9 FRIDAY Tonight's "Experimental Encore" program, the second in this year's Chicago Ear and Eye Control series, combines experimental film and video shorts with improvised musical accompaniment. Wen Hwa Tsao, Anna Cimini, Paula Froehle, Bruce McClure, Keith Sanborn, Phil Solomon, Zack Stiglicz, Jim Trainor, Todd Wieneke, and Fred Worden are among the artists who've contributed new footage; musicians include Ken Vandermark, Kevin Drumm, Axel Dörner, and Paul Lytton. The concert and screening start at 8 at Columbia College's Ferguson Hall, 600 S. Michigan; tickets are $6. Call 773-293-1447 for more information.
10 SATURDAY Since 1998 the Wisconsin-based Adopt a Husky organization has saved 185 sick, injured, and abused sled dogs. Some of the lucky pups will demonstrate dogsledding and skijoring today at the Morton Arboretum's WinterFest: The Great Outdoor Adventure; some of the dogs will also be available for petting and adoption. Noncanine activities include demonstrations of ice sculpture, orienteering, snowshoeing, and hiking. WinterFest runs from noon to 4 today and tomorrow at the Morton Arboretum, 4100 Route 53 in Lisle. The festival is free, but admission to the arboretum is $7 per car (630-719-2465).
The effects of racist housing policies, deindustrialization, urban renewal, and gentrification are among the issues addressed by the Chicago Historical Society's new exhibition Out of the Loop: Neighborhood Voices. Today's opening festivities include performances by Hubbard Street 2, Natya Dance Company, and Funkadesi, as well as an interview with Studs Terkel by Street-Level Youth Media, food, and mural making. The program takes place from 11 to 4:30 at the Chicago Historical Society, 1601 N. Clark. Admission is $5, $3 for students, seniors, and kids over 12. Children aged 6 to 12 pay $1; those under 6 get in for free. Call 312-642-4600.
After Critical Mass bicyclists were kicked off McCormick Place grounds last year for protesting the auto show, they regrouped in a nearby city-owned parking lot--until Park District cops made them leave because they didn't have cars. This year's protest ride convenes today at noon at Daley Plaza (Washington and Dearborn); call 773-486-4861 for more information. Afterward they'll bike to a free opening reception for the fourth annual Critical Mass Art Show, a multimedia exhibit of bike-related artwork featuring original bicycle designs by members of Blackstone Bicycle Works' youth apprenticeship program and furniture made from recycled bike materials designed by Blackstone manager Andy Gregg. It's at Century Gallery 900, 202 S. State, from 6 to midnight. There will be free valet bike parking.
11 SUNDAY "I'm just a sucker for sentiment," says antique valentine collector Aimee England. "I like to read the backs of them; they're like a window to the past." England will bring part of her collection--which includes everything from frilly Victorian fare to naughty, un-PC, turn-of-the-century penny postcards--to today's workshop on collecting and making valentines. It's from 2 to 4 at the Chicago Rare Book Center, 56 W. Maple, and it's $8. Call 312-988-7246 to register. England also leads a free workshop Saturday at 1:30 at Garfield Park Conservatory's second annual Chocolate Fest, at 300 N. Central Park (312-746-5100).
12 MONDAY For his 1995 debut feature, Rude, Canadian director Clement Virgo combined elements of gangsta films, 1950s rebel movies, and Krzysztof Kieslowski's Blue. "I created my own hood, the sort of hood where a lion could roam, where mystical aboriginal spirits could dance among urban, transported Africans," says Virgo, the first Jamaican-Canadian to direct a feature. The film, about a pirate radio jock in a Toronto housing project and three listeners, is said to be visually stunning, and the sound track features "the best of Canadian hip-hop." Doc Films will screen Rude tonight at 7 at the Max Palevsky Cinema in the University of Chicago's Ida Noyes Hall, 1212 E. 59th. Admission is $3; call 773-702-8575 for more.
13 TUESDAY Human rights groups estimate that the Chinese government's crackdown on Falun Gong has resulted in over 120 deaths, 50,000 arrests, widespread torture, and the burning of some 7.8 million books written by founder Li Hongzhi. In his new book, Falun Gong's Challenge to China: Spiritual Practice or "Evil Cult"?, veteran journalist Danny Schechter examines why the movement's 100 million practitioners are so threatening to the Chinese government. He'll host a free discussion of the book and screen his documentary about the movement tonight at 7:30 at Borders Books & Music, 1500 16th in Oak Brook (630-574-0800). He'll also discuss his book Sunday, February 11, at 4:30 at Transitions Bookplace, 1000 W. North (312-951-7323), give a lecture that night at 7:30 at the University of Chicago's International House, 1414 E. 59th (773-753-2274), and appear Monday night, February 12, at 7:30 at Barbara's Bookstore, 1350 N. Wells (312-642-5044). All events are free.
14 WEDNESDAY In 1875 it took just ten minutes for a jury to decide that Mary Todd Lincoln was insane and should be institutionalized. The widowed former first lady spent four months in a private sanitarium in Batavia, where each week she was visited by her son Robert, who had helped put her away. Their relationship is the focus of Jan Tranen and Jay Schwandt's new musical, Crazy Mary. The New Tuners--in whose writers' workshop the story was conceived--offer a "skeletal presentation" of the work Tuesday night and tonight at 7:30 (as well as next Tuesday and Wednesday nights) at the Theatre Building, 1225 W. Belmont. Tickets are $15; call 773-327-5252.
15 THURSDAY The most endangered old movie palace around is the decrepit Uptown Theatre, says Joseph DuciBella, the Chicago-area director of the Theatre Historical Society of America. "It was named one of the ten most endangered sites by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1996, and it's still there, falling apart." Other at-risk theaters that could use some TLC include the Pickwick in Park Ridge, the Patio in Portage Park, and the DuPage in Lombard. DuciBella will give a free lecture called Saving Historic Movie Palaces today at noon as part of the Landmarks Preservation Council's "Preservation Snapshots" series. It's at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. It's free; it's also BYO lunch. Call 312-922-1742.
"I must admit, the first time I drove down Magnolia Lane I was not thinking about Bobby Jones or all the Masters stood for. I was thinking about all the great African-American players who never got a chance to play there," writes Tiger Woods in the introduction to Pete McDaniel's book Uneven Lies: The Heroic Story of African-Americans in Golf. Among other things, McDaniel points out that the golf tee was designed by an African-American dentist in 1899, and that because of his skin color, innovative golf course builder Joe Bartholomew wasn't allowed to play on his own creations. McDaniel will discuss his book at a free event tonight at 7 at Borders Books & Music, 2210 W. 95th (773-445-5471).
Of the 15 city councils Dick Simpson studied for his new book, Rogues, Rebels, and Rubber Stamps: The Politics of the Chicago City Council 1863 to the Present, five were fragmented (think Mayor Eugene Sawyer), nine were rubber stamps (think the mayors Daley), and one was an all-out war (think Mayor Harold Washington). The UIC political science professor and former 44th Ward alderman also examines how the council's wicked ways make it difficult for new ideas to penetrate--witness the 40-odd years it took to build the city's subway system or the 12-year fight to adopt a gay rights ordinance. Simpson will discuss his book tonight at 7 at Barnes & Noble, 659 W. Diversey. It's free; call 773-871-9004.