Chicago isn’t just home to some of the best popular summer festivals like Taste of Chicago, Lollapalooza, Pitchfork, and Ribfest. It also features some lesser known, but equally compelling storytelling and literature events that are worth checking out this summer. Since travel can be expensive, these cheap events are a great way to explore the city and meet some of its most interesting inhabitants.
1. Chicago Alternative Comics Expo
May 31st-June 1st, 11am-6pm
Center on Halsted
3656 N. Halsted
Next weekend in Wrigleyville, Chicago will be celebrating a long history of comics at CAKE, the free Chicago Alternative Comics Expo. Local cartoonists such as Anya Davidson will be in attendance as well as cartoonists from other states like Cartoon Network storyboard artist, Hellen Jo. This is the expo’s third year, and once again local comic shops and publishers will also be represented. To learn more about this celebration of independent and underground comics visit www.cakechicago.com.
2. An Evening with Cristina Henriquez, Author of The Book of Unknown Americans
June 5th, 7pm
The Book Cellar
4736 N. Lincoln Ave.
The Book Cellar is an independent bookstore and café in Lincoln Square, and on June 5th they will be hosting Northwestern graduate and author, Cristina Henriquez. Her writing has previously been featured in publications such as The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and The American Scholar, and she is a recipient of the Alfredo Cisneros Del Moral Foundation Award. She is currently promoting her new novel, The Book of Unknown Americans, a love story about two between two Hispanic immigrants, one Panamanian and one Mexican. It also details the struggles of Hispanic immigrants in our country.
3. The Aftermath: Stories of Miracles and Beyond
June 8th-9th, 7:30pm
Webster’s Wine Bar
1480 W. Webster
2nd Story is a collective of local Chicago storytellers and performers that performs 3-4 storytelling events per months, and coming up in early June is their performance, The Aftermath: Stories of Miracles and Beyond. This performance centers on the belief in miracles and what happens after an miraculous experience. Some featured storytellers will be Bronte Price, Cristina Correa, Darwyn Jones, and Earliana McLaurin. 2nd Story is selling tickets on their website and at the door for $20. More information about 2nd Story and their monthly events is on their website: www.2ndstory.com.
4. Guts and Glory: Live-Lit for the Lionhearted
June 18th, 7pm
Next month at independent bookstore, Powell’s, they are hosting Guts and Glory: Live-Lit for the Lionhearted, a live-lit event that will benefit 826CHI, a nonprofit tutoring and writing center, and PAWS Chicago, a local no-kill animal shelter. Various performers will tell true stories about their life experiences. It is a BYOB event, and you can read more here.
5. Grown Folks Stories
June 19th, 7:30pm
The Silver Room
1442 N. Milwaukee Ave.
The Silver Room, while a jewelry store in Wicker Park by day, also hosts storytelling events at night, one of which is the popular Grown Folks Stories. This event, hosted by local storyteller and host and creator of Grown Folks Stories Cara Brigandi, brings together professional and amateur storytellers, who can put their name into a hat for a five-minute time slot. There is a suggested $5 donation at the door, and this is a convenient way to experience both informal and formal storytelling in one event.