Chicagoans Mark ARTnews’ “Top 200 Collectors” List
ARTnews’ annual Top 200 Collectors list is out; the extensive profiles of Chicago notables include Anita Blanchard and Martin Nesbitt (profile); Barbara Bluhm-Kaul and Don Kaul (profile); Denise and Gary Gardner (profile); Liz and Eric Lefkofsky (profile); Alec Litowitz and Jennifer Leischner (profile); George Lucas and Mellody Hobson (profile); and Penny Pritzker and Bryan Traubert (profile). Ex-Chicagoans on the list include Kenneth C. Griffin (profile); and Carl and Marilynn Thoma (profile). From ARTnews’ introduction to their ambitious roster: “In addition to buying works from galleries, exhibitions, and fairs around the globe, like the Venice Biennale and Art Basel, the collectors featured… are often major players in the art world. They commission daring new works, endow curatorial positions and residencies, fund museum exhibitions, and head up major institutional boards. In the last case, another name new to the Top 200 is that of Denise Gardner and her husband, Gary; Denise made history in 2021 when she became board chair of the Art Institute of Chicago, the first Black woman to hold such a position at a United States museum. Many of these collectors are thinking through the most pressing issues facing the art world today. Rodney Miller, also new to the list, started collecting twenty-five years ago, and has been a museum trustee almost as long. He feels that the cultural shift to embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion should only continue to build. ‘We all benefit from having all voices heard, and we should all do our part to make that happen.'”
Lincoln Park Art Night Is Coming
Six art locations are celebrating their Lincoln Park neighborhood as a destination for art lovers. Lincoln Park Art Night will feature free trolleys offering hop-on/hop-off service for three hours on Thursday, October 20, 5:30-pm-8:30pm. Artists and curators will attend. Participating sites: Madron Gallery, 1000 West North; Leslie Wolfe Gallery, 1763 North North Park Avenue; Wrightwood 659, 659 West Wrightwood; DePaul Art Museum, 935 West Fullerton; Josh Moulton Fine Art Gallery, 2218 North Clark; and gallery 1871, 1871 North Clybourn. Registration is not required but requested here.
Strange Ways Of The Reclusive Chicago-Area Billionaire Behind Beanie Babies
“The secretive billionaire genius behind Beanie Babies has a business reputation as anything but a teddy bear,” reports the New York Post. “People who know Ty Warner, the brand’s founder, [a college dropout from suburban Chicago] said he’s a stubborn eccentric who wants things done his way—or else. Now, he’s toying with his reputation by putting two landmark hotels he owns on ice but not making it clear why. Mystery surrounds the seventy-eight-year-old’s decision to shutter both the iconic Four Seasons Hotel in New York as well as the Four Seasons Biltmore in Santa Barbara. He closed them at the start of the pandemic in 2020 and it was expected they’d re-open a few months later when most hotels did. Instead, Warner is apparently battling Four Seasons management, which doesn’t own the hotels under its banner but operates them for the owners.”
A Study On The Threat To Owners And Renters By Investor Home Purchases
“Housing markets in the United States are rapidly changing. We are bombarded in the news about corporations purchasing homes across sunbelt metros like Atlanta, Charlotte, and Phoenix,” writes the New Localism. “Reporting and research highlight the challenges faced by renters in private equity-backed properties, from maintenance requests gone unfulfilled to evictions as a core part of a fee-based business model. During the first two years of the pandemic, homebuyers fought over a limited supply of for-sale housing, often finding out that they were beat by all-cash corporate offers. Now we wonder: will these homes ever come back on the market, and what happens to the tenants who live in these new rental properties?” An extensive study follows. “In our new report co-published with Accelerator for America, ‘Investor Home Purchases and the Rising Threat to Owners and Renters: Tales from 3 Cities,’ we overlay a new analysis of investor purchases in different market-value analysis submarkets. By doing so, striking patterns of parasitic purchasing comes into view. In the last thirty years, the proportion of the rental market owned by sole proprietors has approximately halved, going from seventy-seven-percent to forty-one-percent of all rental units. At the local level, the parts of Jacksonville where investors were most active have seen greater declines in the number of homeowners and the homeownership rate.” Much more here.
Landmark Former Chicago Motor Club Building For Sale
“The developer that transformed the landmark Chicago Motor Club building into a Hampton Inn is looking to cash out, framing the hotel as a bet on the hospitality market’s recovery from the pandemic with some protection from rising commercial property taxes… Developer John Murphy is hoping a strong summer of leisure travel will help bring buyers to the table for the Hampton Inn just steps from Michigan Avenue,” relays Crain’s.
Irreversible Shrinkage Seen In Logan Square Affordable Housing
As development in Logan Square continues westward, affordable housing options are shrinking, reports William Lee at the Trib. “Some observers fear the effects of displacement may be irreversible… Gentrification may be old news in Logan Square, where the wealthy first began snatching up decrepit greystones for cheap along Logan Boulevard in the 1980s, but high home prices have finally taken root in the heavily residential western end of the neighborhood, where gang crime was once deeply entrenched.”
DINING & DRINKING
Are Restaurant Stars A Vestige Of The Twentieth Century
“There is simply no need to rank restaurants. Different restaurants serve different communities differently. There isn’t any scoring system that takes this into account fairly,” posts The Restaurant Manifesto. “We made cooking competitive. It is not that way by nature.” (Washington Post restaurant critic Tom Sietsema wrote about how, after many years in the job there, he’s eliminated star ratings from his reviews.)
Sunday Supper At The Bristol
Sunday Supper is a monthly dinner series where Chef Larry Feldmeier, executive chef of The Bristol, collaborates with an industry partner for a unique dinner experience. The Bristol’s next Sunday Supper will be with Rosenthal Wine Merchant on October 30. Feldmeier has created an Italian-influenced five-course dinner menu with Italian wine pairings from Rosenthal that highlight each dish. Reserve at Tock here.
Food Insecurity Persists In Chicago
“Food deficits are an issue in food access and get worse at higher levels of poverty”: Joshua Burrell at the Chicago Reporter takes a look. “Black and Latinx communities in Chicago are more likely to be food insecure than predominantly white communities and this follows a national trend. According to USDA Food Security and Nutrition Assistance data, food insecurity rates are highest among single mothers, households with income below the poverty line, and Black and Latinx households.”
FILM & TELEVISION
Make No Small Burnham Plans: Keanu Exits “Devil In The White City”
Hulu’s looking for a new Daniel Burnham, reports Variety. in a piece that examines its long and complicated history moving “The Devil In The White City” toward production as a Hulu mini-series, with Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio as key producers and Todd Field (“Little Children,” “Tár”) as director. (Field has also exited the project.) “This is the latest chapter in the long development history of the book. It was first put in development in Hollywood by Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner through their Cruise/Wagner banner via the shingle’s deal with Paramount, but the option lapsed in 2004… DiCaprio acquired the rights in 2010 with plans to adapt it as a film in which he would star as Holmes. Scorsese came on board to direct in 2015 with Billy Ray set to write the script.”
How Those “Disinformation Weekly”-Type Mailers Hope To Sway Voters
The Tow Center for Digital Journalism has ferreted out the fraudulent mailers that purport to be legitimate newspapers but instead contain partisan slams. Tow’s Jem Bartholomew writes at CJR: ” The titles—such as the Kane County Reporter, Chicago City Wire, West Cook News, Dupage Policy Journal, Lake County Gazette, and Will County Gazette—are part of at least eleven physical offshoots of thirty-six online news sites published by Local Government Information Services, a ‘formidable conservative force’ cofounded in 2016. They are connected to far-right activist Dan Proft, who also runs the Florida-based People Who Play by the Rules political action committee (PAC), and focus much of their attention on attacking Illinois’s Democratic governor, J.B. Pritzker, and supporting his Trump-endorsed Republican challenger Darren Bailey. These papers, which were attacked by Pritzker as ‘racist,’ as the Chicago Tribune first reported, feature multiple misleading, decontextualized, and often nonfactual stories on hot-button issues in Illinois. While the papers claim to comprise honest local reporting—’Real data. Real news,’ the slogan reads—they are part of a wider trend of the blurring of journalism and campaigning. This has sparked fears that, ahead of the midterms, readers are consuming divisive messages without realizing the true source. While papers of this kind tend to mimic the look and feel of local reporting, they are in fact funded by PACs or activists with agendas.”
Alden Global Media Ends Newspaper Endorsements; Tribune Gets Last Burst
“Publications owned by the hedge fund Alden Global Capital, the second-largest newspaper publisher in the country, will no longer endorse major political candidates in their opinion pages,” reports the New York Times. “Alden Global Capital owns about 200 newspapers in the United States, including The Chicago Tribune, The New York Daily News and The Denver Post. Only Gannett, which owns USA Today and other papers, operates more… Three Alden newspapers—The Baltimore Sun, The Chicago Tribune and The Denver Post—will be allowed to continue with their endorsements this season because of how far along in the process they are and because they are viewed as state newspapers of record…Those newspapers will announce after this election cycle that they will end the practice.”
Chicago Philharmonic Adds Fifteen Member Musicians
The Chicago Philharmonic Society has added fifteen musician members for its season. Chicago Philharmonic has expanded its pool of the Midwest’s finest musicians to 209. The fifteen new musicians are violinists Azusa Tashiro, Caitlin Edwards, David Taylor, Kate Carter, Roy Meyer and Sylvia de la Cerna; saxophonists Geof Bradfield and John Wojciechowski; bassists Kit Polen, Michael Hovnanian and Nicholas Adams; cellist Mara McClain; pianist Bob Sutter; drummer Jim Widlowski; and guitarist Steve Roberts. “It is such a joy to see the orchestra grow,” executive director Terell Johnson says. “With so many new concerts, partnerships, and events, we are happy to provide opportunities for these incredibly talented and well-deserving musicians.” Chicago Philharmonic has a unique governance structure: the governing body of Board members and board-appointed committees are made up of a majority of musician members. In total, thirteen musicians participate as Board Officers, making up at least half of the board of directors, and leading nearly all seven Board-appointed committees. Musicians across Chicago and the Midwest are encouraged to submit their resumes and supporting information to the Chicago Philharmonic to be considered by the musician-led personnel committee for addition to the orchestra’s prospective member list. Prospective members who perform with the Chicago Philharmonic three times during a season are eligible to be considered for membership. The Personnel Committee evaluates eligible musicians each year for possible addition to the member roster and those approved by the committee are invited to become full Musician Members. More here.
Chicago “Supports My Work,” Says Tony Kushner
Tony Kushner made an exception for his upcoming Sandburg Literary Award. “Kushner—whose voluminous writing credits include the Pulitzer Prize-winning epic ‘Angels in America’ and the screenplay for Stephen Spielberg’s upcoming autobiographical movie ‘The Fabelmans’— turns down a lot of invitations these days,” reports the Sun-Times: “Honestly, I find myself saying no to a lot of things because I’m so busy… But, with this, I was moved that it was given by a public library. I grew up in a small Southern town where the library was very important to me. A number of big revelations in my life have taken place in libraries. The other thing is, of course, is that I love Chicago. ‘Angels’ started its national tour with a sitdown in Chicago. Chicago staged ‘A Bright Room Called Day’ when very few places would do it. I realized long ago, like I did about the Bay Area and New York, ‘Oh, this is a place that has an audience for me, that supports my work.’”
Lewis Black Leads Vonnegut 100 In Chicago
The Kurt Vonnegut Museum & Library, is a nonprofit organization with a mission to champion the legacy of writer Kurt Vonnegut and the principles of free expression and common decency with “Vonnegut@100: A Century of Stories,” a yearlong program celebrating the late writer, his work and the causes he advocated in during his lifetime. Comedian and author Lewis Black is KVML’s board chair and will highlight the organization’s mission in an interview by student and free speech ambassador Sophie Maurer. “In a year when a resurgence of large-scale book banning grabs the headlines, we cannot think of a better way to honor Kurt’s legacy championing freedom of speech than by taking our message on the road,” the group’s CEO and founder, Julia Whitehead, says. “Chicago held a special place in Vonnegut’s heart because he made Chicago home after World War II while he pursued a degree from the University of Chicago.” “An Evening with Lewis Black and Sophie Maurer” will be held on Wednesday, October 26, at The Cliff Dwellers. Tickets are $150 per person in advance. Proceeds from the event and silent auction will support The 1922 Society, KVML’s educational and programming fund benefiting students, teachers and veterans. Tickets here.
Martyna Majok Writes At The Margins
University of Chicago grad (and former Newcity intern) Martyna Majok talks at length about her work and the Broadway debut of her “Cost Of Living” at American Theatre. “Ten years ago Martyna Majok was sleeping in a bathtub. She had just graduated from Yale School of Drama and, not having any money to put down for a security deposit on an apartment, the young playwright was couch-surfing and subletting while working at bars to make ends meet. One apartment she stayed at in Harlem had bedbugs. Which is how Majok found herself retreating to the bathroom, the only place free of the pests. Sometimes she would take the train to her mom’s place in New Jersey ‘and crash there.'” But if she missed the train to Jersey “because I was working at the bar, I was like, ‘Well, I guess it’s back to the fucking bathtub… From the bathtub to Broadway, here we go!’ Majok exclaimed with a laugh before adding, more quietly, as if it just hit her how far she’s come in a decade, ‘Oh shit…’”
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
UChicago Economist Banks Nobel For Research On Banks And Financial Crises
Economist Douglas Diamond is the ninety-seventh scholar associated with the University of Chicago to receive the Nobel Prize, relays the University. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences honored Diamond, a professor of finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and two other economists for improving “our understanding of the role of banks in the economy, particularly during financial crises. His pioneering research has changed the way people view banks and laid the groundwork for how central bankers, regulators, policymakers and academics approach modern finance.” Diamond shares the prize with Ben Bernanke of the Brookings Institution and Philip Dybvig of Washington University in St. Louis. “It did come as a surprise,” Diamond said in a Nobel news conference. “I mean, people always talk about these things, but I was sleeping very soundly and then off went my cell phone.” “Diamond is considered a founder of modern banking theory,” writes UChicago. “He is known for his research into financial intermediaries, financial crises and liquidity; his research agenda for the past forty years has been to explain what banks do, why they do it and the consequences of these arrangements.” More here. The New York Times: “Diamond and Philip Dybvig have had enormously successful academic careers studying how things can go wrong with banks, and much of their work stems from a highly influential paper they wrote nearly forty years ago, early in their careers. The paper showed how banks create liquidity in the economy, and how this liquidity subjects banks to sudden, panicked withdrawals by customers if there is no deposit insurance or other protection.” It is “one of the most widely cited papers in finance and economics,” writes Washington University in St. Louis, where Dybvig is an economics professor. “The two economists developed the Diamond-Dybvig model showing that deposits used to finance business loans may be unstable and give rise to bank runs. Banks may need a government safety net, like deposit insurance, more than borrowers do.”
Half-Century-Old South Side Skating Rink Returns
The Rink has reopened at 1122 East 87th, reports Block Club Chicago. Co-owners Curtis and Ramona Pouncy are “skating enthusiasts who frequented the rink themselves when the previous owner announced he wanted to sell the business to someone who would keep it a skating rink.”
Chicago Board Of Elections Seeks Judges
The Chicago Board of Elections is looking for individuals to serve as poll workers for the November 8, 2022 General Election. You must be a registered voter in Cook County to be eligible to serve as an Election Judge. If you need to register to vote, update your voter registration, or learn more about Election Judge responsibilities, go here. Election Judges assigned to the November 8 general election must complete a mandatory online training class. Every Judge who successfully completes the online training class and serves all day on Election Day will earn $230 ($170 for Election Day, $60 for training). Apply online here, using a laptop or desktop computer.
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