“It’s very festive. We always have lots of flags, and it has a totally patriotic theme,” says a spokesperson for today’s fifth annual All-American 8K Run. Registration for the Lincoln Park race, a fund-raiser for the American Heart Association, costs $30 cash and runs from 6:30 to 7:15 AM on Cannon Drive just north of Fullerton in Chicago. The 8K run (or walk) starts at 8 and there’s a much shorter junior dash for kids at 9:15 ($15). A free picnic starts at 9–yes, 9–with hamburgers and hot dogs (food is $7 for nonracers). For more information call 773-404-2372 or see www.caprievents.com.

When aikido teacher Fumio Toyoda arrived in Chicago in 1974, there already were a number of martial arts schools around town. But he soon came to feel that most of the teachers were sorely unqualified–“I was surprised at the general lack of awareness about what makes someone eligible to be a martial arts instructor,” the sensei and Zen master said in a 1996 interview in Aikido Journal. Toyoda, who studied for 17 years in Japan before taking over the Ki Society dojo in Chicago, spent 27 years traveling around the country teaching and organizing. In 1984 he founded the Aikido Association of America, which provides training and certification to teachers and dojos; several years later he also founded the Aikido Association International and the Aikido International Foundation. Toyoda died on July 4, 2001, from an illness he contracted while traveling. His students later founded the Aikido Center of Chicago in his honor, and his wife, Pat, now heads the AAA and AAI. Today at 9 AM the school will hold a free Zen memorial service for Toyoda; it’ll be followed by a session of aikido training. The Aikido Center is at 3717 N. Ravenswood in Chicago; call 773-472-3290 for more information.


The Talisman Theatre ensemble was performing at Elgin Community College April 26 when a barn that stored their props, equipment, and costumes went up in flames. They lost everything they weren’t using that night, but that hasn’t foiled the company’s plans to go from one to two Shakespeare in the Park productions this summer and extend their season by four weeks. With $12,000 from a postfire fund-raiser, scenery and costumes on loan from other theaters, and $15,000 worth of hand-me-down lighting gear donated by Ravinia, they’ve mounted A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Two Gentlemen of Verona in rotating repertory through August 9. Tonight’s show is Dream; tomorrow it’s Two Gentlemen. Performances start at 7:30 Wednesday through Saturday, and 6:30 on Sunday at the Wing Park band shell, 1000 Wing in Elgin. (They’ll bring the shows to the Schaumburg Prairie Center for the Arts for two weekends after this run closes.) Tickets are $18 at the door, $16 in advance ($14 for seniors and students); a pass for both shows is $24. Call 847-622-0300.

Since it was founded in 1972 by radio historian and broadcaster Chuck Schaden, the LaSalle Bank’s Saturday-night film series has relied on ancient 16-millimeter projectors for its screenings, which can accommodate about 300 people. But the number of movies available on 16-millimeter has dwindled over the years, and the print quality of those in existence is erratic at best. “If we can start getting good crowds, break 100 consistently, maybe we’ll get a 35-millimeter projector,” series programmer Matthew Hoffman told the Reader’s J.R. Jones when he took over in 2001. Now they’ve done just that–tonight Hoffman will kick off a new series, “35mm and Beyond,” with a screening of Charles Laughton’s 1955 classic, The Night of the Hunter. It starts at 8 on the second floor of the LaSalle Bank, 4901 W. Irving Park, Chicago. Admission is $5, $3 for students and seniors; call 312-904-9442.


“I’m catering to the home producer or the home composer,” says Ivan M. Harton, the DJ, producer, and composer behind the Sample Edit series at Gunther Murphy’s. Once a week, says the Dublin native–who also goes by the handle Stop.–folks can bring in CDs of music they’ve created and mix them with whatever the DJs are playing. “It’s for people who have all this music that they make at home but don’t have a place to play it….We’re trying to build up a community so people will talk about how they made their music and what programs and hardware they use. Maybe people will collaborate together, or do a remix of each other’s songs.” Stop. and his partner, Chip Chop, oversee the event every Sunday night starting at 9:30 to 2 at Gunther Murphy’s, 1638 W. Belmont, Chicago. Admission is free, but you must be 21; call 773-472-5139.


Artist Maureen Bardusk says her multimedia landscapes are “monumental works on an intimate scale.” Bardusk works with heavy, fibrous, painted, and stitched paper to create fragmentary maplike scenes. She says the finished product is “personal geography”–as much a survey of the artist’s mind as a study of her surroundings. Two–Avalon and Coastal Theory 2, products of a six-week fellowship on the coast of Newfound-land last year–are among the 50 pieces included in Fiber Works 2003, the free 30th-anniversary exhibition of the DuPage Textile Arts Guild, which runs through August 2 at the Hinsdale Center for the Arts. Gallery hours are 9 to 7 Monday through Friday (closed July 4) and 9 to 3 Saturday; the center’s located at 5903 S. County Line Rd. in Katherine Legge Memorial Park, Hinsdale. Call 630-887-0203.


“The medicine chose me,” writes Kenneth “Bear Hawk” Cohen, author of Honoring the Medicine: The Essential Guide to Native American Healing. “When I was in my twenties, I went on a pilgrimage, a search for life purpose that led me to a very special place–a lake at the top of the Continental Divide, the home of the Thunderbird, spirit of the West. Here I was given direction.” Cohen’s not Native American himself, but he went on to be adopted by a Cree elder, study Native American medicine under the tutelage of a Cherokee healer (who gave him the Bear Hawk moniker), and be initiated into several Native American medicine societies. The Colorado resident, who claims he has “personally facilitated healings” for everything from arthritis to cancer to schizophrenia, will discuss his book tonight at 7 at Transitions Bookplace, 1000 W. North in Chicago (312-951-7323). It’s free.


The nine actresses who appear in Teatro Luna’s The Maria Chronicles have all tried out for the same tired old parts. “One of the reasons we started the theater company [in 2000] was because we weren’t seeing a lot of opportunities for Latina actresses outside of the standard roles–maid, pregnant teen, someone named Maria or Rosa,” says company cofounder Coya Paz. “We thought this would be rich material.” The Maria Chronicles, an exploration of the lives of Latina actresses, was inspired by the experience of a company member who was asked by a casting director to do a generic Latina accent. Says Paz, “She just sort of said, ‘What kind do you want?’ and went through about 15 different accents a Latina could be doing. She ended up doing a version of what she called ‘the Taco Bell dog.'” The work in progress also examines the representation of Latinas in the media and the J. Lo phenomenon. Teatro Luna will perform a staged reading in English tonight at 7:30 at the Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn in Chicago, as part of the Goodman’s Latino Theater Festival, which runs through July 20. Tickets are $5 and $9; call 312-443-3800. Teatro Luna’s full production of the piece will open in October; for more on that see www.teatroluna.org.


In 1798 James Madison said to Thomas Jefferson, “Perhaps it is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to provisions against danger, real or pretended, from abroad.” The quotation is featured prominently on the Web site for the Center for National Security Studies, a nonprofit watchdog founded in 1974 to guard against assaults on civil liberties; the group’s one of several organizations suing the Department of Justice to release the names of people secretly detained after September 11. Tonight CNSS director Kate Martin will join Chicago FBI agent Thomas Kneir and Illinois ACLU legal director Harvey Gross-man for a panel discussion moderated by WBEZ’s Shirley Jahad titled Will Giving Up Our Civil Liberties Make Us More Secure? It’s from 6:30 to 8:30 in Columbia College’s Ferguson Hall, 600 S. Michigan, Chicago. It’s free, but seating is limited. For more information call 312-939-0675 or 708-598-6640.