Threewalls Receives Mellon Foundation Grant
Threewalls has received a $500,000 two-year award from the Mellon Foundation. The grant will support ALAANA-identifying (African descent, Latinx, Asian, Arab, Native American) artists in Chicago by offering time, space and resources “to develop their artistic practice while caring for their wellness.” The grant will support Threewalls’ In-Session Fellowship that has been designed to hold space with artists and creatives as they create a salon, in collaboration with the organization, while attending to their personal and professional development. More on Threewalls here.
Olivia Guterson’s Ancestral Patterns
“The Detroit-based artist draws from her Russian, Ukrainian, Jewish, and African American roots to create a dazzling new ornamental language,” reports Hyperallergic.
Google In Talks To Buy Thompson Center?
“Google is negotiating to buy the spaceship-like James R. Thompson Center,” reports Ryan Ori at CoStar. “The Mountain View, California-based tech giant is seeking to buy the Helmut Jahn-designed building at 100 West Randolph, where it plans to expand its Chicago offices into a large portion of the seventeen-story building’s soon-to-be-renovated office space, according to people familiar with the deal.” Forbes, from January: “Google Spends Billions On Buying Office Buildings: Is This A Sign Of The Post-Pandemic Pushback Against Remote Work?”
Sun-Times, WBEZ Lease Space In Old Post Office
“The Chicago Sun-Times and its partner, WBEZ, are joining the march of corporate Chicago to the Old Post Office, where they will open office space in a deal that reflects the demands of hybrid work and the challenges of the media business,” reports the Sun-Times. The organizations will share 6,000 square feet. “The Sun-Times is moving from 30 North Racine, while WBEZ will retain offices and studios at Navy Pier. For the Sun-Times, the new space is much smaller than the 22,000 square feet it had… since 2017. Chicago Public Media, owner of the Sun-Times and WBEZ, said the new space will be optimized for flexible work schedules for a staff working remotely since the pandemic” began.
Driehaus Museum On Richard Nickel’s Role In Louis Sullivan Legacy
The Richard H. Driehaus Museum will present a major exhibition of photographs by Richard Nickel, best known for his role in documenting and preserving the work of the modernist architect Louis Sullivan. “Focusing on Adler & Sullivan’s Chicago buildings of the 1880s and early 1890s, the exhibition will explore the firm’s architecture through Nickel’s photography, which provides a detailed record of these buildings and, in particular, Sullivan’s signature ornamentation,” the museum relays in a release. “The exhibition will highlight the integral role Nickel played in preserving Sullivan’s legacy—the photographer’s work is all that remains of many of Adler & Sullivan’s major buildings—while ultimately losing his life in an effort to salvage artifacts during a demolition.” Featuring around forty photographs as well as a selection of over a dozen architectural fragments from The Richard H. Driehaus Collection and loans from other private collectors—many initially saved by Nickel himself—”Capturing Louis Sullivan: What Richard Nickel Saw” will be on view at the Driehaus Museum August 26-February 19, 2023. More on the museum here.
Goodbye, Flute-Playing Monkey, Goodbye
“A flute-player monkey and the other whimsical designs on the walls of Edward Minieka’s twelfth-floor Gold Coast foyer are soon to be painted over—much to Minieka’s dismay,” reports the Sun-Times. “In early July, crews are expected to paint over the cherished design spread across the foyer outside his… Gold Coast co-op unit, bringing to an end a monthslong neighbor dispute. ‘It’s awful. I’ve decorated this foyer for decades, carefully and always in sync with the neighbors. And I’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars on it.'”
DINING & DRINKING
River North Getting Working Winery
“Chicago Winery will crush, ferment, and bottle the grapes and then serve the wine in its restaurant and event space,” reports Eater Chicago. Chicago Winery will also house a restaurant, yet to be named, and an event space. “The kitchen will be led by Andrew Graves, a Chicago native who previously worked as a sous chef at Alinea and helped open Next and the Aviary. The menu will be modern American cuisine and will feature seasonal and local ingredients.”
FILM & TELEVISION
Chicago Underground Film Festival Does Twenty-Nine
CUFF returns at the end of July at the Logan Theatre after the group reconstituted as a fully independent not-for-profit. “After over a decade operating as a program of other existing not-for-profits, The Chicago Underground Film Festival is now its own completely independent 501(c)(3),” Bryan Wendorf, CUFF co-founder, programmer and artistic director says. “This will allow us to follow our own mission as completely and as uncompromisingly as we want and be the most creative and underground festival we wish to be.” Schedule and more here.
Director Of Nightingale Cinema Reflects On Recent Closing Of Space
Emily Eddy, director of the recently shuttered Nightingale Cinema, reflects on the history of the space, plus artist-run and artist-inhabited spaces, via Video Data Bank (pdf). “We closed our doors with our last screenings in late April, and we began the emotionally and physically exhausting task of moving out of the space that we occupied for fourteen years. It was like an archeological dig—just when I thought I had found everything I would find another sedimentary layer: letters, tickets, films, each artifact with a memory attached, both good and bad. From outside the space, I can see the Nightingale as part of the lineage of artist-run spaces; our family tree including both Anthology Film Archives…”
Celebrating The Rockford Peaches
“For many of the women and girls playing baseball this summer, the Rockford Peaches—a team that hasn’t played in more than sixty years—remain a source of inspiration. One of the original four teams in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, the Peaches won the most championships in league history,” reports the Trib. “Even though the team dissolved in 1954, the organization lives again through the efforts of baseball historian Kat Williams and the International Women’s Baseball Center along with the City of Rockford—and of course the 1992 movie ‘A League of Their Own.'”
Mayor And Chicago Public Library Launch “City of Stories”
Mayor Lightfoot and the Chicago Public Library have launched “City of Stories,” an all-ages, citywide approach to summer programming at all eighty-one library locations. Through August 14, “City of Stories” offers a mix of online and in-person events and resources on education, engagement, and safety for children, teens and adults. “This year’s ‘City of Stories’ will offer residents opportunities at our libraries throughout the summer to explore and share how stories connect us with each other, build relationships, and strengthen our communities,” Lightfoot says in a release. “This programming will give neighborhoods a sense of community and call upon our residents to be engaged with the City by visiting public library branches and exploring the activities provided in each one.” More here.
Every Week, Two More Newspapers Close
“Local newspapers are hardly the only news sources that can do the job, but they are the ones that have traditionally filled that role. And they are disappearing,” writes Margaret Sullivan at the Washington Post. “One-third of American newspapers that existed roughly two decades ago will be out of business by 2025, according to research made public from Northwestern University’s Medill School.”
Mavis Staples On Singing The Songs
During the first years of the pandemic, Mavis “Staples stayed home in Chicago—she lives in a modern high-rise overlooking Lake Michigan—and was, like just about everyone else in the music business, unable to perform or record,” writes David Remnick at The New Yorker in a 7,200-plus-word profile, “The Gospel According to Mavis Staples.” “She didn’t go out, and she let no one in. For company, she’d pick up her phone and check in with ‘the Twitter people.’ The empty days went on and on. ‘Oh, man, I hated it,’ she said. There was only one thing left to do. ‘I’d start singing around the house. Mostly our old stuff, the songs we started singing when I was a kid: “Didn’t It Rain,” “Help Me Jesus.”‘ … Staples no longer goes to church on Sundays. She hasn’t lost her faith; she’s lost the habit. She still sends her tithe to Trinity United Church of Christ, in Chicago—Jeremiah Wright’s old church—but she hasn’t been there for years. ‘I can go in my closet and pray,’ Staples said. ‘I don’t have to go to church. The church is a building. I’m the church… I talked to the Lord. I asked him, “Why am I still here? My whole family is gone. What do you want of me? What am I supposed to do? Have you kept me up for a reason?” And the only reason I could see is to sing my songs.'”
Richard Kaufman On Conducting John Williams At The CSO
On the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Experience blog, Richard Kaufman writes about conducting John Williams’ scores, including the June 30-July 2 live-to-picture presentation of “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi”: “John really appreciates great storytelling, and the music he writes truly accompanies the story and only calls attention to itself when he means for it to call attention to itself.” “Since Williams’ music is so ’emotionally accessible,’ Kaufman is hopeful that those who come to hear it live and have never been in a concert hall will be inspired by the experience and return for more typical orchestral fare.”
Lollapalooza Noise Complaints At Public Meeting From Grant Park Neighbors
“Ald. Sophia King (4th) told neighbors Lolla is always going to be loud, but she’s working with organizers on some sort of sound limit for the stages. Residents want more port-a-potties on site, too,” reports Block Club. “Because you got four bands playing at once, the volume of noise … it’s not conducive to… guests in the neighborhood to be so stinkin’ loud,” Block Club quotes downtown resident Julie Ranahan. “Residents also advocated for more port-a-potties, garbage cans and trash pickup in and around the venue, claiming the streets near the festival turn into a public waste bin.” Meanwhile in New York, “The City Council wants to give the Adams administration one year to find locations to construct a public bathroom in every New York City zip code.”
R. Kelly Gets Thirty Years
“It’s been twenty years since R. Kelly first faced criminal charges related to alleged sexual misdeeds, but in a federal courtroom in New York on Wednesday, the Chicago-born R&B star is in uncharted territory,” report Megan Crepeau and Jason Meisner at the Trib. “For the first time in his life, Kelly, fifty-five, is facing a sentencing judge.” And the sentence? Thirty years for sex trafficking and racketeering. “The R&B singer, fifty-five, is likely to spend much of the rest of his life in prison after being convicted of years of psychological and sexual abuse,” reports the New York Times.
Steppenwolf’s LookOut Series And Walkabout Theater Company Premiere “Still A Quiet Afternoon”
Walkabout Theater Company and Steppenwolf’s LookOut Series present the U.S. premiere of “Still a Quiet Afternoon,” “a mythic, musical tragicomedy about two people observing a multitude of apocalyptic events through their single window.” Featuring performances by Walkabout ensemble members Katie Mazzini and Gabriel Thom Pasculli, the work was co-created by Guilherme Kirchheim, Tara Ostiguy, Desiré Graham, Katie Mazzini and Gabriel Thom Pasculli. “While the fires of Troy burn outside their window, an ancient and utterly familiar couple faces off within the present moment’s epic call to action. As the fires slowly enter the house, a coherent sense of time and place starts to unravel. The duo travel back and forth throughout history, each time-jump informed by the disaster that reveals itself right outside their window.” Work on the production began in 2019 in a month-long collaboration with the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski in Pontedera, Italy. Development continued with separate workshops at the Workcenter and with Walkabout Theater in Chicago. Work-in-progress presentations were made at Prop Thtr’s Rhino Fest in Chicago and at the Hinterlands in Detroit. “Still a Quiet Afternoon” plays July 14–16 at Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theater; tickets here.
Deeply Rooted Performs New Work At Night Out In The Parks
“As part of the Chicago Park District’s Night Out in the Parks program, Deeply Rooted premieres Q After Dark, celebrating the music of Chicago’s own Quincy Jones, performed by Deeply Rooted and a super-ensemble of musicians directed by Sam Thousand,” the group relays in a release. Dates include July 7, 21 and 27. Songs include “Summer in the City,” “You Put a Move on My Heart” and “Birdland.” More here.
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
One Cost Of Relocating Citadel From Chicago To Miami: $363 Million Of Waterfront Property
Citadel’s headquarters shift to Miami accelerated months ago with a $363 million waterfront property in the city’s financial district, reports Bloomberg.
The Latest Supply Chain Bottleneck: Plan B
“Most of the major retailers are showing out of stock or short supply on their websites,” reports David Dayen at the American Prospect. “This is a classic hoarding scenario, akin to toilet paper at the outset of the pandemic. Women now have no control over their own bodies in many parts of the country, and the morning-after pill can prevent them from having to carry a child to term at the behest of the state. That’s driving the run, and subsequent rationing… The shelf life of Plan B is four years, equivalent to prescription medication abortion pills like mifepristone (which can stay in medicine cabinets for five years) and misoprostol (which can stay for two). Though Planned Parenthood on Monday warned women against stockpiling the drug, in the past the message has been to ‘buy it BEFORE you need it.'”
Omicron Booster Seen For Fall
“A critical meeting took place at the FDA on Tuesday. The external scientific committee to the FDA discussed one central question: What is our vaccination plan for fall? There were a number of presentations from external agencies (CDC, WHO, disease modelers) and vaccine manufacturers. Here are the meeting presentations and recording. Ultimately, the committee voted to recommend an Omicron-specific booster for fall,” writes Katelyn Jetelina at Substack, with additional notes.
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