Upcoming Downtown Events

Today
Museum of Contemporary Art presents the first solo museum exhibition of Chicago-based artist Paul Heyer. In his most immersive installation to date, Heyer creates a multisensory, dream-like realm that combines his ethereal paintings and sculptures with ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) sounds that trigger euphoric feelings in the visitor. Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 East Chicago Avenue. Map. More info.
Wednesday
River North Business Association Business After Hours networking event at Katana Chicago. With its distinctive energy and style, Katana is the perfect setting for RNBA to celebrate the new year. Bring plenty of business cards for this fantastic night of networking! 5:30-7:00 p.m., Katana, 339 North Dearborn Street. Cost: $40. Map. More info.
Thursday – Panel Discussion
City Club of Chicago presents Sanctuary Cities: Yes or No? Cook County Board Commissioner Jesús “Chuy” García, Brian McCann, retired 34-year veteran of Chicago Public Schools, and former congressman Joe Walsh. 11:30 a.m. reception. 12:00 p.m. luncheon. Cost: $50. Maggiano’s Banquets, 111 West Grand Avenue. Map. More info.
January 18 – Performance
Poetry reading by Cedar Sigo, author of the full-length collections Royals, Language Arts, and Stranger in Town, and editor of There You Are: Interviews, Journals, and Ephemera. 7:00 p.m., Poetry Foundation, 61 West Superior Street. Free and open to the public on a first come, first served basis. Map. More info.
Saturday
Women’s March Chicago, starting at Columbus Drive and Congress Parkway, the same location where more than 250,000 turned out for the group’s inaugural march. In concert with sister marches around the country, this year’s march will celebrate the active spirit of resistance while mobilizing marchers to prepare for the 2018 elections. East Congress Parkway & South Columbus Drive. More info.
January 25
City Club of Chicago presents Christine Dudley, director of Illinois Film Office, promoting Illinois as a global destination for film, television, and advertising production. In 2016, the film office reported a record-breaking $499 million in direct spending and over 13,000 Illinois resident job hires. 11:30 a.m. reception, 12:00 p.m. luncheon. Maggiano’s Banquets, 111 West Grand Avenue. Cost: $50. Map. More info.
January 25 – Performance
Dancers using handheld tools and legacy processes explore the relationship between mind, body, and tool, in Project Tool, opening at Chicago Cultural Center. While sawing, hammering, sanding, and nailing, the dancers collaborate with tools as if they are partners in a dance with the body while building a wood, spring dance floor upon which they dance. Opening reception, 5:30 p.m., Chicago Cultural Center, 78 East Washington Street, Garland Gallery, 1st Floor. Map. More info.
January 25 – Performance
Opening reception and performance of The Master and Form, a new performance series by artist Brendan Fernandes. The project explores themes of mastery and discipline within the culture of ballet through the use of designed objects that enable dancers to perfect and extend iconic positions, and features collaborations with dancers from the Joffrey Academy of Dance. 6:00-8:00 p.m., Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Madlener House, 4 West Burton Place. Map. More info.
January 25
A night of American writers trivia at American Writers Museum. Wander the museum, learn about American writing and American writers, and test your trivia knowledge. Bring friends, play as a team or individually, and come see whose American writing knowledge is the best. Winners will receive individual one-year AWM memberships, AWM swag, and other prizes. Must be 21 or older. Tickets: $15, includes trivia entry, museum admission, and one free drink ticket. 6:30 p.m., American Writers Museum, 180 North Michigan Avenue, 2nd Floor. Map. More info.
January 25 – Performance
John Barr Reading Series presents Jamaal May, author of Hum, The Big Book of Exit Strategies, and two chapbooks, The God Engine and The Whetting of Teeth. May has won a Beatrice Hawley Award and an ALA Notable Book Award and was a finalist for the NAACP Image Award. 7:00 p.m., Poetry Foundation, 61 West Superior Street. Free and open to the public on a first come, first served basis. Map. More info.
January 25-28 – Performance
Museum of Contemporary Art presents Las Ideas, a performance by writer, director, and performer Federico León that invites the viewer to follow the creative process in real time, from how ideas arise to which mechanisms are activated to put those ideas into practice. Staged at a ping-pong table, León and his collaborator Julián Tello bounce ideas back and forth, testing hypotheses and theories for projects at different stages. Performed in Spanish with English supertitles. 7:30 p.m., January 25-27. 2:00 p.m., January 28. MCA Stage, Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 East Chicago Avenue. Tickets: $30. Map. More info.
January 19-28 – Performance
The Illusion & The Aftermath, a performance by Temporary Distortion, unfolds slowly over the course of six hours for a meditating audience. Meditation cushions and headphones are provided for the audience to come and go as they wish. For someone in the room without headphones, the performance is virtually silent. Wednesdays through Saturdays, 1:00-7:00 p.m. Sundays, 10:00-4:00 p.m., Chicago Cultural Center, 78 East Washington Street, Sidney R. Yates Gallery, 4th Floor North. Admission: Free. Map. More info.
January 29
City Club of Chicago presents Jens Ludwig, director of University of Chicago Crime Lab. The Crime Lab partners with policymakers in Chicago and around the country to carry out large-scale policy experiments to identify more effective and humane ways to prevent crime and violence, and reduce the harms associated with the criminal justice system. 11:30 a.m. reception, 12:00 p.m. luncheon. Maggiano’s Banquets, 111 West Grand Avenue. Cost: $50. Map. More info.
February 8-11 – Performance
Museum of Contemporary Art presents The Way You Look (At Me) Tonight, a sensory journey by leading disability activist and artist Claire Cunningham and award-winning choreographer Jess Curtis that explores the way society perceives people and the world. Two performers dance, sing, and tell stories within a collage of original music and video, prompting introspective moments and self-reflection. As the performers examine their own ways of seeing each other, so the audience members are asked to look at themselves. 7:30 p.m., February 8-10, and 2:00 p.m. on February 11. MCA Stage, Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 East Chicago Avenue. Tickets: $30. Map. More info.
February 15
Trends in World-Class Business Districts and What Chicago is Doing to Compete is the keynote address at Chicago Loop Alliance’s annual meeting. Vincent Raufast, senior manager with EY Advisory in Paris, will discuss a study by EY and Urban Land Institute of the attractiveness of leading business districts across the globe. The Chicago Loop was one of 17 business improvement districts worldwide to qualify to contribute to this study. 7:00-9:30 a.m., The Mid-America Club, 200 East Randolph Street, 80th Floor. Includes breakfast and networking with Chicago’s business and cultural leaders. Map. More info.
Through February 23
David Yarrow’s Wild Encounters, a gallery exhibition of wildlife photographs, is held over by popular demand through February 23. Last November, David spent two weeks in Chicago photographing one of his favorite cities. The result was two magnificent images of a grey 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.
February 24
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.
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.
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
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.
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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