Friday 9/28 - Thursday 10/4
28 FRIDAY Today's interdisciplinary discussion on cultural preservation, Categories, Culture, and Property, is designed "to question whether the whole movement to protect objects and architecturally significant places is something we construct on a daily basis, or whether there's [a set of] objective criteria that's applicable all the time," says Sarah Harding, associate professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law and codirector of the Institute for Law and the Humanities. "To use a present issue, you might have said the World Trade Center towers were important New York landmarks, but obviously they've taken on a much larger significance for us all." Speakers at the free daylong conference include architectural historian Sidney K. Robinson, cultural anthropologist and ethnohistorian Michael E. Harkin, Chauvet Cave expert Joseph L. Sax, and Richard Handler, author of an ethnographic study of colonial Williamsburg. It's from 1 to 6 at Chicago-Kent College of Law, 565 W. Adams; call 312-906-5227 for more information.
29 SATURDAY Each participant in today's Earth Charter Community Summit will get a chance to sign the charter, a "declaration of interdependence calling for a sustainable global society." The document--inspired by the 1992 Rio Earth Summit--includes input from people in 56 countries and will be presented to the UN next June. It calls, in part, for the peoples of the world to "join together to bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace." Satellite-linked summits will take place simultaneously in 12 U.S. cities, including Seattle, Indianapolis, Honolulu, and Tampa, the movement's home base. Speakers here include Middlebury College religion professor Steven Rockefeller, who chaired the international drafting committee, simple-living advocate Vicki Robin, and Center for Voting and Democracy chair John Anderson. Registration starts at 8; the conference runs from 8:30 to 6 in the auditorium of the Lutheran School of Theology, 1100 E. 55th. It's free, but you should bring a lunch; call 847-331-5236 or go to www.earthchartersummit.org for more information or to register.
The city of Milwaukee is dismantling the seven little-used blocks of freeway ramps that make up the Park East Spur, built as part of a now-abandoned plan to encircle the downtown with superhighways. It'll be replaced with a surface roadway, freeing up 20-odd acres of land for mixed-use development. Milwaukee planner Brian O'Connell will explain further at today's Break the Gridlock II--Overcoming Car Dependency conference, where the speakers also include Enrique Penalosa, former mayor of Bogota, Colombia, who'll discuss how he and coordinator Oscar Edmundo Diaz instituted car-free days in that city. It's from 9:30 to 5 at the Pulaski Park field house, 1419 W. Blackhawk, and it's $20; to register call 773-486-4861 or see www.breakthegridlock.org.
Monologuist Cheryl Trykv, flamenco dancer Wendy Clinard, nine-year-old tap dancer and singer Maxinova, and Kelly Kessler's Wichita Shut-ins will all perform tonight at Brigid Murphy's Milly's Orchid Show: The All-Gal Review. The lineup also includes supergroup Paula Killen and the Disgraces, featuring poet Cin Salach, actress-cabaret singers Alexandra Billings and Honey West, comedian Susan Messing, and Karol Kent. As usual, Milly will be joined by her band, the Sequins, and her male dancers, the Coal Diggers. It starts at 8 (doors open at 7) at Park West, 322 W. Armitage. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at Unabridged Bookstore (3251 N. Broadway, 773-883-9119) or on-line at www.schubas.com. For more information call 773-929-5959.
30 SUNDAY The Yoruba word ase has a complex meaning that encompasses power and authority as well as divine creative energy and life force. It's also the name chosen by the Chicago Association of Black Storytellers to affirm that "there is power in our words." Today's third annual Ase Storytelling Concert will feature drumming, singing, and dramatic storytelling; the ten performers include Kemba Johnson-Webb, Melvyna Gaynor, Oba William King, and Kucha Brownlee. It starts at 2:30 at the South Shore Cultural Center (7059 S. South Shore Dr.), where there will also be an African marketplace, drumming, and a storytelling workshop. Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for children under 12 or groups of ten or more, and $25 for a family of four. Call 773-722-9786 or 773-287-1336.
"We've been sneaking into these big places and doing the play and then leaving," says the Curious Theatre Branch's Beau O'Reilly about Bantam Lightweight, a play the group performed recently in the upstairs lobby of the Steppenwolf Theatre. Today at 4 they'll take Shawn Reddy's drama about two aging academics (played by Beau and brother Ned O'Reilly) to the coatroom at the Museum of Contemporary Art. The free onetime performance--part of the Rhinocerous Theater Festival--is at 220 E. Chicago (312-280-2660). Call 773-327-6666 or see the sidebar in Section Two for information on other performances.
1 MONDAY Tonight at 6, Northwestern University president Henry Bienen moderates a Chicago Council on Foreign Relations-sponsored town meeting on the Attack on America: Challenges and Responses. Speakers include Cherif Bassiouni, president of DePaul's International Human Rights Law Institute, Tenth District representative Mark Kirk, National Defense University fellow Robert B. Oakley, and Diane C. Swonk, chief economist at Bank One. It's at the Ambassador West Hotel, 1300 N. State Parkway; tickets are $25, $15 for members. Call 312-726-3860 or go to www.ccfr.org to register.
Israeli artist Ariella Azoulay's 1999 film A Sign From Heaven looks at the roles rhetoric, photography, evidence, and reconstruction play in presenting violent events by analyzing three such episodes in recent Israeli history--the assassination of Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, Carmella Buhbut's killing of her abusive husband, Yehuda, and the Israeli security forces' "elimination" of Palestinian bomb maker Yehiya Ayash. Tonight's free screening of the 55-minute film is at 6 at Columbia College's Ferguson Theater, 600 S. Michigan. Call 312-663-5554.
2 TUESDAY Despite directions to "check all boxes that apply," only 2.4 percent of Americans who responded to the 2000 census chose more than one of the many new ethnic categories on the form. At tonight's panel on Race, Identity, and the 2000 Census, DePaul political science associate professor Maria de los Angeles Torres and Garth Taylor, head of the Metro Chicago Information Center, will discuss the census results and their impact on things such as redistricting and government programs. It'll be moderated by Tribune columnist Clarence Page and takes place from 7 to 8:30 at Saint Ignatius College Prep, 1076 W. Roosevelt. It's free; call 312-726-4500.
3 WEDNESDAY The ways home decorating is influenced by magazines and social trends will be the focus of design historian Joan Hansen's slide lecture Beautiful, Moral, and Affordable: Turn-of-the-Century Magazines and Home Furnishing. Hansen will draw on examples from House Beautiful, Ladies' Home Journal, International Studio, House & Garden, and the Craftsman; attendees can thumb through original copies of these magazines from 5:30 to 6 tonight in the Newberry Library's special collections department. The lecture starts at 6 at the library at 60 W. Walton. Admission is $10; call 312-255-3510.
4 THURSDAY In Africa in 1994, paleoanthropologist Meave Leakey uncovered a new species of hominid that began to walk upright four million years ago--500,000 years earlier than scientists had previously thought. Five years later she discovered a 3.5-million-year-old skull--"the flat-faced man of Kenya"--that appears to belong to a new branch of the human tree. The New York Times said the discovery threatened "to overturn the prevailing view that a single line of descent stretched through the early stages of human ancestry." Leakey, who heads the paleontology division of the National Museums of Kenya, will discuss her work tonight at 6:30 at the Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore Dr. It's $20, $18 for students and educators. Call 312-665-7400.