Friday 3/23 – Thursday 3/29
By Cara Jepsen
23 FRIDAY “In the 1880s, when the railroad first came through New Mexico, the pueblos in the Rio Grande valley would make trinkets they thought the tourists would like,” says Leroy Garcia, co-owner of Santa Fe’s Blue Rain Gallery. Garcia and his wife and business partner, Tammy, have spent the last ten years trying to undo the American public’s lingering impression that Native American artists are “just craftspeople,” he says. The artists his gallery represents “don’t do Indian art–they just happen to be Indians who do art.” This weekend Blue Rain is bringing the work of a dozen or so of its artists to the Kass/Meridian Gallery, 215 W. Superior. Tonight’s free opening reception with the artists runs from 5 to 9, and potter Richard Zane Smith will give a free demonstration Saturday from 12:30 to 3:30. The gallery is open Saturday and Sunday from 10 to 6. Call 800-414-4893 for more information.
Women’s impact on the global economy and their influence in religion and in the workplace will be put under the microscope at this weekend’s Women’s Ways of Leading conference. Guests will include Nobel Peace Prize nominee Kathy Kelly, who heads Voices in the Wilderness, which campaigns to end economic sanctions against Iraq; Jeanne L. Nowaczewski of Business and Professional People for the Public Interest; Esther Nieves, executive director of Erie Neighborhood House; and Margaret Small and Mary Ann Pitcher, codirectors of the Young Women’s Leadership Charter School. Preregistration is required for the conference, but tonight’s 8 PM performance by Marie Aponte of I Will Not Be Silenced, a monologue about 17th-century nun Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, is open to the public; general admission tickets are $10. The conference runs through Sunday morning in Galvin Hall at Loyola University’s Sullivan Center, 6339 N. Sheridan. Registration is $40, $15 for students and seniors. Call 773-508-8430.
Michael Flores’s new show, Burly-Q!–The Burlesque “Sexsperience,” is about the last of the good ol’ days, “when you and your date could see a comic like Lenny Bruce, a musician like Miles Davis, and strippers–all on just one bill.” It’s set at Chicago’s Kit Kat Klub in 1961 and features a revolving cast, including performers from Flores’s last show (and upcoming motion picture), Bettie Page Uncensored. This one, which he wrote with producer Megan Pedersen, opens tonight at 10:30 at the Playground, 3341 N. Lincoln. Tickets are $12; you must be 18. Call 773-250-3004.
24 SATURDAY Civil engineer Jim Marshall started surveying and mapping prehistoric earthworks in Ohio and Florida in 1965, and in 1991 he began finding them in the Chicago area. These sites, left by Native Americans, can be hundreds of feet long and feature canals, geometric shapes, and representations of birds and animals. Marshall says there are about 45 within 60 miles of downtown: “They’re in bad stages of disrepair, but they show up on old aerial photographs.” He’ll give a lecture and slide show, An Unknown to the Public Environmental Concern, tonight at 8 at the College of Complexes at the Lincoln Restaurant, 4008 N. Lincoln. Tuition is $3, plus a food or drink purchase. Call 312-326-2120.
Historians have dubbed Chicago the quintessential American city of the 19th century. Today the Newberry Library will screen episode 15–The New City–of the public television video series “A Biography of America,” which uses the example of Chicago to tell the story of American urbanism. It’ll be followed by a panel discussion about our former glory and why some events go down in history and others don’t. The panel includes Lafayette College professor Donald L. Miller, author of the acclaimed 1996 book City of the Century: The Epic of Chicago and the Making of America and the lead historian for the series. The screening and discussion are free and run from 1 to 3 at Walter Payton College Preparatory High School, 1034 N. Wells (312-255-3524).
25 SUNDAY Local bluesman Mark Hannon was diagnosed with cancer a little under five years ago. After losing a lung and going through chemotherapy and radiation, he returned to the scene, playing less harp and doing more singing. But the cancer reappeared several months ago, and Hannon has now exhausted traditional treatments. The proceeds from tonight’s “Blues Power” fund-raiser will help him pursue experimental measures. The lineup includes Sugar Blue, J.W. Williams, Dave Specter, Jimmie Johnson, Eddy Clearwater, Big Sweaty Men, Buzz Kilman, and a reunion of the original Mark Hannon Blues Band. It’s from 3 to 10 PM at Bar Louie, 47 W. Polk. The requested donation is $10; call 312-347-0000 for more info.
26 MONDAY Four years ago Julia Butterfly Hill began her sit-in high in the branches of a 200-foot old-growth redwood. She lived in the tree, which she named Luna, for 738 days in order to keep the Pacific Lumber/Maxxam Corporation from felling it. To get her down, the company agreed to preserve the tree, about 230 miles north of San Francisco, and to refrain from logging in a 250-foot radius around it. Now Hill’s on solid ground promoting her new book, The Legacy of Luna: The Story of a Tree, a Woman, and the Struggle to Save the Redwoods. She’ll read from it tonight at 7 at the Conrad Sulzer Regional Library, 4455 N. Lincoln. It’s free; call 312-744-7616.
27 TUESDAY The career of Italian filmmaker Valerio Zurlini spanned three decades, and yet he never became well-known outside of Europe. Zurlini made many shorts in the 1940s and eight critically acclaimed features between 1954 and 1976; they’ll all be screened at Facets’ retrospective of his work, which started on Friday and runs through Thursday. The best of the highly regarded lot is said to be The Professor, which boasts a top-notch performance by Alain Delon as a tormented substitute teacher who starts hanging out with the town’s vitelloni (slackers) and falls for one of his students. It shows tonight at 6:30 and 9 at Facets Multimedia, 1517 W. Fullerton. Admission is $7; call 773-281-4114.
28 WEDNESDAY This week nearly 250 poets from Amsterdam to Zilina will read their work as part of the United Nations-sponsored Year of Dialogue Among Civilizations Worldwide Reading Series. The event includes several readings staged on international territory: at UN headquarters, in Antarctica, on the Philippine Sea, and at the Mount Everest base camp, where Mallory and Irvine Research Expedition leader Eric Simonson will read Canadian poet P.K. Page’s “Planet Earth” (he plans to read it again at the summit in May or June). Closer to sea level, the Guild Complex hosts Palestinian-American poet Suheir Hammad, author of the 1996 collection Born Palestinian, Born Black, tonight at 7:30 at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division, along with performance poets Kevin Coval, Nikki Patin, and Mario and DJ Madrid. Admission is $5, $3 for students and seniors. Call 773-227-6123.
29 THURSDAY Today’s Woman Warrior Festival takes its name from Maxine Hong Kingston’s 1975 best-seller about growing up female and Chinese-American in California. The daylong event includes an interactive workshop that examines how current attitudes toward beauty affect Asian-American women; a discussion of the multimedia dance work Turn Her White With Stones, which explores the legacy of Cambodia’s killing fields; a lecture by singer-songwriter Magdalen Hsu-Li about being Asian, queer, and artsy; and performances by Anna Fermin’s Trigger Gospel, Indian dancer Hema Rajagapalan, and a violin trio from the Chinese Fine Arts Society. It’s sponsored by Columbia College’s Center for Asian Arts and Media and runs from 9 to 4 at the school’s Herman D. Conaway Multicultural Center, 1104 S. Wabash. Admission is $30; call 312-344-7870 for a complete schedule.
Novelist and critic Cynthia Ozick argues that dramatists and others who focus only on Anne Frank’s diary and dismiss the fact that she died at Bergen-Belsen have “infantalized, Americanized, homogenized, sentimentalized, falsified, kitschified, and blatantly and arrogantly denied” her story and her work. Tonight Ozick, whose essay collection Quarrel & Quandary just won a National Book Critics Circle Award, will give a lecture based on an essay in that book called “Who Owns Anne Frank?” It’s at 7:30 in the Guild Lounge of Northwestern University’s Scott Hall, 601 University Place in Evanston. It’s free; call 847-491-3525.