Woodlawn Apostolic Church Of God Wants To Be $600 Million Hub Of Black Life
“The Apostolic Church of God has been in Woodlawn for nearly seventy years. Now, it’s looking to use some of its property to create a hub of Black life, culture and entertainment for the community,” reports the Sun-Times. “Developed by the Network of Woodlawn and led by the church’s pastor, Rev. Byron Brazier, and his son, developer J. Byron Brazier, Woodlawn Central… would be an ‘indigenous location’ for Black culture… Spanning eight acres of church-owned property near 63rd Street and Dorchester Avenue, the plan includes a technology center, a hotel, commercial business spaces, a theater and private residential buildings… ‘Even in the face of gentrification, the best way to develop the Black community is from the inside out,’ said J. Byron Brazier. ‘We want to share our experiences and our unique perspectives with the world, just like every other culture gets the opportunity to do.'”
Elmhurst Art Museum’s Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Exhibition “Houses of Tomorrow: Solar Homes From Keck To Today” Opens In February
The Elmhurst Art Museum’s twenty-fifth year will launch with the multimedia exhibition, “Houses of Tomorrow: Solar Homes from Keck to Today,” running February 5-May 29, within the Museum’s galleries, plus an accompanying light-based installation by Chicago-based artist Jan Tichy within the Museum’s historic McCormick House. Exhibition-related programming will include an artist talk led by Tichy, a panel exploring today’s sustainable practices, docent-led tours curated in celebration of the seventieth anniversary of the Mies van der Rohe McCormick House and hands-on STEAM activities for children.
“Houses of Tomorrow” follows the evolution of Chicago architecture firm Keck & Keck—created by brothers George Fred Keck and William Keck—who designed modern, award-winning, affordable homes throughout the Midwest from 1935-1979. For Chicago’s Century of Progress World’s Fair in 1933, George Fred Keck designed the “House of Tomorrow,” the first glass house in America with groundbreaking domestic amenities. The “House of Tomorrow” showed millions of World’s Fair attendees a technology-driven vision of what domestic life could be in the future featuring ideas ranging from the first GE dishwasher to a personal airplane hangar. After the creation of this home, the Keck architecture firm built mid-century homes that now stand as precursors to today’s sustainable building practices. This exhibition explores how the Keck brothers became the first “solar architects” with historic photos, architectural artifacts, design diagrams, and a commissioned interpretation by Jan Tichy in glass and light. More here.
Inside The Uptown, Forty Years Vacant
Bob Sirott’s inside the long-neglected landmark Uptown Theatre on WGN radio. “Founder of Friends of the Uptown, Andy Pierce, joins Bob Sirott to speak on the history of the Uptown Theatre, the volunteer-lead process of restoring the Chicago landmark, and what they plan on doing with the building once it’s opened, such as screening movies and holding live shows. Pierce also highlights the need for ‘some money people’ and the online petition to support the theater.”
West Loop Rising
“The first big multimillion-dollar home sale of the year is a penthouse condo in the West Loop that sold for $5.6 million on January 4,” reports Crain’s of the once-rough area.
DINING & DRINKING
Staff At Logan Square Starbucks Second In City To Petition For Union
“Hourly workers at the Starbucks cafe on Logan Boulevard and California Avenue… filed for union certification on Friday, becoming the second Starbucks location to do so in Chicago and joining a national labor organizing movement at the country’s largest coffee chain that began last month in Buffalo,” reports Eater Chicago. Here’s the workers’ letter to Starbucks’ CEO.
“jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy” Debuts At Sundance And Theaters Before Netflix Drop
Twenty years in the making: “A landmark documentary event presented in three acts from Clarence ‘Coodie’ Simmons and Chike Ozah, ‘jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy’ is an intimate and revealing portrait of Kanye West’s experience, showcasing both his formative days trying to break through and his life today as a global brand and artist,” Netflix relays in a release. “‘jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy’ will hold its world premiere virtually at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2022. On February 10, Iconic Events Releasing and TIME Studios will debut Act 1 (Vision) in theaters nationwide for a one-day engagement, giving Ye fans an exclusive opportunity to see part of this groundbreaking project before it premieres in a three-week event on Netflix on February 16.” A sixty-second preview is here.
62nd University Of Chicago Folk Festival Slated For February
The 62nd University Of Chicago Folk Festival will combine in-person programming with streaming. “This hybrid format will allow us to offer high-quality traditional folk music to a wider audience than ever before,” the fest writes. “We look forward to hosting two full nights of concerts on the evenings of February 11-12 in the University of Chicago’s Mandel Hall plus our customary day of workshops on February 13 in Ida Noyes Hall.” Live streams will be simultaneously available online. More here.
Music Institute Plans Tribute To Les Paul
The Music Institute of Chicago will present “A Tribute to Les Paul” on Saturday, March 12 at Nichols Concert Hall in Evanston. The performance also will be livestreamed. Sponsored by the Les Paul Foundation, the performance features guitarist Russell Malone and vocal soloist and Music Institute artist-in-residence Tammy McCann, along with Tom Vaitsas on piano, Eric Hochberg on bass and Sam Jewel on drums. The night’s events include a pre-concert talk by Les Paul Foundation program director Sue Baker, who will share stories of Paul’s life, inventions, music, and time in Chicago. More here.
Court Theatre’s “The Lady from The Sea” Opens February 4
Court Theatre continues its season with “The Lady from the Sea” by Henrik Ibsen, translated by Richard Nelson and directed by Shana Cooper, running February 4–March 6, after its cancellation from March 2020. “Hailed as a watershed moment in Ibsen’s writing, ‘The Lady from the Sea’ dissects issues of duty, marriage and agency with raw emotion and disarming resonance.” The cast includes Chaon Cross, Gregory Linington, Tanya Thai McBride, Will Mobley, Angela Morris, Kelli Simpkins, Samuel Taylor and Dexter Zollicoffer. The creative team includes Erika Chong Shuch (choreography), Andrew Boyce (scenic design), Linda Roethke (costume design), Paul Toben (lighting design), Andre Pluess (sound design) and Becca McCracken (casting). Tickets here.
Chicago Opera Theater Presents World Premiere Of “Quamino’s Map”
Chicago Opera Theater, producer of contemporary and re-imagined opera, presents the world premiere of “Quamino’s Map” at the Studebaker Theater for three performances, April 23, 29 and May 1. The original work sheds “light on the post-Revolutionary War years when London was the unlikely refuge for thousands of Black Americans who fought for their liberty on the side of the British.” Commissioned by Chicago Opera Theater, “Quamino’s Map” is composed by the Belize-born, British-based Errollyn Wallen, with a libretto by American playwright Deborah Brevoort. The story, inspired by the novel “Incomparable World” (1997) by S.I. Martin, is, in Brevoort’s words “about the enduring pull of freedom and the ends to which people will go to achieve it.” More here.
Broadway Owners And Players At Odds Over Cancellation Costs
In mid-December, reports the Daily Beast, the Broadway League, “the national trade association for the Broadway industry whose 700-plus members include theater owners and operators, producers, presenters, and general managers, proposed to the unions representing Broadway workers that those workers take a fifty-percent pay cut during so-called ‘COVID pauses,’ when shows are temporarily shut down because of infections within cast and crew. The League proposed that full salaries be restored when the shows returned to the stage. However, leaders of the unions representing Broadway workers have so far steadfastly rejected the idea.”
ARTS & CULTURE
Shedd Aquarium Free Days Start Thursday
Illinoisans can visit the Shedd Aquarium for free starting Thursday, reports Block Club Chicago. The Shedd also will have free admission days February 7-11 and February 14-18. Advance reservations are required. “Capacity is limited, and no walk-up tickets will be available.”
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