Chris Marker’s recent documentary about Andrei Tarkovsky connects the first image in the Russian filmmaker’s debut feature film (a child standing by a young tree in 1962’s My Name Is Ivan) to the last image in his final film (a child lying beneath a dead tree in 1986’s The Sacrifice). Its core is video shot on the set of The Sacrifice, before Tarkovsky’s cancer had been diagnosed, and a video made at his sickbed. One Day in the Life of Andre Arsenevich will be shown tonight at 8 at Columbia College’s Ferguson Hall, 600 S. Michigan, and tomorrow night at 8 at Chicago Filmmakers, 5243 N. Clark, Chicago. Admission is $6 (773-293-1447).


Last May, over 100 area youths participated in a roundtable discussion about race and created a list of things they wanted adults to consider when they discuss the subject at today’s intergenerational Racism Explained conference. A video of that roundtable will be shown at the conference, which includes a panel discussion, small group sessions, a poetry reading, and a resource fair. The panelists include author and law professor Patricia Williams, In These Times senior editor Salim Muwakkil, author David Mura, poet Martin Espada, and school reform activist and UIC professor of education Bill Ayers. Registration starts at 8:30 AM and the conference begins at 9 (and runs until 2) at the Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago. It’s $20, which includes a copy of Tahar Ben Jelloun’s book Racism Explained to My Daughter, which features essays by Ayers, Mura, and Williams, among others. Admission to just the poetry reading (at noon, with Espada and Mura) is $10. Call 312-665-7400 for more information.

When a Native American burial ground in New Lenox was dug up in 1994 to build a golf course, some people vowed “never again.” They formed SOARRING, a Naperville-based organization that protects sacred sites and works for the return of ancestral remains appropriated by museums, government agencies, and private collectors. SOARRING’s annual Harvest Powwow, it’s primary fund-raiser, features the Chicago-based Aztec dance group Nahui Ollin, along with storytelling and craft demonstrations. The powwow runs from 11 to 10 today (Nahui Ollin performs at 5) and 11:30 to 5 Sunday at the picnic grounds of the Immanuel Lutheran Church, 10731 W. La Porte Road in Mokena. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children over six and seniors. Weekend passes are $8 for adults, $5 for seniors and kids. Bring your own lawn chairs and tepees. Call 630-961-9323 for information and directions.


This is the earliest weekend ever for Arts & Riverwoods, a 41-year-old art show and house walk usually held in October, when strollers can count on a spectacular show by mother nature. This year, the art and architecture–paintings, photography, sculpture, and jewelry by 40 artists displayed in five private homes–will have to carry it. In another first this year, the houses are clustered: viewers will be able to walk from one to another after a bus drops them off in the neighborhood. For those who’d rather ride, minibuses will be available. The best way to do it? By bike. Tickets are $8, and it’s from noon to 5:30 today (and yesterday). Meet in the lobby of 3 Parkway North Center (Deerfield and Saunders, just west of I-94) in Riverwoods to catch the bus. Call 847-914-0109.

Shortly after it started holding its legendary cotillions in 1961, the African-American women’s philanthropic group the Links reminded the 20 young girls who attended the prestigious annual affair that “you have prepared for this day, not to become a social butterfly, because that is passe, but with a readiness to express your charm through service to others.” Artifacts from the group’s history, including newspaper clippings, letters, posters, and several behind-the-scenes cotillion photos, are on display through December 2 at the new exhibit, Celebrating 50 Years of Friendship and Service: The Chicago Chapter of the Links, Inc., 1950-2000. Today’s opening program includes the screening of a video documentary about the group and a ribbon-cutting ceremony with past and present Links, including founding member Mildred Kerr. It’s from 1:30 to 4 at the Carter G. Woodson Regional Library, 9525 S. Halsted, Chicago. It’s free. Call 312-745-2080.

Homework doesn’t give students an academic advantage, say Etta Kralovec and John Buell in their new book The End of Homework: How Homework Disrupts Families, Overburdens Children, and Limits Learning. Rather, they say, it takes away from playtime (when children develop social skills), prepares students to become corporate stooges, and deepens class divisions. “Homework takes time, space, study aids, and very particular academic skills, resources that are by no means equally distributed across American communities,” they write. Kralovec will discuss the book tonight at 5 at Women & Children First Bookstore, 5233 N. Clark, Chicago (773-769-9299). It’s free.


“I will never forget the moment when I first held her in my arms, in Jouy-en-Josas, France, on April 29, 2000. My apprehensive anticipation was replaced by joy and excitement. Alba–the name given her by my wife, my daughter, and I–was lovable and affectionate and an absolute delight to play with,” writes Eduardo Kac, the first artist to use genetic engineering to create a living mammal–in this case, the “GFP Bunny.” The albino rabbit had the gene that controls a jellyfish’s production of fluorescing protein spliced into its DNA–it glows green under the proper light. School of the Art Institute professor Kac calls his transgenic artwork “a complex social event” designed to spark debate, and today a group of experts will discuss whether it’s art and whether it’s ethical at a free symposium on Art, Science, and Free Speech: The Work of Eduardo Kac. Speakers include Kac, Whitney Museum curator Christiane Paul, Chicago-Kent School of Law constitutional law expert Sheldon Nahmod, and Stuart Newman, professor of cell biology and anatomy at New York Medical College. It’s today from 1:30 to 4 at Chicago-Kent’s Ogilvie Auditorium, 565 W. Adams, Chicago. Call 312-906-5122.

Shower singers take note: there’s no angst-inducing audition for would-be members of the DuPage Chorale. If you’re a grown-up living in the western suburbs, you can join this group, which recently performed at the Innsbruck (Austria) 2000 Festival. All you have to do is show up at 7 tonight, register for Music 150, and fall into the season’s first rehearsal. The Chorale is a community chorus of about 140 voices (ranging in age from 17 to 86) that normally performs with a professional orchestra at the McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage. Director Lee Kesselman says the self-selection system works just fine: in 20 years he’s never had to ask anyone to leave. The singing starts in room 139 of the Arts Center, 425 22nd in Glen Ellyn. The course fee is $35; music is provided. Call 630-942-3008 for more information.


Authors such as Oscar Wilde and E.M. Forster never directly addressed homosexuality in their writing. “Gertrude Stein even veiled her stuff. If you were in any way astute you’d pick it up, but not if you didn’t know what to look for,” says Angel Ysaguirre, director of community programs at the Illinois Humanities Council and instructor of the seminar From Wilde to Winterson: Gay-Themed Literature of the Twentieth Century. These days, says Ysaguirre, “writers are certainly more open about writing about what I call the gay event–whether it means falling in love or it means sex.” His reading list also includes work by James Baldwin, Alice Walker, William Faulkner, and Sherman Alexie. The first class is tonight from 5:45 to 7:45, and the seminar continues each Tuesday through November 7 at the Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton, Chicago. Tuition is $130; to register call 312-255-3700.


Tonight Chicago Symphony Orchestra music director Daniel Barenboim and musicologist Don Michael Randel, the University of Chicago’s new president, will address questions of how to nurture talent and encourage innovation at established institutions at a discussion called Symphony of Words. The event will be moderated by U. of C. professor Rashid Khalidi, who directs the university’s Center for International Studies and the Council for Advanced Studies in Peace and International Cooperation. It starts at 8 at Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan, Chicago. Reservations are required–it’s $5 in advance, $10 at the door. Call 312-294-3000.


Aiding refugees in Africa, training Middle Eastern women in political activism, helping Latin American women fight domestic violence, and warning women in Asia about the threat of trafficking in women are just a few of the ways in which the United Nations Development Fund for Women attempts to empower females in developing countries. Tonight the Chicago chapter will hold a meeting and show a video about the group’s work. It’s at 5:30 at the Peace Museum, 314 W. Institute, Chicago, and it’s free. Call 847-437-7977 for more.