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Your Chicago Curated Weekend: 7/1 and Beyond

Chicago is currently fully reopened and a new normal is slowly coming. And since there are more and more in-person events being featured, we’re going back to our original “Chicago Curated Weekend” moniker! But that doesn’t mean it’s all going back to “normal”. Many venues will still want to operate at lower capacities, masks are still required for many, and social distancing is a must. As we said in the one-year anniversary of the #StaytheFHome Curated Weekend, we need to continue being careful if we go out and if you’re still a little wary about it, support the local arts scenes we enjoy from home. Virtual events will continue to be highlighted and encouraged. But if you feel comfortable going out, do so with a mask and social distance.

Now, let’s get on with your Chicago Curated Weekend!

And if you’re opting to stay home, then let’s find something fun to do! Whether you’re doing your part in fighting against police brutality, working out, trying out some new recipes, or whatever catches your fancy; you may still have a few hours in your day that need filling up. There are tons of fun ideas highlighted in this week’s curated weekend including some from previous #StaytheFHome editions where the editors here at Third Coast Review suggested a few things you can enjoy while you’re at home during these social distancing, self-quarantining days!

Since we’re all still in this together, we encourage you to check out Do312’s running list of venues that could use some love! Donate if you can and remember to support them by going to shows once it’s safe to do so!

Stay home and stay safe and healthy. Listen to our healthcare policy experts. Science matters. Wear a mask. Keep washing your hands. And check in on 3CR, where we promote the arts for everyone’s sake.


Audiotree Live @ Audiotree, the spot where you’ve been watching all the best streaming shows these past few months, various times
WHAT: Live music from Lincoln Hall and Audiotree to make staying at home a little better
SO WHAT: Audiotree has been providing some quality live sessions to music fans for years, letting artists do their thing right from Audiotree’s studio. The shows have always been excellent, offering you a nice taste of live shows. Check out this week’s lineup below

NOW WHAT: Audiotree Live sessions are always free!


Angel Bat Dawid’s ‘Tha Playground’ – Slidez feat Oui Ennui @ Empty Bottle, 1035 N Western Ave, Doors 7:30pm, Show 9:00pm
Three nights with a local cosmic explorer ignites Empty Bottle’s July residencies!
SO WHAT: Angel Bat Dawid has a ton of adjectives you could add before her name : Improviser, Clarinetist, Pianist, Vocalist, Educator, and DJ are just a few., But amazing tends to encompass all of them as Dawid’s spiritual and jazz sound is sure to knock your socks off. This residency will feature three nights of varied performers collaborating with Dawid for an unforgettable experience. Check out the links below for each night’s tickets and more info on the residency

NOW WHAT: Tickets for these limited capacity events are $20 per night! Doors open at 7:30pm, show’s at 9:00pm. Click the links above for each night or head to their Eventbrite page for these and future Empty Bottle tickets!


Vinegar Syndrome Pop Up @ The Music Box Theatre, 3733 N Southport Ave, 5:00pm – 9:00pm
Strange and weird movies for you to buy and indulge in
SO WHAT: Vinegar Syndrome, named after the acidic smell of deteriorating film, specializes in protecting and preserving genre films, will be teaming up with the incredible Music Box Theatre for a special sale! Grab yourself some BluRays and DVDs of awesome new and cult films, and help keep physical media alive!
NOW WHAT: Just head out to the Music Box for this one day pop up!


WHAT: A Chicago tradition returns!
SO WHAT: The Grant Park Music Festival and its deservedly acclaimed orchestra and chorus has offered some wonderful summertime concerts by classical, modern, and contemporary composers. You can check out their full schedule over at their website! Tonight will feature the Independence Day Salute!
NOW WHAT: Head over to their website to register for the event and reserve a seat! The concerts are always free and will also be broadcast and streamed live on 98.7WFMT/


Virtual Chosen Few DJs Picnic and Festival @ Chosen Few DJ’s Stageit Page on your loudest and best streaming device
WHAT:A full day of great music and more!
SO WHAT: After much deliberation, Chosen Few DJs Picnic and Festival has decided to stay virtual this year! The wonderful day will include DJ sets from the Chosen Few DJs – Wayne Williams, Jesse Saunders, Tony Hatchett, Alan King, Andre Hatchett, Terry Hunter, and Mike Dunn! Plus special DJ sets form Louie Vega, David Morales, and DJ Spen! And let’s not forget vocal performances from special guests Monique Bingham, Lady Alma, and Dajae!
NOW WHAT: The festival is free, just head over to Chosen Few DJ’s website and enjoy!

jaimie branch: FLY or DIE @ Constellation, 3111 N Western Ave, the most musically inclined room in your home, 8:30pm
WHAT: An amazing pair of shows for your weekend!
SO WHAT: Constellation has been putting on some incredible shows during the pandemic and this weekend is no different! Whether you decide to stay home and watch the livestreams or head out to the venue and enjoy the live music in person, Constellation is a great way to spend the night! Check out some of the upcoming shows below!

NOW WHAT: Tickets are $20, head out and enjoy the incredible show this weekend! There is also a streaming option, so if you stay home, be sure to donate to support Constellation!

Lincoln Square Artisan & Makers Market @ Ainslie Arts Plaza, 4844 N Lincoln Ave, 10:00am – 3:00pm, all ages
A little summer shopping
SO WHAT: Stroll through a rotating selection of local artists and makers selling a variety of beautiful items. Beer and wine will also be available on-site from Bottles & Cans.
NOW WHAT: Admission is free! Check out the list of vendors and when they’ll be at the market here!


Activating Freedom: With Liberty and Justice for All @ Chicago History Museum’s Facebook page, the most chill and comfortable spot at your home, 10:00am – 2:00pm
, : A virtual version of Chicago History Museum’s annual July 4th celebration
SO WHAT: Join Chicago History Museum for a virtual event featuring contemporary Chicagoans speaking on freedom, liberty and equality today (Laura S. Washington – Chicago Sun-Times Columnist; Aasia Mohammed Castaneda, Chicago Food Policy Action Council; and Lisa Doi, President, Japanese American Citizens League); a family hot dog trivia contest (featuring Paul Durica, Director of Exhibitions, Newberry Library;and  Louisa Chu, Columnist, Chicago Tribune); and teaching artist Kimberly Nguyen leading  a family art making workshop featuring different ways to paint fireworks!
NOW WHAT: Head over to their Facebook page and watch the show! The event is free of charge but the museum would greatly appreciate a donation in any amount!


Neon Summer Chicago @ Neon Summer, 1265 W Le Moyne St., Various times
WHAT: A family friendly summer pop up
SO WHAT: Neon Summer takes over two acres of Chicago for a pop up that splits it’s time between family friendly daytime fun and late night party!  The pop up provides access to a go-kart track, a miniature golf course, axe throwing, plenty of fun photo ops, a nice assortment of food, and of course NEON! There are multiple bars serving drinks throughout the venue including alcohol for those 21+ .
NOW WHAT: Tickets start at $19 and vary based on the chosen timed entry and the activities you want to partake in! Check out their website for full ticketing details!

Long Play Music Fest @ Rivets Stadium, 4503 Interstate Blvd, Loves Park, IL, Thursday 3:00pm – 11:00pm, Friday & Saturday Noon – 11:00pm, Sunday Noon – 10:30
WHAT: A Fourth of July celebration
SO WHAT: Spend your 4th of July weekend at this fun festival! You’ll get the chance to enjoy some great local food at their Grill Pit, carnival rides, some beautiful fireworks, and of course incredible bands!  Cheap Trick, Jeff Tweedy, and Gin Blossoms will be headlining the great sounding festival!
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $19.99 for GA on Friday and Saturday, 29.99 for GA on Sunday, and $100 for VIP on all days!

Fulton Street Collective Jazz Series @ ​Fulton Street Collective & Their YouTube channel, 1821 W. Hubbard Street, Suite 307 or the coziest spot in your home, 8:00pm
WHAT: Some excellent jazz for your evening
SO WHAT: Fulton Street Collective are back with in person events, but they are still determined to give Chicago its much needed dose of jazz at home! Most of their shows are also streaming so you can see and hear the beautiful music on their YouTube channel! Below are just some of the upcoming shows from the collective.

NOW WHAT: The shows are free online, but in person there is a $15 suggested donation! Also you should definitely support Fulton Street Collective by becoming a member!

Back on the Big Screen and Virtual Cinema @ Music Box Theatre, unsurprisingly at your home, any time you want to watch a movie
WHAT: A great way to support a great local theater
SO WHAT: The Music Box Theatre is currently open to the public, so if you feel comfortable you can go out and have a theatre experience this weekend with Gaia, Summer of 85, and Censor (final screening July 1), I Carry You With Me, Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation; and Music Box Garden Movies like Heavy Trip (final screening July 1), Stand By Me, and Carrie! But if you want to watch some first run movies at home, you can still watch great moves and support them online! They are currently screening films via their The Music Box Direct series! There also tons of select titles available on their new platform!
NOW WHAT: Digital tickets are $12, so sit back and enjoy! Also Music Box To Go is still around with all the drinks and snacks you need to enjoy a movie at home!

Film Center from Your Sofa @ The Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute, your couch or preferred movie watching spot in your place, pretty much any time
WHAT: The Film Center at Home
SO WHAT:The Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute Will be opening back up on August 6th, but in the meantime they are continuing their excellent series Film Center from Your Sofa .This is a fun way to stay in digital touch with the Film Center and watch some great films from the comfort of home! Enjoy films like A Crime on the Bayou; Others Before Self; Who Will Start Another Fire; Crimson Gold; Kenny Scharf: When Worlds Collide; The Power of Kangwon Province; Against the Current; Dead Pigs; Monuments; The Story of a Three Day Pass, and Bad Tales! Head over to their listings and start watching!
NOW WHAT: Digital tickets are $12, so sit back and enjoy!

Pitch In for the Parks! @ Various local parks, Various times, all ages
WHAT: A good way to keep your community nice and clean!
SO WHAT: The nonprofit Chicago Parks Foundation (CPF) is currently in the second season of its citywide volunteer effort “Pitch In for the Parks!” to help keep the city’s 600+ public parks clean. The program is open to anyone who wants to host a clean-up group or join an existing event from the interactive map on the CPF website. CPF is providing trash pick-up supplies, volunteer coordination and safety guidelines to support the parks’ ongoing maintenance from June through October.
NOW WHAT: Clean-ups continue at parks citywide June 1st-October. Anyone can host a Pitch In clean-up group or join a free volunteer event on their calendar. 


New Talks and Video Archives @ Chicago Humanities Festival YouTube channel, your favorite browser or YouTube’s app, any time you want some inspiration, All Ages
WHAT: Interesting conversations with interesting people!
SO WHAT: Chicago Humanities Festival will be back with in person events so soon! They always bring some of the best ideas to the surface with entertaining programming that captures your imagination. Their website is constantly updated with new talks, so check out the wealth of upcoming and previous events in their archives! Below is just a taste of what is coming in the next few weeks

NOW WHAT: Head over to take a look at their past events here! You should also sign up for their email list to get updates on upcoming talks in 2021.

Lyric Opera Streaming On Demand @ Your favorite streaming device, the most lavish spot in your home
WHAT: The Lyric Opera at home
SO WHAT: Revisit some of your favorite Lyric moments, or experience for the first time performances you’ve missed.Check out their website for schedule of upcoming shows. Currently streaming is Luisa Miller (2019), The Queen of Spades (2020), and Die Walküre (2017).
NOW WHAT: It’s free!!

Steppenwolf NOW @ Your best streaming device, the most theatrical spot in your place, Any time through August 31, 2021
WHAT: The talented voices of Steppenwolf’s ensemble beamed straight into your home
SO WHAT: Steppenwolf NOW is a new virtual programming stream featuring a dynamic and innovative slate of immersive and visual experiences crafted and produced for the virtual platform. Membership will let you experience a one-time screening of the current lineup of six projects each until August 31, 2021. The newest production is Duchess! Duchess! Duchess!
NOW WHAT: The membership is $75 and a great way to experience six great shows and support a local institution.

The Great Grow Along @ Your home, next to your soon-to-be-thriving home garden, Friday 1:00pm – 5:00pm, Saturday 10:00am – 5:00pm, and Sunday 1:00pm – 3:45pm
WHAT: A chance to make your thumb a little greener
SO WHAT: The Great Grow Along was a three-day virtual garden festival that will provide gardeners with 40+ hours of sessions with plant pros to help up everyone’s growing game! There will be learning tracks to guide you through the talks and they have made the festival’s content available on demand to watch at your own pace over the next six months!
NOW  WHAT: Tickets are $29.95 for this great collection of gardening talks!

Fun Times with Local Museums @ the comfort of your own home, a various collection of websites, whenever you want a little dose of educational fun, All Ages
WHAT: A chance to explore and help out some great local museums during these quarantine days
SO WHAT: Our incredible Museums editor Mariel Bokor has compiled a great list of interesting programming available from museums like the Art Institute of Chicago, the Field Museum, MSI, the Shedd Aquarium, and the Adler Planetarium during this stay at home time. It also notes which are closed for the season and how you can help support them during these times!
NOW WHAT: Check out our most recent update on what museums are doing as they reopen and continue their online presence!

The Infinite Wrench Goes Viral 30 Digital Plays in 60 Analog Minutes @ The Neo Futurists’ Patreon, one episode a week, 14+
WHAT: Quick plays online!
SO WHAT: The Infinite Wrench Goes Viral! 30 Digital Plays in 60 Analog Minutesis the online adaptation of the Neo-Futurists’, ongoing, ever-changing attempt to perform 30 plays in 60 minutes for a live audience. Since live audiences are still a no-no, this is the perfect way to experience this fun project from home! They also just released 45 Plays for America’s First Ladies, a series of 1-5 minute plays that adopt a variety of shapes, tones, and theatrical conventions centered around the lives of the women who have served in the role of First Lady.
NOW WHAT: Join the Neo Futurists’ Patreon page for either $3, $5, or $9 a week (with added incentives in the higher tiers) and enjoy the 30 plays in an hour every week!

Concerts Live-streams and Local Shows Archives @ Your House, Any time you please, All Ages
WHAT: There’s tons of concerts from Chicago’s yesteryear available online for your enjoyment!
SO WHAT: Oh My Rockness and Do312 has done a fantastic job of cataloging some of the upcoming live-streams from the awesome musical acts out there! Check out Oh My Rockness’ listings here, Do312’s roundup of shows here, and tune in to these great shows from the comfort of home! Do312 have also shared some past Chicago shows that are certainly worth of a watch. There are also so many great local concerts recorded for posterity and what better time to check them all out than during this self isolation period. Audiotree has a fantastic and huge list of sessions with links to band’s websites and merch to help support them even more. In addition to our previous recommendations like Fran, Tasha, KAINA, Divino Nino, and The Ophelias, we also recommend ROOKIE, Emily Blue, Sen Morimoto, Beach Bunny, Tennis, and Gia Margaret! Then head over to their record concerts from Lincoln Hall, Schubas, and beyond to check out Orville Peck, of Montreal, and so many more! JBTV is also a fantastic resource for sessions from bands that have come through Chicago! Just take a look at this playlist of Blind Melon’s ’95 set at Metro!
NOW WHAT: Stay home, watch some live music, and be sure to check out your favorite artists’ social media, you never know who might be live streaming next!

Video Games @ Your home PC or Console, As long as it takes, Just check the game rating
WHAT: Video-games for all!
Check out our games page for some recommendations of what games to download (and avoid) while we’re stuck at home. If you’re a PC user, head over to the Epic Games store as they will be releasing a few new FREE games for you to download ! There are also tons of free games on Twitch Prime waiting for you to download!
Wash your hands and dive head first into some fun games!

Bring the Zoo to You @ Brookfield Zoo’s Facebook page, when you want to see some animals besides your pets or specifically 11:00am, All Ages
WHAT: A great way to make your kids’ time at home entertaining and educational
NOW WHAT: Join Brookfield Zoo on Facebook every weekday at 11:00am for a “Bring The Zoo To You” Facebook Live featuring one of their animals as well as plenty of educational, informative insight from one of our Animal Care Specialists. If you can’t make it at 11, that’s okay. The video will be saved afterward on Facebook as well as on their YouTube channel.
SO WHAT: Just jump in to the chat at their Facebook page to learn something new

Masque of the Red Coronavirus! @ Black Button Eyes Productions, Any time on your computer or mobile device. For 18+.
WHAT: Written by Black Button Eyes Productions producing artistic director Ed Rutherford, this short satirical piece is available online free as a combined script-and-video experience.
SO WHAT: In addition to reading the play, you will see various Chicago artists act out portions of the script on video, recorded remotely. The event includes puppets, burlesque, original music, fire dancing and more in a brief, darkly comedic confection.
With the Red Coronavirus running rampant across the countryside and a vaccine still months away, what’s a Prince to do? Lock himself in a secure bunker in an undisclosed location along with a cohort of his top donors, of course. To prevent him and his rich supporters from becoming bored, the Prince has also brought a few artists into the bunker to entertain the crowd. But as the hour grows later and the night grows weirder, it’s clear that something else has also invaded the party.
NOW WHAT: Settle down for an evening of magical weirdness. Click here and begin reading and watching the videos.

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