Friday 15

Abstract constructions of handmade, dyed felt by Sharron Parker are part of an exhibit of fiber art that opens 5:30 to 7:30 tonight at Neville-Sargent Gallery, 215 W. Superior. Felt is formed when heat, water, and pressure mat the fibers of wool or other fabrics. Depending on the texture, Parker says, “felt can be opulent and frivolous; dark, dense, and foreboding; or fragile and ethereal.” Her floor and wall pieces will be exhibited along with the quilts and weavings of three other artists through February 6; more information at 664-2787.

Before Paul Bartel, director and strange star of 1982’s Eating Raoul, hit Hollywood, he committed some underground productions to celluloid, one of which is being screened tonight by the Experimental Film Coalition at Randolph St. Gallery, 756 N. Milwaukee (666-7737). Billed as “Paul Bartel’s long-lost pop/camp black comedy of ‘the misfortunes of Jane amongst the filmmakers,'” The Secret Cinema is, according to Bartel, “a paranoid fantasy about a girl who thinks that all her friends are putting her on and filming her life with hidden cameras for exhibition in a secret theater–they are of course.” Also on the program are new releases by animators Sally Cruikshank and Christopher Sullivan, and more. The shows start tonight at 7 and 9:30; admission is $4, $3 for students.

Saturday 16

If the sight of frozen brooks and streams brings a tear to your eye, a midwinter class on Kankakee River fishing might bring spring a little closer. Ed Mullady, publisher of Sportsman’s Letter, teaches along with river guide Matt Mullady, advising aspiring fisherfolk on the best ways to catch the slab-sided rock bass, the powerful channel catfish, and the elusive walleye. Ed Mullady says, “Many people use our river methods on other bodies of water with good success, also.” The class takes place 1-4 today at the Kankakee Holiday Inn, 800 N. Kinzie, Kankakee; registration is $17. Call (815) 932-7285 for more.

Sunday 17

In honor of Martin Luther King’s birthday (officially celebrated tomorrow) Princess Zenani Mandela will appear as a guest speaker at the 10 AM Mass at the Community of Saint Sabina Church, 1210 W. 78th Pl. Mandela’s father Nelson has been imprisoned in South Africa since 1968; her mother Winnie is not allowed to leave South Africa, nor is she permitted to be quoted publicly. A reception will follow the ceremony; call 483-4300 for more.

Stephen Foster was so heavily influenced by popular minstrel-show tunes and the spirituals he heard while attending church meetings with his family’s servant he was led to proclaim that his ambition was “to become the best Ethiopian [i.e., black minstrel] song writer.” He’s best remembered, however, for the sentimental ballads that will be performed, along with those of Scott Joplin, Arthur Sullivan (of Gilbert and), and others, by the Oriana Singers, this afternoon at 3, at the Three Arts Club, 1300 N. Dearborn. The program, featuring music written to be performed in the parlor, will be accompanied by tea and cakes. Tickets are $9; call 907-2190 or 465-5656 for reservations.

Music and dance students from Columbia College will participate in faculty member Doug Lofstrom’s three-act concert 3 Visions, running tonight, starting at 7, through Saturday, January 23, at Columbia’s Getz Theater, 62 E. 11th St. Choreographed by Paula Frasz and dancers from the school, the concert features the music of Prince, Ricky Lee Jones, and Peter Gabriel. Tickets are $6-$10 and are available at 663-9465.

Monday 18

Got a plan to write the Great American Play, but don’t know where to start? Playwright Kathy Bolen’s 15-session playwriting course begins 6:30 to 9:30 tonight at Felician College, 3800 W. Peterson. Registration is $150; call 539-1919 for more.

Tuesday 19

Bet you didn’t know the mandolin was so versatile: Mark Weiss will fill the Atrium of the State of Illinois Center, 100 W. Randolph, with mandolin music, featuring songs from the regions of Italy in styles ranging from opera to jazz to folk; noon to 1 PM today; admission is free; call 346-0777 for more.

A collection of approximately 75 paintings, watercolors, collages, woodcuts, and books introduces visitors to the Art Institute (Michigan Avenue at Adams) to German neo-expressionist Anselm Kiefer. A film showing at 3 today in Price Auditorium will help introduce museum goers to the exhibit. The Essential Is Yet to Come relates Kiefer’s paintings to the German landscape. Admission to the film is free with museum admission–which is always free on Tuesdays. Call 443-3680 for details.

What? Single and not busy tonight? “Dating consultants” Heather Stern and Barbara Aal want to help: they’re giving a lecture on Marketing Yourself for Marriage at tonight’s meeting of the National Council of Jewish Women/Business and Professional Branch, 5:30 PM at the Raphael Hotel, 201 E. Delaware. Tickets are $13 for nonmembers, $11 for members, and include a hot buffet. Call 987-1927 for reservations.

More than 300 women contributed to the production of the new book Ourselves Growing Older, based on Our Bodies, Ourselves, and 45 women participated in the writing and editing. The two project coordinators will discuss the book and answer questions about older women and aging, 7:30 tonight at Women & Children First, 1967 N. Halsted. Admission is free; call 440-8824 for details.

Wednesday 20

Boston artist Richard Sheehan paints “neglected passages of urban space”–underpasses, bridges, tunnels, and the like. He’s speaking about his work at 1:30 today at the School of the Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson. Admission is free; call 443-3710 for more.

Now that hoopla is over, it’s time to settle down and get your life in order for the new year. If you need some assistance, Lucy B. Saxman is doing tarot card readings tonight from 8:30 to 11 at Wise Fools Pub, 2270 N. Lincoln, at five bucks a shot. Then, if you haven’t already got the blues, Gwen Little and Straightshooter take the stage at 9:30. Tonight’s cover is $3, and more information is available at 929-1510.

Thursday 21

There’s no question that having day-care available makes some parents like their kids a whole lot more than they would otherwise, but there are also frightening potential pitfalls in the business that drive other parents away. Marina Eovaldi will address some of the problems of day care in a lecture entitled “Who Will Watch My Children?” at 7:30 PM at Saint Francis Hospital’s Center for Women’s Health, 1800 Sherman Pl., Evanston. Admission is $5; to register call 492-3700.

The people who were responsible for Stonehenge knew their skies; the axes of the construction are carefully aligned with significant risings and settings of the sun and moon, Stonehenge, Mayan and Incan temples, and the pyramids are a few of the links to ancient astronomy that will be discussed in Phyllis Pitluga’s class beginning 7:30-9 tonight at the Adler Planetarium, 1300 S. Lake Shore Drive. It costs $50 to take the class; call 322-0323 to register.