Upcoming Downtown Events

Today – Panel Discussion
City Club of Chicago presents What employers want, we do: Liberal arts and workforce development in Illinois, with Dr. Teresa Amott, president of Knox College and Dr. Patrick White, president of Millikin University. Dr. White spearheaded Millikin’s $85 million Transform MU capital campaign, which exceeded its monetary goal 14 months early and led to designs for new, transformative buildings on campus. Dr. Amott’s research has focused on the labor market experiences of women and people of color. 11:30 a.m. reception, 12:00 p.m. luncheon. Maggiano’s Banquets, 111 West Grand Avenue. Cost: $50. Map. More info.
The Anti-Cruelty Society’s Pour Your Heart Out Wine, Beer, and Spirit Tasting is back by popular demand. In Union League Club of Chicago’s elegant Crystal Room, guests will sample wine, beer, and cocktails while enjoying hors d’oeuvres, wine pull, and raffle with one-of-a-kind prizes. All while benefiting the homeless, sick, and injured animals The Anti-Cruelty Society cares for 365 days a year. 5:30-8:30 p.m., Union League Club of Chicago, 65 West Jackson Boulevard. Cost: $65. Business casual. Map. More info.
Through Friday – Art
David Yarrow’s Wild Encounters, a gallery exhibition of wildlife photographs, is held over by popular demand. Last November, David spent two weeks in Chicago photographing one of his favorite cities. The result was two magnificent images of a gray wolf in the heart of the Riverwalk that will be available soon. In the meantime, Wild Encounters has been the most successful show in the history of this River North gallery. Hilton Asmus Gallery, 716 North Wells Street. Map. More info.
Have fun while enjoying winter in Chicago and all the wonders of nature at the 13th annual Polar Adventure Days at Northerly Island. Explore Northerly Island and come face-to-face with live animals, engage in winter activities, and create nature-inspired crafts. Dress for the weather as events take place both outdoors and inside the visitor center. Noon to 4:00 p.m., Northerly Island, 1521 South Linn White Drive (on Museum Campus). Cost: Free. Limited parking available for $3, cash only. Map. More info.
Saturday – Exhibition Opening
Exploring the interplay of light and color, afterglow presents concepts that have evolved over a decade of research, experimentation, and installations by Luftwerk. Through a large-scale immersive wall installation and a series contained light boxes, this exhibition reveals Luftwerk’s interest in the effects of a gradient of light, from brightness to darkness and the shifting perception of colors in different light conditions. 5:00-8:00 p.m., Volume Gallery, 1709 West Chicago Avenue, 2nd Floor. Exhibition will be on view through April 7. Map. More info.
Saturday – Gala
Aspire’s 20th annual Big City Night gala, benefiting kids and adults with disabilities, will dazzle and delight with the lively sounds of the Jazz Age. Just like Aspire, jazz is all about innovation and energy, and they are celebrating 20 years in style with the big band greats – Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Josephine Baker, Benny Goodman, and Louie Armstrong. The event will feature dinner, dancing, and a silent auction. 6:00 p.m., cocktail hour. 7:00 p.m., dinner and program. 9:00 p.m. to midnight, Bootlegger’s Ball. Palmer House Hilton, 17 East Monroe Street. Map. More info.
Saturday – Art
Museum of Contemporary Art presents the first major survey of the work of groundbreaking, multidisciplinary artist Howardena Pindell. The exhibition spans the New York-based artist’s five-decades-long career, featuring early figurative paintings, pure abstraction, and conceptual works, and personal and political art that emerged in the aftermath of a life-threatening car accident in 1979. Trained as a painter, Pindell has challenged the traditional art world and asserted her place in its history as an African-American woman artist. Since the 1970s, she has used unconventional materials such as glitter, talcum powder, and perfume to stretch the boundaries of the rigid custom of the rectangular, canvas painting. Howardena Pindell: What Remains To Be Seen will be on view until May 20, 2018. Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 East Chicago Avenue. Map. More info.
February 27
River North Business Association 2018 Annual Meeting and Volunteer Awards. A brief formal meeting of members will elect the 2018 RNBA Board of Directors. 11:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Eddie V’s Prime Seafood and Steak, 521 North Rush Street. Cost: $50. Map. More info.
February 27
City Club of Chicago presents Shari Runner, president and CEO of Chicago Urban League, speaking on A Radical Perspective: Equity in a World-Class City. Established in 1916, Chicago Urban League works for economic, educational, and social progress for African Americans and promotes strong sustainable communities through advocacy, collaboration, and innovation. 11:30 a.m. reception, 12:00 p.m. luncheon. Maggiano’s Banquets, 111 West Grand Avenue. Cost: $50. Map. More info.
February 27
Men’s Night Out, benefiting Cara. A special evening of top-shelf libations and friendly networking, all while celebrating Cara’s goal to serve as a leader of poverty alleviation in Chicago and beyond. Since 1991, Cara has helped people affected by poverty get and keep quality jobs and more importantly, rebuild hope, self-esteem, and opportunity for themselves and their families. 5:30-8:30 p.m., United Center Concert Club, 1901 West Madison Street. Map. More info.
February 28
Cook County Treasurer and Streeterville resident Maria Pappas will talk taxes with residents. 2nd Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins is scheduled to introduce Treasurer Pappas and coordinate questions from the audience. A reception with Pappas and other participants will follow. 6:30 p.m., The Ritz Carlton Chicago, 160 East Pearson Street. Registration starts at 6:00 p.m. Map. More info.
March 1
City Club of Chicago presents Patrick Kennedy. During his 16 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, Kennedy fought to end discrimination against mental illness, addiction, and other brain diseases. In 2013, he founded The Kennedy Forum, a non-profit organization whose mission is to lead a national dialogue on transforming mental health and addiction care delivery. 7:30 a.m. reception, 8:00 a.m. breakfast. Maggiano’s Banquets, 111 West Grand Avenue. Cost: $50. Map. More info.
March 3 – Art
36 original panels of the monumental mural created in 1989 by internationally-acclaimed artist Keith Haring, with the assistance of 500 Chicago Public School students in Chicago’s Grant Park, will be on display through September 23. Exhibition will also feature a collection of photographs, correspondence, designs, plans, and other items. Chicago Cultural Center, 78 East Washington Street, Sidney R. Yates Gallery, 4th Floor North. Admission: Free. Map. More info.
March 4
Chicago’s longest-running Oscar viewing party at Gene Siskel Film Center. 6:00 p.m., red carpet, food, libations. 7:00 p.m., live telecast. Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 North State Street. Dress: Hollywood Glam or Vintage Loungewear. Tickets: $100. Includes open seating in either theater, small bites from Chicago’s hottest restaurants, open bar including coffee and tea, desserts from Eli’s Cheescake, photo booth, opportunity to win incredible auction/raffle items, and a goody bag. Map. More info.
Through March 4
McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Millennium Park is open through March 4. Skating is free and open to the public, with skate rentals available for $12 Monday through Thursday and $14 on Friday, Sunday and holidays. Map. More info.
Through March 4 – Art
Backstroke of the West, the first-ever survey of the work of Chicago-based Iraqi-American Michael Rakowitz, at Museum of Contemporary Art. Rakowitz’s work explores recent contested social, political, and cultural histories. Drawing on personal experiences and research on these subjects, as well as history and popular culture, Rakowitz creates illustrated objects, installations, and performances that invite viewers to contemplate their complicit relationship to the political world around them, recognizing that hospitality and hostility are interlinked. Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 East Chicago Avenue. Map. More info.
March 5-19
Early voting for March 20 primary election available at 51 locations throughout Chicago. You may register to vote at any Early Voting site. Locations include Museum of Broadcast Communications, 360 North State Street, and Loop Super Site at 16 West Adams Street. Map. More info.
March 8
City Club of Chicago presents Fritz Kaegi, candidate for Cook County Assessor. Kaegi is a progressive Democrat running in the March primary. Maggiano’s Banquets, 111 West Grand Avenue. 7:30 a.m. reception, 8:00 a.m. breakfast. Cost: $50. Map. More info.
March 8
Uncorked: A Tasting Event Benefiting Gilda’s Club Chicago. Join the Gilda’s Club Chicago Associate Board for their annual Craft Beer and Wine Tasting event. Guests will enjoy appetizers, a variety of wines, Goose Island craft beers, and have a chance to enter a raffle for several items. 6:00-9:00 p.m., Goose Island Barrel House, 603 North Sacramento Boulevard. Admission $50. Map. More info.
March 9
4th annual Glitz and Glamour Fashion Show benefiting A Silver Lining Foundation. This year’s show will spotlight the elegant jewels of A. Marek Fine Jewelry and feature the hottest custom couture from Chicago’s celebrated fashion designers. 100 percent of event proceeds funds the foundation’s mammography program, which provides cost-free mammograms and diagnostic testing to all individuals. MC is Emmy Award winning journalist Micah Mattere. Guest speaker is Dr. Sandy Goldberg, founder of A Silver Lining Foundation. Cocktails 11:00-11:30 a.m., luncheon 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., and fashion show at 12:15 p.m. The Peninsula Hotel, 108 East Superior Street, Grand Ball Room. Tickets: $125. Map. More info.
March 12
City Club of Chicago presents Lori Lightfoot, president of Chicago Police Board. As a partner at Mayer Brown LLP, Lightfoot specializes in commercial litigation, internal investigations, and other white-collar work on behalf of individual and institutional clients. Lightfoot has extensive experience in every phase of litigation and has tried over 20 cases. 11:30 a.m. reception, 12:00 p.m. luncheon. Maggiano’s Banquets, 111 West Grand Avenue. Cost: $50. Map. More info.
March 17
Shoreline Sightseeing gets its green on in honor of St. Patrick’s Day with a special Architecture River Tour featuring complimentary bagels, St. Patrick’s Day favors, and a special Irish-themed guided tour on the green-for-a-day Chicago River. A full cash bar will include green beer and an assortment of Irish drink specials as well as coffee and soft drinks. The Green Beer and Bagels Tour will depart from Shoreline’s dock at the northeast corner of the Michigan Avenue Bridge at 10:00 a.m. for the 75-minute tour. Tickets are $41 adults and $22 children 12 and under. Map. More info.
March 15–18 – Performance
The pilot tour of Just Dance Live, an immersive and interactive experience based on the top music video game franchise of all time, plays locally at Navy Pier. For more than two hours, the world of Just Dance comes alive like never before. Part stage show, part audience-involvement, with fans playing an integral role in the show. Aon Grand Ballroom, Navy Pier. Tickets start at $45. Map. More info.
March 24
Annual Meeting of Midwest High Speed Rail Association. An informative event for high-speed rail enthusiasts, urban planners, architects, real estate professionals, students, travelers, civic-and-community-minded individuals. Engage with industry leaders from rail, transit, construction, engineering, development, planning, and architecture. Learn the latest on the Downtown-to-O’Hare Express Rail Link. 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Maggiano’s, 111 West Grand Avenue. Cost: $60 (or $20 for students). Map. More info.
March 31 – Exhibition Opening
To Dig A Hole That Collapses Again, the first North American museum survey of Nigerian-born, Belgium-based artist Otobong Nkanga. His work explores the relationship between Africa and the Western world, with a focus on the intense mining of natural resources since the rise of global capitalism. March 31 through September 9, Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 East Chicago Avenue. Map. More info.
April 11
American portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz will share in an afternoon of conversation and celebration in honor of the 50th anniversary of Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art. This first-ever MCA Women’s Board Luncheon is dedicated to honoring extraordinary women artists around the world. Guests will enjoy a curated program which includes a keynote presentation and a book signing of Leibovitz’s critically acclaimed new book, Annie Leibovitz: Portraits 2005-2016. Noon, The Standard Club, 320 South Plymouth Court. Tickets: $300. Includes valet parking and a signed copy of her book. Map. More info.
Got an event coming up in downtown Chicago? We want to hear about it. Send information to news@loopnorth.com. Please include date, time, location, cost, and a URL for more info.

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