According to organizers of The Power of Places, we can't think of the space around us only as it's been divided up architecturally. We have to consider how such divisions affect people--and how the interactions of people in turn affect those spaces. That's one of the tenets this international conference will focus on. Architects, artists, sociologists, philosophers, and urban planners will speak in a series of panels sponsored by Northwestern University's Center for Interdisciplinary Research in the Arts. It all begins at 8:30 this morning at Hardin Hall, 633 Clark in Evanston, and runs through tomorrow. Admission is $35, $20 for students, and includes lunch both days. For a detailed schedule call 491-3147.
You can be a weekend monk if you trek up to the Saint Francis Retreat House at Mayslake for the Men's Weekend Retreat Program. It begins tonight with supper at 7 and runs through Sunday. There will be four conferences on the program's theme, "Apples in Eden: The Seven Deadly Sins in Our Lives"; two optional sharing sessions; lots of private time; and many opportunities for prayer. Men of all faiths are welcome for a $76 donation. The house is located at 1717 31st St. in Oak Brook. For more call 323-1687.
In this century Armenians have suffered an attempted genocide, constant political oppression, and a devastating earthquake, but they remain determined to keep their culture and history alive. For the past 14 years Chicago photographer John Mahtesian has been traveling to Armenia, capturing its people, landscapes, and architecture in black and white. An exhibit of his photos, Armenia, opens today in the Public Library Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. The show is open 9 to 7 Monday through Thursday, 9 to 6 Friday, 9 to 5 Saturday. It's free; 346-3278.
Black community leaders are coalescing around acting mayor Eugene Sawyer with a growing sense of what's at stake in this election. Black Power and New Democracy: Will Blacks Retain City Hall, and Will It Make a Difference? features speakers from the black, Latino, and white communities talking about the essential issues of the mayoral contest. A new book by Abdul Alkalimat and Douglas Gills, Harold Washington and the Crisis of Black Power, will also be released at the forum, which begins at 2 PM at the Center for Inner City Studies auditorium, 700 E. Oakwood. It's free. Call 538-2188.
Violinist Kyoko Takezawa, 24, is proof positive that the Suzuki method works. At age seven, she was touring the U.S., Canada, and Switzerland. The Japanese-born artist has won several awards and was recently called a talent to watch in 1989 by New York magazine. She'll be appearing at 7:30 tonight with the Chicago Sinfonietta at Rosary College, 7900 W. Division in River Forest. Tickets are $12 to $25; there are discounts for seniors, students, and kids under 12. Group rates are also available. Call 366-1075.
Suburban Queen, a three-minute video in which video artist Mindy Faber wishes her overweight, depressed mom were a more exciting role model--and then casts her real-life mother as an Amazonian warrior--is a combination of vulnerability, satire, pathos, and biting good humor. Chicago Filmmakers spotlights Faber's work with a big-screen show, beginning at 8 tonight. Three more tapes are featured, including the premiere of Control Break. Filmmakers is at 1229 W. Belmont. Admission is $3 for members, $4 for all others. Call 281-8788.
The Drepung Monastery was established in Tibet in the early 15th century and had more than 8,000 monks at its zenith. But in 1959, after the Chinese invasion, all major Tibetan cultural institutions were forced to close. Only a few hundred Drepung monks escaped, but they established a refugee center in south India that now has more than 1,200 monks. The proceeds from today's Sacred Music, Sacred Dance: The Mystical Arts of Tibet will help fund badly needed educational facilities at the monastery. It'll also be a rare public performance of Tibetan religious music. Show time is 2 PM at the International House auditorium at the University of Chicago, 1414 E. 59th St. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door, and $8 for seniors and students with IDs. Call 702-8635.
The Jazz Institute of Chicago tenth-anniversary Jazz Fair invades the Blackstone Hotel today with live music, videos and films, fair booths (sponsored by radio stations, music bookstores, and local artisans), and informal chats with local jazz players. Entertainment includes the hot sounds of the Douglas Ewart Ensemble, George Lewis and Rita Warford, and the Sons of Blues. The fun starts at 6 PM at 636 S. Michigan. Admission is $10, $7 for JIC members. For more call 427-1676.
"This group is for any woman interested in fueling her active body with the right mix of food and beverages for peak training and competition," says Shirley Suter, the registered dietitian directing the Educated Athlete's Training Table, a workshop for women on sports nutrition. Sponsored by Women's Health Resources of Illinois Masonic Medical Center, it starts at 7 tonight and costs $5. It's at 7331 N. Sheridan. Call 262-7331 for details.
In 1983 long-shot mayoral candidate Harold Washington got a lot of free TV time during WTTW's debates--and probably won a lot of support with his smooth oratorical skills. This time it's long-shot mayoral hopeful Alderman Larry Bloom who wants to make new friends the same way. Look for acting mayor Sawyer to show up. State's Attorney Richard M. Daley, fresh from his "I'm not the best speaker in town" commercial, will be trying to impress viewers by simply putting together complete sentences. It's all free on Channel 11 at 7 tonight, sponsored (as always) by the League of Women Voters. For more call 583-5000.
The Chicago Historical Society is honoring the contributions of black people to Chicago's development with a special exhibit, Profiles of Black Chicagoans. Through letters, photographs, and memorabilia from several collections, the display portrays the lives of Louise Weaver, a leading figure in gospel music who at one time worked with Mahalia Jackson, and social activist Irene Gaines. The show also highlights the Chicago Division of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the first black trade union in the U.S. The society is located on Clark at North, and is open daily from 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM and Sunday from noon to 5. Admission is $1.50 for adults, 50 cents for children and seniors. Mondays are free. The show runs through July 9. For more call 642-4600.
The Richard J. Daley branch of the Public Library at 3400 S. Halsted has been ready for visitors for a while now. Not surprisingly, Daley's family waited until its scion had his hat in the mayoral ring before making themselves available for a grand opening. Watch Richie and acting mayor Sawyer go toe-to-toe at the festivities, which begin at 6 PM. Also on hand will be library board president James W. Compton and Daley lapdog Alderman Patrick Huels. It's free entertainment. Call 738-7634 for details.
The Chicago Finnegans Wake Study Group, which was formed last year, meets weekly to discuss, compare, and analyze James Joyce's classic. Its members tackle the deep meanings of about one sentence per session, but they swear they're really a fun-loving bunch. To celebrate Joyce's birthday, they're going to tear down the house with readings from Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. "Joyce is best understood when heard aloud," says club member Mary Murphy. "He was in love with the sound of words, and his writings contain many puns, as well as new words he created." They'll be partying at the Red Lion Pub, 2446 N. Lincoln, at 7:30 tonight. It's free. Call 348-2695.