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The Top Five Things to Do This Week

Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Ligia Lewis, A People’s History of Chicago book launch, Neighborhoods of the World, and Women of the World Take Over

POLYMATH Annie Clark, seen here performing as St. Vincent at Pitchfork Music Festival in 2014, makes her directorial debut at the Chicago Feminist Film Festival this week.   Photo: Clayton Hauck

The Five

Don’t-miss picks for March 1 through March 7, 2017

1 Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Classical:Large symphony orchestra programming barely peeks into the 20th century, usually opting for the baroque, classical, and Romantic eras. Here, Esa-Pekka Salonen leads the CSO in a modern direction in two subscription programs, only touching the 19th century for Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun. The first program launches from the Debussy into Scheherazade.2, a concerto-like work composed by John Adams, and finishes with Stravinsky’s riotous Rite of Spring.
3/2–7. $30–$216. Symphony Center. cso.org

2 Ligia Lewis

Dance:As part of OnEdge, the City of Chicago’s multidisciplinary performance series, Berliner Ligia Lewis blends dance, visual art, and theater in Minor Matter, a piece exploring otherness and the black experience.
3/4. Free. Chicago Cultural Center. Free. cityofchicago.org/dcase

3 A People’s History of Chicago Book Launch

Poetry:Chicago poet Kevin Coval toasts Chicago’s 180th birthday with a reading from his forthcoming poetry collection, A People’s History of Chicago. Joining Coval are poet Angela Jackson, singer Jamila Woods, playwright Idris Goodwin, rapper Mick Jenkins, footwork crew The Era, and more.
3/4. Free. Harold Washington Library. youngchicagoauthors.org

4 Neighborhoods of the World

Festival:Every year, cultural groups throughout the city queue up at Navy Pier for a series of traditional dances and folk-music concerts. In March, the city toasts Italy, Lithuania, Mexico, and Greece. Expect cuisine, crafts, and colorful costumes from the nation du jour.
3/5–26. Free. Navy Pier. navypier.com

5 Women of the World Take Over

Music:Spearheaded by country singer Angela James, Chicago’s best women musicians—from cellist Tomeka Reid to folk singer Quinn Tsan—take over the Hideout to cover the music of their own favorite female Chicago musicians (Mavis Staples, Angel Olsen, Neko Case, Chaka Khan, Veruca Salt, and more). Proceeds benefit the Chicago Women’s Health Center.
3/7. $7. The Hideout. hideoutchicago.com

What I’m Doing This Weekend

Michelle Yates Photo: Courtesy of Michelle Yates

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know-locals: Columbia College professor Michelle Yates, who co-directs the Chicago Feminist Film Festival, running March 1 to March 3.

“Wednesday is our opening night, and we’re lucky to be showing the all-female horror anthology XX, which has a super amazing lineup of directors. It’s the directorial debut of Annie Clark, also known as St. Vincent. It’s a very sort of horror-invested evening.

“On Thursday, we have five awesome shorts programs from independent filmmakers, overwhelmingly by women. The first shorts program features eight films by filmmakers from Iran, Slovenia, the US, and Jamaica. Each film features dance or movement in some way.

“On Friday, our closing-night film is called Woman on Fire. It’s this really amazing documentary about New York City’s first transgender firefighter. The director, Julie Sokolow, and the film subject, Brooke Guinan, will do a Q&A after the screening.

“The closing-night party is at Belly Up Smokehouse and Saloon on Friday night. We’ll have some food, and there’ll be a bunch of filmmakers—and hopefully some dancing. There’s also a trans liberation protest happening on Friday, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the corner of Wacker and Wabash.

“On Saturday, the organization Women of the Now is having a carnival and cocktail party from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. at Camera Ambassador, a camera equipment rental house. Women of the Now and Camera Ambassador are both filmmaking organizations that support women in the arts. Their mission is similar to our film festival’s. The party will feature carnival games, film screenings, live entertainment, and DJs, with all benefiting Women of the Now.

“Past that, I’ll probably get out to the ongoing art show at Columbia College called Evoke. It’s an environmentally themed exhibition, and it’s mostly student work. It’s in response to a show that took place at the Museum of the Contemporary Photography this past fall, called Petcoke: Tracing Dirty Energy, about the fossil fuel industry and oil politics.” —As told to Jamison Pfeifer

Freebie of the Week

Chicago Feminist Film Festival

Film Festival:The second Chicago Feminist Film Festival screens 54 shorts and 2 feature films over three days at Columbia College, including the Chicago premiere of Woman on Fire, a documentary about New York City’s first openly transgender firefighter. Also making her directorial debut is Annie Clark, otherwise known as St. Vincent.
3/1–3. Free. Film Row Cinema at Columbia College. chicagofeministfilmfestival.com

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