Growing up in a public-housing project in Chicago is often like growing up in a war zone, according to the initial conclusions of the Erikson Institute's new research project, "Children in Dangerous Environments." Their research on how children living in violent settings view the world they call home includes parallel studies of families in Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank, and in four public-housing projects in Chicago. A one-day conference, Children in Danger: Coping With the Consequences, is being sponsored by the institute today starting at 9 AM at Centennial Forum, 1125 W. Loyola, on the Loyola University campus. It's $50 per person. For more information call 280-7302.
This is the last weekend to see The Human Figure in Early Greek Art, the comprehensive exhibit that was organized by the National Gallery of Art and the Greek Ministry of Culture. The Art Institute show traces changes in how sculptors and painters depicted the human form in ancient Greece in marble sculptures, bronzes, and on painted vases. The museum, located on Michigan Avenue at Adams, is open today from 10:30 to 4:30, Saturday from 10 to 5, and Sunday from noon to 5-1 suggested admission is $5 for adults, $2.50 for children, students, and seniors. For more information call 443-3500.
Visitors to the Spring Planting Festival at Lincoln Park's Farm-in-the-Zoo, Stockton Drive east of Wisconsin, can help plant crops, churn butter, and feed the cows today and tomorrow from 10 to 3. The free family-oriented event also includes lectures and demonstrations on sheep shearing, goat milking, horse grooming, and beekeeping, as well as story-telling, sing-alongs, and live bluegrass music. Call 294-4662 for details.
Historians and hobbyists will reenact scenes from World War II--battles, a mail call, a mess call, troop inspection, drill and uniform demonstrations, and a climactic surrender ceremony--when war and remembrance comes to Cantigny, the 500-acre estate of the late Colonel Robert McCormick. The free World War II Reenactment and Encampment will be today and tomorrow, beginning at 10 AM. Cantigny is located at 1S 151 Winfield Road in Wheaton; for more information call 668-5161.
Since its inception in 1979, the Randolph Street Gallery has been in the forefront in providing support for visual and performance artists unwilling or unable to fit into the commercial-gallery market. It was the first gallery to establish a separate space exclusively for performance and was one of the leaders in the development of the River West neighborhood as an arts center. In honor of its tenth anniversary, RSG hosts a benefit auction tonight from 7 to 10, with bidding beginning at 9. Proceeds from the sale of works of more than 60 artists who have had exhibits at RSG will be split between the gallery and the artists. The $30 admission ($20 for RSG members) also includes a buffet supper, an open bar, and a performance event. On May 13 the gallery will host a tenth birthday party at 8 PM, with dancing, performances, and a cash bar; admission for that is $5. RSG is located at 756 N. Milwaukee; call 666-7737.
It's moving time for thousands of Chicagoans, so the Lakeview Tenants Organization has scheduled a tenants' rights workshop today at 2 at Resurrection Lutheran Church, 3309 N. Seminary. Pair leases, security deposits. and other aspects of landlord-tenant relations will be discussed. For information on the free event call 549-1631 or 549-1986.
Ex-CIA agent Philip Agee's expose Inside the Company: CIA Diary made him an important and controversial figure--praised as an opponent of illegal covert actions by some, condemned as a traitor by others. Agee speaks at 7 PM at the University of Illinois at Chicago's Circle Center, 750 S. Halsted; his talk is the kickoff event of a four-part series, "Low-Intensity Warfare and Deception of the American Public," sponsored by the Nicaragua Solidarity Committee. Admission is $5 for the Agee speech or $8 for all four forums (the others are scheduled for May 21, June 4, and June 11). For more information call 276-5626.
As the structural engineer for the John Hancock Center and the Sears Tower, Dr. Fazlur Rahman Khan is one of the most significant but least familiar figures in the history of Chicago architecture. Partly to commemorate Khan's life (he died in 1982) and partly to combat the general invisibility of engineers, the Structural Engineers Association of Illinois commissioned a $50,000 bas-relief in stainless steel and bronze--and then had trouble finding a site for the work. Ironically, the managers of Sears Tower and the Hancock Center rejected the piece, as did many of the city's leading museums. The work by Spanish sculptor Carlos Marinas will finally be dedicated at 5:30 today in the Brunswick Plaza, 69 W. Washington; speakers include Mayor Daley and Chicago Tribune architecture critic Paul Gapp. For information on the free event call 372-4198.
France's former premier and minister of economy and finance (from 1976 to 1981), Raymond Barre, is a specialist in matters of trade, economics, and politics. He also has a very firm view on the European Economic Community's plans to end all trade barriers in western Europe in 1992--a move that will have a considerable impact on the U.S. Barre will speak on "The European Community and the Challenges of the 1990s" at the Four Seasons Hotel, 120 E. Delaware, following a 12:15 luncheon in the hotel's ballroom. Lunch and the lecture cost $35; call 341-3620 for reservations
Writer and actress Lucina Kathmann divides her time between Chicago, where she has appeared in off-Loop theater and dance for more than 20 years, and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where she is the corresponding secretary of the local chapter of the international writers' organization P.E.N. She's promoting her new novel, an interracial lesbian romance titled The Adventures of the Magnificent Kong and Brawny Mouse, with a free reading and book signing tonight at 7 at People Like Us Books, 3321 N. Clark. Call 248-6363 for more information.
The Sculpture Chicago organization says its mission is "engaging the public in the appreciation of monumental sculpture." You can't get much more public than the site of Sculpture Chicago's May Invitational Exhibit: Cityfront Center (formerly Pioneer Court), located next to the Chicago Tribune building on Michigan Avenue at Hubbard, where an estimated 400,000 people per day pass by on foot or in a car or bus. Four leading contemporary artists--Americans Vito Acconci, Judith Shea, and Richard Serra (whose public sculptures in other cities have provoked intense controversy), and Welshman Richard Deacon--will have works displayed today through October 27; viewing is free all day long. Call 951-0094 for more.
The hero of Eckhard Gerdes's new experimental science fiction novel, Truly Fine Citizen, is the manager of a small bookstore whose secret mission takes him to other planets and dimensions. Gerdes himself worked in a Chicago bookstore, but his studies have taken him only as far as Anchorage, Alaska, where he's working toward an MFA at the local state university. He's reading tonight at 8 at Cafe Voltaire, 1860 N. Elston; admission is $2, which can be deducted from the $7.95 price of the book. Call 864-3105.
In his first new ballet in 13 years, Arthur Mitchell, artistic director of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, pays tribute to two African-American heroes. Mitchell's John Henry, the centerpiece of DTH's first Chicago appearance in eight years, is a jazzy retelling of the legend of the man who outworked a steam drill. The work is dedicated to singer and activist Paul Robeson, who did a famous rendition of the original folk ballad on which the ballet is based. DTH opens a three-day engagement at the Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker. Performances are at 8 tonight through Saturday, with a matinee at 2 on Saturday. Tickets range from $15 to $30; call 902-1500 for more.