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Welcome to
lack Arts Chicago

Black Arts Chicago is the first full-service organization dedicated to audience development and marketing communications for African-American artists and cultural institutions. Our mission is to better inform the public about Black theatre, dance, film, art, music and literary events and grow the attendance, patronage and support for these artists and institutions.

Black Arts Chicago consists of a number of platforms; the Black Arts Chicago free monthly publication, the website, a weekly e-mail bulletin, and social media page on Facebook and Twitter.

Up-to-date news and information on the city's Black artists and cultural activities can be found at the Website, and on the Black Arts Chicago's Facebook page.

The Black Arts Chicago monthly guide is available for free at more than 400 locations throughout the city including theatres, clubs, restaurants, galleries, retail shops and bookstores. It has a circulation of more than 10,000 copies.

Also, a weekly e-mail of current Black arts and culture events is available without cost by sending your e-mail address and Zip code to

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The Black Arts Chicago guide is published
with continuous updates online by Target Market News. Copyright 2017 by Target Market News. All rights reserved. The original contents of this newsletter and Website may not be reproduced without prior written permission. All references to original material in this newsletter must include an attribution to Black Arts Chicago.

Published by Target Market News
228 S. Wabash Ave., Ste 410
Chicago, IL 60604
Tel. 312-408-1881

Ken Smikle - Editor & Publisher





Trouble in Mind
By Alice Childress
Directed by Sydney Chatman
Wiletta Mayer, a talented but struggling black actress, gets her breakthrough role and is cast in a "progressive" Broadway play about race; however, it turns out to be anything but progressive, both in terms of its script and rehearsal environment. The play is a satirical look at racism in American commercial theater. A Spotlight Reading presented by the Court Theatre.
South Shore Cultural Center
7059 S South Shore Drive
Sat Nov 11, 3:00 - 4:00 PM

(A Musical Resistance Against Racism)
By Jackie Taylor
Through the struggles, trials and tribulations of both black and white freedom fighters, The Black Renaissance is a musical and historical depiction of the African American experience in a racist America that will uplift, inspire and motivate all of us to create a world where racism cannot exist.
Black Ensemble Theatre
4450 North Clark St
Now until Nov. 19th
Thurs 7:30pm, Fri 8:00pm, Sat 3:00pm, Sun 3:00pm
Tickets: $49.50 - $65

Burf of a Nation
By Carla Stillwell & Leonard House
Directed by Carla Stillwell
How do you escape the machine? Covfefe Lamont Jenkins, a southern farmer is enraged by the current political climate and has repeatedly made his opinions known via an on-going Twitter beef with the POTUS. However one day Covfefe is tagged in a tweet that pushes him to take an action so extreme that it sends the entire nation into a tailspin.
Greenhouse Theater
Downstairs Studio
2257 N. Lincoln Ave.
Now until Nov 19
Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3:00 PM
Tickets: $22-$40

Shakin' The Mess Outta Misery
By Shay Youngblood
Directed by Ilesa Duncan
Pegasus Theatre Chicago's 2017-18 Season offers productions that explore the Civil Rights era. Youngblood's story of a young black girl's coming of age during the turbulent 1960s kicks off the season. "Daughter," shares being raised in the south by a community of women after losing her mother as a child. She then becomes a child again as the women embody her memories of growing up -- recalling the rituals, the faith healings, the stories told and the lessons about survival, healing, deep faith and mystery.
Pegasus Theatre
At Chicago Dramatists
773 N. Aberdeen
Nov 8 - Dec 10
Thurs - Sat, 7:30 PM, Sun 3:00 PM

By Aziza Barnes
Directed by Nataki Garrett
F**ked up sh*t happens. After an unsavory wake-up call, Octavia decides to put off her troubles and have one last turn up with her friends. In poet Aziza Barnes's ingenious portrait of a day in the life of four young black women discovering life's uncomfortable truths in New York City, BLKS explores the joy and anguish of growing up and out. Riotously funny and distinctly rendered, Barnes' playwriting debut marks the arrival of a truly original contemporary American voice.
Steppenwolf Theatre
1650 North Halsted
Dec 7 - Jan 28 (Performance times to be announced)
Thur and Fri 7:30 PM, Sat and Sun 3:00 and 7:30 PM
Tickets: $38 - 56


Chicago Works:
Images By Amanda williams

For her first solo museum exhibition, Amanda Williams (American, b. 1974), an artist who trained as an architect, presents new bodies of work that use sculpture and photography to respond to changing urban environments. Williams, who was raised in Chicago's Auburn-Gresham neighborhood, transforms elements of architecture and design into immersive sculptures that draw attention to the ways context dramatically informs the value of material, and by extension, the value of cities. For Williams, architecture and its fragments serve as a microcosm for larger social issues, and the artist invites viewers to consider the social, political, and racial narratives that support the devaluation of certain neighborhoods, such as Englewood on Chicago's South Side.
Museum of Contemporary Art
220 E. Chicago
Now until Dec 31
Tue 10 am - 9 pm, Wed - Thu 10 am - 5 pm, Fri 10 am - 9 pm, Sat - Sun 10 am - 5 pm, Closed Mon
Also: Amanda Williams Touch Tour
Sat, Dec 16, 2017, 12 - 1 PM
This interactive public tour, led by MCA Artist Guide Matt Woods, emphasizes multisensory engagement and verbal description for people who are blind or have low vision but is open to all visitors.
Admission: $15, Free to Illinois on Tuesdays

The HFAS is the largest traveling African Diasporic art show in the United States. Since its inception in 2009, HFAS has had over 80,000+ visitors, traveled to 10+ cities as well as showcased 100+ artists and galleries. As the largest traveling art show of its kind in the U.S., HFAS provides a platform for visual artists to exhibit and sell their works. The Harlem Fine Arts Show has also created economic empowerment, educational opportunities, and professional recognition within the African-American community.
Malcolm X College
1900 W Jackson Blvd
Thurs, Nov 16, 6 PM - 10 PM
Fri Nov 17, 9 AM - 10 PM
Sat Nov 18, 10 AM - 10 PM
Sun Nov 19, 12 PM - 6 PM
Tickets $5 - $35

Rewriting History: paper gowns and photographs
Fabiola Jean-Louis' Rewriting History: paper gowns and photographs, is an inquiry into social change. How much has society really changed since the beginning of slavery? Do Black lives matter even in the 21st century? The exhibition interrogates these questions and more through a haunting photographic essay and paper sculptures styled to mimic garments worn by female European nobility between the 15th - 19th centuries. Jean-Louis is a Haitian born, Brooklyn, NY based mixed media artist. Her work is informed by her Afro-Caribbean heritage, Black culture, and the dialogue of mysticism.
DuSable Museum of African-American History
740 East 56th Pl
Exhibition Opening - Nov 4
Artist Talk with Fabiola Jean-Louis
Saturday, November 4th | 6-8pm
Ames Auditorium

Hyde Park Art Center brings renewed attention to the masterful drawings and paintings by one of the forefathers of Chicago's mural movement in Bill Walker: Urban Griot, curated by Juarez Hawkins. The exhibition will present rare works on paper from the 1970s and 80s in the Kanter McCormick Gallery from November 5, 2017 to April 8, 2018 and includes a extensive series of public programs. Highlighting the deeply passionate and often biting social commentary of this influential artist, Bill Walker: Urban Griot is the first of many programs included in Art Design Chicago, an exploration of Chicago's art and design legacy, an initiative of the Terra Foundation for American Art with presenting partner The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.
Hyde Park Arts Center
5020 S. Cornell Ave
Nov 5 - April 8, 2018

An Artists Tribute to Barack Obama
Curated by P. Scott & Roe Melloe
Farewell 44 is an artistic tribute, commemorating the achievements of our country's first African-American president and fellow Chicagoan Barack Obama. On exhibit, will be the works created by 20 artists of color, our goal is to amplify the significance of President Obama's poised leadership and dignified presence and his indelible mark on our culture. The artists will utilize diverse mediums of artistic expressions, to create and highlight the successes, as well as the challenges, President Obama experienced during his two terms in office.
Blanc Gallery
4445 South King
Nov  10 - Dec 29
Admission: Free



A conversation with artists and academics about the current state of African American theatre, and how the collection of African American plays and playwrights will evolve in the future. Hear insights on the evolution of works by black artists and voices that you see and experience on stage.
Tracie Hall (facilitator), Program Director, Culture at the Joyce Foundation
Kenneth Warren, Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor Department of English; Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture, University of ChicagoLydia R. Diamond, Playwright
Ron OJ Parson, Resident Artist, Court Theatre (pictured)
Logan Center for the Arts
915 E 60th St.
Tues Nov 7, 7:00 PM
Admission: Free

Seeing and Writing and Both:
A conversation with Teju Cole
Essayist, photographer, and art historian Teju Cole in a public conversation about the ways in which images and image-making inform the intersections of artistic practice and civic responsibility. Teju Cole was born in the US in 1975 and raised in Nigeria. He is the author of two works of fiction: Every Day Is for the Thief, which was named a Book of the Year by The New York Times; and Open City, which won the PEN/Hemingway Award. His most recent books are the critically acclaimed essay collection Known and Strange Things and the synthesis of lyric and photography, Blind Spot. He is Distinguished Writer in Residence at Bard College and the photography critic for The New York Times Magazine.
Logan Center for the Arts
915 E 60th St.
Wed, Nov 15, 7:00 PM
Free, RSVP encouraged but not required

Forms & Features: Celebrating
the South Side of Chicago
The DuSable Museum and the Poetry Foundation present a two-part celebration of the architecture and poetry of the South Side of Chicago. In Part I, we will explore South Side through the architecture featured in Lee Bey's Chicago: A Southern Exposure, now on display at the DuSable Museum. Together, we will discuss the often overlooked beauty of Chicago's South Side architecture and share personal memories, before composing a collaborative piece depicting the city through visual art and poetry.
DuSable Museum of African-American History
740 East 56th Pl
Wed, Nov 8, 6-8pm
Admission: Free, RSVP required

Forms & Features: Celebrating
the South Side of Chicago (Part 2)
The DuSable Museum and the Poetry Foundation present a celebration of the architecture and poetry of the South Side of Chicago. In Part II, we will read and discuss a wide variety of poems exploring the neighborhoods of Chicago's South Side. A creative workshop, where participants will be guided through composing original poems, will conclude the session.
Poetry Foundation
61 West Superior Street
Admission: Free, RSVP required
Wed Nov 15, 6:00 - 8:00 PM

No Blue Memories
Story by Poets Eve L. Ewing and Nate Marshall
Music by Jamila Woods and Ayanna Woods
Inaugurated by Robert Frost in 1955, Poetry Day is one of the oldest and most distinguished poetry reading series in the country. This year's presentation is the world premiere of No Blue Memories: The Life of Gwendolyn Brooks from the Chicago-based theater company Manual Cinema. In this unique staged retelling of Brooks's life, Manual Cinema uses simple, illuminative paper-cut puppetry to visually represent the life and work of one of Chicago's most beloved literary figures. Cosponsored with Chicago Public Library
Presented by The Poetry Foundation at
Harold Washington Library Center
Pritzker Auditorium
400 South State Street
Fri & Sat, Nov 17, 6:30 PM, Sun Nov 19, 2:00 PM
Admission: Free, first come, first served, 300 seats available per performance


Gospel, soul, and R&B artist Liz Vice is from Portland, Oregon. With a love of story telling, she has found herself going from working behind the scenes in the film and video world to behind the mic. Her songs feature dynamic, soulful vocals, and her lyrics are classically influenced enough to feel timeless and reference her deep-rooted spirituality.
Old Town School of Folk Music
4545 N Lincoln Ave
Thur, Nov 9, 8:00 PM
Tickets $20 General Public, $18 Members

Over three decades playing as a professional artist has placed Donald Harrison on stage and on recordings with some of the most influential artists of the 21st century. Harrison was born in New Orleans in 1960 and grew up in a home environment saturated with the city's traditional brass bands, afro-new Orleans culture, modern jazz, R&B, funk, classical, world and dance music. Harrison created "Nouveau Swing," a style off jazz that merges it with modern dance music like R&B, Hip-Hop, Soul and Rock. Over twenty years ago, he also combined jazz with Afro-New Orleans traditional music on his critically acclaimed and influential albums "Indian Blues" in 1991 and "Spirits of Congo Square" in 2000.
The Jazz Showcase
800 S. Plymouth Court
Nov. 9 - 12, Thur - Sat 8:00 & 10:00 PM, Sun 4:00,, 8:00 and 10:00 PM
Tickets: $20 - $35

Featuring Maggie Brown and her sister Africa Brown.
"We enjoy working with material from the OBJ catalog as well as our originals. This week at Arts Bank, 2Brown Sisters are in "open rehearsals" working on their up-coming tribute to the acclaimed MUNTU Dance Theater of Chicago which will be Nov 17th celebrating 45 years of bringing Art, African culture and reciprocity to Chicago and the world. This week we are finishing up a piece written especially for MUNTU- whom we love dearly.  This Saturday at the Arts Bank you will share in our process: creating the arrangement; developing the vocal parts and our accompaniment; imagining what other material will support our hearts for that upcoming performance. It's a surprise to them but you can come peek." -Maggie Brown
Stony Island Arts Bank
6760 S Stony Island Ave
Sat Nov 11, 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Admission: Free

Every so often a new singer emerges who's able to assimilate multiple musical touchstones and still come off sounding remarkably fresh and unburdened by the past. Kandace Springs is one of those artists. The 27-year-old, Nashville-based singer, songwriter and pianist counts such stylists as Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Roberta Flack and Norah Jones as her heroes, but as evidenced by her sparkling full-length Blue Note Records debut, Soul Eyes, Springs mimics none of them.
City Winery
1200 W Randolph St
Thurs Nov 16, 8:00 PM, Doors: 6:00 PM
Tickets: VIP $25, Front Premier $22, Premier $18, Reserved $15.

At first listen, Ravi Coltrane's thick, soulful and occasionally melancholic saxophone may sound as familiar as his name, but his bold compositions and daring improvisations have set him on a distinctive path apart from his father, John Coltrane. Trio Beyond was initially founded as a tribute to jazz-rock fusion group Lifetime. Moving past this framework, this collaboration between three jazz greats finds its own unique groove in original tunes and classic standards.
Symphony Center
200 S. Michigan Ave.
Fri Nov 17, 8:00 PM
Tickets: $36 - 56

Elage Diouf Live
Award-winning Senegalese-born singer, songwriter and percussionist Elage Diouf will bring his lively blend of African rhythms -- fused with jazz, blues, rock and pop. This performance is in partnership with Old Town School of Folk Music.
DuSable Museum of African-American History
740 East 56th Pl
Fri Nov 17, 7:00 PM
Suggested donation is $10

Miki Howard with special guest
Steve 'Stone' Huff

Miki Howard represents passionate vocal artistry wrapped in a diminutive package of beauty, sass and candor. Grammy-nominated Howard already has a stunning catalog of music wide ranging in style. Miki has recorded eight albums but none quite like her new 7-song EP, I Choose to Be Happy from the Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blues Collection. She considers this CD of live and studio material the first in a forthcoming series of mini albums: Miki Howard Reality Music Record Series #1.
City Winery
Tues Nov 21, Doors: 6:00 PM Starts: 8:00 PM
Tickets: VIP $55, Front Premier $52, Premier $45.00, Reserved $42.00

In 2016, Earl celebrated the 40th Anniversary of his debut album Earl Klugh (1976, Blue Note Records). His show highlights selections from over 250 original compositions and featuring Klugh's favorite standards, influences and collaborations from throughout his illustrious career."I've been so fortunate to be able to create the music that I've wanted to create, and work with some of the greatest artists of our time," says Klugh. "It's hard to believe it's been 40 years since that first record!"
City Winery
1200 W Randolph St
Wed Nov 29, 9:00 & 6:30 pm
Doors: 8:30 PM, Starts: 9:00 PM
Tickets: VIP $45.00 Front Premier $40.00 Premier $35.00 Reserved $25.00


The Edge of Each Other's
Battles: The Vision of Audre Lorde
The Margaret Burroughs Centennial Film Series, presented by South Side Projections and the DuSable Museum of African American History, concludes with The Edge of Each Other's Battles: The Vision of Audre Lorde (Jennifer Abod, 2002, 59 min., DVD). This powerful documentary is a moving tribute to legendary Black lesbian feminist poet Audre Lorde (1934-1992). One of the most celebrated icons of feminism's second wave, Lorde inspired several generations of activists with her riveting poetry, serving as a catalyst for change and uniting the communities of which she was a part: Black arts and Black liberation, women's liberation and lesbian and gay liberation.
DuSable Museum of African-American History
740 East 56th Pl
Tues Nov 7, 7 PM

Black Cinema House Presents:
BCH Mixtape: Vol. 1
Black Cinema House is proud to present the BCH Mixtape: Vol. 1, the first in a series of showcases screening independent short films comprising a variety of moving image-makers. Black Cinema House continues its mission to uplift Black cinema, as the BCH Mixtape Series aims to champion an array of works by independent creatives reflecting the breadth of Black perspective and imagination.
Stony Island Arts Bank
6760 S Stony Island Ave
Fri Nov 10, 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Admission: Free

Stephanie Jeter's
Searching for Isabelle is an ethereal mystery-thriller about a Chicago college student escaping her captor, where the protagonist "discovers a mysterious ability to project herself outside her prison."

Akwaeke Emezi's
Break Fruit is centered on two Nigerian protagonists in the near-future where, in a city with unbreathable air, deliberate their identity and the love existing between the two. Break Fruit is a story of "exile, homecoming, what gets left behind, and the truths that change everything."

Troy Pryor's Intersection addresses Chicago's gun violence through an intergenerational lens, where an older man dissolves a mugging by connecting with the man who was willing to kill out of desperation.

Ife Olatunji's Egusi Soup is an ethnographic documentary exploring one Nigerian family's experience "relocating and acculturating to America."

Chris Saint Martin's Carrera is a meditation on anti-Black violence, told as an experimental "barrage of recurring images, audio bites and soundscapes."

Shelly Conner's Quare Life spotlights the life of a 30-something lesbian, who's recently-failed engagement and unstable work life compels her to seek grounding from friends, family and a problematic mother.

Terrance Thompson's Drive Slow centers a Black high school senior of Chicago's south side struggling to write his college essay when confronted with the question of "how his environment influences his worldview." 

By Rebecca Carpenter
Chicago Premiere. As the controversy over sports concussions heats up, director Carpenter, daughter of former NFL running back Lew Carpenter, delves into football's shocking history of players whose lives were cut short as a result of blunt force head trauma. After Lew's death, his family was forced to come to grips with the diagnosis of the degenerative cognitive disease CTE, reworking their memories of his depression, forgetfulness, and inexplicable rages as caused by a disease he didn't know he had. Interviews with experts including Dr. Bennet Omalu and Dr. Julian Bailes, and with players including Hall-of-Famers Mike Ditka and James Lofton, Lew's former teammates, and more, tell a story that desperately needs to be told by those inside the game. DCP digital.
Gene Siskel Film Center
164 N. State St          
Nov 10 - Nov 16
Fri, Nov 10th 6:00 PM (Sold Out)
Sat, Nov 11th 7:30 PM
Sun, Nov 12th 5:15 PM
Mon, Nov 13th 8:00 PM
Tue, Nov 14th 7:45 PM
Wed, Nov 15th 8:15 PM
Thu, Nov 16th 6:00 PM
Tickets: $11.00

I Am Not Your Negro
Director by Raoul Peck
Screenplay by James Baldwin, Raoul Peck
In 1979, James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent describing his next project, "Remember This House." The book was to be a revolutionary, personal account of the lives and assassinations of three of his close friends: Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. At the time of Baldwin's death in 1987, he left behind only 30 completed pages of this manuscript. Filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished. Nominated for Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. A Screening & Discussion.
Chicago Cultural Center
78 E Washington St.
Sat Nov 18, 2-4pm
Admission: Free

Directed by Jeremy S. Levine and Landon Van Soest
Beginning one year before the fatal police shooting of 18-year-old Mike Brown in nearby Ferguson, Missouri, this is the coming-of-age story of Daje "Boonie" Shelton, a bright 17-year-old African-American girl in North St. Louis. Placed in a school for troubled youth, she struggles to stay on track as she loses friends, battles with her mom, falls in love and becomes pregnant with her son Ahkeem. Over the course of two years, For Ahkeem is an outstanding documentary that follows this resilient and determined young woman as she prepares to enter adulthood. U.S.A., 2017, 90 mins.
517 W Fullerton Ave.
Mon.-Thurs., Dec. 4-7 at 6:30 & 8:30 pm
Fri., Dec. 1 at 6:30 & 8:30 pm
Sat., Dec. 2 at 2, 4, 6 & 8 pm
Sun., Dec. 3 at 2, 4 & 6 pm
Tickets: $10 general admission

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Chicago, Il 60604
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