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Friday 9/3 - Thursday 9/9

SEPTEMBER

By Cara Jepsen

3 FRIDAY Today Tibetan Buddhist monk Lama Ngawang Choejor will use blessed sand in colors symbolizing faith, effort, memory, meditative stability, and wisdom to begin a complex sand mandala representing the deity Chenrezig, or "the Buddha of Great Compassion." He'll work from 9 to 5 through Thursday at Loyola University's Crown Center Gallery, 6525 N. Sheridan. It's free. Call 773-508-2372 for more.

Since they got together in 1995, the Havana-based group Bamboleo has set the tone for style, dance, and language in Cuba. The 13-member ensemble specializes in timba, a kind of funkified son, and features complex arrangements fronted by four vocalists. They play tonight at midnight at HotHouse, 31 E. Balbo (312-362-9707). Tickets are $15. See the Critic's Choice in Section Three for more.

4 SATURDAY There's a hefty $250 sign-up fee for this weekend's National Association of Asian American Professionals conference, but admission to the accompanying career fair, where the likes of Ameritech, Turner Entertainment, and the American Bar Association will be recruiting, is free. Bring a resumé. It's from 10 to 5 (and 11 to 1 on Sunday) at the Fairmont Hotel, 200 N. Columbus. Call 312-565-8000 for details.

One of the instruments that almost didn't make it into the Field Museum's new Sounds From the Vaults exhibit was a small thing called a friction block. "It was shaped like a bean with little cutouts and you rubbed your hands across the top," says Poi Dog Pondering percussionist Leddie Garcia. "I rubbed it until my hands were blistered and I was just about to give up when all of a sudden the room filled with this amazing 'ooh lu lu luh' sound." Garcia had been invited to play some of the 50 artifacts from the museum's collection for digital sampling, which allows visitors to use a touch pad to hear what the instruments sound like. The exhibit opens today at 9 at the Field Museum, Roosevelt at Lake Shore Drive (312-922-9410); the museum closes at 5. Admission is $7, $5 for kids, students, and seniors. You can also play virtual instruments by visiting the museum's Web site at www.fmnh.org.

5 SUNDAY In the past 30 years the small but influential Gramaphone Records has seen a wide variety of musical styles pass through its storefront. These days it's an important center for dance music like techno, deep house, trance, hip-hop, and the like, as well as for turntable accessories and mix tapes by local DJs. The store celebrates its anniversary tonight at 10 at Metro and Smart Bar, 3730 N. Clark (773-549-0203). Entertainment includes DJs Frank Q, Psycho Bitch, Hector Lopez, Michael Serafini, and Heather. It's $10 in advance, $12 at the door.

6 MONDAY On September 16, 1810, the priest Don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla set Mexico's independence from Spain in motion by issuing an appeal for social and economic reform--the Grito de Dolores. Hidalgo y Costilla was executed by Spanish troops a year later, and it was ten years before Mexico finally gained its independence. This weekend's free Fiesta de la Independencia Mexicana celebrates the days leading up to the Grito with food, crafts, carnival rides, and music. It takes place Friday evening through today from 11 to 10 at Davis Square Park, 4430 S. Marshfield. Performers include La Ley del Norte, La Puerta Negra, and Ballet Folklorico de la Iglesia Holy Cross. Call 773-579-1200 for more.

7 TUESDAY For centuries people have sewn clothing out of felt, which can be made from fleece with a washboard. Today felt maker Lynda Lowe will give a slide lecture about the craft's history and her own work. The North Suburban Needle Arts Guild event starts at 9:30 AM at the Village Presbyterian Church, 1300 Shermer in Northbrook. Admission is $3; call 847-255-6793.

8 WEDNESDAY Tickets to see Undesirable Elements/Chicago, Ping Chong's multimedia theatrical documentary about six local immigrants and their experience of American culture, usually go for $20. But tonight's special performance at the University of Illinois at Chicago's Chicago Circle Center (750 S. Halsted) won't set you back a penny. It's in honor of Unity Month, the city's celebration of diversity and cooperation between different groups. A reception starts at 5:30 and the performance begins about an hour later; call 312-742-0212.

Benjamin Smith's racially motivated shooting spree earlier this summer provides the stepping-off point for tonight's discussion of hate groups led by Morris Dees, cofounder and chief trial counsel of the Southern Poverty Law Center. He'll speak on Challenging Hate

in the Life of Our City and Nation, another Unity Month event, at 7:30 at the Fourth Presbyterian Church, Michigan and Delaware. Admission is $5. Call 312-456-7745 for details.

9 THURSDAY Statistics on police brutality and the rate of incarceration among African-Americans will provide the fodder for tonight's free discussion, A Black Community Alert!: Police, Prisons & the Criminal Justice System. Speakers will include activist Angela Davis, who spent almost two years in jail before being acquitted of charges relating to a botched prisoners' escape and kidnapping in a Marin County courthouse in 1970; Susan Esther, founder of Justice Is Blind/Mothers Against Injustices; and civil rights attorney Stan Willis, who also chairs the African American Committee to Save Mumia Abu-Jamal and Aaron Patterson. It's from 7 to 9 at the Carter G. Woodson Regional Library, 9525 S. Halsted. Call 312-745-2080 for details.

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood found its ideal woman in Jane Burden Morris, described in Timothy Hilton's book The Pre-Raphaelites as "splendidly pallid and worshipable ...[with an] unrivaled conjunction of the fleshy and the poetic". Tonight art historian Debra Mancoff will present a slide lecture, Strange Beauty: Jane Morris and the 19th Century Female Aesthetic, at the Glessner House Museum, 1800 S. Prairie. Afterward Dance COLEctive will perform its new piece Essence, which was inspired by Pre-Raphaelite paintings. The whole event runs from 6:30 to 8, and admission is $8. To reserve a spot call 312-326-1480. Down the street at 1900 S. Prairie, Woman Made Gallery previews "Reflections," a new exhibit of mixed-media works examining female beauty throughout history. Admission to the 9.9.99 celebration, which includes food, fortune-tellers, and performance art, is $9.99. It's from 7 to 10. Call 312-328-0038.

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