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Friday 5/24 - Thursday 5/30

MAY

24 FRIDAY At the first Conference of Independent African States, held in Ghana in 1958, Ghanaian prime minister Kwame Nkrumah declared April 15 to be African Liberation Day. When the Organization of African Unity was founded in 1963, the date was changed to May 25. The Chicago chapter of the All-African People's Revolutionary Party celebrates with a symposium from 6 to 10 tonight offering workshops on "the issues of the day" (according to a spokesman) and featuring guests from Africa, the Philippines, Ireland, and the Palestinian territories. It's at the Northeastern Illinois University Center for Inner City Studies, 700 E. Oakwood, and it's free. On Saturday a unity march assembles at noon in Washington Park near 55th and Ellsworth; from 2 to 6 there'll be a rally at the same location. Things wind up with a concert ($10) headlined by Mutabaruka, which starts at 10 at the center. Call 773-955-3906 or 773-301-5038 for more information.

25 SATURDAY The city's official Memorial Day parade honoring war veterans starts at noon today at Columbus and Balbo and will include more than 10,000 participants and 286 marching units; significantly smaller will be the concurrent Peace & Happiness Parade organized by the Zen Buddhist Temple in celebration of the Buddha's 2,546th birthday. The parade starts and ends outside the temple at 1710 W. Cornelia. It'll be followed at 2:30 by a public forum on the subject of "Compassionate Conflict: A Buddhist Look at What Happens When People Disagree" inside the temple ($5). At 6:30 there's a vegetarian feast ($20, reservations required), followed at 8:30 by a cabaret show ($10). The birthday celebration continues Sunday with religious services and a lantern lighting ceremony. Call 773-528-8685 for details or to make reservations for the dinner.

"I'm still a big hairy gay man," insisted Survivor champ Richard Hatch in an April 2001 interview in American Bear magazine, even though he was clean shaven and substantially trimmer than in his on-camera days. The Hatch interview--along with chats with comedy writer Bruce Vilanch, former New Hampshire state senator Rick Trombly, and former Advocate senior editor Mark Thompson--appears in Ron Suresha's new book Bears on Bears, which attempts to demystify that subculture of gay men who are big, hairy, and often defiantly unfashionable. Suresha will read from and sign the book today at 2 PM at Gerber/Hart Library, 1127 W. Granville (773-381-8030). On Sunday, May 26, he'll appear at 11:30 AM at Borders Books & Music, 2817 N. Clark (773-935-3909). Both events are free.

26 SUNDAY Northwestern University's third annual six-hour New Music Marathon features Pierre Boulez's Incises and Amnon Wolman's From Stillness, among other works, and the roster of performers includes members of Eighth Blackbird, the Ensemble Intercontemporain of Paris, and the Apartment House Ensemble of London. It's free and runs from 4 to 10 PM at the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, 1967 South Campus Dr. in Evanston. It's OK to come late or leave early. Call 847-491-5441 for more information.

University of Chicago alum Nima Bassiri's feature-length film Haunting Pierrot's Ghost involves the son of a famous mime, his encounter with a troupe of homeless mimes living in the basements of U. of C. buildings, and his struggle to come to terms with the much-loathed art form. Made with a $10,000 grant from the University of Chicago Arts Planning Council and shot last year on film and video, the movie premieres tonight at 9:30 at the Max Palevsky Cinema in Ida Noyes Hall, 1212 E. 59th. Tickets are $4; call 773-702-8575.

27 MONDAY The stretch of Longwood Drive that runs from 98th to 111th is probably the highest natural elevation in the city, and today's 25th annual Ridge Run, organized by the Beverly Area Planning Association, goes through some of the neighborhood's hilliest intersections. A 5K race begins at 8 AM, a 10K starts at 9, and a two-mile walk and one-mile youth run start at 9 and 9:15 respectively. Winners will get their awards in a ceremony starting at 10:15 at Ridge Park (Longwood and 96th), and one of the oldest Memorial Day parades in the city starts at 10:30. Entry fees are $25 for the 5K and 10K runs, $15 for the walk or the youth run; call 773-233-3100 to register.

28 TUESDAY Clinical psychologist Marshall Rosenberg's method of teaching nonviolent communication--developed in the 1960s, while he was mediating school desegregation disputes in the south--makes use of giraffe and jackal hand puppets and is used in schools in Serbia, Northern Ireland, and Israel. Rosenberg will lead tonight's workshop at the Arts Center at 200 N. Oak Park Ave. in Oak Park. It runs from 7 to 9:30 and costs $20. Call 708-788-6726 for more information.

29 WEDNESDAY For the past nine months, Columbia College fiction teacher Germania Solorzano and Free Street Arts Literacy Project volunteer Amanda Lichtenstein have been working with sixth, seventh, and eighth graders from the Helen C. Peirce and Albert R. Sabin public schools. The result is Split Second, the third annual anthology of student writing and photography to come out of the project. Students from both schools will read from their work at today's book-release party in Columbia's Narrative Arts Center, 33 E. Congress, first floor. It runs from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM, and you're welcome to bring your lunch. Free copies of the book will be available at the event or can be ordered from Free Street (773-772-7248). Call 312-344-8863 for more information on the party.

Detroit is "not just hell around the corner," said one-named singer-guitarist Blair of his hometown in an interview last year. "It's a beautiful place with many beautiful people. Berry Gordy knew it when he started Motown.... I get inspiration from the city itself, and political movements, and the people around me." His acoustic quartet Urban Folk Collective, which claims influences ranging from Tracy Chapman to Tricky to Dinah Washington, shares a bill tonight with "acoustic soul" trio Ruben Waters Loves You as part of the Old Town School of Folk Music's "Voices of a New Black Millennium" series. Show time is 8:30 and admission is free, though there's a suggested donation of $5. The school is at 4544 N. Lincoln (773-728-6000). On Thursday, May 30, the Urban Folk Collective will appear at Chase Cafe, 7301 N. Sheridan (773-743-5650); Scottish McMillan opens. There's no cover, but donations will be accepted.

30 THURSDAY "Fashion is underrated as an art form," says milliner Marjorie Marshall. "Many consumers see only the finished product on a rack or shelf and don't realize the object's history." To remedy that Marshall and fellow designers Theresa Buffo (who makes handbags), Karen Aguirre (clothes), and Camille Borbouse (jewelry) have put together an installation of rough drafts, sketches, patterns, and prototypes in an attempt to highlight their creative process. In the Company of Fashion opens today and runs through June 29 at Artemisia Gallery, 700 N. Carpenter (312-226-7323). There's a free reception with the designers Friday, May 31, from 5 to 8.

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