Today kicks off the 50th year for Fiesta del Sol, which organizers call the “largest Latino festival of its kind in the country.” The festival is a dizzying combination of workshops, vendors, expos, family and wellness activities, and more taking over Cermak from Laflin to Morgan through Sunday. Music is a big part of the festival, including the popular House of Sol, a gathering of house, techno, and other DJs that this year takes over the baseball field at Benito Juárez High School. Expect food stalls, community businesses, and special events created by Pilsen and area organizations like the Cannabis Expo, which includes workshops in cannabis business and entrepreneurship, plus an expungement event where members of the community can start the process in clearing their records. Pre-registration is required for some workshops, but the entire festival is free for all ages to attend. Tonight’s fare happens from 5-10 PM, and the festival continues Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11 AM-11 PM. Information including music schedules and a list of participating businesses can be found at the Fiesta del Sol website. (SCJ)
As part of the “Beyond the Frame” exhibition of photography from the Museum of Contemporary Photography’s permanent collection (viewable through October at Columbia College Chicago’s 600 S. Michigan building), the museum offers a gallery talk tonight titled “The Legacy of the Institute of Design,” focused on the history of the New Bauhaus school (later called the Institute of Design). The institute was founded in Chicago in 1937 by artist Lászlo Moholy-Nagy, and soon became an important training ground for designers and photographers, including several photographers whose work is included in “Beyond the Frame.” Clarissa Bonet, an artist featured in the exhibition, will speak tonight with curator and writer Elizabeth Siegel, author of Taken by Design: Photography at the Institute of Design, 1937-1971. Admission to the 6 PM talk is free but donations will be accepted for the museum. (SCJ)
It’s the fourth Thursday of the month, which means it’s Research & Development night at the Whistler (2421 N. Milwaukee). Join JS Alvarez, Makeen, Jaq Attaque, Sassmouth, and Ivvy for an evening of mutant techno, audio chaos, and ambient explorations. No cover, but you must be 21 or older. The bass starts bumping at 8 PM but doesn’t stop till last call. (MC)
Fourth Thursdays through October also mean that you can catch both emerging and longtime local Black comedians and performers at My Best Friend is Black, a live comedy and variety show at Lincoln Lodge (2040 N. Milwaukee) focusing on providing a platform for Black performers. The evenings usually feature stand-up, sketch comedy, and improv games, all hosted by Mike Atcherson. Tonight’s show starts at 8 PM and includes Chevy Debbie, Kieron Harrell, Dae Dae, and Ben Noble. Tickets are $12 and available at Eventbrite.