CCMA’s “Hooking Up: Meet the Collection” Begins June 4
The Cleve Carney Museum of Art presents “Hooking Up: Meet the Collection” from June 4 –August 7. “This exhibition celebrates the recent conversion of the Cleve Carney Art Gallery to the Cleve Carney Museum of Art. Masters such as Toulouse-Lautrec and Rembrandt Van Rijn to twenty-first century artists Maya Lin and Kehinde Wiley from the College of DuPage Permanent Art collection will be in conversation with works by contemporary Chicago artists including Theaster Gates, Sam Jaffe, Christopher James, Troy Lehman, Riva Lehrer, José Lerma, Britni Mara, Audrey Niffenegger, Julia Phillips, Jeffrey Swider-Peltz, Taylor Smith and Amanda Williams. ‘The College of DuPage has an amazing permanent collection featuring pieces by some of the most recognizable names from art history, and this exhibition highlights that,’ says Cleve Carney Museum of Art Assistant Curator Julia Walker. ‘It’s rare to find artists like Rembrandt and Warhol in a suburban museum; that’s why it was important for us to also bring in contemporary works that are capable of playing off these masters.’ … For this exhibition, the museum’s gallery space will be transformed into a creative gathering space where visitors are encouraged to sketch, write and converse while taking inspiration from a wide range of artworks. Visitors are encouraged to participate by hanging their own work on a dedicated wall next to those of famous artists like Joan Miró, entering a piece of writing or visual art for publication in the Prairie Light Review and writing letters that will be delivered to artists featured in the exhibition.”
Cranbrook Academy of Art Announces Graduate Degree Exhibition
The Graduate Degree Exhibition of Cranbrook Academy of Art is open to the public, showcasing work from sixty-two graduating Cranbrook Academy of Art students, featuring pieces that are the culmination of two years of studio work. The exhibition, filling the entire upper galleries of Cranbrook Art Museum, runs through May 15. For decades, the Graduate Degree Exhibition of Cranbrook Academy of Art has been presented in Cranbrook Art Museum. This tradition allows Academy students to exhibit in the spaces that have hosted world-reknowned artists, architects and designers for generations. More here.
Apple, Amazon, Other Tech Giant Leaders Oppose Unions
“From Amazon to Apple, tech giants turn to old-school union busting,” headlines the Washington Post, as “tech companies [face] momentum from workers trying to organize.” In the extensive report, Nitasha Tiku, Reed Albergotti, Greg Jaffe and Rachel Lerman write: “The unionizing workers at Amazon join a larger movement across the country triggered in part by high inflation and the pandemic. Workers at Starbucks voted to unionize and Kellogg’s workers agreed to a new contract after months of striking. The shift is most notable in the tech industry, where giants like Amazon, Google and Apple have long warded off worker activism with a mix of tools, including high pay, plentiful employee perks… and core missions that made their workforces feel they were making the world a better place. But blue collar workers undergird the tech industry—and they often don’t have access to the benefits of the corporate jobs. The Amazon Labor Union notched a historic win this month at an 8,000-worker warehouse in Staten Island… Employees at an Atlanta Apple Store on Wednesday became the first to file for a vote on unionizing, and other stores are closer to doing the same. Contract workers at a Google Fiber store in Kansas City, Missouri, who are employed by a third-party firm, unionized in March.” CBS News reports on Apple employee efforts: “Employees say that they face low wages in a very high-stress work environment that includes persistent exposure to COVID-19 and other challenges… Workers at Apple’s Grand Central Terminal location are asking for a $30 minimum wage and better benefits. Currently, retail store workers earn a minimum of $20 an hour, an Apple spokesperson said. Apple salespeople also ‘want to advance in the same or a very similar way as executives or people who work in offices at Apple,’ [Dan] Patterson said. ‘They say they’re treated often like second-class citizens, even though they work hard.’ A vote in favor of unionizing at one store could encourage employees at other Apple stores to follow suit.”
First Plans For Bronzeville Trail Parkway Shown
Plans have been shown for an elevated park trail the length of abandoned Kenwood CTA tracks in Bronzeville, reports YIMBY Chicago. Plans for a recreation space on the aging infrastructure go as far back as 2005 and accelerated with the Bronzeville Trail Task Force. “The task force is currently working on preliminary studies and budgets while seeking a formal designer for the project.” (More from the task force here.)
Habitat For Humanity Builds In West Pullman
“Habitat for Humanity sprung into action on Saturday in West Pullman, expanding on a mission to transform neighborhoods and build affordable homes,” reports WGN-TV. “The group received a substantial $2.5 million gift from Mackenzie Scott, allowing them to expand their mission. The organization has been building homes in West Pullman since 2012, getting back to work near 119th Street and Union Avenue… ‘Every buyer that’s buying a home with Habitat for Humanity is getting an affordable mortgage so they have an affordable long term place to live,’ Habitat for Humanity Chicago executive director Jennifer Parks said.”
Facebook Illinois Class Action Suit Settled; Claimants To Get About $400 Each
Nearly 1.6 million Illinois Facebook users are slated to get $397 privacy settlement checks from Facebook in May, reports the Trib. The suit was brought by Chicago attorney Jay Edelson seven years ago.
DINING & DRINKING
NLRB Sets Three More Chicago Starbucks Union Elections; Starbucks CEO Continues Attack On Unions
“A federal agency has scheduled union certification elections for three Starbucks stores in Chicago where workers have filed petitions to organize,” reports the Sun-Times. “Workers at the locations have sought rights to bargain as members of Workers United, part of the Service Employees International Union.” In a hugely symbolic action, workers at the flagship Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Seattle have voted to unionize. In a leaked video call to managers, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz demanded accelerated action against union organizers, reports More Perfect Union, with clips of the recently rehired executive. Schultz called his employees “so-called workers” under the influence of “some outside force that’s going to dictate or disrupt who we are and what we do… I wasn’t there, but there are stories that people potentially had been bullied not to vote… Clearly, there’s been a sea change in the country with regard to worker rights, recognition that so-called ‘workers’ need and require and should have.” CNBC reports that “U.S. labor officials are petitioning a federal court to force Starbucks to bring back activist employees who they say were removed for their union campaigning, according to a Friday filing. The National Labor Relations Board’s Phoenix chief is seeking an injunction against Starbucks that would require it to reinstate three employees that were allegedly illegally discharged, forced out or placed on unpaid leave. The filing marks the latest in what’s expected to be a lengthy and expensive legal battle between a union campaign and the global coffee chain.” Former New York Times labor reporter Steven Greenhouse: “In more strong evidence of how hugely Starbucks workers want a union, baristas at the Starbucks in Superior, Colorado, voted 12-3 in favor of unionizing & baristas in Falls Church, Virginia voted 30-2 to unionize, an NLRB count showed… The union has won at 28 of 30 Starbucks!!”
Marketwatch calls this moment at Starbucks, Amazon and Apple possibly the “most significant moment in the American labor movement” in most workers’ lifetimes. “After the retail chains that grew tremendously in the 1980s and 1990s avoided unions, current attempts to organize workers at Big Tech and newer chains has the chance to live up to success with automakers nearly a century ago… What could work in unions’ favor and possibly lead to a domino effect: the effects of the pandemic on the labor market.” One observer said, “If you see more wins, you’re going to start seeing waves of unionization.”
How Will Prolonged Work-From-Home Affect Downtown Restaurants?
“’We’re questioning whether it even makes sense to be open on these days,’ said Scott Weiner, co-owner of Fifty/50 Restaurant Group, which operates more than a dozen establishments across Chicago, including West Town Bakery and 90th Meridian, both on LaSalle Street in the financial district,” reports the Trib. “Chicago’s downtown almost looks normal some days, especially during the middle of the week when office workers pack themselves onto trains and the streets bustle with pedestrians. But downtown restaurant owners say they see something different when tallying weekly sales. Even the busiest lunch hours rarely hit pre-pandemic levels, and Mondays and Fridays are even worse. And with many downtown firms planning to bring back their employees for just two or three days a week, restaurants could permanently lose several days of lunchtime business. That would be another heavy blow to an industry buffeted for two years by shutdowns, rising food prices and labor shortages, perhaps putting off real recovery for years.”
FILM & TELEVISION
Wachowskis Auction Props
“So me and Lana have been doing some spring cleaning at our Raiders of the Lost Ark warehouse and have happily decided to pass on some of the best treasures we’ve been collecting over the years!! no ark of the covenants but some pretty major and magical artifacts!” Lilly Wachowski tweeted over the weekend. “Also many very reasonable items for a variety of budgets! everything must go!!!!! And the best part is, ALL proceeds go to Protect & Defend Trans Youth Fund… buy some cool sh*t and stand the f*ck up for trans lives!” Items include an execution chair from “Cloud Atlas”; elf ears worn on-screen by Channing Tatum in “Jupiter Ascending”; and “Screen-Used License Plates from ‘The Matrix Reloaded.’ A pair of original screen-used prop license plates number BQ231 which appeared on the 1967 Pontiac Firebird driven by Ghost and Niobe during a pivotal chase scene.” (The catalog is here.)
How A Column By A Co-Owner Could Kill The Chicago Reader
The Washington Post clocks the battle against the Reader’s necessary not-for-profit status, by Kim Bellware and Elahe Izadi: “The [co-]owner of the Chicago Reader objected when the staff raised concerns about the claims in his column. Now the paper faces financial ruin… The future of one of the nation’s longest-running alternative weeklies, which was in the process of [making the transition to becoming] a nonprofit, is now in jeopardy because [Leonard] Goodman believes the paper is trying to silence another voice: His own.” … “It’s a ‘hostage situation,’ said longtime Reader editor Philip Montoro… ‘The Reader is kind of like an artery in Chicago,’ its publisher, Tracy Baim, said. ‘It’s part of the last fifty years of the heart of the city.’ .. Goodman declined to be interviewed for this story but in an email said he supports the Reader [making a transition] to a nonprofit contingent on having some say over who will sit on its new board… Lawyers advising the nonprofit group say that granting such control over board seats would endanger its nonprofit status, Baim said… The last fully-covered payroll was Friday.” (Over 400 Chicago journalists have signed an open letter here.)
Diversity Survey Participation Proposed For Pulitzer Prize Nominations
“A new open letter signed by dozens of professional journalism organizations, nonprofits, and labor unions asks the Pulitzer Prizes to add language requiring newsrooms to participate in the News Leaders Association’s annual diversity survey (or similar) by 2024 in order to be considered for their journalism awards,” reports NiemanLab. “The signees include professional organizations like Society of Professional Journalists, Asian American Journalists Association, National Association of Black Journalists, Native American Journalists Association, National Association of Hispanic Journalists, LION Publishers, and Institute for Nonprofit News.” (The letter is here.)
Jam Productions Aligns With SaveLive
SaveLive, a platform founded in 2020 to work with independent venue owners and promoters, and Jam Productions, the promoter and venue operator in Chicago and the Midwest, have announced a partnership. “Jam joins as a crown jewel in the SaveLive network,” the group announces in a release. “Jam and SaveLive intend to aggressively invest in the Midwest targeting small-to-mid-size venues across multiple cities in quality markets. Chicago-based Jam Productions, having just celebrated its fiftieth anniversary, is one of the largest independent producers of live entertainment in the nation. SaveLive will work alongside Jam as the promoter continues to book ground-breaking events, foster artist development and serve as a homebase for legendary artists in venues such as The Vic Theatre, The Riviera Theatre, Park West, and the Palace in St. Paul. Coming out of our industry’s pandemic pause, JAM anticipates producing 450 concerts in thirty-three different venues across the Midwest.”
“It has been obvious that for Jam’s business to grow, it needed to be part of a network, something larger with more locations, data and intelligence analytics as well as booking leverage. Over the years I considered all the bigger players but there wasn’t a good fit in terms of how we wanted to operate and compete,” Jam co-founder Jerry Mickelson says in the release. Adds Marc Geiger, “Thirty-eight years ago, I walked into Jam’s office when I was a young agent booking the Midwest and got indoctrinated into the Chicago scene through Jam’s team and concerts. I fell in love with the company right then. Jam’s platform is a natural next step in building a quality national independent network. Jerry’s tenacity over the years of consolidation has been inspiring and we are super excited to integrate and get to work.” More on SaveLive here.
Chicago Shakespeare Declaims Season
Chicago Shakespeare Theater has announced the initial line-up for the 2022-2023 season, which includes a world-premiere musical, new adaptations of literary classics, and Barbara Gaines directing her final production in her role as artistic director, thirty-six years after founding the company. The Theater will spearhead a celebration in 2023 of the 400th Anniversary of the publication of Shakespeare’s First Folio, “Folio 400: Shakespeare Un/Bound,” events and programs exploring the historic first printed collection of the playwright’s work and the creative possibilities it has unleashed “for all time.” Additional productions and programming—including a fifth major title in 2023—to be announced in the coming months. “There’s nothing like the energy of live theater, and there’s no better place to experience it than Chicago Shakespeare Theater,” shared Barbara Gaines. “In my final season as artistic director, we couldn’t be more excited to share this thrilling line-up of productions with audiences. The very heart and soul of this season is filled with boundless passion, wonder, hilarity, and romance—reflecting the very spectrum of our own human experience in this singular moment in history.” Chicago Shakespeare launches the season with the world premiere of “The Notebook,” September 6–October 16, 2022, in The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare. Based on the bestselling novel that inspired the hugely popular film, the new musical features music and lyrics by singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson with a book by playwright Bekah Brunstetter. More here.
Tony Nominations Delayed
Only a week, but still: “The Tony Awards have postponed this year’s nominations announcement as well as extended the eligibility cutoff,” Playbill reports. “The move will allow nominators time to see all Tony eligible productions and performances. The ceremony remains set for June 12 at Radio City Music Hall, with a combination streaming and broadcast event.”
ARTS & CULTURE
City Plays For 2024 Democratic Convention
A Chicago 2024 Host Committee, tasked with raising millions of dollars for a bid to hold the Democratic National Convention here, is expected to be named soon, report Lynn Sweet and Tina Sfondeles at the Sun-Times. “Chicago and seven other cities—including Atlanta and Houston—were asked by the DNC to submit a bid by May 27, sending a ‘Request for Proposal’ on Friday. The convention is expected to be held in the summer of 2024… Organizers have been laying the groundwork to submit a bid for months. The principals at Magnify Strategies, the firm quarterbacking the effort, including the massive fundraising needed, are closely connected to Senator Tammy Duckworth, a DNC vice chair.”
The Morton Arboretum To Plant 3,000 Trees For Centennial
“The Morton Arboretum, founded in 1922, is celebrating its centennial with a commitment to plant trees throughout the seven-county Chicago region,” a commitment which began on Earth Day, reports WGN-TV. “Originally the Centennial Tree Planting Initiative involved a thousand-tree commitment. However, a private donation has tripled that number and now the effort will plant 3,000 trees. Approximately 300 of the trees will go to landowners who lost trees in the June 20, 2021 tornado which ripped through Woodridge, Naperville, Darien and unincorporated Downers Grove Township.”
Steve Ross, Director Of Lincoln Park Zoo Center For Apes, Was Fifty-Two
“Steve Ross, director of Lincoln Park Zoo’s center for apes and a well-respected primatologist, died unexpectedly Wednesday,” reports the Sun-Times. “Ross was hired by the zoo in 2000 and became director of the Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes in 2012. His research at the zoo helped lead to the development of its award-winning Regenstein Center for African Apes.” Ross “was married to Megan Ross, who last year was appointed the zoo’s president and CEO, becoming the first woman to serve in that role.”
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