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Friday 6/6 - Thursday 6/12

JUNE

By Cara Jepsen

6 FRIDAY "New Urbanism" is what you get when developers invest in depressed areas by building expensive town houses with Euro kitchens, parking garages, and central air in the middle of slums. Meanwhile, property taxes in the area go up and long-term residents are forced to relocate. Where do they go, and who is benefiting from the changes? Those are some of the issues that will be addressed at this weekend's colloquium The New Urbanism: Lessons From Chicago's Renaissance, sponsored by the city's Urban Life Center, which will include panel discussions and neighborhood walking tours. Tonight's keynote speaker is CHA development initiatives director Wanda White, who will discuss the roles of communities like Bridgeport and Cabrini-Green in the city's rebirth. The dinner and keynote address by White begin at 5:30; poet Marvin Tate and the funk band D-Settlement perform at 8. It's at the Urban Life Center, 5650 S. Woodlawn; tickets are $25, $15 for students. Call 773-363-1312.

7 SATURDAY From her first book, A Street in Bronzeville, to her latest collection of poems, Children Coming Home, Illinois poet laureate Gwendolyn Brooks has broken barriers and inspired others to follow her lead; in 1950 she became the first African-American to win the Pulitzer Prize. These days she judges poetry contests, conducts workshops, and is writer in residence at Chicago State University's Gwendolyn Brooks Center for Black Literature and Culture. A wide spectrum of poets and literary luminaries from Elizabeth Alexander to Studs Terkel will help Brooks celebrate her 80th birthday today with Eighty Gifts, a free four-hour program of poetry readings and performances. It's from 11 to 3 in the auditorium of the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State. Call 312-744-6630 for more.

Comiskey Park vendors will be hawking "Miiiilk-Bones" and "coooold water" along with the usual overpriced edibles and brewskis at today's Sox-Orioles game. It's the one day a year Fido, Fluffy, and Rex are invited into the ballpark's sterile confines for the Dog Day of Summer celebration. Today's canine-centric attractions include health advice from vets, grooming tips from experts, and pregame dog tricks. The first pitch is at 12:05 (gates open at 10:35) at Comiskey Park, 333 W. 35th. It's $14 to sit in the bleachers with your pet. Dogs get in free but must be registered in advance; call 312-674-1000 to set your puppy up.

8 SUNDAY The 57th Street Art Fair started in 1948 when gallery owner Mary Louise Womer decided to set up a forum where artists could meet one another and sell their work directly to the public. The entry fee was 50 cents, and 50 artists showed up with their wares. In succeeding years the fair offered the work of such up-and-coming artists as Claes Oldenburg, Nancy Spero, Gertrude Abercrombie, Ruth Duckworth, and Richard Hunt. Womer, now 87, has documented her reminiscences in a new book, Chicago's 57th Street Art Fair: The First 50 Years. It'll be on sale today at the fair alongside paintings, jewelry, woodwork, glassware, fiber, ceramics, photography, and more. It's from 11 to 6:30 Saturday and today at and around the Ray School at 57th and Kimbark. Admission is free. Call 773-493-3247 for more information.

It's the International Year of the Coral Reef, and the highlight of today's Oceans Day at the Shedd Aquarium is a presentation by the former chief scientist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, marine biologist Sylvia Earle. Earle will share photos taken during her 6,000 hours of underwater exploration and discuss her 1995 book Sea Change. The daylong event also includes family-oriented crafts and puzzles, a screening of the video Magnificent Fish: The Forgotten Giants, and a feeding presentation in the coral reef tank. It's from noon to 4 (Earle speaks at 2) at the Shedd Aquarium, 1200 S. Lake Shore Drive. It's free with admission to the museum ($10, $8 for kids and students). Call 312-939-2438 for more.

9 MONDAY Since his son was shot and killed last year, Stephen Young--the father of the subject of this week's cover story--has been active in organizing protests against gun ownership. He'll speak at tonight's Andrew Young Memorial Benefit Against Handgun Violence, along with Dan Kotowski of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, Congressman Rod Blagojevich, and Mike Robbins of Help for Survivors. It's hosted by WGN's Kathy O'Malley; performers include poet Sheila Donahue and musician John Eskola. Proceeds will be split between the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence and Help for Survivors. It's from 7 to 10 at the Mercury Theater, 3745 N. Southport. It's $15, $10 for students, musicians, and thespians. Call 312-879-7920.

10 TUESDAY Landlubbers don't have to traipse to the North Shore to learn to sail. They can learn right here in the city on one of the Dyer dinghies used in the Chicago Yacht Club's Adult Sailing Program. The four-week course teaches the basics of boat handling and safety, theory, knot tying, terminology, and self-rescue techniques. Graduates are qualified to crew on a 40-foot yacht or go solo on a two-man boat. The club offers four courses during the summer; one of them begins today and meets on consecutive Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 to 8:30 at the Chicago Yacht Club at Belmont and the lake. It's not cheap, however; tuition is $320. Call 773-477-6951 to register.

11 WEDNESDAY Today's Roar by the Shore may not pack the punch of the Rumble in the Jungle, but it does offer the rare opportunity to see your favorite--or least favorite--alderman take a hit in public to raise funds for the Park District's youth boxing program. The pack of political pugilists includes aldermen Thomas Allen (38th), William Banks (36th), Brian Doherty (41st), Thomas Murphy (18th), Michael Zalewski (23rd), Danny Solis (25th), and former Golden Glover Walter Burnett (27th), who masterminded the event. Also on the bill are five-foot-two fighting machine Vilma Colom (35th) and Cook County recorder of deeds Jesse White. A reception starts at 7 and the fights are at 8 at the South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. South Shore. It's $50; call 312-747-0792 for more information.

12 THURSDAY Since 1980 monologuist Spalding Gray has been perfecting a performance piece called Interviewing the Audience. "What their first fantasy is, inevitably--and they're like children in this way--is that they're going to be out in the audience and I'm going to have a giant spotlight. And a fishnet is going to drop down on them and they are going to be pulled up on the stage and be forced to perform. So you get people coming in that are anxiously saying to me, 'Oh, don't you pick me tonight.' And you know well the lady doth protest too much. They're the ones who want the fishnet tossed over them," says Gray. In reality, his modus operandi has more in common with the way Oprah picks guests than the magic arrows of Bozo's Grand Prize Game. He patrols the lobby before the show and uses his intuition to choose a handful of people who agree to be interviewed onstage. Gray performs the piece in Chicago for the first time this weekend, appearing in conjunction with the Museum of Contemporary Art's interactive "Performance Anxiety" exhibit. He performs at 8 today, tomorrow, and Saturday at the MCA, 220 E. Chicago. Tickets are $20, $17 for students and seniors. Call 312-397-4010.

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