All this and more could be yours, if the price is right. Credit: Simone Pellegrini via Unsplash

Looking for some things to do? Consider these options! We found some happenings all over the map this time around, including Evanston, Back of the Yards, downtown, Logan Square, South Shore, and the universe of the internet. 

FRI 5/20

The Unitarian Church of Evanston (1330 Ridge, Evanston) is hosting its annual rummage sale today until 6 PM and Saturday from 9 AM-1 PM. In addition to typical rummage sale staples like housewares, sporting goods, and small furniture, there will be clothing and accessories for all ages and genders including a “boutique” section with higher-end and designer items. Also expect a curated selection of decorative wares: pottery, collectibles, and other artier home goods. If you get hungry while shopping, light refreshments such as coffee, soda, and pastries will be on hand. The church has a parking lot, but ample parking is available on neighboring streets, too. Masks are requested while onsite. Go to the church’s website for more information and to find out about volunteer opportunities. (MC)

Elastic Arts (3429 W. Diversey, second floor) is celebrating 14 years of experimental music and other programming tonight at its fourth annual fundraiser. Since the pandemic, Elastic scaled back its programming and skipped hosting a benefit last year altogether. Tonight, the organization invites back both the joy and the support of their community to keep them going another year. There will be the usual fundraising fanfare: food, drinks, awards, and a silent auction (with donors ranging from Pitchfork Music Festival to Astral Spirits Records). Also on deck: a screening of archival footage from Elastic-hosted events, plus performances by Cristal Sabbagh’s Freedom From and Freedom To, Sam Lewis, Hearts and Minds with Chad Taylor, and DJ Major Taylor. The party kicks off at 7 PM, and it’s $50 to join. Whether you want to purchase a ticket or just make a donation, check out Elastic’s Website. (MC)

South Chicago Dance Theatre celebrates its fifth anniversary with five world premieres in the company’s first appearance at the Harris Theater (205 E. Randolph). The pieces include: HYbr:ID Line by Ron De Jesús, a piece for 12 dancers inspired by the artwork Unicolor (created by media artists Nibo and Carsten Nicolai) and using work by German musician and visual artist Alva Noto and a synthetic soundscape by electronic music artist Antye Greie; On A Lark by Stephanie Martinez of Chicago’s PARA.MAR Dance Theatre, which follows five dancers “as they flow between the daily monotony of life and escapism provided by entertainment”; Lit-anies by Crystal Michelle, an Ohio-based dancemaker originally from Augusta, Georgia, whose piece explores “rhythm, cadence and the Black American South perspective”; Coeurs Séparés by Wade Schaaf (founder of Chicago Repertory Ballet), a contemporary work inspired by “the tones and moods” of three works by Bach (Andante from Bach’s Organ Sonata No 4, Presto and Adagio from the Concerto in D minor); and In Lieu of Flowers by Kia S. Smith, founding executive artistic director for SSDT, a contemporary duet on grief sparked by the loss of Smith’s father, south-side jazz legend Jimmy Ellis. The performance begins at 7:30 PM; tickets are $15-$50 at (KR)

Somewhere Over the Border, Brian Quijada’s world premiere musical with Teatro Vista (the company’s first live show since the pandemic shutdown and the first under new co-artistic directors Lorena Diaz and Wendy Mateo), mashes up The Wizard of Oz with his mother’s story of her border crossing from El Salvador into the U.S. in the 1970s. The mix of fable and family history uses cumbia, Mexican mariachi boleros, American rock, and hip hop in the score. Quijada, whose 2016 solo Where Did We Sit on the Bus? incorporated hip-hop and spoken word in an exploration of his Latine identity, narrates the show; the cast of six is directed by Denise Yvette Serna. It runs through 6/12 at Windy City Playhouse (3014 W. Irving Park); tickets for tonight’s 7:30 PM performance are still available for $15-$49.50 at teatro (KR)

SAT 5/21

Don’t let the gray skies scare you out of a little time outside. Just throw on a light jacket, then head to South Shore Nature Sanctuary (7059 S. South Shore) to help the organization plant 300 native plant seedlings. Getting these guys in the ground is essential to maintaining the Sanctuary’s biodiversity so all life there can continue thriving! The planting party gets popping at 10 AM, and no sign-up is necessary. All ages and abilities are welcome. (MC)

National Tap Dance Day is Wednesday, but you can get a jump on the action with M.A.D.D. Rhythms and Chicago Tap Theatre this weekend at the Harold Washington Cultural Center (4701 S. King). The two companies are teaming up to offer classes and workshops today from 10 AM-3 PM and a live performance of a new work, Bridging the Gap: One Step at a Time, tomorrow at 3 PM. (A virtual viewing of the latter will be available Sat 6/4, starting at 4 PM.) On Wednesday, they’ll be on the north side at the New 400 Theater (6746 N. Sheridan) for a screening of Bojangles (a biopic about legendary tap artist Bill “Bojangles” Robinson starring the late Gregory Hines) and a community shuffle; that kicks off at 6:30 PM. Information and reservations available through (KR)

What’s more Chicago than giardiniera? Well, lots of things—but there is a distinctly Chicago way to prepare Italy’s favorite pickled vegetable mix. At 11 AM, Fearless Cooking (4410 N. Milwaukee) is hosting a class on making this beloved regional condiment that’s not only a little “canning 101”: it’s also designed to help students sharpen their knife skills. For $100, participants will walk away with their own jar of homemade giardiniera, a six-inch chef’s knife from Hammer Stahl, and expert advice on all things chopping, slicing, and dicing. Sign up through the Fearless Cooking website. (MC)

It’s a busy day at the Trans Chicago Empowerment Center (2753 W. Division). From 12:30-4 PM, the organization is providing free COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to everyone five and older. If you happen to need an HIV or hepatitis C screening, you can get that free today as well. From 2-6 PM, the center hosts Pillars: A Trans & POC Market. This event specifically centers vendors of color who are trans. Clothes, herbal blends, tarot readings, and more will be available for sale from local POC, trans, and nonbinary artists. More information about the center is available through their Facebook page. (MC)

SUN 5/22

Today’s the last day of this weekend’s Anime Central, an annual convention of anime, manga, and Japanese popular culture enthusiasts that attracts like-minded fans from all over the midwest to Rosemont. Expect exhibitors and vendors, a video game hall where gamers can try out the latest as well as cosplay gatherings, tabletop gaming opportunities, and more at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center (5555 N. River, Rosemont). The gathering is open today from 8 AM until a closing ceremony from 4-5 PM, and advance tickets are available. (SCJ)  

Vintage Garage Chicago (at the 1800 Maple Self Park Garage, 5th Floor, 1800 Maple, Evanston) only happens four times a year, and today is the first one of the season. From 10 AM-4 PM, wade deep into one of the biggest vintage roundups in the area where people will be slinging everything from retro record collections to midcentury modern furniture. Tickets are only $6, and there is ample free parking onsite. (MC)

If you’re looking for a more “support local artists” vibe today, check out Jackalope Coffee’s Springtime Vendor Bazaar (755 W. 32nd). Over 20 vendors will be on hand selling items such as candles, stained glass, plant holders, and more. DJ This Margin Walker will soundtrack the event, which runs from 10 AM-4PM. (MC)

Free Fyre is a collective of artists and performers largely based in Tennessee, and they are currently traveling with the Rebirth Tour, a series of events designed to retell the story of the Harlem Renaissance and discuss the impact of this history on Black culture. On tonight’s Chicago stop for the tour, you can catch Free Fyre cofounders Cameron L. Mitchell and Jazzmin Mitchell performing spoken word and jazz at 21c Museum Hotel Chicago (55 E. Ontario) starting at 6 PM. The evening is free and open to all ages, but registration via Eventbrite is requested. (SCJ)

MON 5/23

Any day is a good day to show some love for the Pilsen Love Fridge. This food drop-off is community run–and conveniently located across from Casa del Pueblo grocery store at 1855 S. Blue Island! Please, no unpasteurized dairy, raw meats (including fish!), alcohol, leftovers, or foods without ingredients labels. Every week, the Love Fridge hopes to be stocked with some combination of produce, dairy, sealed packaged foods, eggs (with a use-by date), pastries, breads, table sauces, juices, and cured meats (also sealed, with a use-by date). Can you help? Check out the Love Fridge’s Instagram for a comprehensive list of do’s and don’ts to keep the fridge stocked safely. If you’re in the area and can’t donate, feel free to check on the fridge and tidy it up–or just help yourself if you need something. There are lots of ways to provide and accept neighborly love. (MC)

Ever had a public situation that made you feel like crawling into the nearest hole and waiting till everyone else went away? I won’t get started on my interpretative performance art addition to my junior high-era music summer camp’s all-camp recital here, but if I ever want to tell you about it, Mortified seems like the perfect place to do so. It’s a storytelling evening hosted by WBEZ featuring everyday people telling stories about their journeys of “personal redemption through public humiliation,” and if you can read that without being triggered, you’ll want to join the audience tonight to show your support to the brave souls who will tell their tales. This event is open to those 21 and up, and starts at 7:30 PM at Thalia Hall (1807 S. Allport). Advance tickets are available here. (SCJ)

TUE 5/24

Bird Show, a porch gallery in the 38th ward, is hosting a virtual workshop on how to “prairie-fy your parkway.” Radical community arts organizer Jen Delos Reyes will guide participants through the process of beginning a prairie patch–wherever you think it’s needed. On Bird Show’s Instagram, Delos Reyes explains, “About 60 percent of Illinois, approximately 22 million acres, once was prairie. Now about 2,500 acres remain.” As a bonus for artists out there: If you’re interested in showing at Bird Show, there will be a quick info session at the end of the workshop. The tutorial starts at 6 PM. To join, enter 873 9584 0959 on Zoom. (MC)

WED 5/25

To celebrate the launch of their new book by the same name, Haymarket Books is holding an online teach-in tonight at 5 PM called Community as Rebellion: Surviving Academia as a Woman of Color. Lorgia García Peña, Latinx studies scholar and the book’s author, will be joined by feminist scholar and activist Chandra Talpede Mohanty and author, activist, and UC Santa Cruz professor Angela Y. Davis to talk strategies for finding (or creating) liberatory spaces for women of color navigating the ivory tower. This event is sliding scale ($0-$25) with a recommended admission fee of $5. After registration, a link will be emailed the day of the event. (MC)

What’s up with redrawing the ward boundaries? Who did it help, who did it hurt, and why did it take so long? At 6 PM, Rachel Hinton of the Better Government Association, Chaundra Van Dyk of CHANGE Illinois, and Alex Nitkin and Erin Hegarty of the Daily Line will be at the Hideout (1354 W. Wabansia) discussing these questions and more. They’ll also discuss the myriad ways this will likely impact Chicago politics in the years to come. Those 21+ can get in on the conversation for $10. (MC)

Free Street Theater unveils its latest collaborative show tonight. In 57 Blocks, the ensembles from the company’s Pulaski Park and Storyfront ensembles in Wicker Park and Back of the Yards joined together to create this immersive play about their neighborhoods and examining education, immigration, and incarceration. Audiences start out at Free Street’s Pulaski Park home base in the fieldhouse, then board a bus to go down Ashland to the Storyfront (audience members who live closer to the Back of the Yards location will be offered a ride before the show to get them to Pulaski Park, and north-side audience members can take the bus back to Pulaski after the show). The show features an ensemble of nine under the direction of Katrina Dion and Sebastian Olayo. The ensembles began working together digitally in October 2020, doing research based on personal stories as well as books such as Eve L. Ewing’s Ghosts in the Schoolyard and We Do This Til’ We Free Us by Mariame Kaba. In an interview earlier this spring, Free Street executive director Karla Estela Rivera said, “With our process, we work with our ensembles to identify the stories and the challenges that they face living within our Chicago communities. What emerged was the theme of education and the pathways and the pipelines that are currently existing for them. And then they began reimagining what the world could be in education, if it really serves them.” 57 Blocks runs through 6/18; tickets are free, but limited, with reservations available at (KR)

THU 5/26

This week our Gossip Wolf columnists highlighted a new solo album from Emma Hospelhorn, who, in addition to her membership in the contemporary-classical group Ensemble dal Niente, has built a reputation as a reliable and prolific multi-instrumentalist by playing on recordings and live performances with collaborators like V.V. Lightbody, Katinka Kleijn, and others. Tonight Hospelhorn celebrates the release of The Carillon Towers, her new “pop-adjacent experimental folk” album under the name Em Spel. Openers Health & Beauty and Elenna Sindler will round out the evening, which starts at 8:30 PM at Constellation (3111 N. Western). Advance tickets are available for $15, and a streaming option will be available through the venue for $5. (SCJ)