Art For Breonna Taylor
“Promise, Witness, Remembrance,” a group exhibition at Louisville’s Speed Museum through June 6, honors the legacy of Breonna Taylor one year after her killing at the hands of police. It’s curated by former Chicagoan (and Art 50 listee) Allison Glenn. The show features more than thirty works that reflect on Taylor’s life, her killing and racial justice protests. Contributing artists include Terry Adkins, Xavier Burrell, María Magdalena Campos-Pons, Nick Cave, Theaster Gates, Kerry James Marshall, Rashid Johnson, Kahlil Joseph, Glenn Ligon and Lorna Simpson.
DINING & DRINKING
The State of Deep Dish
The owners of the Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria chain, founded in Lincolnwood in 1971 and now with more than fifty Chicago locations, want to sell, Bloomberg reports, looking for as much as $700 million. Shareholder BDT Capital Partners is part of the initiative.
East Coast Sets Sights On Chicago Food Scene
At the Washington Post, food critic Tom Sietsema sets outsider’s eyes on critics in the Chicago dining scene, rueing the loss of the voices of Phil Vettel and Steve Dolinsky: “Chicago’s revered dining scene recently lost a key ingredient: Experienced, trustworthy critics.” “Without a strong voice and sufficient resources to bring its dining scene attention,” Vettel tells Sietsema, “Chicago risks ‘becoming a fly-over city.'” With less drama, Michael Nagrant, quoted in the piece, wrote in Eater Chicago all the way back in February, “Chicago needs a food critic or two — better yet if they bring a fresh and diverse set of perspectives. I know this is true because I’ve seen the future and the resulting fallout. The decline of the major food critic didn’t start weeks ago when Vettel retired. It began a decade ago, when Vettel’s chief competitor, Pat Bruno, was fired from the Chicago Sun-Times. The Sun-Times named me as Bruno’s successor, but two and a half years later I was also let go when the Sun-Times killed the dining section.” Nagrant sets up his worthy exploration: “What we know about monopolies is that they often lead to laziness and exploitation. In the absence of another critic pushing him, what would Vettel get lazy about? To understand that, you need to understand what a food critic does and how they do it.”
WGN News identifies the most pressing shortage when Chicago restaurants prepare to reopen at the tail end of the pandemic: staff members.
Chef José Covers the Waterfront
Globe-girdling, disaster-busting World Central Kitchen humanitarian chef José Andrés plans a plethora of projects along the Chicago River through his ThinkFoodGroup, including Joe’s by the River, an all-day café with partner Gibsons. Also: Andrés long-mooted River North iteration of his Jaleo tapas restaurant is slated to finally open at 500 North Clark in the former Naha space.
The state of Illinois has demanded repayment of a $150,00o pandemic business interruption grant from the proprietors of Uptown’s Tank Noodle, the Tribune reports. The restaurant lied about pending outstanding legal matters, the government says, which included a federal investigation that resulted in a March promise to pay about $700,000 in back wages to sixty employees, spanning a two-year period. Tank Noodle also gained notoriety for photos posted by the owners “on social media while on a flight to Washington, D.C., and attending the ‘Save America Rally'” that preceded the January 6 mob attack on the U. S. Capitol. (A few days later, they posted that no one with them had been part of the siege.)
FILM & TV
Camera Ambassador Becomes Third Woman-Owned Camera Rental House in U.S.
“There are only three rental houses nationwide that are owned and operated by women,” says Erica Duffy, who is now the sole owner of Camera Ambassador, the camera rental house on 14th Street. “I couldn’t be more thrilled to be one of them.” The company’s main focus is equipment rentals, but it offers monthly workshops, feedback sessions, screenings, promotion of local filmmakers, gear sponsorships and the annual Community Builders Grant, a short film fund for filmmakers. “We are also in the process of opening a not-for-profit wing under Camera Ambassador,” Duffy says in a release. “Our goal with our new wing is to really elevate and serve our community to the greatest of our ability.”
Forty Years And A Hundred Issues Of DePaul’s Poetry East
DePaul marks National Poetry Month and the fortieth year and hundredth issue of its Poetry East journal with a celebration of “the power of poetry” at an April 21 event in collaboration with the Chicago Public Library, featuring editor Richard Jones and author Miles Harvey. Register for the event here.
Illinois Poet Laureate In Residence With Illinois Humanities
Illinois’ fifth Poet Laureate, Angela Jackson, will promote poetry at state and national levels, working with both Illinois Humanities and the Illinois Arts Council Agency. “Angela Jackson is a talented storyteller whose poems, books, and plays have captured the hearts of readers for decades,” Illinois First Lady MK Pritzker says in a release. “As Illinois’ Poet Laureate, she will be an invaluable resource to Illinois Humanities and the Illinois Arts Council Agency, offering guidance and support to the poets of tomorrow.” Gabrielle Lyon, executive director of Illinois Humanities, says that “We are eager to celebrate and amplify Ms. Jackson’s vital contributions to the world of poetry and the Black Arts Movement. And we know that having the Illinois Poet Laureate in residence with Illinois Humanities will be especially inspiring to young people around the state who participate in our Gwendolyn Brooks Youth Poetry Awards.”
L.A. Times’ Owner May Kill Trib Publishing Deal
The Wall Street Journal reports that one man, billionaire Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, owner of the Los Angeles Times, could kibosh the deal proposed by Hansjörg Wyss and Stewart Bainum Jr. to acquire Tribune Publishing. Soon-Shiong, holding twenty-five percent of the company, is the second-largest stockholder behind Alden. “Soon-Shiong said this week in an email he hasn’t yet made up his mind how to vote,” the WSJ reports. The votes of the hedge fund and the biotech billionaire would be sufficient to dismiss the upstart deal to keep local control and boost the fortunes of Tribune Publishing’s newspapers.
Scorned Zorn Hardly Forlorn
Eric Zorn’s Tuesday column about the killing of thirteen-year-old Adam Toledo met a wave of impassioned responses, as well as Zorn’s near-jocular Friday reflection that was not an apology. “When I mentioned [articles that refer to the age of victims] in a staff Zoom meeting Wednesday, one of my colleagues replied wryly with what he referred to as an old saying: ‘The easiest job in the world is raising other people’s kids.’ Ain’t it, though? Any time a teen gets into high-profile trouble, even when the teen is the victim, the Parent Police turn on the lights and sirens. Indifference! Neglect! Irresponsibility! They seem to have no idea.” In that column, Zorn also says that his “tone” was wrong. Zorn was concerned, too, he tells Newsweek, about the “tone” of social media. “Aside from the profane and threatening insults on Twitter, few of which even bother to make a point, I’ve received a number of thoughtful letters of disagreement arguing that I minimized the inherent, fundamental tragedy of the violent death of a 13-year-old, no matter the circumstances, and gave too much deference to the idea that the police might have been justified in shooting him… It’s impossible to have anything like productive dialogue in the performative, rock-throwing environment of Twitter. I value the medium for many things, but it’s a lousy forum for debate.” Robert Feder’s reflection on Friday: “After more than forty years as one of the Tribune’s most thoughtful and compassionate progressive voices, it was an unaccustomed position for Zorn, 63, to be pilloried as a ‘soulless monster’ who was insensitive to the feelings of an angry, grieving community.”
Designs Of The Times
Reader theater editor Kerry Reid reports on a victory for a movement for pay equity and transparency for theater designers.
ARTS & CULTURE
Yelps In Horto
Yelp! reviewers rank twenty-five gardens in Canada and the U.S. and Garfield Park Conservatory is number one.