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Friday 7

Pushing the outside of the envelope, as usual, the School of the Art Institute presents Personal/Political: Sexuality Self-defined, which looks like just another excuse for getting puritans all riled up. It features works in a variety of media that use sexual imagery, by Janet Cooling, Barbara DeGenevieve, David Eckard, Keith Haring, and more--including various representatives from the school's staff, faculty, students, and alums. A free reception is tonight at the school's Gallery 2, 1040 W. Huron, from 6 to 8; the exhibit continues through October 5 (regular hours are 11 to 6 Tuesday through Saturday). Call 226-1449.

Young, preppy, and conservative? Don't believe in dancing close? The Young Republicans of Illinois have a jumpin' get-together that's perfect for you--it's a fund-raiser for attorney general candidate Jim Edgar in the form of a sock hop! The place is the Old Saint Pat's gym at 718 W. Adams. The time is 6 to 9 tonight. Tix are $20, which will get you in and get you food and two beers besides. Fun? Too much, daddy-o! Look for limbo and twist contests--even a snowball dance! ("Yes, ladies, you get to pick a partner!") Way gone. Call the Young Republicans at 477-6443 for more info.

Funf is German for five; it's also the name of a new classical music enemble that's making its Chicago debut tonight at Puszh Studios. Funf's members are Becky Elliott, Perry Guarigila, Andrew Stees, Freda Wyant, and Terv Yoshioka. On the agenda are 18th- and 20th-century works for mandolin and strings by Hoffman, Hasse, Giuliani, Bach, and Vivaldi. Puszh (short for David Puszczewicz, who runs the joint) Studios is at 3829 N. Broadway. Tickets are $5, and things get under way at 9. Call 327-0510.

Back when skinheads weren't fascists, ska ruled; and racial divisions, for a while, seemed less sharp. So shave your head, grab your two-tone buttons and porkpie hat and squiggle on down to Edge of the Lookingglass for an evening with perhaps the last remaining U.S. ska band, the New York Citizens. It's $9 and starts at 9 PM. It's at 62 E. 13th St.; call 939-4017.

Saturday 8

The beautiful Logan Square district was part of the elaborate system of Chicago boulevards planned by Jens Jensen and Frederick Law Olmsted in the 1880s. The area's original residents built houses (usually on extra-wide lots) in styles ranging from Gothic to art nouveau to Renaissance revival. Logan Square Preservation is offering its ninth annual guided tour of the district, concentrating on historically accurate restorations, funky renovations, local churches, and noted gardens. The seven-hour affair begins at 10 AM, at 3024 W. Logan (at Whipple). It's $7 in advance, $10 on site ($5 or $8 for seniors); wear your walking shoes. Call 252-4859 for more information.

Souled American play a lonesome country blues; the tempo staggers around, but the music somehow manages to stay together. After a big European tour with Camper Van Beethoven--during which they had a firsthand glimpse of Camper's disintegration--and a long hiatus from local gigs, Chicago's finest are back. The four-piece plays Cabaret Metro tonight for $6; Shrimp Boat opens, and the show starts at 11. Metro is at 3730 N. Clark. Call 549-0203 for more information.

Sunday 9

Julia Child, godmother to several generations of amateur and professional chefs, is the featured attraction at the Best of the Midwest Market. The market--which is a one-day exhibit of the best the 12-state region has to offer in foodstuffs of all sorts--has bifurcated the business of admissions: a $15 ticket at the door (advance price: $10) gets you into some special tastings and sales and conversations with some growers (and maybe Julia), all from 9:30 to 1. Admission is free after 1, when the goods go on sale. It's at Navy Pier, Grand Avenue and the lake. Call the American Institute of Wine and Food at 467-1705 for more information, or 902-1919 to order tickets.

Monday 10

A massive show of force by Chicago's Jewish community--a plan to raise $54 million to help resettle Soviet Jews--is the plan behind an elaborate dinner tonight to honor former U.S. Secretary of State George Schultz. The Operation Exodus campaign, part of a worldwide effort, estimates that 200,000 Jews will emigrate from the Soviet Union this year, 20 percent of the one million who have applied to do so. A cash bar opens at 5:30; dinner is at 6:30. The dinner is technically free, but Operation Exodus is asking for a minimum $1,000 donation (over three years) to the campaign; for this and security considerations, they're giving out the dinner's address only to registrants. Call Ken Miller at 444-2864 for more information.

Tuesday 11

Another great American humorist, Jerry Lee Lewis, is the subject of Great Balls of Fire, the 1989 biopic that featured Dennis Quaid doing his best to capture the Killer on film, with vocals dubbed by Lewis himself. The film, directed by Jim McBride, shows for free tonight at 5 at the Public Library Cultural Center theater, 78 E. Washington. Call 346-3278 for more information.

"I belong to no organized political party," Will Rogers once said. "I am a Democrat." That his barbs of 65 years ago still have sting today is the argument behind A Tribute to Will Rogers: The Man, the Times, and the Music, a one-man show by Chicago actor Lance Brown. Brown uses everything from popular songs of the 1920s to newspaper articles, radio monologues, and rope tricks to bring out the spirit of America's favorite folksy humorist. It's free at the Northbrook Public Library, 1201 Cedar Lane in Northbrook, at 7:30 tonight. Call 708-272-6224.

Wednesday 12

Susan Lyne, the respected former managing editor of the Village Voice and now editor of Premiere magazine, will speak at a meeting of Women in Film tonight. The Inside Track: What's Really Happening in the Film Business will draw on Lyne's experience in the field both as a journalist and as a participant--she developed film projects for Jane Fonda. The event includes chocolate fondue and cheese fondue and costs $20, $10 for Women in Film members. It's at the Swiss Grand Hotel, 323 E. Wacker, at 5:30. Call 372-2376 for reservations and information.

Substitute Fats and Sweeteners--How Useful? How Safe? is the compelling title of the Nutrition for Optimal Health Association lecture tonight. The speaker is Beatrice Trum Hunter, author of The Great Nutrition Robbery. Tonight's lecture is free; membership dues in NOHA are $25 a year, and if you join tonight you get a copy of Hunter's book in the bargain. It all takes place at the North Shore Hilton, 9599 Skokie Blvd., in Skokie, beginning at 7:30. Call 708-835-5030 for more info.

Thursday 13

Chicago's own Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians was founded 25 years ago to offer black musicians an alternative to the creative restraints imposed on them by white record companies. It offered classes and sponsored concerts (and still does both); over the years, it's produced an extraordinary number of talents, from Henry Threadgill to Kahil El-Zabar, from Lester Bowie to Anthony Braxton. A two-month-long anniversary celebration starts at Club Lower Links on Thursdays this month. Tonight's opening bill features Eight Bold Souls, A.A.C.M.'s internationally renowned octet featuring Ed Wilkerson and Mwata Bowden on reeds, Rod Magaha on trumpet, Ike Jackson on trombone, Naomi Millinder on cello, Aaron Dodd on tuba, Harrison Bankhead on bass, and Dushone Mosley on drums. It starts at 10; cover is $8. Lower Links is at 954 W. Newport. Call 248-5238 or 752-2212.

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