Black Arts Movement School Modality Kicks Off Chicago Session
Art historian and professor Romi Crawford has launched The Black Arts Movement School Modality, bringing together some of the most noted practitioners of the Black Arts Movement in an intergenerational teaching environment for the first time. The program, conceived and curated by Romi Crawford, will feature eleven leading figures from Chicago’s Black Arts Movement, including Haki R. Madhubuti, Roscoe Mitchell, Val Gray Ward, Wadsworth Jarrell and Gerald Williams, Robert E. Paige and Jae Jarrell, Darryl Cowherd and Roy Lewis, dancer-choreographer Darlene Blackburn, and Abdul Alkalimat, teaching in the areas of poetry, dance, design, drama, painting and music. “This school modality, itself a cornerstone of Black Arts Movement practice, offers an unparalleled opportunity to explore the profound ideas that emerge from the Black Arts Movement,” Crawford, a professor of visual and critical studies and liberal arts at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, says in a release. “We are living in a time where the themes of the Black Arts Movement (such as generosity, experimentation, and collaboration) are more compelling than ever. Creating a space where participants can engage directly with these movement-defining artists is a precious opportunity.” Details here.
Artist James Little Joins Kavi Gupta
Kavi Gupta announces that renowned artist James Little is joining the gallery. “While developing his distinctive position within contemporary abstraction, Little has devoted decades to rigorous academic study of color theory, pictorial design, and painting techniques,” the gallery reports in a release. “His aesthetic language is rooted in simplicity, centering geometric shapes and patterns, flat surfaces, and emotive color relationships. The restraint of his pictures belies a startling complexity about their making—Little paints his works using what is perhaps the most complex and difficult-to-master method ever devised: blending handmade pigments with hot beeswax, similar to the encaustic painting technique developed by ancient Egyptian and Greek artists. In his studio/laboratory, Little hand-manufactures a medium proven to never wear down with age. That is to say, properly cared for, his wax paintings will look as vibrant and luminous a thousand years from now as they do today.”
Mag Mile Uniqlo Folding
Uniqlo is the latest retailer to leave North Michigan Avenue, reports the Tribune. “The Japanese clothing chain announced on its website that the last day of business for Uniqlo Michigan Avenue will be August 22. Customers can turn to its nearest locations on State Street and Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg.”
One Day To Move The Vautravers Building In Thirteen Seconds
“The Historic Vautravers Building has arrived in its new location!,” reports the CTA Red-Purple Modernization effort on Twitter. “In about twenty-four hours, the 127-year-old building was moved approximately thirty feet west and ten feet south toward N Clark Street.” At the link: a time-lapse of thirteen seconds speeds up the process.
DINING & DRINKING
Truluck Denies Service To Prominent Artist Theaster Gates
“CHICAGO’S TRULUCK RESTAURANT DENIED ME BECAUSE I HAD ON A HOODY AND ‘SWEATS!!!!'” Theaster Gates posts on Instagram. “This is easily one of my most stylish fits (thanks @garrettdickerson). I was shocked and confused. I asked for the manager and he didn’t back down. It was movie material. I’m not big on boycotts, but damn, CAN’T A BROTHER EAT! #boycott #dinnerontuesday #truluckschicago they lost a seafood lover today.”
Eater Chicago Advocates Mask Mandate
“Just Mandate the Vaccine for Indoor Dining Nationwide,” Eater Chicago’s headline trumpets. “New York City is the first to require proof of vaccination for indoor dining. It’s time for other cities to do the same… A vaccine requirement for indoor diners would protect restaurant workers as well as fellow diners — particularly as concern about breakthrough COVID-19 cases grows — allowing staff to focus on the jobs they were hired for, without the stress, anxiety, and legitimate danger that comes with being the enforcers of a scattershot health measure that has been so intensely politicized it has led to violence. Widespread mandates would also [provide an incentive for] more eligible people to get the vaccine. Increasing vaccination won’t, on its own, completely temper the risk of new variants arising, but paired with social distancing and mask wearing, we can effectively lower the risk of the emergence of another new and more vaccine-resistant variant.”
Tickets On Sale For Green City Market’s Fifty-Plus Restaurant Chef BBQ Event
More than fifty restaurants and chefs, including Bazaar Meats, Goose Island, Longman & Eagle and Big Jones, will grill up meats and produce from Green City Market vendors during the return of its premiere Chef BBQ event, which draws over 2,000 people each summer, on Thursday, September 9. “This is one of Chicago’s most anticipated food events of the year,” Green City Market executive director Mandy Moody says in a release. “Guests can enjoy unlimited small bites made with local, sustainable heirloom produce and heritage meats sourced from Green City Market. Guests will also enjoy craft cocktails, locally-roasted coffee, wine, and cold beer from the best restaurants, brewers, winemakers, and mixologists that our city has to offer.” The event is a fundraiser for Green City Market, a nonprofit organization that supports local farmers, community education, and expanding access to sustainably produced food. Tickets start at $135 and are available here.
Soul & Smoke Profiled As “Chicago Barbecue Juggernaut”
“When we started Feast & Imbibe we didn’t know we were going to turn into caterers,” Soul & Smoke co-owner Heather Bublick says in a Time Out Chicago profile . “We were so obsessed—especially in the very beginning—with making sure that whatever food we made didn’t have the hallmarks of catered food.” Writes TOC, “For years, Soul & Smoke was merely a drop-off-friendly menu option that Feast & Imbibe offered, but [co-owner] D’Andre Carter and Bublick always had ambitions to begin offering their barbecue at farmers markets and other public events. Those plans were accelerated when the pandemic hit and months of catering business instantly disappeared. As Soul & Smoke became one of the first Chicago-area vendors to provide free community meals for José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen, Carter and Bublick also began offering takeout from their small kitchen in Evanston. In September, a Soul & Smoke-branded food truck began hauling ribs, mac and cheese and other comfort food to diners in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. By the beginning of 2021, Soul & Smoke was offering delivery from ghost kitchens in Avondale and the South Loop.” More here.
Milwaukee Avenue Parking Ban In Wicker Park To Stem “Chaos”
“Businesses along parts of Milwaukee Avenue in Wicker Park are applauding an overnight parking ban in the area, saying it’s quickly reduced rowdiness,” reports Block Club Chicago. Until September 6, overnight parking from 10pm-5am Friday to Sunday is restricted between Division Street and North Avenue. “‘We love it,’ said Lulu Hernandez, assistant manager of DSTRKT Bar & Grill… ‘Before, people were up and down the street, causing a lot of chaos.'”
Mana Mobile Food And Drinks Truck Hits Navy Pier
Teremana Tequila’s Mana Mobile food and drinks truck will arrive at Navy Pier on Saturday, August 7. Inspired by founder Dwayne Johnson’s phrase “Mana. Gratitude. Tequila.” fans of the product and Johnson are invited to drop by for complimentary tacos and margaritas from 5pm-10pm. “The Mana Mobile will travel the length and breadth of the country, visiting towns, communities, and cities, and stopping by military bases, fire houses, hospitals, and other locations to share gratitude towards the nation’s first responders,” Teremana says in a release. “The Mana Mobile will showcase delicious Teremana Tequila cocktails (where possible), shaken up by Mana Ohana mixologists, along with delicious dishes inspired by The Rock’s favorite cheat meals.” More here.
Tribune Tallies Takeout Top 100
“We don’t eat like we used to. And perhaps that’s a good thing. If there’s any pandemic silver lining we can suss out, it’s the explosion of creativity within the dining industry. So the Tribune’s dining team dusted off the Takeout 100 list— first published in January—and made a few changes. Some places closed over the past seven months or stopped offering takeout altogether, leaving room to introduce thirteen newcomers.” Here’s the Tribune list.
FILM & TELEVISION
Weekend Matinees Return To Music Box
Starting August 13, the two attractions at the Music Box matinees are the skin-glistening French thriller “La Piscine” (1969) and Ira Deutchman’s documentary, “Searching For Mr. Rugoff,” a portrait of independent film distribution and exhibition pioneer Donald Rugoff, who reigned over Cinema 5 in the 1960s and 1970s. More here.
“Ripple Effects” Takes Bucktown This Week
The Apple Plus series with Elisabeth Moss, based on the novel “Shining Girls” by Lauren Beukes, is shooting in Bucktown, reports Block Club Chicago.
Pioneering News Photographer Jim Stricklin Was 88
James “Jim” Stricklin, a pioneering Black news photographer at WMAQ-TV, died of COVID-19 on July 26, according to his wife of fifty-seven years. He was 88. Here’s the Maureen O’Donnell obituary at the Sun-Times.
Chicago House Legend Paul Johnson, Taken By COVID-19, Was 50
From Paul Johnson’s Facebook page: “Our greatness passed away this morning at 9am the house music legend we all know as PJ aka PAUL JOHNSON has passed away in this day of AUGUST 4th 2021.” MixMag: “The Dance Mania mainstay was recently hospitalised in an intensive care unit, and has now tragically lost his battle with the virus. Paul Johnson’s agent confirmed the news… Born and raised in Chicago, Paul Johnson is one of the all-time greats of the house music genre. The self-taught producer has been releasing music since the early 90s, putting out more than 100 albums, EPs and singles across his career, featuring on legendary labels such as Dance Mania, Peacefrog, Cajual, Relief Records and Djax-Up-Beats. His 1999 single ‘Get Get Down’ was an international hit, topping US and Canadian Dance charts, and placing in the Top 10 of singles charts in the UK, Netherlands, France, Greece and Belgium.”
Wilco Play Millennium Park August 28
Wilco are touring in support of their album, “Ode to Joy” (dBpm Records), with a stop in Millennium Park on Saturday, August 28, three-plus years after the release of “Schmilco.” The new album is described as encouraging “the act of finding joy in a dark political climate,” as Tweedy describes it, “really big, big folk songs, these monolithic, brutal structures that these delicate feelings are hung on.”
TimeLine Theatre Changes Leadership
TimeLine Theatre Company announced that managing director Elizabeth K. Auman will move her responsibilities from day-to-day management of the company in order to focus on the project management necessary to guide the development of TimeLine’s new home in Uptown. TimeLine’s board and company will conduct a search for a new executive to become co-equal leader of the organization alongside PJ Powers as artistic director, guiding TimeLine’s strategic and financial direction, board and staff development, productions and other organizational goals. “When Liz first brought this idea to PJ and me, we were initially surprised, yet deeply grateful for her clear understanding of TimeLine’s current needs,” board president John Sterling says in a release. “Our core tasks as an organization right now are significant. In addition to Liz’s focus on managing the development of our new home, we are working hard toward resuming production with a renewed commitment to equity and wellness and continuing on our path toward becoming an anti-racist organization. With this leadership expansion, TimeLine will benefit from Liz’s ability to focus on opening our new home.And it provides a thrilling opportunity to welcome a new leadership voice at our organization.” Auman says, “This new building is an investment in the future of TimeLine—a home for artists, audiences, and community members that will ensure the company and its mission can endure. We want to create a space and an organization where artists are supported in doing their best work, where the community can thrive, and where the next generation will see themselves.”
Hell in a Handbag Productions Announces Twentieth Season
Hell in a Handbag Productions returns to the stage, marking its twentieth season with new and familiar works, the company says in a release, “that embrace Handbag’s mission of the preservation and celebration of camp and parody – exactly what we need right now!” Handbag’s season begins with the return of “Chicago’s favorite drag seniors” in the long-running parody “The Golden Girls: The Lost Episodes, Vol. 5 – SEX!” “Dorothy, Rose, Blanche, Sophia and their wacky friends and relatives explore their naughty side at the Leather Archives & Museum’s 160-seat auditorium in the Rogers Park neighborhood (must be over eighteen for entry).” Winter sees the return of Joan Crawford (David Cerda) in Handbag’s version of “A Christmas Carol.” “‘Christmas Dearest’ is the tale of the Queen of Hollywood who’s lost sight of what really matters until she’s visited by three ghosts who try to set her straight!” More here.
Haven Presents A Summer Dreams Gala
Celebrating the launch of its 2021-22 season, Haven presents its “Summer Dreams Gala” on Sunday, August 29 at Guild Row Social Club. Featured: a BBQ dinner catered by Garland’s Taste of Louisiana, cocktails, live music by Amyna Love, tunes from DJ Ca$h Era, a virtual silent auction and the presentation of the Values Awards. “Our First Annual Gala is to celebrate and invite new and seasoned supporters of Haven who have positively [affected] the culture we continue to create. Every dollar raised will go back to the diverse artists we hire and uphold the competitive compensation each artist deserves,” Haven artistic director Ian Damont Martin says in a release. “Haven’s values include a commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion, but–in our next phase– we want to ensure we are an anti-racist, multicultural organization in all areas of our operation and programming. We are addressing this by developing a comprehensive, company-wide commitment to these values, rather than through singular initiatives. Each of Haven’s goals for this fiscal year, and for subsequent seasons, are rooted in building this culture.” More here.
ARTS & CULTURE
September Hyde Park Summer Fest Canceled
“Rising COVID-19 cases have prompted organizers of another Chicago festival to cancel their plans for 2021,” reports the Sun-Times. “After thoughtful evaluation of recent COVID-19 developments and consultation with various stakeholders, we have decided to cancel the 2021 Hyde Park Summer Fest scheduled for September 11 and 12 on the Midway Plaisance,” festival organizers said in a statement via the Sun-Times. “With increasing COVID-19 cases and associated risks, we do not believe it is the right choice to move forward with the festival at this time. This was an incredibly difficult decision, but we believe putting the community’s health and safety first is the most responsible decision.”
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