Urban policy wonks will get all juiced about a conference on how Chicago can retain a semblance of an industrial base in the years to come. The event's sponsor, the Chicago Association of Neighborhood Development Organizations, expects folks like Mayor Daley and Lieutenant Governor Bob Kustra as well as planners, developers, academics, and community types to show up and share ideas. Chicago's Industrial Future: Talking Shop With Chicago's Key Industrial Players starts at 7:45 this morning in the Continental Ballroom of the Chicago Hilton and Towers, 720 S. Michigan. It's free. Call 939-7171, ext. 16, for details or reservations.
The evolution of printmaking as a fine art, spurred by the pop artists of the 1960s and helped along by technological advances, is the subject of an exhibit at Northwestern's Mary and Leigh Block Gallery. Printmaking in America: Collaborative Prints and Presses, 1960-1990 features more than 100 works from notables like Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Jasper Johns, as well as lesser-known artists. The gallery is at 1967 South Campus Drive on Northwestern's Evanston campus. Its hours are noon to 5 on Tuesday and Wednesday, and noon to 8 Thursday through Sunday. Next Saturday it holds a daylong symposium, Intent and Evolution: The Nature of Collaboration in the 20th Century, including a guided tour of the exhibit and discussions of the work of such collaborators as Martha Graham and Isamu Noguchi and Walt Disney and Leopold Stokowski. The symposium is $20, $15 for gallery members. Call 708-491-4852 to register.
Aside from his smug prose and Kmart cynicism, the most irritating thing about conservative political writer P.J. O'Rourke is his belief that his work somehow goes against the popular mores of the time. This from a writer who rose to prominence in the Reagan-Bush era. The Republican lapdog talks at 6 tonight at the Rizzoli Bookstore, on the third floor of Water Tower Place, 835 N. Michigan. It's free. Call 642-3500.
Poet and essayist Adrienne Rich reads tonight at 7 at the Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton, along with poet Kimiko Hahn. It costs $10, $7 for students. Tomorrow she delivers the lecture "Coming Alive in a New Way: The Woman Writer and Criminal Injustice" as part of a women writer's conference at the University of Illinois. Her talk starts at 11 in lecture room A of the Chicago Circle Center, 750 S. Halsted. Admission is $10, $7 for students. For $35 you can attend the reading, the lecture, and the conference. Call 278-2210 for info.
At Little Bucharest restaurant's annual Taste of Romania 20,000 pounds of grapes will be crushed by festivalgoers who volunteer to give the resulting grape juice that special touch of toe jam. The fest, which runs 11 to 11 today and tomorrow at the restaurant, 3001 N. Ashland, also features Romanian music, an appearance by one of Romania's top movie stars, and delicacies like roast pig, lamb, and ox. It's free, though organizers are asking everyone who attends to donate $2 to Christopher House social-service agency. Call 929-8640 for details.
Poet and monologuist Lisa Buscani, who's relocating to New York City, gets a grand send-off tonight from peers such as Cheryl Trykv, Paula Killen, Marcia Wilkie, Marc Smith, and Jenny Magnus. Brigid Murphy hosts the show, which also features a performance by La Buscani herself. Things get under way at 10:30 at the Organic Theater, 3319 N. Clark. Admission is $10. Call 327-5588.
In her new book Nothing to Lose: A Guide to Sane Living in a Larger Body Dr. Cheri Erdman crafts a four-phase "spiral of size acceptance." She talks at 3 this afternoon at 57th Street Books, 1301 E. 57th. It's free. Call 684-1300 for details.
Poets Quraysh Ali, Beverly Reed, Malachi Ajaya, and Marian Hayes salute Bronzeville, the south-side neighborhood famous for its poets, writers, and politicos, tonight with an "oral anthology." Ed Kimbrough and the Right Notes jazz band provide music. Hosted by Harold Lucas, it starts at 6 at Gerri's Palm Tavern, 446 E. 47th. Admission is $5. The evening is the first in a series that culminates November 30 with a reading by Gwendolyn Brooks. Call 924-0461.
The Annoyance Theatre can't be faulted for false advertising. At Donkey Improv they give you just that: improvisation and a live donkey. Performers have to work the animal into every skit. Ed Furman directs the show, which plays tonight only at 8 at the Annoyance, 3747 N. Clark. Tix are $10. Call 929-6200 for details.
The best argument for reforming the nation's marijuana laws is that people convicted of venial crimes languish in our nation's prisons. If you agree and want to send some support to NORML, the venerable decriminalization group, they've got a new fund-raising device: a long-distance calling card that supposedly provides both cheap rates and a little bit of cash for the group. The cards are on sale now at 11 stores across the country--none of which are here in Chicago. To purchase one send $12 to Pre-Tel, P.O. Box 2703, Toluca Lake, California, 91610-0703, or call 818-801-2202.
Interested in collecting modern--I'm sorry, "contemporary"--art? First of all, get some money together. A lot of money. Then head over to the Museum of Contemporary Art for Collecting Now: A Panel Discussion on Contemporary Art, a talk with MCA curator of collections Lucinda Barnes, Ten in One Gallery owner Joel Leib, artist and curator Adam Brooks, and collectors Daryl Gerber and Glenn Holland. The panel's free but the museum would like you to make reservations at 280-7252. It's at 6 at the MCA, 237 E. Ontario.
San Francisco-based Martin Delaney, a leading activist in getting new AIDS drugs to those battling the HIV virus, says that 1995 is a watershed year in the race for a cure: "We're finally starting to see the payback of years of intense work in the laboratory." He's one of several people giving a free presentation tonight on current advances in AIDS research that includes information on how Chicagoans can participate in clinical trials. It's at 6:30 at the AIDS care center Spectrum, 1300 W. Belmont. Call 880-1460 for details.
Ann Beattie's first novel in six years is Another You, a study of a decaying marriage. She'll be reading from it and her last collection of stories, The Burning House, which has just come out in paperback, tonight at 6:30 at Barbara's Bookstore in Old Town, 1350 N. Wells. It's free. Call 642-5044 for details.
Still going back and forth on the militia issue? So is the Fox Valley Libertarian Club, which sponsors a free debate on the topic tonight in Elgin. Are the Militias a Force for Good in Society? features L. Michael Bafundo, who leads a group known alternately as the Illinois 76 Militia, the First Regiment Illinois Minutemen, and the Illinois Patriots, and author Kelly Kleiman, whose book The Conspiratorial Right covers the roots of the militia movement. It's at 7 at the Gail Borden Public Library, 200 N. Grove in Elgin. Call 708-836-0531.
Margaret Catley-Carlson, the president of the Population Council, gives an eyewitness report on the UN Conference on Women in Beijing tonight as a guest of the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations. Things get under way at 5:30 with hors d'oeuvres; her talk is at 6, with a discussion to follow. It's at the University Club, 76 E. Monroe, and costs $22, $12 for council members. Call 726-3860 for details.
J.D. Salinger, the brothers Grimm, and the other usual suspects have been under attack this year from those who would ban books in the nation's libraries. In honor of Banned Book Week, you can get a full report on censorship targets and tactics from Anne Levinson Penway, assistant director of the Office of Intellectual Freedom at the American Library Association, tonight at 7 at Borders Books & Music, 830 N. Michigan. It's free. Call 573-0564.
Queer Nation Chicago takes to the streets tonight to raise a ruckus about violence against gays. Their annual Stop the Violence! Stop the Hate! march leaves at 7:30 this evening from the south end of the Belmont Harber parking lot. (Yellow signs will be posted to help marchers find the spot.) The group also meets every Monday evening at 7:30 at Ann Sather, 929 W. Belmont. Both events are free. Call 202-5482.