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Archive for June, 2014

Inspiring cultural programs in Chicago

Monday, June 9th, 2014

photo 2What is more amazing with the start of the summer season, however, is the variety of cultural programs this wonderful metropolis has to offer. Last Wednesday, the free weekly film series presented by the 50th Chicago Int’l Film Festival officially kicked off at the Cultural Center. Grill Point, an award-winning German film directed by Andres Dresen, started the series, to a packed audience. The film focuses on the relationship between two married couples and is presented with a super realistic touch, but not without humor, even though the subject matter is quite serious. Simply a jewel. A talk back after the screening led by a professor made the experience complete.

photo 1From now to October 1, a total of 17 films from different countries will be shown at the Claudia Cassidy Theatre at 6:30 every Wednesday. Strongly recommended.

Of course, the Millennium Park‘s 10th Summer Anniversary brings an array of wonderful programs as well, with its official start at the beginning of June and ending at the end of September. Last night, I enjoyed a beautiful performance by the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra (CYSO) at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. The Blue Man Group joined them at the end of the show, adding a comic and innovative touch to the classic music repertoire. The large crowd gathered at the Pavilion and on the lawn in the back stayed all the way to the end. An amazing sight. I had the privilege of interviewing the music director and executive director in back stage before the show for a Xinhua coverage. Eighty-four members of CYSO, aged 14 to 18, will participate in a “Tour to China” performing trip departing this Thursday. They’ll give concerts in Beijing, Xi’an, Hangzhou, and Shanghai. The performance at Millennium Park was their “send-off” party!

photo 1As if these were not enough, the weekend also presented the Printers Row Book Fest. Many literary events took place simultaneously at the Harold Washington Library, the University Center, Jones College Prep, etc., in addition to all the tents and vendor booths that were lined up along several blocks in the center of Printers Row district. I attended a couple of panels and browsed the streets that were literally filled with new and used books. It was book feast.

photo 4Did I mention I also watched Ask Aunt Susan, a play at the Goodman Theatre (till June 22) over the weekend as well?

You get the idea. There are so many programs at various venues offering mind and body nourishment in this beautiful city in the summer. Get yourself out there and enjoy!

Jian Ping, author of Mulberry Child: a memoir of China, which has been developed into an award-winning documentary film by Susan Morgan Cooper and is narrated by Jacqueline Bisset. The film was broadcast on national PBS in May 2014.


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