MCA To Host Vernissage 2022
The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago will host Vernissage, the opening night preview of EXPO CHICAGO at Festival Hall, Navy Pier. Details here.
Fern Hill Development In Old Town Shrinks
There’s a major change to the upcoming Old Town redevelopment, reports YIMBY. “The massive project led by local developer Fern Hill was announced late last year with plans to construct structures across six parcels around the intersection of West North Avenue and North LaSalle Drive. The sites owned between Fern Hill and Moody Church will be replaced or added to [by] prolific architect David Adjaye whose work includes the National Museum of African American History in Washington… Walgreens [has] pulled out of the sale of the structure and will be removed from the development. The Walgreens building was designed by Stanley Tigerman in a post-modernist style and features a large orange masonry facade with oval-like windows and a semi-circle cut entrance.”
Fine Arts Building Rebrands
The Fine Arts Building at 410 South Michigan has launched its new look and a centralized website for the landmark building’s spaces: artists’ studios, offices, rehearsal halls and two theaters—the historic Studebaker Theater and Carriage Hall, a contemporary multidisciplinary performance and event space that is being built in the former Playhouse Theater space. More here.
DINING & DRINKING
Urban Market Chicago Opens In River West
“Locally-owned Urban Market Chicago at 1001 West Chicago has opened, bringing a grocery store to the neighborhood after years of demand from neighbors,” reports Block Club Chicago. “Urban Market is owned by Christina Palivos and Maria Dernis, who have been building out the space for the past year. ‘We’re not a corporate-run grocery store. We’re a family-owned grocery store,’ Palivos said.”
Little Wok Brings Asian Smorgasbord To Wicker Park
“A restaurant offering sushi, ramen and other pan-Asian dishes has opened in Wicker Park,” reports Block Club Chicago. Little Wok at the corner of Division and Damen has finished a yearlong build-out. “Little Wok is a Chinese restaurant, essentially, with a sushi bar. However, I like to think of the cuisine as more pan-Asian,” acting general manager Justine Chen tells Block Club. “I say pan-Asian because we believe in having a little something on the menu for everyone,” including sushi rolls, ramen, Korean rice bowls and Chinese noodle dishes.
Starbucks Union Push In Chicago
Workers at a downtown Chicago Starbucks became the first of the chain’s Midwestern locations to sign union cards, as they filed a petition for union certification last week with the National Labor Relations Board,” reports Eater Chicago. “The request comes as Starbucks faces coordinated organizing efforts at its cafes across the country, a movement that started with a union vote last month in Buffalo, New York. The general concerns that led to organizing boil down to three major issues, says Zero Muñoz, a barista at the Chicago Starbucks: better wages, a better distribution of labor, and security.”
FILM & TELEVISION
Oak Park To Observe “Betty White Day” On Actress’ Hundredth Birthday
“Betty White became America’s sweetheart, but first, she was Oak Park’s little bundle of joy,” reports the Sun-Times. “The late actress, who passed away on December 31 at her California, home, was born in the Chicago suburb on January 17, 1922. And though she and her family moved to the West Coast just a year later, White often spoke fondly of her Oak Park roots and would return to visit family members. In her honor, ‘Betty White Day’ will be officially celebrated in Oak Park on January 17, which would have marked her hundredth birthday.”
“Scream” Won’t Scram
Paramount is still going wide with its theatrical release of the horror sequel “Scream” starting January 13 at an extenuated 3,500 theaters, reports Gitesh Pandya of BoxOfficeGuru.com.
New York Times Pays Over Half-Billion For The Athletic
The New York Times Co has agreed to buy subscription sports site the Athletic in a deal valued at around $550 million, reports Reuters. “The Athletic brought in $47 million in revenue in 2020 but was forced to cut staff and pay during the early months of the pandemic when most live sporting events were suspended.” The site includes a Chicago sports coverage component. The Athletic’s cofounder notoriously once said that their strategy was to “wait every paper out and let them continuously bleed until we are the last ones standing.”
G/O Media Has It Out For Remaining A. V. Club Employees
“Last month, G/O management told its seven Chicago-based A.V. Club employees that they either had to move to Los Angeles to work in the company’s new office there or lose their jobs. The employees were not offered cost-of-living increases,” posts the Onion union. “The first workers expected to move were told they had until January 15 to decide. None of the seven A.V. Club employees have yet told G/O management their decision. But for some reason, G/O listed three of those positions on its job site last night. To be clear, these positions are NOT vacant. But G/O isn’t being particularly subtle about whether or not it wants many of its longest-tenured employees to remain in their jobs. The Chicago-based A.V. Club employees comprise seven of the nine A.V. Club staff members with the longest tenures, ranging from just short of six years to more than thirteen years. By refusing to give cost-of-living increases, it’s clear G/O wants these veteran employees to leave so the company can replace them with workers paid at the salary minimums as stipulated in the union contract—minimums that were bargained based on Chicago rates. The Onion Union is saddened, but not surprised, by G/O’s actions. We demand that G/O pay all its employees—past, present, and future—what they deserve.”
Third Coast Review Turns Six, Turns Over Leadership
Third Coast Review, Chicago’s six-year-old online arts magazine, has changed leadership, they relay. Co-founder Nancy S. Bishop, who has served as editor and publisher since 2016, is stepping down from her administrative and editorial duties. Lisa Trifone, the website’s Movies editor, assumes the new position of managing editor with responsibilities for content oversight, team management and financial operations. Bishop remains as publisher, Stages editor and chief theater critic. More here.
WTTW Joins DIRECTV Stream
WTTW is livestreaming on the branded DIRECTV Stream, with a live channel from WTTW to all the service’s customers, as well as additional PBS on-demand programming “that will continue to expand PBS’ digital footprint and offer viewers additional ways to stream PBS content,” WTTW says in a release. “It is important that people in the Chicago area can explore and enjoy all of our programming wherever and however they watch television,” said WTTW president and CEO Sandra Cordova Micek in the release. “As we expand WTTW’s broadcast, streaming, and digital footprint and offer viewers additional ways to watch WTTW, we continue to serve the public and fulfill on our purpose–to enrich lives, engage communities, and inspire exploration.”
“Hypocrisy Of Justice: Sights And Sounds From The Black Metropolis” Postponed
“We have made the difficult decision to postpone the ‘Hypocrisy of Justice: Sights and Sounds from the Black Metropolis’ performances and symposium to a later date,” of this weekend’s planned collaboration of Dana Hall, Cheryl Lynn Bruce and Kerry James Marshall at Logan Center. More here.
Mellon Foundation Grants Sphinx $1.95 Million
The National Alliance for Audition Support—a partnership between the Detroit-based Sphinx Organization, New World Symphony and the League of American Orchestras—has been awarded $1.95 million by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Created in 2018, the National Alliance for Audition Support (NAAS) is a national and field-wide initiative with the longterm goal of increasing diversity in American orchestras. The Mellon Foundation was the primary underwriter of NAAS with a grant of $1.8 million for the first four years. The new, increased, grant provides continued support through 2024. In addition to the Mellon Foundation support NAAS receives additional financial contributions from over a hundred orchestra partners through annual dues. More here.
“Moulin Rouge! The Musical” Cha-Cha-Chas
The producers of “Moulin Rouge! The Musical” and Broadway In Chicago have announced that the North American tour will now launch at Broadway In Chicago’s James M. Nederlander Theatre with performances beginning Saturday, March 19. Website here.
Porchlight Music Theatre Moves “Blues In the Night,” Postpones “Clear,” “Passing Strange”
Porchlight has moved its production of “Blues in the Night” to February 9-March 13. The theater has postponed Paul Oakley Stovall’s stage reading of “Clear” and “Porchlight Revisits ‘Passing Strange.'” Website here.
World Premiere Of “The Notebook” Rescheduled
Chicago Shakespeare Theater has revised the production timeline for the world premiere of “The Notebook.” Previously set to debut in March, the musical adaptation based on the best-selling novel is now planned to be presented in The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare, September 6–October 16. More here.
Redtwist Theatre’s “Collected Stories” Pushed Back
“Redtwist has temporarily suspended its productions and live meetings. This means that we’ve had to make the difficult decision to postpone our production of ‘Collected Stories’ to later in the season,” the company relays. Website here.
ARTS & CULTURE
Chicago Tourism Agency Invests In Neighborhoods
Choose Chicago will spend $1.1 million this year promoting neighborhood tourism, aiming to change the way the tourism industry serves the city, reports Crain’s.
Illinois Legal Marijuana Sales Double
Send culture news and tips to [email protected]