African Festival of the Arts. 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. Washington Park, 5100 S. Cottage Grove Ave. $15 for general admission (ages 13-64), $10 for seniors, $5 for children (ages 5-12), free for children under 5. Family passes and 4 day ticket options available. 773-955-2787. Attendees are transported across the Diaspora with interactive engagements, vibrant drumming, museum quality and collectible artifacts, colorful and rich handwoven fabric and textile, and other program spaces and Interactive spaces include: Drum & Afro-folk Village, Children and Family, African Heritage, African Spirituality, Wellness (Health) Village, Books and Authors, Fine Art, Film and Video, Food Court, Seniors and Quilting, and the African Marketplace. Runs through Sept. 4. For more information visit www.aihusa.org.
Lakeside Lawn Bowling. 6 p.m. Near Museum of Science and Industry in Jackson Park at Science Drive and South Lake Shore Drive, the first stoplight south of 57th Street and north of 63rd Street. Open play and instruction is free, equipment is loaned while learning. Lawn bowls is not a strenuous activity. Both men and women can play it. Although the basics can be learned in an afternoon and it seems innocently simple, it can be challenging. It can be played at any level of skill. For more information visit www.lakesidelawnbowling.webs.com.
Kizomba Class. 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. $10 donation. 773-947-0024. The Silver Room, 1506 E. 53rd St. Kizomba lesson with Shafeeha Monae. For more information visit www.thesilverroom.com
Margaret Burroughs Centennial Film Series: Portraits of Nikki Giovanni. 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. DuSable Museum of African-American History, Ames Auditorium, 740 E. 56th Pl. Free. 773-947-0600. The Margaret Burroughs Centennial Film Series, presented by South Side Projections and the DuSable Museum of African American History, continues with a tribute to one of America’s most important poets, Nikki Giovanni. The Black Woman (Stan Lathan, 1970, 52 min., 16mm), a 1970 episode of the public television series Black Journal, focuses on the relationship of Black women to Black men, white society, and the struggle for Black liberation. Nikki Giovanni is joined by poet/activists Bibi Amina Baraka and Sonia Sanchez, anthropologist Vertamae Smart-Grosvenor, singer Lena Horne, and other Black women who discuss their role in contemporary society and the problems they confront. For more information visit www.dusablemuseum.org.
Coffee Tea + Chat. 10 a.m. – noon. Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative, 1456 E. 70th St. Free. 312-857-5561. Please join us for a weekly discussion over coffee and tea. This group is comprised of neighborhood residents and artists who are invested in revitalizing the community. For more information visit www. rebuild-foundation.org.
Storytime with Colin! 10:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. 57th Street Books, 1301 E. 57th St. Free. Free. 773-684-1300. Join Colin McDonald for stories and songs each Wednesday at 10:30am at 57th Street Books! Fun for children of all ages, but especially those 0-6. For more information visit www.semcoop.com.
Committed Knitters. Noon – 3 p.m. Arts Incubator, 301 E. Garfield Blvd. Free. Learn the basics of knitting and crocheting or make an experienced project and share ideas. All supplies provided. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Office Hours” with Nikki Patin. 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. Currency Exchange Café, 305 E. Garfield Blvd. Free. 773-855-9163. As the Community Arts Engagement Manager at Arts + Public Life, part of what I do is listen to people and their thoughts about a lot of things: art, community, Washington Park, organizing, activism and so much more. Anyone can come and join me at my table. You can ask me questions about what’s going on at APL, tell me about what you’re working on or chat with me about your current fascinations/curiosities/interests. All ages and identities welcome. For more information visit www.chpv.clubexpress.com.
Drawing in the Dark, Part I. 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Smart Museum of Art, 5550 S. Greenwood Ave. Free, but limited space. Join the Smart Museum and the Roger Brown Study Collection of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for a two-part drawing workshop that explores memory, landscape, mapping, and interconnections between works by Tim Nickodemus and Joseph Yoakum. Part I includes a excursion through landscape paintings and internal landscapes of our memories at the Smart Museum of Art, and drawing workshop taught by Nickodemus. Part II will take place on Sept. 20. Participants are asked to attend both sessions. Please register in advance. For more information visit www.smartmuseum.uchicago.edu.
Spanish Storytime For Kids. 10:30 a.m. 57th Street Books, 1301 E. 57th St. Free. 773-684-1300. Children ages 5 and under will be able to explore the Spanish language through books, songs, and games. For more information visit www.semcoop.com.
Visiting Artist Arrival: Ronit Porat. Noon – 1 p.m. Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S. Cornell Ave. Free. 773-324-5520. Ronit Porat works with photography, and also uses archival materials and biographical texts to create photo-based installations. Porat holds an MFA from the Chelsea School of Art and Design in London, and a B.A. in Photography and Digital Media from the Hadassah College in Jerusalem. Her work has been exhibited internationally in group and solo shows, and can be found in private collections. For more information visit www.hydeparkart.org
Lunchtime Gallery Talk: Barley, Beer, and Bread: Food & Drink in Ancient Mesopotamia. 12:15 p.m. – 1 p.m. Oriental Institute Museum, 1155 E. 58th St. Free. 773-702-9507. Sam Harris, PhD candidate in Mesopotamian archaeology, will guide visitors to look at some of the ways people in Mesopotamia grew, prepared, and consumed food and drink — from praying to keep the mouse god away from the grain to enjoying unfiltered beer through a straw. Explore the ancient world with a 45-minute gallery talk in the Oriental Institute Museum. Travel to a time and place beyond the University to learn about archaeological discoveries, unlock the secrets of civilization, and gain a greater appreciation of our ancestors. Registration is not required. For more information visit www.oi.uchicago.edu.
Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce First Thursday Chamber Check-in. 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Hyde Park Property Management, 5107 S. Blackstone Avenue. Free. 773-288-0124. Join us for Hyde Park’s premier networking gathering of movers and shakers in the community! It is open to all! Don’t forget to bring your business cards! For more information visit www.hydeparkchamberchicago.org.
First Thursday in Downtown Hyde Park. 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. On 53rd, 55th and 57th Streets. 773-702-0936. Come to shop, eat and have fun. Over 40 restaurants and stores will offer special events, trunk shows, specialty cocktails, activities, discounts and other fun features. There will also be free parking at the Harper Court Garage upon purchase at all participating businesses. Runs through November 2017. For more information visit www.firstthurs.com.
Community Yoga with Chaturanga Seeds. 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Arts Incubator, 301 E. Garfield Boulevard. 773-702-9724. Beginner Yoga is designed with the absolute yoga beginner in mind. The focus is an introduction to basic yoga poses and healthy alignment. Here you will practice standing asana (poses) as well as seated poses. Beginner yoga also incorporates yogic breathing, meditation, and relaxation techniques & great for stress relief and overall relaxation.
Annual 79th St. Renaissance Festival. 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. 79th St. between Racine Ave. & Loomis Street. Free. In its twelfth year, this family-friendly festival is the one of the longest running neighborhood festivals in Auburn Gresham—and was dubbed “Best End-of-Summer Block Party” in the Weekly’s 2016 issue of Best of the South Side. Imagine a huge block party lining 79th Street showcasing all that is great about the community. Performances of all genres will take place, including modern and traditional dance, as well as musical performances by talented local artists. Community food vendors, retailers, nonprofit organizations, and providers will market their goods and services. Due to its overwhelming popularity, this year’s festival has been expanded to two days (Bridget Vaughn). For more information visit www.gagdc.org.
Game Day. 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Blackstone Public Library, 4904 S. Lake Park Ave. Free. 312-747-0511. Play board games or RPGs all day long. Learn new games and enjoy some of your old favorites including Settlers of Catan, Munchkin, Pandemic and Ticket to Ride. Pathfinder Society Scenario PFS 5-11(levels 1-5): Library of the Lion will be played. To sign up for Pathfinder please call 312-747-0511 or sign up online at Warhorn (www.warhorn.net). Space is limited. Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition will also be played. For adults and kids 9 and up. For more information visit www.chipublib.bibliocommons.com
Family Day: Pin-tastic Projects. 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. Smart Museum of Art, 5550 S. Greenwood Ave. Free. All materials provided. Activities best for kids ages 4–12, accompanied by an adult. 773-702-0200. Chicago-based artist and pintrepreneur Stephanie Graham leads a workshop on making pins and buttons of all kinds. Create classic and wooden buttons, brooches, and pins inspired by the art on display in our galleries. For more information visit www.smartmuseum.uchicago.edu
Do Not Submit. 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. Kusanya Café, 825 W. 69th St. Free. 773-675-4758. A free open-mic storytelling event which is part of the Do Not Submit series. Signup list at 3pm, stories begin at 3:30. You have seven minutes to tell your tale. Beginners are very welcome. For more information visit www.kusanyacafe.org.
C.R.E.A.M. 9 p.m. The Revival, 1160 E. 55th St. Student tickets $10, general tickets $15. Em Brown and Lem Slaughter – two of Chicago’s favorite comics – bring you C.R.E.A.M. (Comedy Rules Everything Around Me). C.R.E.A.M. is a showcase of Chicago’s hidden treasures including stand-up comics, sketch comedians, poets, musicians and more. Special Surprise Guests bless the stage at EVERY SHOW. You don’t want to miss this!!! For more information visit www.the-revival.com.