Trib Calls “Shame” And Ageism On Art Institute Ashcan Of Docents
“Anyone with some tread on their tires who’s been fired by email can recognize the protocol,” writes the Tribune’s editorial board. “[A] weaselly letter was sent out September 3 by Veronica Stein, the Woman’s Board executive director of learning and engagement at the Art Institute of Chicago. The recipients were the museum’s 150 or so volunteer docents, a beloved mainstay of the venerable cultural institution… and the main providers of fine, learned tours to Chicagoans, tourists, students from Chicago Public Schools and… other visitors to our great museum. Once you cut through the blather, the letter basically said the museum had looked critically at its corps of docents, a group dominated by mostly (but not entirely) white, retired women with some time to spare, and found them wanting as a demographic.”
Three Chicago-Based Galleries Join The Art Show In New York
Chicago-based galleries C
Fall Bridge-Lifting Season Runs Through November 13
“The bridges along the main and south branches of the Chicago River are lifted in the fall to allow sailboats and other recreational boats to make their yearly trips from Lake Michigan’s open waters into their winter storage facilities… The bridges are usually raised one at a time and each lift takes roughly eight to twelve minutes,” reports Sylvia Goodman at The Trib. Twenty-seven bridges are lifted during the biannual event: “Jean Baptiste Point DuSable Lake Shore Drive, Columbus Drive, Michigan Avenue, Wabash Avenue, State Street, Dearborn Street, Clark Street, LaSalle Street, Wells Street, Franklin Street, Lake Street, Randolph Street, Washington Street, Madison Street, Monroe Street, Adams Street, Jackson Boulevard, Van Buren Street, Congress Parkway, Harrison Street, Roosevelt Road, 18th Street, Canal Street, Cermak Avenue, Halsted Street, Loomis Avenue and Ashland Avenue… According to the Chicago Department of Transportation, if no boat owners have planned to move their boats at a given bridge on a scheduled day, the bridge won’t be lifted until the next scheduled event.”
Questions About Old Town Project On Site Of Former Treasure Island
“This is a very strange story that REALLY needs filling out,” observes architecture writer Lynn Becker on Twitter of a Wednesday article at Block Club Chicago. (“Old Town Developers Tap World-Class Architect To Design Projects In The Neighborhood; David Adjaye, known for projects like the National Museum of African American History, will design a cluster of buildings at and around the Moody Church campus.”) “David Adjaye, whose brilliant design for the Obama Center was kicked to the curb because the ex-president wanted a tower in Jackson Park, has been hired,” asks Becker, “to design what? to design where? …are the BP and Shell stations going to be demolished? as well as Stanley Tigerman’s Walgreen’s store? Who is Fern Hill? Who held the referenced Community Meeting? Is it available for streaming? This is a big story. Seriously, what’s going on here?”
DINING & DRINKING
Koval Distillery Opens Ravenswood Tasting Room
Koval opens its much-delayed drinking space at 4241 North Ravenswood today. “The distillery is another piece along Malt Row, a nickname for the area that includes breweries Begyle, Dovetail, Empirical, Smylie Brothers, Spiteful, and Half Acre,” reports Eater Chicago. “Koval is a family-owned business, co-founded in 2008 by spouses Sonat Birnecker Hart and Robert Birnecker with an emphasis on organic spirits, distilled with grains that aren’t treated with chemicals. They now have a bright and airy tasting room that feels like an elegant, minimalist living room—albeit one that seats about 96.”
Grape-Nuts Cereal Sweeps Local Jamaican Restaurants
Grape-Nuts ice cream is landing in more Jamaican restaurants in Chicago after becoming popular in the Caribbean and New England, reports the Trib.
Taste Of Fulton Market Coming In November
The first annual Taste of Fulton Market will be Thursday, November 4 from 5pm-9pm in celebration of the modest history as a dining district. Set in the retractable rooftop enclosure at Morgan’s on Fulton in honor of the hundredth anniversary of the building, the event aims to unite the area’s leading restaurants and raise relief funds for Chicago restaurant workers. Those who appreciate food will get a showcase of neighborhood bars and restaurants, with participation from establishments including Swift & Sons, The Publican, The Goat Group, Joe’s Imports, Publican Quality Meats, Beatrix and Marvin’s Food & Fuel. More here.
Online Launch Here Here Market Hosts Food Pop-Up
Here Here Market, an online bazaar with more than 200 hand-picked products, “connects epicures and restaurant fans with over seventy-five of the Chicago area’s most exciting culinary creators and artisanal food offerings from chefs, cooks, mixologists, and purveyors,” the company says in a release. “Founded by Disha Gulati, most recently of Chicago’s 1871 tech incubator and Nicholas Florek, co-builder of Relish Works, a food industry innovation hub, the marketplace platform debuts with its Eat Local Pop-Up Market Presented by Here Here Market & Mott St,” an in-person pop-up on October 17. “Here Here Market is a boutique marketplace for true food enthusiasts and a launchpad for the next generation of culinary entrepreneurs” says Florek. “Our goal is to support the food and beverage industry by enabling culinary creators to bring their talent and products to the world.” More here here.
McDonald’s Processed Pork Sandwich Returns In November
Greektown Celebrates Marathon
Greektown Chicago hosts a special cheer event for the 2021 Chicago Marathon on Sunday, October 10 from 8am-2pm at the corner of Gladys and Halsted. The marathon passes through Greektown twice, at miles fourteen and seventeen. “Celebrate the ancient Greek origins of the marathon at Greektown’s event, which includes a sign-making station, complimentary coffee and Greek pastries, and a DJ playing Greek and American music all day. Marathon spectators are encouraged to grab a bite to eat in Greektown at one of the neighborhood’s popular restaurants.” More here.
Sunda Sends Takeout Into World
Sunda New Asian’s takeout has launched with bento boxes, sushi, burgers and more, for pick-up or delivery Monday-Friday between 11am-2pm at 110 West Illinois. “Sunda’s food and cocktail menus showcase modern interpretations of culturally important classics from all over Southeast Asia and its surrounding islands by drawing inspiration from countries such as Japan, China, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines,” the restaurant relays. Menu here (pdf).
FILM & TELEVISION
Chicago International Returns To The Drive-In
Five drive-in features will be part of the fifty-seventh Chicago International Film Festival at ChiTown Movies in Pilsen (2343 South Throop). Opening Night at the drive-in features Todd Haynes’ “The Velvet Underground,” with a virtual Q&A with Haynes. The After Dark program will present drive-in screenings of “Antlers,” from director Scott Cooper and producer Guillermo del Toro; as well as “indie coming-of-age occult horror hit ‘Hellbender,'” presented in collaboration with the Music Box of Horrors. Drive-in audiences at every screening will receive alcohol-free Heineken 0.0, and Dark Matter Coffee will be on hand at some screenings distributing cans of their Director’s Cut Cold Brew, a first-ever partnership between the Chicago coffee company and the festival. More here.
Printing And Distribution Of Books Increasingly Difficult
Publishers and booksellers largely don’t want to go on the record about the unprecedented hiccups in the supply chain for getting books into your hands, writes Jane Friedman. But, she writes, “This month, the biggest US book wholesaler and distributor, Ingram, released several statements to its customers warning about the challenges ahead. They warn, “This fall, the global publishing business can expect disruption in shipping, increases in costs throughout the supply chain, shortages in consumables used for packing and shipping, and shortages in manufacturing supplies for books and printed matter. Like many other companies that rely on warehouses, trucking, and manufacturing, IngramSpark expects to be challenged by labor shortages and transportation challenges. We expect to have difficulty finding available workers in many of our warehouse locations and manufacturing plants. We may also lack enough transportation assets to keep books moving at our typical speed.” More from Friedman.
Chicago Public Media Board Makes The Move To Acquire Sun-Times
“In an unprecedented maneuver to try [to] ‘secure the future’ of one Chicago’s two daily newspapers, Chicago Public Media’s board of directors voted Wednesday night to pursue an acquisition of the Chicago Sun-Times,” reports WBEZ. “The board approved a ‘non-binding letter of intent’ to pursue the partnership, which—under a final agreement—would make the Chicago Sun-Times a subsidiary of Chicago Public Media.” The joint announcement is here.
“Chicago’s brawny tabloid has entered into a merger agreement with the nonprofit organization behind the public radio show ‘This American Life,'” positions the New York Times. “The Chicago Sun-Times, once home to the film critic Roger Ebert and the columnist Mike Royko, and… the owner of the city’s NPR affiliate WBEZ, announced… that they had signed a nonbinding letter of intent that would allow the organization to acquire the paper… The Sun-Times came about with the 1948 merger of The Chicago Sun and The Chicago Daily Times. The tabloid was owned by the extended family of the Chicago department store magnate Marshall Field before it was sold to Rupert Murdoch for $90 million in 1983. Three years later… Murdoch flipped it to… investors for $145 million. [After] further ownership changes, and an attempt by Tribune Publishing to buy the paper, a group of local unions and businessmen, including Michael Sacks, an investor, and Rocky Wirtz, the owner of the Chicago Blackhawks hockey team, took ownership of The Sun-Times in 2019.”
Seeking (And Finding) R. Kelly Diehards
“WVON (1690 AM) radio host and commentator Kimberley Egonmwan expressed doubt that any long-term lessons would be learned, as there were many radio listeners who still sympathized with Kelly,” writes William Lee at the Trib. “‘I want to see it as some kind of “righting” of all these decades of wrongs against Black girls, but judging by my listeners, the only person who has been wronged and victimized is R Kelly,’ she wrote on Facebook following the verdict. ‘Not sure how to get out of this very bad place we’re in, but someday I hope young Black girls don’t have to lose their innocence at the expense of protecting their abusers.'”
Hearing in Color Sets Premiere of Contemporary Chamber Opera
Hearing in Color present the world premiere of contemporary chamber opera “Undying Love “in a one-night-only performance. Based on the song of the same title by Nas, “Undying Love” is “a tragic love story set in 1960 Queens, New York. The show finds itself at the intersection of two story-telling mediums—rap and verismo opera—recontextualizing the narrative of the rap song it was inspired by, and based in the wellspring of Black culture,” the group says in a release. Written and composed by Chicago native Steve Wallace, the performance marks Hearing in Color’s first opera and collaboration with WFMT. “Hearing in Color is a Chicago-based organization dedicated to sharing music, stories, and composers that have been historically excluded from musical spaces within its community.” Friday, November 12, 7pm, Kehrein Center for the Arts, 5628 West Washington. More here.
Opera Omaha Tunes Up Family Rivalry
Opera Omaha returns to the Orpheum Theater after a twenty-month hiatus from large-scale indoor productions. The company opens its season with a new production of “The Capulets and the Montagues” (I Capuleti e i Montecchi) by Vincenzo Bellini. Bellini’s “bel canto masterpiece” is a seldom-seen telling of “Romeo and Juliet.” The production by ONE Festival artistic director James Darrah, conducted by Christopher Allen, is “a dark and visually rich exploration of love and loss illuminated by a powerful ensemble of world-class artists, designers and dancers, including the return of soprano Andriana Chuchman. True to Bellini’s original score, Romeo is performed by a mezzo soprano, the acclaimed Cecelia Hall, in her Opera Omaha debut.”
ARTS & CULTURE
City Launches Relief Fund For Chicago Artist and Creative Workers
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events announced a new $2.3 million relief fund for Chicago’s artists and creative workers who suffered lost income due to the pandemic. The “Chicago Creative Worker Assistance Program” will distribute hundreds of financial assistance grants ranging from $2,000-$5,000 by the end of this year and plans to open additional rounds of funding in 2022. The Chicago Creative Worker Assistance Program will provide relief grants to artists and creative workers, including arts administrators, teaching artists, artisans, curators, independent cultural producers and technicians who lost income. The program will launch in mid-October with an application deadline in November; and grantees will receive funds before the end of 2021. More here.
Sixty-Ninth Columbus Day Parade Honors Jasper B. Sanfilippo
On Monday, October 11, the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans will produce the annual Columbus Day parade at State Street and Wacker Drive at 1pm, and will be shown on ABC7. The largest televised parade and civic celebration sponsored by the Italian American community in the Midwest, the JCCIA has hosted the Columbus Day Parade since 1952. This year’s theme is “Columbus and The American Dream,” honoring the memory of Jasper Sanfilippo, the Chicago Italian American business icon. “Sanfilippo took a dream started by his grandfather in 1924, shelling pecans on his kitchen table in Chicago, and took it to the world power the John B. Sanfilippo Company is today.” More here (pdf).
Arlington Heights Bears Would Pay Nearly $100 Million To Break Lease With Chicago Park District
… But what’s $91 million when you’re getting a multibillion-dollar edifice built, possibly partially with subsidies from a fresh local government? The Sun-Times’ Mitchell Armentrout reports: “The Bears — among the few NFL teams that don’t own their home turf — signed the lease in 2001 after pushing for Soldier Field’s notorious overhaul.” The rent since 2004 has been $5.7 million a year for stadium and parking lots. “The contract with the park district runs through 2033 and calls for that payment to increase every five years, an increase tied to the Consumer Price Index, putting their current rate at about $6.6 million per year… Churchill Downs said the sale to the Bears could close by early 2023. If the Bears were to break ground then, followed by an estimated two years for construction, the team could be expected to break their Soldier Field lease in 2026. But the Bears’ contract with the park district puts the team on the hook for 150% of their remaining obligations if they go through… an ‘improper relocation.'”
Mayor Lightfoot, via WGN-TV: “The Bears are making a business decision with that purchase. We’ll see what unfolds there, but we also have to make a business decision here in the City of Chicago.” … Lightfoot downplayed the move and seemed to mock the team, tweeting, “the Bears should focus on putting a winning team on the field, beating the Packers finally and being relevant deep into the season.” Lightfoot told WGN News: “Their issues with Soldier Field are longstanding. Way before I became mayor.”
Headlines the Trib: “State help for a new Bears stadium would be a tough sell.” Reports Dan Petrella: “Democratic state Representative Kam Buckner, a former University of Illinois football player whose district is home to Soldier Field, called the announcement ‘extremely disheartening.'” Buckner told Petrella, “‘It was a gut-punch to those of us who thought that the Bears may be participating in what has sort of become a new phenomenon of owners kind of calling cities’ and states’ bluff to sweeten the pot.’ … Buckner, who previously worked in neighborhood and governmental relations for the Chicago Cubs, credited the Ricketts family for making it clear… that, despite some discussion of other… locations, remaining in the city was their first choice. ‘They put their cards on the table and said: “Listen, we want to be in Chicago. We are the Chicago Cubs. Let’s figure out a way to make this work.” …And I would hope that the Bears would take a page out of that book.'”
The Sun-Times on nearby businesses that would be cast adrift by the team’s suburban relocation: “The owners of bars, restaurants and hotels near Soldier Field who rely on customers who flood the area… are hoping the city strikes a deal to prevent the team from moving… ‘For lots of reasons, it would be sad,’ said Grant DePorter, head of Harry Caray’s Restaurant Group, which has a location on Navy Pier that shuttles fans to and from Soldier Field via boat… ‘When the Bears play it brings a lot of business to Chicago, a lot of people travel in for the weekend to watch their team play the Bears and fill up hotels and restaurants. It would be a big economic loss… In New York City and Los Angeles, they have Hollywood actors, but in Chicago your celebrities are the sports stars, and the Bears are some of the biggest stars that exist.'”
Paul Sullivan in the Journal-Times: “Take your 1.1 yards per play and get out of town. Best of luck with your mega-stadium in the land of Jiffy Lubes, which no doubt will be an architectural eyesore and an anachronism only a few years after moving in — just like the remodeled Soldier Field.”
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