Category Archives: Community Events

Chicago Polar Plunge March 1st 2020

March 1, 2020 at North Avenue Beach  celebrates the 20th anniversary of this Chicago winter tradition.

This fundraiser is extremely important to the 7,500+ Special Olympics Chicago athletes that the Chicago Polar Plunge benefits. You are what makes this day possible, so thank you! We are expecting 4,000+ of you to take the plunge and thousands of spectators on top of that.

We want to make sure you are properly prepared. Below are some helpful reminders to get you ready!

Itinerary March 1, 2020:

8:00 AM Beach & Registration Opens

9:45 AM Opening Ceremony

10:00 AM Meltdown Tent Opens

10:30 AM–11:15 AM Plunge Waves

Location:

North Avenue Beach

1601 N. Lake Shore Drive

Chicago, IL 60611

Parking:

We encourage public transportation/carpooling/rideshare. If driving, the parking lot at Lincoln Park Zoo is free for the Plunge. The lot is located at Fullerton Parkway and Cannon Drive, 2400 North Cannon Drive, Chicago, IL 60614.

Check in process:
We recommend checking in ahead of time during one of the sessions below. (listed below) prior to Sunday, March 1 to pick up your t-shirt, wristbands and turn in any offline donations. Groups of 20 or more will be required to pick up their team’s materials prior to March 1.

Early pickup dates:

Friday, February 28, from 3:00–6:30 PM

Saturday, February 29, from 10:00 AM–2:00 PM

Sunday, March 1, from 8:00–10:00 AM

What to Bring

Please bring your bags and dry items with you as you enter the warming tents. As far as what to wear into the water, less is better. Shoes are REQUIRED to take the plunge. Don’t forget about the costume contest!

Please bring a bag with the following:

  • Shoes (required to plunge)
  • A warm change of clothing

Extra items you might want to bring include

  • An extra towel
  • A waterproof phone case (available for $5 at our souvenir tent)

What to do with your Belongings

One great thing about bringing friends to watch is that they can hold your bag while you plunge. But don’t worry. If you want to keep your gear handy, just take it with you into the heating tents before you plunge. Our volunteers will direct you to leave your bags on a tarp before heading into the water as a “Gear Check”. After you take the plunge and exit the water, volunteers will hand you a souvenir towel and will direct you to your bag right where you left it on the dry tarp.

The boathouse has restrooms available to all Plungers before and after the event, as well as changing rooms throughout the beach.

Please note: Special Olympics Chicago is not responsible for lost or stolen personal belongings. Please leave all items at your own risk. We do have a lost and found on site.

Play it safe! Remember there is no diving allowed!

Meltdown Party and Olympic Village:

Following the Plunge, come enjoy our meltdown party. Featuring food, a cash bar, music and most importantly, HEATERS! On your way there, check out Olympic Village! You can take photos at our selfie stations, check out athlete artwork from Envisions artists, buy sweet treats from Misericordia, or buttons from Easterseals!

You should expect to have an absolute blast! Also, expect a very large crowd filled with tons of energy. The actual plunge is short and sweet, but you may have to wait in line before you jump in the water. You can listen to music, buy Polar Plunge merchandise, food, and/or drinks while mingling with thousands of fellow Plungers and spectators.

See you soon, Plungers!

Award Winning Mariachi Feb 8th

Award-winning Mariachi ensemble to perform at Moraine Valley

Mariachi Herencia De México will perform its award-winning traditional Mexican music on Saturday, Feb. 8, at 7:30 p.m. in the Dorothy Menker Theater at Moraine Valley Community College, 9000 W. College Parkway, Palos Hills.

Tickets are $30, $25 for seniors, and free for children and students with ID. Those who qualify for free admission must acquire a ticket to reserve a seat.

This ensemble of students from Chicago’s immigrant barrios started in 2014 as a music education program for Chicago Public school students. The group has earned a Latin Grammy nomination in the Best Ranchero/Mariachi Album category, and its latest album, “Herencia de la Tierra Mia,” debuted at No. 2 on Billboard’s Latin Album sales chart.

Mariachi Herencia de México has performed alongside major artists, Lila Downs, Aida Cuevas, Los Lobos, Pedro Fernández, as well as some of the most respected mariachi groups from both sides of the border, including Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan, Los Camperos, Sol de Mexico, Cobre, and the all-female group Reyna de Los Angeles.

 

For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Fine and Performing Arts Center Box Office at (708) 974-5500 or visit morainevalley.edu/fpac.

What is the Midwest?

Running  now  thru Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Trienens Galleries / Newberry  Library

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
EXHIBITIONS

Often called “the Heartland” or “flyover country,” the Midwest tends to be characterized as a homogeneous, barren space between the American coasts. This exhibition challenges the assumptions, stereotypes, and persistent narratives about the Midwest, exploring the confluence of peoples and environmental conditions that has defined the region and made it unique.

Spanning roughly 400 years—from the seventeenth century to the twenty-first—the exhibition tells a multitude of stories using various Newberry collections, including maps, art, promotional ephemera, archival photos and videos, and personal letters and diaries.

Free docent-led tours of the exhibition will be offered on Fridays and Saturdays at 2 pm and Tuesdays at 11 am.

What Is the Midwest? is generously supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. A series of public programs and a set of digital resources will also explore the major themes of this exhibition in the fall of 2019.

The Newberry Library is located on the lands of American Indians, who have persisted longer than the United States has been a nation. We acknowledge that Potawatomi, Odawa, Sauk, Ojibwe, Illinois, Kickapoo (Kiikaapoi), Miami (Myaamia), Mascouten, Wea, Delaware, Winnebago, Menominee, and Mesquakie villages resided and traded along Lake Michigan’s shoreline from precontact through the nineteenth century. The Newberry honors and respects Chicago’s diverse American Indian community.

  • The Newberry
  • 60 West Walton Street,  Chicago, Illinois 60610
  • (312) 943-9090

Chicago Aids Run Walk October 5 2019

“Live True. Be You” at the 2019 AIDS Run & Walk Chicago

 

On Saturday, Oct. 5, advocates from across Chicago and beyond will gather to support those living with and vulnerable to HIV at the 2019 AIDS Run & Walk Chicago. Held at Soldier Field, the 18th annual event encourages participants to live true as they raise vital awareness and funds for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) and 27 CommunityDirect partners. The proceeds benefit programs and services improving the lives of those affected by HIV and AIDS and other chronic conditions.

 

The event attracts thousands of participants annually, who gather at one of Chicago’s most iconic locations for the 5K walk and 5K and 10K runs. Participants travel a scenic route along Lake Michigan and finish at Soldier Field. This vibrant event will mobilize the community under the theme “Live true. Be you.”

 

“The theme this year continues to be “Live True. Be You”, as living each day authentically is a crucial part of embracing who we are as a community and showing how we can make a difference for people living with and vulnerable to HIV and AIDS,” said Dustin Erikstrup, AFC’s Senior Manager of Special Events. “It is important to live true and openly each day in this unpredictable climate. AIDS Run & Walk Chicago provides this safe space where people can express themselves.”

 

In addition to AFC, 27 community organizations serving Chicago’s HIV and AIDS population are also beneficiaries of the funds raised at AIDS Run & Walk Chicago as part of the CommunityDirect program. Participating CommunityDirect organizations kick off the event’s fundraising efforts by registering their own team for the 5K walk, 5K or 10K runs. Many of this year’s community partners have been involved in the event for years, providing opportunities for other organizations to participate and support its fundraising efforts.

 

AFC recently joined forces with the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Chicago Department of Public Health, and other statewide partners to launch Getting to Zero Illinois. This is a state-wide initiative to end the HIV epidemic in Illinois by 2030 with the help of community-based organizations, health care providers, local government agencies and local members of Illinois’ HIV community. The initiative focuses on increasing the current rates of PrEP (a daily prevention pill that is up to 99 percent effective when taken consistently and correctly) and other HIV treatments to attain fewer than 100 new HIV cases per year.

 

In Illinois, an estimated 45,000 people live with HIV or AIDS. AFC, along with community organizations and other partners, are working tirelessly to get this number down to zero through their advocacy and fundraising efforts. The AIDS Run & Walk Chicago provides the ideal opportunity to raise money and awareness for and the groups and individuals who are working to combat the epidemic in Illinois.

 

Since its establishment in 2001, the AIDS Run & Walk Chicago has raised more than $6 million to battle the epidemic. For more information or to participate, visit aidsrunwalk.org or call 312-334-0946.

 

2019 CommunityDirect Partners

Michael Reese Care Program at Mercy

Chicago Recovery Alliance

Lurie SID

The Night Ministry

Agape Missions

Public Health Institute of Metropolitan Chicago

Center on Halsted

Chicago House and Social Service Agency

AMITA Health Housing & Health Alliance

Legal Beagles (Legal Council for Health Justice)

Season of Concern

Open Door

Howard Brown

Sinai/Holy Cross Strolling Bones

SWOP – Chicago (Sex Workers Outreach Project)

CCHE (Chicago Center for HIV Elimination

Pride Action Tank

Men and Women in Prison Ministries

Catholic Charities

Mother and Child Alliance

Team CCHIP (Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center)

DANCE FOR LIFE CHICAGO

Erie Family Health Centers

Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus

Team Loyola

New Ages Services Corporation

Team HAI (Heartland Alliance International)

About AFC

About the AIDS Foundation of Chicago: AFC mobilizes communities to create equity and justice for people living with and vulnerable to HIV or chronic conditions. AFC aspires to create a world in which people living with HIV or chronic conditions will thrive, and there will be no new HIV cases. More at: aidschicago.org.

Bloomingdales Chicago now has Hästens Handmade Mattresses from Sweden

Bloomingdales Now Proudly Representing Hästens Handmade Mattresses from Sweden

 

Hästens has a rich history running back through six generations and the journey to where they are now is one filled with passion, skill and the pursuit of making the best handcrafted beds in the world. The bond that ties all of Hästens together is their Spirit of Excellence, a way of working and thinking that brings you the best sleep you’ll ever have.

Hästens was born in Sweden in 1852 and from the day they made their first bed, natural materials have always played a fundamental role. In 1852 cotton, horsetail hair, wool and flax were superior to other materials and, surprisingly, even today… that remains the case. And, then as it is now, the best way to craft using these materials is by hand. This tradition of hand craftsmanship gives their bed makers a deeply rooted understanding and mastery of both their art, and the natural materials that are so crucial to its consolidation.

The Beds: 2000THERLEWINGEALAMARANGA

Bloomingdales is so proud to now be representing Hästens in our Mattress Gallery located in our Medinah Home Store at 600 North Wabash Avenue. Please feel free to come in and feel for yourself what all the buzz is about! My name is Derrick Sorles, a Furniture and Mattress Specialist at Bloomingdales, please reach out and make an appointment and I am happy to showcase how Hästens Sleep Systems can change your life!

33rd Annual Day of the Dead exhibition

The 33rd Annual Day of the Dead exhibition opens this week!
Join us on Friday, September 20th from 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm at the opening reception for Día de Muertos • A Matter of Life.
Come enjoy the unique installations of traditional and contemporary ofrendas to the dead! Among the numerous installations this year will be a display from Mexico’s Black Towns in the Costa Chica and a special ofrenda dedicated to three generations of Árbol de la Vida artisans from Izúcar de Matamoros, Puebla by Veronica Castillo Salas.
The Museum’s 33rd Day of the Dead Exhibition is dedicated to those who tragically lost their lives in El Paso, Texas, where Mexicans and immigrants were targeted in the August 3rd hate crime.
Curated by Cesareo Moreno
The Día de Muertos exhibition will continue through December 8th. Additional information about the exhibition can be found here.
All audiences are welcome to join us. The National Museum of Mexican Art is wheelchair accessible. Please note that doors open for the reception at 6:00 pm on September 20th, and the exhibition will not be open prior to that time.
National Museum of Mexican Art
1852 W. 19th St.
Chicago, IL 60608
312-738-1503

Cat Film Festival Arrives in Chicago September 10

For those who love cats, a special film program, The Cat Film Festival, will be at the Century Centre 7 and Highland Park theaters on Tuesday Sept. 10. Showtime and programs are listed below.

The festival celebrates our love for cats, illustrated through film. Unlike Internet video festivals, these programs are works of art, thoughtfully curated by pet wellness expert and champion, Tracie Hotchner.

The Cat Film Festival is an exploration through film of the fascinating felines who share our lives, creating a shared audience experience that inspires, educates and entertains. For far too long, cats have been the “invisible” part of the human-animal bond and it’s time to shine the spotlight on these magnificent creatures and the humans devoted to them. The Cat Film Festival enhances our appreciation and understanding of how cats share our world, while benefiting cat welfare nationwide.

Date and Time:
Tuesday, September 10, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Locations:
Century Centre 7 , 2828 N. Clark St. , Chicago
Renaissance Place , 1850 2nd St. Downtown , Highland Park

A portion of every ticket benefits local animal welfare organizations Treehouse Humane and Save a Pet.To purchase tickets or for more information: www.catfilmfestival.com

Tickets will also be available at the box office .

PROGRAM DESCRIPTIONS:

The Cat Film Festival 2019 (2 Hours)

[The films are free of physical or verbal abuse toward people or animals. The only tears you might shed would be tears of joy for happy endings. The programs are designed for adult audiences but can be enjoyed by all members of the family, including mature children.]

The Pet Effect (2:00) Prescription: cat; Little Works of Art (13:00) Kim Best’s look at Harold “Cat Man” Sims and his self-styled American Museum of the House Cat in Sylva, NC, which houses over 10,000 cat-related objects and honors cats as “little works of art”; Art’s Automotive (6:00 )Erik Dumas’ animated tale of an orphaned kitten who bonds with an automotive repair robot in the future; Akamatsu the Cat (10:00) Ian Christopher Goodman’s documentary about life with a disabled kitty cat, Akamatsu, who was paralyzed but went on to live another 4 vibrant years with the use of a wheelchair; Pure Fluff (4:00) Sean Skelton’s documentary sketch of a professional cat groomer in New York City, who shows how to tackle this combative challenge; Winter Break (5:00) Rick Hamilton’s look at the thoughts of a school teacher who has only her cat for company during winter break; Guardians of Recoleta (21:00) Blake & Adrienne Kuhre (who run their own non-profit cat rescue in Los Angeles) examine the community cats living in the iconic Buenos Aires Recoleta cemetery, and what became of some kitties removed by well-meaning American rescuers; Scaredy, the Cat (8:00) Markie Hancock’s heartwarming documentary about a very shy cat who was adopted at the tennis courts in NYC’s Riverside park but avoids everyone except for a few choice people whom she eagerly greets; Marnie: The Cat Guru (2:00) Anca Vlasan’s philosophical tabby cat expounds on the meaning of life and happiness; Cat Nation: A Film About Japan’s Crazy Cat Culture (26:00) Tim Delmastro’s documentary about Japan’s extraordinary love of kitty cats; Instagram Cat Mom (5:00) Jess Spawn’s mockumentary takes us behind the scenes on the lengths people might go to for the purrfect photo to post online; Samantha and the Rock Cats (11:00) Jacob Feiring’s documentary follows a woman who travels the country with her cat show; Mittens from Kittens (4:00) Kim Best’s documentary shows how one woman was inspired by the nuisance of cat hair into spinning and knitting it into useful item; Beth Is Not a Cat (3:00) Beth is not a cat, but looks like one, which perplexes her orange tabby.

*Program subject to change without notice

About the Festival Founder

In 2015 the first NY Dog Film Festival™ premiered in New York City to a sold out theater. In 2017 the first annual NY Cat Film Festival™ followed suit, both events growing out of Tracie Hotchner’s desire as a pet wellness advocate to expand her Radio Pet Lady™ Network’s outreach to educate the public about adoption, health issues and philosophical aspects of pets in our lives. Today, both festivals travel the country, delighting pet lovers everywhere.

Hotchner is a nationally acclaimed pet wellness advocate, who wrote THE CAT BIBLE: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know as well as THE DOG BIBLE: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know. She is recognized as a thought leader in improving the lives of companion animals and is the premiere voice for pets and their people on pet talk radio.

She produced and hosted her own live, call-in show CAT CHAT® for over 7 years on the Martha Stewart channel of Sirius/XM until the channel was canceled. Tracie then created her own Radio Pet Lady™ Network, where she still produces and co-hosts CAT CHAT® along with 10 other pet talk radio podcasts with top veterinarians and pet experts.

Tracie continues to produce and host her own Gracie® Award winning NPR show DOG TALK® (and Kitties, Too!) from Peconic Public Broadcasting in the Hamptons after more than 12 consecutive years and 575 shows.

Private Night at Six Flags September 7th

Out In The Park at Six Flags Great America

Returns in 2019 for Year 8!

 

A Private Night in the Park to Celebrate Diversity

Presented by Your Local Toyota Dealers & BestGayChicago.com

That Will Help Benefit the Chicago Spirit Brigade

Saturday, September 7th, 2019 from 7:30PM to 12AM

 

Out In The Park is an annual private diversity event featuring unlimited riding of ALL Six Flags Great America’s amazing THRILL rides (with much shorter than usual lines! The park is only 35% full!) with a portion of all ticket sales each year helping to benefit various non-profits.

 

One of the best elements of this event is that it is closed to the general public and this year our event piggy-backs a daytime corporate buyout so our attendees will be entering an EMPTY PARK!” explains Michael Snell, co-owner of BestGayChicago.com. “The LGBTQ community, their family, friends and supporters can enjoy the park with shorter lines and without homophobic, transphobic, racism, bullying or bigotry from anyone. It’s like a Fall Pride Celebration of Diversity. Everyone is welcome!”

It’s important to us that everyone—no matter who you are, how you identify, or where you’re from—feel comfortable and confident. Our message is simple: You are welcome here. People of any colour, size, body type, gender, gender expression(s), and sexual orientation are welcome. Bigotry will not be tolerated and will be grounds for ejection from the park.

New this year, there will be 3 DJ’s spread around throughout the park. CZBOOGIE and MOOSE THE DJ from Chicago. Plus MARCUS ANGEL from Milwaukee. All playing uplifting pop and house music.

 

 

Advance $44 tickets can be purchased here; http://CelebrateDiversityChicago.com

Attendees get FREE parking for this special event! September 1st the price goes up to $49. $54 at the gate, IF AVAILABLE. This event is capped at only 5,000 tickets, to ensure lines stay short for the rides. Season Passes cannot be honored for special events. All ages event. Drinks are available for purchase to those 21+

Chef Tong at Taste Fest Chicago July 12

TASTE OF CHICAGO!  Is the  world’s largest FREE-admission outdoor food festival. The annual lakefront extravaganza lets you fill up on all the flavors of the city, from classic Chicago specialties to international cuisine to chef-inspired creations. It’s the perfect opportunity to get a bite of some of the best Chicago restaurants and chefs!

 

A favorite whenever he appears, Chef Chris Tong of the private gourmet dining service, My Private Chef returns to Taste of Chicago to present a healthy summer recipe.

Chef Tong’s cooking demonstration at the Taste of Chicago is one of My Private Chef’s most popular annual appearances. People who are casual cooks or lovers of gourmet food get to ask questions and discuss preparation. It is a very well attended feature of this annual Chicago summertime fest!

He will appear on Friday, July 12 at 12;30 p.m. at  the Lifeway Foods Taste Kitchen on the northwest corner of Buckingham Fountain Plaza.

Taste of Chicago runs daily July 10-14, 2019. Taste of Chicago is the nation’s free admission outdoor food festival. The annual lakefront extravaganza lets you fill up on all the flavors of the city, from classic Chicago specialties to international cuisine to chef-inspired creations. For more information about the Taste of Chicago event, visit www.tasteofchicago.us

My Private Chef is enjoying popularity as one of Chicago’s favorite private gourmet dining services. Trained in European-style fine cuisine, Chef Tong established his reputation at fine restaurants and hotels in Florida, California, and Chicago. Now he has adapted his impressive skills to the world of private entertaining. My Private Chef offers enticing cuisine for a wide range of events, from intimate dinners to weddings to corporate parties.

Chef Chris says: “Every event is different and I’ve met some wonderful people including many celebrities. Being part of very special occasions makes my work worthwhile. I also love conducting cooking demonstrations where I get the feeling that audience members will go home and try some new dishes!”

For more information about My Private Chef, contact Event Services at 773.370.8131 or visit our web site: www.myprivatechef.net

We hope to see you there!

JULY 10  14, 2019

Grant Park, 337 E. Randolph St.
Free admission (ticket purchase required for food)
Wednesday – Friday: 11a.m. – 9 p.m., Saturday & Sunday: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Cirque du Soleil and Art on the Mart

Have you seen Art on theMART yet? It is the largest permanent digital art projection in the world! It’s pretty cool to have this in Chicago!

Cirque du Soleil and its current hit production, VOLTA, now playing under the Big Top at Soldier Field, takes inspiration from the City’s 2019 Year of Chicago Theatre with a vibrant, larger-than-life animated projection as part of the popular public art program Art on theMART. Click here for a preview.

 

VOLTA – a hit with both critics and consumers, alike, since opening May 21 — is a coming-of-age tale, a story of putting yourself on the line, facing spectacular challenges, and discovering for yourself what comes next. As developed expressly for Art on theMART, the projection named “VOLTA” reflects the state-of-the-art acrobatics, kinetic motion, grandiose scale, and human intimacy of the Cirque du Soleil show that inspired it, as told through the inimitable 3D animation and illusions of Chicago Projection Mapping, LLC. and concepted by creative media agency Empower. “VOLTA” can be seen as part of the Art on theMART program nightly, starting 15 minutes after sundown, through the end of the production’s engagement in Chicago, July 6, 2019.

 

The 2019 Year of Chicago Theatre is a city-wide celebration of Chicago’s theater community spearheaded by the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) and the League of Chicago Theatres.

 

“VOLTA is set in an urban environment and is inspired by the street fashion and culture. There is no better way to express that energy than by being part of the biggest urban artwork in Chicago,” said Steven Ross, Senior Publicist of VOLTA by Cirque du Soleil. “When we visit a city, we try to get involved and get inspired as much as possible by the local community. Working hand in hand with the Chicago creators and being invited to bring our colors to Art on theMART is a very powerful way for us to connect with the local people and celebrate the talents from here.”

 

“Art on theMART seeks to activate the façade of theMART with a variety of creative approaches that are accessible to all Chicagoans and visitors. We welcome the opportunity to bring the captivating work of the Cirque du Soleil artists onto our public platform,” added Cynthia Noble, Executive Director of Art on theMART. Watch for more cool visuals, as they change seasonally!

PRIDE NIGHT at Cirque is happening June 18th!

It will benefit Equality Illinois and you can get 15% OFF.

Enter code EQIL to enjoy 15% off tickets!

Cirque du Soleil is presenting VOLTA’s Chicago engagement under its signature Big Top at the Soldier Field South Lot, 1410 Museum Campus Drive, Chicago, through July 6, 2019, only. Tickets, starting at $49, are available for purchase by visiting cirquedusoleil.com/volta or calling 1-877-9CIRQUE (1-877-924-7783).