Every third Saturday of the month the South Shore Nature Sanctuary (7059 S. South Shore) welcomes volunteers to help preserve the area’s ecosystems. Past volunteer days have included everything from collecting and planting native seeds to performing nest checks on baby purple martins, a species in decline because the birds have learned to nest in manmade bird structures that aren’t being maintained by younger generations. See what weird things you can learn there about the land we live on? Volunteering runs from 10 AM-noon, and you should bring water and weather-appropriate clothing. Gloves and tools will be provided. Meet at the entrance of the sanctuary, which is located behind the South Shore Cultural Center (follow signage). (MC)
The Silver Room Sound System Block Party comes back in person this year with a new location and two full days of programming. Today and tomorrow, you can find music, family activities, wellness classes, and more from noon-10 PM at six stages set up on Oakwood Beach (specifically between E. Oakwood and 41st St. at the lakefront). Tickets (children 13 and under are free when attending with a parent or guardian) are available here, and you can read an oral history of how this uniquely Chicago event came into being here. (SCJ)
Today is also the 20th anniversary of the South Shore Nature Sanctuary’s formation, so whether you can make the volunteer hours or not, consider showing up between 1-4 PM for a site-specific performance by musician Lia Kohl, arts and crafts activities, a scavenger hunt, tours of the sanctuary, and vegan treats from sanctuary neighbor BettyBOT Bakery. All ages and abilities are welcome; go here for more information and to register. (SCJ)
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The Physical Theater Festival Chicago kicks off today at Nichols Park (1355 E. 53rd) with six hours of free performances (2-8 PM), presented in conjunction with Night Out in the Parks. Today’s lineup includes three sets from Chicago magician Alexander the Amazing at 1:30, 3, and 5:30 PM; Curiosity Caught the Clown by Sharaina Latrice (aka Sheila Da Clown) at 2 and 4:30; a pop-up performance by Eric Robins at 2:30 and 5 PM; Drumtastically Yours, an exploration of the roots of African drumming by Oxford, UK-based Kuumba Nia Arts at 3:30 PM; and Free Your Style with Chicago’s BraveSoul Movement at 6. The festival then offers ticketed performances and other events at the Den Theatre (1331 N. Milwaukee), 7/18-/724. Cofounders Marc Frost and Alice da Cunha talked to Reader contributor Nora Paul last week about coming back for the ninth edition of this festival after the pandemic shutdown; da Cunha noted, “The artists and the shows make us connect to different communities every year depending on the country where they come from or the subject of the show and that’s awesome.” Kuumba Nia Arts and fellow UK troupe Unlock the Chains Collective present their collaboration, Sold, based on the story of Mary Prince, a formerly enslaved woman from Barbados who became an abolitionist and author, 7/21-7/23. For complete schedule and ticketing information, visit physicalfestival.com. (KR)
Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre presents its Summer Dance Intensive tonight at 7 PM and tomorrow at 3 PM at the Logan Center for the Arts (915 E. 60th). The program features performances created during the past four weeks of classes for youth and pre-professional students, as well as members of Deeply Rooted’s “Mature H.O.T. Women” division, with an emphasis on various movement techniques as well as the company’s The Continuum, “a series of guided conversations on self-awareness and personal growth informed by each participant’s creativity and artistic process.” Tickets for this weekend’s shows at the Logan are $25 ($20 groups of ten or more, $15 for those 12 and under). Additionally, the company’s free outdoor performances of Q After Dark, celebrating the music of Chicago’s own Quincy Jones with an ensemble of musicians led by Sam Thousand, continues. On Thu 7/21, Q After Dark is at Palmer Park (201 E. 111th), and on Thu 7/28, they’re at South Shore Cultural Center (7059 S. South Shore). Both shows are at 6:30 PM. For more information and reservations, visit deeplyrooteddancetheater.org. (KR)
If the weather holds, it’ll be an afternoon of acid house in Humboldt Park (1440 N. Humboldt) as the Humboldt Arboreal Society takes over airwaves just north of the waterfall. From noon-8 PM, you can catch Acid Daddy, Dana, Pat Bosman, Sassmouth, Tamahori, and Taylor for a free music experience that promises to be the antithesis of Pitchfork. (MC)
For over ten years, Project Logan has been organizing a permission wall for artists who work primarily in public, including those working with aerosol-based paint (sometimes known as graffiti artists, sometimes not). Today the work continues with the annual Against Da Fence “mini art fest” (as the organizers describe it), featuring over 75 artists and vendors, a sticker-making station, and live painting. It all happens from 1-6 PM in the alley behind Liberty Bank’s Logan Square parking lot (2929 W. Fullerton, near Milwaukee). Go to the organizers’ Facebook event to discover more information. (SCJ)