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FRIDAY 3/26 - THURSDAY 4/1

MARCH

By Cara Jepsen

26 FRIDAY At last June's Women of the Millennium conference, representatives from Illinois women's groups talked about the future of feminism in a multiracial society. At today's Women of the Millennium II, they'll create a plan to improve the lives of all women in the next century. Speakers include Asian-American Institute executive director Juju Lien and Marciela Garcia of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Protection. The forum is from 9 to noon in the Continental Room at the Chicago Athletic Club, 12 S. Michigan. It's free, but reservations are required; call 312-782-3511.

While the layers of Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient take time to fully reveal themselves, the author's poetry tends to be clear and concise--yet full of depth. Tonight Ondaatje will read from his new collection, Handwriting, at 6 in the Art Institute's Rubloff Auditorium, Columbus and Jackson. Admission is free. Call 312-443-3600 for more.

Since 1970 the artist-run Chicago Public Art Group has involved communities in making large-scale mosaics and murals. Tonight the group will celebrate the move to its new digs at 1259 S. Wabash with an open house, at which cofounder and artist John Pitman Weber will sign copies of a new and improved edition of his book Toward a People's Art: The Contemporary Mural Movement. The open house is from 4 to 7; a housewarming with music and drinks follows from 8 to midnight. Both are free. Call 312-427-2724 for more information.

27 SATURDAY If the city's 1993 antigang loitering ordinance--which allows police to arrest anyone who continues to hang around a public area after being told to disperse--is found to be unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, Mayor Daley has vowed to rewrite it. The groups behind today's Safe and Fair Neighborhoods Conference say we'd be better off using community-based alternatives that don't discriminate on the basis of race to control gang activities. The free conference runs from 8:30 to 4:30 at Loyola University's Sullivan Hall, 6525 N. Sheridan. A postconference party takes place from 5 to 10 at Rogers Park Youth Network, 6600 N. Sheridan. Call 312-461-0444 to register.

Across town, the Libertarian Party of Chicago will rally at Daley Plaza to support a law allowing the carrying of concealed weapons. It's at 11 AM at Dearborn and Washington. Call 312-409-2223 for more.

Since Guatemala's civil war ended in 1996, representatives of the nation's 22 ethnic groups have worked to keep the peace. Today Mayan delegate Miguel de Leon Ceto will discuss the impact of the recent 3,600-page UN document detailing the thousands of killings that took place during the decades-long war. The talk starts at 6 in Loyola University's Simpson Living Learning Center, 6333 N. Winthrop. A $5 donation is suggested. Call 773-463-4749 or 773-506-9782.

28 SUNDAY It takes 40 gallons of sap to make just one gallon of maple syrup. That explains why the real thing costs more than good old Log Cabin. Visitors to the North Park Village Nature Center can taste the results and take guided walks of the grounds at this weekend's Maple Syrup Fest. It's free (though the flapjacks and brats they're offering will set you back a few bits) and runs from 10 to 3 Saturday and today at 5801 N. Pulaski (312-744-5472).

29 MONDAY This month's "Traffic" series offering at Steppenwolf promises a night of informed improvisation as pianist and composer Anthony Davis (the operas Amistad and X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X) teams up with jazz composer and flutist James Newton. The jam begins tonight at 7:30 at the Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted. Call 312-335-1650 for tickets, which are $25.50, and check out the Critic's Choice in Section Three for more information.

30 TUESDAY Mexican architect Luis Barragan was so concerned with the placement of doors and windows that he would often tear walls down mid-construction and rebuild them. Architecture professor Anibal Figueroa met Barragan as a student in 1977, and their friendship lasted until Barragan's death in 1988. Tonight Figueroa will discuss their relationship and recent efforts to reconstruct the fountains in Barragan's Mexico City gardens. Her talk starts at 5:30 in room 1100 of the University of Illinois at Chicago's Architecture and Art Building, 845 W. Harrison (312-996-3335). Admission is free.

The popular local TV dance show Chic-a-Go-Go celebrates Passover in Puppettown with masked rock band the Goblins in yarmulkes rocking out at a seder. They'll be joined by radio and stage personality Aaron Freeman, musician Bobby Conn, University of Chicago professor Ralph Austen, and the klezmer band Schloinke. The show airs tonight at 8:30 and tomorrow at 3:30 on Chicago Access Corporation's Channel 19. Call 773-288-5448 for more.

31 WEDNESDAY "If you kill a terrorist, you create a martyr," says Danny Coulson, founder of the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team. "If you arrest a terrorist...you create a convict." Coulson, who says he tried to resolve the Ruby Ridge and Waco sieges in a peaceful manner, will recount his experiences defending the American way of life and sign copies of his book, No Heroes, tonight at 5. It's at Brent Books & Cards, 316 N. Michigan (312-920-0940).

The Vermeer Quartet joins a group of church leaders tonight to perform Haydn's 1786 composition The Seven Last Words of Christ, which combines music and the spoken word. Theologian Martin E. Marty of the University of Chicago, Archbishop Francis Cardinal George, and others will present original meditations. A discussion with members of the Vermeer Quartet starts at 7 (the meditations begin at 8) at the U. of C.'s Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, 5850 S. Woodlawn. Tickets are $10; those 17 and under get in free. Call 773-702-7300.

APRIL

1 THURSDAY Four people silently interact with suitcases and screens, exploring themes of loss and escape in the Plasticene theater company's Refuge. The show previews tonight at 8 (and opens tomorrow) at the National Pastime Theater, 4139 N. Broadway. Tickets are $10; call 773-227-6487.

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