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Very soon, most of Illinois including Chicago will be open almost like it was pre-pandemic but you know with a few exceptions. As we approach our second #summertimeChi since the global COVID-19 pandemic, we’re a bit more optimistic this year than last. There are still folks that are reluctant to dine inside a restaurant or attend a crowded space or event even if they’ve been vaccinated and we’ve curated some virtual events for you. For those of you looking for some in-person experiences this month or we’ve curated some in person things to do to keep you our dear discerning readers occupied and enjoy the most of this month. From philanthropic fundraising virtual galas, online forums, days/night out at our civic institutions, and more. These are the best things to do virtual and in person in Chicago and elsewhere, in no chronological order, this month of June 2021.
WHAT :: Shedd Aquarium Auxiliary Board Surge Forward
WHERE :: VIRTUAL
WHEN :: Friday, June 4 | 4:00pm – 7:00pm
WHY:: Pull out your best look and join the AuxiliaryBoard of Shedd Aquarium virtually their annual party with a purpose, Surge Forward! Hosted by Val Warner from ABC 7’s Windy City Live, the evening will feature special speakers and appearances. Not only does your gift grant you access to the virtual party, it makes a difference for Surge, Shedd Aquarium’s new, Earth-friendly community. Donate $85 or more by June 1 and you will receive an exclusive invite to the Auxiliary Board’s signature “party with a purpose”
COST :: $85+ Click here for more info
WHAT :: Theaster Gates: How To Sell Hardware
WHERE :: GRAY Gallery Warehouse | 2044 West Carroll Avenue
WHEN :: May 28 – July 31, 2021 | Tuesday through Saturday, 10 AM – 5 PM
WHY:: How to Sell Hardware tells the story of Theaster Gates’s ongoing engagement with a family-owned True-Value hardware store formerly located on Chicago’s South Side. This is Theaster Gates’ third solo exhibition at GRAY fka Richard Gray Gallery, and his latest installation right here in Chicago. Explore the exhibition at Gray Warehouse.
COST :: Complimentary: Walk-ins welcome, appointments preferred. Click here for more info
WHAT :: “The Obama Portraits”
WHERE :: Art Institute of Chicago | 111 S. Michigan Avenue 60603
WHEN :: Saturday June 18-August 15, 2021
WHY:: The groundbreaking portraits of President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama—painted by Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, respectively—debut at the Art Institute of Chicago, launching their national tour. You are invited you to experience this historic moment at the Art Institute during its eight week run.
COST :: Registration for non museum members required. Museum admission $14+. Click here for more info
WHAT :: MCA Tuesdays on the Terrace
WHERE :: (IN-PERSON) MCA Chicago | 220 E. Chicago Avenue 60611
WHEN :: Tuesday, June 1 to August 31 | 5:30 pm
WHY:: Summer is here and with Chicago opening back up, its time to enjoy #Summertimechi at one of the best spots in the city of Chicago. Guests are invited to experience the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago’s signature jazz program, with safe social distancing. Summer Tuesdays come alive on the MCA’s Anne and John Kern Terrace Garden with free music highlighting artists from Chicago’s internationally renowned jazz community. Enjoy two sets of live music beginning at 5:30 pm hosted by Al Carter-Bey, WDCB 90.9 FM and Richton Guy Thomas, WHPK 88.5 FM.
June 1: Alexis Lombre’s Ancestral Awakenings | June 8: Thaddeus Tukes and the Chicago Freedom Ensemble | June 15: Victor Garcia Quartet | June 22: Chuck Webb’s Guru Tonic | June 29: Edwin Sanchez and Papo Santiago co-organized with the Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center | July 6: Twin Talk (Katie Ernst, Dustin Laurenzi, and Andrew Green) | July 13: Junius Paul / Tomeka Reid Duo | July 20: The Fred Anderson Legacy Band featuring Tatsu Aoki | July 27: Ethan Philion Quartet | August 3: Sharel Cassity | August 10: Greg Artry Quartet | August 17: Maggie Brown | August 24: Mwata Bowden’s One Foot In, One Foot Out
August 31: Alexander McLean Project.
COST :: Free tickets must be reserved in advance. Click here for more info
WHAT :: Seltzerland
WHERE :: Sydney R. Marovitz Golf Course | 3701 N Recreation Dr
WHEN :: Saturday, June 26
WHY:: Seltzerland is the first nationally-touring, socially-distanced hard seltzer celebratory day-out and it’s headed to Chicago for the third stop of their Midwest Tour! We’ve rounded up the best hard seltzer brands in the land for one epic day dedicated to the bubbly brew everyone can’t get enough of. Spend the afternoon tasting 50+ hard seltzer flavors, indulge in mouthwatering munchies, and bust out the ‘gram for the most insta-worthy moments. Brought to you by Cannonball Productions, brands large and small will participate including White Claw, Mike’s Hard Lemonade Seltzer, Vizzy, Playamar (Jose Cuervo Seltzer), Basic and Coors Seltzer.
COST :: $29 – $59 Click here for more info
WHAT :: Pritzker Forum on Global Cities: The Post-COVID City
WHERE :: VIRTUAL
WHEN :: Thursday, June 10, 2021 | 4:00 PM – 5:15 PM
WHY:: A forum that brings together leaders in business, civics, education, and the arts for a dialogue on the influential role cities play in addressing critical global challenges. The CEO of United Airlines, the President of Microsoft, the Governor of Tokyo, and other civic and industry leaders from around the world discuss the resilience of cities and how they may revive their social and economic vitality.
COST :: Registration for this event is free thanks to generous support from our sponsors. Click here for more info
WHAT :: Chicago Cultural Alliance MOSAIC 2021
WHERE :: Virtual
WHEN :: June 15 | 4:30-6:00PM CST
WHY:: This year, the MOSAIC Gala, hosted by City Cast Chicago’s Jacoby Cochran, will be an exclusive virtual premiere of a virtual walk through our city’s North, West and South sides, with our members paving the journey through Chicago. You are invited to explore our city one member organization at a time, priming you for the day that you decide to step out and explore their spaces in person! The presentation will also feature our incredible MOSAIC Awardees and Sponsors who have worked hard to preserve arts and culture around the city.
COST :: FREE Admission to Livestream. Tickets begin at $50 Click here for more info
WHAT :: Let’s Talk Womxn Chicago
WHERE :: VIRTUAL
WHEN :: Friday, June 25, 2021
WHY:: The second installment of Let’s Talk Womxn Chicago’s Supper Club & Conversation is set to take place this month. Each dinner features a panel and a five-course meal from five Let’s Talk women on the last Friday of each month. Let’s Talk Womxn Chicago, is a collaborative group of 40 Chicago independent, women-led restaurateurs working together to survive the pandemic and build economic power. The June dinner features five incredible courses from five Let’s Talk Womxn Chicago restaurants plus a panel discussion with the entrepreneurs behind each: Rohini Dey of Vermilion, Mary Aregoni of Saigon Sisters, Julia Shell of The Dandy Crown, Geri Hernandez of Savory Crust, and Maya-Camille Broussard of Justice of the Pies. An active movement led by women business owners, Let’s Talk was founded in July 2020 and is led by Rohini Dey, Ph.D., a Chicago restaurateur (Vermilion), former trustee and founder/chair of the James Beard Foundation Women’s Leadership Program, and a former McKinsey & Co. consultant and World Bank economist.
COST :: $100 per person inclusive of the panel; or preorder a Takeout dinner for two ($100 for two adults) with optional cocktail offerings. June 22 is the deadline for reservations and preorders. Click here for more info
WHAT :: Chicago Artists Coalition Presents Work In Progess 2021
WHERE :: VIRTUAL
WHEN :: Wednesday June 9, 2021
WHY:: CAC’s Work In Progress (WIP) Benefit event will be a virtual one this year celebrating Chicago Artists Coalitions’ 47 years supporting Chicago artists and curators. This year’s honorees are non other than the incomparable Nick Cave and Bob Faust. Special recognition will also be given to Jeff Shapack.
COST :: Free portion includes recognition of honorees, grants, art auction. Tickets for Live conversation with the artists, tour of The Facility and more begin at $300. Click here for more info
WHAT :: Building Better Black Futures
WHERE :: VIRTUAL (Via YouTube)
WHEN :: Tuesday June 30, 2021
WHY:: In honor of Juneteenth, activists Alicia Garza and Liz Dozier discuss how empowering Black communities through civic and policy engagement is essential to addressing inequalities and systemic racism.
COST :: Complimentary Click here for more info
WHAT :: The Woodlawn’s 2nd Juneteenth Block Party
WHERE :: The Woodlawn 1200 | 1200 East 79th Street 60619
WHEN :: Saturday June 19 |12:00-3:00pm; 3:30-6:30pm; 7:00-10:00pm
WHY:: Join The Woodlawn, an innovative and vibrant economic center located in the heart of Chicago’s historic Avalon Park community, for fun, live broadcasts, performances, rooftop experiences and more at their Juneteenth 2nd celebration! We celebrate Juneteenth because it represents the emancipation of African descendants in America. This is an ADULT ONLY event.
COST :: Tickets and reservations are available in three hour slots for the rooftop event. Each $50 General Admission ticket includes rooftop admission (standing room only), an open bar and small bites. Click here for more info
WHAT :: Cajun Crawfish Boil
WHERE :: The Metropolitan | 233 South Wacker Drive 67th Floor|
WHEN :: Friday, Jun 11, 2021 | 5pm
WHY:: Join us for a one-of-a-kind experience high above the Chicago skyline inside the Willis Tower. Executive Chef Dominique and her culinary team invite you to the first summer seafood series! experience all-you-can-eat delights fresh from the sea with house beer and wine included in the price!.
COST :: $90 per ticket Click here for more info
WHAT :: Lincoln Park Zoo Adults Night OUT
WHERE :: Lincoln Park Zoo |
WHEN :: Saturday, June 26 | 6:30–10 p.m.
WHY:: Lincoln Park Zoo’s signature adults-only (18+) event returns just in time to ring in the summer and celebrate Pride Month! This is your chance to explore Lincoln Park Zoo after the gates close. No kids. No crowds. Just strolling and sipping and getting some much-needed outside time.
COST :: $25+ per person. THIS AN AN 18+ ONLY EVENT Click here for more info
WHAT :: A Dash of Drag
WHERE :: FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar at Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel | 221 North Columbus Drive 60601
WHEN :: Saturday June 26 |12:00-2:00pm;
WHY:: Mark your calendars for a drag show that can’t be missed during Pride in the Park weekend. Four talented performers will offer a mix of colorful costumes, music and dancing. Hosted by Lucy Stoole with performances by Rachel Slurrz, Nico and Dusty Bahls.
COST :: $45 per person; Tickets include admission into the show as well as access to the Brunch Bar which includes bottomless mimosas! Click here for more info
Featured image credit: Pedro Lastra @peterlaster
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