February 20th – 23rd: Avant-Noire, Pączki Fest, and more things to do in Chicago this weekend

This weekend, experience new fashion, new food, and new arts and cultural experiences in Chicago. From a clothing swap at the MCA to the Chicago Volunteer Expo—here are the best events and things to do this weekend.

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Fashion Events:

Clothing Swap with the MCA

Saturday | February 22nd | 11:00 a.m – 1:00 p.m.

Chicago Athletic Association Hotel | 12 S Michigan Ave.| Free

The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago checks in at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel this weekend to celebrate the opening of “Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago,” the newest fourth-floor exhibition guest-curated by the multicultural fashion designer, Duro Olowu. Participate in a clothing swap to celebrate the opening of this new exhibition. To participate, bring a bag of items in and take a new bag out, transforming your wardrobe with a second look. To participate in the complimentary swap, RSVP for the event here.

Clothing Swap with the MCA

Saturday | February 22nd | 4:30 p.m – 8:00 p.m.

EF International School | 122 South Michigan Ave| $25 – $35

Enjoy an evening of high-end professional suits and streetwear brands from Chicago designers this weekend. Sponsored by the Chicago Community Trust, the fashion show will feature over nine designers, food, and entertainment. The event will also include a marketplace of local fashion vendors. Get inspired for spring with fashion-forward styles. Visit the event page for tickets and more details.


Food + Drink Events: 

Pączki Fest 2020

Sunday | February 13th | 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Marz Community Brewing Taproom | 3630 S Iron St. | Free

Pączki Fest is an annual Marz Polish Mardi Gras party. Fatten up and get glutenous as you celebrate the release of Marz’s annual Pączki Milk Stout as well as a variety of food and pastries to go along with the delicious beverage. Live music and entertainment will also be on deck at this free to enter Mardi Gras themed event. For more details, visit the event page.


National Margarita Day at Tacos Tequilas

Saturday | February 22nd | 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Tacos Tequila | 2919 N Milwaukee Ave. | $35

Celebrate National Margarita Day in Chicago. The Logan-Square based taqueria has you covered for the delicious, drink themed holiday. Enjoy Margaritas, homemade tacos, and more this weekend. For more details, visit the event page.


Community Events:

Chicago Volunteer Expo

Sunday | February 23rd | 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Peggy Notebaert  Nature Museum | 2430 N Cannon Dr.| Free

Image | Chicago Volunteer Expo

Alone, the challenge can feel overwhelming, but together there’s so much we can do. The Chicago Volunteer Expo allows guests to explore over 75 nonprofit organizations and how they can give back and get involved this year. Whether your passion is social justice or the arts, there is a volunteer opportunity for you. Register to attend the event and learn more about participating organizations from all over the city to learn how you can lend a hand. To register, visit the Chicago Volunteer Expo.


Arts + Culture Events:

Avant-Noir

Thursday | February 28th | 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Gene Siskel | 164 N State St. | Free

Image| Baloji, still from Zombies, 2019. Courtesy of the artist and Sudu Connexion

Experience film through the eyes of black filmmakers and artists. Conceived by Belgrade-based curator Greg de Cuir Jr. as an “intervention into the status quo,” Avant-Noir features contemporary films and videos by international artists of African descent to showcase visual representations of Black cultures in their many complexities. For more details, visit the website here.

Black Heroes: Solo Art Exhibition Featuring Roger Carter

Friday | February 21st| 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Gallery Guichard | 436 E 47th St. | Free

 Image | Roger Carter

Get up close and very personal look at the interpretation of Black hero’s this weekend in Chicago. From February 21, 2020 until April 17, 2020 Gallery Guichard, an art gallery located in Bronzeville will exhibit local and iconic Black Heroes through art. The collection features prominent males that have made a positive statement and impact in the communities and families. For event details, visit the Facebook page.


Event hopping not your thing? Grab a beverage and snack or two at some of the ‘hautest’ happy hours in Chicago.


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