James Baldwin, Black Lives & the Blues: In Conversation With Stan West

Wednesday, Feb. 9, 6:30-8 p.m. 

Oak Park author Stan West will discuss the genius of writer James Baldwin, who is the subject of his book James Baldwin’s Black Lives Blues Are Mine. In addition to Baldwin, Black and LGBTQ issues will be talked about, along with the present-day Black Lives Matter movement. The program will be moderated by Al Cunningham, a Detroit-based writer with decades of experience in cultural and LGBTQ communities of color. Register now at

Land & Liberty: Reclaiming our Connection to the Land as a Means of Liberation in our Lives

Sunday, Feb. 6, 11 a.m.

Jim Embry

The Third Unitarian Church presents a special Zoom service with Jim Embry, national social justice and sustainability activist. Embry will be speaking primarily about the reclamation of land stolen from Indigenous peoples using unpaid African labor, while reconnecting with nature. Also featured: music from mezzo soprano Amanda M. Thomas. To receive details about joining the online service, please complete the brief form on the Third Unitarian website.

Ian Maksin

Sunday, Feb. 6, 3 p.m., Good Shepherd Unitarian Church

Playing a cello through pedals while singing in 30 different languages is quite a feat. Add that he has managed to gig constantly during this pandemic, and it’s clear that Ian Maksin is quite a force to be reckoned with. His own music is based on the native folk music of the languages he speaks. $15 general, $10 students/kids. 611 Randolph St., Oak Park.

Lawrence Peters

Lawrence Peters Outfit

Sunday, Feb. 6, 1:30 p.m., FitzGerald’s

Lawrence Peters has distinguished himself as a jack-of-all-trades on the Chicago music scene. First and foremost, he is that rare breed in all musical genres – a singing drummer. Beyond that, he has played in a variety of different bands across different genres, but his own project is brooding traditional country that he does quite well. 6615 Roosevelt Road., Berwyn.

Lurrie Bell

Lurrie Bell

Saturday, Feb. 5, 9 p.m., FitzGerald’s

Singer/guitarist Lurrie Bell has slowly worked his way to the top of the blues hierarchy, with a style that is just as adaptable to acoustic rural blues as it is to electric urban blues. All local blues fans owe it to themselves to see him just once, but why stop there? $15, 6615 Roosevelt Road., Berwyn.

PUBLIC TALK: Learning to Love Wisely

Gen Kelsang Zamling

Wednesday, Feb. 2, 7 p.m., Kadampa Meditation Center

This event, which will also be livestreamed, is a special evening of meditation, inspiration and practical instruction with Gen Kelsang Zamling. Open to all levels, from complete beginner to experienced meditators. Everyone welcome! This public talk is the first in a month-long series. Register via Learning to Love Wisely (meditateinchicago.org). $5, 13 Harrison St., Oak Park.

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