Get Out While the Getting's Good with Outdoor Events in Chicago

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The city is open, the weather is welcoming, and Chicago venues are hosting a variety of events to encourage residents to get outside and safely enjoy artsy offerings.

William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” will be performed through Aug. 21 in Austin Gardens thanks to Oak Park Festival Theatre. Patrons can bring their own seating and blankets (plus lawn chairs can be rented for $5). Tickets ($15-$35) are available at OakParkFestival.com.

“As people start to come out of their homes and find a new normal post-pandemic, we hope this will be particularly meaningful for those seeing it for the first time,” says Artistic Director Barbara Zahora. “Even though we chose this play long before Coronavirus and the murder of George Floyd changed our world so significantly, its themes of exile, injustice, the struggle for power, self-discovery and healing are all particularly resonant after the last year.”

In Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood, Raven Theatre presents “Friday Nights at Raven,” which includes an outdoor screening of the 1960 classic “Inherit the Wind” (Aug. 6) and “Storytelling Flash Mob” classes for children (Aug. 20). Entry is free, but requires an advance RSVP via RavenTheatre.com/friday-nights-at-raven.

The screening begins at sunset in Raven’s parking lot at 6157 N. Clark St., and includes a pre-show discussion on the film, which fictionalizes the 1925 Scopes Trial as a means to address McCarthyism. No masks or social distancing are required, however the screening is limited to 50 people.

Raven’s storytelling sessions are divided by age: Class I for ages 6-9 (4pm – 4:45pm) and Class II for ages 10-14 (5pm – 5:45pm). Seating is provided for 30 masked youths per class. For current COVID-19 protocols, visit RavenTheatre.com/covid-19.

People and pets are invited to the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce’s (ACC) outdoor Andersonville Vintage Market (Aug. 22). Visitors may purchase antiques, home décor, jewelry, clothing, and more from local retailers on Catalpa Ave. Admission ($5 suggested donation) is accepted via Venmo @avillechamber.

The ACC also hosts its annual Taste of Andersonville (Aug.11) which features a Fork route as well as a Spoon route up and down Clark St. More than 20 dinner, drink and dessert options from the area’s restaurant district will offer samples, including vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. A portion of each ticket ($30-$65) will be donated to the Swedish American Museum.

For its 20th year, the Glenwood Avenue Arts Fest (Aug. 20-22) celebrates in Rogers Park with more than 30 live music acts, including Joana Connor and Air Credits, White Mystery, Plastic Crimewave Syndicate, and Funkadesi.

The free festival also features more than 120 craft-makers of painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, ceramics, glass, textile, metal, mixed media and more. Each booth displays handmade work by the artist since mass-produced merchandise is not allowed.

The fest also houses Outrageous Open Arts, a live art demonstration area where performance arts and artists demonstrate techniques and works-in-progress. A KidFest Area, with free hands-on activities for children, is provided by the International Arts Group.

Food from local restaurants and three craft beer stations are also available. To insure public safety, the festival will comply with COVID-19 guidelines. For more information, visit GlenwoodAve.org.

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Image: White Mystery will perform at the Glenwood Avenue Arts; photo courtesy of the artist.

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Ms. Arvia is an online columnist and critic; entertainment ghostwriter reaching nine million visitors per month; award-winning artist; grant-winning filmmaker; and Janet-of-all-trades. Press releases on Chicago cultural events and links to screeners can be sent to reeljanet@live.com.