Friday 3/5 - Thursday 3/11
By Cara Jepsen
5 FRIDAY For the last ten years Uptown's Inspiration Cafe has served meals and provided support to the homeless. Tonight it's holding its sixth annual Inspired Art Auction benefit, for which over 140 artists have donated works, including Reader contributors Jim Newberry and Marc PoKempner. The event begins at 6 in the ballroom of the School of the Art Institute, 112 S. Michigan. Tickets are $50; call 773-878-0981 for more.
The first African-American professional baseball team, formed in 1885, was called the Cuban Giants. Back then there was a flourishing intellectual, cultural, and social relationship between black Americans and black Cubans, fed by their similar experiences of oppression, according to Between Race and Empire: African-Americans and Cubans Before the Cuban Revolution, a collection of essays coedited by Lisa Brock, a history professor at the School of the Art Institute. Unfortunately, that relationship all but died after the Cuban missile crisis and the rise of Fidel Castro. When she asked Jet magazine for permission to reprint a 1959 cover of a Cuban woman, Brock was told she couldn't because of the image's "political nature." Brock will discuss the book tonight at a free reading that starts at 7 at 57th Street Books, 1301 E. 57th (773-684-1300).
6 SATURDAY Ours is the only industrialized nation in the world that's signed but failed to ratify the UN's 1980 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. Meanwhile, women in Afghanistan, for example, can't even work or go to school. This year the annual International Women's Day Conference focuses on Building a Global Women's Movement. Speakers from the Women's Action Coalition, Amnesty International, and Chicago Legal Aid to Incarcerated Mothers are slated to appear; workshop topics include women in sweatshops, the plight of refugees, and violence against women worldwide. The conference ends with a session on how to bring the international fight for women's rights to a local level. It takes place from 9 to 3 at Chicago-Kent College of Law, 565 W. Adams, and costs $5 to $10, which includes breakfast and lunch. On Monday there will be an International Women's Day Rally from noon to 1:30 at the John C. Kluczynski Federal Building, 230 S. Dearborn. Call 773-278-6706 for more on both events.
7 SUNDAY For the last decade Lawrence Steger was a central figure on the city's performance art scene. As Reader contributor Justin Hayford reported in these pages two weeks ago, Steger died last month of an AIDS-related infection. Friends and loved ones will gather tonight at a free memorial that will include singing and performances of his work; it's at 7 (note the new time) at HotHouse, 31 E. Balbo (312-362-9707).
8 MONDAY In The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit, the movie version of the play staged by the Organic Theater in 1974, Joe Mantegna corrals four similarly sized neighbors to drum up the $100 he needs for a handsome white suit--which happens to have magical powers. Mantegna, who also starred in the Organic's production (the play was based on a 1958 short story by Ray Bradbury), rejoins director Stuart Gordon, who oversaw both the movie and the play. The movie screens tonight at 7 (and comes out on video later this month); it will be followed by a discussion with Bradbury and Gordon at the Fine Arts, 418 S. Michigan. Tickets are $15; call 312-554-9800. Bradbury also signs books Sunday, March 7, from 4 to 6 at The Stars Our Destination, 1021 W. Belmont (773-871-2722). It's free, but you must buy a book, and there's a two-book limit on autographs.
9 TUESDAY Each day more than 20,000 people use the three miles of underground tunnels and overhead bridges that link 40 blocks downtown, says the Chicago Architecture Foundation. Today's CAF Lobbies by Pedway Tour will include stops at the James R. Thompson Center, Chicago Title and Trust, the Daley Center, and the Cook County Administration Building. The $5 tour is from 10 to noon; meet near the Henry Moore sculpture in the lobby of Three First National Plaza, 70 W. Madison. Call 312-922-3432, ext. 226, for details.
10 WEDNESDAY In 1993, bored by her "mundane lifestyle on the Gold Coast" and disturbed by TV footage of violence in the former Yugoslavia, local publicist and ghostwriter Ellen Blackman decided to go to Bosnia. She planned to spend just ten days helping out wherever she could. But she ended up staying several months, working from a bombed-out office in Sarajevo. She also convinced the late Jay Pritzker to help her bring 60 Bos-nian adults and children to the U.S. for medical treatment; many of them resettled in Chicago. She'll read from her book about the experience, Harvest in the Snow: My Crusade to Rescue the Lost Children of Bosnia, tonight at 7 at Barnes & Noble, 1130 N. State (312-280-1143). A portion of the book's profits will go to Jana's House, a charity for Bosnian children.
11 THURSDAY Dmitri Roudnev, a former dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet, left Russia in 1992, settled in Chicago, and founded the Roudnev Ballet Company and the Dmitri Roudnev School of Ballet. Today he and some of his students will discuss and perform exercises and excerpts from the Bolshoi repertoire. The free demonstration starts at 12:15 in the auditorium of the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State (312-747-4050). Roudnev and his former Bolshoi partner Tatiana Ledovskyak will perform both classical and contemporary pieces tomorrow night at 8 in the same location. Special guests include Nextango, Soul & Duende, and Nubian Sol Productions. Tickets are $12; call 312-588-0903 for more.