moCa Cleveland To Be Led By Triumvirate
“Following controversies at the museum involving race, its board has adopted a new leadership structure,” reports ARTnews, “with three co-presidents: communications expert Audra T. Jones, fundraising specialist Stephen G. Sokany, and curator and consultant Joanne Cohen. Jones will be its first African American co-president, the museum said, and Sokany will be its first LGBTQ co-president.” As Cleveland.com reports, “Artist Shaun Leonardo charged moCa with censorship last year, after it canceled a show he planned about police brutality against Black and brown people, and earlier this year, curatorial fellow La Tanya Autry accused it of having a ‘culture of anti-Blackness.’ The museum is currently seeking a director, after Jill Snyder stepped down last year.”
Sterling Bay Continues Push Into Fulton Market
Sterling Bay is expanding its Fulton Market presence by buying a former poultry processing facility, the former home of Cougle Commission Co. at 345 North Aberdeen, reports Block Club. “’Fulton Market is consistently ranked as one of the most in-demand submarkets in the United States, and 345 North Aberdeen offers a unique opportunity to build out a less dense yet very central site in the neighborhood,’ the developers said in a statement. Sterling Bay paid nearly $21 million for the property… Over the past decade, the former meatpacking district has been transformed into a hub of office towers and restaurants.”
DINING & DRINKING
Boka Pastry Chef Meg Galus Departs After Six Years
“Executive pastry chef Meg Galus [Newcity Big Heat 50] has departed Boka Restaurant Group after six years with the high-profile restaurant group,” reports Eater Chicago. “Pastry sous chef Kim Mok, who worked alongside Galus at both Boka and at the Park Hyatt, will take over the post.”
Black Dog Gelato Owner Jessica Oloroso Joins “Ben & Jerry’s Clash Of The Cones”
Food Network’s four-episode stunt series “Ben & Jerry’s Clash Of The Cones,” premiering August 16, has set six contestants, including Jessica Oloroso, of Black Dog Gelato, which began in Ukrainian Village and now has outposts in Logan Square and the West Loop. Their goal: create a new flavor for the company.”The ice cream makers compete for a chance to impress Ben & Jerry’s co-founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield for the grand prize of $20,000 – the exact amount Ben and Jerry hoped to make in their first year of business. The winner will also have the opportunity to have their flavor sampled by fans at an event in their hometown.”
What Taverns And Restos Are Requiring Proof Of Vaccination?
Eater is compiling a list of who’s asking what of their clientele for public health and safety.
Chicago Gourmet Announces 2021 Lineup
The Chicago Gourmet food festival has set its lineup and opened ticket sales. “Organizers at the Illinois Restaurant Association (IRA), the event’s founding sponsor–along with presenting sponsor Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits–have curated a monthlong celebration beginning September 1 that champions Chicago’s diverse culinary landscape while reuniting food and drink enthusiasts with their favorite chefs, fellow foodies and the memorable experiences they crave,” the group says in a release. “With post-pandemic economic recovery of the hospitality industry at heart, Chicago Gourmet will benefit the Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (IRAEF), a 501 (c)(3) dedicated to building and promoting the health and prosperity of the restaurant industry by investing in both youth and workforce. It has awarded more than $3.2 million in scholarships since its inception. Since October 2020, the IRAEF Employee Relief Fund has also provided $270,000 in cash relief grants to hospitality employees facing financial crisis because of COVID-19.” Tickets here.
Kraft Heinz And McDonald’s Face Questions Over Plastic Packaging
“Ten major consumer brands, including local giants McDonald’s and Kraft Heinz,” reports Crain’s, ” have faced resolutions from eco-minded shareholders to disclose how much of their plastic packaging goes into the environment.”
Go Grocer To Launch On-Demand Delivery
“Go Grocer has been a traditional brick-and-mortar business,” reports Crain’s of the fifteen-location grocery, “But the Chicago company will soon launch an on-demand delivery service, entering a market that’s become increasingly crowded with players like Instacart and Foxtrot.”
City Names Food Equity Policy Lead
“Chicago’s first food equity policy lead was appointed Thursday as officials try to tackle food insecurity,” reports the Sun-Times. Ruby Ferguson will be food equity policy lead and will work with the newly established Food Equity Council, the mayor’s office announced Thursday. “The council includes twenty-four members, ranging from city workers to community groups to create a plan for food equity in Chicago. As part of the role, Ferguson will be employed by the Greater Chicago Food Depository, but she will also report to Lightfoot’s policy office.” The Food Equity Council has five priorities: “eliminating barriers to food pantry expansion; maximizing nutrition programs and benefits; eliminating barriers to urban farming; supporting BIPOC food businesses; and leveraging city procurement to support local BIPOC food growers along with businesses and producers.”
FILM & TELEVISION
Flashpoint Chicago Closing
The Chicago outpost of digital arts school Flashpoint is closing. In August 2020, Flashpoint put its Loop campus at the Burnham Center at 111 West Washington up for sublease, “joining the crowd of downtown tenants trying to offload real estate amid the coronavirus pandemic,” reported Crain’s. Still, the crisis deepened. Columbia College Hollywood and Flashpoint Chicago president and CEO Bill Smith sent a message Wednesday to faculty and students: “The Flashpoint Chicago campus of Columbia College Chicago will close in May 2022 after the spring semester… We have been working diligently over the last three years to create a sustainable path forward… that supports the needs of our students and aligns with our mission and strategic objectives.” Challenges created by the pandemic, including declining enrollment,” he wrote, “we are unable to overcome… [T]he best option for the future of Columbia College Hollywood is to consolidate at our Los Angeles location. While the Chicago campus will close… the LA campus will remain open and we will continue to offer our online programs.” Smith wrote, “Providing this information ten months in advance of the campus closing will ensure that we have adequate time to work with each student and identify the best path to completing their education.”
Independent Film Alliance Chicago Relocates
IFA Chicago is moving to a new office on the Cinespace lot, in the central building, sharing space with AbelCine, the group reports. “We’ve partnered with them to create a new co-working and event space called ‘The Hub’; we will continue our focus on supporting the development of indie film producers and filmmakers while also exposing you all to new tech innovation in the film space. We’re excited about some of the new features the space will offer like an 80-seat screening room with hybrid event capabilities, a cafe, and more communal space.”
Midland Authors Cancels Two Events
The Midland Authors is canceling its August 10 in-person event at the Cliff Dwellers, featuring Gerard Plecki speaking about Woodstock, but will reschedule. The awards banquet that was scheduled at Cliff Dwellers on September 14 is also cancelled. “The Midland Authors board canceled these events out of an abundance of caution over the evolving COVID-19 pandemic,” the group says in a release.
Vaccination And Mask Policies at Music Venues
In addition to yesterday’s vaccination-required announcement from Metro, The Empty Bottle has new protocol: “Beginning Monday, August 9, Empty Bottle will require all staff, patrons and performers to provide proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within the… 72 hours prior to entry. Hard copies, photocopies, or digital photos of the above are acceptable.” Sleeping Village’s reinstated policy is similar. Thalia Hall: “Beginning on Monday, August 9, Thalia Hall will require all staff, patrons, and performers to provide proof of full vaccination OR a negative COVID-19 test performed within the previous 72 hours prior to entry. Patrons will be asked to show valid vaccination card/negative test results (photocopy/digital photo acceptable) at the entry. Masks will be worn by staff at all times + will be required of all attendees when not eating or drinking—regardless of vaccination status. This applies to all shows through 10.31.21. We’ll update the policy as new guidance requires. It’s been a joy to see people return to Thalia Hall for shows, & we are committed to doing everything in our power to keep guests, staff, & artists safe during this time.” Constellation: “Due to the recent increase in variant COVID cases, we are now requiring that all staff, performers, and audience members present proof of vaccination upon entry to a show. We ask that you bring your vaccine card or a photo of it and show it to the door person before coming in. If you decide not to attend an upcoming show due to this policy change, we are happy to refund your ticket.”
Champaign-Urbana Health Department Urges Local Residents Who Went To Lolla To Get Tested
“This will help us shut down any local outbreaks before they get started,” the department said in a post reported by the Trib.
American Composers Forum Presents World Premieres Concert With Chicago’s Great Black Music Ensemble
The American Composers Forum (ACF) has announced the culminating event of its two-year partnership with the Chicago-based Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) and its Great Black Music Ensemble: a concert celebrating the fifty-fifth anniversary of AACM, at AACM’s longtime partner the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts on Saturday, October 30. (Tickets, required, are free and will be available here on October 1.) This is the first time AACM has collaborated with another organization to commission artists; the partnership also supported a long period of creative and relationship development among the artists. The Honourable Elizabeth A. Baker, Adegoke Steve Colson and Rudresh Mahanthappa were selected from over one-hundred submissions by AACM to collaborate with the Great Black Music Ensemble over the past two years, culminating in three new works to be presented in this performance. New renaissance artist, The Honourable Elizabeth A. Baker, was awarded a 2021-2022 Harvard Radcliffe Institute Fellowship. Colson is a Grammy-nominated pianist and composer who has performed internationally as a leader of jazz ensembles ranging from trios to orchestras. Mahanthappa, a recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship and the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, is the Anthony H. P. Lee ’79 Director of Jazz at Princeton University. The Great Black Music Ensemble features some of Chicago’s most visionary artists of improvisation and creative music. An ensemble ranging in size from three to thirty musicians, the Ensemble carries on the legacy of Chicago’s South Side creative music by expressing the excitement of new sounds and rhythms while invigorating the traditions of Great Black Music, the group reports.
Orion Ensemble Announces Four-Program Concert Season
The Orion Ensemble returns to in-person chamber music performances, while continuing to livestream for its twenty-ninth season, featuring four concert programs at four venues. Joining the widely praised musicianship of Orion’s core members—clarinetist Kathryne Pirtle, violinist Florentina Ramniceanu, pianist Diana Schmück and cellist Judy Stone—are guest violinist-violist Stephen Boe and guest violist Roger Chase. More here.
American Theatre Says Actors’ Equity Has “Blown Open The Doors”
American Theatre magazine surveys the changes to come from the loosening of membership requirements for Actors’ Equity, and there are a lot of Chicago voices, including from Raven Theatre, Lifeline Theatre and Jackalope Theatre.
Hot Tix Reopens With Half-Price Ducats
The League of Chicago Theatres is reopening its Hot Tix locations with the return of half-price tickets, available online and in-person. HotTix.org returned to its regular activity of offering half-price tickets on August 1. The Hot Tix location at 72 East Randolph, across from the Chicago Cultural Center, will reopen on August 11. Hours of operation will be Tuesdays- Saturdays, 11am-6pm. The location at Block Thirty Seven will reopen on October 1. “With the reopening of theaters, we are again able to offer half-price tickets to one of the League’s most popular services for its members and the ticket-buying public,” League of Chicago Theatres executive director Deb Clapp says in a release. “Hot Tix is a unique discount option in that all profits support the theatre industry through the programs, initiatives and grants generated from the League of Chicago Theatres. It’s an affordable way for audiences to return to the theatre while supporting theater and theater practitioners in our area.”
Louis C K Coming To Vic
“Louis C.K., whose career derailed after he was accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women in 2017, is making a return to stand-up comedy in a nationwide tour beginning next week,” reports Variety. “C.K. has shows in thirty cities, including New York, Chicago, Detroit, San Diego, Philadelphia and Boston. His first stand-up show is set for the Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden on August 13.” The Sun-Times reports his shows at the Vic are December 5-7 at the Vic, priced from $44-$77.
City Lit Requiring Vaccination Proof
City Lit Theater Company will require proof of vaccination to attend all performances. “We will be giving every possible flexibility to all ticketholders and work with each unique situation to make sure everyone has the best possible outcome,” the group says in a release. “Our entire staff, volunteer ushers, casts and crews are vaccinated. In accordance with guidelines for rooms where window ventilation is possible, City Lit will open all windows after each performance and use fans to move air in and out to circulate new fresh air in for the next performance. We will also eliminate the exchange of paper programs and tickets. Programs will be available to take.”
Rivendell Theatre Ensemble Names Associate Artistic Director
Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, Chicago’s only Equity theatre dedicated to producing new work with women as its core, has announced Denise Yvette Serna as the company’s Associate Artistic Director. (The newly created position is funded in part by Arts Work Fund. )”What a thrilling moment for Rivendell Theatre Ensemble as we welcome Denise into this newly crafted leadership position! For the past twenty-five years Rivendell has been centering the stories and amplifying the voices of women,” artistic director Tara Mallen says in a release. “As we look forward to the next twenty-five years, we will expand our artistic vision and, along with Denise’s fresh perspectives, tremendous passion, and inspiration, we will reshape our programming and new play development initiatives. I am delighted to partner with Denise as we work together with our artistic ensemble to revision a future for Rivendell that is courageous, inclusive, anti-racist and reflective of women’s stories from a multiplicity of perspectives.”
ARTS & CULTURE
Sternly Worded Video Tweet From Mayor To The Unvaccinated
“Listen. We’ve got to step up if we’re going to beat this thing. We aren’t helpless against the Delta variant,” Mayor Lightfoot said in a Wednesday tweet. “The vaccine is safe, effective, and will save your life. Mask up, vax up.”
McCormick Place Reopens with Major Events
McCormick Place, North America’s largest convention center, announced a few months ago that the facility would reopen with a vital schedule of events. After remaining closed for nearly one-and-a-half years due to the pandemic, the establishment reports in a release, the campus hosted four major events. In June, the campus hosted the NBA’s most promising prospects at the NBA Draft Combine. In July, McCormick Place hosted the Chicago Auto Show, Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI), and the Nike Tournament of Champions, all within a few days of each other. Overall, these events brought in over 150,000 guests to the campus.
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