Wexner Center Workers Want Union
“Staff at the Wexner Center for the Arts at Ohio State University have announced plans to form a union with the hope of making the museum an ‘equitable, transparent and sustainable workplace,'” reports The Columbus Dispatch. “Wex Workers United sent a letter to Wexner Center and university leaders asking them to recognize their new union, formed in collaboration with AFSCME Ohio Council 8… ‘We believe our endeavor is inextricably linked to the center’s stated mission and ongoing commitment to social justice and institutional transformation,’ according to Wex Workers United’s letter to leadership. ‘These goals can only be realized through deep structural change.'”
DePaul Exhibition On Torture And Reparations Opens
DePaul Art Museum’s exhibition “Remaking the Exceptional: Tea, Torture, and Reparations: Chicago to Guantánamo” marks twenty years since the opening of the United States’ extralegal prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, by examining the local and international ramifications of state violence. The exhibition, reports the museum, “uplifts acts of creative resistance and resilience while highlighting connections between policing and incarceration in Chicago and the human rights violations of the ‘Global War on Terror.'” Paintings, drawings, sculptures and installations produced by torture survivors, artists, activists and collectives are part of the exhibit. Contributors include Abdualmalik Abud, Mansoor Adayfi, Djamel Ameziane, Muhammad Ansi, Ghaleb Al-Bihani, Dorothy Burge, Chicago Torture Justice Memorials, Debi Cornwall, Amber Ginsburg, Assad “Haroon” Gul, Mashaun Ali Hendricks, Aaron Hughes, Invisible Institute, Damon Locks, Lucky Pierre, Trevor Paglen, Prison + Neighborhood Arts/Education Project, Khalid Qasim, Sabri Mohammad Ibrahim Al Qurashi, Ahmed Badr Rabbani and Sarah-Ji Rhee. The exhibition runs through August 7. More here.
Preservation Chicago Lists “Chicago 7 Most Endangered”
Since 2003, the “Chicago 7 Most Endangered” list “has sounded the alarm on imminently threatened historic buildings and community assets in Chicago to mobilize the stakeholder support necessary to save them from demolition,” the group relays. The 2022 list includes: Century & Consumers Buildings, Holabird and Roche, 1915, Jenney, Mundie & Jensen, 1913; Public Housing Sites, including Altgeld Gardens Commercial, 1946; Lathrop Homes, South Campus, 1938; Cabrini Rowhouses, circa 1940s; St. Martin de Tours Church, Henry J. Schlacks, 1895; Peterson Avenue Mid-Century Modern District; Promontory Point, Alfred Caldwell, 1937; Central Park Theater, Rapp & Rapp, 1917; North DuSable Lake Shore Drive, Nelson, Simonds, Burnham, Atwood, Bennett, 1890-1950; Moody Triangle, including The Moody Church, 1925, North Federal Savings Bank, 1961, and Archway Standard, 1971. Preservation Chicago elaborates on the list here.
Speaking For Bronzeville As National Heritage Area
“A bill recently introduced in the House by U.S. Representative Bobby Rush and in the Senate by Senator Dick Durbin, would establish the Bronzeville-Black Metropolis National Heritage Area as a living monument to the Great Migration and Chicago’s Black Metropolis that rose in its wake,” offers Bernard C. Turner, executive director, Black Metropolis National Heritage Area Commission, at the Sun-Times. “Through the Act, the Department of the Interior will provide financial assistance for fifteen years to the Black Metropolis National Heritage Commission as we tell the story of the Great Migration, when some six million African Americans migrated from southern states, where they faced racism and oppression under Jim Crow segregation, to northern cities like Chicago in search of better jobs and more freedom. That story, which lasted for decades from about 1915 to 1970, will be told through tours, books and lectures, and work with young people, who will learn about their heritage, appreciate it, and carry on this important work.”
21c Museum Hotel Chicago Names Creative Director
One of downtown Chicago’s newest hotels, the 21c Museum Hotel, has named photographer and entrepreneur Nigel Barker as its new creative director. Barker will develop and oversee experience-based event programming and design initiatives. “Nigel Barker’s extraordinary career achievements and vision for our Chicago property make him the perfect addition to 21c Museum Hotel Chicago,” general manager Randall Williams says in a release. Barker assumes his role as the hotel launches its on-site exhibition, “Pop Stars! Popular Culture and Contemporary Art,” on March 21. More here.
University Of Wisconsin Milwaukee’s Plans To Demolish Century-Old Former Hospital On Hold
“The UWM’s plans to demolish a century-old building that was once part of Columbia Hospital are on hold,” reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “The Milwaukee Historic Preservation Commission granted temporary historic designation for the building… Plans to raze the building, constructed in 1919, were first reported in January 2020. University officials have said the building is in poor condition and would cost $100-$200 million to redevelop. That cost variance depends on whether it would be remodeled as classrooms and offices or research labs.”
Congress Theater Funds Move Forward
“The Community Development Commission endorsed the plan from developer Baum Revision to spend $70.4 million to renovate the 2,900-seat Congress Theater at 2135 North Milwaukee,” reports Heather Cherone at WTTW. “The plan also calls for twenty apartments to be built next to the theater above stores and office space for community groups and operator AEG Presents… The proposed $20 million city subsidy would come from the area’s tax increment financing district. TIF districts capture all growth in the property tax base in a designated area for twenty-three years…That subsidy must be approved by the Chicago City Council. The Finance Committee could consider the proposal on March 21.”
Logan Square’s Long-Gone Terminal Restaurant To Be Revived At Fundraiser For Local Park
Terminal Restaurant, a neighborhood staple for nearly six decades, is the inspiration behind a dinner to fundraise for a public park next to Andros Taverna on Milwaukee in Logan Square, reports Block Club Chicago.
DINING & DRINKING
Publican Quality Bread Moves To Grand Avenue
Baker Greg Wade and One Off Hospitality have relocated Publican Quality Bread to West Grand Avenue into a brand-new 4,200-square-foot space, more than doubling the size and production capabilities of their most recent facility. “Since joining chef and partner Paul Kahan and the One Off team eight years go to launch PQB alongside The Publican, Publican Quality Meats, avec and Big Star, Wade has transformed the group’s baking program from a seedling operation to a highly successful wholesale business—providing bread to over a hundred of the city’s top chefs and restaurants, as well as the area’s premier independent retailers,” One Off relays. “Known for partnering with small, family-owned farms across the Midwest to grow rare heritage grains that produce freshly stone milled flours, PQB’s bread goes through a lengthy fermentation process that has earned a reputation of being the most flavorful and sustainable bread in the region.” Wade and an expanded team of eleven bakers will also introduce a grab-and-go retail counter with a full La Colombe coffee bar later this spring, presenting warm tartines, indulgent stuffed pastries with oozy cream fillings and sweet toppings, layered sweet and savory croissants, and fresh-out-of-the-oven baguettes instantly transformed into stacked sandwiches to be served at a baker’s whim when hot-and-ready. “We’ve come a long way since producing loaves out of the basement of Publican Quality Meats in the early days,” Wade says. More here.
Dallas’ Kessaku Brings “Sushi Haven” To Etta
Noted Dallas, Texas “sushi haven in the sky” Kessaku comes to Chicago for a single night at etta in Bucktown. The Kessaku and etta teams will present a special omakase-style menu with Kessaku staples such as their Chitarra made Uni Cacio and roasted crab stick and their Kessaku Tower, which features sashimi, tuna and truffle, hamachi and crispy ginger, oyster and caviar, plus prawns. The event is Tuesday, March 22, 6pm-9pm at etta, 1840 West North; reservations here.
Tasting The Bobonato Pasta At Carlucci Chicago
“The Bobonato, served at Carlucci restaurant, is housemade pasta tossed tableside in a parmesan wheel, with basil, prosciutto, and shaved truffle,” samples Madeline Kenney at the Sun-Times. “Dana Heffernan’s journey through Tuscany in his late 20s inspired most of the menu at Carlucci Chicago, where he serves as the executive chef… His favorite is the Bobonato pasta with truffles. The dish itself is straightforward. It’s cooked pasta tossed in butter and thrown into a parmesan wheel. At tableside, it’s mixed with prosciutto and basil, and then it’s topped on the plate with freshly ground pepper and shaved truffles.” The tableside presentation, says Heffernan, brings “the kitchen out into the dining room.”
Surveying The “Ten-Minute” Delivery Services
The Sun-Times surveys the ten-minute delivery companies that have entered the Chicago market, including the finances behind them as well as the potential impact on small, local shops.
Monroe Reserve Space Opens
Monroe Reserve, a new space connected to the eleven-year-old South Branch Tavern & Grille, is now open at 100 South Wacker by the river as a private event space and restaurant. “This intimate 650-square-foot space is ideal for smaller, unique gatherings of twenty-five-to-forty guests,” the establishment relays. The menu offers “elevated bites and expertly crafted cocktails, with shareable and unique items that also make customizing a dynamic spread for your next private event a breeze. Items include charcuterie boards with the chef’s selection of assorted meats and cheese, baby artichokes, olives, pepperoncini, toasted almonds, candied pecans, flavored mustards, apple mostarda and grilled ciabatta bread; Bacon Flight with a choice of preparation, including candied, pecan praline, maple peppercorn, or jalapeño brown sugar; and the Spicy Lobster Martini with sweet and spicy chili aioli, scallions, and crispy wonton chips.” When the space isn’t booked for a private event, it’s open Wednesday-Friday from 3pm-8pm. More here.
Ana Castillo Honored By Chicago Literary Hall Of Fame With Fuller Lifetime Achievement Award
The Chicago Literary Hall Of Fame will host a ceremony to present its prestigious Fuller Award to author Ana Castillo for her lifetime achievement as an author, activist, educator and scholar. Poet Mark Turcotte will emcee; author Sandra Jackson-Okopu and scholar Jane Hseu are among the speakers; actor-director Henry Godinez will perform a reading; and author-publisher Christine Rice will lead a conversation with Castillo. The event is Thursday, March 24 at 7pm at the American Writers Museum. The ceremony is free and open to the public; registration is required. More details can be found here.
WGN Radio Celebrating Centennial Two Years Too Soon?
Robert Feder calls out WGN radio for its plans to celebrate a hundred years on the air: “Details are still under wraps, but in addition to on-air promos, insiders at the news and talk station say they’re expecting a party for advertisers and maybe a primetime special on WGN-Channel 9 in May—a hundred years after Mid West Radio Central launched WDAP from the Wrigley Building… Just one problem: WGN has always considered its official birthday June 1, 1924. That’s when the Chicago Tribune purchased WDAP and renamed it WGN for ‘World’s Greatest Newspaper’ (the paper’s slogan from 1911 to 1976).”
Pay Equity Study By Tribune Unions Finds Pay Gaps
“A new pay equity study covering over a dozen unionized Tribune Publishing newsrooms identified gender and racial pay gaps of more than $4,000, Tribune unions announced,” reports Poynter. “The study, which includes pay data from Tribune and results from a survey of union members, found that the median salary for Black women at unionized Tribune newsrooms in 2021 was 22.5% less than that of their white male colleagues… The unions also found that about 80% of full-time employees at Tribune in 2021 were white and that roughly a third of union members reported working unpaid overtime most weeks.”
Milwaukee Music Industry Veteran Joins Riot Fest As Senior Talent Buyer
Milwaukee music industry stalwart Marc Solheim has joined Riot Fest as the senior talent buyer. Solheim was talent buyer for The Pabst Theater Group for the last fifteen years, welcoming bands across genres as well as popular comedy acts. Riot Fest will take place September 16-18 at Douglass Park and presents shows at venues across the Chicagoland area throughout the year. “I am beyond excited to join the Riot Fest team. I have been a long time supporter and admirer of the whole experience,” Solheim says in a release. “The world-class treatment of artists and fans, the incredible line-ups year after year makes Riot Fest a can’t-miss event and I very much look forward to being a part of this organization.” More on Riot Fest here.
CSO Spring Symphony Ball Set
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association’s Symphony Ball will have a spring edition in 2022. Hosted by the Women’s Board of the CSOA and the Symphony Ball Committee, the concert and benefit evening will be on Saturday, April 2 at Symphony Center, followed by a gala event at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago. Music director Riccardo Muti will lead the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca in Mahler’s “Rückert-Lieder” on a program that also features Liszt’s symphonic poem “Les préludes” and opera overtures by Mozart and Rossini. Tickets here.
The Bad Plus Debuts New Lineup
The Bad Plus will be debuting their new lineup on Friday, March 18 at Chicago Symphony Center. After twenty years as a piano trio, founding members Reid Anderson (bass) and David King (drums) embark on a new piano-less incarnation of the band with Ben Monder (guitar) and Chris Speed (tenor saxophone). More here.
Sideshow Theatre Company Announces Season
Sideshow Theatre Company has announced its 2022 season, featuring the world premiere of artistic associate Brynne Frauenhoffer’s comedy “Pro-Am,” directed by artistic director Regina Victor, and a staged reading of Preston Choi’s sci-fi post-apocalyptic drama-comedy “Drive-In to the End of the World,” directed by artistic associate Marti Lyons as the culmination of a nine-month artistic residency. Sideshow will also host its first “Juneteenth Pride Gala,” a celebration of the Black and Trans-led organization and its diverse ensemble. “I’m so excited to return to Victory Gardens with Ken-Matt Martin as artistic director,” artistic director Regina Victor says. “It’s a privilege to be a Black-led theater company working with Black leadership. In keeping with that same theme, everything we’re doing this year centers on liberation, from our fundraiser to our performances.” Sideshow’s 2022 season will be staged at its resident home, the Victory Gardens Richard Christiansen Theater at 2433 North Lincoln. Pay-what-you-can tickets for “Drive-in to the End of the World” are available here.
ARTS & CULTURE
Pride Parade Returns In June
The Chicago Pride Parade is returning June 26, reports Block Club. “It’s exciting to be back in-person,” parade coordinator Tim Frye said. “We’re aware, though, that the safety of participants and onlookers comes first. With COVID, things could change. We hope not, but always have to keep that in mind.” “The parade, which draws thousands to Chicago’s Northalsted neighborhood to celebrate LGBTQ pride, will kick off at Montrose Avenue and Broadway in Uptown and make its way south, ending at Diversey Avenue and Sheridan Road.” The Sun-Times: “The march will host the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame, the Gerber Hart Library and Archives, the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center as special guests. The parade regularly drew crowds of more than 100,000 people before the pandemic. Last year’s march was pushed to October to allow for more people to receive vaccines. As the pandemic dragged on into the fall, it was canceled altogether.” “I would hate to have to do that again,” Frye told the paper. “But if I had to, I definitely would.”
John Kinsella, 93, Led Homebuilding Firm After Time As Leo Burnett CEO
“John Kinsella rose up through the ranks at Chicago-based advertising giant Leo Burnett to become the agency’s fourth CEO in the 1980s,” reports the Trib. “He was very much trusted by his clients,” Charlotte Beers, a retired Chicago advertising executive tells the paper. “I would hear that from other clients. And he was very generous with people.” “Kinsella started a homebuilding firm, Kinsella Development, in 1991. The firm developed homes… including the single-family Bridgeport Village project in Bridgeport and the Paulina Place loft project in a former factory building at 1737 North Paulina in the Bucktown neighborhood.” Kinsella also had a part in creating the Big Shoulders Fund, a non-profit that supports seventy-two Chicago Catholic schools.
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