“The Land Between The Sea” At ENGAGE Projects
ENGAGE Projects presents “The Land Between the Sea,” a group exhibition organized by guest curator Noah Hanna, featuring the work of Juan Molina Hernandez, M_m<M, SaraNoa Mark and Farah Salem. “Taking inspiration from Chicana theorist Gloria Anzaldua, ‘The Land Between the Sea’ references the experience of nepantla, a Nahuatl word for a space between two bodies of water or worlds, as well as a manifestation of personal, social, spiritual, and cultural ‘in between-ness.’ This exhibition explores the desert as a space in which history, geography, and identity exist in a state of perpetual transition. Though the desert often evokes a particular geopolitical and environmental border zone, these artists instead consider how our personal labors within the landscape produce our roots, narratives, and identities, encouraging us to perceive the desert as a space that is both the product of human existence and in opposition to it.” ENGAGE Projects, 864 North Ashland. Saturday, July 23-Friday, August 26. More here (pdf).
Chicago Community Development Grants Named
The Chicago Recovery Plan is a citywide effort under Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot “to catalyze a sustainable economic recovery from the pandemic. Utilizing federal and local funding sources, the CRP is making grants available for private investment projects based on community-driven priorities established through the 2022 City budget process. Public funding is intended to foster thriving and safe communities, as well as support an equitable economic recovery.” For the July list, seventy-nine businesses and organizations across thirty-six community areas were selected by the Chicago Department of Planning and Development to receive more than $49 million in support of more than $97 million in total neighborhood investments. Thirty-five businesses and organizations—which account for nearly $33 million in total investment—are in INVEST South/West areas within the City. “The projects will add vitality to business corridors, create jobs, enhance public safety and health, and provide amenities for those living in and visiting those neighborhoods.” Complete list of grantees and more here.
New Milwaukee Museum Patterned After Rock Formations
“Milwaukee Public Museum is offering a first look at the design of the new downtown museum—which is inspired by a well-known Wisconsin state park,” reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “The five-story museum, to open in 2026… will be a primarily concrete and glass structure. Its exterior design is reminiscent of the geological formations in Mill Bluff State Park, which overlooks Interstate 90 near Camp Douglas, in central Wisconsin.”
Mayor Proposes One-Dollar Surcharge For Chicago’s Remaining 450 Cabs
“Chicago cabdrivers squeezed by skyrocketing gas prices may soon get some relief — at the expense of their dwindling pool of riders,” reports the Sun-Times.”Mayor Lightfoot is proposing a modest surcharge of $1 for fares up to $20, $2 for fares as high as $40 and $3 for tabs over $40.”
Medinah Temple Casino Plans
“A temporary casino at the Medinah Temple location could be open for up to three years. The city plans to hold another hearing on August 4 to present development plans,” reports WGN-TV. “Architects who plan to revamp the historic Medinah Temple downtown to be the temporary site of a new casino want to be clear: The building’s copper domes, third-floor ceiling and stained glass windows will remain untouched, preserving the integrity of the 1912 architecture,” reports the Sun-Times.
Toys R Us Stores Opening Inside Macy’s Stores, Including State Street
“Macy’s announced it will launch in-store Toys R Us shops in all of its U.S. retail locations,” reports the Trib. “Macy’s has sold Toys R Us products exclusively online… The in-store shops will open between late July and mid-October. They’ll range from 1,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet in flagship locations.”
Uber Investigation Turns To Drivers
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists turns its worldwide investigation of Uber’s history to the state of its drivers today. “In the early days of Uber’s expansion, the company spent millions of dollars to attract drivers to its platform. To keep them coming, Uber paid drivers bonuses, stoking the hopes of low-income workers in many countries while undermining taxi monopolies. But the incentives didn’t last. As the Uber Files detail, after the company had lured enough drivers, and claimed a big enough slice of a local market, it slashed those benefits. As pay decreased, some Uber drivers also found themselves accepting rides in dangerous areas that they once would have avoided, threatening their safety.”
Companies That Rent Offices Want Employees To Work There, Not At Home
“Most bosses remain steadfast in their desire to see their white-collar employees in the office despite many workers’ desire to stay home most of the time,” reports the Los Angeles Times. “About eighty-five percent of companies say they want employees to spend half or more of their work time there, according to a recent national real estate brokerage survey. But rising and waning surges of COVID-19 keep injecting caution into employers’ attitudes about enforcing in-person work, which are still evolving as leaders and workers try to figure out how much time they want to spend in the office and how much room they’ll need to do their jobs when they are together.”
DINING & DRINKING
City Could Terminate Downtown And River North 4am Liquor Licenses
There are 128 late-night licenses for bars and restaurants in Chicago, reports Eater Chicago. Now, an alderman is “calling on the city to consider eliminating bars with late-night tavern licenses in River North, suggesting these locations are contributing to violence… Second Ward Ald. Brian Hopkins, who represents parts of River North, as well as Wicker Park and West Town, told Block Club Chicago that bars with late-night tavern licenses, [which] can serve until 4am and until 5am Sunday are ‘attracting the most violence.'” Last week, Hopkins tweeted, “know who else agrees? the police, who are called to respond at 5am to unruly and intoxicated crowds—crowds that now contain an increasing proportion of individuals with loaded guns.”
Andersonville Reza’s Closed Down
“Reza’s Restaurant at 5255 North Clark has had its state business registration revoked by the Illinois Department of Revenue,” reports Block Club Chicago. “An ‘off limits — do not enter’ sign was also affixed to the restaurant by the city’s Department of Buildings… Building inspectors found ‘dangerous and hazardous’ code violations in the business… The violations include exposed electrical wiring, overloaded electrical systems, expired fire extinguishers, faulty emergency lighting systems and ‘compromised means of emergency egress.'”
What Defines A “Co-op”?
“Co-ops are people working together for better food, stronger communities, and a healthier world,” reports the Reader in a conversation with the Dill Pickle’s general manager, I’Talia McCarthy. “The most unique and important thing… is that they are democratically run and owned by consumers like you and I—not investors… Because of co-ops, communities can find meat that is sustainably raised and products that have been grown or made within a hundred miles of where they live. (The average co-op purchases goods from fifty-one local farms and 106 other local producers.)”
A Link Between U.S. Dairy Farmers And Mexican Workers
“In ‘Milked,’ journalist Ruth Conniff explores how American reliance on Mexican labor has bonded two seemingly opposed groups”: small farms and Mexican workers, reports Modern Farmer. “The rural parts of Mexico are suffering, in a more intense way, from some of the same forces that are afflicting rural parts of Wisconsin and Minnesota,” says author Ruth Conniff. “Big Food and Big Ag are making it really hard to make a living for smaller farmers.”
Sun-Times Executive Editor Jennifer Kho Talks Chicago
Jennifer Kho, the first woman (and person of color) to hold the reins of the Sun-Times, talks to Charlie Meyerson and Sheila Solomon at the Chicago Public Square/Rivet360 podcast, “Chicago Media Talks.” “Everything’s on the table,” she tells the hosts.
Substack Local Newsletters: Not Sustainable
“Last April, Substack committed $1 million to a program to give grants for local journalists to launch publications, but now that the funding has run out, most of the newsletters are no closer to being sustainable businesses, and some are shutting down,” reports Andrew Fedorov at the Fine Print.
Metal Outpost Opens
“Chicago’s newest record store specializes in all things metal. Meteor Gem occupies a garden-level boutique at 3082 North Elston, and its stock is so laser-focused on extreme music—including death, doom, black, post-, and progressive metal—that the records in just one subgenre outnumber the entire metal inventory of many local shops,” write J.R. Nelson and Leor Galil at the Reader.
Chamber Music Orion Ensemble Sets Thirtieth Season
The Orion Ensemble celebrates 30 years of chamber music performance with a four-concert series featuring “some of its most beloved repertoire” and special guest musicians. Orion’s core musicians are Florentina Ramniceanu, violin; Judy Stone, cello; Kathryne Pirtle, clarinet; and Diana Schmück, piano. Orion performs each concert program at venues all across the Chicago area, including the PianoForte Studios in downtown Chicago, the Music Institute of Chicago’s Nichols Concert Hall in Evanston and New England Congregational Church in Aurora. All venues welcome in-person audiences, and Evanston and Chicago performances will be livestreamed. More here.
Out of Space Fest Returns With Jenny Lewis, Elvis Costello, Lucinda Williams, Buddy Guy, Nick Lowe
Out of Space returns for its fifth season of musical acts on the shores of Lake Michigan. “Connecting music fans from Evanston, Chicago, and beyond with a bespoke concert experience that creates one-of-a-kind environments and features the best of local cuisine, inspired beverage offerings and custom art installations,” Out of Space will be staged August 4-7 at Canal Shores and September 1-4 at Temperance Brew Co. in Evanston. The August schedule features Jenny Lewis and Trampled by Turtles, Elvis Costello & the Imposters with special guests Nick Lowe & Los Straitjackets and Nicole Atkins, Lucinda Williams, Waxahatchee and Liam Kazar, as well as Buddy Guy with Todd Park Mohr (Big Head Todd & the Monsters) and Bobby Rush. More here.
Campaign To Award Duke Ellington The 1965 Pulitzer He Was Denied
Ted Gioia writes about what’s behind a petition he’s begun: “That missing award from 1965 has long been a source of disappointment and frustration to jazz fans, and a genuine disgrace in the history of the Pulitzer. The jury that judged the entrants that year decided to do something different—they recommended giving the honor to Duke Ellington for the ‘vitality and originality of his total productivity’ over the course of more than forty years. This was an unusual move in many ways… The Pulitzer usually honors a single work, much like the Oscar for Best Picture… In this instance, the jury recommended that Ellington get the honor for his entire career. But even more significant, it would be the first time a jazz musician or an African American received this prestigious award. But it never happened. The Pulitzer Board refused to accept the decision of the jury, and decided it would be better to give out no award, rather than honor Duke Ellington. Two members of the three-person judging panel… resigned in the aftermath.” His petition, nearing its 10,000-signature goal, is here.
Broadway Bows To Continuing Optional Mask Policy
The Broadway League announced that the owners and operators of Broadway theaters in New York City will continue their mask optional policy through August and until further notice. “Consistent with New York City and State recommendations, audience members are strongly encouraged to wear masks in theaters,” the group says in signing off. “This is a complete failure of leadership,” posts journalist Mark Harris on Twitter: “NYC cases are up 32% in two weeks. NYC hospitalizations are up 25%. NYC is averaging 5000 reported new cases a day; factoring in home tests, you can multiply that by what, 4, 5, 6, 7? So when the Broadway League said it would watch the numbers, I guess they meant that literally.”
What If Theaters Eliminated Unpaid Internships?
“As theaters scrap training programs that have often been more exploitive than educational in favor of paid positions, entry-level work may grow both scarcer and more equitably accessible,” reports American Theatre magazine in an extensive report.
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Sundays On State Returns
Sundays on State, a project of Chicago Loop Alliance, returns this Sunday. “Sundays on State returns with an expanded footprint when Chicago’s most iconic street, State Street, closes to vehicular traffic for select Sundays this summer from Monroe to Lake. Join neighbors from every Chicago community and beyond for this free, interactive block party, while safely enjoying art, culture, active recreation, food, drinks, shopping, and more in the heart of everyone’s neighborhood, the Loop.” Register in advance here. The full line-up is here.
NASCAR Wouldn’t Be First Car Racing Downtown
Soldier Field “has a long and strong history in auto racing,” reports Autoweek. “A cinder track was built inside the stadium in the 1930s. It later was paved, and… motorsports were contested on the surface until the 1960s. The stadium was the place to be on weekend nights as stock-car racers put on wildly entertaining shows for the assembled throngs.”
Staffers For Eight House Democrats Petition To Unionize
Staffers who work for eight House Democrats filed petitions Monday to begin the unionization process. “New rules went into effect allowing many legislative branch staffers to bargain collectively,” reports Roll Call. “Now they must wait on the Office of Congressional Workplace Rights to vet the petitions before holding secret ballot elections to decide whether they want a union to represent them.” The staffers are employed by Rep. Jesús ‘Chuy’ García, D-Ill., Reps. Andy Levin, D-Mich., Ro Khanna, D-Calif., Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Melanie Stansbury, D-N.M., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Ted Lieu, D-Calif., and Cori Bush, D-Mo.”
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