Upcoming Downtown Events

Today
Public opening of the Chicago Architecture Biennial, the largest platform for contemporary architecture in North America. 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Chicago Cultural Center, 78 East Washington Street. Runs through January 5, 2020. Free and open to the public. Map. More info.
Today
Museum of Contemporary Art hosts Vernissage, the opening night preview of EXPO CHICAGO. Organized by the MCA Women’s Board, this extraordinary benefit is the city’s most anticipated art event of the year. General Reception, 6:00-9:00 p.m. Patron Reception, 5:00-7:00 p.m., will feature a premium bar and cuisine from some of Chicago’s finest restaurants. Tickets start at $125 ($300 for the private reception) and will be available for sale in August. Proceeds will benefit education,exhibition, and performance programs at MCA. Festival Hall, Navy Pier, 600 East Grand Avenue. Map. More info.
Saturday – Presentation
The New Old Chicago Post Office: Awakening the Sleeping Giant. Presented by Rebecca Callcott of Gensler and Jonathan Sladek of WSP. Learn how this deteriorating historic structure was transformed to a thriving workplace. 5:00-7:00 p.m., Cliff Dwellers Club, 200 South Michigan Avenue, 22nd Floor. Cost: $65 through September 3, then $75. Map. More info.
Saturday – Performance
YAS! Fest, the second annual Youth Arts Showcase, is Chicago’s largest celebration of young artists and youth arts organizations, featuring creative work of musicians, actors, dancers, and other artists. Teens and families will explore youtharts programs from across the city and enjoy a showcase of hundreds of outstanding young Chicago artists. 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Millennium Park, 201 East Randolph Street. Free and open to the public. Map. More info.
September 25 – Exhibition Opening
Opening reception and lecture for Nocturnal Landscapes: Urban Flows of Global Metropolises, an exhibit that observes and analyzes cities at night from an interdisciplinary perspective. Mar Santamara and Pablo Martnez present a research methodologyfocused on the comparison of relevant case studies based on cartographic depictions of the rhythms and recognizable sites of seven global cities. Photographer and sociologist David Schalliol captures nighttime in cities around the world with photographs that emphasize human interaction, highlight moments of celebration and mourning, protest and labor, memorialization, and solitude. 6:00 p.m., Instituto Cervantes of Chicago, 31 West Ohio Street. Exhibition on display until October 30. Map. More info.
September 25 – Presentation
Writer and disabled rights advocate Keah Brown presents her first book, The Pretty One, a thoughtful, inspiring, and charming collection of essays exploring what it means to be black and disabled in a mostly able-bodied white America. Born with cerebral palsy, her greatest desire used to be normalcy and refuge from the steady stream of self-hate that society strengthened inside her. But after years of introspection and reaching out to others in her community, she has reclaimed herself and changed her perspective. In The Pretty One, Brown gives a contemporary and relatable voice to the disabled, so often portrayed as mute, weak, or isolated. 6:30 p.m., American Writers Museum, 180 North Michigan Avenue, 2nd Floor, Readers Hall. Map. More info.
September 26 – Presentation
City Club of Chicago presents Crime in the City: Summer Recap & What’s Ahead, with Eddie Johnson, Superintendent of Chicago Police Department. 7:30 a.m. reception, 8:00 a.m. breakfast. Maggiano’s Banquets, 111 West Grand Avenue. Cost: Cost: $50. Map. More info.
September 26 – Presentation
City Club of Chicago presents 2nd Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins, first elected to Chicago’s City Council in 2015 and re-elected in 2019 after running unopposed. Prior to being elected into office, Hopkins worked in the Cook County Commissioners office, where he served as Chief of Staff to Finance Committee Chairman John Daley. Hopkins was twice voted President of the respected community group, Streeterville Organization of Active Residents. 11:30 a.m. reception, 12:00 p.m. luncheon. Maggiano’s Banquets, 111 West Grand Avenue. Cost: $50. Map. More info.
September 26 – Presentation
Literature’s Lineage: Descendants of Writers Share Family Stories, an evening of storytelling and literary appreciation. American Writers Museum welcomes typewriter collector and president of Los Angeles Police Commission Steve Soboroff; Christie Hefner, Chairman and CEO of Playboy Enterprises; Colin Johnson, Maya Angelou’s grandson; and Laura Siegel Larson, daughter of Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel. 6:30 p.m., American Writers Museum, 180 North Michigan Avenue, 2nd Floor. Map. More info.
September 26
Shoreline Sightseeing presents their annual Beer, Brats, and Boats Oktoberfest celebration and cruise. The evening will feature a classic German dinner provided by Chicago’s Paulina Market and a selection of Oktoberfest brews, including a free drink with souvenir beer stein. The popular Paloma Band will be on hand dressed in their traditional Oktoberfest finest. Festivities will take place on a starlit, two-hour cruise on Chicago’s waterways. Departs Polk Bros Park at Navy Pier at 7:00p.m., returning at 9:00 p.m. Tickets: $59 per person. Must be 21. Map. More info.
September 27-29
Lights, Camera, Napkin! The 12th annual Chicago Gourmet shines a spotlight on the exciting connections between the culinary and entertainment worlds. In a program brimming with celebrity chefs, master sommeliers, interactive cooking demos, educational seminars, beverage tastings, book signings, and food for miles, festival-goers should come hungry and ready to rub elbows with the stars they so often read about and see on the silver screen. Saturday, 12:00-5:30 p.m. Sunday, 12:30-5:00 p.m. Millennium Park. Map. More info.
October 1 – Presentation
Community meeting to discuss a proposed high-rise at 40 West Oak Street, the current location of a parking structure next to Warren Barr. Nahla Capital is seeking community feedback for a proposed 90-unit luxury condominium with 160 parking spaceson-site, with parking to remain shared between the building and adjacent rehabilitation center. Residents interested in learning more about this project are welcome to attend. No RSVP required. 6:00-7:30 p.m., Moody Bible Institute, Torrey-Grey Auditorium, 821 North Wells Street. Co-hosted by 2nd Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins and River North Residents Association. Map. More info.
October 4-5 – Panel Discussion
Friends of the Parks third annual Parks as Democracy? conference. This years theme is Climate for Change, a phrase meant to connect our planets climate crisis and our citys equity crisis to new opportunities for policy change and reform. October 4 10:45 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. October 5 8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. DePaul University, Loop Campus, 1 East Jackson Boulevard. Map. More info.
October 7 – Presentation
City Club of Chicago presents Fighting the Teen Vaping Epidemic with Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, who represents the 8th District of Illinois, which includes Chicago’s west and northwest suburbs. His policy platform focuses on growing and strengthening the middle class by supporting small businesses, making college more affordable, rebuilding our infrastructure, and protecting Social Security and Medicare. 11:30 a.m. reception, 12:00 p.m. luncheon. Maggiano’s Banquets, 111 West Grand Avenue. Cost: $50. Map. More info.
October 7 – Performance
The nation’s most diverse orchestra, Chicago Sinfonietta, presents its 2019-2020 season opening concert, Forces Fates: The Beauty and Volatility of Planet Earth, a performance centered on awe, imperfection, and disorder found on Earth and how the future may rest in the hands of the human race. Listeners will experience a musical journey that celebrates the beauty that surrounds us while posing the question of what do we need to do to protect the planet. Featuring Beethoven’s SymphonyNo. 5 plus a world premiere work commissioned by Sinfonietta. 7:30 p.m., Symphony Center, 220 South Michigan Avenue. Tickets range from $10 to $62 when purchased in advance online. Map. More info.
October 8
Friends of Downtown Annual Best of Downtown Awards. Celebrate architecture, planning, policy, business, and people that have had a significant impact on the livability and beauty of downtown Chicago. This year’s guest of honor and Mary Ward Wolkonsky Lifetime Award recipient is Asif Rahman, formally of the City of Chicago Department of Buildings. 5:00-9:00 p.m., The Cliff Dwellers, 200 South Michigan Avenue, 22nd Floor. Tickets: $40. Map. More info.
October 8 – Presentation
Science fiction and nonfiction writer Annalee Newitz presents her new novel, The Future of Another Timeline, a story of time travel, murder, and the lengths we’ll go to protect the ones we love. Newitz is joined by journalist, publisher, andTwitter extraordinaire Dan Sinker. Books will be sold and signed at the event. 6:30 p.m., American Writers Museum Readers Hall, 180 North Michigan Avenue, 2nd Floor. Cost: $12. Map. More info.
October 10 – Presentation
City Club of Chicago presents Dr. Suzet McKinney, CEO/Executive Director of Illinois Medical District, a 24/7/365 environment that is one of the largest urban medical districts in the United States. She is the former Deputy Commissioner of the Bureau of Public Health Preparedness and Emergency Response at Chicago Department of Public Health. 11:30 a.m. reception, 12:00 p.m. luncheon. Maggiano’s Banquets, 111 West Grand Avenue. Cost: $50. Map. More info.
October 15 – Presentation
City Club of Chicago presents The State We’re In 2019: A Conversation on the State of Public Education in Illinois with Robin Steans, President of Advance Illinois; 30th District Representative Will Davis; Miguel del Valle, President of the Chicago Board of Education; and Jesse Ruiz, Deputy Governor under Governor J.B. Pritzker. Moderated by Robin Steans. 11:30 a.m. reception, 12:00 p.m. luncheon. Maggiano’s Banquets, 111 West Grand Avenue. Cost: $50. Map. More info.
October 16 – Presentation
Award-winning poet and AM to DM co-host Saeed Jones presents his new memoir, How We Fight for Our Lives, a stunning coming-of-age story written at the crossroads of sex, race, and power. Books will be sold and signed at the event. 6:30 p.m., American Writers Museum Readers Hall, 180 North Michigan Avenue, 2nd Floor. Cost: $12. Map. More info.
October 18 – Exhibition Opening
Museum of Broadcast Communications continues its nod to pop culture and television by welcoming the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s iconic exhibit, Stay Tuned: Rock on TV. Chicago is the first stop on a nationwide tour. From The Ed Sullivan Show to The Voice, rock and roll has shaped television (and vice versa). This special exhibit tells the story of how TV launched rock’s iconic stars, brought them into our homes, kept them in the spotlight, and connected them to us with music and visual imagery. Museum of Broadcast Communications, 360 North State Street. Map. More info.
October 27 – Film
The 55th Chicago International Film Festival will close with the world premiere of Jim Farrell’s Buddy Guy documentary, The Torch, chronicling the legendary blues musician’s dedication to mentoring a new generation of artists. Buddy Guy and Farrell are scheduled to attend. 6:00 p.m., AMC River East 21, 322 East Illinois Street. Map. More info.
October 30 – Presentation
City Club of Chicago presents Quality, Equity, Community and Collaboration: A Conversation with Illinois State Board of Education Leaders Dr. Carmen Ayala, State Superintendent and Darren Reisberg, Board Chair. Maggiano’s Banquets, 111 WestGrand Avenue. 11:30 a.m. reception, 12:00 p.m. luncheon Cost: $50. Map. More info.
November 4 – Presentation
The Peanuts Papers is a one-of-a-kind celebration of America’s beloved comic strip – and the life lessons it can teach us – from a stellar array of writers and artists. A fun-filled night of Peanuts discussion and appreciation with Andrew Blauner, editor of the anthology, and Chris Ware, contributing artist and writer. Books will be sold and signed at the event. 6:30 p.m., American Writers Museum Readers Hall, 180 North Michigan Avenue, 2nd Floor. Cost: $12. Map. More info.
November 6 – Presentation
City Club of Chicago presents Ron Guerrier, State of Illinois Chief Information Officer and Secretary for the Department of Innovation & Technology. Guerrier has more than 20 years of experience managing technology in the private sector and has served as CIO for multibillion-dollar companies – most recently at Express Scripts, the nation’s largest pharmacy benefit manager. 11:30 a.m. reception, 12:00 p.m. luncheon. Maggiano’s Banquets, 111 West Grand Avenue. Cost: $50.00. Map. More info.
November 12 – Presentation
City Club of Chicago presents Jim Derwinski, CEO/Executive Director of Metra. Jim began his railroad career as a locomotive electrician with Chicago & North Western Railway. He joined Metra as an electrician in 1997 and rose through the ranks in the Mechanical Department, serving in progressively responsible senior leadership positions, including Chief Mechanical Officer. In that role, he oversaw 650 employees responsible for the repair, inspection, cleaning, and maintenance of the railroad’s 1,164 pieces of rolling stock used in commuter service. 11:30 a.m. reception, 12:00 p.m. luncheon. Maggiano’s Banquets, 111 West Grand Avenue. Cost: $50. Map. More info.
November 18 – Presentation
City Club of Chicago presents Brendan Kelly, Acting Director of Illinois State Police. Prior to beginning his leadership of the ISP, Kelly served as the elected State’s Attorney of St. Clair County from 2010 to 2019 and was previously an Assistant State’s Attorney, prosecuting everything from drug cases to crimes against children to the most heinous murder cases. In 2018, Kelly was named State’s Attorney of the Year by the Illinois State Crime Commission. 11:30 a.m. reception, 12:00 p.m. luncheon. Maggiano’s Banquets, 111 West Grand Avenue. Cost: $50. Map. More info.
December 5-8
A highly-anticipated and much-revered holiday experience in Chicago, the 19th Annual One of a Kind Holiday Show will return to The Mart (formerly Merchandise Mart). Offering shoppers a one-stop shopping and entertainment experience, the show features work from over 600 talented artists, artisans, and makers from across North America and beyond, as well as gourmet cafes, live music, a thoughtfully-curated fine art gallery, and much more. Shoppers are invited to indulge in one of the city’s most unique events for shopping, gourmet goods, and live entertainment during the holiday season. 222 West Merchandise Mart Plaza. Tickets: $12 per adult for all four days. Children 12 and under are free. Map. More info.
Got an event coming up in downtown Chicago? We want to hear about it. Send information to events@loopnorth.com. Please include date, time, location, cost, and a URL for more info.

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