Benefit for New Ollie Park; Fuck you, Pay Me at the Sci-Fi Filmfest; and Previously Avoided, Dismissed, Forgotten, or Submerged Black History

 Fund-raiserRiver City Skate ParkWith the recent demolition of Seattle Center's SkatePark (we'd like to think it's gone to a warmer, drier place in the sky with a better view than EMP afforded), the city could use another legal spot for kids to carve up the concrete. While the indoor Rain City has got some ground covered, South Park will also soon become a destination for helmet and pad-clad rippers—upping their options. Still in the creation phase, River City Skate Park—whose neighbors will include César Chávez Park and the neighborhood's beautiful new public library—needs to raise a cool $150,000 to become an ollie-rampant reality. Skylark Cafe is stepping up to help take a bite out of the burden. The hidden gem of a rock club/restaurant/bar is teaming up with local photog Eve Kruse, whose work (pictured above) will be showcased at the venue's benefit for the park. "Skaters and those who love them have a few options for supporting River City at this benefit—buying artwork (a percentage of sales will be donated), or simply dropping some cash into the tip jar and enjoying the visuals and vittles," says Skylark owner Jessie Summa-Kussiak of the event. Even though our dreary skies are no match for the bleaching powers of SoCal, the forthcoming park, slated to open in late summer, should bring us one step closer to churning out some Stacy Peraltas of our own. Skylark Cafe, 3803 Delridge Way S.W., 935-2111, 4–6 p.m. AJA PECKNOLDFilmSci-Fi Film FestIf there's one thing Alfonso Cuarón's Children of Men reminds us—besides the fact that AMPAS members are absolute idiots for not recognizing it as one of the five best films of 2006—it's how bracing and vital science fiction can be. The good stuff, anyway. We haven't previewed this collection of 20 futuristic shorts, but the odds are fairly decent that a handful will stick in your head like some kind of burrowing cranial space worm. The omnibus show is also a competition, with the winner earning a look, but nothing more, from the Sci-Fi Channel. Besides, the JBL Theater at the Experience Music Project—sorry, that's the Science Fiction Museum, with apologies to Chief Vulcan Comdr. Paul Allen—is the best screen in the city, with perfect sight lines and (duh) great sound. Judging from the titles, and the titles alone, our best bets would be The Tragical Historie of Guidolon the Giant Space Chicken and Fuck You, Pay Me, sentiments that we know all too well. (Meaning the giant space chickens, of course.) And if TV deals and Oscars don't come to these promising young filmmakers, there's always YouTube. Science Fiction Museum, 325 Fifth Ave. N., 724-3428, $9 (one show), $15 (both). 4 and 7 p.m. BRIAN MILLERAcademicBlack History ConferenceFebruary is Black History Month, and this weekend is the Association for African American Historical Research and Preservation's fourth annual conference at Seattle University. The nonprofit's mission is to "locate, collect, preserve, and disseminate historical and genealogical information" related to the African-American population. Over 60 historians, independent scholars, and educators from around the world will speak on the theme "The Black Experience: Presenting History's Hidden Pages (Previously Avoided, Dismissed, Forgotten, Submerged, or Unknown)." Twenty sessions will explore research papers, panels, and workshops, with a keynote speech from Dr. Violet Malone, professor of adult higher education at Western Washington University. Covering a broad spectrum of the black experience, the paper topics include "A Silent History: Giving Voice to the African-American Deaf Experience," by UW graduate student Heather D. Clark. Seattle University, 901 12th Ave., 296-6000, $25–$60. 8:30 a.m. RACHEL SHIMP

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