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Cultured For a Good Cause

By Justin Sondak in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 29, 2005 2:45PM

Maybe you've maxed out your credit cards donating to hurricane victims. Maybe you've been concerned about all those other charities being ignored in the deluge of relief. Or maybe you just haven't gotten off your ass and need to alleviate all that guilt. Whatever your motivations, we've found plenty of ways for you to do good while being entertained, cultured, or even freaked out.

Pilsen Mural Walk & Reception: Saturday, October 1

pilsenmural.jpgIn a world where corporations meticulously copy community art projects and graffiti masterpieces to boost sales, it’s a relief to see beautiful neighborhood murals in bloom. Yes, we’re public art fans and Pilsen’s one of the best places in town to get our fix. These striking murals illuminate local history and Hispanic heritage, and this Saturday afternoon the San Jose Obrero Mission and Casa Juan Diego Youth Center show them off for you. The $35 admission will help homeless men improve their lives and Pilsen youth prepare for the real world.

Pet Psychic Fair & Halloween Boo-Tique: Saturday, October 1

From the We-Swear-We’re-Not-Making-This-Up files, Harmony House for Cats presents a free Halloween shopping event where, for $20, you can consult a pet psychic and find out what they’re really thinking. There’s one catch—you can’t bring your pet with you, only their photo. We have some idea what your pet must be thinking if you’re crazy enough to do this, but since we’re not licensed prognosticators we’ll keep that to ourselves.

Black United Fund for Illinois 20th Anniversary: Sunday, October 2

Ashford and Simpson are apparently still ‘Solid As a Rock.’ You can hear them perform this lost classic and, uh, find out what else they sung at the Harold Washington Cultural Center in Kenwood. Your $125 check helps BUFI help Hurricane Katrina victims get back on their feet.

Guild Complex’s Iron Poet: Thursday, October 6

ironlogo.jpgTake one generous helping of the Iron Chef, substitute ironic T-shirts for aprons and verse for shitake mushrooms, marinate for a couple hours. Result: The Guild Complex’s wacky fundraiser at the Around the Coyote Gallery. It’s live, it’s competitive, it’s bound to be an energetic diversion if not surreally hilarious. Throw down $30 in advance, $35 at the door, $60 for VIP tickets to enjoy edible entertainment and the chance to win prizes. Proceeds foster a home for scrappy young writers.

Collaboraction’s Beggar’s Banquet: Saturday, October 8

An experiential theater produces a sumptuous (and possibly gluttonous) dining experience in the newly christened River East Art Center, namely a five-course meal brought to you by some of the Chicago culinary scene's heavy-hitters: Marche, Iggy’s, Sushi Samba, Parlor, and Blackbird. How much will this set you back? You know the saying, if you have to ask… it’s $150/ticket. Proceeds help Collaboraction stage metaphorical feasts for the senses.