Free things to do in Chicago | Feb 12-17

Chicago History Museum

Chicago History Museum

There's a nice selection of free things to do in Chicago this week. A lot of opportunities to see some art and learn a thing or two. Also, a Twin Peaks marathon.

Tuesday 12

"Johanna Billing: I'm gonna live anyhow until I die."
10am-6pm, Kavi Gupta Gallery
Set to a soundtrack inspired by experimental musician Franco Battiato, Billing's new video follows five children as they run around Rome. Their adventures, culminating in an empty school, allude to psychoanalysis, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Bruno Munari among other Italian heroes.

Wednesday 13

"The Lost Vanguard: Soviet Modernist Architecture, 1922-32."
11am-5pm, Graham Foundation
British photographer Richard Pare has spent the past 20 years documenting the almost forgotten radical buildings that architects such as Konstantin Melnikov (1890–1974) and Alexander Vesnin (1883–1959) designed to reflect Communist ideals. Valuable records of the past, Pare’s photographs also deserve admiration for their aesthetic value. This exhibition suggests an urgent need for preservation that resonates in Chicago, given our own struggles to save our modernist heritage. Through Feb 23.—FM

"The Sahmat Collective: Art and Activism in India Since 1989."
7pm, Smart Museum of Art
Sahmat formed in response to the politically motivated 1989 murder of Indian playwright-activist Safdar Hashmi. Works by more than 60 artists including Zarina Hashmi, Nalini Malani and Vivan Sundaram trace the group's fight for freedom of expression through street-based performances and conceptual exhibitions. Opens Wed 13, 7–8:30pm, includes performances of Indian music and dance by Rakae Jamil, Sugaraga and Apsara.

Thursday 14

Post Office Thursdays
7pm, Durkin's
Assuming eligible ladies and gents get out of the text-message frame of mind to write potential suitors a cute note and place it in the assigned mailbox, this sounds like a swell idea. At this weekly singles mixer, connect over discounted drinks.

Puppy Love 2013
8pm, The Copa
Make it a date with your true BFF (best furry friend) at the third annual meet-up. There are on-the-house doggy treats for pooches, and $4 Dogfish Head drafts and $3 greyhound cocktails for humans.

Friday 15

10am, Chicago Cultural Center
The city's getting Chicago babies hooked on culture early with its new music and performance series. Geared toward the "stroller set," the outings let parents and pre-kindergarten kids take in free family-friendly performances in music, dance and theater. In case you thought this was your typical assortment of handclapping, patty-cake feel-goodery, think again: The brainy but engaging artists' roster includes Spektral Quartet's humorous, interactive antics; accessible classical act Chicago Q Ensemble; theatrical and sculptural dance group RE | Dance Group; improvised jazz artist Jeff Parker; and more.

Music in the Library: Yulia Lipmanovich
12:15pm, Harold Washington Library (Cindy Pritzker Auditorium)
Former students taught by the prominent Chicago-based teacher have gone on to study at prestigious institutions such as Juilliard School of Music, the Paris Conservatory of Music, and the Rubin Academy of Music in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Enough jabbering from us. In an all-Schubert solo recital, she'll let her fingers do the talking on the Steinway.

"Espacios Ocupados: Defining 99%."
6pm, Art in These Times Gallery
Caribbean, Latin American and Latino artists respond to the Occupy movement and other protests around the world. By appointment through May 31.

Soul Summit
9pm, Double Door
There's no shortage of dusty soul nights around town these days, but when they are manned by DJs like these, you won't hear us complaining. Dave Mata of Rogers Park arts space Impala Sound, Duke Grip of Spectrum and Numero Group collaborator Sloppy White preside monthly over this raw R&B, funk and soul dance party. They just celebrated three years of good times. February's guest is the mighty DJ Akalepse of NYC's Truth & Soul.

Saturday 16

Logan Center Family Saturdays
2pm-4pm, Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts
We're excited to check out UChicago Arts' new monthly family series. It's free and lets kids ages 2–14 experiment with interactive arts workshops, including drawing, theater improv, LEGO animation, music and deejaying. Sign us up.

"Vlatka Horvat: Door to Door Installation."
2pm-5pm, 6018NORTH
Horvat's site-specific work reinstalls the doors of 6018NORTH, compelling viewers to consider how physical spaces and borders regulate access and lead people to interact in certain ways.

David Boykin Trio
8pm-11pm, Washington Park Arts Incubator
Spirituality guides saxophonist David Boykin, an uncompromising figure on the local jazz scene who can hold his own against any improviser but who rarely plays sideman. Last year Boykin served as an artist in residence at Dorchester Projects, a community-oriented, culturally minded destination on the South Side conceived by artist Theaster Gates, where for two months the reedist led open rehearsals each week with bassist Alex Wing and young drummer James Woodley. Recordings of the last two sessions yielded the new CDLive at Dorchester Projects, a more modest endeavor than we’ve come to expect from Boykin, though his searching improvisations and spiraling textures still define the music.

Sunday 17

2013 Day of Remembrance
2pm-4pm, Chicago History Museum
Join the city's Japanese-American population in honoring those affected by the WWII internment camps. Historian Priscilla Wegars discusses and signs her new book, Imprisoned in Paradise: Japanese Internee Road Workers at the World War II Kooskia Internment Camp.

Twin Peaks: The First Four Episodes
6pm, Delilah's
Various dirs. 1990. Approx. 120mins. The mysteries surrounding Laura Palmer's death unravel. Does Delilah's serve coffee and cherry pie?

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Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)