“American Epidemic: Guns in the United States” Opening at the Museum of Contemporary Photography
The Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago (MoCP) will present “American Epidemic: Guns in the United States” from September 10–February 20, 2022. “This exhibition brings together work by nine artists who examine gun culture in the United States and the role guns play in structural violence, poverty, systemic racism and an increasingly militarized police force,” the museum says in a release. The exhibition is organized by Karen Irvine, MoCP chief curator and deputy director. The exhibition features work by Carolyn Drake, Nancy Floyd, Stephen Foster, Andres Gonzalez, Félix González-Torres, Zora J Murff, Renée Stout, and Hank Willis Thomas and Kambui Olujimi. “The work in ‘American Epidemic’ not only explores the complex array of issues that arise with the increased presence of guns in American society, but advocates for an intersectional understanding of how gender, race, capitalism and militarism affect the larger conversation around gun control in this country.” More here.
Interactive Social Awareness Exhibit “Boxed Experience” Coming To South Loop
Roosevelt Collection Shops has set “Boxed Experience,” the latest “activation” to open in their exhibit space at 150 West Roosevelt. Running August 14-September 30, “the interactive theatrical experience will amaze visitors through map projections and hyper-realistic rooms as guests investigate and decide the fate of a man being accused of a horrible crime. In each room, clues and evidence will alter thoughts on guilt and innocence through intriguing visuals, mind-bending sensories and a storyline that will leave attendees speechless,” a release relays. Tickets range from $35-$55. “We are always searching for cutting-edge activations to engage and entertain our visitors,” Shannon Ridgeway, general manager at Roosevelt Collection Shops says in the release. “’Boxed Experience’ will be a one-of-a-kind way to dig deep into social issues and raise our collective consciousness in an interactive, fun way as a community.”
Fotografiska Pops Up At Kimpton Gray Hotel
The Kimpton Gray Hotel will host a pop-up from August 1-22 from the photography destination, Fotografiska. Fotografiska, created by two brothers, is “built on the principal foundation of photography as a safe haven of innovation, inclusivity and self-expression,” the hotel says in a release. The Swedish establishment opened a New York location in 2020. “Kimpton Hotels & Resorts and Fotografiska created a partnership to bring select pieces to three cities. The intimate traveling exhibit will be housed at The Gray throughout the month of August. Located on the second floor Living Room, the exhibit is open to the public… The curated photo collection from three female photographers is inspired by human connections and how they impact our lives. Featured artists include Evelyn Bencicova, Kelia Anne MacCluskey and Elizabeth Bick.”
Bridge Designing “Assembly Zones” For ” Information Deserts”
Bridge, a nonprofit collective of interdisciplinary artists that publishes the Bridge Journal, is launching “a major initiative to give voice to communities that often go unheard,” Bridge says in a release. “Bridge is creating Assembly Zones for public spaces—plazas, parks, and sidewalks—to provide wellness interaction and on-the-spot crisis resource information to those in need, focusing on communities with minimal access to smartphones, WiFi or personal computers—dubbed ‘information deserts’ by the collective. The Assembly Zones project is in a planning and design phase, and Bridge anticipates the debut of a first prototype in fall 2021 at a Perez Plaza community market in the Little Village neighborhood.” In addition to Bridge editor-in-chief Michael Workman, Assembly Zones prototype team includes Bob Faust, principal and creative director of Faust Ltd. and co-founder of Facility; Michelle Kranicke, artistic director of Zephyr Dance and co-director of SITE/less; Mat Rappaport, associate professor at Columbia College Chicago and founder of the Range Mobile Lab; Andrew Schachman, co-founder of theFieldwork Collaborative and executive of the Floating Museum; and David Sundry, architect and co-director of SITE/less. Host sites that have committed include DePaul Art Museum, Evanston Art Center, Facility, Howard Brown Health Centers, National Public Housing Museum and SITE/less.” More here.
DINING & DRINKING
Son Of The Mask?
Eater Chicago reports on the likely return of masks to indoor settings, including restaurants and bars: “Diners could soon be once again required to wear facial coverings inside restaurants in Illinois. As COVID-19 rates within the state increase, following a trend seen in other parts of the country, the Illinois Department of Public Health wants residents in ‘areas with substantial and high transmission’ primarily public indoor spaces— to resume wearing facial coverings.”
Taste of River North Cancels
The 2021 Taste of River North is cancelled, the sponsors announced via a news alert.
Rooftop Bar Little Wild Opens At Ace Hotel Chicago
All-seasons rooftop bar Little Wild, seven stories above the West Loop at Ace Hotel Chicago is promoting its “skylines, sunsets, late nights, little nooks, good bites, great drinks and a soundtrack that keeps the dance floor bumping. The new bar offers two seating options — an intimate indoor banquette area complete with an expansive dancefloor and live DJ booth as well as an open-air rooftop space with ample soft seating and southeast views of Chicago’s downtown skyline. To continue Ace’s long-time commitment to creating artist-driven events by inviting in members of Chicago’s culture + entertainment scene, the team tapped local music and nightlife expert Natalie Figueroa (The Silver Room, Y.G.B. Portland) to kick off the entertainment programming at Little Wild as nightlife director. A Rogers Park native, Figueroa founded Y.G.B. Portland, an entertainment-driven community that focuses on creating welcoming, joyful spaces for Black and Brown folks, starting with the dance floor.” More here.
Gwendolyn Brooks Youth Poetry Awards Recognize Young Writers Across Illinois
Illinois Humanities, in partnership with Poetry Foundation, Brooks Permissions and the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, has announced the winners of the 2021 Gwendolyn Brooks Youth Poetry Awards, an annual competition open to all Illinois poets in grades K-12. The twenty-six winners and sixteen honorable mentions were chosen from over 365 submissions representing seventy-five schools from across the state. The winning poets will be celebrated in a live virtual ceremony on Saturday, August 21 at 2pm, featuring Nora Brooks Blakely, Brooks’ daughter and president of Brooks Permissions, and Illinois Poet Laureate Angela Jackson. Award winners will recite their poems as part of the virtual ceremony. “The young people who submitted poems this year are powerful observers, documenters, and interrogators of their lives and the worlds they engage with,” Gabrielle Lyon, executive director of Illinois Humanities says in a release.
“These poems – submitted from every corner of the state – are part of an annual tradition that, each year, powerfully reminds us, that poetry can help us find our shared humanity.” Gwendolyn Brooks began the Youth Poetry Awards in 1969 during her tenure as Illinois Poet Laureate and continued to administer the awards until her passing in 2000. The original youth poetry awards were born out of Ms. Brooks’ belief that a poet laureate, “should do more than wear a crown – [she] should be of service to the young.” In 2017, in honor of the centennial of Ms. Brooks’ birth, Illinois Humanities joined with the Poetry Foundation, Brooks Permissions, and the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts “to revive the awards to honor the tremendous legacy of Gwendolyn Brooks, the first Black author to win a Pulitzer Prize, and celebrate and amplify the words and experiences of young poets from across Illinois. In the five years since the revival of the awards, nearly 1,500 poems have been submitted from young poets all across the state.” Winners here.
Commercial Real Estate Reporter Ryan Ori Leaves Tribune
“Tomorrow is my last day at the Chicago Tribune,” Ryan Ori reports on Twitter. “I’ve loved my time at the paper, so it’s been a difficult decision to leave. I look forward to a bit of extra time with my family and some travel before the next challenge.”
Lolla’s Here; What’s It Gonna Leave Behind?
From the fest, Time Out Chicago editor Zach Long reports via Twitter, “Unsurprisingly, the Lolla ‘health screening’ amounts to a quick glance at whatever document you present… Lolla ambassadors are handing out disposable masks to folks in line at the entrances. Once you’re inside, you can also buy two disposable masks from the fest’s ‘bodega’ shops for $5.” Morgan Elise Johnson tweeted: “We @TheTRiiBE chose not to cover Lolla. If y’all wanna hear our reasons, we can maybe cook something up the newsletter. Pretty simply, safety > profit. I mean 100k per day capacity????” Heather Cherone of WTTW reported Thursday morning on the mayor’s determination: “Lightfoot: Lollapalooza is the largest music festival taking place anywhere in world in 2021, says the city is committed to concertgoers safety. ‘It is a big deal.'” Later in the day, Cherone tweeted, “Chicago hit an average of 190 confirmed cases of COVID-19 per day, based on a 7-day rolling average, according to data from Chicago Public Health. Hitting 200 cases per day would means the city has ‘substantial or high’ transmission, based on CDC guidance… Mayor Lori Lightfoot declines to repeat what she told the New York Times earlier this week: that if Chicago’s rolling, 7-day average passes 200 cases per day, she would reimpose the city’s mask mandate. The city is likely to pass that benchmark today, as Lollapalooza starts.”
The Sun-Times: “The many people entering Grant Park today for Lollapalooza were greeted not only with a requirement for proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test, but by signs informing them that, by attending the festival, they assume all risk related to exposure to the virus. The signs make clear that Lolla won’t be held responsible if anyone gets the coronavirus while attending.”
The FBI threatens attendees with forged vaccination documents with prison time, reports Block Club.
“Don’t go to Lollapalooza. Hosting Lollapalooza at this juncture is irresponsible at best and immoral at worst,” Leor Galil writes in the Reader’s pre-Lollapalooza newsletter, “Even as Chicago updated its travel advisory guidelines for anyone unvaccinated who has traveled to or from one of 14 states and a single territory, the city is hosting a massive for-profit event that will draw travelers from around the country. You don’t need to be vaccinated to attend, and proof of a negative COVID-19 test from within 72 hours of your arrival to the front gate is all those who are unvaccinated need to get in. The festival’s safety guidelines place an undue amount of responsibility on attendees to help control the spread of the contagious Delta variant. The Lolla ‘fan health pledge’ asks that ticket-holders not attend if they’re experiencing symptoms, as if the past 16 months haven’t given us enough anecdotal examples of people ignoring similar advice.”
House Music Legend DJ Paul Johnson Taken Off Ventilator
“Friends and fans around the world are rallying around a house music legend as he is hospitalized with coronavirus,” reports Block Club Chicago. “DJ Paul Johnson was admitted to Little Company of Mary Hospital in suburban Evergreen Park in mid-July, a week after his diagnosis… The fifty-year-old was temporarily placed on a ventilator last week — but he is now breathing on his own, longtime friend Eloise Karlatiras said. Karlatiras said the focus is now on ‘what to do going forward.'”
Out of Space Fest Announces Lineups
The Evanston SPACE summer concert series, “Out of Space,” begins its 2021 line-up at Canal Shores (August 5-8) and Temperance Beer Company (September 2-5). Canal Shores kicks off on August 5 with Emmylou Harris and Los Lobos, followed by Patti Smith and her band on August 6, Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals on August 7 and closing out on August 8 with CAAMP. Temperance Beer Company hosts Out of Space September 2-5, with Big Boi and Twista, Drive-By Truckers and JD McPherson, Neko Case with Son Litte and George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic supported by Liquid Soul. Details here.
About Face Theatre Announces Twenty-Seventh Season, Beginning in March
About Face Theatre has announced its twenty-seventh season as a return to live, in-person theater. “Dedicated to telling queer stories that advance dialogue about gender and sexuality, AFT will produce a trio of new works that meet this moment of extraordinary change in our communities. About Face’s 2021-2022 season starts in March of 2022 with the Chicago premiere of Samantha Mueller’s new play ‘Laced,’ directed by AFT artistic associate Lexi Saunders.” The season will continue in May with “the Chicago premiere of ‘The Magnolia Ballet,’ a new play by Terry Guest about the secrets kept through multiple generations of a Black family in the American South, directed by AFT associate artistic director Mikael Burke. The season ends with an original production by the About Face Youth Theatre ensemble in summer 2022.” About Face will present its performances at The Den Theatre in Wicker Park. AFT shows will appear in the 99-seat Bookspan Theatre, “an adaptable blackbox space which will allow the company to continue to produce innovative new works in intimate and up-close stagings.” More here.
Links Hall Announces 2021-2023 Co-MISSION Artists
Links Hall has announced a new group of Co-MISSION Resident and Fellowship Artists, who will develop new performance work at Links’ incubator studio across the coming two years, including season resident artists Keisha Janae/Eternal Resolve; Mario LaMothe; Helen Lee; and Cat Mahari. Fellowship artists are Jaerin Son and Nejla Yatkin. For 2022-2023, season resident artists will be Rigo Saura; Marcela Torres; and Destine Young/Ground Rhythm Dance Project, with fellowship artists Erin Kilmurray and Rika Lin (a.k.a. Yoshinojo Fujima). “Co-MISSION Residencies and Fellowships incorporate a flexible range of resources designed to meet the needs of artistic experimentation at different points in an artist’s career and different points in a project’s development,” the group says in a release. “Links provides selected artists with three-to-five months studio time ($2,000-$5,000 value per artist), financial awards ($1,200 for residents; $3,000 for fellows), formal coaching, production support throughout the residency, opportunities to share works-in-progress and paid performances at the annual Festival of New Works. In addition to eight-to-sixteen hours per week of studio time, artists participate in the ‘Art of Rehearsal’ mentorship program, led by artist-educators and Co-MISSION coaches Kim Davis, Kristina Isabelle and Bryan Saner.”
Lyric Opera of Chicago Presents Sunday In The Park With Lyric’s Rising Stars
Lyric Opera of Chicago launches its sixty-seventh season with “Sunday in the Park with Lyric’s Rising Stars” at the Pritzker Pavilion on Sunday, August 29. This free outdoor performance, presented in cooperation with The City of Chicago and Millennium Park, is part of Chicago in Tune, the citywide festival celebrating our city’s music community. “Lyric will follow all up-to-date safety guidelines and protocols of Millennium Park and The City of Chicago to ensure that audiences are comfortable and safe,” Lyric says in a release. “Enrique Mazzola, Lyric’s new music director, will be on the podium to conduct Lyric’s first live performance in nearly eighteen months. Appearing with the Lyric Opera Orchestra, the concert features the members of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center — sopranos Mathilda Edge, Maria Novella Malfatti, and Denis Vélez; mezzo-sopranos Katherine Beck, Katherine DeYoung, and Kathleen Felty; tenors Martin Luther Clark and Lunga Eric Hallam; baritone Leroy Davis; basses Rivers Hawkins and Anthony Reed; conductor-pianist Donald Lee III; and pianist Chris Reynolds. Highlighting the program will be excerpts from Lyric’s upcoming season: Verdi’s ‘Macbeth,’ Donizetti’s ‘The Elixir of Love,’ Mozart’s ‘The Magic Flute,’ Catán’s ‘Florencia en el Amazonas,’ Puccini’s ‘Tosca,’ and Blanchard-Lemmon’s ‘Fire Shut Up in My Bones.’ The concert will open with Rossini’s ‘William Tell Overture,’ performed by the Lyric Opera Orchestra. Ensemble selections from Donizetti’s ‘Lucia di Lammermoor’ and Bernstein’s ‘Candide’ will close the evening.” More here.
Opera Omaha Returns To Outdoor Opera
Opera Omaha kicks off its season with the ninth annual Opera Outdoors on Friday, August 20 at Turner Park at Midtown Crossing. Opera Outdoors is a free, family-friendly outdoor concert featuring a sampling of opera’s greatest hits and previews of Opera Omaha’s upcoming season when it returns to the stage of the Orpheum Theater. “New this year for Opera Outdoors is a Picnic Contest sponsored by local, women-owned business Pic’d on Purpose. Concert attendees are encouraged to put out their most creative spread, and judges will award prizes courtesy of Pic’d on Purpose, The Good Life Charcuterie and KVNO for Best Overall Picnic and Best Opera-Themed Picnic.” More here.
ARTS & CULTURE
Masks For Pride Parade And Market Days?
A top LGBTQ health care group is saying Pride Parade and Market Days should require masks and other COVID precautions — or they should be canceled, reports Block Club.
MacArthur Foundation President Backs Reparations In City Club Address
“The president of Chicago-based MacArthur Foundation, citing a ‘fierce urgency’ to correct racial injustice, Wednesday emphasized the organization’s support of reparations for African Americans and called on others to join the cause,” reports the Sun-Times. “John Palfrey, in a streamed address to members of the City Club of Chicago, said the pandemic’s job losses and police abuse of Blacks have led the foundation to examine past patterns of giving and to direct more funds to groups that promote equity. That includes organizations that advocate for reparations, or some form of aid to Blacks to answer for the history of slavery.”
Fifty-Eight Good Things For Chicago
Chicago magazine lists fifty-eight people, places, foods and finds “that emerged from the darkness of the pandemic to make our reopened city even better than before.”
Vivid Seats Launches “Strategic Rebrand”
“Vivid Seats Inc., a leading marketplace focused on being the ultimate partner connecting fans to the live events, artists and teams they love, continues to deliver exceptional value to fans by enhancing Vivid Seats Rewards, where all fans earn on every purchase,” the company announced in a release. “In addition, the Company revealed an extensive brand refresh inspired by the energy and passion of live event fans, together with a new logo and a redesigned website and app, built with new capabilities rooted in personalization and simplicity… The rebranding follows Vivid Seats’ recent announcement that it expects to become a publicly traded company via a merger with Horizon Acquisition Corporation, a special purpose acquisition company.” More here.
Cherryl T. Thomas Elected Chicago Zoological Society Chair of the Board of Trustees
The Chicago Zoological Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo, has announced Cherryl T. Thomas has been elected as its chair of the board of trustees. Thomas, a Chicago native, joined CZS’s board in 1999. Most recently, she was vice-chair of the board and co-chair of the community engagement and social innovation committee. “I am so pleased to be a part of animal conservation and efforts to preserve our fragile ecosystem,” she said in a release. “I look forward to collaborating with CZS’s board of trustees and staff in advancing the Society’s mission, vision, and its master planning efforts.” Thomas is the chief strategy officer of Chicago-based Ardmore Roderick, a full-service engineering and construction management firm. Prior to that she was president and CEO of Ardmore Associates, which she co-founded in 2003. (The company merged with The Roderick Group in 2017 to form Ardmore Roderick.)
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