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Chicago Rocks for Barack

Chicago celebrates — and discusses, debates, writes poetry and composes music — as our favorite son enters the White House. Check back for updates.

January 18, 19, 20

DuSable Museum presents the Road to the White House film series on Sunday, June 18, at 12:30 p.m. (free); a Martinmas celebration with performances, education, service projects and fun, Monday, January 19, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. ($8/$5 children); all-day Inauguration Day program including inaugural luncheon and viewing of ceremony, Tuesday, January 20 (admission charges vary). 773-947-0600 x 236

Sunday, January 18

All-Chicago Inaugural Ball, with all-ages afternoon cultural program, 4-7 p.m. ($5) and dance party with Ghanatta and DJ Warp at 7 p.m. ($15), sponsored by Partisan Arts International at Martyrs, 3855 N. Lincoln

Monday, January 19

Korean Americans answer the Inauguration Committee’s call for community organizations to hold activities for a national day of service on King Day. The Korean American Resource and Cultural Center, Korean American Women In Need, and Korean American Community Services invite you to join their children’s drumming circle, enjoy a Korean lunch, and view films on the civil rights movement, 12 noon to 3 p.m. at 2434 Dempster in DesPlaines. 773-588-9158

A People’s Inauguration culminates the Camp Hope vigil with a King Day rally to “reclaim our democracy” in Federal Plaza at 4 p.m. Also at Federal Plaza, at 1 p.m., women and children will hold a silent vigil for peace and justice in Palestine. (Camp Hope’s Kathy Kelly recently reported from her peace witness on the Gaza border.)

Tuesday January 20

Moveon has a listing of dozens of inaugural events throughout Chicago. Some highlights:

9:30 a.m. – Workers Education Society gathers to discuss, watch the Inauguration at the Unity Center, 3339 S. Halsted

10 a.m. until – Silver Room, 1442 N. Milwaukee, is open for large-screen viewing of inaugural events all day; holds its monthly current events forum and discussion at 7 p.m.; the party starts at 9 p.m.

10:30 a.m. – Inaugural celebration at the Lutheran School of Theology in Hyde Park

5 p.m. – Lil’s Something Cool Cocktail Lounge, 8022-24 S. Cottage, celebrates

6:30 p.m. – IVI-IPO Inaugural Party at Lake and Union Grill, 666 W. Lake

6:30 p.m. Leadership Academy Inaugural Dinner and Celebration at Oak Park and River Forest High School

7 p.m. THERE Lounge, 8235 S. Ashland, rings in the new administration, hosted by veteran activist Mark Allen

7 p.m. Milton Township Democrats hold a No-Hunger Ball — admission with a bag of nonperishable groceries for the Milton Township Food Pantry — at the Theosophical Society, 1926 N. Main, Wheaton

7 p.m. – Veterans celebrate at the Montford Point Marine Association, 7011 S. Vincennes

Immigrants gather to watch an immigrant’s son sworn in at Casa Michoacan, 1683 S. Blue Island, starting at 9 a.m. Groups participating include the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, CONFEMEX (the federation of Mexican hometown associations), Federacion de Clubes Michoacanos and SEIU. (ICIRR members are also participating in an national immigration rights mobilization in Washington D.C. on January 21.)

Seniors Rock   Pioneer Gardens and Pioneer Village Senior Homes in Bronzeville holds “a celebration that many did not expect in their lifetimes; some residents are 80 and 90 years old. Balloons, noise makers, patriotic top hats, flags, music, food, Obama attire, red-white-and-blue punch…We will rock the house.” 3800 S. King, 11 a.m. 708-533-6558 (or

Writers Congress   Twenty poets read from works published in the new anthology, “Writers Congress: Chicago Poets on Barack Obama’s Inauguration,” published by the Poetry Institute at the Depaul University Humanities Center. DePaul Student Center, 2250 N. Sheffield, 6 p.m.

Salim Muwakkil lectures at the East-West University with a provocative topic: “President Barack Obama: Progressive Pragmatist or Political Dupe?” at 7 p.m. (reception at 6:30) at EWU, 816 S. Michigan, fourth floor auditorium.

Sounds of Hope   The Morse Theatre holds an inaugural celebration featuring jazz supervocalist Dee Alexander starting at 6:30 p.m. — and at 7:30, the premier of “Sounds of Hope” by Chicago-based Uruguayan composer Elbio Barilari and renowned percussionist and bandleader Kahil El Zabar. The 45-minute jazz composition, which features 20 musicians, “represents a new time of hope” as well as “the structure we need to reach our future, a structure made out of diverse elements, a reflection of our society, and the capability of improvising new solutions and new visions,” according to the composers. (Read Howard Reich’s preview). Admission is free.

Sunday, January 25

A New New Deal: What Should It Look Like?   A forum sponsored by the Oak Park Coalition for Truth and Justice featuring James Thindwa of Chicago Jobs With Justice, Bill Barclay of the Chicago Political Economy Group, United Steelworkers organizer Robin Rich, Dr. Ida Hollander of Physicians for a National Health Program, and DePaul University professor and United for Peace and Justice steering committee member Bamshad Mobasher, at the Oak Park Library 834 Lake, at 2 p.m. 708-386-1371

A Hip-Hop State of the Union  The Public Square, Young Chicago Authors, and Chicago Public Radio present Open Mic Academy: State of the Union, with performance poets Roger Bonair-Agard and Idris Goodman, joined by local spoken word performers, at Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln, at 3 p.m. 312-948-4600

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