Milwaukee’s The Pfister Selects New Artist-In-Residence
“Christopher T. Wood, a Milwaukee-based pataphysical illustrator, is the new artist-in-residence at the Pfister Hotel,” reports Milwaukee magazine. “Wood will work in an artist’s studio on the lobby level for a year, succeeding Nykoli Koslow, a conceptual abstraction artist. ‘To be able to connect with hotel guests and incorporate their experiences into my work will result in incredible pieces that will build upon each other to eventually tell the story of the Pfister and all who enter this iconic destination,’ Wood said. ‘By drawing a new piece every day during my residency, I will build a web linking hotel guests across time and space, offering a collection of drawings around the studio for all to enjoy.'”
Citizen App To Introduce Private Cops In Chicago
“Crime awareness app Citizen has been planning to [test] a version of its product in Chicago which would give customers access to an on-demand private security force in partnership with security service giant Securitas,” VICE reports. “Citizen tested a similar service with two different private security firms in Los Angeles, according to leaked emails. Now, Citizen [is] planning to revive its private security service, but this time in Illinois’ principal city.” “It’s a slippery slope to private policing,” one source told VICE. “The second trial indicates that Citizen has not given up on the idea of an on-demand private security force for its users, raising questions about the role of private companies in keeping individuals and communities safe, and the sort of biases that Citizen users may bring with them into the use of such a security firm.”
Carol Ross Barney On Designing DuSable Park
“The Chicago Park District selected Carol Ross Barney and Brook Architecture to design DuSable Park—one of the city’s most anticipated and symbolism-laden public projects. Planned since 1987, the park will be located on reclaimed land at the meeting of Lake Michigan and the Chicago River and will honor Jean Baptiste Point DuSable,” reports Architectural Record. “My partner RaMona Westbrook [of Brook Architecture] did an immense amount of research about Jean Baptiste DuSable before we turned our proposal in,” she says in an interview. “What she was impressed with is the ingenuity and the perseverance that it took to establish an outpost at that point in time. In DuSable’s case, he needed to be able to exist in multiple cultures. At the time that he made his outpost, this was a French-controlled part of the country, and he became perfectly able to get along with the French. Then, later on, it changed to American territory. We want the park to have that same feeling—about grit and perseverance and innovation, how those can serve you in your life… We’re going to start out by asking the people of Chicago, ‘What does DuSable mean to you? How can this park serve you both as a recreational space and as a representation of the city?’ I’m clearing my brain of ideas because I want to hear what people have to say.” The complete interview here.
Illinois General Assembly Going After Organized Retail Theft?
Illinois General Assembly members “have the opportunity to pass legislation that would give law enforcement the needed tools to combat organized retail crime,” Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul op-eds at the Sun-Times. “The legislation would be one of the most comprehensive efforts in the nation against these crimes.” This legislation “builds on the work of the Attorney General’s Organized Retail Crime Task Force, which was formed in recognition of the connection between organized retail crime and criminal activity by larger criminal enterprises, and to facilitate collaboration between law enforcement agencies investigating specific incidents with the goal of disrupting those larger criminal enterprises. As our state looks to recover from two years of disruption… policy makers must address crime that is plaguing significant portions of our state and keeping residents away from downtown streets, neighborhood shopping districts and our city’s magnificent entertainment corridors. This essential legislation will help restore safety across the region, by disrupting criminal enterprises that have made residents feel unsafe and weakened our neighborhoods.”
Two $8 Million Homes Latest Gargantuan Sales In Chicago
Two homes sold for more than $8 million each late last week, reports Dennis Rodkin at Crain’s. One is “a condominium on the seventy-fourth floor of the St. Regis tower in Lakeshore East [which] sold for a little more than $8.93 million on March 23… the highest sale price on record at the 101-story tower, topping February’s $8.85 million sale there.”
Organizers Push Tax On Million-Dollar-Plus Property Sales To Help Homeless
“Diavionne ‘China’ Brown and other organizers with the Bring Chicago Home campaign are calling for a dedicated revenue stream to provide affordable housing to people living in shelters, living on the streets, couch surfing or experiencing other forms of homelessness,” reports Block Club Chicago. “Activists are calling for an increase in the city’s real estate transfer tax on property sales of more than $1 million. The additional funds would be spent on building housing; efforts to preserve existing housing, like single-room occupancy buildings and rent subsidies.”
Local Governments At Risk For Cyber-Terrorism
A noted risk, as Russian attacks on computer infrastructure are reportedly in the works: “Local governments, like schools and hospitals, are particularly enticing ‘soft targets’ – organizations that lack the resources to defend themselves against routine cyberattacks, let alone a lengthy cyber conflict. For those attacking such targets, the goal is not necessarily financial reward but disrupting society at the local level,” writes researcher Richard Forno at the Conversation. Local governments are “at greater risk of successful cyberattacks, including attacks that otherwise might have been prevented. But the necessary, best-practice cybersecurity improvements that smaller cities and towns need often compete with the many other demands on a local community’s limited funds and staff attention.”
Forty Apartments Proposed For Ukrainian Village Site Where Gas Station Was Shot Down
“A developer hopes to build a five-story mixed-use development on a vacant lot along the southern edge of Ukrainian Village,”reports Block Club Chicago. “RDM Companies is seeking a zoning change for the lot at 2405 West Grand at Western, to construct the building. The site is zoned for manufacturing and is surrounded by an industrial park and residential streets. The building would include ground-floor retail and forty apartments on the upper floors.”
DINING & DRINKING
NLRB Authorizes Colectivo Coffee Workers Union
After two years of negotiation, “The National Labor Relations Board issued a final decision that the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 494 was properly elected as the certified bargaining representative for Colectivo’s employees,” reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Colectivo has around 500 employees at its cafes, production and corporate staff.” It operates five cafes in the Chicago area, as well as in Milwaukee and Madison.
Giuseppe Tentori Partners With Marvin’s For Stream Of Sandwiches
Marvin’s Food & Fuel in Fulton Market continues its monthly Sandwich Series collaboration where chef Mitch Cavanah partners with local counterparts to bring their creations to life on his menu. For April, Marvin’s is partnering with Michelin-starred chef Giuseppe Tentori and his restaurant GT Prime for a Philly Style Roast Pork Italiano sandwich, “lathered with sharp provolone and broccoli rabe.” Proceeds from the $16 sandwich will go to the World Central Kitchen, the worldwide charity founded by chef José Andres. More here.
FILM & TELEVISION
Michael Phillips On Sunday Night’s Episode Of Will & Chris
“‘The Academy does not condone violence in any form.’ This is the response we heard from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, following Sunday’s inciting incident: Will Smith slapping Chris Rock in retaliation for a useless, heartless verbal jab at Smith’s wife and fellow performer, Jada Pinkett Smith,” writes Michael Phillips at the Tribune. “Lest we forget, the Academy has a pretty solid record of condoning violence in many forms. The movie industry, the medium itself, remains an economic force, even now, largely because of violence. Fictional human brutality is money… You can draw distinctions between what’s real and what isn’t. But the threat and fact of violence, verbal and physical, tells the story of every day in America and our world, from confirmation hearings to playgrounds to Putin to Hollywood.”
Symphony Center Piano Recital With András Schiff Canceled
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association has announced the cancellation of the “Symphony Center Presents Piano” series recital on Tuesday, March 29, featuring Sir András Schiff in an all-Mozart program. The statement from his management: “Sir András Schiff regrets that he is unable to perform in Chicago at Symphony Center on March 29. He recently suffered a fall and is not allowed to travel to the U.S. at this time.” More here.
An Oral History Of Blue Man Group
“On May 21, 1988, eight people carried a coffin into Central Park to conduct a ‘funeral for the 80s.’ Inside it were items meant to represent the culture of the decade: a Rambo doll, tiny figures wearing suits (yuppies), bags of a white substance resembling crack,” writes Molly Langmuir at Vulture. “The participants, most of whom had painted their skin blue, piled the objects into a metal drum along with some flash paper, which they lit on fire. They called themselves the Blue Man Group. Within months, the group of Blue Men had been winnowed down to three… Over the next few years, with input from a circle of art-school kids and musicians, they would bring their constantly evolving act to many spots around the city—they played with vaudeville at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, experimented with flying paint at La MaMa, and eventually landed at Astor Place Theatre. The three characters were general outsiders, unfamiliar with our customs and unable to speak but endlessly curious and eager to connect; they also caught a heroic number of food items in their mouths… There have since been shows in Boston, Chicago (where Fred Armisen was a drummer with the Blue Men early in his career), Las Vegas, Orlando, and beyond, as well as commercial campaigns featuring the original trio and tours with Moby, David Bowie, and Busta Rhymes… That this undeniably unusual show found an audience when it launched—during the rise of rave culture and a few years after Burning Man debuted on Baker Beach — made a certain kind of sense for the era. But its lasting success has surprised no one more than the founders themselves…”
Joffrey Presents World Premiere “Of Mice and Men”
The Joffrey Ballet presents a program featuring a world-premiere adaptation of John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men” by choreographer Cathy Marston, set to a score by Thomas Newman, his first work for ballet. The program also includes the Joffrey premiere of “Serenade” by George Balanchine as part of the Joffrey’s inaugural season at the Lyric Opera House. The world premiere of “Of Mice and Men” marks Cathy Marston’s first original creation for The Joffrey Ballet. “Serenade” and “Of Mice and Men” feature live music performed by the Lyric Opera Orchestra, conducted by Scott Speck, music director of the Joffrey Ballet. Ten performances only, April 27–May 8. Tickets and more here.
Shattered Globe Revives “Rasheeda Speaking”
Shattered Globe Theatre will present a revival of Chicago writer Joel Drake Johnson’s “Rasheeda Speaking,” directed by SGT associate artistic director AmBer D. Montgomery. This comedy-turned-social thriller about workplace racism runs April 22–June 4 at Theater Wit. “Rasheeda Speaking” will feature ensemble members Daria Harper, Deanna Reed-Foster and Drew Schad, with Barbara Roeder Harris. “Whether it’s the doctor’s inability to remember her name, or the toxic fumes radiating from the Xerox machine and lab next door, Dr. Williams’ office is not made for Jaclyn. As the only Black woman in the office, Jaclyn is determined to keep her job. But when Dr. Williams promotes her White co-worker, Ileen, and asks her to spy on their only Black co-worker, Jaclyn has her work cut out for her. Fueled by a fear of difference and looming racial uprising, how far will Jaclyn, Ileen and Dr. Williams go?” SGT producing artistic director Sandy Shinner says in a release, “Shattered Globe is celebrating playwright Joel Drake Johnson with this revival. In the fall of 2019, shortly before Joel’s death in early 2020, I told him we would commit to producing this revival with Deanna Reed-Foster as Jaclyn, and he was thrilled. In the world premiere production at Rivendell Theatre in 2013, Deanna was cast as the understudy and Joel could always hear her voice as Jaclyn. Now, almost ten years later, the play will resonate differently.” Tickets and more here.
ARTS & CULTURE
The Push For Legal Psychedelics In Illinois
“Psychedelic treatments are gaining respect from researchers around the world, who have found natural psychedelics to be promising remedies against depression, anxiety and even alcohol dependence,” reports the Tribune. “But the federal government still considers them to have no legitimate medical purpose, which makes the plants illegal to grow, sell or consume. A coalition of therapists, patients and advocates wants to change that in Illinois. They’re working with state Representative La Shawn Ford, a Chicago Democrat, to draft a bill that would decriminalize plant-based psychedelics and create a framework through which counselors, religious healers and others could use one of the drugs, psilocybin—the active ingredient in magic mushrooms—therapeutically.”
Walmart Snuffing Cigarettes In Some Locales
“Walmart will no longer sell cigarettes in some of its stores though tobacco sales can be a significant revenue generator,” reports AP (via the Sun-Times). “Walmart is not the first national retail chain to cut off cigarette sales even on a trial basis, but it is the largest. Target ended cigarette sales in 1996 and the drugstore chain CVS Health did the same in 2014… Decisions about removing cigarettes at Walmart will be made on a store-by-store basis according to the business and particular market.”
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