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BEST Things To Do In Chicago Today

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...

  • Heritage Markers: Local Native American History and Culture

    3001 Central St
    Evanston, IL 60201
    Heritage Markers: Local Native American History and Culture

    From street signs to statues, Native American heritage is all around us. While Illinois no longer has any reservations, over 40,000 American Indian peoples representing over 150 tribes live in the Chicagoland area. Dotted throughout the area are markers of Native American heritage from yesterday and today. Expanding on the existing fishing and hunting wigwam and the mural of the Skokie lagoons on the museum’s second floor, "Heritage Markers: Local Native American History and Culture" uses local heritage markers, contemporary Native organizations, street signs, and town names as touchstones to discuss the local Native history.

    The exhibit begins with projectile points and potsherds found in the backyards of Evanston and Wilmette. In this section, the exhibit explains the tribal presence throughout Illinois before European contact and highlights the development and decline of these many tribes including the Illinois Nation. Origin stories will be contrasted with archeological interpretation of regional sites like Cahokia, Aztalan, and Dickson Mounds. Visitors can learn about the culture of the Ho-Chunk and Potawatomi peoples who lived in this area with quotes from descendants who returned to make this area their home again today.

  • Chicago Works: Assaf Evron

    Museum of Contemporary Art
    220 E Chicago Ave
    Chicago, IL 60611
    Chicago Works: Assaf Evron

    The work of Assaf Evron (Israeli, b. 1977) dwells at the interstice of architecture, decoration, place, and image. A former photojournalist, the artist uses a wide variety of media to both upend and connect an even wider variety of references, materials, and geographies. While global in scope, Evron’s practice is rooted in a rigorous investigation of local histories and context. The meander, a decorative motif based on natural curves of rivers and streams, wends its way through the artist’s work, which follows the design as it moves from sedimentation lines on the face of Mount Sodom to the ornamental facades of some of Chicago’s most iconic buildings to Rabin Square in Tel Aviv. In this exhibition, Evron traces how different forms of decorative design meander and meet as images across the world, accruing new cultural significance in each collision.

  • The Harvey L. Miller Family Youth Exhibition

    9603 Woods Dr
    Skokie, IL 60077
    The Harvey L. Miller Family Youth Exhibition

    Make a Difference! provides an age-appropriate and highly interactive space where hands-on activities for kids ages 8-12 foster leadership skills, empathy, self-esteem, and positive decision making. Children can:

    • Peek inside school lockers to learn about Upstanders like Rosa Parks and Ryan Herljac, who took a stand for positive change.
    • Help problem-solve situations they might encounter at school, on the playground, or in the neighborhood.
    • Create self-portraits through the power of words, learning more about what makes you, you.
    • Make a pledge to be an Upstander and learn how other visitors are making a difference.
    • Tell their own stories on video about local or global issues that matter to them, and share how they might work toward change.
  • Skyline

    Chicago Children’s Museum
    700 East Grand Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60611-3428
    Skyline

    What’s the strongest shape? Find out when you design and build your own one-of-a-kind structure using wooden struts, real tools, and authentic gear. Take the Skyscraper Challenge to record yourself at work and tell the story of what you did. Includes special activities for babies and toddlers.

  • Can You Hear Me Now?

    220 E Chicago Ave
    Chicago, IL 60611
    Can You Hear Me Now?

    Drawn largely from the MCA collection, the works in Can You Hear Me Now? deal with breakdowns in communication and our inability to hear each other in polarized political climates. The exhibition asks the viewer to consider the proliferation of sound: which messages merit amplification, and which are unduly stifled? The artists in Can You Hear Me Now? explore the individual’s struggle to communicate on levels ranging from the personal to the governmental, addressing which voices are supported or silenced. The exhibition surveys a world in which we are unable to engage in meaningful conversations without succumbing to political apathy.

  • The Teaching Wigwam

    3001 Central St
    Evanston, IL 60201
    The Teaching Wigwam

    Located on the second floor of the museum, the teaching lodge is an interactive exhibit that provides unique hands on experience for museum patrons. The exhibit focuses on an Anishinaabek (Potawatomie, Oddawa, and Ojibwe) hunting lodge and aspects of Anishinaabek culture. Wiig-i-waams varied in size from 8 to 20 feet in diameter, and could house two people to a family of 8-10 members.

    Our exhibit features a Bajiishka'ogaan (ba-jeesh-ka-o-gaan) which is made up of two words; bajiishkikodan (to be made into a point/pointed); and o'gaan (house/shelter). It is a low-lying, conical lodge used for temporary purposes, such as hunting and fishing camps, unlike the larger dome shaped wiigiwaam which tend to be larger and more permanent. This type of lodge could house anywhere from two to four adults and would be used primarily for sleeping, while most camp activities would be conducted outside. The lodge in the exhibit is constructed of rough birch and box elder limbs and covered with sheets of birch bark.

  • A Regional Tour of American Indian Cultures

    3001 Central St
    Evanston, IL 60201
    A Regional Tour of American Indian Cultures

    This exhibit brings visitors on a tour through the major regions of the US and Canada and highlights the art and material culture of the tribes who lived there. Many of the objects you’ll see were collected by John and Betty Seabury Mitchell. This couple shared their passion for Native American art and culture with Evanstonians both old and young. In that spirit the exhibit strives to provide a deeper understanding of Native American art, history, and cultures to all our visitors.

     

  • THE COLLECTION: Where Art Meets Fashion

    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

    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!

  • WaterWays

    Chicago Children’s Museum
    700 East Grand Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60611-3428
    WaterWays

    Make a splash in this flowing, squirting, pumping playground. Feel the power of water as you control the flow with pulleys, wheels, and pipes. Navigate your boat through the locks and dams of the mighty river. You may get wet as you immerse yourself in the sensory-rich world of water—hand dryers are available nearby!

  • Treehouse Trails

    Chicago Children’s Museum
    700 East Grand Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60611-3428
    Treehouse Trails

    Camp, climb, burrow, and pretend in this enchanted forest setting. Canoe and fish in the blue river, splash in a mountain waterfall, build a fort under the enormous tree house, and serve a stew in the log cabin. Babies can stretch, explore, and relax in the new infant area.

  • Abyss: Rocío Caballero

    National Museum of Mexican Art
    1852 W. 19th street
    Chicago, IL 60608
    Abyss: Rocío Caballero

    In Abyss, Rocío Caballero (b. Azcapotzalco, México D.F. 1964) brings us face to face with a world alive with allegories and symbolism, wherein the artist makes use of figuration as a kind of personal language. Abyss, mirrors a dreamlike realm that transports us from the voluptuous sensuality of a female body that lies within water and accompanied by seafaring creatures, to the image of a woman transgressed. Meanwhile, the representation of the man is lethal and cruel, full of power he celebrates, while he coaches and plays a treacherous game. In her artwork, Caballero places her characters at the edge of a psychological and moral abyss where many of them overstep, fall and disparagingly continue to exist in an aimless and impassive universe.

  • The People Shall Govern! Medu Art Ensemble and the Anti-Apartheid Poster

    111 S. Michigan Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60603
    The People Shall Govern! Medu Art Ensemble and the Anti-Apartheid Poster

    The Medu Art Ensemble formed in the late 1970s in opposition to South Africa’s apartheid policy of racial segregation and violent injustice. Through graphic design and poster production, members forcefully articulated a call for radical change, advocating for decolonization or majority (nonwhite) rule in South Africa and in the neighboring countries of Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, and Zimbabwe. Medu, meaning “roots” in the Sepedi language, evolved organically and operated underground, as its name suggests. Persecuted by the South African Defense Force, Medu members lived and worked in exile just across the South African border in Gaborone, Botswana. Defying a ban on their existence, the Medu collective at its height numbered as many as 50 South African and international artists, musicians, and writers.

    The People Shall Govern! is the first-ever exhibition on Medu in North America. Featured among its 130 objects are more than 60 posters by members of the ensemble and related makers, all recently acquired by the Art Institute of Chicago. Collaboratively executed and often printed in the hundreds, Medu’s offset lithograph and screen-printed posters combine sobering and revolutionary imagery with bold slogans that, in word and image, mobilized citizens to support causes in social and economic justice and encouraged pan-African solidarity.
    Surviving examples of Medu posters that were smuggled into South Africa and mounted in public spaces are exceedingly rare, as they were regularly confiscated or torn down on sight. With this recent acquisition, the Art Institute is home to the most comprehensive holding of these vibrant works outside South Africa. Additional items, on loan for this exhibition from former Medu members and archival sources in South Africa and Chicago, make clear how the Medu spirit of oppositional creativity transformed the culture of resistance in southern Africa during the late 20th century.

  • SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical

    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.