Posted inCity Life

Chicago Reader’s Nonprofit Guide for 2023

Around this time of the year you’ll begin to hear the phrase “the giving season.” It’s the moment when donation-dependent organizations ramp up their campaigns in the hopes of being included in the gifting air that comes in on a wind of mailers, calls, and fundraisers. For the Nonprofit Issue, we thought it would be […]

Posted inFeature

The Reader’s 2023 Holiday Gift Guide

1 Chicago stepping lessons from award-winning south sider Shaun Ballentine of Effortless Stepping. —Salem Collo-Julin Open group lessons Wednesdays at 7 PM, Effortless Stepping Studio, 1850 E. 79th. $20 per person, 21+ only. For private lesson rates or information about having Ballentine do a stepping class at your event, message through Instagram or Facebook.  2 […]

Posted inDance

Man meets monster at the Joffrey

Just before the lights dimmed and the Lyric Opera Orchestra signaled that the show was about to begin, two glamorous older women beside me kept repeating to each other, “We are blessed.” The characters in Frankenstein are not so lucky. In this Joffrey Ballet production, the story is condensed into three acts that use tension […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Look but don’t touch

“Life in this society being, at best, an utter bore and no aspect of society being at all relevant to women, there remains to civic-minded, responsible, thrill-seeking females only to overthrow the government, eliminate the money system, institute complete automation and destroy the male sex.” So begins Valerie Solanas’s incendiary, prophetic SCUM Manifesto, SCUM of […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Finding poetry in flyover country

“A writer of nonfiction discovers their own authority by telling. The good essays tell. They pronounce. They manifesto. They ask and wonder and feint and layer.” So proclaims author Sonya Huber, in a few-years-old article for LitHub, about unlearning long-accepted rules of writing. Huber puts these proclamations into action in her forthcoming essay collection, Love […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Honoring the incarcerated

“Makes Me Wanna Holla: Art, Death & Imprisonment,” on view at the Logan Center Gallery, makes visceral the impact COVID-19 had on incarcerated people. The experience begins with a re-creation of a prison cell installed at the front of the main gallery. Designed by Chanton Bun, the “cell,” about the size of a parking space, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The future according to Derrick Woods-Morrow

Water from the Atlantic ocean, the artist’s bodily fluids, lint from laundromats in Black neighborhoods, a musical sample from Tyler, the Creator, and “believing in the possibility of a safe future” are just a handful of the materials used in Derrick Woods-Morrow’s “Gravity Pleasure Switchback.” The artist’s first major solo exhibition, on view at Gallery […]

Posted inArts & Culture

An artistic life

“I always said I was going to be an artist,” Kay Hofmann says. “It’s all I was interested in.” The 90-year-old artist has a startlingly clear statement of purpose: to make art, primarily hand-carved stone sculptures, no matter what. And she has done exactly that, creating countless works over her long and storied career, just […]

Posted inArt Feature

Spell casting

A sigil is a symbol believed to have supernatural powers. In Simiya, an Islamic branch of occult practice, letters and numbers are arranged into sigils in order to conjure up metaphysical powers, like the ability to fly or to disappear. Artist Maryam Taghavi has long been drawn to these sigils, and other magic-imbued symbols, ornamented […]

Posted inCity Life

Best abolition-oriented mutual aid project

Chicago Community Jail Support is one of many vital mutual-aid groups that sprung up following the 2020 murder of George Floyd, as local protests against racism and police brutality resulted in mass arrests of demonstrators. The all-volunteer effort aims to support anyone being released from Cook County Jail, the majority of whom are discharged with […]