Burst City screenshot
Burst City Credit: Courtesy the artist

Bounce the City
Sat-Sun through 9/3 (individual timed entry from 10 AM-5:30 PM depending on day), 5 Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, $24, all-ages, bouncethecity.com

As someone without a car, I do not make a habit of leaving the city, but Bounce the City at Schaumburg’s Woodfield Mall has me reviewing my transit options. Through Sunday, September 3, some portion of said suburban outpost will be overtaken by a bizarre, candy-colored, inflatable adventureland. Imagine a bounce house becoming an entire amusement park for you and your friends to enjoy for an hour and a half. Ball pit? Check. Slides? Check. Obstacle courses? Disco dome? Kawaii surrealism? Check, check, and check. The experience only costs $24, and it’s open to all ages—though if you want to take an especially little one, there are “junior sessions” available for those seven and younger (plus their caregivers).

Hecho En: Arts & Craft Fair
Sat 8/26-Sun 8/27, 10 AM-6 PM, along 18th Street between Paulina and Ashland, free, all-ages, pilsenartscommunityhouse.org

Hecho En: Arts & Craft Fair happens from 10 AM-6 PM both Saturday and Sunday, August 27, outdoors near Pilsen Arts and Community House (1637 W. 18th St.). This event is expansive in nature but centers BIPOC creators, especially those living or working in Pilsen. Makers will share their wares—drawings, photography, plants, candles, and more—along 18th Street between Paulina and Ashland. Not only will there be loads of fun and interesting things to peruse, but there will also be a slate of kid-friendly activities such as bilingual storytelling and button-making. Best of all? It’s free and open to everyone. For a complete list of vendors or schedule of events, check out the fair’s Instagram: @hechoen_artsfair.

Mothers of Murdered Transpeople annual picnic
Sun 8/27, 4 PM, Rainbow Beach, 2873 E. 75th St., free, all-ages. Those who can’t attend in person but want to support the group can contribute to their GoFundMe.

At 4 PM on Sunday, August 27, Mothers of Murdered Transpeople (MOMT) host their annual picnic at Rainbow Beach (2873 E. 75th St.). The group was started by Valerie Griffin in 2018 after her daughter, De’Janay Stanton, was killed. Since then, at least nine transgender and gender nonconforming people have been murdered in Chicago (15 across the country just this year). While the MOMT picnic is an opportunity to commune and honor memories, the event also seeks to raise awareness of trans experiences and relay that the community can be uniquely vulnerable to violence. Stanton’s sister Chimura Griffin told Block Club she and her mom eventually hope to grow MOMT into a brick-and-mortar resource center. The event will begin with a balloon release followed by food, games, and other activities. Everyone is welcome.

“Petrified Wastage” and “WET” opening reception
Fri 9/1, 7-11 PM, Heaven Gallery, 1550 N. Milwaukee, second floor.
Both exhibitions are on view at the gallery through 10/15; check out heavengallery.com to plan a visit.

In September, Heaven Gallery hosts the group exhibition “Petrified Wastage.” In the last century, we have become more wasteful, with many technologies developing at an accelerated rate but no plans to deal with the waste. More and more is being designed to break down faster and be replaced sooner. Increasingly, items are made from materials that aren’t biodegradable and can’t be recycled. What becomes of these items? In this show, artists Noah Kashiani, Millicent Kennedy, and Olivia Zubko use mixed media to play with the idea of trash as monuments. It’s an imaginative sort of cultural archeology that aims to both critique and explore our lives of excess and disposability. The opening reception is scheduled for 7-11 PM on September 1 and the show is on view until October 15.

Burst City
Sun 9/3, 9:30 PM, Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport, $12, musicboxtheatre.com

Lately, The Front Row screening series has been programming a delightful amount of arty pornography at the Music Box (3733 N. Southport)—but not Labor Day weekend! On Sunday, September 3, they throw a curveball with Burst City, a Japanese movie made in 1982 where rival punk bands compete during a protest of a nuclear power plant that ends up pitting them against the yakuza industrialists trying to destroy their homes. This movie’s got it all: sick music, hot outfits, and incredible action. It’s somewhere between Mad Max and Rock ‘n’ Roll High School—but, you know, in Tokyo. There will be only one screening, and it’s at 9:30 PM.

“William Estrada: Multiples and Multitudes”
Through 10/29: Mon-Thu 10 AM-7 PM, Fri 10 AM-4:30 PM, Sat 10 AM-4 PM, Sun 11 AM-4 PM. Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S. Cornell, 773-324-5520, hydeparkart.org

Longtime Chicago arts educator and social practice artist William Estrada currently has a solo exhibition at the Hyde Park Art Center (5020 S. Cornell). In “William Estrada: Multiples and Multitudes,” Estrada presents a multidisciplinary practice that includes photography, prints, installations, and video. The show draws on 20 years of Estrada’s work with a wide range of people across Chicago.

YouTube video
“Maestro William” teaches a basic lesson on drawing perspective.

Estrada is inspired by the Chicano Art Movement and Taller de Gráfica Popular (“the People’s Graphic Workshop”)—two art historical movements led by Latine people that emphasized making art accessible to all and insisting on art as an important part of a political and social education. One way this manifests is on Estrada’s bilingual YouTube channel, where he leads lessons in both Spanish and English on topics from making flyers to practicing empathy. Some of these are featured in the exhibit, which also features objects Estrada produced through collaborations with students and neighbors. The show is on view through October 29, and the Art Center is free and open to everyone.