Although he is known mainly for his poetry and essays, Romanian-born writer and cultural critic Andrei Codrescu has also appeared as a commentator on NPR’s All Things Considered and ABC’s Nightline. Codrescu recently made his film debut, writing and narrating the feature Road Scholar. Tonight he’ll address censorship and the political correctness controversy in a free lecture at the Art Institute’s Arthur Rubloff Auditorium, Columbus Drive and Monroe. His talk, Forked Tongues: Censorship in the PC (Post-Communism and Political Correctness), begins at 6, and he’ll hang around to sign books afterward. Call 443-3600 for more information.
National Public Radio’s Afropop Worldwide is now in its sixth season, and the show’s host, Cameroonian Georges Collinet, is in town tonight for a worldbeat dance party at the South Shore Cultural Center, as part of a series of events celebrating the 50th anniversary of local NPR affiliate WBEZ. The party starts at 9 and will feature CD giveaways and a performance by the local ten-piece dance band Dan Boadi and Ghanatta. The center is at 7059 S. South Shore Drive, and admission is $25, $20 for WBEZ members. Call 460-9150 for more.
October means moving and rummage and the Mega Sale at Holy Covenant United Methodist Church. Assorted furniture, appliances, linens, office equipment, and miscellaneous whatnots will be on sale in the basement and outside the church. Hungry rummagers can step inside for the simultaneous “Egg-cellent Breakfast,” with omelets made to order. Breakfast costs $5 and is served from 7 AM until 1 PM, the same hours as the sale, which is free. The day’s proceeds will go toward the renovation of the church, at 925 W. Diversey. Call 528-6462 for more.
Historical material documenting the lives and experiences of African Americans in Illinois will be the focus of a daylong conference at the DuSable Museum of African American History. Seminars will include an archival and bibliographical survey, a look at antebellum Illinois, and case studies of African American communities. African American History in Illinois runs in conjunction with a traveling exhibit of paintings depicting people and events in Illinois history, and the publication of Illinois Generations: A Traveler’s Guide to African American Heritage, a booklet on historical landmarks. The conference, which is free and open to the public, runs from 9 AM to 5 PM. The paintings will be on exhibit through November 30 at the museum, 740 E. 56th Place. For a schedule of events call 947-0600.
Residents for Emergency Shelter (REST), which provides meals and support services as well as overnight shelter to homeless men and women, needs volunteers to help with its shelter on the north side. Orientation for those interested in helping with cooking, office work, and day, evening, and overnight programs takes place this morning from 10 till noon, at the shelter’s office at 941 W. Lawrence. Call 784-0909 to register.
If you liked Roger Clinton you’ll love Bob Mamet. The playwright’s brother has found his own niche as a jazz keyboardist and composer for film and television. At 8 tonight he’s performing a free concert of music from his new CD, Signs of Life, at Borders Books & Music, 49 S. Waukegan Road in Deerfield. Call 708-559-1999 for more.
A surge of Native Americans moving from reservations to cities after World War II gave Chicago one of the largest urban Indian populations in the country, with nearly 100 tribes represented. Their needs and concerns will be addressed at Chicago Native American Community Today, a panel discussion featuring Sam Keahna, director of the American Indian Center; Faith Smith, president of NAES College; and Yvonne Murry-Ramos, executive director of the American Indian Economic Development Association. The panel and a later reception are sponsored by the Mitchell Indian Museum as part of an Illinois history exhibit. Today’s discussion begins at 3, and admission is $5. The museum is located in Kendall College, 2408 Orrington in Evanston. Call 708-866-1395 for more.
DanceAfrica/Chicago 1993, which organizers say is America’s largest African-dance festival, kicks off today with free events at Columbia College. Chuck Davis, artistic director of DanceAfrica/Chicago, will lecture at 2:30 following a performance by localite dance company S.P.I.R.I.T.S. and immediately before his own performance with ODADAA!, from Washington, D.C. The talk and performances are at the college’s Hokin Center, 623 S. Wabash, at noon and 5. These events begin a ten-day celebration of performances, classes, lectures, and workshops–some free, others not–all over the city. Get a complete schedule at 271-7804 or 271-7928.
Director David Lean had no way of knowing that his film The Bridge on the River Kwai would endure as an Academy Award-winning classic, much less that it would inspire a schoolyard song about the effects of ingesting a bathroom cleaner. Before a newly restored 35-millimeter CinemaScope print with remastered Dolby sound track becomes available on home video, ten venues around the country will screen the restoration, among them the Film Center at the School of the Art Institute (Columbus Drive at Jackson). Admission is a hefty $20, $15 for Film Center members, but proceeds will benefit the center’s educational programs. The screening begins at 6; 443-3733.
Today’s performance of bomba and plena music by the Puerto Rican Grupo Yuba will be the first of several live performances as the Field Museum of Natural History celebrates Latin American Heritage Month with Celebracion Festival ’93, four days of music, dance, games, and presentations by museum staff. Performances will include music and dancing from Guatemala, Brazil, Mexico, Panama, Bolivia, and the Dominican Republic. Grupo Yuba’s performance takes place today at 10:30. Admission to the museum is $5 for adults, $3 for children, students, and seniors, and free to school and community groups who register in advance. The museum is at Lake Shore Drive and Roosevelt Road. Call 922-9410, ext. 351, for information and to register.
Though Richard Christiansen said of her (in 1969 in the Chicago Daily News) “She’d much rather dance than talk about it,” local treasure Sybil Shearer is giving a presentation on her own life and work tonight at the Art Institute. At the height of her New York career (before she abandoned it to live in relative isolation in Northbrook), Walter Terry wrote, Shearer would fill a hall with so many dance dignitaries that “if the roof caved in, there would have been no American dance the next day.” Shearer’s talk will draw on the archives and films of her longtime colleague, lighting designer and photographer Helen Balfour Morrison. The free talk starts at 6 in the Rubloff Auditorium, at the museum, Columbus Drive at Monroe. For more call 443-3680.
Baseball bats, cigar boxes, horseshoes, and railroad spikes are among the materials used by craftspeople whose work is included in Eccentric Chairs, a monthlong exhibit of bizarre and expressive but functional chairs sponsored by Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art. Tonight Lynda Roscoe Hartigan, associate curator of painting and sculpture at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American Art, will give a slide lecture called James Hampton’s Heavenly Seating, about the visionary creation of a Washington, D.C., janitor who considered himself a prophet. The lecture’s tonight at 7 in the fifth-floor atrium at 900 N. Franklin. Tickets are $6, $4 for students and Intuit members. The exhibit’s on the second floor at the same address, and it’s viewable 11 to 5 Monday through Saturday through October 31. Call 759-1046 for more.
Recreational and commuter bicycling appears to be growing in popularity exactly 100 years after Chicago went through its first bicycle craze. Tonight James Hurd, curator of the Bicycle Museum of America, will discuss the explosion of interest in bicycles during the 1890s and the role of bicycles at the 1893 world’s fair. The talk takes place at 7 at the Conrad Sulzer Regional Library, 4455 N. Lincoln (744-7616). Admission is free and so are the refreshments.