Free things to do in Chicago | Mar 5–10
Check out our list of free things to do this week, including the South Side St. Patrick's Day Parade, the Handmade Market at the Empty Bottle, a Q&A with Jeff Tweedy and the Chicago Zine Fest.
This month, the reading series presents Mairead Case, CP Chang, Lania Knight, Dana Norris and Zoe Zolbrod.
6pm, Harold Washington Library, Cindy Pritzker Auditorium
Jayaraman discusses and signs copies of her new book, Behind the Kitchen Door, an illuminating examination into the lives and working conditions of restaurant workers.
Relax Attack: Madness of Crowds
10pm, the Whistler
Madness of Crowds gathers many big names from the free-jazz and improvisational scene including Matt Lux of Isotope 217, Jim Baker of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and Brian Sandstrom of NRG Ensemble.
"Our Collective Future."
6:30–8:30pm, Mess Hall
As Mess Hall closes its doors, keyholders present materials from its archives alongside community members' memories of the ten-year-old space and their thoughts about what could take its place.
"Jeremy Bolen: Cern."
Tue–Sat 11am–6pm, Andrew Rafacz Gallery
Frequent TOC contributor Bolen addresses the paradox of capturing ephemeral phenomena as visual artifacts in photographs created at CERN's Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland. Through Mar 30.
Cinema Q III Film Series
6:30pm, Chicago Cultural Center, Claudia Cassidy Theater
This annual cinema series is back to once again shine the spotlight on queer lives. Through Mar 27.
Erik Hall + J Fernandez
9:30pm, the Whistler
Erik Hall (In Tall Buildings, NOMO, Wild Belle) performs an intimate solo set.
Things and Their Various Natures
7pm, Gallery 400
Filmmaker Deborah Stratman curates this screening in conjunction with Gallery 400's exhibition "Observer Effect."
Off the Record: Low + Jeff Tweedy
Catch live versions of tracks from Low's forthcoming LP, The Invisible Way, recorded in Chicago with no less than Jeff Tweedy, who participates in a Q&A about the recording process after the trio's performance. Space is limited at this installation of the "Off the Record" listening series, so get there early for one of the coveted spots.
9pm, Scarlet Bar
Just try to find elbow room at this throwback to the house party days of college when beer pong, 20-ounce brews and hot boys ruled. Through Jun 27.
7pm, Anderson’s Two Doors East
Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid shares his inventive new novel, How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia.
10pm, Smart Bar
Smart Bar continues to dedicate Thursdays to all things bass with this monthly residency from DJ the Tornado. Bassweight covers all manner of low-end high jinks, spanning future bass, dubstep, U.K. garage and drum ’n’ bass. Sushi is a fixture here, while Content, Tornado and Uzumaki are the special guests for March.
6:30pm, Harold Washington Library, Cindy Pritzker Auditorium
The award-winning Polish writer discusses her book, Vera Gran: The Accused, about a torch singer from the Warsaw ghetto accused of collaborating with the Nazis.
7pm, Young Chicago Authors
Louder Than a Bomb and Young Chicago Authors host this event with hip-hop novelist Mansbach (Rage Is Back), who sits down for a conversation with local graffiti artists. Free with Facebook R.S.V.P.
Noon, Fine Arts Center Gallery
Sholly speaks about his Indianapolis-based graphic-design firm Commercial Artisan, which is featured in the gallery's ongoing exhibition "Designing Art."
Chicago Arts District 2nd Fridays
6–11pm, Information booth, 1821 S Halsted
Art, wine, cheese and conversation are the simple components to gallery night in the East Pilsen neighborhood. Maps for the event are available at the Halsted St info booth and at participating galleries.
Second Fridays Open Studios
5–9pm, Fine Arts Building
Spend the next several hours dipping into the art, theater, dance and music spaces housed inside the 100-year-old building. First-time visitors are advised to start on the tenth floor, then make their way down.
9pm, the Whistler
Estaban LaGrue and Dave Matta, a.k.a. the Impala Sound Champions, have their fingers in a lot of pies, cultivating their Impala Sound arts space, spinning with the Soul Summit DJs, soundtracking Odd Obsession film nights and putting their own unique spin on the world of left-field beats with this night, which explores the experimental and instrumental side of hip-hop and breaks.
8pm, the Book Cellar
The bookish comedy troupe has made this storytelling night a must-see.
Francesca T. Royster
7:30pm, Women and Children First
The professor of English at DePaul University reads from her book Sounding Like a No-No: Queer Sounds and Eccentric Acts in the Post-Soul Era, chronicling post-civil-rights black music.
Noon–4pm, Empty Bottle
Before you inquire, yes, the bar will be serving drinks. Every second Saturday of the month, about 30 artisans gather to sell their affordable custom-made wares. From greeting cards to baby clothing, jewelry and knitwear, these local crafters have you covered. Only caveat: Guests must be 21 and older to attend.
"Mark Booth: Light Emitting Intestine of Interstitial Largess."
Sat, Sun 1–5pm, Audible at ESS
Booth experiments with language and improvisation in a site-specific text installation complemented by paintings, drawings and audio works.
Chicago Zine Fest 2013: Zine Exhibition
11am–6pm, Columbia College, Conaway Center
More than 200 self-publishers exhibit at the fourth annual Chicago Zine Fest. Stop by their tables and attend workshops and panels throughout the day on everything from bookbinding to using the library as a zine-making resource.
To get your Saturday off on the right track, Eternals bassist Wayne Montana takes over this modern Asian-themed and always-packed-with-beautiful-people haunt on Milwaukee Avenue for early evening dubby jams. Through Mar 31.
South Side Irish Parade
Noon, Western Ave from 103rd St to 115th St
It returns with another liquor-less celebration. Enjoy the floats, bagpipes and marching bands.
Audience Architects: "Moving Dialogs: Diversity: Then & Now"
6:30–8pm, Old Town School of Folk Music, Szold Hall
Alvin Ailey and company spread the wealth during their stint at the Auditorium. Artistic director Robert Battle heads to Old Town for this inaugural edition of "Moving Dialogs," sponsored by the Audience Architects. The first of this six-part series looks at the diversity of Chicago's dance scene with a few local trailblazers. Joining Battle onstage: Columbia College dance chair Onye Ozuzu, Old Town dance education director Sarah Dandelles, Cerqua Rivera's Wilfredo Rivera and Julie Nakagawa of DanceWorks Chicago. Register in advance.
LVL3 celebrates its three-year anniversary with this group show featuring Michael Hunter, Paul Kenneth, Easton Miller, Liz Nielsen and Kate Steciw, all of whom exhibited at the gallery during its first year. Through Mar 24.
Lou Conte Dance Studio Open House
11am–3pm, Lou Conte Dance Studio
The West Loop’s dance megaplex opens its doors to kick off its spring session, offering class samplings geared toward kids and families including BeMoved Dance Fitness, Bollywood, jazz, hip-hop and yoga. Visit hubbardstreetdance.com for more details.