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Friday 5/11 - thursday 5/17

MAY

By Cara Jepsen

11 FRIDAY "It has a strong sexual component," says former medical supply salesman Lee Higgs about his new vocation--fetish photographer. "But it's very different than porn or sexually explicit type of stuff. It's more of a stylistic statement. And there's a lot of room for creativity." Higgs, who had trouble finding models when he started out three years ago (but now has plenty of subjects to snap), will give a slide show, screen his own "amateurish" fetish videos, and sign copies of his new photo book, Generation Fetish--which will be excerpted in an upcoming issue of Penthouse--tonight at 8 at Berlin, 954 W. Belmont (773-348-4975). Cover is $5; you must be 21.

12 SATURDAY One of the hot topics at today's State of Jazz & Improvised Music in Chicago panel discussion will be how local institutions are--or are not--nourishing the scene. Participants will include Thrill Jockey Records' Bettina Richards, WBEZ radio personality Richard Steele, Museum of Contemporary Art director of performance programs Peter Taub, the Jazz Institute of Chicago's Lauren Deutsch, the Illinois Arts Council's Rose Parisi, Flower Booking's Susanne McCarthy, musicians Malachi Thompson and David Boykin, and this paper's Peter Margasak and Neil Tesser, plus others. Reader staffer Monica Kendrick will moderate, and the audience will be encouraged to ask questions. It's from 11 to 3 at HotHouse, 31 E. Balbo. Admission is free, and lunch will be served. For reservations call 312-362-9707.

About a year ago New York-based writer Amy Fusselman won a contest held by the deadpan literary magazine McSweeney's for writing "the best book about electrical engineering on boats." The prize: they're publishing it. The Pharmacist's Mate is a memoir that touches on boats but also covers family relationships, loss, and artificial insemination. Its official release isn't until summer, but Fusselman is touring with advance copies. She'll be part of tonight's Art Chicago 2001 panel discussion "Writing and Reading for Fun and Profit: A Young Person's Forum," along with Bridge magazine poetry editor Greg Purcell, Fence editor Rebecca Wolff, and representatives from the Baffler, Weep, and Open City. It starts at 6:30 in rooms 307 and 308 of Navy Pier's Festival Hall, 600 E. Grand; the event is free with admission to Art Chicago 2001, which is $12. Fusselman, Purcell, and Wolff will also read from their work tomorrow at 3 at Quimby's, 1854 W. North; 773-342-0910.

13 SUNDAY "We are pilots, teaching our daughters to fly; we are strippers, forced back onto the stage with the 'success' of welfare reform; we are poets, and we have something to say," writes Ariel Gore in the introduction to Breeder: Real-Life Stories From the New Generation of Mothers. "We are sick of silences, so we are telling the truth about our family histories--the eating disorders, the suicidal depressions. We are intent on offering our children a different legacy." Gore and Bee Lavender, who put out the lefty parenting magazine HipMama, edited the anthology; midwest contributors Julia Mossbridge, Joy Castro, Beth Lucht, and Beth Kohn Feinerman will read from their work tonight at 5 at Women & Children First Bookstore, 5233 N. Clark (773-769-9299).

14 MONDAY Several years ago former Washington Post correspondent Neil Henry set out to learn whether his white great-great-grandfather--a plantation owner who'd had a long affair with Henry's great-great-grandmother, a freed slave--had ever married and produced a "legitimate" white family. He had indeed, and when Henry tracked down one of the descendants in Louisiana, he was surprised to learn that while his own side of the family had prospered in the last century, hers had not. "The story of their family, and mine, was almost the exact opposite of what stereotypes about race in America would have written," says Henry, now an associate professor at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism. He'll discuss Pearl's Secret: A Black Man's Search for His White Family tonight at 7 at 57th Street Books, 1301 E. 57th. It's free; call 773-752-4381.

15 TUESDAY Much to his mother's dismay, Jewish, Brooklyn-born documentary filmmaker Marty Rosenbluth went from "being a teenager actively supporting Israel and uncritical of Israel's policies to actively questioning Zionism and working for Palestinian human rights," he says. Working as a researcher in the Palestinian West Bank from 1985 to 1992, he learned that reporters wanted "something shorter" than his group's 10-page summaries of 300-page reports on human rights violations. So he decided to try to spread the word a different way: with his 1995 documentary, Jerusalem: An Occupation Set in Stone. Tonight's free screening will be followed by remarks from Not in My Name, a local Jewish group that opposes the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. It starts at 5:15 in the video theater at the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State, lower level. It's free; 312-747-4600.

16 WEDNESDAY Hipster poster boy John Lurie has compiled a resume of cool that includes founding the Lounge Lizards; appearing in such films as Paris, Texas, Wild at Heart, and Jim Jarmusch's Stranger Than Paradise and Down by Law; penning the sound tracks for Get Shorty and Manny & Lo, as well as for both of the Jarmusch films he starred in; founding a record company, Strange and Beautiful Music; and starring in the cable TV show Fishing With John, featuring him angling in exotic locales with the likes of Tom Waits, Willem Dafoe, and Dennis Hopper. He'll screen two episodes of Fishing With John and discuss his many works tonight at 6 at the School of the Art Institute auditorium, 280 S. Columbus. Admission is $5; call 312-443-3711.

17 THURSDAY Filipino immigration to North America dates back to 1587, when the Manila-built galleon Nuestra Se–ora de Esperanza arrived in California. Korean immigration to Hawaii began in 1903. Numbers for both groups have fluctuated over the years (for example, nonstudent Korean immigration was halted by the 1924 Oriental Exclusion Act), but the 1965 Immigration Act, which abolished quotas based on national origin, spurred a new influx from both groups. Tonight's discussion of Korean and Filipino immigration, cosponsored by the Field Museum's Center for Cultural Connections and Change, will include stories about the more humorous aspects of adapting to life in the U.S. It's from 6 to 8 at the Filipino American Historical Society of Chicago, 3952 N. Ashland. The $17 admission includes a dinner of Korean and Filipino noodle dishes. Call 312-665-7474 to register.

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