When 26th Ward Alderman Luis Gutierrez made his debut at the Gay and Lesbian Pride Parade last month, he wore a sweatshirt with the initials of Latina Lesbians en Nuestro Ambiente. "I'm in solidarity with their love of Hispanic women," he quipped. The year-old group--which sponsors discussions, Latin dances, and cultural showcases--meets Fridays at 7 PM at the Rodde Center, 3225 N. Sheffield. It's free. For information call 871-3783.
"The reason I memorize my poems is because I have to," explains Cin Salach, who fronts the poetry-you-can-dance-to group, the Loofah Method. "Otherwise I get too nervous--the papers shake in my hands, and I can't read the words." But Salach puts on one of the smoothest shows in Chicago's booming poetry community. She'll do a solo set tonight as part of Big Goddess POW WOW, which also features storyteller Bisola, performance artist Jenny Magnus, and avant-garde musician Amy Denio. The show runs from 10:30 PM to 4 AM at the Edge of the Lookingglass, 62 E. 13th St. Admission is $5. Call 939-4017.
You're likely to hear some "Dump Dan" grumbling at the Gray Panthers' eighth annual garage sale today. The seniors are mad at Congressman Rostenkowski, whose Ways and Means Committee put together the Catastrophic Illness Act, the controversial Medicare bill that makes seniors responsible for the financing of their catastrophic care. Last year the Panthers' books, kitchen utensils, dishes, electrical appliances, and other household items brought in more than $ 1,000. They hope to do even better this year; the proceeds are earmarked to fight the way the bill is funded. The sale runs from 10 to 7 today and tomorrow at 2144 N. Fremont--smack in the middle of the Sheffield neighborhood's 21st annual House and Garden Walk, which features music and other entertainment. For more information on the garage sale call 663-9093.
Today's the perfect day to play Frisbee with Fido at the beach. After he gets wet, rolls around in the sand and the alewives, rummages through discarded trash, and just generally makes a mess of himself, take him down to the Anti-Cruelty Society's DogWash '89, the group's annual fund-raiser. Volunteers will wash dogs between 10 and 3 in the society's parking lot on the corner of Grand and Wells. Fees range from $5 to $15, depending on the dog's size. All dogs must be leashed. If yours is aggressive or under six months of age, or if his shots aren't up-to-date, you'll have to stay home and wash him yourself. Call 645-5667.
If the words "Pythagorean theorem" throw your kids into a seizure--they can't see how the square of the hypotenuse of a right triangle could possibly equal the sum of the squares of the other two sides--take them to today's Mathematics on the Move, a theatrical demonstration of basic math concepts using dance, rap, magic tricks, game shows, and all sorts of other nonmath stuff. Performed by Perceptual Motion, Inc., and written by Lin Shook, who once hated math, the free show will run at 11 and 2 in the theater of the Public Library Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. Call 346-3278.
First Ward Alderman Fred Roti, a star of recent FBI surveillance videos, will be on hand for today's Chinatown Summer Fair '89. Some residents of Chinatown, which falls in Roti's ward, are the subjects of an FBI gambling probe. Last year a raid netted cash, receipts, and other gambling paraphernalia, as well as some local businessmen. But today's fest will emphasize the positive: puppeteers, clowns, carnival rides, disco music, local vendors and their wares, and lots of food. There will also be Chinese, Filipino, and Japanese music and folk dancing. At 1 PM a dancing lion, the traditional Chinese symbol of good luck, will start the ceremonies at the main stage, 23rd Street and Wentworth. The fair will close with a twilight parade at 8:30, led by a dancing dragon. Fireworks will follow. The entertainment is free. Call 225-6198.
The Chicago Architecture Foundation's Chicago River by Boat tour begins at the North Pier Terminal (Illinois and Lake Shore Drive) and follows the current along Wacker Drive. It offers a good view of the recently dedicated Centennial Fountain, which shoots into the river. The one-and-a-half-hour tours start at 10 AM every day of the week; additional tours start at noon on Saturday and Sunday, and 6 PM on Monday and Tuesday. They leave from the Boat Club on the lower level of the terminal-use the east entrance. Tickets are $12, $10 for CAF members. Reservations are required. Call 527-2002.
Once America's biggest partner in the nightmarish slave trade, Ghana is where many African American roots begin. That was one of the reasons Mayor Harold Washington gave for establishing a sister-city relationship with Accra, Ghana's capital. Today's noontime program at Daley Plaza, Chicago-Accra, Ghana Day, celebrates that link with a show by the Jan Twan African dance company and the Phil Cohran jazz ensemble. It's free at the corner of Washington and Dearborn streets. Call 346-3278.
Crane Gallery recently announced that it was changing from a private, commercial gallery to a not-for-profit space. Shortly after, its primary funding source decided to pull out. With no funds to carry it until grants were available, Crane will shut its doors after this week. Its last exhibition, Endangered Frontiers, is a group show that focuses on current environmental issues. The exhibition can be seen today through Saturday from 11 to 5. It's free at 1040 W. Huron. Call 243-1171.
The Los Angeles-spawned Improv comedy club didn't exactly endear itself to Chicagoans when, shortly after opening its local franchise, it went after Charna Halpern's homegrown ImprovOlympic for copyright infringement--the California guys claimed they owned the word "improv." They hired lawyers, sent letters, and made all sorts of ugly noises. But after the local media came to Halpern's defense, the threats quietly disappeared. Improv has been on good behavior ever since. It offers top national acts such as Michael Coylar and Gerry Swallow, who appear tonight. Show time is 8 Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday; 8 and 10:30 Friday; and 7, 9:30, and 11:45 Saturday. Admission is $8.50, $10 on the weekends. There's also a two-drink minimum. The club's at 504 N. Wells. Call 782-6387.
In his book Urban Rhythms: Pop Music and Popular Culture Ian Chambers describes disco music: "The musical pulse is freed from the claustrophobic interiors of the blues and the tight scaffolding of R&B and early soul music. A looser, explicitly polyrhythmic attack pushes the blues, gospel and soul heritage into an apparently endless cycle where there is no beginning or end, just an ever-present 'now.'" Hear it again at tonight's 70s Disco Night, beginning at 9 at Berlin, 954 W. Belmont. There's no cover. Call 348-4975.
Saigon, Illinois, the critically praised first novel by Columbia College's poet in residence, Paul Hoover, may well make him a small fortune if the TV and film rights are sold, as expected. Hoover will talk about the business of writing and the craft itself when he's the featured artist in today's "Writers in Conversation" program in the theater of the Public Library Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. The free program begins at 12:15. Call 269-2880.
Like so much other antiapartheid art, the film Mapantsula is banned in its native South Africa. But its fine portrait of the gradual politicization of a small-time crook made it the first South African film to be invited to the Cannes Film Festival. The Blacklight Film Festival sponsors its Chicago debut tonight at Facets Multimedia, 1517 W. Fullerton, as a benefit for the Free South Africa Movement; tickets are $10. The film will run through August 10; show tunes are 7 and 9 Friday, Saturday, and Monday through Thursday; 5:30 and 7:30 Sunday. Admission is $5, $3 for members. 281-4114.