A billboard by New York artist Barbara Kruger that reads "We need health care and housing" debuts today at the comer of State and Walton streets. It's there in conjunction with her one-person show at the Rhona Hoffman Gallery, 215 W. Superior, which opens today and runs through April 28. Kruger uses advertising and mass-media images, which she crops, enlarges, and repositions to emphasize their theatricality. There will be a free reception for her from 5 to 7 at the gallery. Regular hours are 10 to 5:30 Tuesday through Friday, and 11 to 5:30 Saturday. Call 951-8828.
Now that the March primary bloodletting is over, State Senator Miguel del Valle and Alderman Luis Gutierrez, who are trying to heal their wounds, will join in support of Attorney General Neil Hartigan in his bid for governor. Aldermen Juan Soliz, Jesus Garcia, and Ray Figueroa, city treasurer Miriam Santos, and former school board presidents Raul Villalobos and George Munoz will also be in the same room for today's fund-raiser, Hispanics for Hartigan. The ethnic solidarity is all-encompassing; the press release for the event arrived on stationery from Aranda/Bechily, Inc., the agency charged with the Latino campaign for Republican Senate aspirant Lynn Martin. The love fest starts at 5:30 PM at Circa, 222 W. Ontario. It's $50. Call 444 1990.
When Salman Rushdie went into hiding last year, one inadvertent victim of the whole mess was his wife, Marianne Wiggins. Her novel John Dollar, described by some critics as a disturbing female version of Lord of the Flies, had just hit U.S. bookstores. After she went underground with Rushdie, her publisher canceled all promotional appearances, including one at Barbara's Bookstore. Wiggins, who is no longer hiding with Rushdie, has finally made it to Chicago for a reading and autograph party for her much-praised novel. It begins at 7 PM at Barbara's, 1350 N. Wells, and it's free. Call 642-5044.
With 1,212 acres, Lincoln Park is the second-largest urban park in the U.S. But it has serious problems: deteriorating roads and landscape, traffic congestion, trash, crime, and threats from private developers. New York's Central Park, the biggest city playground in the country, used to have similar problems; many of them have been solved with the help of Elizabeth Barlow Rogers, its current administrator. She'll speak at today's A Vision for Lincoln Park and the Central Park Experience, a program sponsored by Friends of Lincoln Park. It starts at 9:30 AM at the Chicago Academy of Sciences, 2001 N. Clark. Admission is free. Reservations are required, so call 907-2186.
The Reverend Molefe Tsele, a South African pastor studying at the Lutheran School of Theology, will be the keynote speaker at South Africa: Prophesies, Prospects and Promises, a daylong program of talks and workshops on the school campus, 1100 E. 55th St. It kicks off at 9:30 AM and runs to 3. Lunch is included in the $5 admission fee. Call 380-2847 to preregister.
The pure white Easter lily will be featured in the Park District's 78th annual Spring Flower Show. Itll be joined by approximately 2,000 nellie white lilies as well as hydrangeas, tiger lilies, hyacinths, tulips, and daffodils. You can stroll through the free show at the Lincoln Park Conservatory, 2400 N. Stockton, and the Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N. Central Park, from 10 to 8 every day except Friday, when the hours are 9 to 9. You can get a group guide by calling ahead. The number at Lincoln Park is 294-4770; at Garfield Park 533-1281.
"Kids have fun playing connect the dots in the sky," says April Whitt, an Adler Planetarium associate astronomer who helps tell the tales of Leo the Lion, Andromeda the Princess, and Big Bear, also known as the Big Dipper. Her tales are part of Star Stories, the planetarium's sky show for kids. Kids will also get a visit from Meteor Mouse and a tour of Chicago's skyline as part of the show, presented at 10 AM Saturdays and Sundays through April 29 at the planetarium, 1300 S. Lake Shore Drive. Admission is $1.50 per person. Call 322-0300.
Millions of people filled out their census forms last week, but many others decided to ignore them. So the U.S. Census Bureau will unleash about 300,000 workers all over the country to do follow-up in the next few months. In Chicago the bureau needs crew leaders and enumerators for temporary, full-time jobs. To apply, you need to be an American citizen and a high school graduate, and you must have a valid driver's license. Pay runs from $6.50 to $8 an hour, plus 24. cents a mile. Call 939-2943 Monday through Friday between 9 and 5.
Mayor Daley's third airport proposal will get a full, enthusiastic reading at today's meeting of the Second Monday Club of O'Hare. Jay Franke, Daley's top man in the aviation department, and three of his consultant underlings will explain in detail why decommercializing Midway Airport, ignoring northern Indiana's pressing economic needs, and wiping out one of Chicago's oldest white ethnic enclaves in exchange for a new airport is such a great idea. The luncheon starts at 12:15 in the Galaxy Ballroom of the O'Hare Hilton Hotel, inside the airport. It's $18, $15 for club members. Call 686-2836.
At the State of Illinois Art Gallery, eight Illinois artists are exhibiting work that reflects on Death. They use myth, fantasy, humor, poignancy, and brutality in their considerations of death via disease, war, natural disaster, and natural causes. The show, which runs through May 18, may be viewed for free from 9 to 6 Monday through Friday at the gallery, on the second floor of the State of Illinois Building, 100 W. Randolph. Call 917-5322.
Talk about Eastern. European solidarity--Ukrainian, Polish, Lithuanian, Romanian, Bohemian, Belorussian, Croatian, and Latvian folk artists are all represented in The Decorated Egg: An Ethnic Folk Tradition, an exhibit running through April 30 at the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture. The show examines the origins and techniques of egg decorating, as well as symbols and customs of each cultural group. The museum, at 6500 S. Pulaski, is open 10 to 4 every day except Friday, when the hours are 10 to 8. Admission is $3, $2 for students and seniors, and $1 for kids under 12. Call 582-6500.
The best way to get things done your way after you've dropped dead is to leave specific, irrefutable, nondebatable instructions. Wills, Probate, Power of Attorney & Estates, tonight's session at the People's Law School, will tell you exactly how to do that. Class starts at 6 in room 116 of the Williams Science Center at Chicago State University, 95th Street at King Drive. It's free. Call 630-9363.
Doug Timmer, author of The Homeless in America; Charles Hoch, author of New Homeless and Old: Community and the Skid Row Hotel; and Otis Thomas, a former homeless person who now works with social agencies that reach out to the homeless, will be the panel participants in today's "Society in Focus" program, Homelessness in the U.S. The free presentation begins at 12:15 in the theater of the Public Library Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. For more information call Mary Timmer at 269-2830.
Long before the industrial revolution at the beginning of the century, Chicago attracted African Americans for whom the city was one of the last stops on the Underground Railroad. Later, jobs in the meat industry, in factories, and at downtown hotels and restaurants helped blacks get established here; such jobs served as a continuing lure for black southerners. Land of Hope: Chicago, Black Southerners and the Great Migration is tonight's presentation by James R. Grossman, an assistant professor of history at the University of Chicago, about his book of the same title. It begins at 7 in the auditorium of the Conrad Sulzer Regional Library, 4455 N. Lincoln. It's free. Call 728-8652.