Archives, Arts Guide, Community, Exhibitions, Featured, Happenings, Performance, Resources

October Art Picks

A black and white photograph titled Stop White People From Killing Us - St. Louis, MO, c. 1966-1967 by Darryl Cowherd

If you’ve followed us for a while, you know that our Art Picks offer a wide scope of events that are relevant to our audiences because we and the artists, cultural workers, curators, spaces, and projects we support live full lives that know no boundaries. We maintain expansive practices and work toward justice for BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and disability communities in Chicago and the Midwest.  

If this is your first time coming across this list, welcome. We’re glad you’re here and we hope this list sparks discovery, curiosity, and a demand for justice if you weren’t openly demanding that already.

Created in collaboration with The Visualist and adapted for social-distancing due to COVID-19, this list offers online exhibitions, streaming events, a list of online collections from Black and LGBTQIA+ archives, and other ways to spend time in the virtual space. 

Also, in support of our friends, our communities, ourselves, and abolition/liberation efforts, we’re prioritizing events that uplift and fight for Black Lives and celebrate Black Queer Lives because the fight for Black Lives is the fight for Black artists, our Black Trans family, our Black Queer family, and the many branches of these communities. 

With the health of the communities and artists we love in mind, the only in-person events listed are ones associated with protests happening across Chicago.

Featured image: A black and white photograph titled Stop White Police From Killing Us – St. Louis, MO, c. 1966-1967 by Darryl Cowherd, from the exhibition What Does Democracy Look Like? at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, on view from October 1 through December 23, 2020. Image courtesy of the artist and the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago.

This is a growing list, so check back often for new additions.

Chicago Protest Listings

Chicago Protest Calendar
Protest Chicago

Note: If you’re attending any protests or events, here are some tips from The Blackivists archivist collective on how to document thoughtfully with the care and safety of our coummunites in mind.

Ongoing/Watch Anytime
Chicago Onscreen | Films
Chicago Park District: Online
Free

Ongoing/Watch Anytime
Open TV Originals
Open TV: Online
Free Trial Available

Ongoing
The Quarantine Concerts
Experimental Sound Studio
Suggested donation of $5

Ongoing
HELLO NEIGHBOR PURPLE WINDOW
Free

Ongoing
Cooperation for Liberation Study & Working Group
#LetUsBreathe Collective, The Kola Nut Collective, & Cooperation for Liberation Study & Working Group
Free

Through October 4, 2020
NADA’s Chicago Gallery Opening
NADA: Online
Free

Through October 4, 2020
Yea Jee Min & Ricardo Partida
Julius Caesar & NADA: Online
Free

October 1- 4, 2020
StoryStudio Writers Festival
StoryStudio Chicago
$50-140

October 1- December 23, 2020
What Does Democracy Look Like?
Museum of Contemporary Photography: 600 S Michigan Ave
Free

Thurs, October 1, 6pm
ART WEST GALLERY GRAND OPENING
ART WEST: 801 S California Ave
Free

Thurs, October 1, 6-8pm
Artist Run Chicago 2.0 Curatorial Talk via Zoom
Hyde Park Art Center: Online
Free

Thurs, October 1, 7-7:45pm
Visionary Ball 2020
Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art: Online
$0-$5,000

Thurs, October 1, 7-8pm
What’s Next: Wealth, Property, and Inequality
Chicago Humanities Festival: Online
Free

Fri, October 2, 12-1pm
Focal Point Live with Jess T. Dugan and Rafael Soldi
Museum of Contemporary Photography: Online
Free

October 2 – 16, 2020
Black Purple Room
Chicago 4 Black Futures: Online
Various amounts (fundraiser and project)

Fri, October 2, 6:30-8pm
Norman W. Long
Compound Yellow: 244 Lake St, Oak Park
Free

October 2, 7:30pm – October 11, 10pm
UIC Theatre Presents – Reverb
UIC School of Theater and Music, UIC College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts: Online
Free

October 3, 11am
Wide Awakes Day 2020 – March
Wide Awakes: March begins at 221 E. 49th Street
Free

October 3, 2020
Pranita Nayar: With Rūmī
High Concept Labs: Online
Free

October 3-31, 2020
Out of Time
Aspect/Ratio: 864 N Ashland Ave
Free

Sat, October 3, 12pm
External Eye: Yana Bystrova: Artist Talk
Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art: 2320 W Chicago Ave
Free

Sat, October 3, 3-5pm
Water Music on the Rocks
6018|North: 6018 North Kenmore Avenue
Free

Sat, October 3, 2pm
Virtual Curator Tour of Claudia Wieser: Generations
Smart Museum of Art: Online
Free

Sat, October 3, 7-8:30pm
Blue Print: Annual Benefit for Spudnik Press Cooperative
Spudnik Press Cooperative: Online
$50-500

Sat, October 3, 7:30-10pm
El Noa Noa: JuanGa Baila
National Museum of Mexican Art: Online
$10-50

Sat, October 3, 5-8pm
Cito, Longe, Tarde
Haynes: 3050 S Haynes Ct
Free

Sun, October 4, 12-1pm
Fête Galante: Virtual Artist Talk
Heaven Gallery: Online
Free

Sun, October 4, 3-4pm
Nine Lives Workshop
Renaissance Society: Online
Free

Sun, October 4, 6-9pm
Still Here
ARC Gallery: Online
Free

Mon, October 5, 8-9pm
Nasty, Brutish & Short: Puppet Quarantine 4
Links Hall: Online
$10-15

Tues, October 6, 6:30-7:30pm
Ocean Vuong
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago: Online
Free

Tues, October 6, 6-8pm
Discussion between Diana Solís and Silvia Malagrino
LATITUDE: Online
Free

Tues, October 6, 7-8pm
Virtual Book Launch: GOLEM GIRL by Riva Lehrer
Women & Children First Bookstore: Online
Free

Tues, October 6, 6-7pm
Discussion between Diana Solís and Silvia Malagrino
LATITUDE and DePaul Art Museum: Online
Free

October 8 – December 20, 2020
Ayanah Moor: FOR YOU
DePaul Art Museum: 935 W Fullerton Ave
Free

Thurs, October 8, 7-8pm
At Home: Ephemeral Monument to Public Housing Residents
National Public Housing Museum: 1322 W Taylor St
Free

Thurs, October 8, 6-8pm
ADDS DONNA presents Collection Studies
Hyde Park Art Center: Online
Free

Thurs, October 8, 2020
For You: Ayanah Moor
DePaul Art Museum: 935 W. Fullerton
Free

Thurs, October 8, 6-7pm
Voting Matters: Suppression, Access, and Democracy
Museum of Contemporary Photography: Online
Free

October 8 – 31, 2020
Liberating History: Arab Feminisms and Mediated Pasts
Block Museum of Art: Online Screenings
Free

October 9 & 16, 5-6:30pm
Surrounding Desire / Quantum Black Feminist Future Dance Class with Anna Martin Martine Whitehead
The Dance Center at Columbia College Chicago: Online
Donation Based

October 10 – 25, 2020
Rebecca Beachy: growing down
Roman Susan: 1224 W Loyola Ave
Free

October 10 – November 7, 2020
Whitney Bedford: NEVERTHELESS…
Carrie Secrist Gallery: Online & at 900 W. Washington
Free

Sat, October 10, 12-3pm
Jess Howard: “The Spirit of Community”
South Side Community Art Center: 3831 S. Michigan Ave.
Free

Sat, October 10, 2-6pm
Nathan Mason: Improvisations
Compound Yellow: 244 Lake St, Oak Park
Free

Mon, October 12, 1-2pm
Option: Farida Amadou
Experimental Sound Studio: Online
Free

October 12 – November 6, 2020, 7-9pm
BODY/SPACE: Anthony Sims
The Public Media Institute / Co-Prosperity: 3219 South Morgan Street
Free

Tue, October 13, 6:30-7pm
Irma Boom
School of the Art Institute of Chicago: Online
Free

Tue, October 13, 7-8pm
Eileen Myles: Why I Write
Chicago Humanities Festival: Online
Free

Wed, October 14, 7-8pm
Peniel E. Joseph on Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.
Chicago Humanities Festival: Online
Free

Wed, October 14, 7pm
Art and Social Progress: Creating a Better World
Weinberg/Newton Gallery & ACLU: Online
Free

Wed, October 14, 7-8:30pm
Pour One Out: Shame, Shameless, Shameful
Volumes Bookcafe: Online
Free

Thurs, October 15, 6pm
Instagram Live with Steven D. Booth and Stacie Williams
Sixty Inches From Center: Instagram – @SixtyInchesFromCenter + @LossCaptureProject
Free

Thurs, October 15, 6pm
Feminist Mentorship: A Conversation between Maria Gaspar and Nicole Marroquin
DePaul Art Museum: Online
Free

Thurs, October 15, 6pm
Altar Making Workshop
National Museum of Mexican Art: Online
Free

Thurs, October 15, 6-8pm
“Rendevous on the L”: The Intersections of Chicago Life in Art and Politics with Mujeres Mutantes
Hyde Park Art Center: Online
Free

Thurs, October 15, 7-8pm
Reading: Azareen Van der Vliet: Oloomi
Renaissance Society: Online
Free

Thurs, October 15, 7-8pm
Art in the Moment
Chicago Humanities Festival: Online
Free

Thurs, October 15, 7-10pm
Tobias Carroll and Christen Carter: Sign of the Times
Pilsen Community Books: Online
Free

October 15 – 16, 7pm
Liberating History: The Three Disappearances of Soad Hosni
Block Museum of Art: Online Screening
Free

October 15 – 29, 2020
Hearth 2020 Virtual Benefit
ACRE Residency: Online

Fri, October 16, 12-1pm
Artist-Run Spaces
Chicago Humanities Festival: Online
Free

October 16, 2020 – March 20, 2021
Upkeep
The Arts Club of Chicago: 201 E Ontario St
Free

Fri, October 16, 12-7pm
Ross Sawyers: The Future Isn’t What it Used to Be.
062: 1029 W 35th St
Free

Fri, October 16, 5-7pm
Pivot
Ralph Arnold Gallery: 1131 W Sheridan
Free

Fr, October 16, 7-8pm
Bronzeville Art District Virtual Trolly Tour
Gallery Guichard: Online
Free

Fri, October 16, 7pm
The Quarantine Concerts: Kioto Aoki – Systems of Vision (part 2)
Experimental Sound Studio: Online
$5

Sat, October 17, 2020
And Then: Stories About What Happens Next
Agitator Gallery: Online
Free

Sat, October 17, 2-3pm
Open House Chicago: Artmaking and Space making in Communities
Hyde Park Art Center: Online
Free

Sat, October 17, 1-6pm
Echoes In Rain
LVL3: 1542 N Milwaukee Ave
Free

Sat, October 17, 12-4:15pm
Chicago Black Social Culture Map Series
Honey Pot Performance: Online
Free

Sat, October 17, 11am-3pm
Community Art & Garden Day
Urban Growers Collective and Revolutionary Beats
Free

Tues, October 20, 7-8pm
Digital Celebration 2020
Chicago Humanities Festival: Online
Free

Tues, October 20
Meshell Ndegeocello: Chapter & Verse: The Gospel of James Baldwin
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago: Online
Free

Tues, October 20, 6pm
Voices: Tonika Johnson in Conversation with Barbara Ransby & Asha Edwards
Gallery 400: Online
Free

Wed, October 21, 8pm
Growing Concerns Poetry Collective Live
The Hideout: 1354 W. Wabansia Ave.
$15

Wed, October 21, 10am
Defund CPD Training: Take Back the Budget
Online
Free

Thurs, October 22, 6-8pm
Experimental Sound Studio w/ Kamau Patton
Hyde Park Art Center: Online
Free

Thurs, October 22, 6:30-7:30pm
Getting Around Carbon: New Looks at Transportation Options
Glass Curtain Gallery: Online
Free

Thurs, October 22, 6:30-8pm
Digital Surveillance, Privacy, and Preservation in Community-based Archives
Visual AIDS: Online
Free

Thurs, October 22, 1:30-3:30pm (EDT)
All Power to the People: Centering Collections and Communities in the Archives
The Blackivists, 2020 New York Archives Week Symposium: Online
Free

Thurs, October 22, 7-8pm
Queer Legacies Author Discussion
Gerber/Hart Library & Archives and Unabridged Bookstore: Online
Free

Thurs, October 22, 6-8pm
The History of Art & Feminism: Where the Future Came From
Hull House Museum: Online
Free

Thurs, October 22, 6-7pm
Virtual Talks with Video Activists: Bombozila
Media Burn Archive: Online
Free / donations encouraged

Fri, October 23, 12-12:30pm
Mercy in the Museum: Online Collection Tours
Block Museum: Online
Free

Fri, October 23, 6-9pm
we are the black gold of the sun: Martha A. Wade
Blanc Gallery: 4445 S. King Drive
Free

Sat, October 24, 2pm
Meshell Ndegeocello: Chapter & Verse: The Gospel of James Baldwin
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago: Online
Free

Sat, October 24, 3-4pm
a canary torsi: Last Audience: a performance manual
Renaissance Society: Online
Free

Sat, October 24, 11am
Gallery Tour: What is Home?
Catherine Edelman Gallery: 1637 W. Chicago Ave.
Free

Sat, October 24, 8:08pm
Is My Body Strong Enough to Hold a Rebar?
No Nation Art Lab: Online
Free

Sun, October 25, 7:30-8:30pm
2020 Benefit Performance – America / Americans
Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre: Online
$75-150

Mon, October 26, 2020
Loss/Capture Playlist
Sixty Inches From Center: Online
Free

Tues, October 27, 6pm
Voices: Mendi + Keith Obadike
Gallery 400: Online
Free

Wed, October 28, 7-8pm
Chicago Neighborhood Check-In: Arts and Neighborhood Development
Chicago Humanities Festival: Online
Free

Wed, October 28, 6pm
Defund CPD Training: Surviving CPD
Online
Free

Thurs, October 29, 6-8pm
Chuquimarca presents “Tanda”
Hyde Park Art Center: Online
Free

Wed, October 29, 7-8pm
Alicia Garza on the Purpose of Power
Chicago Humanities Festival: Online
Free

Wed, October 29, 7pm
Hearth Benefit: Streaming Reception & Live Auction
ACRE Residency: Online
Free

Wed, October 29, 7-8pm
Club de Lectura #1: Las cosas que perdimos en el fuego
Pilsen Community Books: Online
Free

Wed, October 29, 7-8pm
FIRST LOOK: Fine Print Party
Museum of Contemporary Photography: Online
$0-$100

October 30 – November 8, 2020
Re-Writing the Declaration, directed by Quenna Lené Barrett
Free Street Theater
Donation Based