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Friday 10/23 – Thursday 10/29


By Cara Jepsen

23 FRIDAY The image of the lazy welfare mother may have inadvertently been fostered by liberal policy makers in the early part of this century. Though most poor women were workers, progressive reformers played up the motherhood angle to pack the maximum emotional wallop. The charity view was later codified in the 1935 Social Security Act, which designated help for the unemployed and elderly as “insurance” and “pensions”–implying entitlement–while programs for poor mothers were dubbed “aid.” Tonight University of Wisconsin history professor Linda Gordon, who examined the history of women’s welfare in her 1994 book, Pitied but Not Entitled: Single Mothers and the Origins of Welfare, will discuss How Welfare Became a Dirty Word. The free talk is from 4:30 to 6:30 in room 126 of the University of Chicago’s Judd Hall, 5385 S. Kimbark. Call 773-702-9936 for more.

24 SATURDAY Today the first floor of the north side’s LeMoyne Elementary School will be painted with brightly colored animals and letters designed especially for the autistic children who take classes there. The project is just one of 22 around the city that will be completed by the 2,000-odd volunteers participating in today’s City Year Serve-a-thon, which will raise money for City Year, a national program putting young people into full-time community service jobs for one year. Opening ceremonies for the all-day affair start at 8 at five locations: Thorek Hospital and Medical Center, 850 W. Irving Park; Community of Saint Sabina Church, 1210 W. 78th; Association House, 1116 N. Kedzie; King Center, 4314 S. Cottage Grove; and Harrison Park, 1824 S. Wood. The workday is from 9 to 3, and there’s a party from 4 to 6. It’s free to volunteer, but registration is suggested (and collecting pledges is also encouraged); you must be prepared to get dirty. Call 312-464-9899 to sign up.

25 SUNDAY Daniel Kim, a 20-year-old student at the University of Colorado and an avid snowboarder, was always stressed out about his finances. After Daniel was killed in an avalanche last March, his sister Susie vowed to start a foundation in his name to award scholarships to college students. “Life is so short–Daniel shouldn’t have had to worry about money,” she says. Today the Daniel Kim Foundation will hold its first fund-raiser, which Susie Kim hopes will raise enough to award a $2,100 scholarship to a high school senior in the spring. There will be performances by comedian Abby Schachner and the bands Spirit Engine and Torben Floor as well as food and a raffle. It’s from 2 to 6 at the Double Door, 1572 N. Milwaukee. The $25 donation is tax-deductible. Call 773-486-0470 for more.

26 MONDAY In 1968 Robert Kramer, a member of the radical documentary group Newsreel, told Film Quarterly, “[We] want to make films that unnerve, that shake assumptions, that threaten, that…explode like grenades in people’s faces, or open minds up like a good can opener.” Tonight you can see four short films the group made in its heyday: No Game, about the 1967 march on the Pentagon; Up Against the Wall Miss America, which has women activists presenting a sheep as the winner of the 1968 Miss America pageant; America, which documents the protest movement against the Vietnam war; and Yippie, which takes place at the 1968 Democratic National Convention and features the pig the Youth International Party ran for president. Doc Films’s Radical Filmmaking night starts at 7 at the University of Chicago, 1212 E. 59th (772-702-8575). Admission is $3.

27 TUESDAY In this enlightened society, girls are still more likely than boys to suffer from depression, they are more often the victims of violent crime, and they account for 90 percent of the eating-disorder cases in the nation. Today Lynn Phillips, professor of psychology and gender studies at Eugene Lang College of the New School for Social Research and author of The Girls Report: What We Know and Need to Know About Growing Up Female (source of the above statistics), will offer some advice on how we can change this sad state of affairs when she discusses How Institutions Need to Change to Respond to the Challenges Girls Face at the Chicago Women in Philanthropy’s annual luncheon. It’s at 11:30 at Hotel Allegro, 171 W. Randolph. It’s $50. Call 312-409-4005 to reserve a spot.

28 WEDNESDAY In 1971, be-fore SoHo was just another pricey Manhattan neighborhood, a group of artists opened a restaurant and exhibition space called Food at Wooster and Prince Streets, creating what cofounder Caroline Gooden called “food theater.” Some of the group’s deliberately impermanent works were captured for posterity in photographs and in films by Gordon Matta-Clark with Robert Frank, Suzanne Harris, and others. These photos and films, as well as ads and other printed material created by the group, will be included in the exhibit Food, which opens this week at UIC’s Gallery 400. The free opening reception is tonight from 4 to 7 (with a lecture by curator Catherine Morris at 5) at the gallery, 400 S. Peoria (312-996-6114). The exhibit runs through December 5.

29 THURSDAY Ever fantasize about cloning an ex-lover and having him or her do your bidding for the rest of your life? It’s more likely you’d be changing diapers for a while. That’s what happens in University of Chicago law and ethics professor Martha C. Nussbaum’s short story “Little C,” which appears in the book Clones and Clones: Facts and Fantasies about Human Cloning. As they say, be careful what you wish for. Tonight Nussbaum will discuss the legal and ethical aspects of human cloning with fellow contributors and U. of C. professors Cass Sunstein, Wendy Doniger, and Richard Epstein, who argues against a ban on cloning research. It’s at 7 in the Oriental Institute, 1155 E. 58th. It’s free. Call 773-664-1300 for more.