Spot-On News: Issue No. 8

After a lull for the holidays, Chicagoland’s events calendar is filling up and newly announced and upcoming events present a wealth of interesting and varied activities...In Comedy: Steven Wright, the observational comedian appears at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts. Happy Valen-TINAS Day, “Chicago’s only improvised telenovela” will be performed at The iO Theatre. In Exhibitions: Modernism: Iranian, Turkish, and Indian Highlights opens at the Block Museum of Art. The Discovery of What It Means to be Brazilian (an examination of Brazil’s colonial past and present) will open at Mariane Ibrahim. In Film: Ginger - A Young Women's Battle With Breast Cancer will be shown at the Athenaeum Theatre. Elements: Earth, Wind, Water, Fire will be shown at the Brushwoods Center at Ryerson Woods. In Music: Celebrating 100 Years of Art Blakey will be held at Nichols Concert Hall. Mahler’s 10th Symphony will be performed at Pick Staiger Concert Hall by the Northwestern Symphony Orchestra ($8!!) …In Talks: Author Lee Bay (Image at Left) will talk about his new book, a collection of South side architectural photography, at the Harold Washington Library. Ada Calhoun will discuss her book Why We Can’t Sleep, Women’s New Midlife Crisis at Congregation Rodfei Zedek in Hyde Park. Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx will discuss public safety at St. Nicholas Church in Evanston.  Nick Kristof, the New York Times columnist, and co-author Sheryl WeDunn will discuss their latest book in the Loop, Hyde Park, and in Naperville. Eric Roberts and Eliza Roberts will discuss “The Craft of Acting” in Crystal Lake. Eric has over 500 acting credits to his name, as well as nominations for Golden Globes and an Oscar. His films include The Pope of Greenwich Village, The Dark Knight, Runaway Train, and Inherent ViceIn Theatre: Mlima’s Tale by Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage will be staged at the Raven Theatre beginning in February. Dar He: The Story of Emmett Till will be staged at Governors State University in the southwest suburbs. Fleabag performed by Phoebe Waller-Bridge will “appear” via video at National Theatre Live on the Northwestern University campus.

Of Special Note - A Different Way of Thinking: Governors State University will host scientist, author, and speaker Temple Grandin. If you’re not familiar with Dr. Grandin’s work, she is the author of numerous books including The Autistic Brain – Thinking Across the Spectrum, Helping Different Kinds of Minds Succeed. Dr. Gandin earned a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois where she studied animal science. As her website notes, “Oliver Sacks wrote in the forward of Thinking in Pictures that her first book Emergence: Labeled Autistic was ‘unprecedented because there had never before been an inside narrative of autism.’” Dr. Gandin also writes on her website: “One of the problems today is for a kid to get any special services in school, they have to have a label.  The problem with autism is you’ve got a spectrum that ranges from Einstein to someone with no language and intellectual disability,” said Grandin.  “Steve Jobs was probably mildly on the autistic spectrum.  Basically, you’ve probably known people who were geeky and socially awkward but very smart.  When does geeks and nerds became autism? That’s a gray area.  Half the people in Silicon Valley probably have autism.” More information can be found here.