CASE Art Fund Names Shahidul Alam Humanitarian of the Year
Photographer, writer, curator, and human rights activist Shahidul Alam is the first recipient of CASE Art Fund’s Humanitarian of the Year Award. The nonprofit CASE Art Fund, based in Chicago and Oslo, established in 2018 by gallerists Catherine Edelman and Anette Skuggedal, advances social awareness of children’s human rights through collaborative photographic projects, exhibitions, installations, public programs and events. The award presentation and other events will take place in September and October. Details here.
St. Louis Art Museum Names New Director
The St. Louis Art Museum has appointed Min Jung Kim as its new director, reports ARTnews, making her the first woman to lead the institution in its 142-year history. Kim currently is the director and CEO of the New Britain Museum of American Art in Connecticut. She worked before that at the Guggenheim Museum in New York for over a decade as its director of content alliances. “I am excited to build upon the museum’s strong foundational base, get to know and partner with the diverse communities of St. Louis, and work with the talented team of the Saint Louis Art Museum in taking the institution to even greater heights,” Kim said in a statement.
State Agencies Likely To Oppose Thompson Center On National Register of Historic Places
Preservationists fear two Illinois agencies will oppose having the James R. Thompson Center added to the National Register of Historic Places, reports Ryan Ori at the Trib, which the groups see as a key to saving the Helmut Jahn-designed building in the Loop.
DINING & DRINKING
To-Go To Go?
“Restaurants would no longer include those little bags of utensils and condiments with takeout orders unless customers request them, under an proposed ordinance,” reports Fran Spielman at the Sun-Times. “But compliance is voluntary and the measure, introduced at Wednesday’s Chicago City Council meeting, includes no fines for non-compliance… Sealed bags — filled with everything from plastic silverware, chopsticks, wipes and condiments to salt, pepper and napkins — would no longer be automatically included in take-out meals and deliveries… The effort to curb ‘plastic pollution’ is back on track. At Wednesday’s City Council meeting, Health and Environmental Protection Committee Chairman George Cardenas (12th) introduced an ordinance prohibiting Chicago restaurants from automatically distributing what he calls ‘single-use foodware.'”
“Caddyshack”-Themed Resto Whispered For Wilmette
The former Bakers Square building at 200 Skokie Blvd. recently sold, and a new suitor is hoping to play through by opening a “Murray Bros. Caddyshack” restaurant on the property, according to Village of Wilmette documents, reports The Record North Shore. Village Manager Mike Braiman told The Record that the village has been engaged with Murray Bros. representation regarding the property since last summer. “We’re unsure if they’re going to reuse the existing space or demolish it and build new, but our understanding from those discussions awhile ago is that they were looking to open up more of these ‘Caddyshack’ restaurants across the country and felt like starting in the community where the brothers grew up was a great place to really get that going,” Braiman tells the publication.
Chicago Gourmet Returns For Fourteenth Edition In September
Chicago Gourmet returns in September “with a focus on reuniting gourmet enthusiasts with Chicago’s exciting culinary community, founding sponsors at the Illinois Restaurant Association and presenting sponsor Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits are planning new events as well as the return of fan favorites that champion Chicago’s diverse culinary landscape.” In a release, Sam Toia, president and CEO, Illinois Restaurant Association says, “We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of continued support and enthusiasm for Chicago Gourmet during this challenging year. We want to [bring] chefs and restaurants back together with their fans, while doing all that we can to support the present and the future of the hospitality industry. We are looking forward to raising a glass to the exceptional and resilient talent that makes Chicago’s hospitality scene second to none!” Details here.
The Summer Inn Comes To Highland Park
Third-generation restaurateur, designer Adolfo Garcia, is opening The Summer Inn in downtown Highland Park on Tuesday, June 29. The Summer Inn will offer guests Midwest hospitality with a coast-to-coast American design described as “high-end bungalow style.” Garcia is known for creating spaces in Chicago and is bringing that design sensibility to The Summer Inn. “When David Goldberg, a native Highland Park resident and friend found this space, it was a perfect fit,” Garcia says. “The North Shore has always been close to home for me. It’s home to many of my good friends, and I always felt the desire to develop something special here.” Says Goldberg, “I remember growing up in the 80s in Highland Park, and it was the gem of the North Shore. The Downtown District of Highland Park needs a place like The Summer Inn which will bring new energy and life to my hometown!” The menu is shaped by Chef Bob Zrenner (Tru, North Pond Restaurant, Tournesol, XO Chicago), designed to evoke memories of communal dining with friends and family along the East Coast in a private bungalow. Chef Bob has created a menu using the best of Midwest seasonal ingredients in coastal-style dishes, the restaurant says. Chef Bob and Adolfo have partnered before as well as working on popular Chicago projects like Hubbard Inn, Black Bull, and Barn and Company.
FILM & TELEVISION
The New 400 Makes It Past Its Second Pandemic
“We’ve had custodians of this place steer it through two pandemics,” the New 400 Theaters general manager Scott Holtz tells Block Club Chicago. “Not many places can say that.” The Rogers Park theater, which opened in 1912, reopens Friday with showings of “F9.” Private rentals will remain available. “We’ve done really well with that,” he said. “That’s part of the new business model.” The theater will remain closed on the slow days of Monday and Tuesday.
How The Alden Global Capital-Tribune Publishing Deal Is “Dancing At The Edge Of The Law”
Tribune board members acted in their own interests, not their newspaper chain’s, while Alden Global Capital failed to disclose a secret investor meeting and misrepresented its cash position, reports Julie Reynolds in an extensive analysis at NiemanLab. “Tribune’s board must have known that Alden actually had zero intention of using its own money to complete the deal… The two Alden funds had already filed reports showing they didn’t have that much cash. In fact, most of Alden’s investments are illiquid… If any member of Tribune’s board didn’t know this, they should have — it’s their fiduciary duty… It was obvious [in late April] that Tribune was going to be forced to take out big loans because the board specifically included this option in the deal’s fine print. Aside from forcing Tribune to go into massive debt, why does this matter? … It pushed away a competing offer that might have led to a happier ending for journalism. Tribune’s directors rejected a higher-paying bid from Stewart Bainum Jr. — who wanted to return the chain’s papers to local control — ‘because Mr. Bainum has not yet secured the necessary financing for such proposal, nor can there be any assurance that he will be able to do so.’ Yet the directors seemed unconcerned that Alden was equally unable to finance a deal.”
-30- Work: Steve Johnson Takes Buyout After Over Three Decades At Trib
“In 35+ years at the Chicago Tribune, I have been: fresh-from-college intern, suburban reporter (Rosemont), city reporter (Chicago), fill-in editor, metro GA, features writer (moment of silence for Tempo), Sunday Magazine staff writer, media columnist, husband-wife columnist (one half only), TV critic, Internet critic (early days), culture/museums reporter and finally, and too briefly, metro GA again. To say nothing of assorted travel stories and reviews in other genres,” soon-to-be-former Chicago Tribune writer Steve Johnson posts on Twitter. “It’s all added up to hundreds of thousands of words, most of them coherent, many of them not embarrassing to re-read. It’s also added up to a professional writing career I did not expect would last this long in one place. It changed enough to keep it challenging, and the work always felt like it mattered. I am sad to be setting it all aside as I leave the Tribune in Friday’s departure wave, but circumstances, well-documented by now, conspired against said career making it to 45 years, or even 40… I’ll be reading daily and rooting with the fervor of a shirtless Bears fan on a December Sunday for the talented people I have been so proud to call friends and colleagues as they continue to do important work about Chicago. Subscribe here and elsewhere as if democracy itself depended on it. (It does.) -30-”
Columnist Dahleen Glanton On Buyout After Thirty-Two Years
“This is my last week as a Chicago Tribune columnist,” writes Dahleen Glanton while recounting her career in journalism, including thirty-two years at the Trib, “but that doesn’t mean I have nothing else to say. You might stumble upon my writings again somewhere, one day or another. There isn’t much I will miss about the daily grind of newspaper life, but I will look back fondly on my time at the Tribune and remember my colleagues who supported me the entire way. But mostly I will remember you, the readers, who encouraged me to keep offering my opinion when I felt no one was listening. I will miss your emails, the nice ones and the angry ones. And yes, I received your handwritten letters too. I will miss your ideas, your advice, your kindness and your gentle scolding. And I will be eternally grateful for your open mindedness, your willingness to venture out of your comfort zone and your immense capability for compassion. You are my kind of people. I have learned so much from you. I know you didn’t always agree with everything I wrote, but you were willing to allow a different point of view to at least float around in your head.”
Carlos Kalmar To Lead Grant Park Music Festival Through 2024
Chicago’s Grant Park Music Festival extends the reign of principal conductor Carlos Kalmar for another two years, reports the Tribune. Kalmar’s contract as the Festival’s artistic director and principal conductor has been extended through 2024, when he will end his tenure. The 2024 summer season will be his twenty-fifth season leading the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus, according to the announcement, as well as the Festival’s ninetieth anniversary season. Kalmar will be conductor laureate after that time and will return periodically to conduct the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus, beginning in 2026.
Schubas Is Open Again
Schubas Tavern posts news of its reopening on Instagram: “After approximately 250,000 years of being closed, we’re finally reopening the tavern! Shows start up on Thursday but opening night is this Wednesday (so please stop by and keep our bartenders busy).”
Remembering John Michalski And Ruing Improv Fates
“John Michalski died May 24. In a hospital in Santa Monica. Of cancer. He was 72. There’s a pretty good chance you don’t know his name. Or if you do, it’s a name you haven’t heard in a while. It’s been a few years since this native son lived and worked here,” writes Jack Helbig at the Reader. “There was a time when a lot of people knew his name, at least in the improv comedy world. He was one of the founding members of the Second City Training Center (along with Don DePollo, Michael Gellman, and his brother Jeff Michalski, among others). Before that he created the Improv Institute, which, like the ImprovOlympic, was a place devoted to pure improv, not what he called “re-prov,” the style of improv Second City did, in which improv was used as one of the means to write sketch comedy… Michalski’s quiet death reminded me of the evanescence of fame, and that the improv world is bound up in lots of paradoxes… Improv was developed to foster a kind of personal liberation. ‘This shit could change the world,’ is what the late Second City improv guru Martin de Maat once told me his aunt, Players Workshop founder Josephine Forsberg, told him she’d said to Spolin about her games. Yet every year all across the country thousands of people plunk down their money to take improv classes hoping to be the next Bill Murray, or Seth Meyers, or Tina Fey. They don’t care if this shit could change the world. They just want their fame. No one goes into improv planning to be the next forgotten somebody.” More here.
ARTS & CULTURE
Lakeshore Drive Renaming Derailed In Council Dustup
Wednesday’s City Council meeting “went off the rails and was cut short after Mayor Lori Lightfoot clashed with alderpeople over the consideration of her pick for corporation counsel,” Fran Spielman reports at the Sun-Times. “The dustup derailed a highly anticipated showdown on a controversial proposal to rename Lake Shore Drive in honor of Jean Baptiste Point DuSable.” Lightfoot and Ald. Jeanette Taylor had a face-off in the Council chambers: ”I told her to get her finger out of my face and to stop yelling at me,” Taylor said. “I’m not a child. I don’t work for Lori Lightfoot. We are co-workers. The sooner she understands that, the better off she’ll be… She was pointing her finger in my face, telling me I disrespected a woman of color or I cut a woman of color. Don’t try to do that… You don’t do that to people. I would never do that to her — ever.”