(northern) Western Exhibitions Opens In Skokie
Scott Speh, owner of Western Exhibitions, is opening a second space, (northern) Western Exhibitions in Skokie. This suburban space will expand on Chicago programming with five or so curated exhibitions a year featuring work by artists from the gallery’s twenty-year history. The first show at the Skokie space will be Geoffrey Todd Smith’s colorful abstractions, featuring work from each of the sixteen years he has been an artist at Western Exhibitions. “Sweet 16: 16 Years of Geoffrey Todd Smith at Western Exhibitions” opens November 12. The gallery will share a renovated building with WHO Modern, a high-end vintage furniture and design store run by Don Schmaltz. Schmaltz will be bringing twentieth-century design from Italy (Superstudio, Memphis) as well as notable works from American furniture makers and artists.
Vintage Apollo Photos At Auction
Marking the fiftieth anniversary of the last human voyage to the moon, Wright and LAMA present “One Giant Leap for Mankind: Vintage Photographs from the Victor Martin-Malburet Collection, Celebrating the Fiftieth Anniversary of Project Apollo (1961–1972)” at auction in Chicago on October 28. The auction includes over 300 original vintage photographs taken by astronauts in space, including many firsts for photography. “From the aspirations of tech moguls to the rising popularity of pioneering African American science fiction, the horizon of space travel has reemerged in cultural consciousness. As a new speculative era of space travel emerges, part of Martin-Malburet’s achievement as a collector has been to give context to the wealth of photographic material produced by the moonwalkers and their space-going forerunners. From the only photo of Neil Armstrong on the moon to a rare print of ‘The Blue Marble’–the most reproduced photograph in human history–to the first selfie in space, ‘One Giant Leap’ bursts with unprecedented images that invite reflection on the evolving legacy of Project Apollo and its resounding impact on art, science, and human potential.” (“The Blue Marble” estimate is $15,000-$25,000.) Images and details here.
A Look Inside O’Hare’s Terminal 5 Renovation
Here’s a look from YIMBY Chicago inside “the newly constructed Terminal 5 concourse extension at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, the keystone of its broader $1.2 billion expansion and renovation. This scheme is the first major overhaul of the terminal since its opening in 1993.”
EPA Financing $1 Billion In Electric School Buses Nationwide
“Nearly 400 school districts spanning all fifty states and Washington, D.C., along with several tribes and U.S. territories, are receiving roughly $1 billion in grants to purchase about 2,500 ‘clean’ school buses under a new federal program,” reports Associated Press.
Stockholm’s Leading-Edge Bike Shares
As Lyft’s Divvy rules shift and prices rise in Chicago, other cities are renting bikes in other ways. Motherboard puts it plainly: “The cost of just ninety-three minutes of e-bike riding in New York City (not even including the membership fee) is the same as an entire year of unlimited ninety-minute rides on Stockholm’s system.” More: “I would say the general public is quite tired of the e-scooters lying around,” the regional manager of the company with a seven-year contract in Stockholm says. The e-bike service “started relatively small, with just over a thousand bikes this past summer, but will grow to more than 5,000 for this coming summer. However, this is not just another bikeshare program. First, all of the bikes are electric. And second, it is ridiculously, ludicrously, almost impossibly cheap to use… This is not simply cheap by e-bike rental standards. It is several orders of magnitude cheaper… Chicago’s bikeshare system charges sixteen cents per minute for members who must pay $10 per month… It is a story with global implications for the bikeshare industry and urban transportation… The invention and proliferation of e-bikes have the potential to make bikeshare systems even more useful thanks to the effortless pedaling including on hills and higher speeds. But virtually every system has surcharges to ride an e-bike, making it expensive to use over time.” Efficiencies of design are key: “A bikeshare scheme can be extremely expensive if you design it the wrong way. If you have imbalance [in where the bikes are], if you have to move bikes all the time, if you don’t have capacity at the stations, it can cost enormous amounts. In order to keep it efficient, it’s all about the design of the system. It’s about matching types of bikes, the IT technology, the support systems, and station design. This is a puzzle that needs matching and then you can find efficiencies in the system.”
Most Recycled Plastic Winds Up In Landfills Anyway
“The vast majority of plastic that people put into recycling bins is headed to landfills, or worse,” reports NPR, “according to a report from Greenpeace on the state of plastic recycling in the U.S… The amount of plastic actually turned into new things has fallen to new lows of around five percent. That number is expected to drop further as more plastic is produced.” From the Guardian: “Not a single type of plastic packaging in the U.S. meets the definition of recyclable…The recycling sham will anger those who have spent time diligently washing out plastic containers and bottles, in the belief that they’d end up reprocessed and repurposed into another plastic package the world probably didn’t need.”
Why Railroad Workers United Says U.S. Rail Infrastructure Should Be Publicly Owned
Railroad Workers United (RWU), an independent group of union members that represents multiple crafts in the industry, has adopted a resolution supporting public ownership of railroad infrastructure in the United States, reports FreightWaves. A member of the steering committee says the group is “not advocating …the government running all the trains, coming in and saying they want all the freight trains to run like Amtrak. What we’re advocating is putting the railroad infrastructure—the physical plant, the tracks—into the same type of situation that our national highways and our waterways and airports, to a large extent, are placed in: They are managed, dispatched, controlled, maintained publicly… The rail industry should be growing for the future prosperity of our nation and for the future sustainability of transportation. Traffic volumes should be going up to take a lot of this [truck] traffic that is destroying our highly expensive, highly subsidized highway infrastructure.”
DINING & DRINKING
Exploring Soul & Smoke On The River
“D’Andre Carter has transformed his barbecue business Soul & Smoke from a fledgling suburban food truck to one of the most sought-after spots in the city for tender spare ribs, juicy pulled pork and smoky rib tips. That evolution reached new heights in June when Carter unveiled a new dine-in outpost at Rockwell on the River—an expansive event space that also houses Metropolitan Brewing, Judson & Moore distillery, and Metropolis Coffee Co. at 3057 North Rockwell.” Eater Chicago takes a tour: “The neighborhood is familiar ground for Soul & Smoke. In 2021, Carter opened a to-go-only ghost kitchen on Spaulding Avenue—the new counter service outpost allows fans and newcomers to get face time with the team (an impossibility with takeout and delivery) and enjoy sweeping views of the Chicago River.”
Vegan Taqueria Comes To Logan Square
“James Beard Award-nominated chef Rodolfo Cuadros, owner of Bloom Plant Based Kitchen and Amaru, is opening a third restaurant—a Logan Square vegan taqueria,” reports Eater Chicago. While “Cuadros has shied away from calling his restaurants vegan, he describes his third venture, Don Bucio Taqueria—or DBT—as ‘a humble Mexican restaurant that just happens to serve vegan food.'”
Ninth Annual Logan Square Chef’s Dinner Announced
The Logan Square Chef’s Dinner, hosted by Jason Hammel at Lula Cafe with proceeds benefitting Comfort Station, returns. “This dinner has always been so dear to us, not only because it has always been a significant source of funding for our programming—and incredibly delicious and fun—but because in the nearly ten years since it started it has become a meaningful tradition to gather with members of our community and celebrate what Comfort Station is,” writes Jordan Martins, executive director of Comfort Station. The return of the dinner “feels extra special as a chance to not only enjoy the amazing food and drinks, but also celebrate the resiliency of our community. Jason will be joined by some of the neighborhood’s most exciting chefs: Diana Davila (Mi Tocaya), Joe Frillman (Daisies), Ethan Pikas (Cellar Door Provisions), Ryan Pfeiffer (Big Kids), Zeeshan Shah and Yoshi Yamada (Superkhana International), with cocktails from Matthias Merges (Billy Sunday) and beer from Middlebrow.” Tickets are $200 here.
Empirical Brewery Was Evicted For Unpaid Rent
Why last weekend’s sudden closure? Ravenswood’s Empirical Brewery was evicted because of over $30,000 owed to its landlord, reports Block Club Chicago. “Hayes Properties, which [owns] the Foster Avenue building, served Empirical owner Bill Hurley with a five-day notice in May for the brewery to pay [back rent] or else the lease would be terminated.”
FILM & TELEVISION
Former Teamsters Boss Gets Nineteen Months In Cinespace Extortion Case
“Former Teamsters union boss John Coli Sr., for years a tough-nosed, plugged-in organized labor figure who rubbed elbows with the state’s political and business elite, was sentenced to nineteen months in federal prison for extorting hundreds of thousands of dollars from the head of a Chicago film studio,” reports the Trib. Adds the Sun-Times: Coli “had threatened to call a strike and shut down Cinespace if the secret payments he’d been receiving stopped. He told Cinespace President Alex Pissios, ‘We’ll shut it down tomorrow. We’ll shut it down within an hour… I will fucking have a picket line up here, and everything will stop.’ Coli also once allegedly bragged that ‘You can cut my fingers off, I wouldn’t talk’ about the secret payments.”
More On The Hideout Dispute
“A former Hideout program director said he was spit on by a customer and felt he was hired so owners could ‘trade’ on his racial identity. Hideout’s leaders said they take the complaints seriously and are committed to doing better,” writes Block Club Chicago. “Local rapper and musician Mykele Deville posted a lengthy social media post detailing his time working as program director… Deville declined a request for an interview.” Deville added on Instagram, “A part of the power of this moment is reclaiming my narrative and speaking out in my own words and summation. The press still intends to write about all of this. Be vigilant that I won’t be involved… I do believe in restorative justice. I do believe there is a way forward for The Hideout and similarly ran venues but it will come at the cost of their reputation, structuring and entire ideology as an organization. Divestment is a powerful tool… The Hideout should at the very least acknowledge the real harm they have committed and genuinely apologize.” Block Club: Katie Tuten, “who owns the bar with her husband Tim Tuten, said in a statement they are hiring a human resources advisory firm… We want to acknowledge that it has been particularly challenging for the Hideout staff, who are hard working and dedicated to the vision of the Hideout as a nurturing, vibrant space for artists and patrons alike.”
The Daily Ye
As Ye sow: After Adidas’ severing ties, the former Kanye West, is no longer a billionaire, posts Forbes. “That move will cost them big, but Ye even more, immediately knocking him out of the billionaire ranks.” Adidas will continue to sell the billions-spinning Yeezy designs but with Ye erased, reports Bloomberg. “Adidas AG intends to sell existing Yeezy product designs using its own branding after ending its partnership… selling the products under the company’s brand at the beginning of next year, according to analysts at Morgan Stanley and RBC Capital Markets.”
The Los Angeles Times reports on another podcast interview, where within two-and-a-half hours, Ye says “Fifty percent today of… Black people’s deaths today is abortion… It’s not racism; that’s too wide of a term. It’s genocide and population control that Black people are in today in America, that is promoted by the music and the media that Black people make, that Jewish record labels get paid off of… There was a Jewish trainer that brought me to the hospital, and put in [the] press that I went to the hospital. A Jewish doctor that… diagnosed me… with bipolar disorder and shot me with medication. Then put it in the press.” (The Lex Fridman podcast is here.) Headlines CBS Los Angeles: “Holocaust Museum of L.A. flooded with antisemitic messages after offering Kanye West a private tour.”
Kanye West’s longtime engineer, Andrew Dawson, posts on Instagram that he will donate his royalties to groups including the ADL and the NAACP. “I have a resume I am proud of that represents decades of supporting the voices, visions, and creativity of talented artists. However, recent events compel me to be a supporter of more important voices at this time.” Adds Billboard: “Dawson has worked as West’s primary engineer for nearly two decades, beginning with West’s debut studio album, ‘The College Dropout,’ in 2003. He has worked on eight of West’s albums, securing Grammy wins for 2005’s ‘Late Registration,’ 2007’s ‘Graduation’ and 2010’s ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.’ Dawson’s last credited work with West was the song ‘Heaven and Hell’ off 2021’s ‘Donda.'” Weight Watchers, of all companies, weighed in on Twitter: “Congrats Adidas on losing 163 lbs!!!”
Music Institute Of Chicago Presents “Brahms and His Contemporaries”
Music Institute of Chicago piano faculty and Chicago musical artist Matthew Hagle return to Nichols Concert Hall, Evanston, on Saturday, November 5 with “Brahms and His Contemporaries,” an evening of late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century short piano works. “Inspired by the Op. 118 piano pieces of Brahms, Hagle performs more than twenty works by Brahms and seven composers: Bartók, Debussy, Fauré, Janacek, Medtner, Schönberg, and Villa-Lobos, who is the focus of this year’s Music Institute One Composer, One Community program.” More here.
Chicago Theatre Week Returns In February
Chicago Theatre Week, the annual celebration of the tradition of theatergoing in Chicago, is set for February 16-26. Value-priced tickets will be $30, $15, or less and will go on sale at 10am on Tuesday, January 10 here. More than one hundred productions are expected to participate, offering value-priced tickets to productions throughout the city and suburbs. In February 2022, over 10,500 value-priced tickets were sold to over sixty participating shows and almost 400 individual performances. Among productions expected to participate: “A Chorus Line,” Drury Lane Theatre; “Andy Warhol in Iran,” Northlight Theatre; “Anna Karenina,” The Joffrey Ballet at the Lyric; “Big Fish,” Marriott Theatre; “Cats,” Broadway In Chicago; “Cabaret ZaZou Presents Luminaire”; “Chlorine Sky,” Steppenwolf; “Fen,” Court Theatre; and “Villette,” Lookingglass Theatre.
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Chicago Loop Alliance Foundation Raises Over $215,000
The Autumn City Lights gala in support of the Chicago Loop Alliance Foundation generated more than $215,000 for the nonprofit organization and gathered over 400 key Loop stakeholders and supporters. Funds raised will support public art programs and events in the Loop in 2023. Past examples of Chicago Loop Alliance Foundation initiatives include Sundays on State, ACTIVATE, Loop Mural Walk and The Gateway. More here.
Luminarts Cultural Foundation Raises Nearly $1.3 Million
Luminarts Cultural Foundation in Chicago has raised nearly $1.3 million, exceeding their tenth anniversary goal by $300,000. Luminarts’ tenth anniversary campaign, spearheaded by art historian and curator Dr. Sally Metzler, was celebrated at the Next Begins Now earlier this month at the Arts Club of Chicago. More here.
Attack On Public Education Began In An Elite Illinois High School
“One day leading up to winter break, administrators of the predominantly white New Trier Township High School in the wealthy northern Chicago suburbs announced that ‘Understanding Today’s Struggle for Racial Civil Rights’ would be the theme for a school-wide topical event known as Seminar Day. One of its main goals was to help ‘students better understand how the struggle for racial civil rights stretches across our nation’s history.’ … There also would be more than a hundred elective workshops and group discussions, some led by students, on such topics as racial microaggressions, cultural appropriation and implicit bias,” reports Mother Jones. “The backlash was swift and intense… The controversy at New Trier and the divisions it triggered in the community may seem familiar now. But the conflict didn’t take place in the volatile pandemic years [of] outrage from concerned parents and culture wars enthusiasts. It happened in early 2017, about a month after former President Donald Trump took office… In retrospect, what transpired in this affluent Chicago suburb was a canary in the coal mine—a trial run for the conservative attack on public education that has since captured much of the nation.”
Guaranteed Income Programs Work
As the vast number of applicants (184,000-plus) for the small number of Cook County Promise Guaranteed Income slots (3,250) await the results of the lottery, journalist Megan Greenwell writes at the Washington Post that such programs work: “If empirical evidence ruled the world, guaranteed income would be available to every poor person in America, and many of those people would no longer be poor… As the country emerges from the pandemic, the guaranteed income movement sits at a crossroads. The pilot programs have created scores of stories… about how a small amount of money led to massive change in a recipient’s life. And a growing body of research based on the experiments shows that guaranteed income works—that it pulls people out of poverty, improves health outcomes, and makes it easier for people to find jobs and take care of their children… But empirical evidence does not rule the world, and it is far from clear that there is a political path forward for guaranteed income on a large scale. The city-level experiments cannot last forever.”
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