Nick Cave’s “Truth Be Told” Will Fill 314 Billboards (Updated)
Nick Cave’s text-based video piece, “Truth Be Told,” a response to the police killing of George Floyd, which began as a controversial “monumental text-based piece” at the Jack Shainman Gallery’s outlet in Kinderhook, New York which was then moved to the Brooklyn Museum, will appear around the United States as part of the artist’s ongoing series of site-specific works by the same name designed in collaboration with creative partner Bob Faust. Animated versions of “Truth Be Told,” featuring Cave’s “Soundsuits” will appear on 300 billboards in partnership with Orange Barrel Media. “The project’s latest iteration was specially created for the agency’s Sunset Spectacular in West Hollywood through its Arts on Sunset initiative,” reports Surface, “but new presentations [launched] July 4 in major cities such as Atlanta, Washington, and Boston. (The artists’ home market of Chicago is not included in the current plans.) ‘At a time of so much disinformation and racist beliefs finally surfacing,’ says Cave, ‘it’s more important than ever to speak truth to power, and in many cases to ourselves.'”
Minneapolis Sculpture Garden Commissions Its First Work By An Indigenous Artist
Angela Two Stars (Dakota, Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate) is the first Indigenous artist to install work in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, reports The Art Newspaper. “Recovering from controversy, the Walker Art Center has commissioned the Minnesota artist to create a labyrinth-like installation that celebrates the Dakota language as a way to heal the community and the land. ‘Our identity is grounded in our language,’ Two Stars said in a statement. ‘Our ceremonies, songs, and stories are rooted in language. Without our language, we would lose an integral part of who we are as Dakota people.’ The [work by the] Minnesota-based artist was selected from a pool of more than fifty proposals reviewed by a special committee of seven Indigenous curators and writers who collaborated with the Walker to realize a project by an Indigenous artist for the garden.”
Driehaus Museum Restores Ornate Historic Auditorium For The Arts
Built for the American College of Surgeons in 1926, the Beaux Arts space known as the Murphy Auditorium will be used for lectures, concerts, workshops and events, reports The Art Newspaper. “The auditorium, with its massive cast bronze entrance doors designed by Tiffany Studios and elegant curving staircase, will also be activated by the arts. ‘It’s a beautiful space and we will, very carefully, make it available for private events but it’s important that we return it to its original use as a place for education, lectures, concerts and workshops,’ museum executive director Anna Musci says. ‘We are looking through a very local community lens’… and plans include making the space available to other arts organizations.”
“Why Are Top Jobs In Chinese Museums Going To White Men?”
The Art Newspaper asks the question, and cites former MCA mainstay Francesco Bonami. “Four of the country’s museums have recently announced Western appointees to senior positions; strikingly, all are white men with minimal experience in Asia and three are working remotely from overseas. Hangzhou’s Renzo Piano-designed new private museum By Art Matters, backed by fashion brand JNBY and its founder Li Lin, opens at the end of this year under the remote directorship of U.S.-based Italian super-curator Francesco Bonami, supported by an assistant director on site, Wu Tian.”
Chicago And North Western Railway Site Becomes Dual-Branded Loop Hotel
The Revival-style building that was the historic headquarters of the Chicago and North Western Railway is now the site of one of the larger-scale recent hotel developments, with dual-branded Canopy by Hilton Chicago Central Loop (Canopy Chicago) and Hilton Garden Inn Chicago Central Loop (HGI Central Loop). The property is expected to open in late summer. The 117-year-old building, located at 226 West Jackson, will feature 350 rooms and suites between the properties, along with food and beverage outlets for each—Depot 226 and Garden Central—featuring locally inspired dishes and craft cocktails.
DINING & DRINKING
McDonald’s Workers Celebrate $15 Minimum Wage As Portillo’s Workers Strike
McDonald’s workers celebrated the Chicago minimum hourly wage hike to $15: “McDonald’s workers rallied outside the fast-food giant’s corporate headquarters in the West Loop to celebrate — but also demand more.”“Today is the day that fast-food workers like me have fought for…” McDonald’s employee Adriana Alvarez told the paper. “When we first announced our demands for a $15 minimum wage, we were told we were crazy. But we knew and still know that we were worth more than $7.85. We are here at McDonald’s headquarters to say to this company that you can do more by following Chicago’s lead and paying everyone everywhere at least $15 an hour. McDonald’s made nearly five billion dollars in profit last year during a pandemic.”
Meanwhile, seventeen workers at the Chicago-based Portillo’s chain walked off the job to demand safer working conditions and fair wages, reports Sam Heller at the Sun-Times. At a Friday press conference in front of the River North Portillo’s location, fifteen-year veteran employee Armando Huerta said, “All we want is to be treated decently, treated fairly and paid fairly. Thanks to the company for the good years, but enough is enough.” “The workers, who are all Hispanic, asked to meet with management as a group but were refused the opportunity at every level, [employee Paty] Cordova said. The workers are not unionized.” “We are disappointed that a small group of our team members have chosen to participate in a rally instead of coming in for their scheduled shifts,” a Portillo’s statement said. “The Portillo’s leadership team is committed to hearing from each of our team members individually and will continue to do so.” “The request to meet one-on-one with workers is an intimidation tactic, Cordova said.”
Little Village Mainstay La Catedral Sees Return To Boom
Business dropped off by seventy-five percent at La Catedral on West 25th during the pandemic, reports Stefano Esposito at the Sun-Times. Now, “with the city re-opening, the lines are back outside La Catedral, [business inside] bustling — clinking plates, wait staff rushing from table to table between walls adorned with religious relics, some from Gonzalez’s native Guadalajara… Business is so good that [owner Ambrocio] Gonzalez is planning to expand into another space on the adjacent corner of the intersection.” “I feel like a rock star when I see a restaurant so packed,” he tells the paper.
Taste of River North Turns Twenty In August At River Park At theMART
River North Residents Association announced in a release that its annual food and entertainment festival, Taste of River North, returns in 2021 to celebrate its twentieth anniversary. On August 20 and 21, Taste of River North moves to River Park at theMART. The two-day Taste of River North festival will give visitors the opportunity to sample the best of the neighborhood’s food, beverage and entertainment offerings against a backdrop of Chicago’s river and world-class architecture views. The entertainment features local performers JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound and Sixteen Candles.
Heidi Stevens And Dahleen Glanton To Go Syndication Route; List (To Date) Of Trib Exodus
Heidi Stevens and Dahleen Glanton will write one column each week for Tribune Content Agency, the syndication company owned by Tribune Publishing’s syndication arm, reports Crain’s. “Glanton and Stevens said they would be paid per column but declined to comment on further details. A source with knowledge of the agreement said Stevens is making $200 per column… Sources say other reporters had their buyout applications rejected too, and the list of departures could grow.” A list of departures is at the link.
Scale Of Tribune Exodus Still To Be Determined
Alden Global Capital buyouts have eliminated ten percent of Tribune Publishing newsroom staffing in just six weeks, reports Poynter. “Some former Tribune Publishing papers — like the Chicago Tribune and The Morning Call — lost even more: upwards of twenty percent of union staff… The Chicago Tribune, the largest of the papers, had 169 guild positions in May 2018, double the count now after the buyouts… A small exception to the news staffing squeeze is Tribune’s Chicago-based design and production studio, which has grown from 38 to 55 positions. That reflects the transfer of layout and copy editing work, formerly done at individual papers, to the shared studio.”
Meanwhile, page counts have been slashed and deadlines shortened, reports the Murdoch-owned New York Post. In an email from the Chicago-based Design Production Studio, the company said “all papers must slash local and feature pages by twenty percent, move up their deadlines by as much as two hours and that most of the special sections should be put on pause… If local editors thought they could rely on wire copy to fill empty pages, that’s likewise being curtailed. ‘Local markets stop pulling their own national wire stories and better utilize existing mods,’ read the directive.”
Kass Barks At The “Little Doggies” In Spanking-New Blog
Former Tribune editor Mark Jacob notes the apparition of John Kass’ new blog, replete with slams at his longtime employer and brandished elemental copyediting errors: “Other people who got buyouts urged readers to keep their subscriptions and support the journalists who remain. They didn’t slam the paper after getting their buyout.” Kass? “There are still good journalists there. I wish them well. Newspapers are important to the life of a city. But the woke liberal bosses of the newspaper union didn’t like my politics. They defamed me last year and wanted me out. So now I’m out… Hope they enjoy themselves. I have written that I didn’t leave ‘the paper,’ but ‘the paper’ left me. But now a few deranged Jacobin trolls are barking that I slammed ‘the paper’ on the way out. I hear a few little barking dog [sic]. Bark little doggies. Bark. They’re full of (nonsense). I gave most of my life and heart to ‘the paper.’ Yet they cling to their deranged theories to cover their own backsides.”
Berwyn’s International Queen Of Polka, Vlasta Krsek, Was 83
Another gem from the Sun-Times’ Maureen O’Donnell: “Vlasta Krsek was the head-tossing, foot-stomping dynamo in the middle of one of the most exuberant movie scenes ever filmed. As thousands of extras rock out to ‘Twist and Shout’ in ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,’ she bounced on a pedestal and pounded out the song on her accordion, smiling at her parade float mate Matthew Broderick as he lip-synced the number for the crowd. She backed him on ‘Danke Schoen,’ too. ‘She was having a blast,’ said her daughter Helen Krsek.” Krsek’s passing last August was little-noted until now. “Last weekend, several of Mrs. Krsek’s accordions were sold at an estate sale at her Berwyn bungalow… And the most famous of her accordions — the one Mrs. Krsek played in the parade scene in the movie — will be sold by an auction house that specializes in high-end entertainment memorabilia… Mrs. Krsek, who was born in Prague, was a World War II refugee who became a star, proudly garbed in the traditional Czech folk costumes known as kroje. ‘The polka belongs to the world,’ she once told an interviewer with the Cicero Life.”
Haven Announces 2021-22 Season At The Den Theatre
Haven pops up post-pandemic: the company reports that their season starts with the second annual “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” directed by Haven’s artistic director Ian Damont Martin, featuring a screening of the film alongside “shadowcast” performances by Chicago actors. “Next summer, Haven will mount the next iteration of Nikki Lynette’s multidisciplinary afrogoth musical ‘Get Out Alive,’ co-directed by Roger Ellis and Lucky Stiff, which features the writer and her personal journey with mental health. Haven continues its shift into the multidisciplinary space, delivering on the media aspect of its mission with the production of the short film ‘Save Face,’ written and directed by Haven’s artistic director Ian Damont Martin. The film will screen next summer during Haven’s inaugural film and media festival, ‘Festival Au Cinema.'” More here.
ARTS & CULTURE
Abraham Lincoln Museum Obtains Key 1854 Letter
The Associated Press reports that the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum now holds an 1854 letter “hinting at Abraham Lincoln’s transition from prairie legislator to political powerhouse, donated to the state of Illinois… The short missive, which a scholar once labeled ‘in a sense, the most interesting document Lincoln ever wrote,’ explains his decision not to return to the Illinois House of Representatives so that he could remain viable for the U.S. Senate. The choice opened the door to the White House and Lincoln’s preservation of the nation during the Civil War. ‘Lincoln wrote it at a pivotal time in his life. Would he focus on the law or make a return to politics?’ Lincoln library and museum executive director Christina Shutt said. ‘His decision changed history, so it’s appropriate for this letter to find a home at the library and museum dedicated to telling the story of Lincoln’s impact on the world.'”
Shedd Animal Response Team Combating Sausalito Animal Strandings
Dr. Lauren Kane, a veterinary resident at Shedd Aquarium, is in Sausalito, California representing Shedd’s Animal Response Team and assisting The Marine Mammal Center (the Center) with animal strandings as part of their Teaching Hospital program. The Center is the world’s largest marine mammal hospital and provides year-round care to marine mammals in need, alongside conducting scientific research on threats facing wildlife in the area and public education efforts, Shedd relays in a release. While supporting the Center, Dr. Kane has assisted with examining and admitting stranded northern elephant seals, California sea lions and more. Dr. Kane has been able to apply her skills working with California sea lions and sea otters at Shedd, while also learning from the Center’s staff who care for a broad variety of marine mammals at their hospital every year. She also participated in a necropsy for a gray whale, assisting to help determine cause of death for the animal, whose species is currently experiencing an Unusual Mortality Event (UME).
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