Kavi Gupta Signs Allana Clarke
Kavi Gupta has announced representation of artist Allana Clarke. “Clarke’s multidisciplinary studio practice is rooted in concepts crucial to contemporary discourse around interpersonal and intercultural empathy. Many of her projects are specifically rooted in the products and rituals of self care she learned to utilize as a child. In one recent series, Clarke created text-based wall works out of cocoa butter, a product with a long and fraught colonial history tied to slavery and child labor. One of the works read, ‘Meh muddah teach me to hate blackness in myself and others.’ According to Clarke, the quote references Caribbean vernacular, spelled the way it would be pronounced.” More here.
St. Michael The Archangel Church Celebrates A Final Mass
“Sitting at the corner of 82nd Street and South Shore Drive for more than a century, thousands of footsteps into St. Michael the Archangel Parish are fading into history as a final mass was celebrated Sunday before the venerable building is closed,” reports WGN-TV. “’It’s an amazing structure, really the cathedral of South Chicago,’ Ward Miller of Preservation Chicago said. ‘It’s so unfortunate that this is being closed by the Archdiocese of Chicago when this is still a viable parish.’ Miller came to the church Saturday to lobby for landmark status of the building and to celebrate his family’s history. St. Michael’s is where his great-grandparents were married in 1895.”
Bell Bowl Prairie Demolition At Rockford Airport Suspended
“The Natural Land Institute is declaring a minor victory after the Chicago Rockford International Airport announced late Thursday afternoon that it will redesign a part of its expansion project that was set to destroy a rare virgin prairie it owns in Winnebago County,” reports the Trib of the road and detention basins the airport planned to run through its 280-acre expansion. “The announcement came less than 48 hours after the institute filed a lawsuit against the airport, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Federal Aviation Administration. The lawsuit asked a judge to issue a restraining order to stop construction work, set to begin [today], in Bell Bowl Prairie.” Natural Land Institute executive director Kerry Leigh: “We need to make sure this is codified in court. This is only another temporary stop. The prairie hasn’t been saved yet. People need to know that. There’s still work to be done.” WREX.com: Zack Oakley, deputy director of operations and planning at the airport: “The FAA is reinitiating consultation under the Endangered Species Act with the USFWS to evaluate impacts to the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee, so planned construction… scheduled to continue on November 1 will be suspended until further consultation… We anticipate the resumption of the project in the spring of 2022.” Reports WTTW: “Illinois was nicknamed ‘the Prairie State’ back in the 1840s. But today, what remains as actual prairie land is less than one-hundredth of one percent.”
Springfield To $6.5 Billion For Vast One Central Project: Not So Fast
A “sneak play” to “speed $6.5 billion in state funding for the proposed One Central complex across from Soldier Field appears to have been blocked at the last second,” reports Greg Hinz at Crain’s, “but only after the local state representative started screaming his head off.”
WTTW Looks Into Trib Looking Into Chicago Public Toilets
Channel 11 takes a look at the Tribune’s report on the paucity of public facilities in Chicago.
Morton Salt Shed Closer To Becoming Concert Venue
“A ballyhooed proposal to convert the former Morton Salt shed in West Town into a 4,000-ticket concert venue and dining destination is set to clear another hurdle on Monday as aldermen consider awarding the developer a key tax break,” reports The Daily Line. An ordinance “granting developers R2 Companies and Blue Star Properties Class L historic tax credits for the $30 million rehab project is one of multiple city-backed tax breaks on tap for consideration during a meeting of the City Council Committee on Economic, Capital and Technology Development… The plan to remake the four-acre salt shed site at 1357 North Elston in the 27th Ward while keeping the iconic exterior structure intact has [marched through] city approvals this year, including by achieving historic landmark status so that the ‘Morton Salt’ logo and umbrella girl illustration remain to greet concertgoers. The ‘Salt District’ development would convert the salt storage shed into a performance venue that could accommodate up to 4,000… The adjacent building would be converted into more than 61,000 square feet of office space, including 20,000 square feet for Morton Salt, with ground-floor food and beverage operations.”
“Let’s Take Lake Michigan Away From Indiana”
A modest proposal from Chicago magazine: “Clearly, there’s only one way to protect the lake from which 6.5 million Illinoisans drink water: Given its repeated abuse of Lake Michigan, Indiana no longer deserves to be a Great Lakes state. The Enabling Act of 1816, which granted Indiana statehood, declared that its northern boundary would be ‘drawn through a point ten miles north of the southern extreme of Lake Michigan,’ guaranteeing it access to the Great Lakes, like its neighbors Michigan and Illinois. Indiana has only forty-five miles of shoreline, compared to Michigan’s 3,224, but it sullies the waters far more… In Indiana—a mostly rural, agricultural state—the lake is remote from the state’s major population center, and, as Post-Tribune guest columnist [Susan] Thomas writes, ‘Indiana industry is emboldened by a Republican supermajority in the State House that defers to party line on environmental issues and safety regulations, ignoring public outrage.'”
DINING & DRINKING
Surveying The Small Businesses Rocked By Supply Chain Failure
“Patrick Berger isn’t involved with manufacturing, and he’s not a middleman, but he’s been hit… at his West Loop restaurant, Kaiser Tiger, reports the Sun-Times. “Berger says he’s had to take his traditional Irish breakfast off the menu because a supplier in Ireland no longer can deliver the black-and-white pudding he needs.. ‘We are constantly substituting. We are constantly 86-ing items off the menu. Things that used to infuriate me, I’m just rolling with the punches now.’ He says customers get it, hearing about supply chain issues… but they’re less understanding about the problems he and many restaurants have had holding onto staff… ‘Where we’re missing sympathy with the customers is with service. They don’t understand why there is one server for fifteen tables, and they are not getting the topnotch service they usually do.'”
Sober Tea Bar For LGBTQ Community To Open In Andersonville
Eli Tea Bar, a nine-year-old company owned by Elias Majid, “a botanist who earned his degree at Loyola University in Chicago before diving into the world of tea,” is opening a cafe at 5507 North Clark, former home of TrueNorth Cafe, reports Eater Chicago. Majid’s “philosophy is to mix teas from around the world with Midwestern ingredients creating special blends… Eli Tea Bar allows Majid to channel his interest in plants and their health benefits into a larger mission of creating an inclusive and comfortable third place for the community to gather. A non-drinker from a Muslim family, Majid says he’s noticed an increased demand for LGBTQ spaces that don’t [focus on] alcohol since the pandemic began. ‘Sometimes I just want to meet up with friends and we don’t need strobe lights or aggressive marketing from alcohol companies. It’s tiresome and people are over it.'”
Taste of Fulton Market Announces New Restaurants
More participating restaurants were announced for the first annual Taste of Fulton Market, a celebration of the history of the Dining District. Set in the new retractable rooftop enclosure at Morgan’s on Fulton in honor of the hundredth anniversary of the culinary building, the event aims to unite Fulton Market’s leading restaurants while raising money for the Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Restaurant Employee Relief Fund. Participants include Swift & Sons, The Publican, Publican Quality Meats, The Goat Group, Joe’s Imports, Carnivale, Beatrix, Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken, Gaijin, Blind Barber and Marvin’s Food & Fuel. “Our goal for this event is to raise money for the workers on whose backs this industry is built and to bring together restaurants from the hottest dining neighborhood in the country for an evening of culinary celebration and gratitude,” said Morgan’s on Fulton owner James Geier. The event is Thursday, November 4, 5pm-9pm; tickets here.
Fungus-Based Vegan Food Product To Be Made At Former Chicago Stockyards
“The Union Stockyards on the South Side had defined Chicago as the ‘hog butcher to the world.’ Now, fifty years after its closing, the Yards will once again be a manufacturing haven—of a fungi-based protein,” reports the Sun-Times. The protein, Fy, was created by Nature’s Fynd. “We started as a research project for NASA on extreme quality of life,” said Thomas Jonas, co-founder and CEO. “The goal was to understand what life on moons of Saturn could look like. Trying to figure that out took us on an exploration journey on the acidic volcanic springs of Yellowstone where we discovered a remarkable new microorganism.”
I-57 Rib House and I-57 Smoke House Shuttered By Illinois Department Of Revenue
“For the second time this week, Internal Revenue Service special agents and Chicago police teamed up to shut down a popular restaurant,” reports Eater Chicago. “The second incident happened around noon on Thursday when a raid forced I-57 Smoke House and I-57 Rib House, two barbecue joints in South Side Morgan Park, to close. Agents provided the same response they did… when raids shut down… three Parlor Pizza Bars in West Loop, Wicker Park, and River North: the state’s revenue department told Fox 32 Chicago that agents were looking for evidence that would support violations of the tax code.”
FILM & TELEVISION
CHF Presents Commissioned “to render the infinite”
As part of “Imagining Chicago’s Future,” Chicago Humanities Festival hosts a screening of a film commissioned from visual artist zakkiyyah najeebah dumas o’neal and composer Ayana Contreras, which “repurposes archival footage from Chicago Film Archives’ extensive collection to imagine the city’s future centering Black women’s cultural contributions to Chicago, Black lesbian experiences, and notions of belonging.” The film will be followed by a conversation with o’neal and Contreras about “how the creative process be turned toward imagining a different Chicago.” CHF presents this event in partnership with Art Design Chicago Now (a Terra Foundation for American Art initiative) and the Chicago Film Archive. Columbia College Student Center, November 6, 1:30pm-2:30pm. More here.
Trib On The Speech Of Dave Chappelle And Mort Sahl
“Smart satirists, and [the late Mort] Sahl was the model for many of them, understand that they operate as safety valves, stabbing at the bulbous balloons of the powerful and thus doing their part for democracy. Their job is to remind us that the world is complex, that absolute power corrupts absolutely and that everyone should be at least a little bit nervous about themselves,”writes the Tribune editorial board. “History teaches us that the chilling of free speech is merely a way station on the road to the collapse of ever-fragile democracy. And satirical speech is often the first kind to be repressed. We wish that the many critics of Dave Chappelle at Netflix had taken [the Tribune critic reviewing Sahl]’s tack instead of trying to get the streaming platform to cancel his hugely popular show or remove it from Netflix’s offerings… Netflix is a commercial operation with shareholders but also, increasingly, an American town square.”
PrideArts Fall Film Runs Through November
PrideArts’ film festival of thirty-two short films from nine countries starts today. “The unusually diverse selection of films was chosen by a PrideArts panel that reviewed hundreds of submissions. The films address a range of issues and situations that are common across cultures, including defining oneself as an LGBTQ person, family relations, forming and building connections with others, body image, and survival under political and economic pressures. The films will be shown over four separate programs of approximately ninety minutes per program, with each program streaming for one week.” More here.
Eric In The Courtroom: Ferguson Out At Hubbard Broadcasting Flagship On Allegations Of Years Of Harassment
“Under fire for allegations of sexual misconduct and abusive behavior toward female co-workers, Eric Ferguson [is] leaving WTMX 101.9-FM after twenty-five years as morning personality,” reports Robert Feder. “I feel that returning to the air at this time, in this environment, will be an unfair distraction to my colleagues… [A]fter discussions with Hubbard leadership, we’ve decided it is best that I step away from the show. I’m energized to move forward and defend myself against claims made against me and the station, and look forward to seeing them through to their conclusion,” Ferguson said in a carefully worded statement. The Trib’s Tracy Swartz and Christy Gutowski: “A representative for Hubbard Radio Chicago, which owns and operates The Mix, did not respond to a Tribune request for comment Friday. The four women who have come forward allege [management] protected Ferguson because of the popularity of his show. An attorney for Ferguson, 54, declined to comment… Station management initially said Ferguson would be off the air through October. Ferguson, in his statement, said he has not decided what’s next. He said he’s taken time to focus on himself and his family and reflect on his career.”
City Bureau Announces Fall 2021 Civic Reporting Fellows
City Bureau has welcomed its latest group of Civic Reporting Fellows. The fellows will report on issues on the city’s South and West Sides related to socioeconomic status and access to health care. Throughout the eleven-week fellowship, teams will seek to understand Chicagoans’ utility debt, question the processes behind neighborhood investment projects and dive into low vaccination rates—keeping the focus of who is most affected by these issues at the forefront of their reporting. More here.
NIU Presents Ninth Annual New Music Festival
The Northern Illinois University New Music Festival returns for its ninth year on November 3-4. The festival features the music and poetry of Chicago-based composer Regina Harris Baiocchi and offers new music over two nights of concerts in the NIU School of Music’s Boutell Memorial Concert Hall on the main campus. Poets from around the country and around the world associated with Harris Baiocchi’s Haiku Festival Chicago will join in. The festival begins with a program of original music by Baiocchi. Music for percussion ensemble, string ensemble, choir, solo vocalists and instrumentalists and small jazz groups will share the stage. On Thursday November 4, Baiocchi will offer an 11am All-School Convocation in the concert hall. That evening, the festival’s second concert will feature performances by members of the Avalon String Quartet and Reggie and Mardra Thomas, as well as original music based upon original haiku by poets associated with and curated by Baiocchi and her seventeenth annual Haiku Festival Chicago. Tickets here.
Dance Companies Collapse Across Nation
“Last year, as the pandemic forced the world to cancel in-person activities, the premise of dance was essentially outlawed. Income that depended on performances, teaching and touring vanished overnight,” reports the Washington Post via MSN. “Now, as the dance companies that managed to survive are returning to the stage, the ghosts of those that no longer exist haunt the field. Their dancers, directors and choreographers are scarred. Observers worry the closures portend more difficulties ahead… Dance/NYC surveys show a migration of the dance workforce out of New York City, as well as a migration out of the industry. As of late 2020, 5 percent of the dance workforce had relocated permanently and seventeen percent were considering permanent relocation. In addition, forty-three percent were considering longterm career options outside of dance.”
American Players Theatre Sets Season
American Players Theatre in Spring Green, Wisconsin, has announced its 2022 season, including five plays that had been slated to run in 2020, before the pandemic. The summer season will run June 11-October 9, 2022. The lineup in the 1,089-seat, outdoor Hill Theatre includes William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” and “Love’s Labour’s Lost”: Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s “The Rivals”; Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility,” adapted by Jessica Swale; and Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun.” In the 200-seat indoor Touchstone Theatre, the season includes “The River Bride” by Marisela Treviño Orta; “The Brothers Size” by Tarell Alvin McCraney; “Stones In His Pockets” by Marie Jones and “The Moors” by Jen Silverman. Artistic director Brenda DeVita says in a release that “2022 is about moving forward and building on all that we’ve accomplished, not just this year–and let’s be clear, our 2021 season was a huge, amazing accomplishment–but building on the plans that we’ve been making over the last decade. That examination of what makes a classic, and how do we continue to evolve and grow as an organization and a company? And you’ll see that conversation continue in the 2022 plays.” More here.
ARTS & CULTURE
Erin Harkey Named Acting Commissioner Of DCASE
Erin Harkey has been named acting commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, the city announced in a release. “Harkey has served the City of Chicago for five years as Projects Administrator, then Deputy Commissioner for Programming and most recently as First Deputy Commissioner at DCASE since March 2021. In her dual role as Senior Policy Advisor for Arts in Culture in the Mayor’s Office, she advises on cultural policy and arts strategy across all City departments and agencies. She previously managed public art programs at Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the Arts Council for Long Beach. Harkey holds two master’s degrees in Public Art Administration and Urban Planning from the University of Southern California (USC) and a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Howard University. ‘It is an honor to have the opportunity to lead the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and to continue to serve the residents of Chicago,’ said Acting Commissioner Erin Harkey. ‘Following a tumultuous nineteen months battling the pandemic and five years advocating for Chicago’s cultural community, Commissioner [Mark] Kelly’s leadership has set the stage for a strong arts recovery. I look forward to continuing this important work.”
Lawmakers Approve Betting On Illinois College Teams
“Illinois lawmakers approved gaming legislation,” reports the Pantagraph, “that would allow for some betting on in-state college sports teams while putting a lid on local governments imposing ‘amusement push taxes’ on video gaming terminals. The Senate voted 44-12 to approve the legislation, which was later approved by the House on a 100-11-1 roll… It serves as a trailer bill to the 2019 omnibus gaming legislation, which legalized sports betting, authorized six additional brick-and-mortar casinos and additional video gaming terminals at truck stops, bars and restaurants.”
Chicago Yields Five Proposals For Casino-Resort
“Bally’s Corp., HR Chicago, Rivers Chicago at McCormick and Rivers 78 Gaming submitted their bids by Friday’s deadline,” reports AP. “’The submission of bid responses represents a major step toward the thoughtful development of a casino-resort that uplifts our businesses, employs and empowers our residents and encourages tourism,’ [Mayor] Lightfoot said. Bally’s submitted two proposals for two different sites. If approved, Bally’s would self-manage its proposed casino operations. HR Chicago would be managed by Hard Rock International. Both Rivers Chicago at McCormick and Rivers 78 Gaming would be managed by Rush Street Gaming.”
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