Columbus Museum Of Art Workers Vote To Form Union
Staff at the Columbus Museum of Art have “voted overwhelmingly to unionize as the Columbus Museum of Art Workers United under the aegis of AFSCME Ohio Council 8, the local branch of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees,” reports Artforum.
The State Of INVEST South/West
“Three years in, INVEST South/West has secured significant investment commitments, but many people are still asking if the program has had an impact. We can vociferously say it has,” write advocates Malcolm Crawford and Carlos Nelson at the Sun-Times. “Our neighborhoods are past the point of anticipation. There isn’t another program like INVEST South/West in the country, and [the mayor] should be commended for her efforts to bring about change in the city. The promise of transformational community improvement was merely a talking point until she came into office… While so much has happened already, there is much more in the pipeline—a pipeline that was nearly empty a few years ago. Now our neighborhoods are seeing cranes in the sky, and they deliver a powerful message that change is already here.”
Spooky, Metal Avondale
It lives beyond Halloween: “How The Horror House, The Brewed, Kuma’s Corner, DMen Tap, and Bucket O’ Blood make Avondale a mecca for horror fans,” headlines Chicago magazine. “The Northwest Side neighborhood, long overshadowed by next door Logan Square, is building an image as Chicago’s center for horror-themed, heavy metal-themed, and otherwise morbid-themed businesses.”
DINING & DRINKING
Chicago Coffee Shops Endangered
“Some local cafe owners haven’t seen their customer base return after [pandemic] closures” as they “struggle with staffing, high prices driven by inflation and shortages,” reports Block Club. “Some cafe owners have been forced to reduce their operating hours because they continue to see fewer customers… More recently, inflation and pandemic-related shortages have caused headaches for cafe owners, who said they have to try much harder to find ingredients that used to be readily available. Once they find suppliers with items in stock, they have to pay more.”
Surveying Chicago’s Private Dining Rooms
Crain’s looks at the private dining rooms in Chicago’s newest restaurants. Writes Ari Bendersky, “As life slowly returns back to normal and people are planning holiday dinners and get-togethers, we checked in with the hottest new restaurants (mostly downtown) that offer private rooms.” First on the list, Greek restaurant Andros Taverna on Milwaukee, where “minimum spend is $5,000.”
Journalists’ Communications Subpoenaed By Starbucks Request
“A federal judge has ordered the organization behind a unionization drive at Starbucks stores in western New York to turn over all of its messages with journalists—a sweeping and unusual ruling that will let the company peek into communications that courts usually view as private and protected,” reports the Washington Post. The corporation “asked to subpoena the records as part of discovery in a bitter legal fight with the employees and the National Labor Relations Board, whose regional director in May issued a complaint against Starbucks that included more than 200 violations of the National Labor Relations Act.”
FILM & TELEVISION
Disney Will Integrate Personal Data Across Platforms
Data, data everywhere: “The Walt Disney Co. is focused on telling stories in ‘a more customized, more personalized way’ and ‘bringing together the physicality plus the media element of Disney,'” chief executive Bob Chapek told a conference last week, reports the Wall Street Journal. “The entertainment company is working on ways to unite its two main business lines—its parks, experiences and products division and its media, content and streaming division—using the Disney Plus app.” The idea “is to steer content to customers based on what theme park rides a visitor prefers, for example, rather than trying to predict what a customer will like based on past viewing or personal information… Once the company unites data collection capabilities between its various divisions, ‘we can give you a better experience in the park, because we know what your preferences are in terms of viewing and a better experience on Disney+ because we know what your affinities are.'”
Among factors driving data delving is the explosive success of TikTok. “It is, quite literally, the trillion-dollar question: how did TikTok go from a niche social network for lip-syncing teens to the most popular app in the western world, threatening to knock Facebook off its perch entirely, in just a few short years?” asks Alex Hern in a series at the Guardian. Meanwhile, in one of the latest China COVID-19 lockdowns, visitors to Shanghai Disney will not be allowed to leave until they produce a negative COVID test.
Game Of Words: George R. R. Martin Donates $5 Million To Northwestern
Northwestern alumnus George R.R. Martin has committed $5 million to establish a professorship and writing workshop at Medill, the University announces. The author of the “Game of Thrones” novels “is sharing his love of storytelling through two gifts, totaling $5 million to Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications. A $3 million gift will establish the George R.R. Martin Summer Intensive Writing Workshop, which will provide instruction for journalism professionals seeking to launch careers in creative writing. Launching in 2024, the workshop will enroll six to eight writers and authors each summer. A $2 million gift will establish an endowed professorship, the George R.R. Martin Chair in Storytelling. The professor named to this position will lead the George R.R. Martin Summer Intensive Writing Workshop, as well as teach courses to both undergraduate and graduate students.” “The George R.R. Martin Chair in Storytelling and the Summer Intensive Writing Workshop will enable us to recruit, retain and host recognized authors and storytellers for the benefit of Northwestern students and writers from around the country,” Medill dean Charles Whitaker says in the release. “These initiatives will help aspiring writers across myriad literary genres to make their mark on the world, as George has done.”
“That site is gone. Sure, it still looks the same, for now. But it’s gone. And it’s not coming back,” posts Deadspin founder Will Leitch at Medium after the closing of Elon Musk and his financiers’ purchase of Twitter and foul messages that followed over the weekend. “Will there be something to replace it? Maybe, though I doubt it; these things generally have to grow organically, like Twitter did. But whatever benefit you got from Twitter is about to evaporate. And if you don’t get off now, it’ll take you down with it. It would be good for society—for democracy, for discourse, for nuance, for human decency—if we all got off Twitter. But more important: It would be good for you to get off Twitter. You’ll feel less antsy. You’ll be dragged into fewer fights. You won’t have your blood pressure increased by total strangers who have nothing to do with your life whatsoever. Your life will be better. I promise.”
Investigative journalist Dave Troy: “If democracy-minded people don’t seize control of the information environment, powerful sociopathic autocrats will do so instead. We leave a power vacuum open at our peril, and at the moment, Musk and Putin are the ones with the most will to fill it.” Chicago actor David Dastmalchian: “Just want to thank everyone who has supported me here on Twitter! I’m so sorry but I cannot in good conscience remain on the platform after Elon Musk’s behavior. I will be deleting my account on Halloween! Such a great time to shed the demons! I hope advertisers and users will vacate this site.” Some noted users say they have left the platform, but others argue that progressive voices need to stay inside the Musk stew, writes the Hollywood Reporter. Locally, the Chicago Public Square column and newsletter is “suspending posts [there] for now.”
The Hideout Closed Until Next Year
The Hideout will close next week, reports Block Club Chicago. From a statement, signed “Tim and Katie Tuten; Mike and Jim Hinchsliff. Owners of The Hideout”: “In the last two weeks, a large number of our upcoming bookings have been canceled. With a heavy heart, as of November 7, the Hideout is taking a hiatus to navigate this situation. As part of the process, we will explore options to provide support to our employees. It is our sincere hope that we will be able to reopen in 2023, with new leadership, and a commitment to a healthy, supportive and respectful organizational culture… We are committed to taking action as we work with a human resources organization with a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion. The first step will be an equity audit of our policies and practices.”
“Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz-Gospel Messiah” At The Auditorium
The Auditorium Theatre welcomes back “Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz-Gospel Messiah,” the popular jazz-gospel-rock-funk version of G.F. Handel’s traditional Messiah oratorio, for its eighteenth presentation. Created in 1992 as a collaboration between conductor Marin Alsop with orchestrators and arrangers Bob Christianson and Gary Anderson, the show had its Chicago premiere at the Auditorium Theatre in 2006. Saturday, December 3 and Sunday, December 4. Tickets and more here.
Itzhak Perlman Performs Klezmer Show With CSO
On Sunday, December 4, 2022 at 7pm, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra presents violinist and maestro Itzhak Perlman in his critically-acclaimed klezmer show, “In the Fiddler’s House,” joined by some of the world’s finest klezmer musicians: music director, saxophonist, and pianist Hankus Netsky and his Klezmer Conservatory Band; clarinetist and mandolinist Andy Statman; vocalist and fiddler Michael Alpert; vocalist Judy Bressler; trumpeter Frank London; and vocalist and accordionist Lorin Sklamberg. Released in 1995, Perlman’s iconic “In the Fiddler’s House” album was also filmed as a PBS special, which earned Perlman his third Emmy Award, and featured the reigning violin virtuoso performing in Poland. In this live performance, with a program announced from the stage, Perlman revisits this meaningful, personal project with special guests. More here.
New York Theater Supply Chain Falters
“’Scene shops and lighting and sound shops got rid of a lot of their equipment during the shutdown. They sold it or did other things, so there’s literally not enough equipment on the shelves to go around,'” reports Hyperallergic. “This is even more problematic when every company that has closed for two years seems to want to start putting on shows at the same time. Not all those presenters have a Broadway budget, which means the available equipment will often go to the highest bidder, or whoever gets there first.”
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Maxwell Street Market Celebrates Día de los Muertos
The 110-year-old Maxwell Street Market “embraced the traditions of Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, set for Tuesday,” reports the Sun-Times. “Children made calaveras, or sugar skulls, arranged marigolds and painted their faces. ‘At the market, we want to celebrate culture period,’ said Nikki Butler, who coordinates the market for the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. ‘It’s inclusive of everyone.'”
Union And City Colleges Reach Tentative Deal
The strike at City Colleges that was slated for Wednesday has been called off, reports the Tribune. “The language of the tentative contract has not been released; it will be sent to Cook County College Teachers Union members by Tuesday… The union’s rank and file must still approve the new contract, but the strike has been called off, CCCTU said.”
Illinois Tourism Gets $3 Million In Promotion From Department Of Commerce
The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) announced nearly $3 million in funding to support local tourism promotional efforts across the state through the Illinois Travel and Tourism Grant Program. DCEO has prioritized local tourism recovery through multiple grant funding efforts and opportunities. Through a Notice of Funding Opportunity entities can apply for grants of up to $100,000 for promotional funds. Applications will be accepted until December 12. More here. To read about the program and apply for the grant, go here.
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