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Friday 13

During the hullabaloo over the lack of inclusion of artists of color in the Public Library Cultural Center's The Chicago Show, a handful of minority artists raised their voices in protest and then quietly accepted invitations to the big-ticket exhibition. Bibiana Suarez, however, declined the invite and stuck to her principles. Suarez's huge, bright, abstract paintings will be part of 5 Young Chicago Artists, the new show at Sazama Gallery, 300 W. Superior. It opens with a reception from 5:30 to 7:30 tonight and runs through August 10. The gallery is open 10 to 5 Tuesday through Friday, and admission is free. 951-0004.

U.S. Representative Nancy Pelosi, who beat out gay San Francisco supervisor Harry Britt (political heir to the late Harvey Milk) for a congressional seat in a mostly gay area, is the keynote speaker for tonight's big Human Rights Campaign Fund dinner. (HRCF is the country's largest gay PAC.) Pelosi will be joined by former midshipman Joseph Steffan, who's currently suing the Navy for antigay discrimination. Mayor Daley will make the introductions. Cocktails start at 7, dinner at 8, and big-band music and dancing after the program. It's all in the rotunda at Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand. Tickets are $150. Call 281-6402.

Saturday 14

Destruction of the world's tropical rain forests has been the subject of much serious, adult-oriented media hoopla lately. But today and tomorrow, you can help your kids learn a greenhouse-effect fact or two at Family Rain Forest Awareness Weekend, sponsored by the Chicago Rainforest Action Group. The program includes lectures, a raffle, visits with rain forest animals (borrowed from Lincoln Park Zoo), a rain forest walk forested by Tropical Plant Rentals, and a puppet show at the Express-Ways Children's Museum. It'll be held from 10 to 6 today and noon to 6 tomorrow on the third floor of North Pier Terminal, 435 E. Illinois. It's free. Call 708-328-0239.

The Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School, which may be one of the best alternative schools in the country, is run by teachers, parents, and the students themselves--many of whom are dropouts or have been kicked out of the public schools. The school is part of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center in east Humboldt Park, which also runs a day-care center, an adult education center, a library, and a video production company. The center, which receives no government funding, survives mostly through fund-raisers such as tonight's Bowl-a-rama. Four- and five-person teams should round up sponsors who can contribute one to ten cents a pin to the PRCC; teams play from 7 to midnight at the New Monte Cristo Bowl, 3320 W. Montrose. The $6 admission includes pizza. All contributions are tax deductible. Call 342-8023.

Sunday 15

Hawaiian illustrator Douglas Simonson is mainly known for his highly idealized nudes of Polynesian and Asian--and occasionally black and Latino--men. Simonson, who refuses to exhibit in art galleries, will make a rare appearance today at People Like Us Books to sell and autograph his two collections of drawings and paintings, Islanders ($10.95) and Hawaii ($17.50). He'll also work on a new drawing and raffle off a limited-edition print. He'll be there from 3 PM to 6 PM; the store's at 3321 N. Clark. It's free. Call 248-6363.

Back in 1983, guitarist Chet Atkins (who also helped launch the careers of Willie Nelson, Charley Pride, and Waylon Jennings) wrote Garrison Keillor a fan letter and then invited him out on tour. The pairing worked pretty well--both men have rural roots that they've explored in mostly urban settings, and both are smart, dry, and offbeat. They'll be onstage at 8 tonight at Poplar Creek Music Theatre, 4777 W. Higgins in Hoffman Estates. Tickets are $22.50 for pavilion seats, $15 on the lawn. Call 708-426-1222 or 559-1212.

Monday 16

Every week Greg Allen writes, directs, and performs in Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, a frantic presentation of two-minute comic futurist skits. Allen also does solo performance-art work every few months at different venues, and the pace is about the same. His newest piece, Repeat After Me, premieres at 8 tonight at Live Bait Theater, 3914 N. Clark. The performance will be repeated on Wednesday. Tickets are $4. Call 871-1212.

Tuesday 17

Bob Black, the pissed-beyond-words author of The Abolition of Work and Other Essays, is currently unemployed and trying to get welfare (he claims the government won't give it to him unless he attends AA meetings, which he refuses to do). But that hasn't kept him from printing up business cards; on them, he describes himself as "insultant, scofflawyer, impolitican, dementor, misanthropologist," and a whole lot of other weird things. Black has written several collections of essays and other rantings, and he'll read from his work at 9 tonight at Club Lower Links, 954 W. Newport. Ben Weasel, of the Screeching Weasel band, will open up the show with his first spoken-word performance. Admission is $6. Call 248-5238.

Wednesday 18

The Park District's boxing programs haven't produced a Buster Douglas, but they did develop Leroy Murphy, who briefly held the International Boxing Federation cruiserweight (175-177) world title. Murphy might have added the Olympics to his resume, but he was chosen (as team captain) for the ill-fated 1980 team, which ended up sitting home thanks to Jimmy Carter's boycott. In 1988, however, Terry Whitaker, another Park District-trained boxer, did make the Olympics, but earned only a first-round elimination. Dozens of other hopefuls will be competing this summer in free Park District boxing competitions all over town. Tonight's bouts begin at 7 at Clarendon Park, 4501 N. Clarendon. For a complete schedule, call 294-2315.

Thursday 19

Around 1913, when American painters Morgan Russell and Stanton Macdonald-Wright were living in Paris, they started producing rhythmic, colorful abstract paintings they called "synchromies." Their avant-garde Synchromist movement quickly gained them reputations as pioneers of American abstract art and temporarily attracted several other American painters (including Thomas Hart Benton and Patrick Henry Bruce), but by 1919, Russell and Macdonald-Wright had gone back to more traditional representational work. The Terra Museum's current Morgan Russell: A Retrospective spans Russell's work between 1906 and 1948 and puts his Synchromist work in context. More than 100 paintings and drawings will be on display through September 2. The museum, at 664 N. Michigan, is open noon to 8 Tuesday, 10 to 5 Wednesday through Saturday, and noon to 5 Sunday. Admission is $4, $2.50 for seniors, and $1 for students. Call 664-3939.

U.S. audiences routinely see media coverage of Israeli police clubbing Palestinians and South African cops beating blacks, but we don't see or hear much about what's happening in Chicago, which, says the Task Force to Confront Police Violence, can be just as brutal. Tonight the group will screen A Dry White Season, a film about police torture in South Africa, and follow it up with a panel discussion featuring Jeffrey Haas from the task force, Maha Jarad from the Palestinian Solidarity Committee, Prexy Nesbitt from the Mozambique Support Network, and Dan Turner from Neighbor to Neighbor. It starts at 7 PM in room 254 of DePaul University's Schmitt Academic Center, 2324 N. Seminary. The requested donation is $5, and child care is provided. Call 663-5046.

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