EXPO Names Program Curators for Tenth Anniversary
EXPO CHICAGO has announced the Program Curators for the tenth anniversary edition, at Navy Pier April 13-16, 2023. “Showcasing large-scale sculpture, video, film and site-specific works throughout Festival Hall, the 2023 IN/SITU program will be curated by Claudia Segura, curator of exhibitions and collection of the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona. Aimé Iglesias Lukin, director and chief curator of visual arts at Americas Society in New York has been selected to curate the 2023 EXPOSURE section, which highlights solo and two-artist presentations from galleries ten years and younger. Lukin will curate a presentation focused on heralding emerging artists and exhibition programs, with counsel from the Selection Committee and exposition’s directors.” More here (pdf).
Cincinnati Taft Museum Of Art Names New CEO
The board of Cincinnati’s downtown Taft Museum Of Art has selected Rebekah “Becky” Beaulieu to lead the institution starting September 19. Beaulieu is currently director of the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, Connecticut, “which like the Taft, is a National Historic Landmark house and modern exhibition space dedicated to American art, history and landscape.” Beaulieu also serves as an accreditation commissioner for the American Alliance of Museums, as the vice president of the New England Museum Association and as the treasurer of the American Association for State and Local History. In addition to her current roles, she has also held positions at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art in Brunswick, Maine, the Milwaukee County Historical Society in Milwaukee and Lookingglass Theatre Company in Chicago.
Columbus Museum of Art Seeking Executive Director & CEO
The Columbus Museum of Art has posted a notice for an executive director: “This leader guides the museum and its professional staff in pursuing its mission and assuring a sustainable future, garners support for the institution’s priorities including serving as chief fundraiser leading the museum’s development team, provides skillful oversight of its operations, and serves as a thought leader in planning exhibitions, publications, and programs that engage the local community and an expanding audience.” The position profile is here.
Activists Call On CTA Not To Buy More Diesel Buses
“The CTA has more than 1,800 diesel-powered buses in its fleet. Of those, 1,200 are at or beyond their life expectancy—they’re twelve-to-fourteen years old and have been driven an average of nearly 600,000 miles,” reports the Sun-Times. “An environmental group wants the CTA to suspend plans to buy 500 diesel-powered buses, and is urging the transit agency to commit to its goal of a fully electric bus fleet by 2040.” But the CTA says that to meet its short-term needs, it must buy more diesel buses, “since nearly seventy-percent of its fleet is nearing the end of its expected lifespan—or already has surpassed it.”
Far South Side Red Line Expansion May Happen After Fifty Years Of Hopes
“A $3.6 billion plan would extend the Red Line nearly six miles from 95th to 130th,” reports Block Club Chicago. “Far South Siders hope the extension will bring the jobs and development they were promised.”
New York Investor Picks Up 167 Units Of Englewood Housing
“Jonathan Rose Cos. acquired Englewood Gardens, an apartment portfolio in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood, and plans to preserve it all as affordable housing. It’s the latest in a series of Chicago purchases by the New York City-based investor, and company officials say they’ve got the financial heft to preserve and renovate thousands of local units,” reports the Trib. “The firm partnered with local development firm 5T Management to acquire the thirteen-building, 167-unit, scattered-site Section 8 property for $10.7 million from affordable housing developer Anthony Fusco.”
Architects Pick America’s Ten Most Influential Buildings; Sorry, Chicago
Philip Johnson’s Glass House, an airport designed by Eero Saarinen and a Frank Lloyd Wright home are among the buildings that ten leading American architects selected as ten of the country’s most significant pieces of architecture, writes Dezeen. “The publication asked ten American architects, including American Institute of Architects (AIA) president-elect Kimberly Dowdell and veteran New York architect Robert AM Stern, to name the U.S. building project that is most important to them and the history of America’s architecture.”
DINING & DRINKING
Big Star’s Third Location: Where Mahoney’s Once Stood
One Off Hospitality Group “is unveiling a spinoff of its honky-tonk taco spot, known for lively patios and a large bourbon selection,” relays Eater Chicago. Big Star Mariscos will spotlight seafood, opening this fall on a parcel where bars Mahoney’s and 551 Live stood at Ogden, Racine and Ohio, in a 6,000-square-foot space. “One Off is planning a patio with room for sixty… in addition to 120 indoor seats. A pickup window and curbside service is also in the works.”
Rainbow Cone Opening In Other States
“Rainbow Cone, the five-flavored Beverly favorite that has expanded in the Chicago area,” reports the Sun-Times, “aspires to locations in other states. In a partnership with the family that owns the Buona Beef chain, Rainbow Cone is looking for franchisees… in the Midwest and the South. It’s an outgrowth of the 2018 business combination of the Buonavolanto and Sapp families, third-generation owners in their respective food lines.” Here’s what a franchise could cost you, reports Block Club: “Startup investments including training expenses, design, construction, signs, computer systems and licenses can run up to $1.26 million for a drive-thru, $802,686 for an in-line and $428,163 for a kiosk, according to Rainbow Cone’s website. There are also franchise and marketing fees. A drive-thru or in-line Rainbow Cone franchise fee is $35,000, while a kiosk is $20,000. There is also a seven-percent royalty on gross sales and a two-to-three percent marketing fee.”
Why Chicago Celebrates Michoacan
Chicago magazine seeks out a common name for Chicago businesses: “Michoacan.” “The reason that we are so famous is because the food from Michoacan is amazing, okay?” taqueria and supermercado owner Sado Marin tells the magazine. “It has so many different regions, like close to the coast, then another part north that is not too hot. Different plants, different ways of harvesting the food. And somehow, the natives of this state, they make very good, very good food wherever you go, any part of the state you go, they are very famous for the food they make.”
Starbucks Union Heats Up In New York
“Workers at fourteen stores in New York City and on Long Island have requested union elections, with ten voting to join,” reports New York’s new reporting site Hell Gate. “Starbucks, which has more than 15,000 stores and 383,000 employees in the United States and brought in $29.1 billion in net revenue worldwide in the 2021 fiscal year. Starbucks Workers United was formed last August in Buffalo, [where] the first store there voted in favor of the union in December. According to the National Labor Relations Board, workers in 313 U.S. stores have now filed requests for union elections, and workers have elected to unionize in 184 of the 211 that have been certified by the NLRB—more than eighty-five percent. The results of another forty votes are either being disputed or still awaiting certification. ”
Kutza To Tell Most
Word is out: Chicago International Film Festival founder Michael Kutza has announced a September publication date for his memoir. “Starstruck: How I Magically Transformed Chicago into Hollywood For More Than Fifty Years” “is the story of a man and his passion—in this case the Chicago International Film Festival. Michael created the festival in 1964 and ran it for greater than half a century. What motivated Michael to be so interested in the movies? Kutza was twenty-two when he started what was the first competitive film festival in the United States. His intriguing story includes movie-star gossip, funny mishaps, unusual triumphs and tips on how to effectively run a film festival.”
Columnist Steinberg Takes On Blogger Kass
Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg reacts to a Facebook ad that directed him to something written by blogger and former Tribune scold John Kass about the newspaper writing about its former employee and his recent move to the Hoosier state: “Against my better judgment, almost mesmerized, I began to read his latest, ‘Have Laptop, Will Travel, and the Demise of The Chicago Tribune’ … The move makes sense to me. Illinois tacks increasingly blue, an island of freedom in a frothy sea of GOP rights-drowning red. Next door is Indiana, the Mississippi of the Midwest, home of Mike Pence and the Klan. The state practically echoes with the forging of manacles. Indiana might be a better fit for Kass. Perhaps there he will finally find that elusive sense of home, of security… I initially shared Kass’ underlying conceit: this isn’t worth writing about. There’s something disreputable, almost cruel, about highlighting Kass’ deficiencies. It’s too easy. He disgorges his words without critical reason ever being applied to them. So to abruptly shine the light of logic on them, uninvited, to flush out his thoughts… to wither and die under the relentless sun of reason. Is that not cruel? Maybe you’re not supposed to think about what Kass writes; perhaps doing so violates some kind of unspoken contract. It’s like bursting into a toddler’s birthday party and ruining the magic show by explaining the simple tricks. Leave him be.” The exciting conclusion is here.
Timeline Severs Ties with Wardell Julius Clark
In a Facebook post “to our community” signed by artistic director PJ Powers and executive director Mica Cole, Timeline Theatre announced the end of its relationship with one of the city’s most in-demand directors (and Newcity’s “Player of the Moment” for 2020) Wardell Julius Clark:
“We want to inform you that TimeLine Theatre Company has ended its affiliation with Wardell Julius Clark, and he has resigned as a Company Member. As leaders of this organization, we want to reassure you that TimeLine will continue to be committed to fostering a safe work environment, free of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. We have an explicit anti-harassment policy, which is communicated to everyone who works with us. Investigations of complaints remain confidential, to ensure the safety and privacy of those who come forward. TimeLine is an organization that is dedicated to our values, and we endeavor to live up to them in all aspects of our art and work. We’ll continue to do so into the future with respect, collaboration, and care.”
No elaboration has been offered by the theater company, but in recent days a since-removed Medium post by Regina Victor (“Players 50” 2022), the outgoing artistic director of Sideshow, outlined a series of accusations against Clark, which were followed in short order by a series of other allegations from women in Chicago theater.
Muntu Dance Theatre Postponing Remainder Of Fiftieth Anniversary Season
“With the exception of our Jamboree performance on Sunday, September 25, Muntu Dance Theatre will be canceling or postponing the remainder of our fiftieth anniversary season’s celebrations and performances,” the group relays. “We have not received the financial support we hoped for when we planned our season and the expense of bringing international artists to Chicago in this time and space is too great. We simply do not have the financial means to move forward in a responsible and sustainable way.” More here.
Giordano Celebrates Sixty
Giordano Dance Chicago celebrates its sixtieth anniversary season with the naming of Cesar G. Salinas as associate artistic director, a $3 million allocation from the State of Illinois, and commission of new work by South Chicago Dance Theatre’s Kia Smith. More here.
The State Of Victory Gardens’ “Turmoil”
“Three resident theater companies that present work at Victory Gardens have pledged not to work there until the artists’ complaints are addressed. And the company’s resident directors and playwrights—a new ensemble brought in by [ousted artistic director Ken-Matt] Martin—have signed a petition announcing their departures from the organization and calling for ‘the immediate resignation of the Victory Gardens’ board of directors,'” writes Mark Caro for the New York Times. Martin told the Times that “he did not know why he was dismissed. ‘The board informed me that I was being released from my artistic director contract at Victory Gardens with cause,’ he said, reading from a statement he later posted on his personal website. ‘I asked twice in the meeting what was the cause and was not given any.'” Martin refused an NDA as well as giving up the right for any future lawsuits. “‘I am declining the offer,’ he said. ‘It is vitally important that I be able to speak truthfully about the needs of the artists and staff.'”
Tickets On Sale For Auditorium Season Including Chicago Debut Of Kyiv City Ballet Of Ukraine
Single tickets are on sale for all season programming at the Auditorium, including the first-ever Chicago appearance by the Kyiv City Ballet of Ukraine, September 24- 25, under the artistic direction of Ivan Kozlov, formerly of the Mariinsky Theater and the St. Petersburg Eifman Ballet. “Amidst a greater struggle and rising tensions, Kyiv City Ballet—the original ballet of Ukraine for ten years—has stood as the voice of resistance on a global stage.” The three works are “Thoughts”(choreography, Vladyslav Dobshynskyi); “Tribute to Peace” (Ivan Kozlov, Ekaterina Kozlova) and “Classical Suite” (Kozlov and Kozlova). South Chicago Dance Theatre, a multicultural organization that fuses classical and contemporary dance styles, will make its Auditorium Theatre debut on June 10, 2023. The company will perform the world premiere of “Memoirs of Jazz in the Alley,” an evening-length work celebrating the legacy of saxophonist Jimmy Ellis. The Auditorium Theatre will present its most expansive global dance series ever, adding Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, Step Afrika!, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan, American Ballet Theatre, and the annual engagement by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Other local dance companies taking the stage include Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater, and Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, plus Trinity Irish Dance Company and M.A.D.D. Rhythms with special guest, New York-based Dorrance Dance. More here.
DCASE CityArts Project Grantees For Dance Announced
Thirteen groups will receive DCASE CityArts project grants, including Ballet Folklorico; Chicago Dance History Project; Chicago Dancemakers Forum; Chicago Tap Theatre and Making A Difference Dancing Rhythms Organization; Clinard Dance; The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago; DanceWorks Chicago; International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago for debut Chicago Latino Dance Festival; Links Hall Incorporated; LUMA8; Red Clay Dance Company; Soham Dance Space and South Chicago Dance Theatre. The project list is here.
“Paradise Square” Legal Problems Surge
Broadway musical “Paradise Square,” which debuted in Chicago, faces further legal actions, writes the Hollywood Reporter, “this time from the union representing the directors and choreographers who worked on the show… The Stage Directors and Choreographers Society is seeking to enforce payment of owed royalties, fees and pension and health contributions to the musical’s director, Moisés Kaufman, choreographer Bill T. Jones, and three specialty choreographers who worked on the production. As of May 15, these payments totaled more than $140,000.” A representative for the production cites tough times: “The goal right now is to pay everyone off,” the rep said. “It has been very difficult for all shows, except for the traditional winners.”
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Lake In The Hills’ UpRising Bakery Has Support Of ACLU, But Not Its Town
Victim-blaming in the suburbs: “A bakery that faced harassment and vandalism after advertising for a family-friendly drag show is now being threatened with code violations if it hosts any future events, according to a letter sent from the far northwest suburb to the bakery’s owner,” reports the Trib. “In the July 29 letter, a lawyer representing the village wrote that officials are ‘concerned that there appears to be an entertainment event’ advertised on the bakery’s Facebook page, along with other future events… The village’s position is that the strip mall where the bakery is located is not zoned for entertainment… Should the village become aware of any entertainment events continuing to be advertised at the UpRising Bakery and Cafe location, it will pursue appropriate enforcement actions,’ the letter said, including fines of up to $750 per day and the suspension or revocation of business or liquor licenses.” Says the owner on Facebook video, Lake In The Hills is “victim-blaming me after we were attacked by a known domestic terrorist.”
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