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Friday 5/26 - Thursday 6/1

MAY

By Cara Jepsen

26 FRIDAY Art therapist and papermaker Eden Stern says there's a thin line between uncomfortable emotions and insanity. For her MFA thesis at Columbia College's interdisciplinary arts department, she's created a life-size interactive exhibit in which a participant may end up wearing a paper straitjacket with images printed on it. Her piece is one of six that will premiere at the school's thesis exhibition, Perceptions. The free opening takes place tonight from 5 to 8 (the show runs through June 23) at the college's Center for Book and Paper Arts, 1104 S. Wabash, second floor. Call 312-344-6630.

French composer Olivier Messiaen created his greatest work, Quartet for the End of Time, while imprisoned in a World War II German POW camp. Written for violin, clarinet, cello, and piano--because that's what Messiaen and the three musicians among his fellow inmates played--the piece premiered in 1941 in front of 5,000 prisoners. Messiaen later said his music had never before "been heard with as much attention and understanding." Tonight it will be performed by the Chicago Chamber Musicians along with wartime pieces by Paul Hindemith, Anton Webern, and Stefan Wolpe as part of a program called "Voices of the War." The evening starts at 6:30 with a lecture by Jeff Abell, who will discuss music after both world wars. The concert starts at 7:30 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago (312-397-4010). Tickets are $25, $23 for students and seniors.

27 SATURDAY In his new memoir, Hell's Angel, Ralph "Sonny" Barger says he founded the notorious motorcycle club in the 50s so members could "party and ride." He writes, "During the psychedelicized sixties, the Hell's Angels became a household word. The seventies were a gangster era for us. We sold drugs and got into a lot of shit. The eighties was us paying for every motherfuckin' crime we ever committed, and some we didn't. Now, with the coming of the twenty-first century, hell, we've come full circle. Riding our bikes and party-ing is still the most important reason to be a Hell's Angel." Barger will ride into town today to discuss his book at Borders Books & Music (830 N. Michigan) at 3. It's free. Call 312-573-0564.

To encourage folks to pedal to WXRT's annual Rock & Roll Fireworks display, the Chicago Bike Federation is offering free valet bike parking between the lakefront and Buckingham Fountain from 4:30 until the fireworks end. The musical theme for the fireworks is rock history from 1955 to 2000. The show starts at dusk (about 9:30) at Monroe Harbor, Monroe and Lake Shore Drive, and can also be heard on 93.1 FM. Call 773-777-1700.

28 SUNDAY One reason there are homeless veterans, says Ray Parrish, former executive director of the Midwest Committee for Military Counseling, is that welfare programs aren't prepared to deal with mental disabilities. "They don't consider that when a veteran misses an appointment his mental health may be interfering." Parrish will speak at a free public forum, American Veterans Falling Through the Cracks, today at 11:30 AM at the Beverly Unitarian Church, 103rd and Longwood. Call 630-928-2015.

At Brains, Billiards and Backgammon Against Breast Cancer, a daylong gaming tournament to raise funds for the Avon Breast Cancer 3-Day walk June 16-18, participants can try their hands at Trivial Pursuit, pool, or backgammon at $15 a pop; it's $25 for two tournaments, or $35 for three. There will also be a raffle and an auction as well as performances by comedians Dwayne Kennedy and John Hetzel, musicians Lance Barber and Stuart Draper, and others. It starts at 12:30 PM at the Ginger Man, 3740 N. Clark. Admission is free. Call 773-868-0432 to register.

29 MONDAY "Every day they put in more special forces and more advisers, and the threat of escalating violence is beyond question now," says Vietnam vet Barry Romo. He's referring to Colombia, which receives a huge chunk of U.S. military aid. Today he'll speak at a Memorial Day rally sponsored by Vietnam Veterans Against the War. "We're trying to show continuity between times past and times present," he says. Speakers include Maude DeVictor, former VA worker and Agent Orange whistle-blower, and University of Illinois professor Joe Miller, who will discuss the effects on GIs from the military's use of the atomic bomb, Agent Orange, and the controversial anthrax vaccination. It's from 11 to noon at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fountain on Wacker between State and Wabash. It's free. Call 773-327-5756 for more.

Vitamin crystals, microorganisms, red blood cells, suspensory ligaments of the human eye, the spine of an immature sea urchin, and 50-odd other images normally viewed through a microscope can be seen with the naked eye at the new photography exhibit Microcosm. The display of microphotographs opens today (and will be up through January 9) at the Chicago Academy of Sciences' Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N. Cannon. Hours are 10 to 5; admission is $6 ($4 for seniors, $3 for students and kids). Call 773-755-5100.

30 TUESDAY The four panel-ists at tonight's forum on Addressing Transgender and Transsexual Issues are a professor, two leaders in the TG/TS community, and a youth currently dealing with TG issues. "We want to educate participants about what it's like to go through the process of realizing this is a choice one wants to make in life, and how to be sensitive to these issues in the community and in the schools," says Richard Rykhus of the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, which is sponsoring the event. The free forum takes place from 7 to 9 PM at the Conrad Sulzer Regional Library, 4455 N. Lincoln. Call 312-409-1835 for more.

31 WEDNESDAY Mexican novelist Silvia Molina's book The Love You Promised Me is set in 1994 against the turbulent backdrop of unrest in Chiapas and the assassination of presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio--chaos that mirrors the heroine's own troubled emotional state. Molina, a recipient of Mexico's prestigious Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz Prize, will read with local poet Juana Goergen at tonight's kickoff event for the Guild Complex's Women Writers Series (it also serves as the closing event in the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum's Del Corazon Festival). It's hosted by Beatriz Badikian and starts at 7 at the MFACM, 1852 W. 19th. Tickets are $7, $5 for students and seniors. Call 773-296-1268, ext. 26, for more.

JUNE

1 THURSDAY Over the past 15 years, Arts Bridge has helped over 400 local cultural organizations become proficient in the business side of art. Tonight the group will hold a fund-raiser called No Borders: Your Passport to the Arts, which will include a silent auction and performances by several of its member organizations, including Angel Island Theatre and the Natyakalalayam Dance Company. It's from 5:30 to 8 in the School of the Art Institute's ballroom, 112 S. Michigan. Tickets are $50 in advance, $60 at the door; call 773-296-0830, ext. 24.

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