“Education in South Africa is failing badly in what modern education is supposed to do–draw different groups or classes together,” reported the Centre for Applied Social Sciences at the University of Natal in South Africa in 1986. That’s exactly what Andries Botha believed in 1983 when he founded the Community Arts Workshop, an alternative school in Durban that is attended by nearly 200 black and white students. A benefit for the Community Arts Workshop will be held at 5:30 this evening at the Peace Museum, 430 W. Erie. Botha will speak, as will Ausbra Ford, a professor of art at Chicago State University Comedian Aaron Freeman will also make an appearance, and a videotape about CAW will be premiered. A donation of $20 is requested. Call 328-8798 or 679-7657 for more info.
Folkies, rock bands, and theater groups will pay their respects at tonight’s Woody Guthrie Birthday Celebration by singing his songs and reading from his writings. Fred Holstein, Eleventh Dream Day, and the Chicago Cabaret Ensemble are among the 20 or so acts. It all starts at 7:45 at the Old Town School of Folk Music, 909 W. Armitage. Admission is $5; details at 525-6165.
It’s time to study the latest Vogue, pull out your credit cards, and put on comfortable (but fashionable) shoes: Oak Street’s Summer Sale runs today from 10 to 5 and tomorrow from noon to 5 at nearly 30 stores. Find out who’s officially participating at 943-1120, or just head for your favorite boutique.
The rebuilding of Chicago after the Great Fire of 1871 attracted architects from across the U.S. and Europe–especially from Germany. After several Chicago architects returned from studying at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, the French influence became important, too. So it’s fitting that Chicago Architecture 1872-1922: Birth of a Metropolis opened in Paris and went on to Frankfurt before coming to Chicago. The exhibit, which opens today at the Art Institute and runs through September 5, features more than 300 works: drawings, photos, building models, and decorative objects from architects who include Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, Daniel Burnham, and Mies van der Rohe. There will also be related programs, lectures, and films over the summer. The museum is open 10:30 to 4:30 Monday through Friday, 10:30 to 8 Tuesday, 10 to 5 Saturday, and noon to 5 Sunday. Admission is $5, $2.50 for seniors and students; free on Tuesdays. More info at 443-3600.
About 750 CHA housing units for senior citizens now sit empty, while about 600 seniors sit on a waiting list for low-income housing, estimates Gregg Peterson, general manager of WBBM radio. To help out, WBBM–in collaboration with H.O.M.E., Housing Opportunities and Maintenance for the Elderly–organized a Clean Up Crusade back in June; 127 volunteers scrubbed stoves, refrigerators, floors, and windows, and made 26 units livable. The cleanup continues today, 10 to 2, at the Devon-Sheridan apartments, 6400 N. Sheridan. There will be another cleanup Saturday, August 13. WBBM and H.O.M.E. hope to render another 50 to 60 apartments habitable. To volunteer, call 478-6444.
Free-lance photographer Bill Stamets spent thousands of hours following the late Harold Washington with his video camera, starting with Washington’s 1983 campaign and ending with his funeral. Stamets put together five short films about Washington, which air tonight at 10 on Channel 11. The Super-8 Chronicles of Harold Washington: 1983-1987 will air again late Sunday night at 1 AM. For details, call 583-5000.
The American Institute of Wine and Food, Chicago chapter, goes casual tonight with Decades of Dining, an outdoor potluck supper at a 50-acre organic produce farm. It starts at 6 at Ladybug Farm, 8577 Richardson Road, Spring Grove. Admission is $25, $20 for members, and $ 10 for kids–plus “a dish from your favorite decade” to serve 12. When you’re full, you can dance, swim or fish in the pond, or play badminton or croquet. More info at 327-1533.
The Morton arboretum staff will use microscopes and magnifying glasses to look at prairie plants and animals for their course for children, Exploring the Endangered Prairie, which runs today through Friday, 9:30 to 11:30 AM. The course will also cover the prairie’s role in Indian and pioneer cultures. The arboretum is on Route 53 just north of I-88 in Lisle. The course costs $30, $25 for members; register at 719-2468.
Robert Goldsborough, author of three Nero Wolfe detective novels, wrote the first in 1977 for his mother. She was bedridden and, having read all of Rex Stout’s Wolfe mysteries, told her son she wished she had another to keep her busy. So Goldsborough wrote Murder in E Minor. Goldsborough is the only author to continue the series who is approved by Stout’s estate. He will sign copies of his third book, The Bloodied Ivy, from 6:30 to 8:30 PM at Scotland Yard Books, 556 Green Bay Road, Winnetka. Call 446-2214 for more info.
The film version of Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, starring Spencer Tracy, hasn’t been screened in the U.S. for five years because of litigation with the Mary Hemingway estate. Tonight, as part of a week-long celebration of Hemingway’s 89th birthday, it shows at 6:30 and 8:30 at the Lake Theater, 1020 Lake, Oak Park (Hemingway’s birthplace). Frank Laurence, author of Hemingway and the Movies, will give a brief talk before each screening. The $6 tickets can be purchased in advance at the Oak Park Visitors Center, 158 N. Forest, Oak Park; details about this and other activities at 263-4944 or 524-0983.
McDonald’s, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Chicago Police and Fire departments are among the groups who have hired Dr. Thomas Kochman to help improve communication between black and white employees. Kochman, an expert in cross-cultural communication, is a professor of communication at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a management consultant. Today, he’ll cover etiquette, verbal aggression, and male-female interaction when he presents Black and White Communication and Culture: A Video Seminar, 9 to 4 at the Inn of Chicago, 162 E. Ohio. The $225 fee includes lunch, refreshments, and a copy of Kochman’s book on black-white conflicts. Call 539-2013 to register.
Around the turn of the century, a German farmer was convicted through handwriting analysis of defiling his neighbor’s land by planting seeds on it in the shape of a dirty word. Today, handwriting analysis is still used in court; it’s also used in psychiatric tests and in assessing job applications. Learn more at tonight’s handwriting analysis workshop, 7 to 9 at Felician College, 3800 W. Peterson. It costs $15; register at 539-1919.
Tom Palazzolo’s film Marquette Park, which depicts two separate demonstrations in the park, will show at 5:30 in the Public Library Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. The screening is free; call 269-2926 for info.
In 1978, a doctor at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center and two local women who suffered from manic depression founded a support group for people with that illness. By 1984, their group had become the National Depressive and Manic Depressive Association. The NDMDA is still a patient-directed support organization, and it now has 61 chapters in the U.S. and Canada. Its fifth annual convention runs today through Sunday starting at 9 each morning, at Northwestern University’s Norris Center 1999 Sheridan, Evanston. A panel discussion of “What Psychiatry in the 1990s Will Bring to Us” is first on the agenda, to be followed by various workshops and lectures. The fee is $105 for all three days, including meals, $100 for members; one day with meals is $50, $40 for members, or $30 with no meals. Details at 939-2442.