Friday 10/25 – Thursday 10/31
25 FRIDAY In light of the recent death penalty clemency hearings in Illinois–and the allegations of police torture and wrongful convictions that have arisen from them–it’s not surprising that the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty decided to hold its conference in Chicago this year. Today it’ll host a march and rally that leaves from conference headquarters at the Radisson Hotel (160 E. Huron) at 1:45 and winds up at the James R. Thompson Center (100 W. Randolph), where actor Danny Glover and others will speak. The conference started Thursday, October 24, and runs through Sunday, October 27; other events today include a plenary called “Critical Links: The Death Penalty, Overincarceration, and the Prison Industrial Complex” at 9:15 AM. On Saturday, October 26, Sister Helen Prejean will speak at 8:45 AM. Conference admission is $25 for a single day or $65 for the whole thing (plus an additional $55 to attend Saturday’s keynote banquet). For more information call 202-543-9577 or 312-849-2279, or log on to www.ncadp.org.
The Chicago Coalition Against War and Racism is selling round-trip bus tickets to tomorrow’s Washington, D.C., march to stop the war on Iraq before it starts. Bus fare is $70, but for free you can rally to send the protesters off today at 4:30 at Federal Plaza, Adams and Dearborn. Buses leave at 5:30 from behind the School of the Art Institute, on Columbus between Jackson and Adams. To reserve a seat call 312-458-9559 or E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Pullman and Haymarket have become pop-culture labor icons, but they’re just the tip of the iceberg,” says Bob Bruno, cochair of the Chicago Center for Working Class Studies. “This is still a town whose working class experiences a great deal of economic and political abuse and struggle.” He cites recent labor disputes at downtown hotels, V&V Supremo Foods, and Azteca Foods, where workers are still on strike, as examples. The center will kick off its newest project–the creation of a large illustrated map of sites important to local labor history–with tonight’s free panel discussion, Beyond Haymarket and Pullman: Mapping Chicago’s Working Class Struggles. Speakers include representatives from the steel and garment industries as well as attorney, former steelworker, and former City Council member Leon Despres, United Steel Workers of America reformer Ed Sadlowski, and Chicago Tribune correspondent Stephen Franklin. Music will be provided by Bucky Halker and Allan Schwartz. It’s from 7 to 9 at UNITE Union Hall, 333 S. Ashland. For more call 312-996-2491.
Last year literary wonder boy Dave Eggers teamed up with the pop duo They Might Be Giants to produce a music-themed issue of Eggers’s journal, McSweeney’s, and a successful Reading Is Fundamental benefit concert in New York. Now they’re off on a four-city multimedia tour titled McSweeney’s vs They Might Be Giants, which includes TMBG performing songs from last year’s CD Mink Car and Eggers reading from his work–including his new novel, You Shall Know Our Velocity–as well as from material by Zadie Smith, Robert Lowell, and Chicago’s Chris Ware. The tour stops in town (and picks up special guest Ira Glass) tonight and tomorrow, October 26, at 8 at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport; tickets are $29 to $35. For more information call 773-722-5463 or 312-902-1500, or see the Performing Arts Chicago Web site at www.pachicago.org. Tomorrow at 11 Eggers will speak at the School of the Art Institute’s auditorium, 280 S. Columbus; admission is $5, $3 for students and seniors. At 2 he’ll appear at Quimby’s (1854 W. North, 773-342-0910) to sign copies of his book; TMBG will perform and sign copies of their new 52-song CD, Dial-a-Song, at the same time at Borders Books & Music in Oak Park (1144 Lake, 708-386-6927). Both those events are free.
26 SATURDAY “I have used art to heal myself when I was young. If I could do this for other people, this would be wonderful,” says 83-year-old ceramic artist Ruth Duckworth in Karen Carter’s new documentary, Ruth Duckworth: A Life in Clay. Duckworth (the subject of a recent Reader cover story) fled Nazi Germany as a teenager in 1936 and studied at the Liverpool Art School before landing a job teaching sculpture at the University of Chicago in 1964; she still lives and works in town. Carter’s film receives its world premiere today at 1 and 3 at SOFA Chicago, where Duckworth’s work is on display at the Bellas Artes/Thea Burger Booth. It’s at Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand. Daily admission to SOFA, which started Friday, October 25, and runs today from 11 to 8 and tomorrow, October 27, from noon to 6, is $12, $20 for a three-day pass. For more call 800-563-7632 or see www.sofaexpo.com.
27 SUNDAY For the past year, sisters and artists Rachel and Natalie Borchers have been hosting quarterly multimedia events in their Humboldt Park studio, the Chop Shop. Tonight’s free opening, Too Much Power Is Us, will feature paintings by a slew of visual artists, video projections, and music by M.O.T.O., Atlanta’s A-Fir-Ju Well, and Moris Tepper, former sideman for Captain Beefheart and Tom Waits, among others. It’s from 6 “until late” at 1000 N. California (773-645-9578); the videos will be shown next door at the California Clipper, where Rachel works.
28 MONDAY It’s all over the news–Americans are getting fatter. Obesity among adults has increased nearly 60 percent since 1991; today, according to recent studies by the Centers for Disease Control, nearly two-thirds are overweight, and more than 30 percent are obese. Today at 4, Harvard University professor of medicine Dr. Jeffrey S. Flier will give a free lecture called The Obesity Epidemic: The Role of Genes and the Environment. It’s in room 100 of the University of Chicago’s Gleacher Center, 450 N. Cityfront Plaza Dr. (near Illinois and Saint Clair). Registration starts at 3:30; for more call 773-334-9005.
29 TUESDAY John Barrymore eschewed heavy makeup to play both title roles in John S. Robertson’s 1921 silent thriller Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, effecting the good doctor’s transformation into his evil alter ego by using the muscles in his face. The Silent Film Society of Chicago sponsors tonight’s pre-Halloween screening, which will be accompanied by organist Dennis Scott, playing the score he wrote for the film. It’s at 7:45 at the Biograph Theatre, 2433 N. Lincoln. Tickets are $9 in advance ($8 for students and seniors) or $11 for all at the door. Call 773-777-9438 or see www.silentfilmchicago.com.
30 WEDNESDAY Writer and director Kemba Johnson-Webb drew on the works of Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, and Iyanla Vanzant as well as the writings of women exiting the prison system to create Only Women Bleed, a multimedia theatrical production that examines incarceration’s effects and its relationship to slavery. The piece will be performed tonight by a cast of former prisoners as part of 30 Days of Art & Education on Women’s Incarceration, a Beyondmedia installation that’s traveling to sites around Chicago over the next month. There’s a reception at 6 and the performance is at 7 at the DePaul University Cultural Center, 2250 N. Sheffield (773-325-7759). For other times and locations call 773-973-2280 or visit www.beyondmedia.org.
31 THURSDAY Nudity is a no-no at tonight’s Stryker Ball fall fetish festival, but organizers are encouraging people to come in fetish wear–latex, lingerie, leather, rubber, uniforms, and over-the-top club garb. The hosts are porn stars Jeff Stryker and Brittany Andrews–both of whom will judge the costume contest as well as strip during the evening. The night will also include sets by DJ Bill Bennett. Some of the proceeds benefit the Chicago-based Leather Archives and Museum. It’s from 9 PM to 4 AM at the Rainbo roller rink, 4836 N. Clark. Admission is $25 in advance or $30 at the door; those not in costume will be asked to fork over an additional ten bucks. For more call 800-494-8497 or see www.strykerball.com.