Susan Etcoff-Fraerman's "Bound for Glory" is a series of 15 shoes the Highland Park artist created with beads and vintage wooden lasts. Etcoff-Fraerman says she works "intuitively, without a pattern." Using glass seed beads from Japan and the Czech and Slovak republics, she formed a "second skin" around each last by stitching every bead to the next with needle and thread. Each shoe takes hundreds of hours, but she says the process "is calming, very centering." "Bound for Glory" is on view along with the work of 20 other artists in Facets of Fiber, which opens with a reception from 7 to 9 tonight at the Barrington Area Arts Council Gallery, 207 Park in Barrington. The free exhibit continues at the gallery, which is open from 10 to 5 Tuesday through Friday (and other times by appointment), through April 25. Call 847-382-5626.
Author Frank Robinson had a three-year stint as the Playboy Adviser, and his novel The Glass Inferno was the source for The Towering Inferno. He's also an authority on the pulp magazines where he got his start and learned that "good writing will seldom sell a bad story, but a good story will frequently sell bad writing." He's a guest speaker at this weekend's third annual Windy City Pulp & Paperback Convention, which includes wares from 100 dealers, an auction, a film festival, and an appearance by horror master Hugh B. Cave. It runs from 7 PM to midnight tonight (registration starts at noon); 9 AM to 11 PM Saturday, April 5; and 9 to 4 Sunday, April 6, at the Radisson Lincolnwood, 4500 W. Touhy in Lincolnwood. Robinson speaks at the opening event at 7 tonight. Admission is $10, $25 for a weekend pass; kids 13 and under get in free with an adult. See www.pulpshow.com or call 847-217-4241 for more information.
Based on a holdup by four members of Butch Cassidy's gang, Edwin S. Porter's revolutionary 1903 one-reeler The Great Train Robbery was the first film to use camera movement, editing, dramatic close-ups, and crosscutting--between the bandits and the posse chasing them--to move the story along. The 100-year-old short will be shown tonight on a century-old hand-cranked projector as part of the Silent Film Society of Chicago's annual gala benefit, which will also include screenings of Porter's 1902 short Life of an American Fireman and the 1920 feature The Toll Gate, with live piano accompaniment by David Drazin. The event starts at 7 with a buffet, wine, and dessert, and the films begin at 8:15 at the Society for Arts 1112 Gallery, 1112 N. Milwaukee, Chicago. Tickets are $60; call 773-205-7372 for reservations.
Between 1996 and 2001, someone was killed every 20 minutes in Colombia's ongoing armed conflict between right-wing paramilitary forces and left-wing guerrillas. In that same period, according to the Colombian Ministry of Development, one person was displaced every five minutes, and one was kidnapped every three hours. The UN Office of Human Rights in Colombia reported last month that since President Alvaro Uribe Velez declared a state of emergency last summer, human rights abuses have become even more widespread. Today PBS NewsHour senior correspondent Ray Suarez will give the keynote speech, "Is the United States Media Paying Enough Attention to Latin America Post-September 11?," at a free daylong conference called Colombia: Confronting Conflict, Striving Towards Peace. Featured speakers include Colombian ambassador to the Organization of American States Horacio Serpa, U.S. ambassador to Colombia Anne Patterson, Colombian senator Rafael Pardo Rueda, and representatives from the Foundation for Democracy, Human Rights Watch, and Inter-American Dialogue. It's from 9 to 6:30 at the University of Chicago's International House, 1414 E. 59th, Chicago; for reservations and more information call 773-753-2274.
Chicago's housing market has lost more than 40,000 rental units over the past 20 years and is slated to lose some 18,000 public housing units under the CHA's ongoing "Plan for Transformation." That puts the city's 600,000 renters in a tough situation, say the folks at the Metropolitan Tenants Organization. The advocacy group, which helps more than 11,000 renters through its hot line each year, will hold a dance party fund-raiser tonight from 9 to 1. It'll feature a raffle and a DJ spinning salsa, rock, hip-hop, and more. It's at Blackie's, 755 S. Clark in Chicago, and there's a suggested donation of $15 in advance, $20 at the door. For more information call 773-292-4980, ext. 222, or go to www.tenantsrights.org.
Here's dinner theater at its most literal: in his new comedy show, Frankie J Supper-Star, Frank Janisch, the former CEO of ImprovOlympic and a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, lampoons cooking-show conventions while concocting a four-course dinner in an open kitchen. The show also features songs from Jesus Christ Superstar and waiters dressed as apostles to dish up the results. In addition, each week Janisch will demonstrate how to use a different kitchen utensil that diners will get to take home. "The idea is to come religiously and build your own kitchen," says the show's manager. It opens tonight at 6:30 and continues Sunday nights in an open-ended run at Frankie J's on Broadway, 4437 N. Broadway, Chicago. The $42.50 ticket includes food, tax, tip, and the implement of the week. For reservations call 773-769-2959.
Third District Democratic representative Bill Lipinski recently sat out the 215 to 212 vote that passed Bush's new budget (which includes another substantial tax cut) through the House. Lipinski, who has represented the south side and southwest suburbs for 11 terms and is the senior Illinois member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, will discuss recent O'Hare airport legislation today at noon at a City Club of Chicago public policy luncheon. It starts at 11:30 with a reception at Maggiano's Banquets, 111 W. Grand in Chicago, and it's $45. Call 312-565-6500 or see www.cityclub-chicago.com for more information.
"If you're taught that you should be able to have an orgasm with intercourse and you want your partner to give you oral or manual stimulation for orgasm, you may feel like there's something wrong with you," said local anthropologist Lisa Douglass in a 1997 Reader story on her book Are We Having Fun Yet? The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Sex. "Women are overcoming that, and men are beginning to understand it. But it's time to get the whole sexual culture moving toward that understanding." The out-of-print guide, which was coauthored by Douglass's sociologist sister, Marcia, was recently repackaged as a paperback with a new title, The Sex You Want: A Lovers' Guide to Women's Sexual Pleasure. Douglass will discuss the book tonight from 7:30 to 9 at Early to Bed, 5232 N. Sheridan, Chicago. It's free; call 773-271-1219.
When flutist Arn Chorn-Pond was nine, the Khmer Rouge took control of his native Cambodia and began a purge of artists and intellectuals that eventually killed 90 percent of that country's traditional musicians. Chorn-Pond survived four years in a death camp by playing propaganda songs and eventually made his way to the United States in 1979. He's now the director of the youth program of the Massachusetts-based Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association, and in 1998 he founded the Cambodian Master Performers Program, which aims to preserve that country's cultural traditions by encouraging elderly musicians who survived the killing fields to pick up their instruments again. He'll give a lecture called Surviving and Healing Through Music today from 11:30 to 1 at Columbia College's Hokin Hall, 623 S. Wabash (312-344-7813). He'll also show a clip from Flute Player, a new documentary about his life; the film will be shown in its entirety on a double bill with Spencer Nakasako's Refugee tonight at 6 (and again on Saturday, April 12, at 4) as part of the Asian American Showcase at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State, Chicago. Chorn-Pond and director Jocelyn S. Glatzer will attend tonight's screening. Tickets are $8; call 312-846-2800 or see the Movies sidebar for more information.
Lyon & Healy harps, Vienna Beef hot dogs, S-K hand tools, Strombecker Corp.'s Mr. Bubbles toys, Radio Flyer wagons, and Solo cups are among the locally made items featured in a new photography exhibit titled Made in Chicago: Seven Photographers Interpret Local Products. Featuring work by I. Carmen Quintana, Robert E. Potter III, Lorraine Hart, Loren Santow, Neil Schierstedt, Matthew Gilson, and Eric Futran, it opens today with a reception from 5 to 7 at City Gallery in the Water Tower, 806 N. Michigan, Chicago. The free exhibit runs through June 30; call 312-742-0808.