Friday 5/16 – Thursday 5/22


16 FRIDAY The Chicago-based Rebel Grrrl collective was founded two years ago when three women hooked up to put out a zine of the same name. “Ladyfest was sort of the catalyst for deciding to do the zine in the first place,” says Julie, one of the three. “Originally it was going to be a collective fanzine about the really amazing people (mainly women) who influenced you when you were a kid….Also, Ladyfest made us stay up really late with insufficient nutrition, and that always leads to crazy ideas.” Since then the group has expanded to distribute other feminist zines as well as materials like movies, buttons, and patches. The proceeds from this weekend’s Festival of Unrestival will help fund their efforts to provide free zines to women in prison. The three-day event offers poetry, music, and workshops on everything from bike repair to DIY gynecology. Tonight’s installment is titled “Words and Guitar” (after the Sleater-Kinney tune, natch) and includes poetry by Stephanie Gentry-Fernandez, Rose Tully, Kay Barrett, and Edith Bucio and music by the Hags, Beeftube, Torn Between, Pal, Apartment, and Close, But Not Quite. Doors open at 5; there’s a poetry open mike at 6, followed by the featured poets at 7 and music at 8 at 2244 W. 23rd Pl. The suggested donation is $7; for more information call 773-347-1211.

When the city’s weekend-long Great Chicago Places and Spaces architecture festival was launched five years ago it featured just under 50 tours. This time around there are 155, many of which will be led by architects and designers; they range from tomorrow’s tour of the new UBS Tower at One North Wacker with project designer and developer Drew Nieman (May 17 at 2 PM) to a look at the legacy of Burnham and Bennett’s 1909 Plan of Chicago (May 18 at 9:30 AM). The festival kicks off tonight at 6 with a free keynote discussion about the city with TV journalist Bill Kurtis and historian Donald Miller, author of City of the Century: The Epic of Chicago and the Making of America (which inspired the PBS documentary). It’s at the Chicago Historical Society, 1601 N. Clark. The free tours start tomorrow at 9 AM and continue through Sunday afternoon; a ticket or advance registration is required. For a complete schedule call 312-744-3315 or see

17 SATURDAY In 1998, Windy City Hemp Development Board founder Caren Thomas took over a lawsuit filed by late activist Robert MacDonald against the Chicago Park District. MacDonald was denied a permit to stage a march in Grant Park against the war on drugs; his suit claimed the CPD’s permit process could prevent citizens from exercising their First Amendment rights in public places. In December 2001 Thomas took the case to the U.S. Supreme Court–and lost. But, she says, “in the Park District briefs to the Supreme Court, they represented a system for granting permits that they now abide by. The effect of losing the case is that we won–we’re treated a lot better.” In other words, this year’s free Windy City Hemp Fest should go off without a hitch. It features speakers, displays, food, and bands and runs from noon to 9 today and tomorrow, May 18, at Montrose and the lake, east of Cricket Hill. For more information call 773-381-9330 or E-mail

Shopping, a 45-minute piece by German composer and video artist Michael Maierhof, is scored for 21 balloons. They are “largely rubbed, and in a couple of places the air is let out so they hiss at a very high frequency,” explains Renaissance Society education director Hamza Walker. A revised version for 16 musicians will be performed tonight at 8 by Austrian cellist Michael Moser and Ensemble Noamnesia; the music will accompany a set of Maierhof’s videos–which are “like blocks of texture that are juxtaposed against one another in a very precise manner,” says Walker. It’ll be presented in conjunction with the Joelle Tuerlinckx installation Chicago Studies: Les etants donnes (“that which is given”), which runs through June 15. Moser and Ensemble Noamnesia will perform Maierhof’s work for chamber ensemble Friday night at 8. Both free concerts are at the Renaissance Society, 5811 S. Ellis (773-702-8670).

18 SUNDAY Seventy-nine-year-old artist Allen Stringfellow is known for wearing bright red and creating vibrant visual work using religious and jazz-world themes. A new exhibit running through June 7 at Nicole Gallery features 46 of his latest collages, including one called DeLisa the Club, which depicts the south-side nightclub that his father–a singer and jazz guitarist–managed. Today from 2 to 4 Stringfellow will discuss his work and create a new collage using construction paper and images clipped from magazines at a free Sunday Afternoon Salon at the gallery, 230 W. Huron. Call 312-787-7716.

19 MONDAY The past 12 months have been “the longest year of my life,” says former Gold Coast resident Julie Lofton. In that time the 26-year-old writer and producer, now based in Los Angeles, started a production company and completed her first documentary, Best Friend Forgotten, which features narration by David Duchovny. It focuses on the plight of two strays–an LA dog named Clover and a Chicago cat named Oreo that was picked up on the south side last winter by Animal Care and Control. “We followed several animals, but most ended up on the cutting-room floor,” says Lofton, who will attend tonight’s preview, a benefit for the educational outreach group Give Voice to Animals. The screening starts at 6 at the Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn. Admission is $10; tickets for the dinner and auction at 7:30 down the hall at Petterino’s, 150 N. Dearborn, start at $125. For reservations call 312-527-3667.

20 TUESDAY The latest target of the group SUSTAIN (“Stop U.S. Tax-funded Aid to Israel Now”) is the Peoria-based Caterpillar corporation, which sells armored bulldozers to the Israeli military. In March SUSTAIN members from the D.C. area plastered their local Caterpillar office with photos of American peace activist Rachel Corrie, who was run over and killed by a Caterpillar bulldozer on March 16 in Gaza. The northwest-suburban chapter of SUSTAIN will hammer out local protest strategies at a planning meeting tonight at 7 at the New World Resource Center, 1300 N. Western. For more call 866-860-9311 or visit

21 WEDNESDAY “The technique of police interrogation probably hasn’t changed in centuries,” says William Martin, the former assistant state’s attorney who helped convict mass murderer Richard Speck in 1967. What has changed over the past few decades, though, is forensic technology. “There’s been a quantum leap in progress in certain areas–particularly the role of DNA,” says Martin, who will chair tonight’s free panel discussion, Science, Crime Detection, and the Law From Sherlock Holmes to CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Participants include former assistant state’s attorney Celeste Stack, forensic microscopist Skip Palenik, assistant state’s attorney Robert Egan, and Holmes expert Thomas Joyce. It starts at 6 at the Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton, and is presented in conjunction with the library’s exhibit “Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: Beyond Sherlock Holmes,” which runs through July 12. Call 312-255-3700 for more information.

22 THURSDAY Like other immigrants to this country, Italians initially suffered prejudice and discrimination because of their origins. But because of their skin color, says Notre Dame American Studies professor Thomas Guglielmo, they were better able to move up the economic and social ladder than blacks and Latinos. Guglielmo will discuss his new book, White on Arrival: Italians, Race, Color, and Power in Chicago, 1890-1945, at an urban history seminar tonight at the Chicago Historical Society, 1601 N. Clark. It starts at 5:45 with a cash bar, followed by dinner at 6:30 and the program at 7:30. Tickets are $20; call 312-799-2009 for reservations.