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Friday 10

Now in its fourth year, Wicker Park's Around the Coyote festival is as much a music, theater, and talk fest as an art tour. This year's events began yesterday and continue through Sunday. More than 500 visual and performing artists are participating in the studio walk, which organizers say is now the largest in the U.S. An expanded performance agenda includes the first Around the Coyote music festival (all four nights from 7:30 to 11--plus a Friday midnight show by Red Red Meat--at the Czar Bar, 1812 W. Division), a fashion exhibit (at the Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center, 1632 N. Milwaukee, and the Pentimento clothing shop, 1629 N. Milwaukee) and even a panel discussion organized by the Guild Complex on how the burgeoning local arts scene, and Around the Coyote's part in it, is contributing to area gentrification (that's Sunday at 3 at the HotHouse, 1565 N. Milwaukee). It's all free; studio walk hours are 1 to 11 PM Thursday and Friday, 11 AM to 7 PM Saturday and Sunday. For info or a map to the open studios, stop by one of the booths scattered throughout the area or the ATC office at 1579 N. Milwaukee. So that you can get an overview before you walk, one piece from every artist on the walk is on display at the Paulina Arts Center, 1735 N. Paulina. Call 342-9928 or 342-6777.

The September Show is World Tattoo Gallery's omnibus name for four disparate artists it has up this month. Jon Langford, visual artist, cartoonist, and founding member of the revered British punk group the Mekons, who now lives in Chicago, will be showing portraits, collages, etchings, and monotypes. Also in the show are etchings, paintings, and drawings by tattoo artist Nick Bubash, mixed media by Susan Ross, and etchings by Diana Kincaid. There's an opening reception tonight from 5 to 8 at the gallery, 1255 S. Wabash; the show's up through October 2. Gallery hours are noon to 5 Monday through Saturday, and admission is free. Call 939-2222.

The Splinter Group, which is producing Seattle performance artist Kristen Kosmas's Blah Blah Fuckin Blah, says that it "demands and cajoles, punches and then caresses, truth out of variously fictional and autobiographical human experience." The show runs Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 8 through September 26 at the Splinter Group Studio, 1937 W. Division; admission is $10. Call 342-7656 for more.

Saturday 11

If you've never noticed them before, the IncrediBulls are a squad of clever entertainers who roam the crowds at Bulls games, playing games like Backpack Basketball (in which fans shoot at a basket that rises out of an apparatus on one of the IncrediBull's backs) and Antigravity Basketball (the ball's ultralightweight). The Bulls organization is holding auditions for next year's IncrediBulls squad today and tomorrow at the downtown Hyatt, 151 E. Wacker. They're looking for people who are "physically fit, enthusiastic, outgoing, and able to interact with children and adults"--and at least 21. The auditions run from 9 to noon both days; call 943-5800 for info.

In a blatant abuse of prerogative we'd like to plug the grand opening of City Crafts, the Lincoln Park purveyor of art and craft supplies for the modern family overseen by former Reader special projects coordinator Catherine Cox. Today from 10 to 5 there'll be free hot dogs and soft drinks, lessons for kids, craft demonstrations, and lots more. The store is at 2736 N. Lincoln. Call 472-7911 for details.

Sunday 12

A lifetime service award honors Gus Giordano and his late wife Peg tonight at the eighth annual Ruth Page Awards, which salute dance excellence in Chicago. The other special award goes to Woodie White, executive director of Columbia College's Dance Center, for outstanding contribution to the dance community. Nominees for the other awards, which are competitive, include Timothy Buckley, Bob Eisen, Winifred Haun, and Gordon Peirce Schmidt for best choreographer and Ballet Chicago's Petra Adelfang, Hubbard Street Dance's Geoff Myers, Akasha's Laura Wade, and Julie Worden, who dances with Bob Eisen, for dancer of the year. Things get under way at 7 at the Hotel Nikko, 320 N. Dearborn; tickets are $30, $25 in advance. Call 419-8384 for more.

Monday 13

"Viva Latina!," the Chicago Cultural Center's monthlong tribute to Hispanic women, continues today with a free panel discussion called Latina Broadcasters, featuring WLS's Theresa Gutierrez, moderating; WMAQ's Sylvia Gomez and Ana Rodriguez; and WIND radio's Maria Teresa and Margarita G. Vazquez. It's at 12:15 in the center's theater, 78 E. Washington. More info at 744-6630.

After years of bouncing from one Hollywood studio to another, And the Band Played On, Randy Shilts's unblinking report on the confusion in the medical community in the early days of the AIDS crisis, has finally been made into a movie by HBO. It stars Matthew Modine, Lily Tomlin, Richard Gere, Alan Alda, and Steve Martin among others, and it'll be broadcast throughout the month of September. But you can see it tonight on the big screen at the Fine Arts Theatre, 418 S. Michigan. The $25 ticket benefits Season of Concern, which provides direct care to members of the theatrical community coping with AIDS. There'll be dessert and dancing onstage following the screening. The event starts at 7:30; call 641-0393 for more.

Tuesday 14

In 1992--the same year it launched GLOBEX, the after-hours, worldwide electronic trading system--the Chicago Mercantile Exchange set an all-time trading volume record: 134 million deals involving $50 trillion. Merc chairman Jack Sandner will talk about the exchange's growth in a "presidential seminar luncheon" today sponsored by Roosevelt University. It runs from 11:30 to 2 at the Chicago Club, 81 E. Van Buren. Admission is $30, which includes an open bar. The reservations deadline is September 10; call 341-3620.

Queer Planet Review is a new gay lit 'zine with lots of poetry, fiction, essays, and interviews; you can meet some of the contributors to its first issue at a reading tonight at the People Like Us bookstore, 3321 N. Clark. Scheduled: Allison Nichol, Maureen Seaton, Owen Keehnen, Roger Strouse, and Gerald Perry. It's free; things get under way at 7. Call 248-6363 for more.

Wednesday 15

A video poetry slam kicks off the four-day, third annual National Poetry Video Festival sponsored by the Guild Complex. The slam starts at 8 tonight at the HotHouse, 1565 N. Milwaukee; a panel of judges will screen entries from around the country, and audience response will be measured for a special people's choice award. Admission is $5; call 234-2334. Tomorrow night there's a video poetry fair (bring a blank tape and you can make your own video poem) at the Center for New Television, 1440 N. Dayton, from 7 to 10. That's $5 too; call 951-6868. Rounding out the fest are a "telepoetic salon," which will feature a video hookup with LA performance poet Merilene Murphy (7 PM Friday, $5), and a poetry video workshop (Saturday from 1 to 5, $35), both at the Center for New Television; info on those at 951-6868.

Thursday 16

Chicago's first International Tattoo Trade Show and Convention opens tonight at 6 with a seven-hour tattoo contest. Some of the categories: best overall male and female, best black and gray, most realistic, and best tribal. The convention runs through Sunday at the Congress Hotel, 520 S. Michigan. To watch or participate in the contest or to attend the trade show tomorrow, you have to pay a $45 registration fee that covers admission for all four days; you can do that between 9 and 4 today at the hotel. The shows and trade booths are open to the public Saturday and Sunday for $10 a day. Trade show hours are noon to 10 Friday, 10 to 10 Saturday, and 11 to 6 Sunday. Call the convention HQ in Tucson at 602-750-8081 or the Congress at 427-3800 for details.

Father Leo Booth was once described as "the showman of the rehab circuit." The author, lecturer, recovering alcoholic, and four-time Oprah guest is offering a Say Yes to Life! talk tonight at the Unity in Chicago church, 1925 W. Thome. The event runs from 7 to 10; admission is $20, but Booth says he won't turn anyone away who can't afford it. Register at 973-0007.

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