Museums Buying Into NFT Sales
Museums are buying into the NFT craze, reports The New York Times. “The Belvedere museum in Vienna has fractionalized the digitized image of Gustav Klimt’s ‘The Kiss’ into a one-off drop of 10,000 NFTs. This was released on Valentine’s Day, priced at 0.65 Ethereum, or €1,850, each. Earlier this week, Irene Jaeger, a media relations officer at the Austrian museum, said around 2,400 of these Klimt NFTs had been sold, generating about €4.3 million. Producing NFTs uses a lot of energy, particularly on the Ethereum blockchain… The computing power required to mint one NFT generates the same amount of greenhouse gas as a 500-mile journey in a gasoline-powered car. Nonfungible tokens can make money for a museum, but they also have the potential to create image-damaging environmental issues.”
NIU To Create World’s Largest Paper Snowflake
Northern Illinois University photography faculty and students are attempting to set the world record for the largest paper snowflake on Tuesday. The record attempt will take place at the NIU Convocation Center, DeKalb, March 29 from 1pm to 8pm. “The photography curriculum at NIU explores ways that students can transform their photographs from something small to something large—both physically in size and scale and metaphorically in message and impact,” NIU relays in a release. “As we have been exploring size and scale, we have been inspired to take on this monumental feat by reading about the launch of the new James Webb Space Telescope, reflections on images of human achievements included on the Voyager Golden Record, and thinking about the pandemic, social justice movements, the environmental crisis, and rapid societal changes. We have been inspired by thinking about how one individual may seem small, but when a community comes together, nothing is impossible. We view our snowflake as a time capsule to mark this moment and each student selected an image to include on the snowflake that reflects their feelings about what is important at this time.”
International Museum of Surgical Science Presents “The Start Of A New Era”
The International Museum of Surgical Science’s new exhibition, “The Start of a New Era,” opens March 31 and runs through May 8. “Advances in computer graphics and imaging are generating new opportunities to aid in understanding the rapidly evolving discoveries in both science and healthcare,” the museum says in a release. “Masters students in the University of Illinois at Chicago Biomedical Visualization Program (BVIS) strive to harness these advancements through visual communication. The Student Association of Medical Artists (SAMA) organizes and curates the work for the SAMA Art Exhibition each year. This exhibition is an opportunity for first and second-year BVIS students to display their current works of art that are both beautiful and accurate in scientific detail. These pieces feature a wide array of scientific and medical subjects targeting audiences diverse in education, age, and occupation. These works often begin on paper and are then taken into digital media to become professional illustrations, graphic designs, animations, or interactive applications. The broad range of work that BVIS graduate students create is an integral part of communicating new discoveries in science and medicine. This year is particularly exciting for BVIS as we are celebrating our program’s centennial.” The Museum will host a free public opening reception March 31, 6-8pm. More here.
Civic Construction Boom In Northwest Indiana?
“The South Shore Line’s $1.5 billion construction projects, underway now and for the next three years, include the promise of new and faster commuter train connections between Chicago and Northwest Indiana,” reports the Post-Tribune (via the Trib). But that’s not all. “A financing tool never available before in Indiana could be the catalyst for building those new homes and businesses… Regional planners expect that West Lake Corridor and Double Track projects—a new rail link between Hammond and central Lake County, and new tracks between Gary and Michigan City—also will be the catalyst for new housing and commercial developments around South Shore Line stations.” Housing and other developments have been announced for Hammond and Michigan City. “Other cities and towns near the current and new South Shore Line tracks also are looking for developments near their train stations, hoping to attract younger, urban-oriented people who prefer living where they can walk to homes, shops and restaurants.”
DINING & DRINKING
Michelin Slots Twenty-Three Chicago “New Discoveries”
The Michelin Guide has made twenty-three additions to the Michelin Guide Chicago selection. “These establishments are highlighted as ‘New’ on the Michelin website to help food lovers identify new discoveries before the annual announcement of Bib Gourmands and Stars,” Michelin says in a release. “By revealing some of the new additions made by our inspectors throughout the year, we enhance our digital tools to further strengthen the ties that bind us to food lovers,” Gwendal Poullennec, international director of guides says in the release. “We hope that these regular revelations and updates to the selection throughout the year will provide opportunities to highlight the profession and invite everyone to discover and support the restaurants around them.” The Chicago set: Adorn, Alla Vita, Andros Taverna, Apolonia, Azul Mariscos + Muelle, Bloom Plant Based Kitchen, Chikatana, Claudia, The Coach House by Wazwan, Elina’s, En Passant, Esmé, Galit, Hinoki Sushiko, Jinsei Motto, KOMO, Kumiko, NoodleBird, Provaré, Robert Et Fils, Rose Mary, Tortello Pastificio, and Venteux.
Revolution Brewing Buys Its Avondale Brewery
“After years of planning, Revolution Brewing owns its Avondale brewery and taproom,” reports Block Club Chicago. “Revolution closed on its 3340 North Kedzie production brewery earlier this month after renting the space for nearly a decade… ‘This had been our top company goal for the last five years,’ owner Josh Deth said. ‘It’s nice to be able to control our destiny…’ Revolution opened in Logan Square in 2010 and launched its Kedzie Avenue brewery in 2012. Deth declined to share the sale price.” (Lease burning here.)
Rose Mary To Celebrate Survival With First Anniversary Dinner
To mark its first anniversary, Joe Flamm and seven close chef friends who supported Rose Mary from day one will collaborate on a special dinner on Wednesday, April 20, reports Eater Chicago. The meal will last two-and-a-half hours, and will include contributions from pastry chef Leigh Omlinsky of Boka. “There’s also two of Flamm’s close friends, Detroit chefs Joe Giacomino and John Vermiglio. The rest of the roster consists of ‘Top Chef‘ alums: Los Angeles chef Joe Sasto (Lazy Bear); Colorado chef Carrie Baird; New York chef and Hyde Park native Adrienne Cheatham; and Connecticut chef Tyler Anderson.”
Chicago Rum Festival Returns
TheRumLab.com will present the sixth Annual Chicago Rum Festival, previously the Midwest Rum Fest, on Saturday, April 30 at Logan Square Auditorium with more than fifty rum expressions to be poured, speaker programing, entertainment and other concentrations in multiple sessions. “The USA is considered one of the most important countries in the entire rum industry. Before the American Revolution, rum was the most consumed spirit, and is now experiencing a renaissance,” the group relays in a release. “The Rum Lab is focused on becoming the Official Rum Expo throughout the Midwest. The RumLab team are the producers of the Taste of Rum Puerto Rico, the official national Rum fest along with the California Rum Festival.” More information here. Tickets here.
Applebee’s Executive Says High Gas Prices Good For Depressing Wages
“We are no longer competing with the government when it comes to hiring,” an Applebee’s franchise executive wrote in a memo, reports WGN-TV. “Stimulus money is no more, supplemental unemployment is no more. This benefits us as prices rise, people… relying on unemployment money, simply will have less money to spend. It will force people back in to the work force… The advantage that this has for us is that it will increase application flow and has the potential to lower our average wage,” he wrote in the memo, since published on Reddit and Twitter. “‘Most of our employee base and potential employee base live paycheck to paycheck,’ and some ‘will need to work more hours or get a second job’ to maintain their current standards of living.” Applebee’s’ COO said “the opinions presented by the memo’s author were not in line with the company’s own. ‘This is the opinion of an individual, not Applebee’s.'”
FILM & TELEVISION
In Search Of The Genius Midwestern Collector Who Inspired Wes Anderson
To note the complete Oscar-nomination shut-out of Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch,” The Art Newspaper goes in search of the Midwestern eccentric who was the inspiration of the highly curated movie’s visionary patron of the arts: “Nobody has an eye for things nobody has ever seen like Maw Clampette of Liberty, Kansas.”
Speaking With The Workers Striking Against WTTW
The Trib’s Robert Channick reports on the technicians’ strike at WTTW. “The striking IBEW workers include camera operators, graphic artists and floor crew responsible for various productions at WTTW, including the station’s signature nightly news program, ‘Chicago Tonight.’ The IBEW technicians have been behind the scenes at WTTW since its inception as one of the first public TV stations in the U.S., bringing to life seminal local programming such as ‘Soundstage’ and ‘Check, Please!’ over the years.” The members of IBEW Local 1220 went on strike after being unable to reach an agreement with WTTW following nearly a year of negotiations. “It is the first such strike in the sixty-seven-year-history of the Chicago public TV station.”
Riccardo Muti Opens Next Residency With Missy Mazzoli World Premiere
Music Director Riccardo Muti returns to Chicago in March and April to lead the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in works by Mazzoli, Mahler, Bruckner, Britten, Strauss and Schumann during two weeks of subscription concerts and activities. Muti leads the world premiere of “Orpheus Undone” by Missy Mazzoli, the CSO’s former composer-in-residence. Also on the program are two late-Romantic works: Bruckner’s Second Symphony and Mahler’s “Rückert-Lieder,” sung by mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca (March 31-April 5 ). A spring edition of Symphony Ball takes place April 2 and features Muti leading the CSO and Garanca in Mahler’s “Rückert-Lieder,” as well as opera overtures by Mozart and Rossini and Liszt’s orchestral showpiece “Les préludes.” More here.
Chicago Symphony Orchestra Young Artists Competition Announces Winner
Pianist Noah Kim is the first-place winner of the 2022 Crain-Maling Foundation Chicago Symphony Orchestra Young Artists Competition. His winning performance was of the first movement of Saint-Saëns’ Piano Concerto No. 2. Kim will appear as a soloist in a Chicago Symphony Orchestra Youth Concert during the 2022-23 season. Kim was one of four young pianists from across Illinois who auditioned in the final round on Orchestra Hall’s Armour Stage. This year’s final round was accompanied by the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, under the baton of conductor Andrew Grams. The Young Artists Competition is organized jointly by the Negaunee Music Institute at the CSO and the League of the CSOA.
Sixteenth Annual Bitter Jester Music Festival Seeks Performers
The Bitter Jester Music Festival returns for a sixteenth season of live concerts in May and is soliciting bands and solo musicians to apply online. BJMF is known for showcasing emerging musicians from across the Midwest at its free weekly competition concert series in Downtown Highland Park’s Port Clinton Square each summer. (The 2022 Friday concerts begin at 6:30pm May 20 and 27 and June 3 and 10.) A Grand Finale Concert featuring the best acts of the summer is set for July 4 at Wolters Field in Highland Park, concluding with fireworks after dark. BJMF provides its musicians with a wealth of educational and media materials. These include detailed constructive written feedback from judges, numerical scores and charts, audio recordings (including multitracks), a free concert photo shoot, real-time recorded verbal feedback, podcast interviews, ongoing social media exposure and networking opportunities. A “Best Of” concert is scheduled for Labor Day at Navy Pier’s Beer Garden, where one winning band will be chosen as an opening act at Ravinia Festival on the Carousel Stage in 2023. While half the band members must be 21 or younger, a new partnership with Harry Caray’s Tavern in Chicago provides past and present Bitter Jester musicians, regardless of age, with paid performance opportunities from Memorial Day through Labor Day. More here.
The Challenges Of Capturing Eva Perón Through Ballet
“Choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa is no stranger to telling the stories of history’s complicated women,” reports Pointe. Her latest work, “Doña Perón,” chronicles the life of “former first lady of Argentina Eva ‘Evita’ Perón. Ochoa’s first full-length work for Ballet Hispánico premiered in New Orleans and tours to Detroit and Chicago [March 26-27] before making its New York City debut.” Ochoa says, “Because it’s set in Argentina, tango is important. But I had to be careful not to appropriate. It’s a contemporary company, so I showed some of the basic steps that I know. But I won’t show the real tango. I looked into what would be the language of the military, and there’s this dance called the malambo that I was inspired by. I didn’t copy it exactly because it needs to be about storytelling and not just a series of different dances.”
Portraits Of Those Who Left Theater Behind
“The impact of COVID-19 on the American theater industry is immeasurable: the terrible loss of life, the indefinite cancellation of productions, the sudden stop in hard-earned livelihoods,” reports Ashley Lee at the Los Angeles Times, talking to ten figures who have left the industry. “The industry touted it as an intermission of sorts and, two years later, a majority of theaters nationwide are resuming in-person programming. But many of those who sustain the scene have since pivoted away from the stage.” Carson Elrod, co-founder of Arts Workers United, tells Lee, “There’s the risk that we’re losing a generation of people and their unique skill sets, which is necessary for this sector of the industry to function. The theater is not a cause or a charity or sort of feel-good peripheral thing. We’re an integral, dynamic cornerstone to economies all over this country; we’re one of the nation’s biggest exports. And if we’re not doing what we do because we end up doing other jobs, the greater American economy will suffer.”
ARTS & CULTURE
Cook County Board Of Commissioners Approves $5 Million In New Arts Funding
“The Cook County Board of Commissioners recently approved $5 million in new, dedicated funding to support artists and cultural organizations,” Arts Alliance Illinois reports. “Cook County has never directly funded the arts in this way. This is not only great news for artists in Cook County, it also lays the groundwork for future county-level investment in the arts and can serve as a model for other counties across the state.” More here.
“Losing My Ambition”
In a paean to her “new normal,” writes Amil Niazi at The Cut, she has “abandoned the notion of ambition to chase the absolute middle of the road: mediocrity. This, unsurprisingly, comes after the past two years—two years filled with intense pandemic parenting coupled with working full time. I want to ‘just be, man,’ and won’t let concerns like success or climbing the corporate ladder stand in my way. The new dream is simply no goals, just vibes… People want to work—we have to—but many of us are no longer willing to trade our well-being for a chance to claw at the decaying American Dream. There’s a renewed focus on relationships, community, and the slow beat of life outside the gaslight-gatekeep-girlboss ethos… 2022 may be the year my ambition truly dies, and to that I say, ‘Good riddance, bitch.'”
Who’s Behind The Wave Of Anti-LGBTQ Rights Legislation?
“Nationwide, GOP lawmakers have filed nearly two hundred state bills this year that seek to erode protections for transgender and gay youth or to restrict discussion of LGBTQ topics in public schools,” writes the Washington Post in an extensive report. “The explosion of legislation is in part the culmination of efforts by a trio of conservative organizations, which are helping state legislators write and promote the bills. One of the most active—the Alliance Defending Freedom—has a decades-long history of fighting LGBTQ rights, including in battles to preserve state laws criminalizing consensual sex between gay adults, court records show. Today, at least 166 measures to restrict LGBTQ rights are still pending in state legislatures across the nation… The bills have found especially fertile ground as the GOP seeks to energize its base for midterm elections in a time when party leaders have shown new willingness to openly attack gay and transgender rights—a movement that runs counter to wider public sentiment on LGBTQ rights.” Alliance Defending Freedom, “the Arizona-based advocacy group, founded in 1993, leverages the power of a national network of Christian lawyers for its legislative efforts and legal battles. It reported $78 million in assets in 2020 and has received funding from Christian, family and financial foundations.”
Extra Buses To Lakefront Start Two Months Early
“The CTA announced that expanded service [is now being] offered to the city’s lakefront and beaches this summer… two months earlier than typically offered,” reports WGN-TV. “Service along lakefront bus routes is traditionally expanded to coincide with the opening of the area’s beaches on Memorial Day weekend.”
Grown In’s Development Team Escapes Odessa
“Last November, Grown In started working with a small but highly regarded company to build a subscription management system. Because we report on and train the cannabis industry, most subscription systems wouldn’t work for Grown In because they used Stripe, a payment processor that refuses to do business with anything related to cannabis,” writes Mike Fourcher. WallKit’s CEO “assured us his company could build a new subscription system with an alternate payment processor. Starting work in early December with an aggressive mid-February launch date, we counted our blessings to be working with a skilled development team. Did I mention that WallKit was based in Odessa, Ukraine?” The engaging narrative crosses several weeks and multiple countries.
Waldos Forever Fest Returns
The Midwest’s first and largest 420 festival, Waldos Forever Fest, returns to Chicago. “Back after a two-year pandemic hiatus, the festival’s return marks the first time in Illinois that both medical and recreational consumers are able to celebrate together,” the event relays. “A celebration of cannabis and community, Waldos Forever Fest will lead the festivities on Clark Street in Andersonville, Saturday, April 23, 10am-9pm, providing a full day of live music, drag performances, local food, cannabis education and more! Additional weeklong festivities include citywide Waldos W33kend-sponsored pop-up events on April 20 as well as a brunch concert at City Winery Chicago in the West Loop on April 24.” Details here.
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