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Chicago Fall Events 2014 You Won't Want to Miss

August 21, 2014 -

Chicago's leading cultural institutions gear up for a fall calendar full of endless entertainment celebrating the city's cuisine, music, art, theatre and film. Return favorites, including the Chicago Jazz Festival and EXPO Chicago, are joined by several new events sure to delight residents and visitors.

For the first time in the company's history, The Joffrey Ballet will offer a live-stream of its newly imagined “Swan Lake” production on the TheJoffreyBallet YouTube channel this Thursday, August 21 from 11:30AM to 3PM. Much-acclaimed choreographer Christopher Wheeldon and the Joffrey dancers will give viewers a glimpse in to its fall premiere, complete with principal couple rehearsals and live interviews. “Swan Lake” runs October 15-26.

The fall season continues to impress as The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago will be the only U.S. venue to host David Bowie Is (September 23, 2014 – January 4, 2015), the first retrospective of the extraordinary career of David Bowie featuring more than 400 objects from the past five decades.

Also new this year is the Great Chicago Fire Festival (October 4, 2014) that will celebrate the city's resurgence after the devastating fire of 1871 through fire sculptures and epic displays along the Chicago River. The festival follows a series of 15 summer neighborhood events honoring Chicago's spirit of resilience.

Entertainment abounds with 2014 Fall Cultural Events including:

36th Annual Chicago Jazz Festival

August 28 – 31

Millennium Park and Chicago Cultural Center

A favorite Labor Day Weekend tradition celebrating both the mainstream of the national jazz scene as well as Chicago's unique contributions to the art form, the 36th Annual Chicago Jazz Festival will be presented Aug. 28-Aug. 31, 2014 in Millennium Park and the Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington). This year's headliners include trumpeter and noted film music composer Terence Blanchard, Miles Davis alumnus bassist Dave Holland and his all-star fusion band Prism featuring three of modern jazz's leading lights – Craig Taborn, guitarist Kevin Eubanks (formerly of The Tonight Show Band) and drummer Eric Harland, jazz's most celebrated new straight-ahead singer in years, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Chicago-affiliated bassist Rufus Reid, trumpeter and now elder statesman and noted mentor Tom Harrell leads a new band, Colors of a Dream featuring jazz's biggest breakout crossover star of the last decade, Esperanza Spalding. Finally, the Sun Ra Arkestra celebrates the centennial of Ra's “arrival” on planet Earth from Saturn.

Produced by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and programmed by the Jazz Institute of Chicago, the FREE admission Chicago Jazz Festival will open with a Tribute to Nelson Mandela by Chicago composer Ernest Dawkins. The Sun Ra Arkestra, celebrating what would have been the 100th birthday of its founder, a Chicago legend, will close out the Chicago Jazz Festival.

King Lear

September 9 – November 9, 2014

Chicago Shakespeare Theatre

A wrenching story of love, loss, endurance and reconciliation, King Lear has fascinated audiences for more than 400 years, and stands as Shakespeare's most towering achievement. An aging monarch obscured by the shadows of dementia resolves to retire and divides his kingdom among his three daughters. The unexpected consequence of losing everything that defines him is shattering—a reminder that even the most powerful among us can be undone. The brilliantly versatile actor Larry Yando takes on the monumental title role, marking his twenty-third production with Chicago Shakespeare.

16th Annual World Music Festival

September 11 – 21, 2014

The 11-day, 20-venue festival features 62 artists and groups representing 33 countries from around the world.

A number of venues throughout the city will play host to World Music Festival artists and all performances are free admission. They include: Beverly Arts Center, Chicago Cultural Center, Chop Shop, Constellation Chicago, City Winery, DePaul University Concert Hall, Humboldt Park Boathouse, Indian Boundary Park, Jay Pritzker Pavilion-Millennium Park, Martyrs', Mayne Stage, National Museum of Mexican Art, Northeastern Illinois University, Old Town School of Folk Music, Reva and Logan Arts Center at University of Chicago, Schubas, Chicago SummerDance - Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park, Thalia Hall, The Hideout and Willye White Park.

The FREE admission World Music Festival Chicago is presented by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and sponsored by the Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago Tribune, Metra and Millennium Garages. The appearance of La Bottine Souriante is supported by the Québec Government Office and Tourisme Québec, Chicago. Grant support for the Millennium Park performances provided by: Lloyd A. Fry Foundation Endowment, managed by The Millennium Park Foundation. For complete details, visit worldmusicfestivalchicago.org.


September 18-21, 2014

Navy Pier

EXPO CHICAGO, the International Exposition of Contemporary and Modern Art welcomes the return of the world's leading galleries including 138 leading galleries representing 17 countries and 42 cities from around the world. EXPO CHICAGO will once again present a dynamic array of programming at the exposition, including /Dialogues, presented in partnership with The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a series of symposia, panel discussions and provocative artistic discourse highlighting the field's leading artists, architects, curators, designers and arts professionals; EXPO VIDEO a selection of dynamic and cutting-edge film, video and new media presented in conjunction with Columbia College Chicago curated by Astria Suparak; and IN/SITU, large-scale installations, site-specific and performative works by select international artists, curated by Executive Director of Independent Curators International Renaud Proch.

David Bowie Is

September 23, 2014 - January 4, 2015

Museum of Contemporary Art

This September, the MCA will be the only US venue of the highly acclaimed world tour of the David Bowie exhibition, expected to be the most attended show in the MCA's history. This exhibition presents the first international retrospective of the extraordinary career of David Bowie – one of the most pioneering and influential performers of our time. More than 300 objects, including handwritten lyrics, original costumes, photography, set designs, album artwork, and rare performance material from the past five decades are brought together from the David Bowie Archive for the first time.

The exhibition demonstrates how Bowie's work has both influenced and been inspired by wider movements in art, design, theater, and contemporary culture and focuses on his creative processes, shifting style, and collaborative work with diverse designers in the fields of fashion, sound, graphics, theater, and film. The exhibition's multimedia design introduces advanced sound technology by Sennheiser, original animations, and video installations to create an immersive journey through Bowie's artistic life.

David Bowie is a fascinating avatar who is always ahead of the curve. He complicated any easy formulation of identity and gender starting in 1970 when he wore a dress on the cover of his album The Man Who Sold the World, and that was before he invented Ziggy Stardust, or Aladdin Sane, or the Thin White Duke. His constant reinvention and strategic image management help us understand the popular culture of today. We are very excited for Chicago to offer up its own definitions of who, what, and how David Bowie Is.

Chicago Gourmet

September 26 – 28, 2014

Millennium Park

The 7th Annual Chicago Gourmet is a celebration of food and wine showcasing more than 150 of Chicago's finest restaurants and chefs, as well as hundreds of renowned vintners, spirit makers, and premium breweries. The event takes place in Millennium Park September 26-28, 2014. Attendees enjoy live cooking demos, expert seminars, gourmet tastings, and book signings by internationally renowned chefs, master sommeliers, and winemakers. Chicago Gourmet will welcome more talent than ever in 2014 including over 40 fresh faces and restaurants. Guests will have the opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the world's most celebrated chefs including new and returning names such as Rick Bayless, Carlos Gaytan, Stephanie Izard, Tony Mantuano, Masaharu Morimoto, Mindy Segal, Andrew Zimmerman, and Jeff Mauro (the Food Network's “Sandwich King”).

Other highlights include a brand new BBQ pavilion packed with signature barbecue restaurants from across the state, pit masters, artisan sauce makers, expert ribbers, and craft beer, a Global Street Food Market complete with vendors and performers, and a special Centennial pavilion featuring throwback Chicago fare to celebrate the Illinois Restaurant Association's 100th anniversary.

Great Chicago Fire Festival

October 4, 2014

Chicago River

In fall of 2014, Redmoon ignites its most ambitious event to date: The Great Chicago Fire Festival, a celebration of the city's epic resurgence after the devastating Great Fire of 1871; presented in partnership with the City of Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) and the Chicago Park District. A summer-long celebration in 15 neighborhoods will culminate in a new and totally free urban ritual on October 4, staged in the heart of Chicago on the main branch of the Chicago River, celebrating our neighborhoods with machines, fire and pyrotechnics. What Mardi Gras is to New Orleans and the Running of the Bulls is to Pamplona, the Great Chicago Fire Festival will become to the Windy City, making Chicago a major international destination each fall.

Chicago International Film Festival

October 9 – 23, 2014

The stars are shining bright as the Chicago International Film Festival celebrates its 50th anniversary this October!

When the Chicago International Film Festival was founded more than 49 years ago, they had one simple goal: to introduce Chicago and the world to new filmmakers, new stories and new perspectives. Five decades later, the Chicago International Film Festival has grown to a world-renowned annual event, showcasing 175 films from over 50 countries, with many of the filmmakers in attendance. Seeking out the best in international cinema and discovering new talents, the Festival has been a pioneer in the competitive film festival world in North America over the past half century.

The Chicago International Film Festival has a rich history of discovering ground-breaking directors. Martin Scorsese, John Carpenter, Wim Wenders, Peter Weir, Mike Leigh, and Chicago's own Joe Swanberg are but of a few of the hundreds of world-renowned filmmakers who have had their start at the Festival.

Celebrate the magic of the moving image this October 9-23 as we present 200 films from more than 50 countries, including films from our magnificent 50-year history.

Open House Chicago

October 18 – 19, 2014

The Chicago Architecture Foundation is proud to present the 4th annual Open House Chicago – a free, city-wide, behind-the-scenes look at many of the city's great places and spaces. 150 buildings will be open on October 18-19, 2014. Open House Chicago gives visitors access to buildings that tell the stories of Chicago's communities and cultures, and the chance to venture into diverse neighborhoods for self-guided exploration. In addition to the downtown area, Open House Chicago sites are open across the city, as far north as Rogers Park, south to Pullman, and west to Garfield Park. Participants come together to discover and explore Chicago's most diverse neighborhoods and sites, including private clubs, residential spaces, offices, hotels, theaters and performance halls, design/architecture studios, schools, places of worship as well as manufacturing, cultural and government facilities.

Open House Chicago is part of the Open House Worldwide network of events now spanning 23 cities on four continents. In 2013, OHC attracted 55,000 guests from all 50 states and 71 countries.

Swan Lake

October 15 – 26, 2014

The Joffrey Ballet

For the first time in the company's history, The Joffrey Ballet will perform Swan Lake this October at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. The Joffrey Ballet brings a newly re-imagined Swan Lake to Chicago, choreographed by one of ballet's most acclaimed choreographers, Christopher Wheeldon.

Wheeldon reimagines ballet's greatest love story, setting it in the stunning, Degas-inspired studios of the Paris Opera Ballet of the 19th century. Combining classical elements with a modern vision, Wheeldon has created a striking retelling of one of the most famous ballets of all time. The production features lavish costumes by Jean-Marc Puissant and scenic design by Adrianne Lobel.

Set to Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky's score and modeled from the original Lev Ivanov and Marius Petipa choreography, Swan Lake is set in the 19th century milieu of the Paris Opera Ballet, during the time when Tchaikovsky was actually composing Swan Lake and when Edgar Degas was on the rise. The ballet uses actual Degas imagery to create an Opera Ballet studio as young boy Siegfried daydreams of escaping rehearsal for the lake, while the ensemble prepares for a major opening night gala. The ballerinas and their wealthy patrons serve as the central characters of the ballet in a re-telling of the classical fantasy.

Tickets for Swan Lake are on sale now.

Chicago Humanities Festival

October 25 – November 9, 2014

The Chicago Humanities Festival celebrates its 25th Anniversary Fall Festival this Oct. 25–Nov. 9, 2014. Under the theme of Journeys, this year's Festival will present more than 80 programs, taking place at 20 different venues in and around Chicago. Hundreds of scholars, performers, politicians, writers, chefs, and artists will take part in the annual arts and ideas festival.

This year's presenters include: New York Times Op-Ed Columnist David Brooks, jazz composer-pianist Vijay Iyer, Canadian screen-writer and film director Guy Maddin, jazz vocalist René Marie, comedian and Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me contributor Paula Poundstone, Top Chef Masters winner Marcus Samuelsson, graphic novelist Marjane Satrapi, former Brown University president Ruth Simmons, TV/film actress Victoria Tennant, and author/playwright Colm Tóibín.

A complete lineup and schedule will be released in August. Tickets go on sale Monday, Sept. 8.

The Chicago Humanities Festival has gone from eight programs in one day at a single venue in 1990, to 140 programs year-round at more than 20 venues in and around Chicago.

Over the past 25 years, CHF has put on more than 2,500 programs and performances, and presented more than 3,300 speakers and artists, including: 68 Pulitzer Prize winners, 48 MacArthur Award recipients, 10 Nobel Prize winners, 15 Tony Award winners, nine Grammy Award winners, and seven Oscar Award winners.

For more information on upcoming Chicago events, please visit ChooseChicago.com.


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