Friday 5/12 – Thursday 5/18
By Cara Jepsen
12 FRIDAY Reverse the first t and the r in “psychiatrist” and it becomes “psychi-artist.” Such animals do exist, and today six shrink-artists–a visual artist, three poets, a furniture designer-woodworker, and a musician-filmmaker–will discuss their unique perspective on creativity and the inner workings of the mind at a free forum called The Pursuit of the Muse. It’s part of the American Psychoanalytic Association’s weekend conference and runs from 10:30 to 12:30 in the Red Lacquer room at the Palmer House Hilton, 17 E. Monroe. The APA also hosts a free town meeting on youth and violence today from 11 to 1 in the Chicago Cultural Center’s Preston Bradley Hall, 78 E. Washington. Call 312-782-6960 for more information.
“Southern trees bear a strange fruit, / Blood on the leaves and blood at the root, / Black body swinging in the southern breeze, / Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees,” sang Billie Holiday in her signature tune. According to writer David Margolick, Holiday’s 1939 performance of the controversial song, which was written by Abel Meeropol–a white, Jewish schoolteacher and communist sympathizer who adopted the orphaned children of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg–marked the beginning of the civil rights movement. Tonight Margolick will talk about his new book Strange Fruit: Billie Holiday, Cafe Society, and an Early Cry for Civil Rights. The free discussion starts at 7 at Borders Books & Music, 830 N. Michigan (312-573-0564).
Sculptor Catherine Schwalbe-Bouzide calls her lush end of Henderson Street in Gross Park (near Ravenswood) the “lucky” half of the block–the other end lost all but one tree to the Asian long-horned beetle. To raise local spirits, she and five sculptors were invited by the Gross Park Neighbors to display their work in the park, which is down 12 trees, until June 1. The free opening for the Gross Park Sculpture Invitational is tonight from 6 to 10 in the park at 1700 W. Henderson. Poets Dr. David and Victoria Rubin will perform at 7. Call 773-248-1762 for further details.
13 SATURDAY Sofas, TV sets, jewelry, bathrobes, irons, books, shoes, and original artwork for Nicole Hollander’s “Sylvia” cartoons will transform Las Manos Gallery into the smoking, cat-loving curmudgeon’s living room at today’s 20th anniversary celebration for Sylvia. (Instead of cats, gallery mutt Stella will be on hand to greet guests.) The two-part event starts at 1 at Women & Children First Bookstore, 5233 N. Clark, where Hollander will sign copies of her newly reprinted book Everything Here Is Mine: An Unhelpful Guide to Cat Behavior. At 2 the gallery will open (across the street at 5220 N. Clark) for a reception that includes coffee, tea, cake, and more book signing. Both events are free; the “Sylvia” exhibit runs through May 28. Call Las Manos at 773-728-8910 for more.
African-American boys must deal with the triple threat of racism, prejudice, and discrimination in addition to the usual challenges of growing up, say authors and psychologists A.J. Franklin and Nancy Boyd-Franklin. The Franklins, who have four children of their own, will discuss their book Boys Into Men: Raising Our African American Teenage Sons today from 2:30 to 4:30 at African American Images Books and Gifts, 1909 W. 95th (773-445-7822). It’s free.
14 SUNDAY When the art group Test Site takes over and transforms the Congress Theatre this weekend you’ll see waterfalls, stalagmites, and stalactites projected onto the walls between the lobby and the main stage. “As you walk into the space it opens up to nine stories tall,” says Test Site artist Mason Hall. “It’s an overwhelmingly beautiful space. I’m trying to accentuate that by controlling how the viewer walks from the lobby to the main-stage auditorium.” Others participating in the site-specific installation include experimental sound performance group Epectir, choreographers Margaret Goddard and Eduardo De Soignie, trapeze performers, opera singers, video artists, and many more. The free event takes place Thursday and Friday from 6 to midnight and today from 1 to 6 at the Congress Theatre, 2135 N. Milwaukee. Call 773-395-1935 for more.
For Mother’s Day weekend, the Sweat Girls performance group will resurrect last year’s well-received The Motherlode, in which each group member performs a 15-minute monologue about her mom interwoven with video footage of each mother shot by filmmaker Joe Winston. Performances are Saturday at 8 and today at 3:30 and 7 at the Chicago Shakespeare Studio at Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand (312-595-5600). Tickets are $25.
15 MONDAY “Over the years people have asked me ‘What made you do it?’ And I never could answer that question. Because I never set out to start a women’s revolution….It just happened, I would say, by some miracle of convergence of my life and history, serendipity, one thing leading to another,” writes NOW founder Betty Friedan in her new memoir Life So Far. In the book Friedan describes her childhood, her unhappy 22-year marriage to Carl Friedan, and how a magazine article led to the writing of The Feminine Mystique and the beginning of the women’s movement. She’ll read from and discuss the book tonight at 6 at the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State (312-747-4050).
Western involvement actually prolonged the war in Somalia, and it didn’t do much to stop the genocide in Rwanda either, says Scott Peterson, former African correspondent for the Daily Telegraph. He explores the violent, confusing recent history of Africa in his new book Me Against My Brother: At War in Somalia, Sudan and Rwanda, which he’ll discuss tonight at 7 at Borders Books & Music, 830 N. Michigan (312-573-0564).
16 TUESDAY For his seven-part opus Fragments*Jerusalem, archivist and filmmaker Ron Havilio spent ten years assembling family photos, found footage, and archival engravings and shooting new interviews and modern-day scenes. The result is a detailed portrait of his family’s history in that city and an examination of the identity of Israel. The film is midway through its ten-day run at Facets Multimedia, 1517 W. Fullerton. Parts one through three will be shown tonight and Thursday at 6:30; parts four through seven will be shown tomorrow at 6:30. Screenings continue through this weekend. Tickets are $7; call 773-281-4114 for further scheduling information.
17 WEDNESDAY There’s been so much hype surrounding the discovery and restoration of Sue–the largest, most complete, and best-preserved 67-million-year-old T. rex ever found–it’s hard to believe the public can finally view her for themselves. The opening festivities start this morning at 9 at the Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive. Admission is $8, $4 for kids, students, and seniors.
18 THURSDAY Education professor Bill Ayers is heading up UIC’s new Center for Youth and Society, a research and social action center that’s focused on creating “a new definition of educator, not only as a classroom teacher but as a youth worker, embracing the informal curriculum of street, family and community as the child’s context.” The center is sponsoring tonight’s free discussion and performance event Youth and the Challenge of Social Justice. The guests include activist-poet Luis Rodriguez, author and Columbia University professor emeritus Maxine Greene, performer-poets Mars Gamba-Adisa and Tara Betts, and youth performance group Kuumba Lynx. It’s from 5 to 7:30 in rooms A and B of UIC’s Chicago Illini Union, 820 S. Wolcott. Call 312-355-5190.