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BEST Things To Do In Chicago

The Event Oracle knows ALL the fun things to do in Chicago. Select your date above then scroll down for all the Arts, Entertainment, and Events in my crystal ball...

  • Chicago Water Taxi

    Wendella Tours & Cruises
    400 N. Michigan Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60611
    Chicago Water Taxi

    Chicago Water Taxi is Chicago's river transportation service with seven stops located on all three branches of the Chicago River. Hop on/ hop off at all your favorite river locations with a Chicago Water Taxi All Day Pass. Water taxi stops include, but are not limited to; Michigan Avenue, Chinatown, The Chicago Riverwalk, Ogilvie/Union Train Stations, and more. All Day Passes are valid for unlimited rides for one person for 24 hours on Chicago Water Taxi.

  • Darling Grenadine

    MARRIOTT THEATRE
    10 Marriott Dr
    Lincolnshire, AZ 60069
    Darling Grenadine

    Set in modern-day Manhattan, Darling Grenadine centers on songwriter Harry and his girlfriend Louise, brother Paul, and his Labrador Retriever Paul. Through Paul's eyes, the story explores romance and reality and how they intertwine.

    Darling Grenadine is directed by Kristin Hanggi who is best known for being the director of Rock of Ages, which went on to receive five Tony Award nominations. Harry will be played by Bryan Fenkart, who starred in A Sign of the Times last summer. Illusion is at the center of Darling Grenadine with plenty of tricks, stage magic and props appearing out of thin air for you to be in awe of.

  • PURCHASED LIVES: THE AMERICAN SLAVE TRADE FROM 1808 TO 1865

    Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center
    9603 Woods Dr
    Skokie, IL 60077
    PURCHASED LIVES: THE AMERICAN SLAVE TRADE FROM 1808 TO 1865

    urchased Lives: The American Slave Trade from 1808 to 1865  illustrates the pain and injustice of the American domestic slave trade, illuminating just how widespread the practice of slavery was in American life, as well as its impact on enslaved families across the country.

    This exhibition, originally curated by The Historic New Orleans Collection, showcases more than 75 original artifacts, slave narratives, and oral histories. Through interactive displays, visitors engage directly with historical records by tracking the shipment of more than 70,000 people to New Orleans. Purchased Lives also contains a collection of “Lost Friends” ads placed after the Civil War by newly freed people attempting to locate Illinois family members.

    Illinois Holocaust Museum consistently uses special exhibitions to tell stories of inhumanity and resilience, both historical and present-day. Purchased Lives, combined with its related programming, facilitates a broader conversation about the legacies of the American slave trade and their manifestations in today’s world.

  • Chicago Works: Jessica Campbell

    Museum of Contemporary Art
    220 E. Chicago Ave.,
    Chicago, IL 60611
    Chicago Works: Jessica Campbell

    The satirical drawings, comics, and textiles by Chicago-based artist Jessica Campbell (Canadian, b. 1985) take aim at everyday experiences that reveal the sexism women face in the 21st century. Drawing from a wide range of influences including science fiction, art-world politics, and her Evangelical upbringing, she infuses her work with humor and vulnerability. Her recently published graphic novels include Hot or Not: 20th-Century Male Artists (2016) and XTC69 (2018).

     

  • Atrium Project: Ellen Berkenblit

    Museum of Contemporary Art
    220 E Chicago Ave
    Chicago, IL 60611
    Atrium Project: Ellen Berkenblit

    The latest installment of the MCA’s second-floor lobby atrium project features a mural by New York–based artist Ellen Berkenblit (American, b. 1958). This new work, titled Leopard’s Lane (2019), continues two recent themes in the artist’s painting practice, the expressive potential of cats, and the inherent energy of urban elements such as trucks, stoplights, and smokestacks. For the past several years, Berkenblit has incorporated a striped, tigerlike cat into her works, finding endless compositional potential in a simplified, even cartoonish profile, that remains relatively constant. This tactic of using schematic witches, birds, clocks, flowers, and horses as starting points for complex exercises in color, surface, and space has guided much of her work. Here, that cat has grown into a menacing leopard let loose in a dark landscape, sharing space with a box truck and an abstracted chimney. Honing her craft since her professional debut in the early 1980s, Berkenblit has arrived at a place of artistic assuredness where scale, orientation, and different degrees of completion or virtuosity are all up for grabs, in service to an overall goal of making images that are captivating, dynamic, and unforgettable.

  • Fragments of a Crucifixion

    Museum of Contemporary Art
    220 E Chicago Ave
    Chicago, IL 60611
    Fragments of a Crucifixion

    Artists have used the crucifixion of Christ as a powerful symbol to address suffering and redemption in the history of racial violence in the United States. Fragments of a Crucifixion explores the continuing relevance of the crucifixion, even as our society becomes increasingly diverse in its religious beliefs. Rather than depict the image of the crucifixion itself, artworks in this exhibition offer only fragments—incomplete images and narratives. These works invoke agony and ecstasy through bodily traces and scenes of absence and loss. Featuring works in the MCA Collection, this show is dedicated to the spiritual in art, and to art’s capacity to evoke life and love in the face of brutality.

  • THE COLLECTION: Where Art Meets Fashion

    Fashion Outlets of Chicago
    5520 Fashion Outlets Way
    Rosemont, IL 60018
    THE COLLECTION: Where Art Meets Fashion

    THE COLLECTION: Where Art Meets Fashion, the multifaceted contemporary art program of Fashion Outlets of Chicago, will welcome a rotating exhibition by 2018 Olympic costume designer Dr. Keysook Geum to the shopping center this February. Dr. Keysook Geum’s rotating exhibition will feature three life-sized sculptural forms, entitled Enlightenment III, Nirvana in Red IV and NIGHTINGALE. Dr. Geum is an author and professor of Textile Art and Fashion Design at Hong Ik University in Seoul, Korea, and recently served as the Artistic Director for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games in 2018, designing both the uniforms and dresses worn in the opening ceremony. Dr. Geum’s dramatic sculptures of elegantly posed forms embody the fusion of timeless Asian aesthetics and philosophy with contemporary air. They are constructed of paper-wrapped or enamel coated wires, gems, beads and silk. Starting with a central focal point, Dr. Geum works outwardly in a concentric manner reminiscent of a spider. As the artist weaves, twists and bends wire two-dimensionally, intricate forms and unintentional patterns emerge. The natural tensions of interlacing wire push and pulls out until ¬-figurative shapes begin to take form.

  • Indigenous Entrepreneurship: Tribal Enterprises & Co-ops

    Mitchell Museum of the American Indian
    3001 Central St
    Evanston, IL 60201
    Indigenous Entrepreneurship: Tribal Enterprises & Co-ops

    As there are no reservations in Illinois, most tribal based businesses are not well known in this area. While many people are familiar with the arts, crafts, and casinos, there are many other products and services offered by Indigenous businesses today.

    The Mitchell Museum is proud to present the latest exhibit showcasing Indigenous-owned businesses, tribal co-ops and enterprises; Indigenous Entrepreneurship: Tribal Enterprises & Entrepreneurs about the expansion of tribal initiatives that support tribal sustainability and the incorporation of tribal values into business models.

    The exhibit also covers the challenges that many tribal entrepreneurs face, their unique opportunities based on their sovereign nation status, and the programs that offer them support. Learn about the various products and services offered by tribal enterprises and Indigenous entrepreneurs, from Ioway Honey to buffalo meat Tanka Bars!

  • Pop América, 1965–1975

    Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University
    40 Arts Cir Dr
    Evanston, IL 60208
    Pop América, 1965–1975

    Pop América, 1965–1975 challenges and reframes familiar notions of Pop Art by bringing together artists from North, Central, and South America, as well as the United States and the Caribbean. Pop América is the first exhibition to unify Latin American expressions of Pop and explore how its bold and colorful imagery, references to mass culture, and representations of everyday objects, signs, and symbols were embraced by artists working across the hemisphere. The exhibition makes a timely and critical contribution to a deeper understanding of this period and the impulses behind Pop Art from the mid-1960s through the mid-1970s.

  • The Photographs of Edward S. Curtis

    Mitchell Museum of the American Indian
    3001 Central St
    Evanston, IL 60201
    The Photographs of Edward S. Curtis

    Between 1900 and 1930, Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952) traveled from Mexico to the Arctic, compiling a vast store of information covering more than Indian tribes, in the form of 40,000 photographs, 10,000 recordings of songs and stories, and several volumes of field notes. The published result, The North American Indian (1907), spanned 20 volumes of illustrated text, accompanied by 20 photo portfolios.

    Most critics agree that the work is an impressive achievement, and that Curtis overcame many obstacles, including difficult field conditions and a chronic shortage of funds, to complete such a comprehensive project. However, opinions diverge about the value and integrity of his undertaking. Do these photos have merit beyond the world of art? In his quest to preserve “vanishing” tribes, Curtis promoted, and helped to shape, the public’s view of Indians as “noble savages.” Because he staged many of his scenes with overly fancy accessories or culturally inaccurate details, some scholars have criticized his work. However, others praise Curtis’ genuine interest in the Native people he photographed, in an era when tribes had been forced onto reservations and children sent to government-run boarding schools that stripped them of their language and traditions.

  • The Commons Artist Project: Brendan Fernandes

    Museum of Contemporary Art
    220 E Chicago Ave
    Chicago, IL 60611
    The Commons Artist Project: Brendan Fernandes

    Brendan Fernandes’s dance-based installation in the Commons explores the ways that society sees—and values—different kinds of bodies. Using language, architecture, and gesture to understand the nature of being seen, the artist encourages dancers and visitors to collaborate and generate new forms of physical language that move and attract other bodies in space.

  • Susan Te Kahurangi King: 1958-2018

    Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art
    756 N Milwaukee Ave
    Chicago, IL 60642
    Susan Te Kahurangi King: 1958-2018

    Organized by Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, Susan Te Kahurangi King: 1958-2018 presents a survey of the living, New Zealand-based artist’s work. This major exhibition brings together more than 60 of her drawings, along with memorabilia from the personal archive of her sister, Petita Cole. The exhibition includes drawings that span her output from her early colorful mashups of Donald Duck and cartoon imagery to her detailed graphite abstractions to her most recent brush work created during a summer residency at the Elaine de Kooning House in East Hampton, N.Y. The exhibition will be the first major presentation of King’s work at Intuit and the first museum exhibition to include personal objects.

  • SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical

    James M. Nederlander Theatre
    24 W Randolph St
    Chicago, IL 60601
    SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical

    She was a girl from Boston with a voice from heaven, who shot through the stars from gospel choir to dance floor diva. But what the world didn’t know was how Donna Summer risked it all to break through barriers, becoming the icon of an era and the inspiration for every music diva who followed. With a score featuring more than 20 of Summer’s classic hits including “Love to Love You Baby,” “Bad Girls” and “Hot Stuff,” this electric experience is a moving tribute to the voice of a generation.

  • Six

    CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE THEATER
    Navy Pier, 800 East Grand Ave
    Chicago, IL 60611
    Six

    Henry VIII's six wives are stepping out from the big man's shadow to take their turn in the spotlight. Created by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, this musical celebration of 16th Century girl power debuted on the West End in 2018 to fantastic reviews. Much like Hamilton, Six injects its historical story with modern day attitudes and modern day music, serving up a dizzying whirl of pop and comedy, and an all-female cast.