Chicago Artists Coalition Board Chair Named Interim Exec Director
CAC board chair J. Gibran Villalobos will serve as interim executive director after the departure of Teresa Silva, CAC’s executive and artistic director, on October 26. Chicago Artists Coalition is a nonprofit organization that has provided artists and curators with the resources to live, work and thrive in the city since 1974. “The CAC has been fortunate to have been guided by Teresa’s vision particularly through the challenges of our time. As we approach our fiftieth year of providing resources to artists, we do so with a galvanized eye towards equity and diversity,” Villalobos says in a release. “Silva maintained CAC’s fiscally sound foundation and the vitality of its residency programs and exhibitions. She procured funding for artists and numerous grants, including funding from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and CAC’s first-ever grant from the Reva & David Logan Foundation. In addition, Silva advocated for and achieved cost-free residencies with former CAC staff and has increased direct funding to artists.” More here.
Amanda Williams And The 100,000 Red Tulips
“By spring, the intersection of 53rd Street and Prairie Avenue will be awash in a sea of red tulips—six acres of them to be exact, planted October 15 by artist Amanda Williams, 2022 MacArthur grant recipient, South Side residents, and the Emerald South Economic Development Collaborative,” reports Darcel Rockett at the Tribune. “The neighborhood beautification is part of Williams ‘Redefining Redlining’ project that calls attention to the effects of redlining, the practice of systematizing discrimination based on where someone lives. The practice that denied members of the Black community the chance to invest in property from 1933-1968 continues to reverberate across the country.”
Philadelphia Art Museum Strike Ends
“Philadelphia Museum of Art workers reached a tentative agreement with museum leadership,” reports Hyperallergic, “ending a nineteen-day strike that is one of the longest in the city’s recent history. Management compromised on all five of the demands that prompted the strike… Should the union approve the agreement, workers will be paid a $16.75 minimum wage (up from $15); the museum will issue a fourteen-percent across-the-board raise over the course of the three-year union contract, set retroactively to July 1; and full-time employees will receive a $500 longevity bonus for every five years they work at the institution (part-time workers will receive a $250 bonus for the same period).”
CTA: Yes, We’re Still Ghosting Riders
Commuters continue to “wait for a bus or train that appears to be arriving soon—but then vanishes from the CTA’s online tracker,” reports Manny Ramos at the Sun-Times. “And while the agency said it would correct that snafu, which commuters have dubbed ‘ghost’ buses or trains, some say it isn’t resolving it quickly enough. ‘We commend the CTA for trying to fix the problem, but they have not come remotely close to actually fixing the issue,’ said Micah Fiedler, of the group Commuters Take Action. ‘The fact is, the amount of ghost trains and complaints of ghost buses have remained the same since that plan was announced.’ …CTA spokesman Brian Steele said service has been improved with temporary changes to some rail schedules, which should mean more reliable tracker information.” Mayoral candidate Ja’Mal Green, reports Crain’s in its Juice newsletter, “laid out a $200 million-a-year proposal to boost safety on the Chicago Transit Authority. Included were everything from reviving a CTA security force and dispatching ‘hundreds’ of social workers to ride the trains and work with the homeless, to creating a pilot ‘free fare’ program and sharply upgraded cleaning of trains. Green also called on Gov. Pritzker to declare a state of emergency on the CTA, something he said would make it easier to get the money needed.”
Could CTA Abolish Fares?
Kibosh transit fares? Eric Zorn revisits his answer of fifteen years ago: Yes, the CTA should eliminate fares and “throw the fareboxes, turnstiles and card machines into the landfill.” “About half of the CTA’s annual budget comes from fares, so lawmakers would have to raise taxes and fees significantly to cover the shortfall. But it might pay off.” He cites other reporters, and writes, “It would make Chicago a more attractive city to visit and to operate a business… Vastly increased ridership [means] more buses and more trains running more often and along more routes, making the CTA a more efficient and attractive transportation option. It would reduce traffic congestion and pollution [and] our consumption of fossil fuels. It would allow the CTA to divert resources… spent on enforcing, collecting and accounting for fares into such areas as enforcing platform, bus and train safety. It would be of the greatest advantage to [the] disadvantaged—low-income workers who… pay fares and have lengthy commutes on public transportation. Like education, police and fire protection, and access to roads, transportation is a basic essential of life that government should provide.” Disadvantages? “It isn’t the way we’ve always done it!”
Photographer Revisits A Hundred Chicago Buildings Ten Years After Demolitions Planned
“In 2012, David Schalliol photographed one hundred Chicago buildings destined to be demolished. Ten years later, he returned to document what had changed at each of those building sites,” MAS Context describes in a compelling essay by Schalliol. “I photographed one hundred Chicago buildings destined to be demolished. This summer… I returned to document what had changed at each of those building sites. Tragically, the results are as expected. In the past decade, nearly ninety-percent of the buildings located around the Loop and on the North Side of the city have been replaced with another building, while approximately ninety-percent of the buildings on the South and West Sides are now a derelict lot… While it was impossible to create a truly random sample because the demolition permits were inconsistently added to the city’s database, an irrefutable pattern quickly emerged: buildings on the North Side were largely being demolished to make way for another structure, while those on the South and West Sides were not. The immediate economic, social, and racial inequities were clear: whiter, wealthier neighborhoods were getting development, while poorer neighborhoods of color were not.”
DINING & DRINKING
Rogers Park Capt’n Nemo’s Closes After Half-Century In $400 Dispute With City
“A legendary sub shop closed its original Clark Street location after its owner opted to shut down the fifty-one-year-old business instead of paying a fine relating to his business license,” reports Block Club. “I’m not going to pay the fine if this is how you’re going to run the city,” says Capt’n Nemo’s owner Steve Ragusi. “They’re trying to get another $400 from me after fifty years?” “Ragusi, whose father founded Capt’n Nemo’s, said he now will focus on the chain’s location in north suburban Winnetka.”
Illinois Corn Yields Could Outstrip Iowa This Year
“Iowa farmers are projected to harvest about 200 bushels of corn per acre this year on average—a yield potentially less than Illinois’ 210,” reports Successful Farming. “Still, Iowa would lead the nation in overall production, given its superior number of acres harvested for grain. In Iowa, that is expected to be about 12.5 million, compared with Illinois’ 10.6 million acres.”
Small-Town Papers As Beacons
“Dave Hoekstra spent decades chronicling Chicago nightlife and music culture,” writes Axios Chicago. “But his latest book zeroes in on the culture of small towns, specifically innovative newspapers reinventing themselves in an age of layoffs and ‘fake’ news… ‘I wanted to celebrate community and place in the newspaper world by focusing on multigenerational, independent family newspapers rather than big-city, family newspapers.'” Hoekstra launches “Beacons in the Darkness” with a book party at WeeGees tonight at 7pm.
Conservative Salem Media Group Has Political Plans
The conservative radio group, with two stations in Chicago, is a “juggernaut,” reports the New York Times (via Yahoo). “Created as a Christian radio network nearly fifty years ago… Salem has quietly turned into a conservative media juggernaut as it… takes an activist stance in the midterm elections. The company has publicly said it wants a strong turnout of conservative voters for November 8, and its hosts have amplified the messages of conspiracy theorists, including misinformation about the voting process. ‘The war for America’s soul is on the line,’ Salem said in promotional materials for the tour.” Hosts Eric Metaxas, Charlie Kirk and Sebastian Gorka, they added, “were traveling to ‘influence those who are undecided.'”
The Daily Ye
NewsNation’s Chris Cuomo is the latest broadcaster to seek an extended audience with Kanye West, and as Cuomo must have hoped, the quotes were ample. Sample: “The Jewish people that I’m talking about don’t have to understand, and that is that privilege that I’m not going to allow. When I wore the White Lives Matter T-shirt, the Jewish underground media mafia already started attacking me… They never call me a billionaire. We never talked about even, on this one right here. Hey, tycoon, billionaire, visionary, inventor. These are never used.”
Equity Jeffs Award “Good Night, Oscar,” “Kinky Boots”
“For the first time since 2019, the venerable Joseph Jefferson Awards for Chicago theater were presented in person at the Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook Terrace,” reports Chris Jones at the Trib. “For the fifty-fourth annual awards for union-affiliated Equity productions, the all-volunteer committee found favorites in the Goodman Theatre’s Broadway-bound ‘Good Night, Oscar,’ A Red Orchid Theater’s ‘The Moors,’ Paramount Theatre’s fresh staging of the Broadway musical ‘Kinky Boots,’ Teatro Vista’s ‘Somewhere Over the Border’ and Porchlight Music Theatre’s ‘Blues in the Night.’ Jeff winner for best performer Sean Hayes, once a Chicago actor and musician and the star of ‘Good Night, Oscar,’ attended in person, as did the play’s Jeff Award-winning writer Doug Wright.”
A Look At Seattle Rep Artistic Director’s Departure For Writers Theater
The Seattle Times reports on Seattle Rep’s artistic director Braden Abraham’s departure for Writers Theatre in Glencoe. “The mission at Writers, to put playwrights and the written word right at the center, is one that really speaks to me,” Abraham said of the move. “I’ve been here a long time, and I’ve been through a lot of transitions and transformations to the theater. Every time, there’s been a new opportunity for growth for me at this institution. Now, I’ve achieved a lot of what I’ve wanted to achieve, and it’s time to pass the torch to the next person.”
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Chicago Health Funding Shrinks Next Year
“As federal pandemic emergency dollars expire, the annual budget for Chicago’s public health department is set to shrink next year, a trend that will likely accelerate and hamstring its work in years to come,” reports Crain’s.
Cook County Basic Income Pilot Has 3,250 Slots But More than 184,000 Applicants
“The Cook County Promise Guaranteed Income Pilot… will provide 3,250 residents with $500 a month for two years with no strings attached,” reports the Sun-Times. “In the first six days of the application window, Cook County received 184,000 applications, according to county officials. The pilot, which is funded through the federal American Rescue Plan Act, is taking applications online here until 11:59pm Friday. A majority—seventy-two-percent—of the people who have applied as of October 12, identified as women, and sixty-four-percent listed their race as Black. About twenty-four-percent of applicants identified as Hispanic, and an additional nineteen-percent as white.”
Media Literacy Now Required In Illinois Schools
Illinois is the first state in the U.S. to mandate media literacy education, reports the Trib. “Starting this school year, Illinois high school students are learning how to decipher fact from fiction through lessons stipulated by law. Lessons cover such things as how to access information, evaluate media message and sources, create media, reflect on media consumption and use social responsibility to ethically consume media.”
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