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April 2020 events calendar for Chicago

Plan your April in Chicago with our calendar of the best things to do, including concerts, theater and art exhibits

Photograph: Neal O'Bryan

April can be a fickle month, when the weather could be so cold that you're forced to shovel snow or so warm that you finally get to return to one of your favorite Chicago beaches. No matter what climate the beginning of spring decides to bestow us with, there's no shortage of reasons to anticipate the arrival of April. Some of the best comic book conventions in Chicago occur this month, including the highly anticipated Star Wars Celebration and the annual Walker Stalker Con. Plus, Daily Show host Trevor Noah swings through the city, violinist Andrew Bird performs at one of the best jazz clubs in Chicago and gluttony reigns supreme at Chicago's Best Wingfest. Prepare for April showers and hours of springtime fun with the help of our April events calendar.

RECOMMENDED: Events calendar for Chicago in 2020

Featured events in April 2020

Photograph: Courtesy Chicago History Museum
Museums, History

“Silver Screen to Mainstream: American Fashion in the 1930s and ’40s”

icon-location-pin Chicago History Museum, Lincoln Park

The Chicago History Museum's latest exhibition demonstrates the influence that Hollywood held over fashion during the Great Depression, displaying a collection of glitzy gowns made by designers and at-home dressmakers. You'll find garments on display from Paris, New York and Chicago, made by designers like Chanel, Vionnet, Valentina, Paul du Pont, Howard Greer and Adrian.

Dawoud Bey
Photograph: Dawoud Bey, courtesy Museum of Contemporary Photography
Art, Photography

“Birmingham, Alabama, 1963: Dawoud Bey/Black Star”

icon-location-pin Museum of Contemporary Photography, Loop

In 1963, the KKK bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, killing four young black girls. To commemorate the event and pay tribute to the lives lost, Bey displays a series of side-by-side contemporary portraits, one of a child the same age as the slain children, the other of an adult the same age as the victims would have been in 2013.

Gregg Bordowitz
Photograph: Courtesy Video Data Bank
Art, Contemporary art

“Gregg Bordowitz: I Wanna Be Well”

icon-location-pin Art Institute of Chicago | Chicago, IL, Grant Park

The Art Institute assembles the first survey of artist, poet and activist Gregg Bordowitz’s career, beginning with his gay-rights and AIDS documentary, some aspect of a shared lifestyle. Named for a song by the Ramones (one of Bordowitz’s favorite bands), the exhibit also features examples of his poetry, site-specific installations and his recent explorations of televised stand-up comedy.

Hamilton: The Exhibition
Illustration: David Korins
Museums, History

“Hamilton: The Exhibition”

icon-location-pin 1535 S Linn White Dr, Museum Campus

Experience the life of Alexander Hamilton at this stand-alone exhibition, created by the team behind the hit musical Hamilton. Debuting in Chicago, "Hamilton: The Exhibition" takes visitors on a journey from a trading post in St. Croix to the New Jersey hilltop where the Founding Father was shot in duel, using imaginative environments (created by the Broadway production's set designer David Korins) to immerse guests in the historical tale. Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda serves as the exhibition's narrator (via a high-tech headset), fleshing out details as you make your way through the display and listen to rearranged music from the Broadway show. Highlights of the 20,000-square-foot experience include a moving sculpture representing the hurricane that brought Hamilton to America and a 70-foot parchment map of Manhattan circa 1772 outfitted with scale models of key locations, like Fraunces Tavern and King’s College.

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