The 11th go-round of the annual artist-run festival Version begins Friday 4/22, with parties, art shows, and other affiliated events continuing through 5/1. This week's schedule is listed in brief below, and in greater detail at versionfest.org; events are free unless otherwise noted.
The festival opens with The New New Chicagoans, a show of emerging and established visual artists including Ryan Duggan, Edie Fake, and Christine Tarkowski. The opening reception features music by Mahjongg, Magical Beautiful, and Mr. 666, and a DJ set by former Reader columnist Liz Armstrong (7 PM-1 AM, Co-Prosperity Sphere, 3219 S. Morgan, $5 after 9 PM). The show is on display through 5/7; see Galleries listings for more information.
Over the weekend, the first annual MDW Fair celebrates galleries, art spaces, and arts initiatives in Chicago with more than 50 exhibitors, a live game show hosted by arts podcast Bad at Sports, and panel discussions (4/23-4/24: Sat 1-10 PM, Sun 1-6 PM, Geolofts, 3636 S. Iron, mdwfair.org, $5). The Co-Prosperity Sphere hosts the afterparty (Sat 4/23, 10 PM, $5).
The 'Sphere also hosts an Open House to introduce the public to its work as "an artist-run school for and about the advancement and understanding of contemporary Chicago art" (Mon 4/25, 6-9 PM).
On Tuesday 4/26, a party at Maria's Packaged Goods and Community Bar raises funds for Carlos Javier Ortiz's Too Young to Die, a documentary photo project that seeks to combat gun violence (8 PM-2 AM, 960 W. 31st). Wednesday's events shift back to the Co-Prosperity Sphere, where Theodore Darst presents TLVSN, his monthly screening and performance series (Wed 4/27, 8-10 PM). —Sam Worley