Friday 10/17 - Thursday 10/23
By Cara Jepsen
17 FRIDAY After a nine-month hiatus, Randolph Street Gallery returns to the scene tonight with a new exhibit, "T-Race," which examines the importance of race and ethnicity in art, identity, and relationships. Included in the show is Johnny Coleman's sound installation, A Prayer for My Son and Myself, of which he says, "I will explore some of the tools that my father armed me with for survival and growth--the self-reliance and resilience--while also speaking through some of the distance and pain I hope not to pass on." Also featured are Mitchell Syrop's manufactured family trees, photos for which he culls from old high school yearbooks; Chicago artist McArthur Binion's crayon drawings in a variety of skin tones; and Alice Hargrave's photos, which recall CAT scans and X-rays. Several of the artists will be present at tonight's free opening reception from 6 to 8 (the show runs through December 13) at Randolph Street Gallery, 756 N. Milwaukee. Call 312-666-7737.
18 SATURDAY Since its beginnings 50 years ago, Heifer Project International has worked to end poverty in developing countries; the group's name is derived from the idea that one cow and some simple animal-husbandry training can not only feed a family but provide a small income. Last week the group approved a project in the Robert Taylor Homes that will have members of the antigang organization God's Gang raising earthworms in a basement and catfish in 33-gallon drums. The catfish will provide food for residents, and the worms create castings--valuable fertilizer that can be used in community gardens or sold. Another group at Cabrini-Green will raise dairy goats. But getting it started takes money. To raise funds, HPI is holding a Quilt and Craft Auction and Living Gift Market; a preview starts today at 8 and the auction is from 11 to 3. In addition, the Barrington Children's Choir will sing at 10, and storyteller Shanta will perform at 1. It's all at Saint Vincent Ferrer School, North Avenue at Lathrop in River Forest. It's free to get in; call 312-920-0604.
19 SUNDAY In 1996 Mark Townsend's health had deteriorated to the point that he became eligible for residency in Bonaventure House, a haven for people with AIDS. Since 1989 over 70 percent of the people who've lived there have died. But new drug therapies worked for Townsend, and he's been able to resume his singing and acting careers. He'll perform a solo at this year's Jubilate Benefit for the Alexian Brothers Bonaventure House. Other performers include Susanne Mentzer, Samuel Ramey, and Catherine Cook. It's at 7 in the James Simpson Theatre at the Field Museum of Natural History, Roosevelt and Lake Shore Drive. Tickets are $50 to $500; paying $150 or more gets you into a reception following the performance. Call 773-327-9921, ext. 60, for more.
20 MONDAY It's just plain wrong when major productions like The English Patient and Fargo are dubbed "independent" films. Sure, they suck a lot less than most mainstream movies, but they're also made by well-known people who can plug their products on the talk-show circuit. Most indie films disappear altogether when they don't pick up a distributor. Alchemy director Suzanne Myers got so fed up with the process she convinced a handful of sponsors to put together the Fuel Film Tour to showcase deserving low-budget movies. The films showing this week at Facets include Chris Smith's American Job, the Cambrai Liberation Collective's The Delicate Art of the Rifle, and Hannah Weyer's Arresting Gena. The last screens at 7 and Alchemy is at 9 (both will also be screened on Wednesday, when some of the directors will be present) at Facets, 1517 W. Fullerton. Tickets are $7; call 773-281-4114.
21 TUESDAY The history of women in the visual arts, the birth of modernism in the late 19th century, women's cinema, Vincent van Gogh, and the legend of Tarzan are a few of the seemingly disparate research topics of University of Leeds professor Griselda Pollock. Perhaps she'll touch on a few of them at tonight's free lecture called Who Is the Other? Feminism, Politics, and Modernism: New York 1915. The talk is part of a series in memory of Norma U. Lifton, who taught 19th-century art history at the School of the Art Institute. It's at 6 in the Fullerton Auditorium at the Art Institute, 111 S. Michigan. Call 312-899-5188 for more.
22 WEDNESDAY Joseph Gould in Chicago, Abner Louima in New York City, Johnny Gammage in Pittsburgh, and Rodney King in Los Angeles are some victims of police violence whose stories have been in the public eye--but theirs are just the tip of the iceberg, according to the organizers of the National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality. Today they're holding rallies across the country to bring attention to widespread police abuse; in Chicago one will be held at the plaza commemorating da mare who not only condoned but encouraged brutal behavior by his peace officers. It's at noon at Daley Plaza, Clark and Washington. It's free, of course, but organizers ask that you wear black. Call 773-794-8114 for more information. A related exhibit, "Against the Nightstick: Art Against Police Brutality," is on display at the Roberto Lopez Gallery, 1579 N. Milwaukee. Call 773-227-6221.
In 1995 two New York City women met via E-mail, hooked up at a cybercafe, and decided to form Webgrrls, a grassroots organization devoted to helping women and girls become cybersavvy. Today the group has chapters around the world, including Australia, Japan, and the U.S. This year the local chapter will participate in International Webgrrls Day with a video chat with other chapters. There will also be food and a multimedia presentation from members. The free event starts at 6:30 at Gamma Photo, 314 W. Superior. Call 773-878-4120 for more.
23 THURSDAY OK, so they're popping up faster than you can say "Wal-Mart"--the megabookstore chains aren't all bad. Today Barnes & Noble will donate a percentage of its proceeds to Share Our Strength's sixth annual Writers Harvest, an event spearheaded by authors and booksellers across the country. Share Our Strength will distribute what's raised to the advocacy groups Food Research and Action Center and First Book; the latter provides books to disadvantaged people enrolled in literacy programs. To lure you in, they've lined up local writers to read and sign copies of their books at several Barnes & Noble locations. Readers include poet Angela Jackson at 5:30 at 659 W. Diversey, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Lisel Mueller, who will read with Reginald Gibbons at 7:30 at 1701 Sherman in Evanston, and chef Charlie Trotter, who will also oversee a food tasting at 6:30 at 1441 W. Webster. Dawn Turner Trice, Paulette Roeske, William Elliott Hazelgrove, and a host of other writers will also read at a variety of suburban locations. It's free. Call 773-871-3825 for more.