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THE Harlem Fine Arts Show returns to the Merchandise Mart on October 29 through November 1 and will highlight the works of various established African-American artists. The New York-based show, founded in 2009, travels to various cities, attracting more than 60,000 art enthusiasts and accounting for millions of dollars in total art sales. It is the largest traveling African Diaspora art show in the U.S. “Harlem in New York City and Bronzeville in Chicago are two of the most celebrated African-American communities in the world,” says Dion Clarke, founder of the Harlem Fine Art Show. “We are excited to be returning to Chicago’s Merchandise Mart this fall to close out Chicago Artists Month with this celebrated show and sale.” The opening night gala reception is October 29, and Youth Empowerment Day is October 30, the same day that the show opens to the public at 6 p.m. Visit for more information or to purchase tickets.
Chicago Is Talking About . . .
The Harlem Fine Arts Show in Chicago   
The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus
AWARD-WINNING comedian Michael Colyar, who began his career by spending almost a decade performing every weekend on Los Angeles' Venice Beach, returns to Chicago and appears at the Harold Washington Cultural Center on November 14. The native of Chicago, who is known as the "The King of Venice Beach," is noted for his combination of cultural lessons with humor. His big break came in 1990 when he won the grand prize on Star Search. A native of Chicago, he's been seen on many of TV's stand-up shows, including HBO's Def Comedy Jam, and he was the original host of BET Live from LA. His career also boasts a variety of film roles, including NorbitHollywood Shuffle, House Party 3 and Hot Shots Part Deux, and his voice is prominent in Disney's The Princess and the Frog and FOX TV's The Cleveland Show
Vanessa Carlton at City Winery
S​INGER and pianist Vanessa Carlton, known primarily for her megahit “A Thousand Miles,” brings her tour to City Winery on November 10 and S.P.A.C.E. in Evanston on November 11. The tour, which includes special guest Joshua Hyslop, is in support of Carlton’s new, 10-song CD, Liberman, her fifth album. The singer, who has moved from New York to Nashville and is a new wife and mom, says the new collection of songs is reflective of her persona. “It’s a calm record,” Carlton says. “I didn’t want any angst in there. I thought, ‘What would I want to hear back? What would make me feel better in my darker times?’ Even a phrase like ‘take it easy,’ which is in a million songs, brings happiness. This album leans toward seeing the good in humans and in the world.” Go to for more information and tickets.
THE Desert Goddesses (above) will be among the attractions when the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus presents “Circus Xtreme” at Allstate Arena on November 5-15 (continuing at United Center November 19-29). “The Greatest Show on Earth®” continues the tradition that combines the classics––extraordinary animal performances, captivating clown escapades and daring high-wire acts––with contemporary surprises and thrills to make the circus experience memorably unique and a family tradition that has been handed down from generation to generation. The show travels to more than 90 cities in North America each year. In the words of circus officials: “It’s time for your family to be amazed by all the X-TRAORDINARY things you know and love about America’s favorite live, family-entertainment experience. Be astonished by UN-XPECTED circus spectacles you’ve never seen before and that can’t be seen anywhere else but at The Greatest Show On Earth®.”
The Comedy of Michael Colyar