Friday 14

Beyond a rapport with the muses, a writer needs discipline and business sense. Otherwise, that divinely inspired manuscript can go unfinished and unread. The Public Library, as part of its “Author! Author!” series, presents Developing as a Literary Artist–workshops and panels on contracts, agents, cash awards, networking opportunities, establishing a writing routine. The free daylong conference is from 8:30 to 3:30 at 78 E. Washington. Preregistration is required. Call 744-8943.

White kids may jack up the back wheels of their sleek cars to go zooming down Main Street. But in southern California, Chicanos lower their automobiles with hydraulic pumps and glide through town in long, leisurely parades. Low riders, as these car buffs are called, make up a unique U.S. Hispanic subculture. They have their own fashions, music, code of honor–even their own art. Vale Gas, a painting exhibit organized as part of the “Aztlan: Sin Fronteras” conference at the University of Illinois at Chicago this weekend, celebrates the low-rider life-style in all its souped-up glory. The free opening reception for the exhibit runs from 6 to 7:30 tonight at Casa Aztlan, 1831 S. Racine. Call 996-9144.

Saturday 15

Most artists dont send their work out to galleries for consideration. If they can’t get curators to make a studio visit, they’re forced to send slide sheets. But photographing artwork–especially sculpture and other three-dimensional pieces–is an art in itself. Jerry Kobylecky, former staff photographer for the Art Institute of Chicago, will lead How to Photograph Your Art, a workshop from 9 to 1 today at DePaul University’s Stuart Center, 2324 N. Seminary. Admission is $17 at the door, $12 for members of the Chicago Artists’ Coalition, which is sponsoring the event. Call 670-2060.

Acting mayor Sawyer’s choice for school board president, the controversial Erwin France, was in Europe when the board chose to reelect dour Frank Gardner as president. All this political intrigue, however, may be for naught when–and if–the legislature enacts the school-reform bill, which will disband the current board and create a new 15-member panel. Parents are still trying to figure out what such reforms mean for them and their kids–the subject of Getting Started: Making School Reform Work for You, a free workshop sponsored by Parents United for Responsible Education (P.U.R.E.) from 12:30 to 3 at Truman College, 1145 W. Wilson. For more call 989-6225.

Talk about eclectic. Randolph Street Gallery’s Home for Lunch, a mix of performance and video art, has Theater Oobleck’s intellectual anarchy, Inka Alasade’s sensual and rhythmic verses, and Bob Hercules’ deadpan video commentary. Also featured are Jenny Magnus, Andy Soma, and Branda Miller. Show time is 8 PM at 756 N. Milwaukee. Admission is $6, $4 to RSG members and students. For more call 666-7737.

Sunday 16

When 44th Ward Alderman Bernard Hansen proposed down-zoning parts of Halsted Street, area merchants roared. Hansen has since backed off, but traffic congestion, parking, noise, and, of course, Cubs-fan behavior are still issues in the ward. The Lakeview Tenants Organization’s third annual convention should offer a lively debate on dealing with these and other concerns. Former 43rd Ward alderman Martin Oberman is the featured speaker at the get-together, which runs from 2 to 5 at Saint Peter’s Church, 621 W. Belmont. It’s free. For more info call 549-1631.

New head coach Mike Keenan, formerly of the Philadelphia Flyers, has been driving his skaters hard during the preseason. Tonight should be a big test; the Blackhawks will be taking on the always dreaded Boston Bruins. The puck drops at 7:30 at the Chicago Stadium, 1800 W. Madison. Tickets are $8, $12, and $17. Call 733-5300 for information.

Monday 17

Amos Oz, author of In the Land of Israel, has long been known as the conscience of his country. A thoughtful, sensitive man, Oz does not shy away from hard questions about the Middle East and Israel’s often provocative role there. Israel in Peace and War: The Soul of the Jewish People and the Palestinian Uprising is Oz’s topic tonight when he speaks at the North Suburban Synagogue Beth El, 1175 Sheridan in Highland Park. The lecture begins at 8 PM. Admission is $10. For more, call 675-5070.

The Woodstock Music and Art Fair, as fest veteran Wavy Gravy will tell you, was actually held on a farm in White Lake near Bethel, New York–population 2,763. Of the more than 300,000 people who descended on the hamlet for the legendary rock festival, about 100,000 were gate-crashers. Wavy Gravy will tell this and other Woodstock stories when he stops here on his “Nobody for President” campaign tour, along with his band the Vicious Hippies. They’ll be playing at Biddy Mulligan’s tonight at 9:30 at 7644 N. Sheridan. There’s a $5 cover. For more call 761-6532.

Tuesday 18

Peter Garrett, who fronts the Aussie band Midnight Oil, is not just another pretty face or just one more screaming rocker. A few years back, Garrett ran for political office down under and got enough votes to scare a few folks. These guys are ugly and intense, but they play some of the most danceable politically correct music around. Show time is 7:30 PM at the Aragon, 1106 W. Lawrence. $16. 559-1212.

Wednesday 19

The release of John Sayles’s new movie, Eight Men Out, put the White Sox scandal of 1919 back in the news. Now the Chicago Historical Society has put together an exhibit about the time the Sox threw the World Series to the lowly Cincinnati Reds. Say It Ain’t So, Joe, which opens today, features “Shoeless” Joe Jackson’s bat, baseball cards of players on both teams, and rare photographs. The exhibit also looks at the way the “Black Sox” scandal has become a part of Chicago lore and American popular culture. The show runs through April 30. The society, located at the corner of North and Clark, is open daily from 9:30 to 4:30, Sunday from noon to 5. Admission is $1.50, 50 cents for kids and seniors; Mondays are free. Call 642-4600.

When the news hit that President Reagan–who had repeatedly said America would not deal with terrorists–had involved us in an arms-for-hostages agreement with Iran, a lot of people were stunned. When the money trail led back to the contras in Nicaragua, the whole affair seemed like a monumental joke. In spite of hundreds of hours of testimony before congressional investigators, there are still questions. Now comes Coverup: Behind the Iran-Contra Affair, a film the Los Angeles Times calls “chillingly lucid.” Its Chicago premiere is at 6:15 tonight–a reception begins at 5:30–at Chicago Filmmakers, 1229 W. Belmont. The film will be followed by a panel discussion featuring director Barbara Trent and former CIA officer John Stockwell. There’s a second screening and discussion at 8:30. Tickets are $10 to $15. The film will run through November 3. For a full schedule call 281-8788.

Thursday 20

Feminism today seems a] most moribund. Yet a series of panel discussions at Artemisia Gallery begins tonight with Feminism: Its Cultural Implications. Speakers include Carol Becker and James Yood. The free discussion begins at 7:30 PM at 341 W. Superior. For more call 751-2016.

It was Billie Holiday who begot the soulful style that gave us Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, and Anita Baker. Her story–of her broken heart and those she broke, of violence and drugs–is both mythic and tragic. Strange Fruit: The Billie Holiday Story is the debut show of the ETA’s 1988-89 season. It will also inaugurate the group’s renovated theater at 7558 S. South Chicago Ave. Show times are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, 8 PM; Sunday, 3 and 7. Tickets are $10, $8 for students and seniors. For more information call 752-3955.