Kavi Gupta Signs Tomokazu Matsuyama
Kavi Gupta now represents Tomokazu Matsuyama, whose inaugural solo exhibition with the gallery is planned for January 2022 in Chicago. The artist is the subject of a current large-scale traveling solo exhibition initiated by the Long Museum in Shanghai, China, “Tomokazu Matsuyama: Accountable Nature.” “A first-generation Japanese American who lives and works in New York City, Matsuyama has developed a singular aesthetic grounded in an elegant expression of what he refers to as ‘the struggle of reckoning the familiar local with the familiar global,'” writes the gallery. “As a bi-cultural visual artist, he is keenly aware of the nomadic diaspora, a community of wandering people who seek to understand their place in a world full of contrasting visual and cultural dialects.” More here.
Candida Alvarez Opens “Palimpsest’ In Los Angeles
GAVLAK Los Angeles is presenting “Palimpsest,” their second solo exhibition with Candida Alvarez [Newcity Art 50], running September 18-October 30.
Obama Center Build And Its First Year Estimated To Cost More Than $830 Million
“Days after City Hall signed legal papers to clear the way to build the Obama Presidential Center in historic Jackson Park for what was seen as a $700 million project—of which $500 million was for ‘hard costs’—the Obama Foundation on Tuesday revealed the price is likely more,” writes Lynn Sweet at the Sun-Times.”Financial information about the Obama Foundation was disclosed… in its annual report and IRS Form 990 covering the year 2020… The Obama Foundation added two mega-donors, with gifts over $1 million, from Bulls legend Michael Jordan and the Open Society Foundations, founded by George Soros… In September, 2018, the foundation estimated the project at $350 million. By 2019 and through the first part of 2020, foundation officials were calling it a $500 million project. Last June, Obama Foundation president Valerie Jarrett put a price tag of about $700 million… Behind the scenes, foundation and City Hall officials were explaining the extra $200 million was for so-called ‘soft’ costs, such as interiors and displays, a distinction never previously made. On Friday night, City Hall, convinced it had accurate estimates, allowed the project to go forward with the foundation putting up $485 million in cash and pledges and a $1 million endowment.”
Building A Coalition Of Business Leaders And Residents Behind Improved Public Transit On The West Side
A new coalition’s $2 billion proposal calls for $70 million for a CTA Green Line Western Avenue station and $55 million to fix the Kedzie Avenue Metra station, among other projects, reports Manny Ramos at the Sun-Times. “That money, according to the Westside Infrastructure and Safety Coalition, should come from the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill that passed the U.S. Senate… Illinois is set to receive more than $15 billion for transit, roads, bridges and other projects… ‘There have been decades and decades and decades of government neglect, government indifference, and frankly, government disrespect to the West Side of Chicago,’ said Roger Romanelli, executive director of the Fulton Market Association. ‘There has been tremendous disrespect and lack of investment.’ The biggest chunk from their proposal is a $1.8 billion project that re-envisions Lake Street, overhauling CTA service between Laramie and Talman avenues.”
DINING & DRINKING
Trib Surveys Businesses On Mask Mandate Versus Vaccination Check
Reaction from Chicago businesses that must enforce the renewed indoor mask mandate “ranged from relief to worries about getting unwilling customers to comply,” report Robert Channick, Lauren Zumbach, Sarah Freishtat, Nick Kindelsperger, Josh Noel, and Louisa Chu. Many businesses expressed “concerns about getting customers to comply after many have gone maskless for weeks. Mary Kay Tuzi, a second-generation co-owner of Twin Anchors Restaurant & Tavern in Old Town, said she’s not surprised by the mandate based on surging cases in Chicago and nationally, but worries battles with customers may be ahead… ‘Hopefully word gets out and we don’t have to be the people to educate everybody.’ … “Jewel-Osco said it would begin requiring customers to wear a mask at all of its thirty-seven Chicago stores on Friday. The company didn’t address questions about how it would handle situations where customers walked in without a mask.”
One Off Announces Fall Wine Dinners With Rare Charcuterie And Imported Bottles From Greece And Elsewhere
Over the course of the fall, the James Beard Award-winning collective, One Off, is hosting wine dinners across their family of award-winning restaurants, including avec West Loop, avec River North and Publican Quality Meats. From celebrating unique bottles from places like the Greek Islands, Portugal, and the Basque region of Spain with the avec team, to pairing pours with an exclusive taste of rare charcuterie aged for the past two years in PQM’s curing room by head butcher and chef Rob Levitt, each one-night-only event offers sips from that evening’s region of focus along with food to fit the theme. The first event is Tuesday, August 31, at Publican Quality Meats at $125 per person. “For the past two years, Rob Levitt and the team at PQM have worked extensively to develop a series of highly limited, locally sourced charcuterie offerings hung in the shop’s curing room, culminating in a limited collection of rare meats to be showcased at the Rare Charcuterie Wine Dinner,” One Off relays in a release. “From pork, foie gras, and escargot terrine to Umbrian salami and two-year aged American guinea hog ham, each course is paired with wines hand-selected by beverage director David Branch. ‘The idea for the Rare Charcuterie dinner came from a conversation I had with my sous chef, Kyle Huff,” says Levitt. “We were talking about how we wanted to make these really delicious, unique items—either something new we could experiment with or a cut of meat we’d cure from an awesome heritage breed pig sourced from a special farm. After hanging the meats to cure at PQM for years, we wanted to find a way to show these things off, rather than putting them in the charcuterie case. Thus, the wine dinner was born.” Events to come: Basque Wine Dinner at avec River North, September 8; September 9, Harvest Wine Dinner at Publican Quality Meats; and on September 15, Portugal Wine Dinner at Avec River and Greek Islands Wine Dinner at avec West Loop. Reservations will be available on Tock.
Blanco Cocina + Cantina Opens at Oakbrook Center
Blanco Cocina + Cantina has opened at Oakbrook Center. Part of Fox Restaurant Concepts, the restaurant offers its take on Sonoran-style Mexican food with an extensive cocktail menu in a casual setting. Founded in Arizona, Blanco Cocina + Cantina serves regional dishes like cheese crisps and the chimichanga, a local staple. Blanco will offer chimichangas with four different fillings: short rib machaca, braised chicken, ground beef or bean & cheese. The “Chimi” is deep fried and smothered in cheese, can be ordered enchilada-style covered in red ancho chile sauce, and is served alongside guacamole, sour cream, pico, and rice & beans. The drink menu includes Jalapeño & Pineapple Margarita with chile verde liqueur and habanero bitters, Frozen Palomas and Margaritas on tap, Oaxacan Shandy with pineapple, blood orange liqueur, ana maria tequila, Mexican beer & cilantro, and flights of Mezcal and Tequila. The restaurant spans over 8,500 square feet, with an airy and open dining room that includes the large center bar and vibrant murals.
FILM & TELEVISION
“Good Guy With A Gun” Filming In Lockport With Mossman, Swanberg, Pasquesi
Writer-director John Mossman tells Screen that he completed the script for “Good Guy with a Gun” “during a three-day binge of creativity sparked by the violence he [saw] on TV during the January 6 insurrection in Washington.” “I want to expose the fallacy of the good guy with a gun who has an apocalyptic worldview,” Mossman says. “If you carry a gun and use it, your life will never be the same. It is going to take a toll on your psyche.” Filming in Lockport and around Chicago, the film’s cast includes Tiffany Bedwell, Joe Swanberg, Ian Barford and Dave Pasquesi. Most of the shoot takes place at HellsGate Haunted House, a sixty-acre parcel of quarries, ponds, woods, backroads, paintball fields and a haunted house in Lockport. The location is owned and managed by actor John LaFlamboy, who also plays a police officer in the film.
Block Club Chicago Hires Reporter Quinn Myers From WTTW
Rob Feder reports on a good get for Block Club Chicago: Quinn Myers will move from WTTW to covering Wicker Park, Bucktown and West Town for the city site. “We’re thrilled to be bringing in an experienced reporter who deeply cares about the community,” co-founder and director of strategy Jen Sabella tells Feder. “Like many Block Club reporters, Quinn lives in the beat he’s covering. We believe that deep connection to the community makes our hyperlocal coverage more reflective of the neighborhoods.”
Kanye’s Third “Donda” Listening Party At Soldier Field
Via Instagram, Kanye West announces his third “Donda” listening party will be 9pm, Thursday, August 26 at Soldier Field, with tickets on sale August 20 at noon.
Reporting From The Atlanta “Donda” Listening Party
“State officials had devoted hundreds of hours preparing for the runup to the show, an August 5 party to fine-tune West’s album,” writes Greg Bluestein at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “They secured traffic plans, electrical work, plumbing services, internet access and dozens of security officers. Agency board members made special requests for tickets. An emergency drape was delivered… Little could rival the bizarre experience with West, who moved into the Mercedes-Benz Stadium for a short time to work on his album and, a review of hundreds of documents obtained through a public records request shows, injected plenty of drama into the staid offices of the [state agency].”
“Candyman” Scored By Chicago’s Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe
The long-awaited twenty-first-century rendering of “Candyman” is scored by Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe (Lichens, 90 Day Men), Pitchfork relays. In addition to Lowe, the “Candyman” soundtrack features Hildur Guðnadóttir on cello and vocals, Matthew Morandi on synth and contrabass, and co-production and engineering from Randall Dunn. “The choir of voices is representative of the multiplicity of voices, not only deeply cemented in the folklore of ‘Candyman,’ but of the characters navigating the space in real time,” Lowe says in a statement. “The piece acts as a bridge between what Cabrini-Green was in the past and the gentrification there that is on full display [today]. It is the outline of the history, of the tale and the apparition that floats around the interior of a newly developed condo. The skitter and insectlike buzz that swirls throughout the voices at its core is the word ‘CANDYMAN’ spoken and then pulled apart, crushed and turned inside out until you no longer recognize it as a voice speaking the word, but an otherworldly entity that has been summoned from another realm. The word is unintelligible as what it was, but the energy of it remains and carries through the chill and the terror. This is the writing on the wall.” Sample the track “Rows And Towers” here.
Songwriter Zelda Sands, 92, Managed Sam Cooke’s Record And Publishing Offices
“One of the last links to one of Chicago’s greatest singers has died,” writes Maureen O’Donnell at the Sun-Times. “Zelda Sands, an accomplished songwriter who managed the offices of Sam Cooke’s record and publishing companies, ‘broke one glass ceiling after the other,’ said G. David Tenenbaum, co-author of ‘You Send Me: The Life and Times of Sam Cooke.’ Ms. Sands composed the words to ‘Lookin’ for a Love,’ which was recorded by the Valentinos, Bobby Womack, Sam Moore, Rod Stewart, Squeeze, Rufus Thomas and The J. Geils Band… She helped write Cooke’s ‘Talkin’ Trash,’ Irma Thomas’ ‘I Haven’t Got Time to Cry’ and ‘Dancin’ Holiday,’ recorded by Carter and also by the Miracles… She also helped write ‘You’re Just What I Needed,’ recorded by Chubby Checker, ‘Dancin’ Holiday,’ recorded by the Olympics and the Miracles, and ‘After the Parting,’ recorded by Carter and by Patti Page. ‘She had a sense as a lyricist for what worked, for what makes a good story for a song,’ Piper said.” As always with an O’Donnell notice, much more here.
Chicago Philharmonic Launches Season With “Out Of The Silence”
The Chicago Philharmonic Society has announced the launch of its thirty-second season with the concert, “Out of the Silence,” on September 12 at North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie. Led by artistic director and principal conductor Scott Speck, named 2021 Conductor of the Year by Illinois Council of Orchestras, “Out of Silence” marks Chicago Philharmonic’s return to live performances. “Out of the Silence” spotlights two pieces from twentieth-century American composers: one of the most important works in American classical music, Aaron Copland’s “Appalachian Spring,” and William Grant Still’s meditative “Out of the Silence.” The program also features Chicago Philharmonic member Sergey Gutorov in Mozart’s “Clarinet Concerto in A Major, K. 622.” Concluding the program is “GLORY,” performed by young violin virtuoso Njioma Grievous. The violin concerto is composed by Marcus Norris, who was recently selected as one of three winners of Chicago Philharmonic’s first-time Donna Milanovich Composer-in-Residence program. Single tickets ranging from $10-$75 are available here.
Chicago Children’s Choir Announces Sixty-Fifth Season
Chicago Children’s Choir (CCC) has announced its season, which marks the nonprofit’s sixty-five-year history of bringing together youth from diverse backgrounds and inspiring them to become global ambassadors through music. The performance schedule kicks off the gala, Red Jacket Optional, in person at The Geraghty on October 16. As in recent years, the gala’s performances will be broadcast online. In addition to the revival of “Songs of the Season,” with a group of alumni for this milestone year and the in-person return of the Black History Month concert series, “Paint the Town Red,” a citywide celebration of youth and music, returns in person in May. This fall, CCC is making it easier than ever for young people to participate in the Choir’s wide selection of arts learning programs. Details here.
“Home: A Celebration” Opens The Joffrey Ballet’s Inaugural Season At Lyric Opera House
The Joffrey Ballet’s inaugural season at the Lyric Opera House and return to live performances begins with “Home: A Celebration,” a mixed-repertory program that spotlights original works by rising stars Chanel DaSilva, Joffrey Rehearsal Director Nicolas Blanc and Joffrey Artist Yoshihisa Arai, plus a remount of a beloved ballet classic choreographed by Joffrey co-founder, the late Gerald Arpino. “Home: a Celebration” is presented in ten performances, October 13-24 at the Lyric. More here.
Theater Y Presents Twelve Site-Specific Walking Performances Along Chicago’s Boulevard System
Theatre Y, a Chicago-based free theater sustained through a membership model, this weekend premieres “YOU ARE HERE: The Emerald Camino Project.” The Logan Square leg is August 21 from 1pm-7pm, and the Humboldt Park portion will be August 22 from 1pm-7pm. Partnering with eighty or so artists, community leaders and organizations across twelve communities along Chicago’s “Emerald Necklace,” the Boulevard system that links the public parks on Chicago’s West and South Sides, “the six-week urban pilgrimage celebrates reopening, reawakening and reconnecting while reclaiming the walkability that Daniel Burnham intended for the city.” Each of the twelve four-mile walks will culminate with a picnic and will combine theater, dance, and performance art. Theatre Y’s Camino Project concept is inspired by Spain’s 500-mile pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago, a tradition that began in the ninth century. Theatre Y’s first Camino Project followed the original path of the pilgrimage in Spain. Chicago’s Emerald Camino Project is a series of twelve guided tours totaling fifty miles over twelve days. The neighborhoods along the boulevards include East Garfield Park, North Lawndale, Little Village, Back of the Yards; Englewood; Washington Park; Bronzeville; Hyde Park; Woodlawn; and Jackson Park. During each event, participants will walk a four-mile loop that will incorporate significant historic, social, cultural and religious sites, and include rest stops and pauses to view performance moments. Each walk will take six hours. Details here.
Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre Dates Season
Artistic director Fred Anzevino will direct the opening production of Theo Ubique Cabaret’s season, Jason Robert Brown’s “Songs for A New World,” a song cycle “which takes us into the minds and hearts of people facing crises and potentially life-altering choices.” “It’s an ideal piece to be presenting as we move forward into a world of reconciliation and healing,” Anzevino says in a release. Previews run September 24-26 and the show runs through October 24. All performances for the season will be at the company’s home, the Howard Street Theatre, 721 Howard Street, Evanston. More here.
Chicago Children’s Theatre Announces “Season of Resilience”
Chicago Children’s Theatre, the city’s largest professional theater company devoted exclusively to children and young families, will launch its “Season of Resilience” this fall with in-school ROAR Residencies (Residencies of Arts and Resilience), developed with the Lurie Center for Childhood Resilience, to support kindergartners and first graders returning to school after the first year of the ongoing pandemic. In-person performances return at Chicago Children’s Theatre with “The Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party” (November 20-December 24). The world premiere of the live production of “Leonardo and Sam,” based on the children’s books by Mo Willems follows January 29-February 27, 2022, created by Chicago’s own Manual Cinema. CCT will also present the world premiere of “Carmela Full of Wishes,” adapted from the book by Matt de la Peña and Christian Robinson, slated for April 23-May 22, 2022. Upcoming virtual productions include “The Relocation of Nokwsi,”a new Native American-themed video by Robert Hicks Jr. dropping October 11, in celebration of National Indigenous People’s Day. More here.
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