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Chicago Like a Local Blog

Unique perspectives on the city from the people who live here.

Category - Arts/Culture/Entertainment

Founded by the black explorer Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable, Chicago's black history runs deep.

You only have to delve into the creation of gospel and electrified blues, or read about the country's first African American president to get a glimpse into Chicago's significance to America's black cultural history.

La Belle Ballet: Sleeping Beauty Reimagined

Monday, January 22, 2018 8:00 AM by Judy Giannetto

Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo Makes its Auditorium Theatre Debut with the Darker Side of Sleeping Beauty. 

To call Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo’s reimagining of classic fairytale The Sleeping Beauty (La Belle) spellbinding doesn't even come close to an adequate description.

If you haven't yet paid a visit to the brand new American Writers Museum (AWM), now's the time to do it. Two special exhibits take beloved Midwestern writers as their focus: "Captured Stories: American Writers through the Lens of Art Shay" and "Laura Ingalls Wilder: From Prairie to Page." As the first and only museum of its kind in the nation, this word-filled collection celebrates diverse American writers, while also exploring their influence on our cultural identity.

In the short forward to his classic 1917 tome The Ideal Bartender, Tom Bullock, a St. Louis bartender and the first African American to publish a cocktail recipe book, mused, "Is it any wonder that mankind stands open-mouthed before the bartender, considering the mysteries and marvels of an art that borders on magic?" Widely considered an American invention, it wasn't until Prohibition ended in 1933 that cocktail lounges began to sprout up across Chicago, replacing the traditional, beer and straight hard liquor focused saloons.

Joffrey Ballet sweeps into its new season with the legendary Romantic ballet, GiselleEquipped with a gorgeous backdrop and elegant staging by Lola de Avila, this tragic lovers tale is a must see. Giselle runs through October 29 at the Auditorium Theatre and features a rare display of soft, simplistic movements by a company noted for contemporary style.

Why go to see another run-of-the-mill movie when you can catch a live, world-class, kid-friendly show at a downtown theater for less than $8? The Exelon Family Series performances are designed for children ages 4–12 and hit the stage of the Harris Theater at 2 p.m. on Saturdays: that means you can spend a weekend afternoon with your whole family at the theater, complete with educational materials, discussion questions, and a "no hush" policy to allow for your young art lovers to experience the theater in their own way. You'll want to save some time to explore adjacent Millennium Park, too!

Chicago is the fabled city of big shoulders, big buildings and with a renowned foodie scene, big appetites. But at its core, this is really a city of neighborhoods and diverse ethnic communities. You can travel through dozens of countries and cultures of the world just by exploring Chicago neighborhoods and cultural institutions. The Chicago Cultural Alliance (CCA) serves as connector to 35 museums and cultural organizations representing 24 different neighborhoods and 28 different ethnic communities. Forget about airfare, you can discover China, Haiti, Puerto Rico and Ukraine all in a few days in Chicago.

Chicago's Year of Public Art rolls on with an exciting addition to the already amazing diversity of programs, talks, and of course, compelling new public art installations. Kerry James Marshall, the celebrated contemporary artist is bringing a massive new piece to the Chicago Cultural Center over the coming weeks — and at 132 by 100 feet — it will be nothing short of epic.

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