Julia Ward Howe thinks you should call your mother. Credit: Sarah Choate Sears (courtesy Wikimedia)

Are you aware that the American tradition of Mother’s Day has origins in feminism and the peace movement? You can read up about the origins of the celebration and some contemporary campaigns to improve the lives of mothers worldwide at the Zinn Education Project’s website, which includes the Mother’s Day Proclamation written in 1870 by East Coast writer, suffragist, and social activist Julia Ward Howe. Howe wrote the proclamation in response to both the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War, and called upon women to stand up against the unjust violence of war and convince their husbands and sons of the uselessness of killing other men. Howe’s other achievements included writing the song “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” based on the melody of the then-popular folk song “John Brown’s Body.” Howe School of Excellence, a CPS pre-K through eighth grade institution in the Austin neighborhood, is named for her.

Here’s some events and activities for the next seven days—and as a boss at a bar I worked at many years ago once drunkenly announced to a large group of tourists: “Happy Mother’s Day—if applicable.”

  • Order now for pickup: There are a bunch of restaurants all around the city offering Sunday brunch reservations, but Hyde Park’s Virtue Restaurant and Bar has two take-home kits available. They’re complete with cooking instructions, so you can put an impressive salmon or steak breakfast together for the mother in your house (and I’ll just tell you now—be prepared to fully clean up after yourself in that kitchen, you hear me?). More information is at Virtue’s website.
  • This weekend: The Davis Theater in Lincoln Square is open again for business, and this week’s offerings include Judas and the Black Messiah, which Arionne Nettles cited for “knockout performances” in her review. The theater isn’t taking cash right now (pay by credit or debit only) and you can pre-buy tickets and see showtimes here.
  • Fri 5/7 and Sat 5/8, 7 PM: The rock en español band Caifanes continues their reunion tour with a visit to Bridgeview’s SeatGeek Stadium in a socially-distanced outdoor drive-in setting. The shows are all-ages and more information is linked here.
  • Sat 5/8, noon-6 PM: “The Red Wedding,” a group art exhibition featuring work by Lise Haller Baggesen, Vaginal Davis, Barbara T. Smith, Beth Stephens with Annie Sprinkle, and more opens at Ruschman, a gallery in Irving Park. Details are at the gallery’s website.
  • Sun 5/9, 7 PM: A Portrait of My Mother, a digital solo show from former Chicagoan Carlo Lorenzo García, premieres online at Jarrott Productions’s website. Our theater and dance editor Kerry Reid has more information in her Ghost Light column this week.
  • Tuesdays through Sundays: The Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art offers exhibits about earth science, gemstones, fossils, and more sparkly treasures at their new location in Oak Brook, plus you can buy things like agate bookends and jade carvings from their shop (available in person or online). Check out admission prices and current exhibition lists here.
  • Tue 5/11, 7:30 PM: Experimental and improvising musician Charmaine Lee performs as part of the Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry’s Gray Sound series, followed by a discussion of her process with curator Seth Parker Woods. It’s free to watch online, and the center will post a streaming link on their website one hour prior to the performance.
  • Wed 5/12, 8 PM: Elastic Arts and Constellation present two Chicago duos of musicians working in jazz and improvisation forms: Angel Bat Dawid with Charles Joseph Smith, and Johanna Brock with Marvin Tate. A $15 donation is suggested to support the artists, and the concert is free to view on Elastic Arts’s Twitch channel.
  • Available anytime: Chicago Fringe Opera’s “A City of Works” series presents “site-specific micro-operas” inspired by a series of locations around the city of Chicago. Senior Writer Deanna Isaacs explains more here.  v