Latin School Buying Dearborn Street Homes
The Latin School of Chicago, “the elite private school, has recently spent nearly $8 million on three addresses in the 1500 block of Dearborn, and will close on a fourth May 25,” reports Crain’s. The school owns four properties on the block that has many historical buildings.
Lightfoot Bears Pitch Looms
“The mayor’s top economic development exec gave Crain’s some hints about how the city hopes to keep the Bears at Soldier Field and keep Ford humming on the Far South Side.” The Bears pitch is expected in coming weeks.
Details Of CTA Private Security Outlined
“We know 200 to 220 unarmed guards are on the system seven days a week, as they work to get to 300 on patrol daily,” reports CBS Chicago. “The goal is to ‘provide highly visible deterrent force,’ with those guards working four- to eight-hour shifts, covering about fifty different unlisted posts on the system.” The private guards make “$13.50 to $14.30 an hour, and are required to be at least 21, read and write English, and have a high school degree or equivalent.” The contract is on Scribd here.
DINING & DRINKING
Sneaking Meadowlark Through The Alley
Meadowlark Hospitality expands its Logan Square presence by announcing their summer release: a new-and-old cocktail bar, The Meadowlark. It’s the third space in the Logan Square location, following the July 2021 launch of Lardon, the 2022 Bib Gourmand-awarded salumeria and daytime café and spring 2022’s opening of Union, the beer-focused neighborhood restaurant with twenty-four rotating taps and New American cuisine. Summer 2022 finds the thirty-seat, dimly lit Meadowlark behind an unmarked door near the back alley and under the same roof as the 110-year-old corner space restored to house Lardon and Union. “Three years ago, when we found this beautiful building in our neighborhood, we knew we wanted to create three fundamentally distinct experiences under one roof that somehow managed to complement one another in a very special way,” restaurateur Steve Lewis says in a release. “With Lardon, Union and now The Meadowlark, we’ve poured our hearts into restoring this building with the goal of retaining the unique charm that’s so quintessentially ‘Chicago,’ but in a vibrant way that feels both new and exciting as the neighborhood continues to grow and thrive and embraces the unique character of each concept within.” Follow the lead-up to The Meadowlark on their Instagram account here.
Chef Hugh Amano Makes Bon Vivant Via Sterling Bay
Hugh Amano has a new food magazine, “Bon Vivant: A Culinary Journal.” “Amano is best known as the opening sous chef at Fat Rice who, after leaving the restaurant in its first year, cowrote the acclaimed ‘The Adventures of Fat Rice,'” writes Mike Sula at the Reader. “I know better, but I still cheered up at the fantasy that it was possible for mass-market publishing to lift an overworked chef off the line. Turns out, the only way Amano could’ve written any of those books was because of the nine-to-five gig he took on in 2013 making lunch for a couple dozen employees of a low-profile commercial real estate firm… ‘If you’re a chef your identity is always with your restaurant… It’s ride or die, and you devote your life to this pirate ship. For me it just got to be, ‘Fuck it. I don’t give a shit about that. I just wanna cook.’” Amano’s workplace enabled him to research and write his follow-up cookbooks, a place which “grew into the often reviled development juggernaut known as Sterling Bay. ‘It’s just been sort of this frog in boiling water,’ says Amano, who now makes a family-style lunch for a hundred each weekday in the company’s Fulton Market HQ, in a kitchen of his own design. ‘In nine years it’s just been me in the kitchen, and I rely on my own curiosity. That’s a great place to be for me. I’ve learned more here than anywhere else.'” (Find the second issue of the $25 Sterling Bay-published twice-yearly magazine here.)
NoMI Chicago Reopening
NoMI at the Park Hyatt Chicago will reopen after a five-month hiatus as three distinct spaces on Tuesday, June 7 under the guidance of executive chef Terence Zubieta. The three approaches, found on the seventh floor of the Park Hyatt, are tied together by chef Zubieta’s cuisine highlighting locally sourced ingredients. New dishes include The Rillette, a classic dish with a twist featuring duck, pork (confit with lemongrass), and roasted garlic, served with a baguette. NoMI Lounge features a sprawling bar and an exclusive six-seat sushi experience at its Sushi Counter, while NoMI Garden offers an open-air terrace. There will also be live music performances from electric violinist Kat V every other Thursday evening. Reservations and more at Tock.
Lawmakers Slam Abbott Laboratories At Infant Formula Hearing
“Members of Congress began a House subcommittee hearing Tuesday by tearing into north suburban-based Abbott Laboratories, accusing the company of negligence,” reports the Tribune. “Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.), said more competition among manufacturers is needed so one company doesn’t wield so much power over the supply of infant formula. ‘We’re too reliant on too few companies to do the right thing, and when just one of those companies cuts corners we spiral into an emergency.’ … Lawmakers also criticized the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for not inspecting the facility sooner and anticipating the shortage. FDA Commissioner Robert Califf acknowledged during the hearing Wednesday that the FDA was ‘too slow’ to inspect the plant and interview a whistleblower about conditions there.” Also from the Trib: Abbott Laboratories plans to restart production of infant formula at its Sturgis, Michigan facility on June 4.
FILM & TELEVISION
New Director At Video Data Bank
Video Data Bank’s new director is Tom Colley. “The field of video art and moving image distribution is constantly changing and adapting to developments in culture and technology,” VDB says in a release. Colley “will provide experienced leadership as the organization moves forward in its work fostering awareness and scholarship of the history and contemporary practice of video and media art. He brings with him a wealth of institutional knowledge from having worked at VDB for over twenty years in [multiple] positions. During his time as Archive and Collection Manager, Tom led the process of migrating the VDB’s collections from analog to digital formats and has been integral in projects to modernize VDB’s distribution systems and digital workflows. His longstanding relationships with artists in the collection, and his understanding of the history of the field provide a perfect foundation for him to build upon when designing the VDB’s future initiatives. He has been a practicing artist and video maker, a DIY art space gallerist, and an independent video store clerk. In his career at VDB, he has been an active member of the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA). Says Colley: “I’m deeply honored to step into this role and am so grateful to the directors who have led this organization before me. Along with the rest of the staff, they built a wonderful institution whose mission is important. It is exhilarating to spend one’s days doing work that means something and makes a difference. I believe art can do that, and the VDB’s collection in particular does that. I’m really looking forward to planning and exploring the next chapter of the VDB’s future with the staff, the artists, and all of the colleagues, customers and audiences we serve.”
Sheila R. Brown Exits CineCares
“Sheila R. Brown has stepped down from her position as executive director of the CineCares Division of Cinespace Film Studios,” reports Reel Chicago. Brown had been at Cinespace since 2016. “The program was part of the CineCares Foundation, created to help young adults, from traditionally underserved communities on the West and South Sides of Chicago, obtain paid job training opportunities on network television shows.”
V103 Notches Seventy-Second Ratings Win Since 1988
“WVAZ 102.7-FM increased its audience share in April and marked its seventy-second ratings victory since the iHeartMedia R&B station signed on in 1988,” reports Robert Feder. “Nielsen Audio figures released May 16 also showed V103 leading afternoons with Joe Soto and evenings with the syndicated Keith Sweat.”
Music Critic Chrissie Dickinson Was Sixty-Two
“Chrissie Dickinson, a longtime Tribune contributor and music critic who specialized in country music, and who was the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s former pop music critic” was sixty-two, reports the Tribune. “A musician who played in punk and rock ‘n’ roll bands at Indiana University before veering into journalism, Dickinson had a reputation for incisive reviews and artist interviews.”
A Call For City Council Not To Turn Chicago Into “Din City”
The Sun-Times editorial board calls out a “rushed” ordinance: “The hurried ordinance allowing outdoor amplified entertainment events without oversight is a bad idea… Rather than giving a blanket thumbs-up to these events, the Council should require them to get approval on a case-by-case basis…The ordinance appears to be written for the Morton Salt Shed, which plans to have indoor music events on the site of Morton Salt’s former packaging and warehousing operation… and now is scheduling outdoor events as well with—surprise—amplified sound.”
Cosmic Country Cookout Sizzles In July
Chicago’s Cosmic Country Showcase will have a summer cookout in July, presented by Local Universe and whiskey distillery Judson & Moore. “What began as a backyard jam when Local Universe’s Sully Davis lived with members of Helltrap Nightmare became a regular series at The Hideout, even getting guests such as Jeff Tweedy and Sam Evian,” the group relays in a release. “This time the Showcase realized their dream lineup of their closest friends and collaborators to represent what Cosmic Country is all about. The Cosmic Country Cookout includes Dougie Poole (NYC), Boulevards (Carrboro, NC), locals Andrew Sa, Tobacco City, Sarah Weddle, Toadvine, and the grandfather of queer country, Lavender Country. The Cookout will be at the Judson & Moore space in Logan Square on Sunday, July 24. Tickets and more here.
Steppenwolf LookOut Performance Series Returns
LookOut, Steppenwolf Theatre’s performance series that presents the work of artists and companies across genre and form has announced an eclectic summer season. Included: “The Linda Show,” featuring Chicago vocalist Bethany Thomas and her Band of Geniuses performing the work of Linda Ronstadt; Walkabout Theater’s “Still a Quiet Afternoon,” a musical tragicomedy interweaving personal narratives with historic events, songs and poetic storytelling; and “Jush Hour” with drag performers Bambi Banks-Couleé and Aunty Chan. “After a long pause, the LookOut Series is returning to what we do best: showcasing and celebrating the wide breadth of Chicago’s intrepid artists,” Steppenwolf creative producer Patrick Zakem says in a release. “This summer we are thrilled to present fifteen engagements that, together, represent the most eclectic slate of performance on any Chicago stage. Classical musicians, drag queens, standup comedians, storytellers—and everything in between.” The performances are in Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theater, an intimate venue behind the company’s Front Bar. Tickets here.
Illinois High School Musical Theatre Award-Winners Named
In celebration of outstanding achievement in high school musical theatre performances, Broadway In Chicago has announced the award recipients of the eleventh Annual Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards: Joseph Kotze of Frankfort (Lincoln-Way East High School) as best actor for “Sweeney Todd” and Regan Wright of Elmhurst (York Community High School) as best actress for her portrayal of “Alice Murphy” in “Bright Star.” Joseph and Regan will represent Illinois at The Jimmy Awards (also known as The National High School Musical Theatre Awards) in New York on June 27. More here.
ARTS & CULTURE
Lightfoot Casino Approved
After shouting matches between the mayor and alderpersons, city council approved the Bally’s proposal to bring a $1.7 billion gambling complex to West Town, writes Fran Spielman at the Sun-Times. “The council met Monday, recessed, and then the Bally’s plan was muscled through Lightfoot’s special casino committee hours later. The full Council reconvened late in the afternoon to defer and publish the casino package, teeing up the Bally’s plan for Wednesday’s final vote.”
DCASE Awards Esteemed Artists
DCASE has listed its 2022 Esteemed Artists, through the Cultural Grants Program here. They are Mallory Backstrom, Raul Benitez [Newcity Film 50], Geof Bradfield, Resita Cox, Jemal De La Cruz, Ivelisse “Bombera de Corazón” Diaz, Caitlin Edwards, Wesley Frazier-Keys, Gretchen Hasse, Flor, Ayako Kato, Steve Marquette, Reginald McLaughlin, Dipika Mukherjee, Lola Ayisha Ogbara, Isabel Quintero, Yves Francois Smierciak, Leonard Suryajaya, Yvonne Welbon [Newcity Film 50], Andrea Yarbrough, Nejla Yatkin and Sara Zalek.
Illinois Humanities Announces Envisioning Justice Pooled Fund
Illinois Humanities will receive a $500,000 challenge grant from the Art for Justice Fund to enable the organization to make grants and provide consistent capacity-building support for small nonprofit arts and humanities organizations that are working to address the injustices of mass incarceration across the state. (Art for Justice Fund founder Agnes Gund announced the gift at Illinois Humanities’ annual Public Humanities Awards.) Art for Justice received the 2022 Beacon Award in recognition of its work championing the humanities in Illinois and beyond. “I’m pleased to share that Art for Justice is making a $500,000 challenge grant to Illinois Humanities for a new pooled grant-making fund,” Gund said. “It will support organizations, artists, and humanists across Illinois to change hearts, minds and policies. Our hope is that other donors will provide a dollar-for-dollar match to launch this effort. Together, artists, advocates, and allied funders can transform the criminal legal system and create a safe and equitable future.” The Pooled Fund will support the Illinois Humanities’ Envisioning Justice program by providing annual grant-making of at least $150,000 over the next five years. “From its inception in 2017, the Envisioning Justice initiative has supported humanists and artists in bearing witness to the injustices of the criminal legal system,” Illinois Humanities says in a release. “By amplifying the voices of system-impacted people through exhibits, programs, and grantmaking, Envisioning Justice has served as a catalyst for everyday people to learn about the causes and impacts of mass incarceration, and to imagine alternatives together.”
Rules For Teens In Millennium Park Listed
The Millennium Park policy, “which Mayor Lightfoot claims will help prevent Downtown violence, bans [those] younger than eighteen from the park after 6pm if they are not with an adult who is twenty-one or older,” reports Block Club Chicago. The complete rules are here.
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