Friday 17

Candles, candelabras, lamps, and menorahs are the focus of “Let There Be Light,” a holiday show at Lill Street Gallery featuring pieces by 30 artists from around the country who work in clay, glass, forged metal, and mixed media. The opening begins at 6 tonight and includes a candle-lighting ceremony and a cake full of candles to celebrate the gallery’s 20th anniversary. The free event takes place at the gallery, 1021 W. Lill. Anyone inspired by the work can take a clay menorah and candleholder workshop tomorrow from 1 to 3, which costs $18, $12 for kids. The show runs through December 31. Call 477-6185 for more.

Cannibal Cheerleaders on Crack is now in its fifth year of tirelessly providing regular doses of futuristic mayhem and, according to press materials, an “ocean of spurting body fluids.” The company is celebrating this weekend with free beer and pizza for whoever comes to the 10:30 show tonight and tomorrow at the Torso Theatre, 2827 N. Broadway. Seats are $11. Call 549-3330 for tickets.

Saturday 18

Local folks concerned about the pathology of the white overclass are getting together today from 9 to 3 for Ain’t No-Ways Tired: Renewing the Spirit, Continuing the Struggle Against Racism, a conference sponsored by the Anti-Racism Institute of Clergy and Laity Concerned. It features activist-poet Sonia Sanchez and native-rights advocate Esther Yazzie as speakers, along with panels on community radio, youth organizing, and coalition building as well as performances by the Funky Wordsmyths, Red Sands Drum, Voices, and the Pintig Cultural Group. The $25 registration fee–$10 for students–includes lunch. It’s happening at the First Baptist Congregational Church, 1613 W. Washington. Call 427-4830, extension 229, for more.

Pioneer photographer Eadweard Muybridge spent a good chunk of the 1870s capturing images of animals in successive stages of movement, which he eventually projected from rotating disks to create an early form of motion picture. A free exhibit featuring 35 plates from his book Animal Locomotion–as well as interactive motion toys, books, and other Muybridge artifacts–opens today in a special collections exhibit hall on the ninth floor of the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State; it runs through February 25. The library is open today from 9 to 5. Call 747-4649 for more information.

Northwestern School of Music alum Robert Kritz let his art fall by the wayside back in 1949 when he had to take a job to support his family. It wasn’t until last year that he dug up some of his old compositions and showed them to associate dean Richard Green, who helped him revise one piece, which will be performed tonight by the university’s Sheridan Chamber Players. Kritz’s String Quintet 1946 will be debuted at 7:30 in Lutkin Hall, 700 University Pl. in Evanston. Admission is free, but reservations are necessary and can be made by calling 280-0070.

Sunday 19

If you missed Australian-Celtic folkies Tiddas when they opened for Billy Bragg last night, you can check them out today at 1 when they play a free acoustic set at Borders Books and Music. The trio began as background vocalists for the aboriginal group Djaambi and has since opened for Melissa Etheridge, the Ramones, Suzanne Vega, and the Chieftains. Borders is located at 830 N. Michigan. Call 573-0564 for more.

For over 80 years the Chicago Zither Club has kept this traditional central European instrument alive on the local music scene. Today at 3:30 they’re holding their fall concert dinner dance at the Fountain Blue Restaurant and Banquet Hall, 2300 Mannheim, in Des Plaines. The $35 ticket covers dinner and a performance by a ten-zither orchestra and two solo singers. Call 631-2854 for more information.

Local author Mary Edsey’s The Best Christmas Decorations in Chicagoland is a drive-by guide to the area’s most ornately decked houses, yards, and neighborhoods. She’ll be showing slides and reading stories from her book at 5:30 today, at Mareva’s Restaurant, 1250 N. Milwaukee. The event costs $20 a head and includes dinner. Call 973-3523 for reservations and info.

Monday 20

In the early 1900s Wilson Bentley theorized that no two snowflakes are alike after he made large slides–called photomicrographs–of more than 5,000 of them. About 17 of Bentley’s photos and photomicrographs are on display today, along with an academic article he wrote for National Geographic, at Rosary College in River Forest. They’ll be up through January 30 in the college’s Rebecca Crown Library, 7900 Division. Admission is free, and the library is open 8 AM to 10 PM. Call 708-524-6886 for more.

Today marks the beginning of the final week of the two-year, nine-city tour of painter Jacob Lawrence’s “The Migration Series,” which is made up of 60 separate panels documenting the post-World War I movement of African-Americans from the rural south to the industrial north. This is the first exhibition in 50 years of all the panels together. The show runs through November 26 at the Chicago Historical Society, Clark Street at North Avenue. It’s open today through Saturday, 9:30 to 4:30, and from noon to 5 on Sunday. The suggested donation is $3, $2 for students and seniors. For more information call 642-4600.

Tuesday 21

Sylvia Friedman uses astrological signs to make sense of personalities and family dynamics–useful knowledge to arm yourself with before stressful and disturbing encounters at Thanksgiving. She’ll be discussing and signing her new book, The Stars in Your Family, tonight at 7 at Borders Books and Music, 830 N. Michigan. Admission is free. Call 573-0564 for more.

The struggle over electronic publishing rights was the focus of a symposium held in New York last June, featuring the U.S. commissioner of patents and trademarks and representatives of the National Writers Union, Georgetown University Law Center, and Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. The Graphic Artists Guild of Chicago shows a videotape of the symposium and leads a discussion of the issues it raises at 7 tonight at the Three Arts Club, 1300 N. Dearborn. Admission is $25, $15 for members. Call 761-7292 for more info.

Wednesday 22

Mumia Abu-Jamal’s legal defense, Puerto Rican political prisoners, and the Chicago Abortion Fund will partake in a three-way split of the proceeds from a cultural benefit tonight featuring electric-guitar soloist Theresa Witek, hip-hoppers Ang 13, Stony Island, and Back of the Bus, a “prayer dance” by the Winged Monkee, and readings by a gaggle of local poets. A potluck dinner precedes the show, which starts at 9 at the Ruiz Belvis Center, 1632 N. Milwaukee. The $5 tickets can be bought at the door or in advance at Quimby’s Queer Store, 1328 N. Damen, and Quaker Goes Deaf, 1937 W. North. Call 235-3520 for more.

Thursday 23

Thanksgiving at Brookfield Zoo means alfalfa hay, beet pulp, hog mix, duck chow, and worms. Anyone interested in helping dish this stuff out to the resident ducks, llamas, horses, cows, and donkeys should meet at the windmill at 1 at the Children’s Zoo. Visitors can also watch keepers feed hawks, porcupines, coyotes, and other feisty critters. Admission is free today, but parking costs $4. The zoo is open daily from 10 to 4:30 and is located at First Avenue and 31st Street in Brookfield. Call 708-485-0263 for more information.