Elmhurst Art Museum Sets Solo Museum Exhibition Of Pilsen Street Artist Sentrock
Joseph Perez, best known as “Sentrock,” is a self-taught street artist who creates large scale, colorful public mural works. The first solo museum show of Pilsen-based street artist Sentrock will be at Elmhurst Art Museum September 9-January 15, 2023. “The exhibition will feature new work by the rising artist that reveals for the first time the origin story of his distinctive Bird City Saint character, which appears in prominent murals in Chicago and other cities,” the museum relays in a release. Perez “views street art as a gesture of compassion for his community and a powerful form of expression that encapsulates his Mexican American background, upbringing, and history. With spray can in hand, he developed his work from graffiti writing to his now highly stylized and recognized street art featuring the Bird City Saint character that wears a bird mask. He describes this signature mask as a means of an individual’s personal expression, strength and hope.” Tickets are available here.
As a response to violence in the United States, CNL Projects and Terrain Exhibitions will relaunch ART-IN-PLACE in late summer 2022, two years after its first event. “We invite artists of any medium and experience level to respond to the current state of our country by exhibiting an original work of art or performance in public. This artwork or performance can be displayed outside a home, on a lawn, from a window visible to the public, or through an artist-formed partnership with a local business between August 15-September 30,” the group advises in a release. “This collective action provides artists and community members in neighborhoods throughout the country with a sense of hope and connectivity and offers opportunities to impact change fundamental to our human rights.” The 400 participating installations from ART-IN-PLACE 2020 are here. More here.
Global Movement To Ensure Free Public Transit As A Human Right
“‘When you remove fares that says to people that you’ve got a right to get around regardless of your means, it’s a public good,’ says Jenny Mcarthur, urban infrastructure researcher at University College London. The need for new thinking is acute,” writes Wired. “Road transport makes up a tenth of global carbon dioxide emissions, with soaring fuel prices also putting a squeeze on already stretched households… While free fares can and do boost public transport use, such policies don’t necessarily get cars off the road. But free transport has benefits beyond the environment. In Spain, free tickets have been introduced to ease the burden of inflation and rising fuel prices rather than to directly target emissions.”
DINING & DRINKING
Chicago Suits Against GrubHub And DoorDash Still Active
Chicago’s lawsuits against third-party delivery companies DoorDash and Grubhub are still in court even as San Francisco considers a settlement with similar suits. “Both companies are suing San Francisco claiming a pandemic-era fifteen-percent fee cap, designed to lessen burdens on restaurants, is illegal,” reports Eater Chicago. “Under a proposed settlement in San Francisco, the fifteen-percent cap would remain for basic services like restaurant listings on apps and delivery services. But instead of limiting what the apps could make, restaurants would have the option to pay for premium services including SEO boosts, consulting and credit-card processing.”
FILM & TELEVISION
Chicago Filmmakers Awards Cash Grants To Local Artists Of Up To $20,000
Chicago Filmmakers’ Chicago Digital Media Production Fund (CDMPF) has awarded cash grants from $3,000-$20,000 to seven Chicago artists for the production of socially progressive digital media projects. The CDMPF is designed to support forward-thinking media-arts projects with the capacity to create social change, supporting artists from diverse backgrounds at different levels of experience. An independent panel of community peers and media professionals reviewed the proposals. Guidelines stipulated that projects must address social justice issues or represent points-of-view of those historically marginalized by mainstream media. In addition to funding projects selected by the panel, Chicago Filmmakers also channeled $10,000 in funding through Creative Cypher, a multiservice entertainment company, to support the winner of their Chicago Film XLerator content lab, a project intended to discover new BIPOC talent and increase creative pipelines in the industry. Funding for the CDMPF is provided by Voqal. The awarded projects are “Still Searching,” Latoya Flowers ($20,000); “Nuestra Herencia Legacy Film Project,” Erin Babbin ($15,000); “Laughing Through The Tears,” Christine List ($15,000); “Hair,” Lorena Diaz and Wendy Mateo ($12,000); “The Last Drop,” Adam Joel ($12,000); “Hindsight,” Kimberly Michelle Vaughn ($10,000); “Video Funeral,” Linh Tran ($3,000). More here.
Sara Paretsky At Seventy-Five
At the Trib, Christopher Borrelli checks in with the bard of Chicago crime. “‘Overboard,’ her new novel, about yet another conspiracy just beneath the veil of everyday Chicago, is her twenty-first mystery featuring her beloved private detective V.I. Warshawski. Paretsky began publishing V.I.’s adventures forty years ago, helping to spark a revolution in crime writing that transformed the genre. They also serve, by now, as a kind of ongoing mirror history of Illinois. Read them all and you would have a fairly decent understanding of the social upheavals and political machinations of the past four decades in Chicago. Or just GPS the locations in a V.I. Warshawski novel and tour the city. I doubt there is a block of greater Chicagoland V.I. hasn’t investigated.”
Lolla’s Here Until 2032. Or Maybe 2037?
Reserving a flourish for the end of four days of massed music in Grant Park, Mayor Lightfoot announced Lollapalooza is signed, sealed and ready to be delivered for another decade (plus an additional five-year-extension option), reports the Sun-Times: “The mayor made the announcement onstage to throngs of screaming fans, appearing alongside festival founder Perry Farrell… ‘I’m here to tell you that Lolla, all the great work, all the fabulous music, will continue for ten more years… That’s ten more years of music, of arts, of support for the city of Chicago. Four billion dollars in economic impact, ten more years.”
Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra Extends Contracts For Maestro And Musicians
At the onset of the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra’s forty-fifth anniversary season, the organization has reached long-term agreements with both Music Director Stilian Kirov and the IPO musicians. “IPO is committed to both collaboration and innovation, and we are very excited to embark upon our forty-fifth anniversary season with renewal commitments in place between IPO, our talented musicians and our incredible music director,” executive director Christina Salerno says in a release. “With energy and enthusiasm, we look forward to working together to create many more years of fine classical music experiences for our community,” music director Stilian Kirov says with a four-year contract extension that brings his time with IPO to a decade. More here.
Newberry Consort Announces Season Under Direction Of New Artistic Director
The Newberry Consort has announced its thirty-sixth season under the new leadership of artistic director Liza Malamut after the departure of longtime artistic directors Ellen Hargis and David Douglass last season. A historical trombonist and scholar, Malamut has performed around the world with early music groups including Tafelmusik, Opera Atelier, the Handel & Haydn Society, Piffaro: The Renaissance Band and Dark Horse Consort. She is also one of the founding members of Incantare, an ensemble of violins and sackbuts formed to highlight music of lesser-known and marginalized composers and their contemporaries in early modern Europe. Because Malamut is a brass player, the Consort will incorporate historical trombones, reeds and cornetts into its repertoire. Malamut says she is committed to continuing The Consort’s longstanding tradition of presenting works from the Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque eras. “I am proud to share my predecessors’ deep love and commitment to innovative performance and historical integrity, and will continue to present creative, multidimensional concerts that engage the highest-caliber musicians from Chicago and beyond,” Malamut says in a release. More here.
Demetria Taylor Releases “Doin’ What I’m Supposed to Do” On Delmark
“Demetria Taylor was born to sing the blues, as she is the daughter of the legendary Chicago blues guitarist, Eddie Taylor,” advises Delmark Records in a release. “The songs on this album are a balance of traditional blues and modern R&B, with some written by her blues royalty family, some by fellow musicians and bandmates Mike Wheeler and Larry Williams, one by the venerable Magic Sam and two by Demetria herself. This second Delmark record for Demetria is a strong and exciting follow-up to her successful Delmark debut, ‘Bad Girl,’ which was nominated as best new artist debut in the 2012 Blues Music Awards. Demetria’s new recording features the support from fellow Delmark artists Mike Wheeler Band and guitar star Carlos Showers.” The release party is at SPACE Evanston on August 22; tickets here.
Cabaret Zazou Sets Worldwide Premiere of Luminaire, From Producers of Teatro ZinZanni Chicago
Opening on September 7, the “new, groundbreaking, immersive variety dinner show, will make its worldwide debut in a vintage Spiegeltent on the 14th floor of the Cambria Hotel in the heart of Chicago’s Theatre District. ‘Luminaire’ is directed by Dreya Weber, and stars critically acclaimed performers Frank Ferrante and Liv Warfield as they lead an international cast of exceptional entertainers. Sassy, sexy, and sultry, ‘Luminaire’ is designed to dazzle and delight audiences with stunning cirque acts, interactive comedy, captivating vocalists, and a stellar band, complemented by a delicious multi-course meal.”
Nimble Mu In Minnesota
“’What, exactly, is the “special sauce?”’ I jokingly asked of four staff members at Theater Mu, Minnesota’s only Pan-Asian theater organization, and one of the U.S.’ longest continuously running Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) theater companies, with a budget that’s a little over $540,000,” writes KT Shorb at American Theatre magazine. “Mu has emerged two years into the pandemic not only thriving but doing better than ever. Mu’s resilience defies many odds: Many performing arts organizations have folded or curtailed activities… anti-AAPI sentiment and hate incidents are at the highest they have been for a long time; Mu is located in a metropolitan area that formed the epicenter of an intense racial reckoning; and the entire Mu staff coincidentally turned over within a year of lockdown. Asked why the organization is nevertheless faring well, members cite different factors, from reconsidering labor practices to Mu’s small and therefore nimble size. Two main ideas, however, set Mu apart from many organizations: wide-ranging training, knowledge, and skills that are not necessarily held by most nonprofit theatremakers and managers; and long-standing mutual support in a grounded community.” More here.
Saint Sebastian Players Set Forty-First Season
The Saint Sebastian Players have announced the company’s forty-first season, featuring a French romantic comedy from the sixties, a look at Shakespeare behind the scenes and a comedy set on a Broadway opening night. Performances take place at the theater’s home in the lower level of St. Bonaventure, 1625 West Diversey. More here.
Detroit Repertory Theatre: “Keeping It in the Neighborhood”
“The Detroit Repertory Theatre, founded in 1957, is a theatre that knows who it is, even if outsiders often don’t. The oldest alternative professional theatre in Michigan, with a budget of roughly half a million dollars, it is deeply committed to its Detroit neighborhood, to diverse casting, and to developing audiences that truly reflect its community,” reports American Theatre magazine. “But is it a theatre of color? The new artistic and managing director, Leah Smith, who took over from the founders on July 1, 2021, after working with the company for twenty years, and who is white, points out that over the years, Detroit Rep has defied easy definitions. She cited Bruce Millan, the former artistic director and one of the theatre’s co-founders, also white, who would often say, ‘The Blacks called us white, and the whites called us Black.'” More here.
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Durbin And Duckworth Collaborate In Hope Of Clarifying Walgreens Contraceptive Policy
Illinois Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth are putting pressure on Walgreens to revise a policy they say allows Walgreens employees to refuse to sell contraceptives to customers based on workers’ avowed religious or moral beliefs, reports Crain’s. “The senators ask Walgreens CEO Roz Brewer about the retail giant’s policy after reports that employees refused to sell contraceptives.”
Pritzker Announces $15 Million in Additional Funding For Local Fests And Tourism
Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity are releasing another $15 million in funding to support the tourism sector across Illinois, through the second round of the Tourism Attraction and Festivals Grant program offered by the State. Through the $15 million investment, which is open for applicants now, $5 million will be reserved for festivals, which serve as economic drivers while bringing communities together, and $10 million will support a broad range of other tourism-related projects such as attractions, museums, live performance venues and more. This grant is funded using American Rescue Plan Act dollars.
“From boosting local economies and small businesses to showcasing the beauty of our state, Illinois’ tourism industry contributes more than fun experiences for all of us. It is also about history and community—and preserving the rich, diverse stories that make Illinois a great place to live in and visit,” Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton says in a release. “Our administration has been committed to supporting the tourism industry’s recovery from the pandemic because of how integral it is to our state’s communities. This additional $15 million in funding is a testament to that.” This round of funding makes downstate communities a priority, communities that have had declines in hotel tax revenues and provides $5 million specifically for festivals. “Additionally, in order to maximize funding, applicants are required to submit matching funds with the goal of attracting additional visitors to localities and events, thereby supporting local hotels, restaurants, and businesses. Through the revised approach for the second round of funding, the State is ensuring localities and tourism entities hardest-hit by the pandemic receive additional support.”
Navy Pier Hosts Second “Chicago Live!”
Navy Pier will bring back Chicago Live! as an annual two-day performance festival, with support from the Pritzker Foundation. More than sixty of the city’s marquee names—a third of which are participating for the first time—will give back-to-back performances noon-9pm Saturday, September 24 and noon-6pm on Sunday, September 25. Performances will be at the East End Plaza, the Wave Wall Platform and the Lake Stage at Navy Pier. Participating companies include the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Black Ensemble Theater, Joffrey Ballet, Improv Olympics, Puerto Rican Arts Alliance, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Blue Man Group, Jazz Institute of Chicago and the Neo-Futurists. Admission is free and the public is invited to bring their lawn chairs and picnic blankets. Chicago Live! will be back for two more years, thanks to a donation from the Pritzker Foundation. After sponsoring the inaugural 2021 Chicago Live! Again event, the Pritzker Foundation committed support for its return in 2022 with $1 million, $500,000 for 2023 and $500,000 for 2024. Details here.
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