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Friday 13

Philip Mallory Jones, curator of Icono Negro, the program of new black videos at Randolph Street Gallery, explains "Rather than defining black video in terms of content limited to issues of race and ethnicity--the traditional territory to which artists of color are largely confined--the work presented here is predominantly impressionistic and experimental." Recent American and international videos are featured. Screenings are at 8 tonight and tomorrow at 756 N. Milwaukee. Admission is $5, $3 for RSG members. For more, call 666-7737.

Filippo Marinetti, the Italian poet who founded futurism in the early 20th century, called it art as "will, attack, possession, penetration, joy, and brutal reality." But when Greg Allen and his merry band of contemporary neofuturists hit Stage Left Theatre, throw in dadaism and lunacy. When Allen began Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind last year, he said the cast would do 30 "plays" in 60 minutes each night. So far, they've gone through nearly 200 of those two-minute drills. It's fun, but go at your own risk--audiences can easily wind up as collaborators at this thing. It plays Fridays and Saturdays at 11:15 PM at 3244 N. Clark. Admission is $1 times the roll of a die. Call 883-8830.

Saturday 14

Truly impoverished artists--not the kind whose stuff is sold by the truckload at suburban motels--now have their own show: Brushed Aside features paintings, drawing, sculpture, and crafts by some of the city's homeless and poor. All proceeds will go directly to the artists. Receptions will be held today and tomorrow from noon to 5 at the Preston Bradley Center, 941 W. Lawrence. Instead of wine, organizers will serve Kool-Aid. Admission of $3 is suggested. Call 477-7616 for more.

The International Whaling Commission has strict regulations on what kinds of whales can be hunted and where, but Japan sidesteps them by claiming that its hunts are for scientific research. Last year's whale slaughter by the Japanese was too much even for a reluctant President Bush, who ended up imposing some minor fishing sanctions. Not that it made a difference, since Japan has announced plans to kill 400 whales in Antarctica this year. Greenpeace will hold an antiwhaling rally to encourage stronger U.S. sanctions and pressure the Japanese. Beginning at 1 PM at Daley Plaza, Washington and Dearborn streets, the free rally will feature speakers, music, a 130-foot inflatable whale, and petitions to sign. Call 666-3305.

After you help the homeless and save the whales, continue your politically correct day at the fourth annual Harvest Natural Food Dance Fest. Area restaurants, including the Heartland Cafe and Green Earth, will offer selections from their no-chemicals, no-artificial-colors, hardly-any-meat menus. Old hippies, neo-hippies, and their friends will be dancing to the "rockin' soul oldies" of Wax Lips. All this healthy fun starts at 7 PM at the Leisure Learning Center, 1700 Maple in Evanston. It's $7 at the door, kids under 12 are free. Discount coupons are available ahead of time, just call 328-0040 to find out where you can get them.

Sunday 15

The drug AZT is apparently allowing some people with AIDS to live longer; DDI, its alternative, has finally been approved for tests by the Food and Drug Administration. In the meantime, a New York underground buyers club is reportedly importing and selling cheap pentamidine, which alleviates pneumonia. And on the west coast, Project Inform continues its underground tests of Compound Q, a potential lifesaver for people with AIDS. But despite all the progress there's still no cure. All Saints Episcopal Church, 4550 N. Hermitage, observes the fourth annual National Day of Prayer for Persons Living With AIDS with two special worship services, at 7:30 and 10:30 AM. They're free; everyone is welcome. Call 561-0111.

Monday 16

When a candidate of the radical right-wing party ARENA won the presidential elections in El Salvador, the party promised to strengthen ties with the U.S. Shortly thereafter, it made plans for a new consulate in Chicago, where hundreds of Salvadoran political refugees live. You can join the El Salvador Action Coalition to protest the opening of the El Salvador consulate by gathering at Federal Plaza, at Jackson and Dearborn streets, at 7 this morning. Protesters will march to the consulate at 104 S. Michigan. It's free. Call Pledge of Resistance at 663-4399.

When Tom Cora and Hans Reichel play together, it looks like a battle of the one-man bands. Cora is a manic cello player who uses hands, feet, rubber bands, combs, and just about anything else he can find to produce sounds. Reichel, on the other hand, doesn't even deal with instruments as we know them. The inventor of the Dachsophon (it's a stringless wooden instrument played with a bow), he makes guitars with four necks and 23 strings, koto guitars that require as much tapping as picking, and other hybrid guitars. These two play improvised music, but don't expect jagged edges and wild energy. Heavily influenced by Japanese music and the blues, the improvisations of Cora and Reichel are lyrical, wry, and gutsy. Show time is 9 PM at Club Lower Links, 954 W. Newport. Admission is $5. Call 248-5238.

Tuesday 17

Shay Youngblood will tell you that "The Blues Ain't Nothin' But a Good Woman Feelin' Bad," the title of one of her many stories about the lives of African American women. The award-winning writer and playwright, whose work has appeared in Essence and Conditions, will read from her new collection of short fiction, The Big Mama Stories, at 7:15 tonight at Women & Children First, 1967 N. Halsted. It's free. Call 440-8824.

Wednesday 18

For years, Cuban American exiles accused Fidel Castro and his cronies of drug trafficking, and even collusion with an unlikely ally, Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega; but lefties everywhere said no way. However, last year's highly publicized trials of top Havana officials on drug charges--which resulted in death by firing squad for some--seemed to lend credence to at least some of the charges. "Crisis in Cuba," a panel discussion dealing with the trials, is sponsored by the Venceremos Brigade, traditional supporters of Castro's government. It starts at 7:30 PM at Saint Pius Church, 1919 S. Ashland. There's a suggested donation of $4. For more, call 243-2777.

President Bush, like his predecessor, has promised to sign legislation to pay at least partially for losses to the Japanese Americans interned in California concentration camps during World War II. But like the man before him, Bush has done little to shepherd the legislation through Congress, where it's still tied up in different House and Senate versions. At best, the bills provide only about $20,000 to each jailed Japanese American, a fraction of the value of their lost property and salaries--not to mention dignity and freedom. Guilty by Reason of Race, a TV documentary on the 22,000 Japanese Americans interned during the war, includes archival footage and interviews. It'll be shown at 8 tonight as part of the Evanston Library Friends' free human-rights film series in the north branch of the Evanston Public Library, 2026 Central in Evanston (866-0335).

Thursday 19

Richard J. Daley had most of the old Taylor-Halsted Italian neighborhood razed for the U. of I's Circle Campus, but on West Taylor Street, enough of the old beef stands and Italian bungalows survive to give you a taste of how it once was. Chicago Culinary Tours' Now That's Italian! trek will take you to a genuine Italian sausage factory, an Italian market, lunch at Florence, and, for dessert, a stop at a gelato shop. The tour group will meet at 9:30 AM at the corner of Clinton and Jackson streets (in front of Union Station) and depart by bus. $40 includes everything. Call 441-7195 for more.

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