“On the Wings of Change” Mural Complete In Wabash Arts Corridor
“Locally, ten Chicagoans who played a major role in the woman’s suffrage movement are being celebrated on an eighty-six-foot-high mural titled ‘On the Wings of Change,'” reports WGN-TV. “Chicago-based artist Jasmina Cazacu, also known by her street art name, Diosa, brought the art to life. ‘I’m incredibly honored that I was even considered for this let alone selected. But it means a lot just being a woman,’ says Diosa. ‘Getting to paint a mural that celebrates the hundredth anniversary of the nineteenth amendment, and the right for woman to vote, it’s incredibly special.’” The mural was nearly blocked by a local landowner, as Newcity reported last November.
ENGAGE Projects Represents Chris Cosnowski
ENGAGE Projects will represent artist and educator Chris Cosnowski, who lives and works in Chicago and has been exhibited extensively throughout the United States as well as London. In 2013, Cosnowski had a ten-year retrospective at the South Shore Arts Center in Munster, Indiana. He was awarded a commission to design artwork for the Blue Line Montrose Station by the CTA, which was installed in June 2021. “Cosnowski’s playful, nostalgic, and hyperrealistic paintings explore the complexities of pop culture,” ENGAGE Projects relays. “His still-life paintings of plastic toys and trophies are rendered to perfection against monochromatic backgrounds, giving the viewer just enough to create their own commentaries. He plays with paint, composition, and meaning, using toys and trinkets to address and critique political and philosophical issues. By incorporating self-portraits in the mirror-like surface of the trophies he paints, he includes himself in these critiques, acknowledging his own participation in toxic masculinity and capitalism.” More here.
CTA Gets Another $118 Million In American Rescue Plan Funding
U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth announced $118 million in American Rescue Plan funding awarded to the Chicago Transit Authority by the Federal Transit Administration. “This funding is in addition to $912.1 million in ARP funds previously awarded to the CTA and will help the transit agency continue to recover from the pandemic, support operating expenses, and prevent cuts to the CTA workforce,” Durbin’s office relays in a release. “As the country’s second-largest public transportation system and the only major U.S. public transit agency not to reduce scheduled service throughout the pandemic, the CTA and its workers have been providing essential service to those who need it most,” Durbin says in his remarks. “Reliable public transit is critically important for Chicagoans and our region’s economic recovery, which is why Senator Duckworth and I strongly advocated for this federal relief funding.”
CTA Tearing Down Old Red Line El Tracks
“CTA tearing down the old red line tracks by us even faster than Manfred is tearing down MLB,” posts the Nisei Lounge, with pictures to prove it.
Chicago Architecture Center Opening “Energy Revolution” Exhibition
The Chicago Architecture Center (CAC), has announced “Energy Revolution,” the biggest exhibition in the organization’s history, opening on April 9 in the revamped Skyscraper Gallery overlooking the Chicago River at Michigan Avenue and East Wacker Drive. “Energy Revolution” will show how urban residents, neighborhood organizations, businesses and city leaders can create a carbon-free city using tools and approaches created by architects and urban planners and now being tested and used around the world. “Energy Revolution” is developed by co-curator Doug Farr, founder of Chicago-based architecture and design firm Farr Associates, and CAC staff, including Eve Fineman, CAC director of exhibitions. “Climate change is the most serious issue of our time, and we’re the last generation that can do something about it. ‘Energy Revolution’ serves as a warning but also hopes to inspire individuals, places and communities to transform how we use energy in the built environment and innovate towards a sustainable future,” Lynn Osmond, president and CEO of the CAC says in a release. Visitors will see how new technologies developed by designers and urbanists can make carbon-free energy consumption a reality now, not decades from today, and will show visitors how these tools will change our buildings and neighborhoods. More here.
Preservation Projects in Chicago, Springfield And Effingham Get Grants
Landmarks Illinois has awarded $16,500 in matching grant funds to preservation projects through its Preservation Heritage Fund and Timuel D. Black Jr. Grant Fund for Chicago’s South Side grant programs. The Preservation Heritage Fund Grant recipients amount to a total of $14,000: First Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, Chicago: $5,000 to install a new boiler at the 1888 church on Chicago’s Near West Side; Effingham County Cultural Center and Museum, Effingham: $4,000 to paint the exterior of the former Effingham County Courthouse, an 1872 structure used today to exhibit local historic artifacts; and Preservation, Inc., Springfield: $5,000 to help stabilize the Ursula Hall Music Conservancy, a 1908 building the nonprofit plans to rehabilitate into a community center. The Preservation Heritage Fund Grant Program provides funding to organizations in Illinois leading historic preservation projects at significant structures that are under threat of demolition, require stabilization and/or reuse or structural evaluation or those that need to be evaluated for landmark eligibility. Grant applications for this grant fund are accepted four times a year; the next application deadline is April 15. More about the Preservation Heritage Fund grant recipients here.
Detroit’s Former Fisher Body Plant Will Be Mixed-Income Housing
Detroit’s Fisher Body Plant 21, a “historic factory and a symbol of blight for the last twenty-five years, is poised for redevelopment,” reports the Detroit News. “Mayor Mike Duggan joined developers and city officials to announce plans to turn the abandoned manufacturing facility into 400 mixed-income housing units. The $134 million project, dubbed the Fisher 21 Lofts, is believed by city officials to be the largest African American-led project in Detroit’s history… The building, along the heavily traveled intersection of Interstates 94 and 75, will be reborn into 433 apartments with a new retail district… Construction could begin as early as 2023.”
Has The Pandemic Taken Tech Jobs Away From Chicago?
“The pandemic slowed tech-job growth in most of the biggest employment centers as work from anywhere became reality,” writes John Pletz at Crain’s. “Chicago is looking like a pandemic loser in tech employment.”
DINING & DRINKING
Chicago Chefs Cook For Ukraine At Navy Pier
Chicago chefs are assembling for a chef-curated tasting event at Navy Pier to raise funds for World Central Kitchen to provide food for the people of Ukraine. “The Chicagoland chef community is standing together and raising their voices to support Ukraine. We are chefs. We feed people. It’s what we do,” Sarah Stegner, co-owner and co-chef of Prairie Grass Café says in a release. “We are proud to be the presenting sponsor,” Lifeway Foods CEO Julie Smolyansky says. “I, myself, was born in Kiev and was granted asylum in the U.S. as a refugee as an infant in 1976. A large portion of Lifeway team members are refugees and immigrants from the former Soviet Union, Ukraine, Russia and surrounding regions. We are grateful for the chef community for coming together on a moment’s notice to respond to this humanitarian crisis with great empathy and compassion.” As a sponsor of the event, Green City Market will ensure that all money raised from Chicago Chefs Cook for Ukraine will go directly to World Central Kitchen. The event is Wednesday, March 16, 6-9pm. Tickets, from $150 to $50,000, are here.
George’s Ice Cream & Sweets On Clark Lasted Thirteen Years
“It is time for us to retire,” say the owners of George’s Ice Cream & Sweets, retelling the history of the site and the family’s role in Andersonville to Block Club Chicago. The Stotis family said in a news release, “We are humbled by the support and love we received during these last thirteen years.” … “Talks about closing or selling the shop began in 2019, when the Stotis children were retiring from their careers, Anna Stotis said. But when the coronavirus hit, the family decided to keep the shop open for the community. ‘We thought it was important to have the ice cream store there… keep our workers employed,’ Anna Stotis said.”
Jerry’s Sandwiches Turns Twenty
Jerry’s Sandwiches turns twenty years old in March. “It’s been a long, strange trip since we opened our little sandwich shop in 2002,” Jerry’s relays. “We closed the original shop in 2016, while at the same time evolving into the full-service restaurant and bar that we are today, first in Wicker Park and later moving to our Lincoln Square home where we are in our seventh year. Jerry’s started as a little sandwich shop on Madison Street with just a few seats, but quickly ramped up to as much seating as we could squeeze into what had been a storeroom. Jerry’s now seats as many as 150, when including the outdoors, and offers a craft beer lineup within the larger bar menu.” All this month, Jerry’s is doing a price rollback to 2002, offering a select, changing, daily sandwich for $7.95 (Monday-Thursday), which will be announced on Facebook and Instagram each of those weekdays.
McDonald’s Makes Russia No-Fry Zone
Chicago-headquartered McDonald’s “is temporarily closing all of its 850 restaurants in Russia in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine,” reports the Sun-Times. The multinational said that “it will continue paying its 62,000 employees in Russia ‘who have poured their heart and soul into our McDonald’s brand.’ But in an open letter to employees, McDonald’s president and CEO Chris Kempczinski said closing those stores for now is the right thing to do. ‘Our values mean we cannot ignore the needless human suffering unfolding in Ukraine.'” Plus: Starbucks vamooses Putin’s country, too. And Coca-Cola is out as well.
Russia-Influenced Chicago Businesses Take Heat
“In the days since Russia invaded Ukraine, a few Chicago-area businesses have been scapegoated by people who mistakenly think they have some connection to the Russian government,” reports the Sun-Times. “‘We got a phone call telling us “Now is the time to change your name” and another call saying “We’re going to close you down. Get ready, we’re coming,”‘ said Enesh, co-owner of Russian Tea Time, a Loop restaurant in business for more than twenty-eight years.” The restaurant on Adams has no connection: “the other co-owner, Vadim Muchnik, is Ukrainian. He founded the restaurant in 1993 with his Ukrainian-born mother, Klara.” The establishment put a “We stand with Ukraine” sign in its window, “and servers wear heart-shaped blue-and-yellow pins to show solidarity with the country fighting off a Russian invasion.”
Sanctions Shut Down Russia-Backed Buyk, Express Grocery Delivery Service
Grocery delivery company Buyk “has temporarily closed after leaders said sanctions from Russia led to its major funding sources being cut off,” reports Block Club Chicago. “Buyk, a New York City-based startup that provides express grocery delivery by bike, opened seven Chicago locations in late 2021 and early 2022… Buyk furloughed about ninety-eight percent of its employees Friday… The company’s CEO said Russia’s crackdowns on the United States over its feud over Ukraine interfered with Buyk’s ability to receive funds from its Russian founders, Slava Bocharov and Rodion Shishkov. The pair co-founded Samokat, a delivery service based in St. Petersburg, Russia.”
Rick Bayless Tabs Two More Tortazos
Rick Bayless’ Tortazo, “a casual spot with a large bar and takeout, will open in two new locations… in Midtown Manhattan this summer and in the new One Chicago high-rise apartment complex going up in River North at the corner of Chicago and State in the fall,” reports Eater Chicago. “Tortazo, which has a location in the Catalog at Willis Tower, occupies a space somewhere between the original incarnation of Xoco, the informal tortas and churros spot that shares a kitchen with Frontera Grill, and the airport version of Xoco, called Tortas Frontera, operated by a contractor… Frontera will run Tortazo, but it will not be staffed by chefs… ‘We will not be doing a taco bowl, thank you very much,’ Bayless says in mock indignation. ‘Or a burrito bowl.’ Instead, there will be tortas, soup, quesadillas, chilaquiles, salads, and what Bayless describes as ‘snacky things.'”
Naperville Votes Down Food Truck Permit Requirement
The Naperville city council will allow food trucks to operate without a permit in a 5-4 vote, reports the Trib.
FILM & TELEVISION
Tracking The Sights Of Chicago From Film Toward Television
“For decades, iconic Chicago landmarks from the El to LaSalle Street speckled their way throughout movie after movie,” writes Medill Reports Chicago. “Although audiences today can spot [bits of] the city masquerading as Gotham… the Chicago landscape is popping up less often. But city scenes are alive and well” on television. That “market is huge because of streaming,” Kwame Amoaku [Newcity Film 50 2019 Leader Of The Moment], the director of the Chicago Film Office tells the publication. “It’s just up to us to grab as much of that market share as we can.” The film office has announced a “Chicago Made” initiative, encouraging the expansion of soundstages to increase production “and will partner with management consulting firm XD-TECH to create a workforce development program,” all in the reflected light of the sale of Cinespace Chicago Film Studios to TPG Real Estate Partners.
Idaho Legislators Propose Jail Terms For Librarians After Consulting “Secret Folder”
Idaho House Republicans “overwhelmingly approved of criminally charging librarians who expose minors to ‘harmful materials,'” reports Boise State Public Radio. “House Minority Leader Ilana Rubel (D-Boise) attempted to ask about a young adult novel by Judy Blume that included themes of masturbation, erections and wet dreams. But her debate was halted over objections… ‘I truly don’t know as I stand here,’ she said. ‘How in the world is any librarian facing potential criminal sanctions going to know? They absolutely cannot and I think as a result this is absolutely unconstitutionally vague and ambiguous.’ … Lawmakers had a chance to review materials in a ‘super-secret folder’ outside of the House floor that are allegedly found in public libraries. Rep. Bruce Skaug (R-Nampa) took offense to those examples. ‘I would rather my six-year-old grandson start smoking cigarettes tomorrow than get a view of this stuff one time at the public library or anywhere else,’ Skaug said. It’s not immediately clear what was in that ‘super-secret folder,’ though examples brought up in a public hearing last week focused largely on books that depicted LGBTQ characters. ‘Yeah, it’s a super-secret folder and it’s super-secret because it is so disgusting,’ said Rep. Ron Nate (R-Rexburg).”
Pitchfork Announces Lineup
Pitchfork’s set its 2022 dates – July 15-17 in Union Park – and announced its full lineup. Headliners include The National, Mitski and The Roots. The Festival kicks off on Friday with The National, who played Pitchfork Music Festival’s first year in 2006; Spiritualized, Parquet Courts, Tierra Whack, Amber Mark, Dawn Richard, Tkay Maidza, Indigo De Souza, SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE, SPELLLING, Camp Cope, Wiki, Ethel Cain, and CupcakKe. Saturday showcases Mitski, Japanese Breakfast, Lucy Dacus, Low, Magdalena Bay, Dry Cleaning, Karate, Iceage, yeule, Arooj Aftab, The Armed, Chubby & the Gang, Hyd, and Jeff Parker & the New Breed. The festival closes Sunday with The Roots, Toro y Moi, Earl Sweatshirt, Noname, BADBADNOTGOOD, Cate Le Bon, Tirzah, Xenia Rubinos, Erika de Casier, Injury Reserve, KAINA, L’Rain, Sofia Kourtesis, and Pink Siifu. “This year’s lineup is a celebration of the rising indie class, and those who continue to pave the way for innovation,” Puja Patel, editor-in-chief of Pitchfork says in a release. “Our goal was to highlight a diverse group of artists who are taking their musical genres to new heights, and I’m proud of how it’s come together.” More here.
Paramount Theatre Announces 2022-23 Broadway Series
Aurora’s Paramount Theatre enters its second decade with the announcement of four musicals for its 2022-23 Broadway Series: “The Sound Of Music,” “School of Rock,” “Dreamgirls” and “Into The Woods.” Details here.
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