Milwaukee Art Museum Deputy Named National Gallery Chief Information Officer
The National Gallery of Art has announced Robert Stein is the museum’s new chief information officer. Stein will lead the Digital Solutions Division within the Office of the Treasurer and be responsible for implementing innovative technology solutions for a diverse global audience and for the staff of the National Gallery. Stein is currently the deputy director and chief experience officer at the Milwaukee Art Museum. As chief information officer, Stein will establish and implement a new IT strategy for the National Gallery that aligns with their mission and will oversee the delivery of technology and data analytics platforms and services required to meet that mission. More here.
Art & Design Auction To Feature Rare Works By Isamu Noguchi And Frank Lloyd Wright
Toomey & Co. will present Art & Design, a curated selection of important works from the past century. Auction highlights include Isamu Noguchi’s sculpture, “Little Walking Box” (Arukidasu kobako), a pair of weed holders by Frank Lloyd Wright, an early chest by Gustav Stickley, Pierre Jeanneret’s Committee table from Chandigarh and Ivan Albright’s oil on canvas, “Lobster Salad.” Along with the weed holders, which hold a $160,000 opening price, Art & Design has other historic works by Frank Lloyd Wright: eight dining chairs from the Edward C. Waller House in River Forest; a window from the Ward W. Willits House in Highland Park; a slant-back chair from Unity Temple in Oak Park and a cabaret table from the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. “The two Frank Lloyd Wright weed holders were produced circa 1895 from copper and retain their original brown and red patina. This pair was presented to Frederick Bagley by Wright and passed down through the family. A marble importer who supplied materials to Wright, Bagley was also one of his earliest clients. In 1894, Wright designed Bagley’s house in the village of Hinsdale. There are fewer than twenty known examples of this important Frank Lloyd Wright form.” Tuesday, December 13. More here.
Lee Bey Looks Back At A Year In Chicago Architecture
Lee Bey picks three highlights of 2022 and looks toward three for 2023 at the Sun-Times. Number two for 2022: “The Century and Consumers buildings: The federal government let these two early downtown skyscrapers at 202 and 220 South State rot after buying them nearly twenty years ago. Then in March, U.S. Senator Richard Durbin compounded the sin when he earmarked $52 million to wreck the buildings and replace them with an alleged safety buffer to protect the Dirksen Federal Building, which is located a block west on Dearborn Street. With State Street trying to remake itself as a destination for shopping, outdoor festivals and residential uses, the last thing it needs is a jumped-up vacant lot… The current Section 106 hearings mandated for historic federal properties by the National Historic Preservation Act [could] result in the buildings being spared from demolition and redeveloped—with Durbin’s $52 million as seed money.”
RTA Sees Shortcoming Near A Cold Billion
The Regional Transit Authority, “the agency that funds the CTA, Metra and Pace, says it will have a shortfall of $730 million in just three years,” reports Crain’s. “Chicago-area transit providers face ‘an existential crisis that neither fare hikes or service cuts can solve’ just three years from now.”
Governor Asked To Hold Off On Damen Silos Sale
“A Southwest Side economic development organization, joined by seven other groups, asked Governor Pritzker to delay the sale of the Damen Silos along the Chicago River in Pilsen to allow for public meetings before determining the fate of the twenty-three acres of industrial land,” reports the Sun-Times. “If Pritzker wants to be seen as an environmental leader, it is not enough to talk about the future. He must stop repeating the harms of the past—he must stop the sale of the Damen silos,” writes Anthony Moser, board president of the McKinley Park group Neighbors for Environmental Justice at the Trib. “This is a historic riverfront property. It is unacceptable for the state to sell public land from our community without asking even once what people who live here might think.”
DINING & DRINKING
$10,000 Gets You Some Supper In Barrington Hills
“Chef Fabio Viviani’s seven-acre estate in Barrington Hills is expansive. The lawn is so big, a helicopter can land on it—and has. The wine cellar boasts 3,500 bottles, and he has one of the largest private spirits collections in North America. Add to that caviar, truffles and other indulgences flown in from around the world, and Viviani has crafted a recipe for exclusivity,” writes Ally Marotti at Crain’s.
PepsiCo Lays Off Hundreds
PepsiCo is laying off workers at the headquarters of its North American snacks and beverages divisions, reports the Wall Street Journal. Hundreds of jobs will be eliminated. “The cuts affect the company’s North America beverage business, which is based in Purchase, New York, and its North America snacks and packaged-foods business, which has headquarters in Chicago and Plano, Texas.”
Gyro-mazing At Nonna’s
Nonna’s, the West Loop sandwich and pizza shop owned by the Formento’s team, has announced its December special sandwich by chef Don Walker. The “Gyro-mazing” is available throughout December. “Using Nonna’s famous meatball mix, a log is formed, cooked and then shaved to a gyro meat consistency. The meat then goes on to a beautiful loaf of crusty bread and topped with aioli, red onion, cucumbers, kalamata olive and tomatoes.” Nonna’s Instagram is here.
Mother Of Late Rapper Juice Wrld Opens Homewood Brewpub
“For now, it’s a large hole in the ground, but Carmela Wallace talked [on what would have been her late son’s twenty-fourth birthday] about how the brewpub project she’s undertaking in Homewood will be a tribute to her son, Jarad Higgins, the rapper known as Juice Wrld,” reports the Daily Southtown. “The 18,000-square-foot space will feature a rooftop garden and outdoor patios, farm-to-table menu items and be a venue for local artists to display work.”
FILM & TELEVISION
A Head-To-Head With First And Second Kartemquin Artistic Directors Quinn And George
At Documentary magazine, Anthony Kaufman has a sit-down with Gordon Quinn [Newcity Film 50 Hall of Fame] and Amir George [Newcity Film 50] about beginnings, new and old, at the fifty-six-year-old Midwestern documentary mainstay. “I think a big part of sustainability is about community,” Kartemquin’s second artistic director George, following KTQ co-founder Quinn, tells Kaufman. “You need a community to embrace what you’ve done and be a part of what you’re doing… That’s how Kartemquin has been able to sustain for so long; people know it exists and know the work that’s there and want to keep that going. I’m also thinking about newer filmmakers who have the opportunity to engage with Kartemquin and even open up funding opportunities, as well. There’s no one way to sustain, but it starts with community.” Adds Quinn, “We haven’t been as active in [advocacy] recently. But it’s partly bandwidth and I’m eighty. I’m hoping that Amir is going to pick up that mantle. One of the things I’ve heard about Amir is that he has the ability to bring people together. And the key thing about those battles is you have to bring the community together and get them to stand up en masse and say, ‘Hey, we have a problem here.'”
Semicolon Bookstore Moving Back To River West
Failed plumbing and flooding have pushed Danielle Mullen, owner of Semicolon bookstore, out of a Division Street location, back to its previous storefront on Halsted Street, where she will buy the building, reports Block Club Chicago. While that “location is smaller than the Wicker Park store, Mullen plans to build out the basement to sell used books, with new books… on the ground floor.” She intends to convert apartments above the storefront into literary-themed, short-term rental Airbnb units.
New York Times Newsroom Slates Thursday Walkout
“New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger and CEO Meredith Kopit Levien received a letter from Bill Baker, unit chair of the Times guild, that was signed by more than 1,000 employees. Subject line: ‘Enough. If there is no contract by December 8, we are walking out,'” reports Intelligencer. “The letter demands a weeklong marathon bargaining session over health-care funds and return-to-office policies and their pension plan. But what the employees really want is permanent increases in base pay. If they don’t get enough of a salary bump, they’re going to stop working for twenty-four hours… Sure, masthead myrmidons will have enough copy in the hopper to keep that homepage humming for a little while, and it’s not as though the app on your phone will suddenly go blank. But the walkout threat is a marked escalation from an ordinarily fissiparous newsroom. It’s the sort of stunt that precedes an actual sustained strike.”
John Cusack Presses PRESS Act
Activist and actor John Cusack advocates for the PRESS (Protect Reporters from Exploitative State Spying) Act in an opinion piece at the Sun-Times. “We have a senator in Illinois who understands the importance of the Fourth Estate. Senator Durbin knows that journalists do not work for the government. They cannot do their important jobs when they’re forced to spend their days in courtrooms and depositions. And news sources do not come forward when they’re afraid of being unmasked in federal court. We cannot allow the government to surveil journalists and expose sources—even the threat of which produces a chilling effect on the press—if we expect journalists to expose corruption, speak truth to power and print what the powerful don’t want printed… The last thing newspapers need is more government intrusion into the newsgathering process. As technologies evolve, surveillance of journalists becomes even more dangerous. Data and metadata—in addition to traditional newsgathering materials and source identities—need protection, now more than ever.”
Jack White Returns To Empty Bottle Tonight
But all the tickets should be gone already; they went on sale at noon yesterday, online only. White’s surprise show is one night before his Thursday show at the somewhat larger Aragon Ballroom. The Empty Bottle show will be “phone free.” The Instagram announcement is here.
Taylor Swift Fans Sue Ticketmaster In California
“Even before the botched sale of the Taylor Swift concert tickets, Live Nation had come under scrutiny for its power and size. The Justice Department has in recent months been investigating its practices and whether the company maintains a monopoly over the multibillion-dollar live music industry,” reports the New York Times. “A group of twenty-six fans of the singer-songwriter… filed a lawsuit accusing Ticketmaster’s parent company of anticompetitive conduct and fraud several weeks after a chaotic, glitch-filled sale of tickets for Ms. Swift’s upcoming tour left thousands of eager fans empty-handed and unhappy… The resulting outcry from fans prompted calls from lawmakers to break up the 2010 merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation… The complaint accuses Ticketmaster of anticompetitive conduct, saying the company has long perpetuated a ‘scheme’ by forcing fans to exclusively use it for presale and sale prices, which are higher than what a competitive market price would be.”
Online Petition Calls For School Of Art Institute To Rescind Ye’s Honorary Degree
About 1,200 signatures have been applied to a Change.org petition to ask that the school’s president, Elissa Tenny, rescind an honorary degree that was awarded to Ye, also known as the musician Kanye West, reports the Sun-Times. The 2015 honor, the petition says, “bestows the legitimacy and luster of the School on a figure who has in recent months made repeated public statements expressing and justifying anti-semetism [sic].” The Sun-Times notes that “Ye attended the American Academy of Art and Chicago State University for brief periods. However, he dropped out of school at age twenty to pursue his music career.”
Grand Rapids Symphony Needs A President-CEO
The Grand Rapids Symphony posts for a position: “The President-CEO will advance the mission of the Grand Rapids Symphony, maintain its fiscal resiliency in an evolving world, and oversee a dynamic leadership team. Reporting to the Board of Directors, the President-CEO will partner with the Music Director to bolster the visibility of the Symphony, uplift its artistic vision, engage with its diverse community, and build authentic relationships locally and nationally. Actively engaged in supporting current and crafting new partnerships with other artistic, educational, social justice, and other organizations, this individual will be a visible presence and respected leader.” More here.
City Grants Steep Theatre $3 Million For Edgewater Playhouse
“Steep Theatre’s plans to overhaul its playhouse in Edgewater are getting a big boost from the city,” reports Block Club. “The Edgewater-based company received a $2.98 million grant from the city to help fund the build-out of its new headquarters at 1044 West Berwyn. The grant is part of a $40 million community development initiative… to spur economic activity.”
Joffrey Will Remount Yuri Possokhov’s “Anna Karenina” In February
The Joffrey Ballet will remount Yuri Possokhov’s “Anna Karenina” for the first time since its 2019 world premiere. Based on the novel by Tolstoy, Possokhov’s immersive adaptation—winner of the 2019 “Oscars of Dance” Benois de la Danse International Prize for Best Choreography—features an original composition by composer Ilya Demutsky, costumes and sets by designer Tom Pye, and lighting by designer David Finn. “Anna Karenina” will be presented at the Lyric Opera House in ten performances only, February 15-26, 2023. More here.
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Okay Cannabis To Open in March In West Town
Okay Cannabis is under construction, looking toward a March 2023 opening at 1914 West Chicago, next door to West Town Bakery, reports Block Club. “Owners of the business include former 47th Ward Ald. Ameya Pawar and Scott Weiner, co-owner of the Fifty/50 group, which operates West Town Bakery, Roots Pizza and other local restaurants. Pawar served two terms in City Council 2011-2019.” “We want you to come grab a coffee at West Town Bakery, grab a pastry or grab a pizza. Come check out Okay Cannabis on your way in, on the way out. We see this as a destination, that it’s not just to come in and have a transactional experience,” Pawar said. “There’s a lot of opportunity here because the Fifty/50 restaurant group controls the block.”
UIC Faculty Union Sets Strike Date
“Faculty members at the University of Illinois at Chicago plan to strike January 17 if their union doesn’t reach a suitable contract agreement by then,” reports the Sun-Times. “The nearly 900-member union has been working without a contract since mid-August and decisively authorized a strike last month with nearly unanimous approval from the seventy-seven-percent of members who voted.” Members seek pay raises, as well as agreements on workloads and job security. “Union leaders pointed to UIC’s reported $1.2 billion in reserves as proof the university is ‘thriving economically’ and can afford to fairly compensate its workers.” The higher education strike of nearly a month in California continues: “The University of California is trying to divide and conquer the 48,000 workers on strike by acceding to the demands of some groups but not others,” reports the Guardian. “It is by far the largest and most important strike in the history of American higher education, with the potential to transform both the status and income of those who work in an ‘industry’ that now employs more workers than the federal government.”
Casino Rep Says Focus Will Be On Greenspace And Gambling, Not A “Glitzy Las Vegas Strip Joint”
At a Monday community meeting, Ameet Patel, “senior vice president of Bally’s West regional operations, said the plans are not intended to create a ‘glitzy Las Vegas strip joint’ and that bright lights and loud concerts will be inside. Outdoor spaces will be preserved for public recreation,” reports the Trib. “Look at where this process was in the green space six months ago, and look at where we are today,” Patel told the meeting. “We have expanded the dog park; we have expanded the greenspace; we have expanded the river walk… This is a productive exercise that we want to continue for months to come. Let’s all be part of the solution and continue this dialogue.”
iStalk: Women Sue Apple Over AirTag Abuse
“Apple Inc. was sued by two women who say its AirTag devices make it easy for stalkers to track and terrorize victims,” reports Bloomberg. They call it “the negligent release of a dangerous product.”
Send culture news and tips to [email protected]