Guest post by Jen Gillespie

I am headed out of town for the Halloween weekend, a trip you will undoubtedly hear about next week. I am headed to Minneapolis to see Dan Graham speak at the Walker Art Center. Though I am extremely excited about this mini-break holiday weekend I am experiencing some pangs of regret, or perhaps just longing for the things I will be missing out on in Chicago. There are, as always far more things going on this weekend than any one person could hope to do, see, or experience. Though Halloween is often a time for mischief, costumes, and toying with fear, my suggestions are all to do with participating, since Halloween is also a time to get out and be part of the community.


Chicago Critical Mass If you have never been part of their monthly ride its likely you’ve at least seen them, the hundreds of cyclists clogging the streets that have come together to ride into the night… hard to miss. The last Friday of every month bicyclists meet at daily plaza and ride throughout Chicago. Critical Mass happens all over the world and Chicago’s turnout, especially for the ride this weekend, is definitely one to be a part of. The Mass always has a tinge of a political presence that reminds the public to be aware of cyclists by presenting an army of bicyclists coming together in their shared passion and support for biking in whatever role it takes in individual lives and greater civic culture. This ride, the Halloween ride, each year though it is festive with the spirit of Halloween throughout the crowd, it is also a memorial to those that have been injured and killed in bicycle related accidents. Everyone is welcome, costumes are encouraged, and the only thing you need is your bike.

5:30pm Friday, October 30

Chicago Critical Mass bike rides start from Daley Plaza, Dearborn & Washington at 5:30 pm on the last Friday of each month, regardless of season or weather. They are free and fun.

For more info:

Neo-Futurarium – An Andersonville safe-haven for a unique experimental theater project that has been around Chicago for nearly 20 years. Built on such platforms as “just when you thought we couldn’t neuter anymore dogma” and “theater that signs your yearbook with a puffy silver pen and promises never to seduce your brother again.”

Neo-Futurists – A local theater collective best known for their production of Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind: 30 Plays in 60 Minutes. This fall they present their Halloween performance:


Last shows- Friday October 30th and Saturday October 31st 7:30 pm

Conceived and curated by Noelle Krimm. The Neo-Futurists call this performance art tour “a thinking man’s haunted house.”  Comprised of vignettes including, but not limited to, one with a creepy serial killer about fetishes and violent impulses, to do with Edgar Allen Poe and all things terrifying. As with all Neo-Futurist performances the ‘now’ is not evaded or ignored, they don’t go for the ‘suspension of disbelief’ gimmick. The Neo-Futurists’ ‘Fear’ should not be missed. At the Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland Ave. $15; T: 773-275-5255

For more information about this show or others by the Neo-Futurists:


National Museum of Mexican Art

Day of the Dead is this Monday November 2nd; every year this museum puts together a solid exhibition with a cultural education bent that is lovely.  I’ve been several times over the years, if you haven’t been, you should visit this year.

Camino a casa: Day of the Dead

Exhibition runs through December 13, 2009

Museum Hours 10 AM – 5 PM, Tuesday – Sunday

The National Museum of Mexican Art’s 23rd annual Día de Muertos exhibition, the largest annual Day of the Dead exhibition in the Nation, featuring more than 20 artists from Mexico and the U.S., a special ofrenda (offering, usually made on or of an altar) created for Arturo Velasquez Sr. (1915-2009) and an ofrenda created by the acclaimed author Sandra Cisneros as a tribute to her parents. The National Museum of Mexican Art is the largest Latino cultural organization in the country and the only Latino museum accredited by the American Association of Museums. The Museum is located at 1852 West 19th Street, Chicago, IL 60608 in the Pilsen neighborhood, adjacent to Little Village. Closed Mondays. Admission is FREE for exhibitions. Performing Art events are subject to ticketing. Donations are graciously accepted. Contact Phone 312.738.1503 Museum Hours 10 AM – 5 PM, Tuesday – Sunday

For information on this exhibit:

I hope you have the very best Halloween, and if you can, try to support a local arts organization or participate in an event in your community in the process!