The Mix: Chicago Latino Film Festival, PrideArts Spring Fest and more cool things to do April 8-15on April 8, 2021 at 1:45 am

Celebrate Latino cinema

The 37th annual Chicago Latino Film Festival presents its always-impressive roster of 45 features and 36 short films this year in both virtual and drive-in screenings. The opening night drive-in film is Lissette Feliciano’s “Women Is Losers” (April 8), about a Catholic schoolgirl facing an uncertain future in 1960s San Francisco, followed by Mariem Perez Riera’s salute to a great Broadway/Hollywood icon in the documentary “Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It” (April 12), and Marcos Carnevale’s “El cuartito” (April 17), a high-stakes comedy-drama about immigration policy. Along with a long list of streaming films, the festival also offers a series of pre-recorded and live conversations with filmmakers. The festival runs April 8-18. Virtual tickets: $12, $100 (10 films). The drive-in films are screened at ChiTown Movies, 2343 S. Throop. Tickets must be purchased in advance: $55 per car. For a complete list of films, visit

Browse the art

Omar Velazquez, “Colobo,” 2019. Velazquez’s work is among the art featured at Expo Chicago.
Image courtesy of the artist and Corbett vs. Dempsey Gallery

The free spring edition of Expo Chicago is a curated online event featuring a diverse list of 80 plus galleries and lots and lots of great contemporary and modern art. The five days of programming includes an evening with Theaster Gates (6:30 p.m. April 9), performances (including Jeff Tweedy, Glenn Kotche and Nels Cline of Wilco at 7 p.m. April 10), curator-led digital tours, an arts funder’s forum, artist talks, panels and much more. Expo Chicago takes place April 8-12. For more information, visit

Make Bach proud

Mahan Esfahani. Photo by Kaja Smith
Mahan Esfahani
Kaja Smith

Iranian musician Mahan Esfahani performs Bach’s “Goldberg Variations” as they were composed on harpsichord. The pre-recorded concert captures Esfahani’s interpretation of this iconic piece performed at the Bach Archive in Leipzig, Germany, the city where Bach composed the piece 280 years ago. Esfahani has dedicated himself to performing historically accurate harpsichord pieces as well as performing work from contemporary classical music. The concert streams at 7 p.m. April 9. Tickets: $15. Visit

Visual migration

National Geographic Live’s “Women and Migration”
Nat Geo

The Auditorium Theatre presents National Geographic Live’s “Women and Migration,” which looks at how social, economic, political and climate issues are affecting women, a group that in 2019 made up nearly half of the more than 270 million displaced people worldwide. Joining in conversation are photographers Danielle Villasana, Miora Rajaonary and Salyna Bashir along with Jennifer Samuel, photo editor of The Everyday Projects, a global community of visual storytellers –documentary photographers, journalists, artists — that recognizes the need for multiple perspectives in portraying the cultures that define us. Streams at 6 p.m. April 13. Tickets: $20. Visit

Pride films

“Eve” will be screened at the PrideArts Spring Film Festival.
Courtesy PrideArts

PrideArts Spring Film Festival screens ten short LGBTQIA films that include stories of people dealing with issues such as the aftermath of violence, the COVID-19 pandemic, aging, war and romance. Among the films in the international lineup are “Eve,” a comedy-drama about a young woman recently married to her long-term boyfriend but now having doubts; “cancer is gay,” which follows a 17-year-old fresh out of the closet and going through cancer treatment, and Chicago-based director Luzzo’s “I Used to Write with My Left Hand,” about the youngest member of a South Side Irish family who works to change the inherited pattern of shame and violence within his family. The films screen at 7 p.m. April 12 at the Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport. Tickets: $10. Visit

Celebrating the Black experience

Tanikia “Nikki” Carpenter
Courtesy Black Beauty Festival

The 5th annual Black Beauty Festival returns this year with a two-day online event created in partnership with Victory Gardens Theater, the Black Women’s Expo and Black Owned Chicago. The festival kicks off with “The Black Monologues” created by Tanikia “Nikki” Carpenter and directed by Deanna Reed-Foster and featuring a showcase of solo performances that celebrate the Black experience through generations. Also included during the fest is a jam session with up-and-coming artists, a yoga hour, a paint and sip afternoon and more. The free online festival runs April 10-11. For more information, visit

Classical concerts

The Chen String Quartet
The Chen String Quartet
Courtesy of the Chen Family

The Music Institute of Chicago’s free online chamber music series begins with a performance of Beethoven’s “String Quartets, Op. 18” by the Chen String Quartet featuring at 3 p.m. April 11. Visit … The Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra presents a concert featuring works by American modernist composer Ruth Crawford and Jewish Austrian-American composer Arnold Schoenberg. Streams April 9-23. Tickets: $15. Visit

Virtual stage

Kane Repertory Theatre stages the world premiere of Hammaad Chaudry’s “Security,” starring Academy Award nominee Eric Roberts and Chicago actor Harsh J. Gagoomal. As a 17-year-old Riaz arrives in the United States and is stopped at the airport by a Homeland Security officer an experience that will change his life. Thirteen years later he returns to confront the man and interrogate him. “Security” streams April 10-May 2. Tickets: $5-$25. Visit … New American Folk Theatre launches its season of new audio recordings of past productions with Ed Howard’s “The Summer of Daisy Fay,” based on the novel “Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man” by Fannie Flagg. Charlie Irving returns to her 2016 Jeff Award-nominated role of Daisy Fay Harper, a spunky young woman from small town Mississippi who dreams of something more. Available in an open-ended run. Tickets: $10. Visit

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