Art On theMART Announces Summer Programming
Art on theMART will spotlight local dancers, choreographers and visual artists on the most prominent public art canvas in the city, as well as international artists. The summer lineup includes Billiken, “an all-new projection directed by fourth-generation youth dance troupe leader Shkunna Stewart and Wills Glasspiegel. Bridging local and international arts communities, summer 2022 will also see ‘explore,’ a work by international artist Jonas Denzel, recognized for his stunning and creative projection mapping presentations in his native Germany.” The new pieces will debut on Thursday, June 30 and will play twice nightly at 9pm through September 7 alongside Nick Cave’s “Ba Boom Boom Pa Pop Pop” in the 9:30pm slot.
Chicago Concert Photographer Paul Natkin On Beginnings
Photographer Paul Natkin talks the amazing story of a lifetime with Jamie Ludwig at the Reader. “The turning point was when publicists started calling me and saying, ‘Hey, I saw your pictures of so-and-so in Creem magazine. They’re one of our artists, and they’re coming back to town.’ I came to the conclusion: I’m not just gonna ask for access to the shows. I want to do portraits backstage, either casual or set up with lights and backdrops and the whole deal. And [the bands] mostly said yes. All of a sudden, the quantity and quality of my work went up. I was taking the pictures that they really wanted. If you shoot a band like Van Halen, everybody wants pictures of Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth, but a portrait that had all four of the members was much more valuable because you’re not leaving out the other guys. So that was the basis of the beginning of my career.”
Ox-Bow School of Art & Artists’ Residency Names Director Of Development
Ox-Bow School of Art & Artists’ Residency, in Saugatuck, Michigan, has named Kathryn Armstrong as the organization’s director of development. Armstrong will oversee fundraising initiatives, and manage patron, sponsor and foundation relationships. Armstrong most recently served as the Executive Director of the Columbus Area Arts Council, where she has expanded programming and increased relations with neighboring arts organizations.
Police Union Official In Cincinnati Demands Art Removal
“A painting at the Cincinnati Art Museum is stoking debate because some say it crosses the line. The painting is part of the exhibit ‘Black and Brown Faces: Paying Homage To,'” reports WXIX. “Titled ‘Mother Land Theme Park Black Panther Gift Shop,’ it shows Winnie the Pooh with his arms handcuffed behind his back as he lies face down in what appears to be a pool of his own blood. Standing over him is Piglet, aiming down a gun while wearing a police hat. On the right is Tigger holding a sign that reads, ‘Off the pig.'”… Cincinnati Fraternal Order of Police president Dan Hils objects: “This is meant to divide citizens and their police, which isn’t good for the citizens. Without us, crime runs rampant. Killing becomes even more commonplace.”
Gun Purchase Rules Differ In Chicago And Cook County From Rest Of Illinois
“Despite having some of the strictest gun laws in the country, Illinois still permits the purchase of so-called assault rifles…” WBEZ takes a look at the current state of gun policy here in Illinois.
A Chicago Corporate History Of The Bally’s Name
“Bally’s, which is looking to build a $1.74 billion casino in Chicago’s River West neighborhood, is a storied name with deep Chicago roots. The Bally’s name was purchased in 2020 by a publicly traded Rhode Island company, which owns and manages fourteen casinos across ten states,” reports Robert Channick at the Trib. “Acquiring the name gave the hedge fund-controlled company, formerly known as Twin River Holdings, instant credibility as it opportunistically assembled its casino portfolio during the pandemic… The Bally’s name also imbues the rebranded casino company with a colorful and complex history that includes multiple bankruptcies, brushes with the mob and credit/blame for unleashing Pac-Man fever on the nation during the 1980s.” More here.
Downtown Condo Market Still Downturned
“Crime, closed stores and restaurants and a slow return to offices have dampened demand in the city’s glitziest condominium corridors,” reports Dennis Rodkin at Crain’s.
Graham Foundation Announces Individual Grantees
“The Graham Foundation, a Chicago-based nonprofit dedicated to fostering ‘the development and exchange of diverse and challenging ideas about architecture and its role in the arts, culture, and society,'” reports the Architect’s Newspaper, “revealed the names of fifty-six discipline-spanning, individual-led projects that will split more than $507,000 in grant funding this year. In total, 2022’s funded projects are led by eighty-one individual awardees. The grant recipients were selected from a pool of nearly 500 projects submitted for consideration.”
The list includes Albert Brenchat-Aguilar, Imani Jacqueline Brown, Sarah Hearne, Sophie Leddick & Edgar Orlaineta, Temitayo Ogunbiyi, Ala Tannir, Krista Thompson, Mona Minkara, Helene Kazan, Laila Kazmi, Catalina Mejia Moreno & Huda Tayob, Lee Bey & Blair Kamin, Emanuel Admassu & Anita N. Bateman, Ashley Bigham, Marshall Brown, Louise Emily Carver & Angela Rui, Jean-Louis Cohen, Chris Dingwall & David Hartt & Daniel Schulman, David Escudero, Oxana Gourinovitch, Freyja Hartzell, Renata Hejduk & Steven Hillyer & Kim Shkapich & Jim Williamson, Pamela Karimi, Indra Kagis McEwen, Gustavo Diéguez & Felipe Mesa & Ana Valderrama, Marina Otero Verzier, Adair Rounthwaite, Ozayr Saloojee & Jamie Vanucchi, Robin Schuldenfrei, Mark Shepard, Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi, Susan Slyomovics, Gregor Stemmrich, André Tavares, Beth Weinstein, Joel Sanders, Joseph Giovannini, Riff Studio, Michelle Barrett & Chris Daemmrich, Kimberly Juanita Brown, Fernanda Canales, Dane Carlson & Sonam Lama & Yungdrung Tsewang, Jingru (Cyan) Cheng & Mengfan Wang & Chen Zhan, Tonia Sing Chi, Coleman Collins, Sharmyn Cruz Rivera & Danny Giles, Aria Dean, Marco Ferrari & Elise Misao Hunchuck, Joseph R. Hartman, Sara Hendren, Kelley Lemon, Nifemi Marcus-Bello, Sonal Mithal & Arul Paul, Dahlia Nduom and “Saay/Yaas.”
DINING & DRINKING
Tack Room Sets Sunday “Salsa & Ceviche”
Salsa & Ceviche will be at the Tack Room in the Thalia Hall building in Pilsen every Sunday from 3pm-6pm in June. Each Sunday, Tack Room will have a new ceviche (made by Chef Ben Truesdell of Dusek’s), along with live Latin Jazz on the open patio. Peter “Maestro” Vale, a Chicago native, “combines percussion-heavy, groovy bass lines and mesmerizing piano melodies with the Rumberos.” RSVP here.
Chinatown Gets A Cocktail Bar
“Chinatown never had a cocktail bar… devoted to the consumption of mixed drinks,” reports Aimee Levitt at Eater Chicago. “But now it has Nine Bar, a new lounge that’s hidden speakeasy-style behind Moon Palace Express, the latest incarnation of one of the neighborhood’s oldest restaurants. Nine Bar’s owners, bartenders Lily Wang (Estereo) and Joe Briglio (Blind Barber), describe the menu as ‘Asian-ish.’ … Wang and Briglio were inspired by the industrial aesthetic of small alley bars they found during their travels in Tokyo and Hong Kong and also by the movie ‘Blade Runner’: corrugated metal, exposed brick, neon, dim lighting, and lots of things that are black.”
What Gets A Restaurant Going?
“Relationships play a big role” in establishing and keeping restaurants afloat, writes Michael Nagrant at his revitalized newsletter, now called “The Hunger.” “It’s why I’m always beating the drum of ethics, transparency, and keeping subjects at arm’s length. It’s why I abhor our current fetishism with influencing. Humans in general trust as a default. Introduce any amount of friendliness or positivity from a relationship into that equation, and you can make anyone believe anything… including that the food is very good when it’s not. This is especially true if you’re on deadline with a limited budget and your publication can’t afford to have you move on to another assignment without lying about the first one because it needs to fill column space paid for by dwindling advertisers. And, oh, Dios Mios!, imagine when there’s no editor and the person doing coverage is paid by those they cover, because that’s exactly how influencing works.”
Edgewater And Edgewater Beach Starbucks Unionize
The votes at stores in Chicago’s Edgewater and Edgewater Beach neighborhoods make those employees the first Starbucks workers in the city to unionize, reports the Tribune. “Teddy Hoffman, a barista at the Ridge and Clark Starbucks, called the union vote ‘exhilarating.’ Hoffman has worked at Starbucks for more than six years. ‘I think the biggest part is just finally feeling like we have a voice, and that our work has amounted to something.'”
Egg Prices Will Crack Twenty Percent Increase
“Egg production falls to a seven-year low due to U.S. bird flu outbreaks,” reports Bloomberg, “which could drive up egg prices as much as twenty-one-percent compared to a year ago… The outbreak of avian influenza has affected more than 38 million birds in the US, driving both the number of egg-laying birds and the production of table eggs down to the lowest level since 2015, the last time the bird flu virus ran rampant in the poultry industry.”
Molson Coors To Donate $50,000 To Chicago LGBTQ+, HIV/AIDS Organizations
Molson Coors has announced the return of its Tap Into Change Program, a program in which proceeds of sales from Molson Coors products at select locations are donated to local LGBTQ+ non-profit organizations. Tap Into Change runs from June 1-August 31 at fourteen participating locations, including: SOFO Tap, North End, Sidetrack, Big Chicks, Progress Bar, Charlie’s Chicago, DS Tequila, Meeting House, Cell Block, Splash, The Call, Jack Hammer, 2Bear Tavern Uptown and Roscoe’s Tavern.
The company will donate $50,000 from proceeds of sales on Molson Coors products sold this summer to thirteen local LGBTQ+ and HIV/AIDS organizations, including Legal Council for Health Justice, Howard Brown Health, Affinity Community Services & Legacy Project, Brave Space Alliance, Open Door Rehabilitation Center, Vital Bridges (Heartland Health Alliance), About Face Theatre, Center on Addison, AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Chicagoland Exotic Animal Rescue – CLEAR, Leather Archives & Museum, TPAN (Test Positive Awareness Network) and Public Health Institute of Metropolitan Chicago. The program, which first launched in Chicago eleven years ago, has raised more than $700,000 for LGBTQ+ and HIV/AIDS nonprofits nationwide.
FILM & TELEVISION
Cinespace New Hire Makes Land Deal Before Leaving City Job
“Departing Ald. Michael Scott is on track to benefit from a city-backed land deal in his own ward shortly after he leaves office that would allow him… and his wife Natashee Scott to buy a pair of vacant lots adjoining their North Lawndale home,” reports The Daily Line. “The alderman has defended the move as above board, saying he had no personal involvement in the pair of land sales that his wife pursued through Mayor Lightfoot’s administration… And planning officials in Lightfoot’s administration also say the pending sales cross no legal or ethical lines… The Scotts were able to take advantage of a city-led appraisal that undercut nearby property values, and of a city program that offers discounts to property owners who buy publicly owned parcels next door to them.” Tweets BGA policy analyst Geoffrey Cubbage: “Even for Chicago, selling yourself two city-owned lots day before you announce your retirement, taking a ‘government relations’ job with a business in your Ward day of, and sidelining a significant ethics reform bill day after is a hell of a hat trick.”
Laura Washington Launches Weekly Tribune Column
Trib editorial page editor Chris Jones lets it be known on Twitter: “Thrilled and honored to welcome the writing of Laura Washington to Chicago Tribune Opinions. Her column will appear every Monday beginning in June.”
Marriott Theatre Names New Leadership
Marriott Theatre has named a new executive producer, Peter Blair, and artistic director, Peter Marston Sullivan. Both have been affiliated with the theater since the early 2000s and will now lead the venue with a combined forty-plus years in the industry. “Marriott Theatre is known for presenting new and classic musicals, often direct from Broadway, and has staged more than 250 productions before an estimated 12,000,000 people in its history. Marriott Theatre, founded in 1975, has received a record 350 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations and has employed more than 6,000 artists,” the theater says in a release.
“Peter Blair and Peter Marston Sullivan have both been with the Marriott Theatre approaching twenty years and each has been instrumental in our success over the past two decades,” Edward Doherty, president of the Bricton Group (owners of the theater), says in the release. “We relish the opportunity to promote from within, and these appointments are a natural progression for us and each of them in their careers. They have mastered their craft, excelled in their positions, and we look forward to working with them. Marriott Theatre is a special place and Peter and Peter’s work will ensure that the DNA of this one-of-a-kind venue is seamlessly carried forward.”
Winners Of August Wilson Monologue And Design Competitions Named
Out of 330 Chicago area high school students who entered the thirteenth annual August Wilson Monologue and Design Competitions, the Goodman Theatre reports, Demi Davis from Senn High School prevailed, taking the first-place prize at the Chicago finals for her two-to-three-minute monologue performance. A member of Goodman’s 2019 PlayBuild Youth Intensive, a summer ensemble-building program that acquaints high school students with performance, creative writing and communication skills, Davis delivered her monologue as the character Ruby in Wilson’s “King Hedley II.” Aisha Akorede (Amundsen High School) took second with her performance as Vera from “Seven Guitars” and Alex Weber (ChiArts) came in third place with a performance as Sterling from “Two Trains Running.”
“Designing August,” which focuses on scenic and design elements—returned for its second year. Lauren Givens (Providence St. Mel School) earned first place for the design competition; second and third places went to Aspira Early College High Schoolers Karla Marin-Casteneda and Jaime Uriostegui. “It is an honor for me to personally congratulate the winners of the August Wilson Monologue and Design Competitions at Goodman Theatre, a place where I worked with my beloved husband to make his poetry take life and form. I fully support and encourage a whole new generation of artists to lend their perspective and talent to his vision and legacy,” Constanza Romero-Wilson, executive director of August Wilson Legacy LLC says in the release. Student finalists—including alumni from the Goodman’s youth programs as Youth Arts Council, InterGens program and Musical Theater Intensive—hailed from the following high schools: Amundsen, Art in Motion, ASPIRA, The Chicago High School for the Arts, The Chicago Academy for the Arts, CICS Northtown Academy, Lincoln Park, Providence St. Mel School, Senn, South Shore International College Prep, Southland College Prep and Whitney Young Magnet.
Mr. Mamet Would Have You Know
Fresh eructations from the bristling Chicago-bred playwright, including these thoughts on capitalism at American Theatre: “Okay, so you’re all in favor of capitalism. Me too. All the people screaming about capitalism, including the ‘voice of reason’ in Congress and all of these actors, they all pick up the check. That’s capitalism. Here’s the thing: You can scream about how bad capitalism is in our society, but if you scream about how bad communism is across the street they kill you. My plays are not an indictment of capitalism. One can easily say ‘King Lear’ is an indictment of capitalism because, look, he’s the king, but he gave up a little bit of power and everybody else wanted to be the king, so they took away all of his servant men. Nobody hates capitalism. Even the people screaming about it are doing it for what they can get out of it, because that’s how human beings live. The alternative to capitalism is slavery, in which case you don’t have to worry about it. But the only problem with slavery is you’re a slave.”
ARTS & CULTURE
Chicago’s “Walking Man” Again Attacked, This Time Set Afire
Joseph Kromelis, who is Chicago’s “Walking Man” of many, many decades was set afire late at night on Lower Wacker; it was the second serious attack on the seventy-five-year-old city fixture. “A homeless man well known for walking the streets of the Loop [and historically, through the city as far north as Wrigley Field] was critically injured when he was set on fire while sleeping on Lower Wabash Avenue early Wednesday—almost six years to the day after he was viciously beaten in downtown Chicago,” reports the Sun-Times. Kromelis “was lying on the ground in the 400 block of North Lower Wabash when someone walked up, poured a flammable liquid on him and lit it, police said.” His burns are extensive and chances of survival are poor. “‘We were just told he’s most likely to die,’ one law enforcement source said.” Kromelis “was identified through prescriptions found in his pocket… Six years ago—on May 24, 2016—he was brutally beaten by someone with a baseball bat in the 400 block of East Lower Wacker Drive. The two were struggling over the bat when police arrived.” His sister-in-law said at that time: “He just likes to walk.” The Trib: “Kromelis once joked: “I’m like the Kardashians—I’m famous for doing nothing.”
MSI Reopens North Court Doors
Visitors can again enter the Museum of Science and Industry through the North Court doors. “Decorated with fourteen panels illustrating the branches of science and technology, these doors symbolize the amazing breadth of knowledge held within our 400,000 square feet of exhibit space,” the MSI relays.
Chicago Not Hellhole, Answers Axios
Several ripostes to the eager downstate politicians who trash Chicago with inaccurate talking points about violence come from Axios Chicago, including the level of crime: “We do have way too much. But when it comes to per capita murder and gun homicides, Chicago doesn’t even make the top 10.”
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