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Emma Batia Arnold, Très Awesome editorial and creative director, is entranced by:

“Charles James: Deconstructed” I just got back from New York Fashion Week where I saw tons of fresh designers and amazing looks. That being said, some of the most beautiful clothes I’ve seen recently were right here in the Windy City at the exhibition “Charles James: Deconstructed” at the Chicago History Museum. One of the few American designers to create clothes in the tradition of haute couture, James was widely influential and considered one the great designers of his time. James opened his first shop here in Chicago in 1926, and because of this tie to the city the Chicago History Museum has one of the most extensive and representative collections of his work. Catch this exhibition before it closes on April 16; it’s not to be missed!


Donnie Madia, Publican Quality Meats, Blackbird, Avec, Big Star, and the Violet Hour co-owner and operator, is relaxing at:

Credit: Zol87 / Flickr

Poetry Foundation I try to get out of my element because I live for work, and when I’m not at work I’m with my girlfriend whom I love very much. I tend to do a lot of driving between my home and our properties, and every day I drive down Superior by this beautiful building that was just completed in the last six months. I was intrigued, and it turns out it’s the Chicago home of the Poetry Foundation. If you want to get away, out of your element, away from the hustle and bustle of day-to-day work obligations, it’s a really peaceful and beautiful space to do so. The relationship between the building and the rest of the block—the way it’s set back from the street—is incredible. The exterior is this metal mesh that surrounds the entire structure with superclean glass facades on the interior. It’s a beautiful architectural addition to our city. Inside are resources for children and adults alike: workshops, books of poetry, etc. You go inside and you can retreat into the works of all these great poets, which is completely beautiful in its own sense (a personal favorite are the works of Octavio Paz).


Cheryl Pope, artist and sculptor, with work on exhibit through 2/24 at McCord Gallery in Palos Park, is trekking through:

Credit: Amy Braswell

Home/Land Albany Park Theater Project is sharing a fearless performance called Home/Land. For the past two years the 32 teens in the program have conducted active research in Chicago seeking those dealing with immigration issues and asking them to share their stories. Those brave enough to share have provided stories that tell the tales that we are confronted with today: of borders, rights, family, equality, struggle, loss, fear, insecurity, and the common demand for a better life. These stories became the foundation for an intertwined series of shorts that have been written, choreographed, and performed by the same group of teens. These kids bring nothing less than their entire hearts to the stage. It’s intimate, confronting, funny, activating, and inspiring.

I want to be these teens when I grow up! Don’t miss this! It is now and never again!