You came to Chicago for the life, man. The life of the mind, yes, but what’s that matter if your soul is weeping, if your body is weak, and you yourself are a sickly, unhappy being? You came to the Gray City for the outdoor music and the clear blue skies. You came for the 80-degree afternoons that turn to cool 65-degree evenings and the days littered with celebratory activities—and here we are, finally, in spring, and life is alive and it’s Festival of the Arts (FOTA) at the University of Chicago.
It all kicks off Friday, May 9 in Reynolds Club, where from 8 to 11 p.m. you can attend MODA Designer Boot Camp’s fashion show and take in student band Same Pinch while watching student artist Allie Torem present her work between plates of catered food, and then dance and shimmy to DJ Retroactive.
Sunday will feature the ArtShould Expose on Bartlett Quad from 2 to 5 p.m., which includes free food, henna tattoos, and art for purchase. Monday has two events: Comedy Night in Hallowed Grounds at 8 p.m. featuring Off-Off Campus and Occam’s Razor; then Ebb&Flow: Poetry in Motion, a collaboration between PhiNix Dance Crew and Catcher in the Rhyme poets, which will include spoken word, modern dance, and music. On Tuesday, there’s Be Fearless, a drawing workshop in Hutch Courtyard from noon to 1:30. Also on Tuesday, at 8 p.m., is the first performance of Plath/Hughes, a musical duet about the artistry and marriage of the two poets.
On Wednesday, check out Eat, See, Breathe: A Live Gallery from 8 to 10 p.m. in the Logan Penthouse. For Thursday there’s a performance showcase in the FXK Theater on the third floor of Reynolds Club at 10 p.m. Plath/Hughes will also be showcased a second time on Thursday at 9 p.m. Friday, May 16, is the final day of the festival, and features Jazz Jam, a concert by the Coalition for Jazz Education from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Logan Café, and Shout!, an a cappella finale in McCormick Lounge at 8 p.m.
You waited through the dying fall and the dead winter that lasted through April for these final five beautiful weeks. So go outside and live! Take in all the free food and the art and performances that FOTA’s Spring Arts Week promises.