Lucas Museum of Narrative Art Adds Kahlo, Black, Latino Artists
George Lucas’ museum expands its holdings, reports The Art Newspaper. Moving toward a 2023 opening in Los Angeles, the museum has added works by Frida Kahlo, Robert Colescott and Artemisia Gentileschi. “The focus is extending well beyond the fantasy of an innocent white America featured in Norman Rockwell’s work to include art by major Black and Latino artists. The more expansive and inclusive vision comes both from Lucas and his wife, Mellody Hobson, a prominent Black business leader and philanthropist whom he married in 2013.”
Artists Nick Cave And Bob Faust Complete Multi-Story Public Installation, “Rapt on the Mile”
Final touches of a monumental, multi-story beacon were placed today with artists Nick Cave and Bob Faust and key supporters attending at the 679 North Michigan mural installation. Installed by Creative Graphics Management, “the vinyl piece spans more than three stories and wraps more than 6,000 square feet. The expansive building-wrapped mural utilizes iconic images and layered colors to create a three-dimensional garden, evocative of a fertile migratory hub, much like the way Cave sees the city.” The piece is up until January 31, 2022.
“New Witnesses” At Art Incubator Gallery
“New Witnesses” is the culminating exhibition of the 2021 selectees of the Arts + Public Life (APL) and the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture (CSRPC) Artists-in-Residence program, featuring works by zakkiyyah najeebah dumas-o’neal, A.J. McClenon and Lola Ayisha Ogbara. The show runs October 9-November 20 at Arts Incubator Gallery, 301 East Garfield. The first showing is Saturday, October 9 during the “Back on the Block: L1 Grand Opening” and “Arts + Public Life” tenth anniversary event. RSVP for the opening and event here. “New Witnesses asks the viewer to consider a more manifold approach to history, where time happens within us, as well as around us,” APL writes in a release. “Our bodies, our interiority and the endless spheres outside of ourselves all mark this passage differently. For McClenon, Ogbara and o’neal, there is power in these interior histories, and in the body, to not just traverse time but to warp it, reject it, and, at times… hold space for tenderness within it. This kind of time travel explores what it is to see, to be seen, to be marked in time, or to refuse to be seen at all. These works were produced during a ten-month residency, while navigating the continuing restrictions and pressures of the ongoing pandemic.”
Renaissance Society Announces 2021-22 Program
The Renaissance Society announces its season, including “Intermissions: Paul Maheke,” November 13–14; Lydia Ourahmane & Alex Ayed, December 11—Jan 30, 2022; “Intermissions: Joe Namy,” April 23–24, 2022; Meriem Bennani, February 19—April 17, 2022; and “Diane Severin Nguyen: IF REVOLUTION IS A SICKNESS,” May 14—June 19, 2022. Details here.
Advocates For Small Business Urge Limit On Tax Breaks When Property Owners Leave Stores Vacant
“A proposal to limit the tax breaks landlords receive for their vacant storefronts can bring life back to Chicago’s blighted commercial strips,” reports Block Club Chicago.
Study Shows Affordable Housing In North Side Vanishing
“North Side neighborhoods [continue] to lose affordable housing, which could have a dire effect on low-income residents, especially those burdened by the pandemic, according to a new DePaul University study,” reports Block Club Chicago. “DePaul’s Institute of Housing Studies released its 2021 State of Rental Housing in Cook County, an analysis of the most recently available census data ending in 2019. Matching DePaul’s rental reports from previous years, the new report found North Side neighborhoods have lost the most affordable housing.”
Logan Square Building Owned By Family For Four Decades Sells For $9.4 Million; Gutting In The Offing
“An apartment building near the California Blue Line station sold for a whopping $9.4 million last week,” reports Block Club Chicago. “A tech entrepreneur and a local investor bought the early 1900s building at 2315 North Milwaukee from Barbara Sierra and her family, who have owned the property for more than forty years. The building is home to twenty-seven apartments and several small businesses, including Cafe Mustache, Blue Line Barbers and Smart Cleaners.”
DINING & DRINKING
Chicago Restaurants Still Seek Relief
“Diana Davila, the chef and owner of Mi Tocaya Antojeria, has had her fill of the pandemic pivot,” reports the Trib. “One of more than 11,000 Illinois restaurant owners who applied for but didn’t receive a grant from the $29 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund in May, Davila said she doesn’t know if her Mexican restaurant in Logan Square can make it through another pandemic winter.”
1990s-Style Martini Bar Opening In River North
Third-generation restaurateur Adolfo Garcia is bringing a modern take on the 1990s martini bar to River North in mid-October. Yours Truly at 613 North Wells says that it will be an “upscale neighborhood cocktail and wine bar focusing on sports programming and American comfort food. A perfect mix between high-end style classic Hollywood and sports. Think Jack Nicholson on the golf course, Farrah Fawcett on a tennis court, and JFK on a putting green.” Partner Garcia says, “River North lacks bars and restaurants that have a neighborhood feel with a great wine list. We want to fill that void and give people a place to grab a great cocktail, a nice glass of wine in a casual yet beautiful setting.” More here.
Is Fine Dining “Doomed”?
Adam Platt at Grub Street thinks fine dining is done: “Top cooking talent has already been draining away from old-guard kitchen brigades for decades, and now, with costs sky-high as well as the general collapse, for the time being, of mega real-estate deals… which have been subsidizing top-end dining around Manhattan for years—this entire section of the industry, as another veteran put it, ‘is running on fumes.’ Then there’s the even more dire question of relevance and tone. Even before COVID, grander, upmarket restaurants tended to make headlines not for the glories of their food but for dodgy labor practices and the piggish behavior of their once-admired chefs. Now, with people struggling all over the city, and fashionable tastes veering—as they have been for years—toward three-star tacos, burgers and bowls of ramen, a fancy multi-course menu feels like the opposite of sophistication to a new generation of diners.”
Two Black-Owned Breweries Launch In Chicago
“Estimates peg the number of Black-owned breweries in the United States at just seventy or so of the nearly 9,000 operating,” reports The Trib. “Funkytown Brewery will be the second Black-owned brewery in Chicago, along with Moor’s Brewing, to open this year.” Says Richard Bloomfield, co-owner of Funkytown, “We’re trying to be a welcoming introduction to craft beer for Black folks, minorities and women” from a point-of-view that’s “big on self-love, self-improvement, self-growth and impactful dialogue.”
Transit Tees Releases Chicago Handshake, A Chicago-Inspired Drinking Game
Chicago-based Transit Tees has launched “Chicago Handshake,” a card game about local drinking. “This card game is perfect for adults who enjoy Chicago trivia, traditions and nostalgia—and of course, those who love-hate Chicago’s notorious rite of passage: the Malört shot,” Transit Tees says in a release. “Combining a nostalgic 1930s design style with trivia questions from Chicago’s rich history, the Chicago Handshake Drinking Card Game will put players’ knowledge of the city to the test. For established Chicagoans, it’s also a great excuse to initiate new-to-Chicago friends with critical historical information and the time-honored tradition of drinking a real Chicago Handshake: a Chicago tallboy-style beer and a shot of Jeppson’s Malört. At the end of this game, whoever has the most tokens must drink the Chicago Handshake sitting on the table, to their delight or horror!”
FILM & TELEVISION
National Film And Television Production Strike Vote Near Unanimous
“IATSE Members in TV and film production voted to authorize the first nationwide industry strike in our 128-year history. 98.68% voted yes, and voter turnout among eligible members was nearly 90%,” the union reports via tweet. From the union press release: “The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees announced today that 60,000 members who work in television and film production across the country have voted—by a nearly unanimous margin—to grant IATSE International President Matthew Loeb the authority to call a strike. This is the first time in IATSE’s 128-year history that members of the union have authorized a nationwide strike. ‘The members have spoken loud and clear,’ said Loeb. ‘This vote is about the quality of life as well as the health and safety of those who work in the film and television industry. Our people have basic human needs like time for meal breaks, adequate sleep and a weekend. For those at the bottom of the pay scale, they deserve nothing less than a living wage.'” The Los Angeles Times: “The vote doesn’t mean a strike is inevitable, but it does give union leaders potentially more leverage in contract negotiations with employers, who might be willing to make concessions for fear of disruptions caused by a walkout. Nonetheless, the step is highly unusual for IATSE, which historically has avoided confrontations with studios in order to keep its members working. Hollywood crews haven’t staged a major strike since 1945, when workers held a protest outside of Warner Bros. known as Hollywood’s Bloody Friday. A walkout would halt production nationwide.”
Alders Ask Better Manners From Film Crews And Others
“Ald. Michael Scott Jr. (24th) said not every production does a ‘great job’ of following the rules” on location shoots. His ward includes Cinespace and productions often film in and around the surrounding neighborhoods,” reports Block Club Chicago. “If you’re a resident and you’re coming home, you’re not given enough time to know that your block is going to be commandeered… for that week or for the number of days they’re gonna be out there. You’ve got to park around the corner,” Scott said. The city maintains a heat map of productions and can halt productions for sixty days in areas that have been overburdened by filming, [DCASE Commissioner Mark] Kelly said. Scott suggested the city incorporate other large events into the heat map so it captures not just if blocks have been closed for filming, but also street festivals or nearby concerts. A recent country music festival ‘messed up my whole Sunday,’ said Ald. Walter Burnett Jr (27th)… ‘If you communicate with us, we know where all the bodies are buried, who may have a challenge and what to look for ahead of time.'”
“Slasher Museum” Pop-Up Takes Replay Lincoln Park
Replay Lincoln Park has set their latest pop-up, “Slasher Museum,” running through October 31. Replay has “transformed its gaming areas into a manor of the macabre filled with frightening replicas of iconic slashers including Michael Myers, Freddy and Leatherface, complete with themed weekly trivia, costume contests, along with horror movie-themed arcade and pinball games.” The event and games are free; no reservations, tickets, or tokens required. More here.
“Snowball” Of Factors Accelerate Book Printing And Distribution Crunch
The New York Times lays out the thread faced by publishers and booksellers today: “The churning disruption in the global supply chain, which has touched everything from minivans to dishwashers to sweaters, has now reached the world of books, just as the holiday season—a crucial time for publishers, and a period that can make or break the entire year for an independent bookstore—approaches. Publishers are postponing some release dates because books aren’t where they need to be. Older books are also being affected as suppliers struggle to replenish them. To get a book printed and into customers’ hands, there are essentially two different supply chains. On both paths, at virtually every step, there is a problem.” More here.
Mix Fix: Can WTMX Star Eric Ferguson Hold On Three More Years?
Robert Feder considers the future of WTMX leading light Eric Ferguson after another former co-worker came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct. “Now that a second woman has come forward with sexual misconduct allegations against Radio Hall of Famer Eric Ferguson, even his most ardent supporters have to wonder how long Chicago’s highest-paid morning host can survive a public pillorying over claims about his conduct off the air.”
Chicago Jazz Philharmonic Continues “Chicago Immigrant Stories”
Chicago Jazz Philharmonic’s series, “Chicago Immigrant Stories,” premiered in 2018 on the Pritzker Pavilion Stage at Millennium Park and continues with CJP’s cross-genre musical collaborations with multiple cultures of Chicago’s immigrant population. The October 23 performance will feature musicians from Chicago’s Brazilian, Japanese and Ukrainian communities. The concert, led by Orbert Davis, will include Japanese contra bass and Taiko master Tatsu Aoki; Brazilian percussionist Geraldo De Oliveira; Ukrainian bandura master Ivan Smilo; and members of CJP’s orchestra including Argentinian pianist Leandro Lopez Varady. More here.
League of Chicago Theatres Announces Resident Fellowship To Support The Work Of A Black Director
The League of Chicago Theatres announces the 2022 Samuel G. Roberson Jr. Resident Fellowship, an annual grant awarded to a Black artist to fund a residency with a Chicago-area theater. This year the award will go to a director. Each year, the Fellowship focuses on an area of concentration in theater arts. In 2021, when the Fellowship launched, the focus was playwriting and was awarded to Kristiana Rae Colón and Congo Square Theatre for a one-year residency at the theatre. This year’s recipient and host theater recipient will work together to produce a workshop or full-scale production of a new play or musical. The director will be awarded $20,000 for the residency; the host theater will receive $7,500 to support the director’s work and residency. Applications, due November 15, are here.
Chicago Inclusion Project Offers Anti-Racism Workshops
The Chicago Inclusion Project has launched a workshop, “Being Anti-Racist: An Active Action,” designed for theater and arts organizations that are “looking for a comprehensive deep-dive into anti-racist practices and actionable steps toward becoming an anti-racist organization. After taking this workshop, companies will have a deeper understanding of where their institution stands, and a clear idea of actions that can be taken to achieve anti-racism goals.” Developed by staff members Jessica Vann and Arti Ishak, the “‘Continuum of Anti-Racist Representation in the Arts’ is an industry-specific tool that provides tangible guideposts to help transform your theater or performing arts organization into its most equitable form, giving both multicultural and predominantly white organizations a way to measure progress when striving for equitable inclusion.” Applications are here.
Links Hall Adds Seven To Board
Links Hall has announced seven additions to their board of directors: Amy Chavasse, Vesna Grbovic, Alyssa Gregory, Daniel Nichols, Tina Post, Michael Tokoph and Tara Aisha Willis. “Bringing in seven board members at this moment is a bold move. This is the strongest and largest board Links Hall has had,” board president Doreen Sayegh says in a release. There are now eighteen board members, “reflecting the breadth and diversity of the Links Hall community.” Executive director Stephanie Pacheco: “We were overwhelmed by the expansive interest in our recent open call for board members, and are indebted to everyone who raised their hand to volunteer service. This board class brings to Links their commitment to contemporary performance and independent artists, as well as exceptional expertise in financial management, marketing, business development, nonprofit operations, curation, artistic practice, advanced research in performance studies, and strategic planning.” More here.
Black Girls Dance Premiere Christmas “Mary”
Black Girls Dance, which helps young women of color pursue professional dance, presents the world premiere of “Mary,” a holiday dance musical choreographed, written and directed by founder Erin Barnett. “Mary” is a modern twist on the traditional Black Nativity told through ballet, hip-hop, tap and contemporary dance. The cast of twenty dancer-actors includes Chicago Academy for the Arts senior Arayah Lyte as Mary; Academy alumnus and second-year Juilliard student Isaiah Day as Joseph; dancers from Chicago Contemporary Dance Theatre, Konquer Dance Company of Orland Park; Asia’s Dance Factory of Gary; and Black Girls Dance students. The performance is Sunday, December 19 at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, 915 East 60th. More here.
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