Blockbuster “Frida Kahlo: Timeless” Exhibition Extended
“Frida Kahlo: Timeless,” hosted by the Cleve Carney Museum of Art and the McAninch Arts Center at the College of DuPage, has extended to September 12. The show has attracted nearly 83,000 patrons from fifty states and forty-three countries and grossed more than $1.8 million in ticket sales. A hundred groups including student groups from College of DuPage, Columbia College, Purdue University and University of Chicago have visited the exhibition, too. More here.
Penny Pritzker Among Members Of Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum Advisory Council
“Tennis legend Billie Jean King, fashion designer Tory Burch, actress Lynda Carter and former commerce secretary Penny Pritzker are among the inaugural members of the advisory council of the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum,” reports the Washington Post. “The council is charged with advising the Smithsonian’s Board of Regents on the location, planning and design of the proposed museum and with helping the institution raise money from private donors.”
Stockyard Institute Coming To DePaul Art Museum
In September, a pair of complementary exhibitions at DePaul Art Museum will highlight exchanges among Chicago’s communities, artists and educators. “Stockyard Institute: 25 Years of Art and Radical Pedagogy” is the first retrospective of work by social practice artist and DePaul University faculty member Jim Duignan. “Learned Objects” will bring together studio works by four Chicago-based artists and educators: William Estrada, Regin Igloria, Nicole Marroquin and Rochele Royster. “Both of these exhibitions are a call to action for visitors to consider the anxiety, anger, fear, and exclusion you may experience—particularly as a young person,” interim director of DePaul Art Museum Laura-Caroline de Lara says in a release. “We invite visitors to experiment with alternative methods of tangible, creative problem-solving that can lead to a greater love and care for yourself, your neighbors and your city.” Runs September 9, 2021-February 13, 2022. More here.
National Indo-American Museum Finds Home
The National Indo-American Museum, which connects cultures through the diverse colorful stories of Indian Americans, moves into its first brick-and-mortar location on September 24 at 815 South Main in Lombard. The Umang and Paragi Patel Center will open to the public with the inaugural exhibition, “E/Merge: Art of the Indian Diaspora.” With major funding from a National Endowment for the Arts grant, “E/Merge” showcases contemporary, cutting-edge works created by nine renowned Indian-American visual artists from across the United States. Curated by Shaurya Kumar, chair of faculty and associate professor at School of the Art Institute Chicago, the exhibition includes artists who have crossed borders and adopted the United States as their home. More here.
Disney Shuttering Chicago Standalone Store, Including Michigan Avenue Emporium
Aping its strategy to shunt theatrical film releases to streaming, Disney is shifting its retail emphasis further toward online sales, reports the Trib. “Disney is closing its four remaining Chicago-area stores by mid-September, including its location on Michigan Avenue, while expanding its presence at Target. The Michigan Avenue Disney Store will close on or before Sept. 1.” Adding to the company’s tally of sixty stores to close by the end of 2021, stores at Woodfield Mall, Chicago Premium Outlets in Aurora and Gurnee Mills will also close. “Disney said it planned to shrink its brick-and-mortar footprint while improving its online store.”
Frank Lloyd Wright Home In Northwestern Indiana Goes For A Million
A historic Ogden Dunes home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright sold this spring for more than $1 million, reports the Times Of Northwest Indiana. “The 3,696-square-foot home is nestled on landscaped, wooded lots on a sloping sand dune. It stands two stories tall with four bedrooms, four bathrooms and a retro carport. The brick home has two brick fireplaces, a sauna, a large recreational room, lots of natural lighting and a screened-in porch that showcases the surrounding wooded environment. ‘This special home has been carefully maintained,’ the Chicago-based Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy said. ‘Original Wright features include classics like board and batten woodwork, built-in bookshelves, and clerestory windows.'”
Seven Finalists Chosen By Jury For Thompson Center Design Competition
The Chicago Architecture Center (CAC) and the Chicago Architectural Club have announced seven finalists for the architectural design competition that call for creative visions for the State of Illinois Thompson Center designed by Helmut Jahn. The winning design proposal will be announced Tuesday, September 14 at the opening of a pop-up exhibit featuring the winning and finalists’ designs on view at the CAC through October. The competition seeks to give the building new life through restorative architecture while preserving its architecture and public character. The competition was open to anyone with a vision for the building including students, architects, designers, planners, and artists. The jury reviewed fifty-nine entries from five countries representing work by professional designers and established firms as well as young architects and students. “The jury’s selection of the seven finalists for the 2021 Chicago Prize Competition provide an impressively diverse set of possible uses for a re-imagined space devoted to Chicago’s civic ideals,” Elva Rubio, Chicago Architectural Club co-president says in a release. “The design proposals turn the space into a new civic center with a state-of-the-art glass façade, a mixed-use development with an open-air park on the ground floor, a new Chicago Public School, a hotel and indoor waterpark, an urban farm, an art and civic culture destination with imaginative spaces suspended in the atrium, and a conical skyscraper skinned as a 3D LED screen.” More here.
Amazon Lockers Viewed As Apart From Civic Greenery
“Rectangular banks of Amazon lockers are sprouting like geometric invasive species in parks across Chicago,” writes Rex Huppke, the Trib’s last local columnist on staff. “They look like ugly lockers someone left behind in a park because they were too embarrassed to keep carrying them. That’s pretty much it. They’re dark-blue-ish, they’ve got the Amazon logo on them, and they feature exactly the kind of messaging you don’t want to read while taking a walk to clear your head: ‘Order at Amazon, pick up here.’ It’s as if capitalism’s dog pooped in the park and nobody cleaned it up… Does the company think people often go on evening strolls carrying the juicer they need to return to Amazon? Like they’ll be walking along, savoring the scenery and night air, spot an Amazon locker and say, ‘Well, I’ll be darned. Good thing I brought this juicer. It’s great that these convenient lockers are blocking my view of stupid nature!'”
DINING & DRINKING
Pippin’s Tavern Builds Out And Will Serve Food
Relocating after forty-seven years on Rush Street, the lionized dive will complete its move into the former Devon Seafood + Steak on the southeast corner of Chicago and Wabash, reports Eater Chicago. The makeover could cost as much as $1 million, but a selection of fixtures, including the circular bar, have made the cross-street trek to the new location. Pippin’s menu will include “a raw bar, a veal sweetbread corn dog, a fried chicken thigh sandwich, a club sandwich made with shrimp toast, beef heart meatballs and a peanut butter pie with banana ice cream.”
Colectivo Coffee Employees Vote To Unionize
“Workers at Colectivo Coffee have won their election to unionize with IBEW, the NLRB ruled today,” reports the More Perfect Union Twitter account. “They will now make up the largest cafe workers’ union in the country, representing more than 300 baristas, bakers and other workers across about twenty stores in two states… The initial ballot count on April 6 resulted in a 99-99 tie, with several ballots left unopened due to legal challenges. After four-and-a-half months of delay by management, the NLRB opened the challenged ballots today. All seven were votes in favor of unionization.” IBEW Local 494’s statement, in part: “We hope the courage and hard work that Colectivo Coffee workers put into this victory inspires others in the hospitality/service industry to Organize a Union at their workplace!” From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “’We are very proud of the workers at Colectivo Coffee,’ said Local 494 Business Manager Dean A. Warsh in a statement Monday. ‘They have taken a bold and necessary step toward ensuring that every employee has fair treatment and dignity in their work. Further, they have strengthened the bonds and created new friendships with workers at Colectivo worksites across state lines—developing a shared understanding and commitment to each other’s well-being.’”
Black-Owned Monday Coffee Company Wants To End “Whitewashing” Of Coffee Industry
“’How much caffeine do you need?’ Felton Kizer is fond of asking customers who come into Monday Coffee Company. Then, depending on their response, Kizer sets off to concoct something unique: a cold brew, a latte, a chai tea,” Cheyanne M. Daniels reports at the Sun-Times. “Monday Coffee Company launched last October, showing up at pop-up events like the Ace Hotel for Compop or Logan Square’s Sauced Sundays… Kizer and his partner Amanda Harth had been discussing going into the coffee business. They felt it would be a way to foster community in the midst of the pandemic. ‘We wanted to create something that would keep people connected at a time when they were unable to meet,’ Harth, 33, said. More than that, they wanted to create a Black- and queer-owned business that supported similar businesses during a time when calls for social justice rang out across the country. ‘I’m not the marching-and-burning-buildings type of guy,’ Kizer said. ‘I’m a blow-up-the-establishment type of guy.'”
The Chefs With Successful Side Gigs In The Pandemic Era
Chefs have “pivoted to new projects and created businesses that have thrived. These creative endeavors emerged as alternatives when most dining options were severely limited. Challenges have come along the way, from tinkering with recipes to working with high volumes of food, but they’ve found success amid the pandemic’s chaos,” writes Denny Jacob at the Trib with much reported detail.
Starbucks Closing Princi Bakery Bars
“Starbucks is pulling the plug on its standalone Princi Italian bakery bars, with locations in Chicago and Seattle set to close next week,” reports Eater Chicago. “The move is due to a shift in corporate strategy, according to a spokesperson, who also notes a New York location never reopened after pandemic restrictions first hit the restaurant industry back in March 2020.”
Mindy Segal Leaving Bucktown Bake Space
Mindy Segal needs a fresh start, reports Eater Chicago, “and to do that, she needed to let go of the space where [Mindy’s Hot Chocolate] operated for fifteen years… Segal is moving her weekends-only operation, Mindy’s Bakery… to a new permanent home inside the former Red Hen Bakery near [ Six Corners]. The new bakery won’t be just open on weekends… the new bakery will be open five days a week. Expect Segal’s signature bagels and pastries in the morning, with more savory items — like pot pies and pastries with brisket and confit chicken thighs — in the afternoon.” Projected opening: Valentine’s Day.
FILM & TELEVISION
Catching Up With The Black Chicago Women Of “Unapologetic”
Hyperallergic interviews “Unapologetic” filmmaker Ashley O’Shay about her four-and-a-half-year shoot of her documentary on Chicago activism. How did she gain the trust of the community? “I think being a Black woman helped, as far as them being comfortable and feeling like they could open up to me. But I just tried to keep showing up as much as possible. Even when I wasn’t there with the camera or doing an interview, I would try to go to their different rallies to just show support and amplify the work they were doing. I think after a while, when someone keeps showing up like that, you can build that trust with them. And I think also that as I was building stronger relationships with my main subjects, Janaé and Bella, that helped make other organizers in the space feel more comfortable with me as well.”
FACETS Returns To In-Person Screenings With New Initiatives
Lincoln Park’s FACETS on Fullerton returns to in-person film screenings on Friday, September 17, as well as commencing new initiatives for the forty-six-year-old cinema organization. Since the pandemic shutdown, select areas within the venue have changed their function or have been upgraded to reintroduce it as a space where communities can gather. FACETS has announced partnerships in support of the filmmaking community, in response to a need in Chicago for filmmakers to affordably premiere their films in a professionally operated cinema. FACETS will provide opportunities that cover operational, staff, and marketing support costs to host premiere, feedback or fundraising screenings. Full Spectrum Features will serve as a lead partner, by selecting recipient filmmakers. FACETS leadership will also meet with local film organizations to hear further industry needs and identify additional methods for supporting this burgeoning community. “We’ll reopen FACETS’ doors to our community after a year and a half,” says FACETS executive director Karen Cardarelli in a releases “but maybe more significantly, we’re reopening after having time to contemplate the loss of our founder, Milos Stehlik, and reimagine how to fulfill his vision. Thanks to the brilliant creativity of the FACETS staff, the earnest commitment of our Board of Directors, and the generosity of numerous donors, this fall and winter FACETS will delicately balance the way it serves our community with both in-person and virtual film offerings.”
CIFF Artistic Director Mimi Plauché Awarded Chevalier de l’ordre des arts et des lettres
The French Minister of Culture, Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin, has announced that Chicago International Film Festival Artistic Director Mimi Plauché has been extended the title and rank of Chevalier de l’ordre des arts et des lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Lettres). Given since 1957 by the French Ministry of Culture, this honorary distinction is one of the four Ministerial orders of the French Republic. Plauché will receive the award at a gala event on Monday, September 13. In her letter, the French Minister of Culture shared her congratulations and emphasized Mimi Plauché’s “contribution and commitment to cultural service.” Plauché, who has been with the Chicago International Film Festival since 2006, has served as artistic director since 2016. More here.
Newberry Library Announces A New Chicago Book Prize
The Newberry Library and the Pattis Family Foundation have announced an annual book award for published works that transform public understanding of Chicago, its history, and its people. Starting in July of 2022, The Pattis Family Foundation Chicago Book Award at the Newberry Library will celebrate a publication that opens new perspectives for a wide audience of readers. The $25,000 prize will be open to writers working in genres including history, biography, social sciences, poetry, drama, graphic novels, and fiction, and will not be limited by discipline or time period. “Our goal in this partnership with The Pattis Family Foundation is to bring attention to books that reflect the Newberry’s mission of supporting inquiry and learning across the humanities,” Daniel Greene, president and librarian of the Newberry says in a release. “The Newberry encourages all readers to use our collections and experience our programs and exhibitions. This book prize will embody the same openness and accessibility by considering a range of publications that help audiences see Chicago in new ways.” Lisa Pattis, director of the Pattis Family Foundation and Trustee of the Newberry says, “We believe the Newberry, with its commitment to advancing the collective understanding of our city and its role in the world, is ideally situated to highlight exceptional books that help us understand Chicago from unique and different vantage points.” The inaugural presentation of The Pattis Family Foundation Chicago Book Award will be in July of 2022. Recipients of the award will be honored at a public event at the Newberry, where they will present a lecture or participate in a conversation focused on their book. Nominations may be made by authors, publishers or members of the general public. More here.
Kanye Erecting Childhood Home In Middle Of Soldier Field For “Donda” Listening Party
WGN-TV has a snippet of video showing the creation of what appears to be a replica of Kanye West’s childhood home in the middle of Soldier Field for Thursday’s “Donda” listening party.
Cole’s Bar Sets First Show Since Onset Of Pandemic
Chicago psychedelic funk artist Arturo Calendar releases music under the name George Arthur Calendar an
Broadway Power Brokers Pledge Diversity Changes Once Theaters Reopen
“The three big landlords on Broadway — the Shubert, Nederlander and Jujamcyn organizations — each pledged to name at least one theater for a Black artist. Jujamcyn operates the August Wilson Theater, the only Broadway house named for a Black artist,” the New York Times headlines. Reports Michael Paulson: “Some of the most powerful players on Broadway have signed a pact pledging to strengthen the industry’s diversity practices as theaters reopen following the lengthy shutdown prompted by the coronavirus pandemic… The industry is pledging to forgo all-white creative teams, hire ‘racial sensitivity coaches’ for some shows, rename theaters for Black artists and establish diversity rules for the Tony Awards.” The plan was “developed under the auspices of Black Theatre United, one of several organizations established last year… Black Theatre United’s founding members include some of the most celebrated performers working in the American theater, including Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Billy Porter, Wendell Pierce, Norm Lewis and LaChanze. The signatories include the owners and operators of all 41 Broadway theaters — commercial and nonprofit — as well as the Broadway League.” Here’s the document, “A New Deal For Broadway.”
ARTS & CULTURE
Trib Editorial Board Says, Not So Fast, Here’s The Delta Variant
“No, New York City is not yet back in business. Neither is Chicago. There is to be no great back-to-work-and-normalcy celebration right after Labor Day in America’s great cities,” writes the Tribune Editorial Board. “The delta variant has put paid to all of that. Right now, the mutations of the virus clearly are outpacing our attempts to vanquish its ravages… We are, in short, headed for an anxious and ambiguous fall… You can sense that mood in and around Chicago. Social gatherings are taking place, but they’re often accompanied by nervousness, even if everyone is vaccinated… Arts performances have returned, albeit in far smaller numbers than is typical in a Chicago fall. But audiences will need to be vaccinated and masked. Many Chicagoans are willing to comply for everyone’s safety, but there is no question that the mood in the seats and on the lawns has been chilled. The kinds of escapist entertainment that we were assuming everyone would want now feels not just premature but maybe even tone-deaf. And audiences so far have tended to be small. No, we’re not back. So what to do? Much is unknown…”
On The Impact Of Gambling On Southern Illinois
While deadlines have been extended for proposals for a Chicago mega-casino, gambling has already had long-lasting effects downstate for years, as reported by Ryan Zickgraf in Jacobin, in a piece with the subhead: “Once the proud land of Lincoln, downstate Illinois—devastated by unemployment, deindustrialization, and an infamously corrupt political class—is quickly becoming a failed state.” The part of Illinois outside of Chicago “is in precipitous decline regardless of which political party the majority of its residents vote for,” writes Zickgraf. “The rural towns on Illinois’s southern edge are slowly, bitterly fading away, with life expectancy in Saline County about seventeen years shorter than those living in downtown Chicago… A recent expansion of the gambling bill green lit casinos and sports betting to the 30,000 video slot and poker machines that operate in Illinois, more than any other state in the country. These days, Illinois is the Las Vegas of the Midwest—without any of the glitz or glamor. The omnipresence of gambling at gas stations, bars, and everywhere you turn in downstate Illinois has made it incredibly easy for poor people to become addicted to this cruel, regressive tax. My brother’s friend, Ryan, has gambled away about $60,000 on slot machines over the last decade and has spent much of those years living in his parents’ basement, despite being a thirty-nine-year-old single father.”
Capone Heirs Auctioning Estate, Including Criminal’s “Favorite Pistol”
Al Capone’s three surviving granddaughters have decided to sell off 174 items from the family history, reports Mitch Dudek at the Sun-Times. “Diane Capone, the eldest granddaughter, said that though the world came to know him as ‘Scarface’ and ‘Public Enemy Number One,’ she knew him as ‘Papa’ and wants the public to know he was not all bad. ‘He was a very loving grandfatherly figure, he was somebody who played with us in the garden and I don’t think the public in general knows that this man was so completely devoted to the extended family,’ she said in a video… Many of the items were from Capone’s mansion on Palm Island, a short distance from Miami Beach… The starting bid is $50,000 for Capone’s .45-caliber Colt model 1911 semi-automatic pistol, his ‘favorite’ weapon, according to the auction house.” The auction, “A Century of Notoriety,” is here.
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