You can dance, sing, or just rock out for those without shelter tonight as nearly 100 night spots turn their attention to the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. From the biggest rock clubs (Cabaret Metro,the Vic, Lounge Ax, Cubby Bear) to the hottest dance spots (Exit, Neo) to places you wouldn't want to be caught dead in (the Big Nasty), they're all contributing portions of the door's take and setting up collection boxes for donations. Besides that, certain beer companies--Anheuser-Busch, Old Style, and Miller, for three--are donating brewskies for sale by the clubs, with proceeds going to the coalition. Nearly every club in town is participating, with various starting times and acts. You can call 435-4548 for details.
A specially commissioned work by South African choreographer Thuli Dumakade is the focus of the Muntu Dance Company's 14th annual concert series. Dumakade's work, Kindred Spirits, is a three-part suite about aspects of South African life the choreographer thinks have been overlooked during the turmoil there--an intertribal wedding, township life, and the resurgence of black culture. Also on the bill: Sama So, by Djibi Traore and Souleyman Diop, and Doudoumba Soli, by Youssouf Koumbassa. The series runs tonight through Sunday at 8, with a matinee Monday at 3:30. Admission to tonight's performance, which is followed by dinner and the presentation of the Alyo Award (which Muntu gives to longstanding contributors to the arts), is $25. Tickets to the other shows are $12, $6 for children under 12 and senior citizens. Muntu is at 6800 S. Wentworth. Call 602-1135 for more information.
It's Christmastime, when a local arts center's thoughts turn to--the holiday sale! The young Cornelia Arts Building--conversion of the building, at 1800 W. Cornelia, started only about three years ago, but it now holds more than 30 artists--is generally closed to the public. But it'll be open today from 10 to 5 and tomorrow from noon to 5, with everything from jewelry to sculpture to hand-painted children's clothing for sale. It's free; call 935-8094 for details.
Lill Street center, home to dozens of artists and displaying the work of hundreds more, has been around since 1975. It used to open its doors to the public only in December; now Lill Street's open year-round, but the holiday shows continue. This year, besides the usual potpourri of gifts, the center's holding an open house, with storytellers, workshops for kids, and a series of demonstrations by artists. The open house is today only, noon to 6, and the regular show runs through December 31 at the center, 1021 W. Lill. The phone is 477-6185. It's free.
After an Illinois task force estimated in 1986 that there are as many as 10,000 homeless youths in Chicago, Lakeview's Neon Street center was formed to help those between the ages of 18 and 21, who fall through the cracks of assistance--too young to go to an adult shelter but too old for children's services. Besides providing basic things like showers and a laundry, the center's emphasis is on transitional services, helping the kids become independent. Neon Street's annual holiday ball is tonight at the Winter Atrium, 311 S. Wacker, from 7:30 to 11:30. Entertainment is by the Dustin Parker Band; food's from Yvette's. Tickets are $50 a person, $90 for couples, with proceeds going to the center. Call 372-0771 for information.
When local songwriter and accordion virtuoso Brian Belknap started developing a cyst in his cheek, friends started asking questions like, "Is that a golf ball in your mouth, or have you just returned from a holiday at Chernobyl?" Amused but concerned, they've organized Dump the Lump, an afternoon and evening of entertainment--music by Belknap, the Plug Uglies, Cataclyzm, and a bunch of others, films by Jim Newberry and Jim Sikora, and other stuff--to raise money to fund an operation. (The lump's noncancerous.) Tickets are $5, $6 at the door; it's at the Czar Bar, 1814 W. Division, beginning at 3 and going past midnight. Call 549-2899 for info.
If your idea of fame is having millions of people singing your songs, then the midwest office of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) has a seminar for you. The Jingles Business--Achieving Commercial Success will be held tonight from 6 to 8:30 at the Chicago Recording Company, 232 E. Ohio. Chicago, says ASCAP, is the jingles capital of the world; the seminar will feature a variety of local music professionals, who will tell you everything you want to know about writing the things. Free. Call 527-9775.
The 42nd anniversary of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights is being noted in Chicago by novelists Scott Turow and Sara Paretsky and poet David Hernandez at Chicago Authors Read for Rights at the Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton. The trio will be reading essays, poetry, and miscellany tonight, some of it written by political prisoners. The event is $10, which also gets you into a wine-and-cheese reception following the readings. It starts at 7. Call 427-2060 for details.
Kids who might otherwise get passed over by Santa Claus are the concern of Sally Bushwaller, who for seven years has been organizing the annual Sally's Kids program to collect food and Christmas presents for poor children. The Jury Room, 2432 N. Lincoln, is holding a benefit party for the effort this year; from 6 to 10 tonight, all beverage proceeds go to the program. Admission is free; the bar will supply hors d'oeuvres and there'll be a raffle as well. Busy tonight? Bushwaller could also use your help next Sunday 16, same time and place, to help wrap presents. Call her at 267-2131 for details.
Gordon Parks, who directed Shaft, Shaft's Big Score, and Leadbelly, is also a photographer, author, and artist, and he just finished his autobiography. It's called Voices and Visions; he'll be signing it at Guild Books, 2456 N. Lincoln, tonight at 7. Call Guild at 525-3667 for details. Admission is free.
Sex, sex, sex: A group exhibition called Strip continues tonight at the N.A.M.E. gallery. Participating: On Our Backs photog Honey Lee Cottrell, showing "four autobiographical self-portraits that reference her sexual enlightenment"; Ferd Eggan, who shows Polaroids and plays audiotapes from his interviews with men about their sexual fantasies and aspirations; Suzanne Fiol, showing three new examples of her painted-over nude photography; and painter Shawn Hall. N.A.M.E. is at 700 N. Carpenter; call 226-0671 for info. The exhibit runs through January 18; there's no charge for admission. Gallery hours are noon to 6 Tuesday through Saturday.
The Return of Reckless Youth--The Second Childhood--the sequel to last January's Crimes of Reckless Youth--is Club Lower Links's newest performance series, about grown-up reckless youths who've had children and found religion. The three-week series continues tonight (it concludes next Thursday) with "Pagan at 33 and a Third--The Seemless Fuck," with performances by Steve Lafreniere, Andy Soma, and Brendan deVallance and sets designed by Peter Taub and David Kelly. 1991 calendars featuring performers in the series, photographed (clothed) from the waist down, will be for sale. The series is curated by Douglas Grew and Lawrence Steger. At 954 W. Newport, 8:30 PM. Tickets are $6. Call 248-5238 for info.