It’s not about a guy named Art but a broad cultural happening. COVID restrictions from 2020-2022 must be over because April 2023 has all of a sudden become Art Month in Chicago.
First, EXPO Chicago, once a big fall event centered at Navy Pier and that later moved to late Spring, is going on right now across the city’s art venues as Expo Art Week, April 10 through April 16. BTW, EXPO is a shortened version of International Exposition of Contemporary and Modern Art.
Secondly, Art on the Mart is premiering its new season/year Friday, April 14, after sunset.
Working with Choose Chicago, the city’s tourism site and Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events known as DCASE, EXPO Chicago’s Art Week has what it Featured Alignments with museums, galleries and hotels. See the list plus Screenings and South Side Openings + Events at After Hours events at Featured Alignments.
Art on the Mart
Actually written as Art on theMart, the display is considered the largest permanent digital art projection anywhere. It is a projection of contemporary and classical art on the 2.5 acre façade of theMART facing the Chicago River. Beginning April 14, 2023 it will feature “Funtime Unicorn: Ruby Rides through four Seasons. Beginning in May and going through the fall is Nick Cave, Ba Ba Boom.
AIC presents Salvador Dali: the Image Disappears
The Dali exhibition is the museums’ first, in depth presentation of the Spanish artist’s surrealism works and primarily features his 1930’s period. For hours and tickets information visit AIC.
From learning more about such aquarium residents as penguins and beluga whales in Animal Spotlights and assisting in cleaning up natural areas on Teen Nature Days to restoring beaches and forest areas during Action Days, Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium is definitely “on it” when it comes to a variety of Earth Day/Week/Month activities for all ages and dates.
Families(all age groups)
Visit the aquarium and attend an animal spotlight (included in general admission). It goes into the behaviors and adaptations of dolphins, belugas and sea lions. Guests leave with a greater understanding of these Shedd residents plus how to protect our blue planet for these animals and their wild counterparts. Tickets support Shedd’s efforts to care for the aquarium residents and research in wild aquatic ecosystems. For more information visit Animal Spotlights | Shedd Aquarium.
Join free Shedd-led Action Days in local community habitats. Guests support animals from frogs to fish while having fun and helping to restore and protect nearby beaches, waterways, and forest preserves. There are a variety of dates at different locations. For more info and to register visit Shedd Aquarium Action Days | Shedd Aquarium
Three other ways to take action for animals this Earth Day: *reduce the use of single-use plastic
* reach out to state lawmakers to let them know you support plastic reduction and reuse efforts at the policy level
*discuss the importance of caring for our natural environments your friends and family
Plan now to contribute some elbow grease or plant or play with planet Earth in mind during April 2023 Earth Week or April 22 Earth Day.
A couple of Lake County Forest Preserves activities are already full. But there are still activities at both the Lake and Cook County Forest Preserves plus at Brookfield Zoo.
Forest Preserves of Cook County
Participate in a Celebrate Earth Day Play,Paint and Pretend event at Crabtree Nature center, April 22 from noon to 3 p,m,. The activity is free. The Center is at 3 Stover Rd., Barrington. For more information visit Forest Preserves of Cook County/NaturePlay or call (847) 381-6592.
Lake County Forest Preserves
There are a limited number of seats left but “Planting for Pollinators,” is still open April 19 at Ryerson Nature Center, Riverwoods, 3-4 p.m. Visit Planting for registration and address. (Adults)
Get down and dirty to help the planet at “Restoration Middlefork” from 9 a.m. to noon April 22. Visit Restoration Workday. (Age 10 through adults)
The Brookfield Zoo is encouraging families to make a difference for wildlife and the natural world with three events at the zoo: “A Party for the Planet” recycling event, help plant a tree, and “Earth Day Run.”
The recycling event, presented by the Nicor Gas Energy Efficiency Program, is April 22 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Zoo’s main parking lot at 8400 31st St., Brookfield. (Enter through gate on 31st Street, just west of Golfview Avenue.) This is a chance to dispose of electronics, textiles, and used books in an environmentally-friendly way. For a complete list of acceptable recyclables, visit czs.org/PartyPlanet.
Zoo visitors can head to the South Mall at 10:30 a.m. to assist groundskeepers in planting a tree to commemorate the holiday, then spend the day seeing your favorite animals.
Earth Day Run
The annual Earth Day Fun Run, a non-competitive 2.2 miles, begins at 8 a.m. and is for all ages. The fee is $35 per person and includes admission to the Zoo. All participants receive an Earth Day Run commemorative medal and a bookmark with flower seeds to spread in your own garden at home. Proceeds from the event benefit the Chicago Zoological Society’s Animal Care and Conservation Fund that supports research and education efforts at the Zoo and around the world. For more information visit czs.org/EarthDayRun.
Based on all the awards ceremonies that have already taken place this year “Everything Everywhere All At Once” is expected to walk off with the most awards. But tune in any way when the 956th Academy Awards are announced March 12, 2023 for movies released in 2022 to see the gowns and tuxes, hear the best songs performed and guess the other awards.
As an example, In the 1929 Oscars Frank Borzage won Best Directing for Dramatic Picture with “7th Heaven” and “Wings” took the first Oscar ever for Best Picture.
The site also lists this year’s Dikrecting nominees as Martin Mcdonagh for “The Banshees of Inisherin,” Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (Known as the two Daniels) for “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” Steven Spielberg for “The Fabelmans,” Todd Field for “Tar” and Ruben Östlund for “Triangle of Sadness.”
No matter who wins what film makers are hoping for is full recovery at theaters so audiences are back after the Pandemic.
Writers Theatre in Glencoe is celebrating March with “Once” a wonderfully performed musical about hope and love wrapped in Irish tunes.
Grocery stores such as Sunset Foods in the northern and northwest suburbs are celebrating with pots of four-leaf clovers.
Many bakeries throughout the Chicago area are celebrating March with cakes, cookies and cupcakes topped with green frosting.
And luck is wished to everyone because the Chicago area loves to celebrate all things Irish during St. Patrick’s month of March.
So, get out the calendar to pencil in top events. But first know that you will be welcomed with the word Fáilte, toasted with the word sláinte pronounced slahn-che (to good health) and will hear the lovely phrase, Céad Míle Fáilte: A hundred thousand welcomes.
Thanks to the Plumbers’ Union, the Chicago River turns green the morning of March 11 at 10 a.m. followed by the Plumbers’ Union sponsored parade at 12:30 p.m. Go early to see the river dying between State Street and Columbus Drive on Wacker or along the Riverwalk. Hang out downtown until the parade steps off from Balboa at Grant Park and heads north along Columbus Drive to Monroe. Among the largest in the country, it’s three hours of bagpipers, floats and Irish Step Dancers. (And politicians)
Two good parades are also held March 12 in Chicago neighborhoods: Southside Irish and Northwest Side Irish.
The Southside Irish Parade is noon to 3 p.m. along Western Avenue starting at 103rd Street going south to
to 115th. It’s a family friendly parade that started in 1981 with a couple of families and has grown to where it attracts people from all over the city. It does not tolerate drinking but neighborhood pubs are open after the parade.
The Northwest Side Irish Parade, celebrating its 20th anniversary, is the same day, same time. Find official parade and after party info at Northside Irish. The parade goes along Neola Avenue to Northwest Highway to Harlem Avenue as it winds through the Norwood Park neighborhood.
Pubs throughout the Chicago area are ready to party. Most will have specials on Irish beer. Some pubs will feature entertainment by talented Irish Step Dancers and soulful musicians.
Among the most popular pubs celebrating St. Patrick’s Day isChief O’Neills, 3471 N. Elston, Chicago. It will be open from 8 a.m March 11 through 2 a.m. Msrch 12 with a cover charge of $10 from noon on. But more festiviies will be on March 12 with no cover charge. O’Neills will feature traditional Irish dishes and entertainment on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17 with a cover charge at 4 p.m. See more about O’Neills festivities. at St Patrick’s Festival 2023.
In Beverly, the Southside Irish Parade neighborhood, the Cork and Kerry at 10614 S, Western Ave., is popular.
In the northern suburbs, Hackney’s on Lake, a longtime favorite restaurant and bar in Glenview with Irish roots, celebrates with good Irish beer and an extensive menu. The original Hackneyh’s on Harmes (more than 80 years old) is also still around as an intimate dining spot known by word of mouth.
Where to go after the Downtown Parade March 11. (Both require tickets)
Wear green and celebrate the Irish way at the Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N Knox Ave. Chicago. Its St. Patrick’s Day Festival is perfect for all ages with Irish food, music, dance, children’s activities and Irish gifts on sale from 1 to 11 p.m. Also, its Fifth Province Pub is a traditional Irish pub.
Shamrock’n the Block at Old St. Patrick’s Church on DesPlaines Street between Monroe & Adams (700 W. Adams) in Chicago’s West Loop, does an annual Irish pub pop-up with a heated beer garden tent, food and entertainment plus shamrock craft packs for kids. from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Go celebrate and remember the popular Irish toast: “May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back.”
You survived the Chicago area’s recent torrential downpour and downed tree limbs but the weather weaves back and forth between icy and OK. Not bad. However, you are still talking about seeing your baseball team in action. So, go. MLB has 15 teams playing in Arizona’s Cactus League beginning Feb. 24 and continuing to March 28, 2023.
That means even if you can’t get your tickets from the Cubs or White Sox in their home park you can see them play in one of the other parks. None are farther than 40 minutes away in the Phoenix- Scottsdale- Glendala-Mesa area.
Spring training tickets are less expensive than during regular season and the players are good about autographs. Plus, the atmosphere is fun and casual.
Speaking of fun, see Visit Phoenix/Things to do where you can scroll down to a map titled “Explore Greater Phoenix.” Find the town where your team plays and tap on it for places to stay, restaurants and what to do.
As an example, when clicking on Mesa in greater Phoenix’s Southeast Valley, you see it has the Cub’s spring training base of Sloan Park. The Cubs begin at Sloan, Feb 25, against the San Francisco Giants.
Mesa is also home to Hohokum, the Oakland Athletics Stadium, several art galleries and such fun restaurants as Worth Takeaway and Jalapeño Bucks (known for its brisket).
By tapping Glendale, an area northwest of downtown Phoenix, you find Camelback Ranch, the spring home of the Chicago White Sox and the LA Dodgers.
Glendale has historic Main Street, an area of turn-of-century homes and lots of restaurants. Visit Cactus League at Camelback Ranch for good ideas on where to stay and what to do.
Which brings us to when and where to go: the Spring Training teams and schedule. MLB has 15 teams that play in the Cactus League from Feb. 24 to March 28, 2023. Find when and where your team is playing.
*Warning: When looking for info and tickets the websites that appear are primarily resale and other sites. Be safe by going to an official MLB site for tickets. Type in your team and MLB.com.
Even though the weather has been wavering between what has been balmy for February and normal chilliness, maple trees at Ryerson Woods in Riverwoods, IL have been ready to be tapped.
Which means the Lake County Forest Preserves’ maple season starts now with a festival Feb. 25 at Ryerson followed by maple syrup family hikes the first three weekends in March. In addition are a program for seniors and then a Spring Break program the last week in March.
Why tap now?
“You need days above freezing and nights below freezing. The sap was stored in the tree over the winter. Now you get a big rush as the pressure moves it up the tree,” said LCFPD Environmental Educator Jennifer Berlinghof, maple syrup programming coordinator.
Berlinghof explained that the sap travels up the xylem (plant’s vascular tissue that moves the sap of water and dissolved minerals up from the roots).
She noted that even though the current period for the maple syrup temperature change was “anything but typical,” the forest preserves’ staff were able to tap enough to have small tastings for families who sign up for Maple Syrup Hikes.
How much sap?
Berlinghof estimated that 40 gallons of sap are needed to produce one gallon of syrup. To bring home the point, she said that Ryerson has several containers stacked around the district’s evaporator where they boil out the sap’s water content to produce the syrup.
What to expect?
Families who register for the hour-long hikes go past sugar maple trees hear about the process and learn about drilling a hole to get sap. “The trees have already been tapped,” Berlinghof said, but she added that participants could see what it is like by drilling on the logs.
The hikes go to the where the sap is boiled down to syrup and, of course, participants get a taste of the final product.
Maple Syrup Festival
First is the free Maple Syrup Festival at Ryerson Woods, 21950 North Riverwoods Rd, Riverwoods, Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023. Running from 9 -11 a.m., no registration is needed. Activities are inside the Ryerson Woods Welcome Center and outside on the trails. Daisy from WTTW Nature Cat will be there.
Maple Syrup Family Hikes
Hikes are Saturdays and Sundays, March 4 to March 19. They start every half-hour from noon to 2 p.m. from the Ryerson Woods Welcome Center and are led by Lake County Forest Preserves educators. Open to all ages, tickets are $6 per person. Children ages 3 and under are free. Spaces fill quickly. To register and obtain a ticket go to lcfpd maple syrup and scroll to the date you want or call (847) 968-3321. Scout and other groups can make special arrangements.
Spring Break Syruping
Learn about the collecting and making of maple syrup March 28, 11 a.m. to noon at Ryerson Woods. Register at Spring Break Maple Syruping. Limited attendance. Tickets $6, ages 3 and under free.
Senior Maple Syrup Hike
A hike for seniors age 62 and older is March 30 from 11 a.m. to Noon. Free to Lake County residents, tickets are $3 for nonresidents. Register at Senior Series.
Maybe you know that Abraham Lincoln’s birthday was Feb. 12 and that some states considered the date a state holiday. In Illinois, it was celebrated in Springfield. But schools and federal businesses are also off in Illinois on Presidents Day, the third Monday of February to recognize George Washington’s birthday. It was Feb. 22, 1732 on the Georgian calendar.
A couple of fun places to become immersed in history on Presidents Day are the Chicago History Museum in the Lincoln Park neighborhood and The Dunn Museum in north suburban Libertyville.
Go any time this weekend but if you visit Feb. 20, 2023, admission is free to Illinois residents and the museum has family events.
Among them are Oval Office activities that include an interactive Oval Office where the president works, a chance to design an Oval Office that would work for you and an “I Spy” game using President Joe Biden’s Oval Office.
OK, you know that Abe Lincoln once called Illinois “home.” But can you ID three other US presidents who lived in Illinois? The family events day includes an activity that connects facts and quotes from four US presidents who spent significant time in the state.
Clues: one was a military commander with a home in Galena; a second one was born in Illinois and grew up in Dixon and third was a recent president with a Hyde Park home, connections to the University of Chicago Law Schoo and soon-to-be presidential library and museum. Places to visit these presidential connections are at the Illinois tour site of Enjoy Illinois.
The family events are interesting and fun but this is a once-upon-at-time museum so figure enough minutes in your visit to see and experience forgotten times showcased in Chicago: Crossroads of America.
Walk the aisle of L car no. 1 which took riders from the Loop to the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Jackson Park. Once upon a time old L cars had stained-glass windows and fine woodwork.
Although usually closed on Mondays, the museum will be open for Presidents Day. Upcoming 2023 Illinois resident free days include: February 14–17, 20–24, 28. For more information and tickets visit Home – Chicago History Museum.
But visit the museum now, during Presidents Day, to take advantage of what is called a “commemorative” day off school and work to honor two influential men in United States history.
A small treasure operated by the Lake Country Forest Preserves, the museum is an easy to stroll through history.
Visitors take photos of the prehistoric bones of a Dryptosaurus , a small tyrannosaur that roamed Lake County 67 million years ago and a fossil rock about 420 million years old.
Moving along they walk into a wigwam that is a full-scale reproduction constructed with help from a local Native American tribe. Arrowheads and other Native American artifacts are in cases further down.
As to Lincoln’s time, the museum has American Civil War uniforms and equipment plus agriculture implements. The region was settled since the early 1830s and manned the 96th Illinois volunteer Infantry during the Civil War.
A fun stop for youngsters is the museum’s recreation of a one-room schoolhouse with a small stove, blackboard and benches.
For hours, tickets and more information visit Dunn Museum.
Lighthouse ArtSpaceChicago, known for its presentations of visual artists, celebrated Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s 267th birthday with a sneak-peak kickoff of “Mozart Immersive: The Soul of a Genius,” The birthday celebration included complimentary treats of Prosecco and Eli’s Cheesecake.”
Past Artspace presentations featured the works of such artists as Van Gogh and Frida Kahlo by utilizing cutting-edge projection techniques to create a 360-degree immersive visual experience.
The Mozart presentation is the first to feature a musician. To craft dream-like 18th century inspired imagery, the producers partnered with the creative team of Massimilliano Siccardi and Vittorio Guidotti.
Mozart Immersive’s world premiere is currently scheduled to open March 10, 2023 at the Lighthouse ArtSpace at the corner of Clark Street and Germania Place with no immediate plans for the exhibit to travel. All the more reason to be sure to check it out.
Terri Hemmert of WXRT Radio hosted the birthday bash with live music by the Ryan Center Ensemble featuring Wm Clay Thompson (Bass) singing an aria from Don Giovanni with Chris Reynolds on piano.
The excellent young basso and pianist duo were followed by an expert chamber ensemble comprised of four string players from The Music of the Baroque performing two Mozart compositions, the ever popular “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” and “Divertimento in D Major.
The experiential projected images thoughtfully incorporated the monochromatically painted architectural interior features of the former Germania Club that is now the home of Artspace.
For instance, the inside frames of what had been windows were replaced by projected vintage images of the Austrian countryside.
They added to the enjoyment of the string ensemble by transporting us back in time to a place that might have hosted an elegant soiree, perhaps in a stately home or castle of one of Mozart’s benefactors.
The final production, a retrospective with highlights from Mozart’s short life, integrates video re-enactments with live actors alongside the animation.
Many visitors will be delighted to see legendary dancer and actor Mikhail Baryshnikov in the heart-rending role of Mozart’s father, Leopold, who is credited for launching his son’s early career. They became estranged later in life.
Constantine Orbelian, New York City Opera’s music director and principal conductor, joined Hemmert onstage to discuss the production.
The music, arranged by composer Luca Longobardi, will accompany Mozart Immersive. It was recorded by the Lithuanian Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra led by Orbelian.
Before the doors opened, I had an opportunity to interview the Maestro for my ChicagoBroadcastingNetwork.com podcast. The four-time Grammy-nominated musician shared that he had not yet seen the visuals associated with the music and was as eager as the rest of us to get a sneak peek.
Details: Lighthouse ArtSpace Chicago is at 108 Germania PL. For tickets visit Mozart Immersive.
Photo: Reno Lovison (R) recorded a podcast interview with Maestro Orbelian (L) which can be heard at ChicagoBroadcastingNetwork.com (Photo Credit: Julie Lovison)
Photo: Julie Lovison, Director of The Lake Shore Music Studio with Constantine Orbelian, Director and Principal Conductor of the New York City Opera celebrating Mozart’s birthday at Lighthouse ArtSpace in Gold Coast / Lincoln Park. (Photo Credit: Reno Lovison)
Photo: Visitors get a sneak peek of Mozart Immersive: The Soul of a Genius, Opening March 10, 2023 at Lighthouse Immersive. (Photo Credit: Reno Lovison)