Raid and Office hosts the Songwriter Showcase, featuring Madsen Minax of Actor Slash Model and Juliet Mizicko with LaRaie Zimm. Minax's music is Americana Roots music for contemporary lives. Acoustic and sparse, it's powerful with strong lyrical strokes and pithy vocals. The show starts at 9pm, and they're asking for a $7 donation to get in. Elastic Arts is located at 2830 N Milwaukee.

Trendbeheer Meets Proximity Exhibition Opening @ Co-Prosperity Sphere

For the past two years Public Media Institute and Proximity magazine have been collaborating with Trendbeheer.com, a Rotterdam-based Arts initiative, to bring artists and projects to each others' cities. This exhibition, mounted by Thendbeheer, coincides with issue 6 of Proximity magazine, themed (An)Other Worlds. Issue 6 includes an expansive Rotterdam Section and artists interviewed in the issue will be present in Chicago for the Trendbeheer Meets Proximity exhibition. The opening reception is from 7-9pm, performances begin at 9 and go on until 1am. Co-Prosperity Sphere is located at 3219 S. Morgan St.


Pop-up 1975 Dive Bar @ Steppenwolf Garage Theatre

Can you smell the orange vinyl? This Thursday three superstar Steppenwolf scenic designers transform the Merle Reskin Garage Theatre into a dive bar circa December 1975, in honor of the year David Mamet wrote American Buffalo -- in production at Steppenwolf through February 7. The free event (RSVP required) includes Toast & Jam DJ Rachel Hinsdale spinning early '70s tunes (no disco!), classic '70s TV, and an artistic presentation exploring David Mamet's work with Chicago actors David Pasquesi and Kurt Ehrmann. Oh -- and of course, beer and munchies. More information about the event is available on Steppenwolf's website.

"Tales From Tchaikovsky:" Redmoon Collaboration with the CSO

Redmoon Theater Company collaborates with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to re-imagine Tchaikovsky's "The Snow Maiden" and "Swan Lake." The show includes array of handcrafted shadow puppets, live puppetry, and giant video projections. Beginning at 6:30pm, there's no intermission, so you can be outta there by 8. Or, stay and enjoy free wine at the post-performance reception. Mingle with other concertgoers and partake in a Q&A with guest artists and CSO musicians. Tickets are $25. Online patrons: enter promo code 10591. Phone and Box Office Patrons (312-294-3000): Mention code "Special $25." $10 Student tickets are also available. Symphony Center: 220 S. Michigan.

Dystopias vs. Enchanted Forests

Quimby's Bookstore is hosting an off-site event called the Cabinet of Curiosities at the Museum of Contemporary Art (220 East Chicago Avenue) at 6pm in Puck's Cafe. The Cabinet of Curiosities series is a curated "variety show." Artists and performers featured in this month's theme, Dystopias vs. Enchanted Forests, include Ed Marszewski (Lumpen, Proximity, Co-Prosperity Sphere), Kate Sheehy (puppeteer), Joe Mason (pop culture specialist), Oscar Arriola (street art archiver and documentarian), and Jon Resh (Viper Press, Amped).

Ugly Sweater Contest @ Sheffield's

Put on your most craptastic sweater and head to Sheffield's (3258 N. Sheffield) for the chance to win some great prizes, including Cubs tickets and memorabilia, Sheffield's gift cards, and more. The Ugly Sweater Contest is in conjunction with Sheffield's coat and canned food drive, so the price of admission is a coat or some canned food. It all kicks off when the Bears game starts at noon. For more information call (773) 281-4989.

Bake and Buy Holiday Sale and Concert

Chicago vocalist and producer Jamie O'Reilly and actor/musician Paul Amandes will perform The Gift of the Magi as well as sing solstice and Yuletide favorite songs with folk singer Anne Hills tonight at SPACE (1245 Chicago, Evanston, IL). Tickets are $20 in advance and $20 at the door. The doors will open at 6:30pm. Proceeds benefit the Cambodia Girl Project by artist and activist Anne Elizabeth Moore.

Holiday of Horrors Film Festival @ Portage Theater

For those of you who are pissed that Halloween is over and want to celebrate Christmas in a less conventional/more bloody way, check this out-- Portage Theater is hosting a Christmas-themed horror film festival tonight. Films include Christmas Evil, Silent Night, Deadly Night, New Years Evil, and Black Santa's Revenge. Lewis Jackson, the director of Christmas Evil, will be there in the flesh. There will also be vendors, free stuff, and booze. Portage Theater is located at 4050 N. Milwaukee. Doors open at 5pm, movies start at 7. Tickets are $12 at the door. Click on this link for details.

Ronny's Art & Music Jam

Live music and art. And snacks. Bands include Michael Michael Motorcycle, Amen & The Hell Yeahs, Pretty Boy Thorson & the Falling Angels, and Altar Eagle. There are too many artists participating to list. Sorry. Art viewing time is from 6-8pm with DJ Stylings of Geppettoboner.org (Mr. Ian Floetl with Mr. Vito Nusret.) Bands start at 8pm. Ronny's is located at 2101 N. California. 21+.

One Night Only Magazine Release Party @ Reversible Eye Gallery

The One Night Only Magazine is a new quarterly journal where each issue is structured around a theme, dictating the design and content, so that each full issue may stand alone as a complete multimedia art object of its own. For $10 at the door you will get a copy of the CD magazine, free drinks, and performances by One Night Only contributors in between the following bands: Glittermouse, Ragged Claws, and Jordan E. Ramsier. Pre-orders of the magazine are available through One Night Only's website for $7.50. A pre-order gets you free admission to the party-- which, by the way, starts at 8pm. Reversible Eye Gallery is located at 1103 N. California. Call them at 773-862-1232 for more information.

Angel Otero Solo Show Opens @ Kavi Gupta

Chicago's own painting darling, Angel Otero, has a solo show opening today. The reception is from 4-7pm at Kavi Gupta Gallery: 835 W. Washington. The show will be up through January 30 (by then, he'll have a solo show up at the Cultural Center.)

Debutante Ball @ threewalls

The Debutante Ball is threewalls' annual winter fundraiser. This year they're doing a formal, southern-style thing, complete with a hat contest, mint juleps and red velvet cake. Tickets are $30.00 each with annual holiday glass and unlimited refreshments. Couples can purchase a special couples ticket for $50.00. The ball starts at 7:30pm at threewalls' new location: 119 N Peoria #2C. Click here for tickets and information.

Gingerbread House Decorating Competition @ Old Orchard

If you're headed to Old Orchard (4999 Old Orchard Center, Skokie) today to buy gifts and visit Orange Julius, make a stop by the mall-sponsored Gingerbread House Decorating Competition (you can enter, too, you know) after 11am to see green-friendly gingerbread houses (my recommendation is to make rooftop solar panels from bananas). Winners will be announced at 1pm.

The Gregory Battcock Archive Opens @ Rowley Kennerk Gallery

Chicago artist and SAIC professor Joseph Grigely presents a collection of murdered Warhol-era artist and critic, Gregory Battcock's ephemera. The show opens tonight at Rowley Kennerk Gallery (119 N. Peoria #3C) from 6-8pm, and will remain up through January 30. Contact the gallery at 773-983-0077 or info@rowleykennerk.com for more information.

After Dark @ The Art Institute

Party in the AIC's Modern Wing tonight and go on tours of the newly expanded architecture and design galleries. DJ sets by Dark Wave Disco and Midnight Conspiracy, a live performance by Gemini Club, and immersive performances from Collaboraction. Hosted by Moneypenny with a GlitterGuts photo booth. Cash bar & free appetizers. Admission is $25, $20 if you're an AIC member or a student. For advance tickets, visit museumtix.com or call 877-307-4AIC. The party is from 6-10pm.

AREA Chicago's Wants and Needs Auction 2009 @ UE Hall

AREA Chicago's third annual auction is tonight, with ALL proceeds benefiting the Spring 2010 issue of AREA. Items being auctioned range from customized tours of the city to hand-drawn portraits of the winners to catered retreats in the countryside. 7-12pm. Auction at 9:30pm. DJs before & after. UE Hall: 37 S. Ashland. $10 donation at the door, $20 donation for admission and a tote bag. To RVSP or prepay email areachicagointern@gmail.com.

The Nature of Diamonds

Sparkling, dazzling and glamorous only begin to describe this gem that has fascinated thousands. Come explore the many facets of diamond through history, science and jewelry. The exhibition is through March 28, 2010 at the Feild Museum 1201 S. Lake Shore Drive. Price is $16; For tickets or more information visit the website here.

Scott Stulen: Kool-Aid Drunk @ ebersmoore

Scott Stulen's paintings and sculptures investigate how shared cultural memory can slip into fiction or fabrication, creating a partial truth recalled as authentic memory or experience. They're often pretty damn funny, too. His solo show opens tonight at ebersmoore gallery: 213 N. Morgan. 6-9pm. The show will be up through January 2.

Picturing the Studio @ SAIC

This exhibition explores the richly complex politically and psychologically charged notion of the artist's studio today. With works by over 30 artists spanning the past two decades, this exhibition also includes several specially designed installations undertaken by artists on site. Among the artists included are Susanne Doremus, Julia Fish, Rodney Graham, Karl Haendel, Adelheid Mers, Bruce Nauman, Amanda Ross-Ho, and James Welling.

The opening is from 4:30-7:30pm, Sullivan Galleries, SAIC: 33 S. State, 7th Floor.

Forever Vegetal @ Roots & Culture

Forever Vegetal is a collection of new work by Chicago artists Brian McNearney and Edra Soto. The opening is from 6-9pm tonight and the show will be up through January 16. Roots & Culture Contemporary Art Center is located at 1034 N. Milwaukee. Call them at (773) 235-8874 for more information.

What Does it Say to You Student Show @ Spertus

Tonight, seven art students from Columbia College and SAIC present original artworks in response to Spertus Museum's current exhibition What Does It Say to You? These student artists have met weekly to discuss the roles that cultural identity, religious perspective, and formal training play in the way that they create and experience art. The pieces on display are their physical manifestations of those discussions. These works will be temporarily installed alongside the Spertus exhibition for a special reception tonight. Students will speak about their work and artistic process at 6:30pm. Admission is $7, $5 for seniors, and free for students with ID and Spertus members. Spertus is located at 610 S. Michigan Ave.

15th Annual Kwanzaa Observance Program @ Malcolm X College

Malcolm X College and the Bolozi Wazee (Council of Elders) - Shule Ya Watoto (School for Children) are celebrating 14th Annual Kwanzaa Observance Program at Malcolm X College, starting today and continuing through Kwanzaa, everyday starting at 10am, until January 1. This is the largest known seven-day celebration of Kwanzaa in the country publicly held in an institution of higher learning. Admission is free. For more information contact Jessica Holloway: Kwanzaa Chairperson at 312-850-7472 or arhoden@ccc.edu. Malcolm X College is located at 1900 W. Van Buren. For more information, including the schedule, check out this press release.

Mathew Paul Jinks: On Sundrun Opens @ UIC's Gallery 400

Jink's On Sundrun, uses the quintessentially English game of cricket to explore post-colonialism, ritual and memory. The exhibition will include sculpture, film, location sound recordings of cricket matches, and a performance in the gallery space during the opening reception. Jinks explores cricket as an enactment of the mythology of cultural identity and the effects of transposition and assimilation. The opening reception is tonight, from 5-8pm. The show will be up through Jan. 16 at Gallery 400: 400 S. Peoria. Visit the gallery's website for more information or call them at (312) 996-6114.

"Freaks" Film Screening @ Claudia Cassidy Theater

Casting many actual carnival performers, this 1932 horror film about sideshow "freaks" and "normal" people examines which are the real monsters. This special screening includes live, original musical accompaniment by Silent Theatre Band. Claudia Cassidy Theater: 77 E. Randolph. 7pm. Admission is free. Visit the Department of Cultural Affairs' website for more information.

Pearl Harbor Ceremony @ Navy Pier

Join the city's remembrance ceremony of the 68th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The event starts at 11 AM at the Lakeview Terrace at Navy Pier (600 E. Grand Ave. -- on the east end of the pier). Free.

Fashion & Shopping Extravaganza

If you prefer fashion shows to craft shows, then the Creative Lounge Chicago is where you'll want to be today from 11am to 5pm (1564 N. Damen, 3rd floor). There will be over a dozen of the best local fashion designers showing off great gift items for your fashion conscious friends and family. They'll be providing complimentary snacks, goodie bags to the first 30 people who arrive, and you can even get a mini-makeover from Sugar & Spice. Admission is free but please rsvp to lydia@evilkitty.net.

The Clever Crafter

Today Thr3e Birds Gallery is hosting a craft show at 1459 N. Milwaukee from 12pm to 7pm. All sales of Lenny and Mevintage will benefit the InterAmerican Chicago Magnet School.

Roast & Toast: Herb Kent, "The Cool Gent"

Real Men Charities celebrates Chicago radio icon, Herb "Cool Gent" Kent, at its third annual "Roast & Toast and Holiday Party." This event, also a fundraiser, will be hosted by Governor Pat Quinn and Mayor Richard Daley, and will also feature some of Chicago's most popular media personalities. The festivities take place at the South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. South Shore Dr. The cocktail reception is at 6:30pm; and the roasting and toasting begins at 7:45pm. Tickets begin at $37.50 and are tax deductible. Contact Real Men Charities, Inc. for more information.

Cookie Baking Class @ Forkable

Join Andrea of the food blog Forkable for a day of holiday cookie baking! The event will take place on Saturday, December 5 from12 p.m. - 4 p.m. at Andrea's Chicago home. The event is $40 per participant and space is limited. More information can be found in Drive-Thru. Register through Brown Paper Tickets.

Restless City Opens @ Corbett vs. Dempsey

Restless City is Corbett vs. Dempsey's first solo show of artwork by Margo Hoff. It spans the majority of Hoff's lengthy and prolific career, and features woodblock prints, paintings, and painted "canvas collages" from the 1940s through the 1980s. In the East Wing is an exhibition of recent paintings by Sam Prekop. Yes, THE Sam Prekop. The opening reception is from 5-9pm tonight, and the show will be up through January 16. Corbett vs. Dempsey is located at 1120 N. Ashland. For more information visit the galleries website.

Aspect Ratio Opens @ Plaines Project

MFA students in the School of Art and Design at UIC are presenting artworks reflecting on questions of time, space and narrative. Based in an interdisciplinary seminar class of the same name as the exhibition, the artists approach time, space and narrative within the multi-faceted context of readings, screenings and discussions in physics, anthropology, sociology, literary criticism and art theory. Aspect Ratio opens at Plaines Project (1822 S. Desplaines) tonight, the reception is from 6-9pm, and the show will stay up through December 18.

Dmytro Dobrovolsky @ Ukrainian National Museum

As a world city Chicago has a lot to offer and this is no exception. Dmytro Dobrovolsky is a wonderful painter with a unique approach and relationship to paint, as he builds paintings piece by piece to create a wonderful unity.

Ukrainian National Museum 7pm
2249 W. Superior
312-421-8020
www.ukrainiannationalmuseum.org

Holiday Tree Lighting and Sing-a-Long @ Mid-North Park

Join Lincoln Park neighbors for festive beverages and caroling with local choirs, sponsored by the Clark Street SSA. Following the 6 pm tree lighting, free photos with Santa will be available in "Santa's Workshop" at 2338 N. Clark until 8 pm. Further info is available on the event page.

Black as Ink: Three Tattoo Films @ Intuit

Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art presents an evening of short films on the subject of tattoo history and culture: Stoney Knows How; Tattooed Lady of Riverview; and Fullsuit: A Portrait of Blu-Bak. Filmmakers Tom Palazzolo (Tattooed Lady) and Kapra Fleming (Blu-Bak) will be on hand for a Q&A session after the screenings, and Kapra will present an additional film on Blu-Bak. Amelia Klem Osterud will be signing copies of her book The Tattooed Lady: A History.

Screenings start at 6pm at 756 N. Milwaukee Avenue; $10 non-members, $5 members. For more information call (312) 243-9088 or visit Intuit.

Object Design League Worth Your Salt Reception @ Pavilion Antiques

Enjoy food and drinks while checking out the Object Design League's December pop-up shop, Worth Your Salt, in residence at Pavilion Antiques, 2055 N. Damen, from 5-9pm as part of the larger December on Damen Bucktown retail event. Worth Your Salt runs through December 11 and showcases the work of independent object designers from Chicago and beyond -- and you can buy the stuff, too! More information is on the Object Design League website.

Third Coast International Audio Festival @ Cultural Center

The Third Coast International Audio Festival presents: Chicago Sound Drops, an array of audio pieces about Chicago, hosted by Julie Shapiro with special guest Stuart Dybek. The event, the last in the TCF's 2009 Listening Room series, takes places at 7PM this evening in the Claudia Cassidy Theater at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. Admission is free but reservations are strongly encouraged. More information, and a link to make reservations, is available on the Third Coast website.

Doodleganza Art Party @ The MCA

Chicago-based artist and teacher Paul Nudd will lead a doodling party today at the MCA, teaching participants how to "release their inner slug." This art party/class is appropriate for all ages-- pretty much anyone who can hold a pen in their hand. For some reason the MCA felt the need to mention on their press release that you shouldn't bring your pets to this event, so yeah, don't bring your doggies. Or kitties. The MCA is located at 220 E. Chicago. This event is free and begins at 6pm.

Slippery Handles Opens @ Gorilla Tango Theater

An all-female improv group presents this women-centric "dramedy," Slippery Handles. The first show is tonight, and performances will continue through December 16. Gorilla Tango Theater is located at 1919 N. Milwaukee. Tickets are $10; to purchase tickets call 773-598-4549 or visit Gorilla Tango Theater's website.

Rockabilly Chili Cookoff @ The Orbit Room

Bring your best chili and see if qualifies as the best in town. The winner gets cash! There will be several drink specials, including $4 Bloody Mary's so you can wash down some spicy tomatoey delicious chili with spicy, tomato-y, delicious booze. There is a $10 entry fee if you want to compete. The contest starts at 4pm and the judging is at 6. The Orbit Room is located at 2959 N. California. Visit their website for more information or call them at (773) 588-8540.

It's a Wonderful Life @ The Biograph

American Blues Theater kicks off its 2009-2010 season with this classic story, based on the 1946 Frank Capra masterpiece, performed as a period radio play complete with commercial breaks. The same creative team who brought this classic piece to Chicago audiences for six years once again brings the town of Bedford Falls to life, this time with a new adaptation at the new Victory Gardens Studio. Marty Higginbotham directs. Tickets are $20-$30 for previews (through Nov. 29); $50 for the Dec. 3 press opening and $30 -$40 for the regular run through Dec. 27. Tickets go on sale Nov. 3 at 12 noon at the Victory Gardens box office, (773) 871-3000. The theater is located at 2433 N Lincoln Ave.

Eye of the Sandman Screening and Discussion @ Gene Siskel Film Center

Just days before her wedding, a one-eyed bride-to-be develops an obsession for a mysterious stranger that may cost her her marriage, her home, and her other eye. Family secrets, forbidden desires, and squeaky gears collide in this eccentric riff on ETA Hoffman's 19th century story, "Der Sandmann". Meet the cast and filmmakers and participate in a Q&A following each screening, (11/20 & 11/23). Check out the trailer here. Showtime is at 8pm. Admission is $10, $8 for students. Purchase tickets here.

Open Books Grand Opening

Non-profit literacy organization Open Books is celebrating the grand opening of their used bookstore and literacy center. Come browse the store's shelves, take home some reads and learn all about the programs Open Books has to fight illiteracy. Today's schedule of events includes a children's storytime; a fairy tale puppet show; a discussion with Underground Railroad Historian Glenette Tilley Turner; a young adult authors panel with local authors James Kennedy, Daniel Kraus, Adam Selzer and Claire Zulkey; bookmaking and crafts for children; and a mystery/crime authors panel with local authors Kevin Guilfoile, Libby Fischer Hellmann and Marcus Sakey. The full schedule of times is listed here. Open Books is located at 213 W. Institute Pl. Email info[at]open-books[dot]org for questions and information.

Party Crashers Opens @ Concertina Gallery

Party Crashers, a group exhibition featuring photography, performance, drawing, and mixed media by Dick Blau, Micah Lexier, Dutes Miller & Stan Shellabarger, Davida Nemeroff, Annie Pootoogook and Carrie Schneider opens tonight and runs through Dec. 13. The reception is from 7-10pm at Concertina Gallery: 2351 N. Milwaukee. Visit the gallery's website or email them at concertinagallery@gmail.com for more information.

DIY Trunk Show @ Pulaski Park Auditorium

Check out this GIGANTIC trunk show and buy some handmade stuff by local creative people. 10am-5pm. Pulaski Park Auditorium: 1419 W. Blackhawk. Free.

Yarn Crawl!

Forget beer! Forget zombies! This is the CRAWL to tell all your friends about. The Sweatshop of Love has organized a Yarn Crawl that starts at the DIY Trunk Show (Pulaski Park Field House, 1419 W Blackhawk) at 10am and ends with coffee and a delectable pastry. What a great idea, and one that we hope to see replicated. Yarn may eat your closet space, but it won't eat your brains.

Cob Connection Benefit @ LooseLeaf Lounge

Don't miss this opportunity to support urban farming and a locally-owned business! Come enjoy a dinner made with Cob Connections fresh produce, tea provided by LooseLeaf, and dessert by the Chicago Dinner. The benefit runs from 7pm to 9:30pm. Tickets are $20 at door and $15 in advance. The LooseLeaf Lounge is located in East Lakeview at 2915 North Broadway. Call (773) 809-5371 for more information or visit the LooseLeaf Lounge website.

OTL Anniversary Party @ Toons Bar and Grill

OutsideTheLoopRadio.com, whose Chicago-interest audio magazine podcast and WLUW radio show is celebrating its third year on the air Friday, Nov. 20 with a live taping at Toons Bar and Grill. The event is free with some quite interesting guests stopping by.

OTL host Mike Stephen will begin the show with DJ Goldie G at 8pm for an hour-long taping with conversations featuring Chicago Reader writer and editor, Mick Dumke; representatives from The Parking Ticket Geek; GLBT podcast, Feast of Fun host Fausto Fernos; owner of Toons Bar and Grill, Danny Beck; and local culinary blogger, Andrea Newberry.

The show will air on Thanksgiving, Nov. 26 at 10am at WLUW-FM (88.7), streamed at wluw.org. The event itself is free but is 21-and-up admittance with WLUW and OTL swag giveaways galore.

TyK's Gala-Gallery Release Party @ Mars Gallery

TyK's popular sexy cyclists calendar is out again- the release party will feature large prints of the cyclists- pinups of the ladies and superhero portraits of the men. You can buy a calendar there, or at the TyK website. All proceeds go to the Chicago Women's Health Center. There will be free cocktails and prints for sale at the party. Mars Gallery: 1139 W. Fulton Market. 5-11pm.

Eye of the Sandman Screening and Discussion @ Gene Siskel Film Center

Just days before her wedding, a one-eyed bride-to-be develops an obsession for a mysterious stranger that may cost her her marriage, her home, and her other eye. Family secrets, forbidden desires, and squeaky gears collide in this eccentric riff on ETA Hoffman's 19th century story, 'Der Sandmann.' Meet the cast and filmmakers and participate in a Q&A following each screening, (11/20 & 11/23.) Check out the trailer here. Showtime is at 8pm. Admission is $10, $8 for students. Purchase tickets here.

Reality, Whatever That is Opening @ Western Exhibitions

Artist Nicholas Frank's Reality, Whatever That is show opens at Western Exhibitions tonight. Joe Hardesty's new work will be on displa