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Friday 9/15 - Thursday 9/21

SEPTEMBER

By Cara Jepsen

15 FRIDAY "We couldn't actually find an artist whose sole means of support was making their art," says Jake Jacobs, one of the curators of the multimedia exhibition Work, which opens tonight at Gallery 312. Rather, Jacobs (who, fittingly enough, works part-time at the Reader) and cocurator Carol Jackson conceived of the show as an exploration of the ways in which artists are impacted by, and how their work reflects, their day jobs. The show features the work of 11 individuals and two groups of artists, including Michael Jefferson's paintings and drawings inspired by the physical environment of the Loop, arts administrator Maria Troy's sound collage mimicking the outgoing voice mail messages of her colleagues at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, and Thompson Owen's demonstration of his Web-based roast-to-order coffee company. Participating artist and musician Steve Lacy, along with Andy Hall, Thea Miklowski, and Matt Thompson, will perform and burn their new CD The Demonstration Process at tonight's free reception. It's from 5 to 8 at Gallery 312, 312 N. May (312-942-2500). The show runs through October 21.

16 SATURDAY "Sweatshops are not just operating across the ocean," says Center for Impact Research deputy director Rebekah Levin. When the CIR conducted a survey of 800 people living in the city's immigrant and poor communities over the past year, they were surprised to learn that some 36 percent work in local sweatshops--meaning that their employers were routinely in violation of two or more Department of Labor rules. "They're not just places where they make rugs or clothing," she says. "They clean your laundry and prepare your food." Levin will discuss sweatshops in Chicago tonight at 8 at the College of Complexes at Lincoln Restaurant, 4008 N. Lincoln. It's $3, plus a food or drink purchase. Call 312-326-2120.

17 SUNDAY Last month the husband of 31-year-old Shahpara Sayeed set her on fire while she sat in his cab at 6000 N. Glenwood--in broad daylight--and fought off those who tried to save her. A group of women who witnessed the murder "realized that all of a sudden this has been happening all around them" and decided to organize today's Unity Walk Against Violence. The free march is in honor of Sayeed and four other women--another homemaker, a student, a flight attendant, and a police officer--who have been killed in the past two months (at least two of them as a result of domestic violence). It's from noon to 2 and starts at Women & Children First Bookstore, 5233 N. Clark. Call 773-769-3232 for more.

Shortly after it started holding its legendary cotillions in 1961, the African-American women's philanthropic group the Links reminded the 20 young girls who attended the prestigious annual affair that "you have prepared for this day, not to become a social butterfly, because that is passe, but with a readiness to express your charm through service to others." Artifacts from the group's history, including newspaper clippings, letters, posters, and several behind-the-scenes cotillion photos, are on display through December 2 at the new exhibit, Celebrating 50 Years of Friendship and Service: The Chicago Chapter of the Links, Inc., 1950-2000. Today's opening program includes the screening of a video documentary about the group and a ribbon-cutting ceremony with past and present Links, including founding member Mildred Kerr. It's from 1:30 to 4 at the Carter G. Woodson Regional Library, 9525 S. Halsted. It's free. Call 312-745-2080.

Homework doesn't give students an academic advantage, say Etta Kralovec and John Buell in their new book The End of Homework: How Homework Disrupts Families, Overburdens Children, and Limits Learning. Rather, they say, it takes away from playtime (when children develop social skills), prepares students to become corporate stooges, and deepens class divisions. "Homework takes time, space, study aids, and very particular academic skills, resources that are by no means equally distributed across American communities," they write. Kralovec will discuss the book tonight at 5 at Women & Children First Bookstore, 5233 N. Clark (773-769-9299). It's free.

18 MONDAY "I will never forget the moment when I first held her in my arms, in Jouy-en-Josas, France, on April 29, 2000. My apprehensive anticipation was replaced by joy and excitement. Alba--the name given her by my wife, my daughter, and I--was lovable and affectionate and an absolute delight to play with," writes Eduardo Kac, the first artist to use genetic engineering to create a living mammal--in this case, the "GFP Bunny." The albino rabbit had the gene that controls a jellyfish's production of fluorescing protein spliced into its DNA--it glows green under the proper light. School of the Art Institute professor Kac calls his transgenic artwork "a complex social event" designed to spark debate, and today a group of experts will discuss whether it's art and whether it's ethical at a free symposium on Art, Science, and Free Speech: The Work of Eduardo Kac. Speakers include Kac, Whitney Museum curator Christiane Paul, Chicago-Kent School of Law constitutional law expert Sheldon Nahmod, and Stuart Newman, professor of cell biology and anatomy at New York Medical College. It's today from 1:30 to 4 at Chicago-Kent's Ogilvie Auditorium, 565 W. Adams. Call 312-906-5122.

19 TUESDAY Authors such as Oscar Wilde and E.M. Forster never directly addressed homosexuality in their writing. "Gertrude Stein even veiled her stuff. If you were in any way astute you'd pick it up, but not if you didn't know what to look for," says Angel Ysaguirre, director of community programs at the Illinois Humanities Council and instructor of the seminar From Wilde to Winterson: Gay-Themed Literature of the Twentieth Century. These days, says Ysaguirre, "writers are certainly more open about writing about what I call the gay event--whether it means falling in love or it means sex." His reading list also includes work by James Baldwin, Alice Walker, William Faulkner, and Sherman Alexie. The first class is tonight from 5:45 to 7:45, and the seminar continues each Tuesday through November 7 at the Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton. Tuition is $130; to register call 312-255-3700.

20 WEDNESDAY Tonight Chicago Symphony Orchestra music director Daniel Barenboim and musicologist Don Michael Randel, the University of Chicago's new president, will address questions of how to nurture talent and encourage innovation at established institutions at a discussion called Symphony of Words. The event will be moderated by U. of C. professor Rashid Khalidi, who directs the university's Center for International Studies and the Council for Advanced Studies in Peace and International Cooperation. It starts at 8 at Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan. Reservations are required--it's $5 in advance, $10 at the door. Call 312-294-3000.

21 THURSDAY Aiding refugees in Africa, training Middle Eastern women in political activism, helping Latin American women fight domestic violence, and warning women in Asia about the threat of trafficking in women are just a few of the ways in which the United Nations Development Fund for Women attempts to empower females in developing countries. Tonight the Chicago chapter will hold a meeting and show a video about the group's work. It's at 5:30 at the Peace Museum, 314 W. Institute, and it's free. Call 847-437-7977 for more.

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