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Lakota spiritual leader Standing Elk will talk about extraterrestrials, Star Nations, and the "laws that will get you through the age of the Coyote" in a free lecture (11:11 AM Saturday, August 2) during this weekend's Star Knowledge Conference in Rolling Meadows. The conference offers two dozen lectures; eight workshops; 40 dealers in herbs, oils, gemstones, Native American art, and "healing modalities"; and a free concert by healer, composer, and musician Al Jewer (7:30 PM, Saturday). It starts tonight with dinner at 7 at the Holiday Inn, 3405 Algonquin in Rolling Meadows, and continues through Sunday, August 3. Hours are 7 to 10 PM tonight, 9 AM to 8 PM Saturday, and 9 AM to 7 PM Sunday. Daily admission to the exhibits is $10; lectures are $15 apiece and workshops are $20. A pass for the whole weekend is $125. See or call 708-484-5861 for more information.

The lives of the leads in the two films that kick off the Black Harvest International Festival of Film and Video tonight revolve around food, drink, and romance. Short on Sugar stars Lynn A. Henderson (who also wrote and produced the ten-minute short) as the shy owner of a cafe who's out to hook the man of her dreams. Musician, painter, and actor Moussa Sene Absa's 2002 feature, Madame Brouette, focuses on an independent divorced woman who sells food from a cart in a Senegalese shantytown. She dreams of someday opening a snack bar, but her affair with a ne'er-do-well policeman throws her off track. Opening night festivities also include a tribute to V103 host and community relations director Bonnie DeShong, recipient of the first Deloris Jordan Award for Excellence in Community Leadership. At 6 the Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago will give a free performance in front of the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State in Chicago. The screening starts at 7 and will be followed by a reception at Marshall Field's, 111 N. State. Tickets are $8 and include the reception. (Both films will be shown again Sunday, August 3, at 3.) The Black Harvest festival runs through August 14; call 312-846-2800 or see for more information. See Movies for a schedule and descriptions of the other films in the festival.


"We just wanted to do a series of creative fund-raisers that would not just be ways for us to make money, but give something cool to our listeners and potentially widen our audience," says WLUW program director Shawn Campbell. The Loyola University community radio station, which is now under the stewardship of WBEZ, has raised $90,000 over the past eight months and must raise another $30,000 by the end of the fiscal year (August 31). Vendors at today's WLUW Record Fair range from vinyl collectors and local labels and bands to artists and alternative book dealers. The live entertainment includes Plastic Crimewave, M.O.T.O., Tijuana Hercules, and Twang Bang, plus DJs and a live karaoke band, the Karaoke Dokies. It's from 10 AM to 10 PM at 2156 W. Fulton in Chicago; admission is $7, $5 with a coupon (available off the station's Web site) or a copy of the ad in this paper. For more information call 773-508-8080 or visit On Sunday, August 10, the station will host an all-ages outdoor bluegrass fund-raiser from 2 to 8 PM at the Montrose Saloon, 2933 W. Montrose, Chicago. Call 773-895-5433.


"If they had honored him 60 years ago, I wouldn't be having this fun," says Joan M. Pilot, who's been working on a history of the ongoing efforts of the DuSable Memorial Society--now the Chicago DuSable League--to persuade the city to properly honor its first settler, Jean Baptiste Point DuSable, with a statue. "It is a journey. I'm discovering I'm not a bitter person." The first volume in the planned three-volume series came out this summer; it covers the group's history from its founding in 1928 through the 1960s. Pilot, who's a member of the league, hopes to have the next two installments done by January. She'll read from and discuss her project today at 2 at the Pioneer Co-Op community room, 5427A S. Dorchester, Chicago. It's free. Call 773-955-1858 for more information.


Entertainment lawyer Kim Craft will talk about how to keep from getting ripped off in the music world at a free seminar in Oak Park tonight. Protecting Yourself as a Songwriter: Getting the Royalties You Deserve will cover everything you need to know about copyrighting your work. Craft, the former director of DePaul's Music Business Program, recently launched her own business, the Commercial Music Institute, in Chicago, but promoter David True, who works with her and set up the seminar, maintains the lecture "is not an infomercial for CMI." Two subsequent sessions, also free, will cover "Self-Promotion for Artists" (August 12), and "Tips on Negotiating Recording Contracts" (August 19). Hours are 6:30 to 8:30 PM at the Maze branch of the Oak Park Public Library, 845 S. Gunderson in Oak Park. Call 773-342-1337 for more information.


Visual artists Marcos Raya, Young Han, and Rashid Johnson will explore how much the art world has--or has not--opened itself up to minorities in tonight's panel discussion, Minority Report: The State of the Arts Outside of the Ethnic Mainstream. "For me it's a personal sore spot--that America doesn't choose to grapple with this issue," says moderator and gallery owner Carl Hammer, who organized the event. "It's seen as a problem that's been wrestled with. Even though it's never been resolved, a lot of people would prefer to move on and brush it under the carpet." The free Chicago Art Dealers Association event runs from 6 to 7:30 at Carl Hammer Gallery, 740 N. Wells in Chicago (312-266-8512).


How to treat sprains and burns as well as how to decide whether to see a doctor for shin splints are all covered in The 2003 Body Almanac. The new book includes the top 100 things people ask bone and joint doctors about; back problems top the list. Coeditor John Sarwark, who's interim head of orthopedic surgery at Children's Memorial Hospital, will discuss the book tonight at 7:30 at Barnes & Noble, 1441 W. Webster in Chicago (773-871-3610). Tomorrow, August 7, at the same time, he'll be at the Barnes & Noble at Old Orchard Mall in Skokie (847-676-2230). Both events are free.


At the height of planning, there were at least 40 people working on Ladyfest Midwest Chicago, the woman-oriented extravaganza of music, art, film, performance, and workshops that took place in August 2001. This year's Estrojam is much more focused, says filmmaker Tammy Cresswell, who helped organize both events. "Last time so many people had so many great ideas that we couldn't say no to anything. It grew to the point where it was hard to get a handle on it. For this one we're only having one thing going on at a time, unless it's the workshops." The organizers hope to make it an annual event--"We wanted to do something that women could look forward to and go to every year," says Cresswell. The four-day festival, which benefits Women in the Director's Chair and the Lesbian Community Cancer Project, kicks off tonight at 5 with an all-ages show featuring Bitch and Animal, Ember Swift, Girlush Figure, Panda Panda, Nomy Lamm, and DJ Mother Hubbard. It'll be followed at 10 by an 18-and-over show with a lineup that includes Princess Superstar, Bahamadia, Lyrisis, P.M.S., and Amina. Both shows are at the Vic, 3145 N. Sheffield in Chicago, and tickets to each are $12 in advance, $15 at the door. Estrojam runs through Sunday, August 10; for a complete schedule of events call 800-594-8499 or see Fairs & Festivals in Music.

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