"This isn't just for people from the 60s," says Bill Jenkins, one of the organizers of Chicago Peacefest, the fourth annual "Peace and Music Festival." "I'm from the 70s myself, and most of the people putting it together are 80s people. We think it's just something whose time has come." Peace, love, and understanding come to Cricket Hill in Lincoln Park for three days--from 1 to 10 today, and from 10 to 10 Saturday and Sunday. The free fest features poets, performance artists, speakers, and more than 20 bands, including the Way Moves, Hal Russell & N.R.G. 3, and Spies Who Surf. it's all in the park, east of Lake Shore Drive off Wilson Avenue. For more information call 772-1780.
According to Dempsey Travis, Harold Washington's childhood pal, the late mayor or was a voracious reader. He'd send aides out with a list of books late in the afternoon, and by the next morning he'd have read them all. As part of the Chicago Literary Fair, the Public Library will award its first literary Prize, the Harold Washington Literary Award, to a "creative writer who addresses contemporary problems." Susan Sontag will receive this year's prize at the Literary Fair's opening festivities, which begin at 6 PM in the Louis Sullivan Room at Roosevelt University, 430 S. Michigan. Tickets are $75, and reservations are required. Call 987-1980.
During Run-D.M.C.'s 1988 tour, riots erupted in Los Angeles, New York, Pittsburgh, and Saint Louis, leaving 39 persons hurt and sticking rap music with a reputation for inciting violence. KRS-ONE defies that stereotype with his hit single "Stop the Violence." Last year he pulled together a group of rappers to record "Self-Destruction," another song designed to raise the consciousness of urban youth. Proceeds went straight to the National Urban League's programs against crime, particularly black-on-black crime. KRS-ONE headlines today's City-wide Rally Against Crime, which starts with speakers at 10 AM at Operation PUSH, 930 E. 50th St. At 11 there's a march to Washington Park, 57th Street between King Drive and Cottage Grove, where the noon rally will be held. It's free. Call 978-0868.
The successful preparation of grilled poultry--chicken, squab, cornish hen, turkey, pheasant--begins long before the match hits the wood chips. For instance, Barbara Grunes and Phyllis Magida, authors of Poultry on the Grill, recommend different marinades for lean and fatty birds. Grunes will demonstrate techniques, sign autographs, and give away cooking tips at a free book-release party from 2 to 4 today at Season to Taste Books, 911 W. School. Several grills will be used to cook up samples. You don't have to own a Weber--the recipes can be adjusted for indoor cooking. For more call 327-0210.
Chicago native and National Public Radio storyteller Daniel Manus Pinkwater writes children's books that often make heroes out of kids who are short, stocky, and wear glasses. His more than 50 books feature the eternal battle between kids and the rest of the world, and his young fans know exactly whose side Pinkwater's on. He'll give a free reading of his work at 3 today at the Printer's Row Book Fair--in Grace Place, 637 S. Dearborn. Call 248-2685.
The gay and lesbian generations who became adults in the 50s and 80s were the first to create an openly gay life-style, with gay businesses, gay residential neighborhoods, gay political clubs, and a call for gay rights. They are also the first gay generations to grow old publicly. Gray Pride, a social-service group for gay and lesbian pioneers, holds its second annual Not-for-Seniors-Only Senior Prom at Cheeks Bar, 2739 N. Clark, from 4 to 8 tonight. There will be "music for all ages," a raffle, plenty of food, and lots of dancing. Tickets are $10, $8 for GP members. The prom kicks off the city's official Gay and Lesbian Pride Week. For more call 5494729.
In the 1977 black exploitation film The Human Tornado Rudy Ray Moore messes around with a white sheriff's wife, does comedy routines while women strip, takes on the mob, and shows why he's one of the most important influences on comedians Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor. Presented by the Psychotronic Film Society, the film begins at 8 PM at the 950 Club, 950 W. Wrightwood. Admission is $2. Call 248-4823.
Graceland Cemetery is the final resting place of such giants as retailer Marshall Field, architect Mies van der Rohe, and boxer Jack Johnson. None, however, is as securely buried as the railroad mogul George Pullman. Worried that some of his disgruntled employees might steal the old man's body and do ghastly things to it, his family buried Pullman under tons of concrete and, for good measure, a railroad track. The cemetery, at 4001 N. Clark, is open seven days a week from 8 to 4:30. Admission is free; from 8:30 to 4 Monday through Saturday, you can buy a map for a dime or a guidebook for 65 cents at the office and take a self-guided tour. Call 525-1105 for more.
Rich Daley has endured only one big demonstration since becoming mayor--last month scores of homeless people and their advocates stormed his fifth-floor office demanding more low-income housing. But Daley, who says he supports the housing trust-fund bill now in committee in the City Council, can't seem to muster enough aldermanic support to pass that or any other significant housing measure. This and other issues will be on the agenda at today's free seminar, Families Without Homes: Service & Policy Issues. Sponsored by Travelers & Immigrants Aid, the forum will be held from 3 to 5 on the fourth floor of the Public Library Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. For details call 435-4511.
Mississippi Burning rewrote the history of the 1964 murder of Michael Schwerner, James Chaney, and Andrew Goodman, three civil rights activists who were working on voter-registration projects. Rather than glorify the role of the FBI, Andrew White's Of One Blood tells the story from the activists' perspective. It also explores current tensions in the civil rights movement, including black-Jewish relations. This will be Lookingglass Theatre's first main-stage production; it's at the Edge of the Lookingglass, 62 E. 13th St. Show time is 8 tonight, opening night, and every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday through July 29. Tickets are $10, $5 for students and seniors. Call 939-4017.
The folks at Club Lower Links have had it with Chicago's comedy boom. Their response is Cries and Whispers: A Tragedy Club, which they call a cabaret showcase for "melodramas, overwrought laments, soap operettas, tone poems, and funereal art installations." The mournful minstrels meet every Wednesday at the club, 954 W. Newport. Tonight's lineup features Sam Prekop, Mary Brogger, Dani K, Lawrence Steger, and Alan Tollefson. Show time is 9 PM. Admission is $4. Call 248-5238.
Nearly all Americans will need a blood transfusion at least once in their lives, so giving blood is probably pretty good karma. It's also a good way to get a free "mini-physical," since guidelines for donors have tightened up in the last few years. Anyone in good health, at least 17 years old, and weighing at least 110 pounds can give blood anytime between 9 and 5 today during Martha Washington Hospital's blood drive. The entire process is completely risk free and takes about 45 minutes. The hospital is at 4055 N. Western. For more call 583-9000, ext. 4255.
Bradley Parker-Sparrow, the talented and temperamental piano player who got a new tattoo after recording each of his albums, has really cleaned up his act. He and his wife, vocalist Joanie Pallatto, are giving a recital, for Pete's sake. Together they'll explore the possibilities of piano and voice as "string" instruments, as part of the Public Library's "Zing Went the Strings" series. The two will premiere three new songs and two piano sonatas, and do a little jazz improv at 5:30 PM in the Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. It's free. Call 346-3278.