The American Friends Service Committee will observe the second anniversary of the Palestinian intifada with a one-hour candlelight vigil for Middle East peace this afternoon. The AFSC will also call on the U.S. government to accept the concept of a Palestinian state and to work to involve all concerned parties, including the PLO, in the peace process. The vigil begins at 4:30 PM at the Federal Building plaza, 230 S. Dearborn. It's free. Call 427-2533.
Dr. Henry Heimlich--the guy who invented the maneuver that can save us from choking or drowning--is also a heavy-duty peacenik. He's in town to talk about "Saving Lives: A Caring World," the fourth installment in Physicians for Social Responsibility's "New Visions of National Security" series. Heimlich will be at a benefit for PSR, held from 6 to 7:15 tonight in the lobby of Northwestern University's Thorne Hall, 375 E. Chicago Ave. Admission is $25 per person, $45 per couple. His free presentation follows at 7:30. For more call 663-1777.
Physical Vision finally makes its premiere as a completed performance piece tonight at Randolph Street Gallery. For the last year performance artist Lynn Book has been experimenting with this work about a woman who is "continually shifting between a position as subject and object." The narrative includes material from Book's journals and short excerpts from the works of Marguerite Duras. The recorded sound is by composer Kent Devereaux, and the film sequences by Sharon Couzin. Show time is 8 tonight and tomorrow at 756 N. Milwaukee. Tickets are $6, $4 for RSG members and students with IDs. Call 666-7737.
Frank Lloyd Wright's 100-year-old home at 951 Chicago Ave. in Oak Park is open for tours today and December 16 from 9 to 11 AM. The home will be decorated with wreaths, garlands, vintage ornaments, antique toys, and a huge Christmas tree in the playroom. Tour guides will talk about Christmas customs and family life in Wright's day. To be admitted you must pick up tickets--which are free--two blocks away at the Oak Park Visitors Center, 158 N. Forest, between 10 and 5 daily. For more call 708-848-1500.
Former Black Panther Bobby Seale has become famous for cookbooks. His comrade Eldridge Cleaver now makes a living as a speaker for neoconservative groups. Former party minister of defense Bobby Rush is now the dapper alderman of the Second Ward. And Huey Newton, who posed so seductively with guns at his side, was killed this year in an alleged drug dispute. But Fred Hampton--the charismatic 21-year-old who was shot 20 years ago by Chicago police while he lay sleeping in his bed--remains forever the revolutionary. On the anniversary of his death, Liberation magazine presents A Tribute to the Black Panther Party and the Lessons for Today, which includes an address by writer Sahu Barron, a slide show on the history of the Panthers, and reports on continuing police brutality. The free forum begins at 3 PM at 5615 S. Woodlawn. Call 283-0851.
After the Tiananmen Square crackdown the Chinese government imposed stringent rules on artistic expression. Prior to that, Chinese artists had enjoyed a period of relative freedom in choosing their themes and subject matter. Looking Outward is an exhibition of work by several Chinese artists that reflects their Chinese and Western cultural influences. Chen Jia Ling, one of China's best-known artists, is featured in the show at Dragon Shadow, 2000 N. Lincoln Park West. A free opening reception will be held from 3 to 6. After then the works may be viewed at any time by appointment. Call 348-8978.
Ever wonder what happens to all those letters kids send to Santa every year? Sally Bushwaller picks up a bundle each Christmas and selects letters from children who come from needy families. (She says it's easy to tell who's needy--the kids ask for things like shoes and coats.) Then she buys food, clothing, toys, and what have you and sends her packages to the letter writers' families. In order to do all this she needs bucks, so this year she's holding a benefit for Sally's Kids at Irish Eyes, 2519 N. Lincoln, beginning at 6 PM. There will be a raffle and music by Irish and other folk performers. Admission is $3. For more call 348-9548 after 5.
About 1,000 Chicagoans needed help paying their winter heating bills last year. The new commissioner of the Department of Human Services, Reverend Daniel Alvarez, says the city's Residential Energy Assistance Partnership Program expects nearly twice as many applicants this year. "Applicants will be served on a first-come, first-served basis until available resources are exhausted," says Alvarez. DHS community service centers open 8 to 6 Monday through Friday to take applications include: Broadway CSC, 4554 N. Broadway (989-2700); King CSC, 4314 S. Cottage Grove (548-6700); and Trina Davila CSC, 3243 W. North (772-9135). The Near North CSC, 419 W. Oak, is open from 8 to 4:30 (744-2800). For other DHS district office locations call 744-0814.
For all the praise of the Art Institute's recent show celebrating the 150th anniversary of photography, the show was also criticized for its rather conservative representation of contemporary artists. The Photography of Invention: American Pictures of the 1980s, the current exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art, fills in some of the gaps; it features artists such as Joel-Peter Witkin, Clegg & Guttman, and Alfredo Jaar. The show, which runs through January 28, can be seen from 10 to 5 Tuesday through Saturday, and noon to 5 on Sunday, at the museum, 237 E. Ontario. Admission is $4 for adults, $2 for seniors, students, and kids under 16. Members get in free, as does the general public on Tuesdays. Call 280-2660 for more.
Bears quarterback Mike Tomczak--who threw two interceptions last Sunday that led to points for the Minnesota Vikings--will be waiting tables today. He's not trying out for a new job. He, other Bears, members of the Blackhawks, the White Sox, the Cubs, and a bunch of radio and TV personalities will all wait tables and compete for tips at the Chicago Lung Association's first annual Celebrity Waiters Lunch, at the Hotel Nikko, 320 N. Dearborn. Proceeds go to antismoking education programs, research, and lobbying, and to summer camps for asthmatic kids. Lunch starts at 11:30 AM; tickets are $100. Call 243-2000.
Chileans go to the polls tomorrow for the first time since General Augusto Pinochet brought down the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende 16 years ago. In that time, Pinochet's government has been accused of torture, holding political prisoners, and causing dissidents to "disappear." In honor of the elections and International Human Rights Day, Claudio Gaete, a Chilean, and Marjory Byler, midwest director of Amnesty International, will speak about Chile at 5:30 today in room 201 at Harold Washington College, 30 E. Lake. It's free. Call 525-3830.
According to statistics, a woman is raped in this country every 18 minutes. If you add in the frequency of nonsexual assault, then violence against women probably occurs every minute. The National Association of Women in Construction is sponsoring a Street Safety program tonight to help women learn to avoid street violence. A Chicago police officer will present a slide show and demonstrate some techniques women can use to protect themselves. Refreshments will be served at 5:30 PM, and the program starts at 6:30 at the Bismarck Hotel, 171 W. Randolph. Admission is $10. Call 567-9701.
Most artists who want their work seen end up schlepping their portfolios from gallery to gallery from River North to River West. But a few have chucked the whole idea of finding a dealer to represent them and have banded together to get their work out to the public. You can see work by Marilyn Jacob, Malone Sizelove, Stephanie Eihl, Elisabeth Assink, Steven Scardina, and S.A. Baness at the Artists Without Galleries showing, tonight at the Avalon Niteclub, 959 W. Belmont. There will be live music and drink specials. Doors open at 9, and, since it's "Ladies Night," only the guys pay the $3 cover. Call 472-3020.