City Grants $5 Million To Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art
Intuit, the West Town museum “dedicated to showcasing outsider art from Chicago and across the country, received a multimillion-dollar city grant to expand its exhibition spaces, modernize its facilities and build a dedicated education area,” reports Block Club Chicago. “The city grant will help fund the construction of new art galleries, an education and art-making studio, a community gathering space and more, with construction [slated to begin] next year.”
Henry Moore Sculpture, Abstract Art, Anchor Hindman Sales
The Henry Moore bronze, “Reclining Figure,” will take center stage at Hindman, highlighting an offering of sculptures in the firm’s December 14 Post-War & Contemporary Art and December 15 Prints & Multiples auctions. Abstract paintings by Alice Baber, Gene Davis, Brice Marden, Paul Jenkins and Frank Stella are among significant lots. The Henry Moore bronze sculpture, “Reclining Figure” (1957, estimate $600,000-$800,000), is one of only twelve plus one casts of this sculpture “and reflects Moore’s mature style that incorporates universalism and the balance of form and space.” More here.
Five Chicago Artists Given Meier Achievement Awards
The Helen Coburn Meier and Tim Meier Charitable Foundation for the Arts has named five recipients of their seventeenth Arts Achievement Awards, with a total of $200,000 in awards. The Foundation recognizes Chicago-based artists in mid-career who push the artistic envelope: painter and muralist Ruben Aguirre; dancer and artistic director Bril Barrett; artist Kate Berry Brown; jazz cellist Tomeka Reid; and poet and interdisciplinary artist avery r. young. More here.
Trib Editorial Board: Time To “Jackhammer” The Trump Tower Sign
The Chicago Tribune editorial board makes the case to “jackhammer” the bloated, vulgar Trump Tower sign high atop the Chicago River. “Trump failed to do his duty to support the Constitution, an act that should preclude a further run for president, and the Trump Organization was exposed as a criminal enterprise. And Chicagoans still have to look at that sign? Granted, the city will need to take advice from its lawyers and we acknowledge the conviction likely did not nix all property rights. But this is worth a new negotiation. Reintroduce an ordinance. Evoke moral turpitude. Try to get it taken down.”
Casino Backs Down On Outdoor Music Venue
“An updated proposal for Chicago’s first casino has cut plans for a 1,000 seat outdoor music venue, replacing it with a riverfront park after residents spent months advocating against it,” reports Block Club.
A Top Architecture Prize To Carol Ross Barney
“Carol Ross Barney is the American Institute of Architects’ gold medal winner for 2023, becoming the first Chicago-based architect to take home the organization’s top honor since Ludwig Mies van der Rohe,” reports CoStar. Past winners also include Frank Lloyd Wright and Santiago Calatrava.
Billy Corgan’s Madame Zuzu’s Sets Lighting Ceremony For Relocated “Orange Garden” Neon
“Madame ZuZu’s will host a lighting ceremony to unveil the restoration of the iconic Orange Garden neon chop suey sign at its new home December 17,” reports Louisa Chu at the Trib. “The sign hung over Orange Garden, the oldest Chinese restaurant in the city, in the North Center neighborhood. The restaurant’s history is disputed, but it’s believed to have been open since at least 1927.”
Supply Chains Calming
“The supply backlogs of the past two years—and the delays, shortages and outrageous prices that came with them—have improved dramatically since summer. The web of factories, railroads, ports, warehouses and freight yards that link goods to customers have nearly regained their pre-pandemic levels,” reports AP (via the Sun-Times). “The easing of supply bottlenecks has begun to provide some relief from the inflation that reached a four-decade peak this year, pummeling consumers and businesses.”
DINING & DRINKING
Dropping In On Tel-Aviv Kosher Pizza
“With the exception of a pizza box-sized window sticker and a television-sized sign, Tel-Aviv’s pallid California Avenue storefront is completely naked,” writes Max Abrams at the Tribune. “Its low profile undersells its significance as one of Chicago’s oldest kosher-certified restaurants… Tel-Aviv is among a handful of one-stop shops in the city for a menu where meat and dairy don’t mix (because there’s no meat at all), cheese is made with Cholov Yisroel milk, and other dietary laws of kashrut are followed to a T.”
Eli’s Cheesecake Gets Million-Dollar City Grant
“Eli’s Cheesecake Company received a $1 million boost to build its innovation and education center inside its expanded production facility,” reports Block Club Chicago. “The grant is part of a $40 million community development initiative spearheaded by the city to spur economic activity after the pandemic… The company broke ground over the summer on its $9.5 million expansion, adding 42,000 square feet of production space. But what was missing was money to include a center to host its education programs and test out new products.”
Pretzel City Brewfest In Freeport Awarded
“An annual craft beer festival in Freeport has been recognized as the best event or festival in the state by the Illinois Office of Tourism,” reports the Rockford Register Star. “Pretzel City Brewfest is held annually on the last Saturday in September and has drawn thousands of visitors to downtown Freeport in its ten years of existence.”
Craft Beer On Bubble
“While the bubble isn’t quite bursting when it comes to craft beer—as some onlookers have long been speculating—the industry is facing headwinds long in the offing for small and local breweries that knew mostly growth for more than a decade,” reports Josh Noel at the Trib. During the last decade-and-a-half, the number of breweries in the Chicago area has gone from a dozen to more than 250. “Yet years of exuberance have skidded to a halt, and for a number of complex and interlocking reasons: ever-increasing competition, the rising cost of doing business, the broader economy and shifting consumer habits rooted in the pandemic. More closures or sales seem inevitable, and will likely include Tribes Beer Co. in south suburban Mokena, which launched in 2015 at the peak of craft beer frenzy. Owner Niall Freyne put Tribes on the market this week for $1.3 million.”
Ramen-San And Sushi-San Replace Oyster Bah And Manhandler Saloon
Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises’ replacement for Oyster Bah will be a fourth location of Ramen-san at 1962 North Halsted, reports Eater Chicago. A third location of Sushi-san one door down will take over the former site of the Manhandler Saloon, “a forty-year-old gay bar with a non-descript storefront that closed in November 2020.”
Restaurant Workers Allege Abuse At United Center
“Food service and sanitation workers at the United Center filed dozens of labor complaints against the venue’s concessionaire, alleging the company violated labor law by working some employees thirty-five days straight,” reports the Sun-Times. “Twenty-four separate allegations were made against Levy [Restaurants, the venue’s concessionaire]. Workers filed complaints with the National Labor Relations Board, the Illinois Department of Labor and the City of Chicago’s Office of Labor Standards.”
Logan Square Location Will Be Lou Malnati’s Eightieth
“Lou Malnati’s is bringing its butter-crusted deep dish pies to Logan Square,” reports Block Club. “The iconic pizza chain is opening an outpost at Fullerton and Kimball avenues in the former home of Scrub-A-Dub laundromat,” according to Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa.
FILM & TELEVISION
Announcement Of Pickwick Theatre Closure Prompts Park Ridge Worry
“Owners of the Pickwick Theatre said there was an explosion of interest a day after they announced they intended to close it, from potential new operators of the Uptown Park Ridge landmark. Community leaders and supporters of the art deco movie palace envisioned a future that could include live entertainment and other creative uses,” reports the Tribune. “‘The good news is the theater will probably close as operated by the Vlahakis and Loomos family, but there will be somebody taking its place,’ Vlahakis said Wednesday. Discussions are ongoing, he said, but they’ve been promising so far.” “‘Obviously no paperwork has been signed or anything like that, but I feel very confident… We even had good theater operators who I can’t disclose right now, who are definitely interested in taking over for us.” A thousand tickets to movies now playing were sold in a day, he said. “All of a sudden they exploded… At the end, that’s what we want. We want people to come back to the movies.”
Sundance 2023 Selects Chicago Media Project And Filmmaker Deborah Stratman
Among the ninety-nine features announced for the 2023 Sundance Film Festival next January are a nonfiction film supported by Chicago Media Project, Alejandra Vasquez and Sam Osborn’s “Going Varsity in Mariachi,” in the world of Texas high school mariachi competitions, and Deborah Stratman’s “Last Things,” with this synopsis: “Evolution and extinction from the point of view of rocks. A humid take on minerals, where sci-fi meets sci-fact. The geo-biosphere is a place of evolutionary possibility, where humans disappear but life endures.” The complete lineup is here.
Illinois Holocaust Museum To Present History of The Green Book
The Illinois Holocaust Museum will open “The Negro Motorist Green Book” exhibition on January 29, sharing the history of “The Green Book,” the annual travel guide created in 1936 that provided African American travelers with information on businesses that welcomed Black travelers during the Jim Crow era. An immersive look at the reality of travel for African Americans in mid-century America, the exhibition includes artifacts that include business signs, postcards and firsthand accounts that illustrate not just the apprehension felt by African American travelers, but also the resilience, innovation and elegance of people choosing to live a full American existence. More here.
Kogan Knew Different Saul Bellow Than “American Masters”
“The ‘adventures’ of Saul Bellow were many but in this film we get a smart but dry academic trip rather than the wild roller coaster ride the writer deserves,” writes Rick Kogan at the Trib. “There is a great deal of Bellow in the film, mostly from bygone interviews. He is mostly smart and thoughtful, if a bit prickly. He was a complicated character, a loyal friend who also mined his friendships for not always flattering material, a legendary womanizer who would marry five times and have four children. We hear from a couple of those wives and a mistress and from his three adult sons… It is said that Bellow’s last words were ‘Was I a man or was I a jerk?’ Perhaps the answer to that lies in his work. It is not to be found in this film.”
Kirk Cameron Publisher Solicits Libraries For Storytelling Time
Fox News finds libraries aren’t accepting the solicitations of evangelizing performer Kirk Cameron to sell a Christian book for kids.
Sister Jean Pens Memoir
“Guidance from the beloved Catholic nun who became known nationally as Loyola University Chicago’s biggest athletics booster will come in the form of a memoir: ‘Wake Up with Purpose!: What I’ve Learned in My First Hundred Years,'” reports the Sun-Times. “The book is ‘part life story, part philosophy text, and part spiritual guide,’ according to publisher Harper Select.”
More Newspapers Consider Postal Delivery
“Switching newspaper delivery from costly carriers to the U.S. Postal Service seemed like a no-brainer for Jordan Brechenser, president and publisher of Vermont News and Media. But things quickly got complicated, and that was before a local postmaster obtained an order of protection and moved to a new post office after a confrontation in a local bar,” reports the Medill Local News Initiative. Tim Franklin, senior associate dean at Medill, “said he expects more local news organizations to at least explore a pivot to postal delivery, ‘because the potential cost savings are huge, and it eliminates the headache of carrier turnover. That said, this shift can’t be seen as just a transformation of how printed newspapers are delivered. This also raises the existential question of what a printed newspaper should be in the digital era. If consumers who are used to getting a paper in the morning now are going to pluck it out of the mailbox in the afternoon, they’re going to expect it to have a different value to their lives… The printed newspaper needs to be relevant in other ways–more enterprise and feature stories that are in-depth, contextual and personal; More stories that point forward, not backward… This change in delivery metabolism will force a rethinking of what’s actually in the printed newspaper that’s being delivered. And that can be a positive, constructive change for the newsroom, too.”
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Editor Retires
George Stanley is stepping down as editor of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and regional editor of USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin after forty-three years in journalism, reports the Journal Sentinel. “Stanley is known as a strong, forceful leader who cares deeply about the role of journalism in democracy,” the paper says of the sixty-five-year-old journalist. “He crusaded publicly for the critical role that independent journalism not beholden to special interests plays in our polarized culture.”
SXSW Music Sets Second Round Of Showcasing Artists
The South by Southwest Music Festival has announced the second round of Showcasing Artists invited to perform at the thirty-seventh annual event, March 13-18, in Austin, Texas. Chicago players include Nathan Graham, Manwolves, Sunday Cruise and Daniel Villarreal. More here.
House Music Venue Proposed In West Loop
The owners of Habitat Chicago, “a music venue that would host community programs during the day and operate as a nightclub at night… said they want the late-night club to offer an inclusive and safe nightlife experience, but they will need the alderman to lift a liquor moratorium,” reports Block Club. “Habitat Chicago would be a ‘one-of-a-kind’ house and techno performing arts center in the 9,000-square-foot vacant storefront.”
Christmas Concert At Kehrein Center This Sunday
The Kehrein Center for the Arts, the renovated mid-century theater on the West Side, will present its second Christmas concert on Sunday, December 11, featuring The City Lights Orchestra. Free tickets are here.
SAIC Boots Ye
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago has rescinded Ye’s honorary degree, reports the Sun-Times. In a release, the school says, “The School of the Art Institute of Chicago condemns and repudiates Kanye West’s (now known as Ye) anti-Black, antisemitic, racist, and dangerous statements, particularly those directed at Black and Jewish communities. Ye’s actions do not align with SAIC’s mission and values, and we’ve rescinded his honorary degree.”
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Pritzker Open To Weed On Wheels
“Pritzker toured Ivy Hall, the Bucktown dispensary which became the first social equity facility in the state,” reports Channel 7. “The program is designed to guarantee minority access to the lucrative cannabis business now moving forward after a number of fits and starts.” Pritzker’s comments opened the door to cannabis delivery. “At first blush, without the data in front of me, I think that as long as it is regulated, as long as we make sure that the person who is ordering it gets it, and that they’re legally allowed to, then it would seem to me like the same as somebody coming into a store,” the governor said.
United CEO Sees Delta Pilots’ Thirty-Four-Percent Raise As Contract Template
“United Airlines chief executive Scott Kirby said a tentative contract agreement between rival Delta Air Lines and its pilots union would set an industry pattern,” reports Reuters. “It’s a rich contract but the really good news is it means we’ll all get deals done essentially on the same terms and can move forward,” Kirby told the wire service. “Delta struck a tentative deal to give pilots a thirty-four-percent cumulative pay increase in a new four-year contract.”
Berkshire Edge Sees Threats To Culture
“Arts leaders have a daunting task: They are the creative conduit to bring visual and live arts and historical and cultural knowledge to the public. Arts leaders are under constant pressure to operate sustainable institutions; to be inclusive; and, most importantly, to be truthful and ethical,” writes contributor James Abruzzo at the Berkshire Edge. “They, as a profession, must ensure that their institutions uphold the highest liberal values. Meanwhile, their leadership appears constantly buffeted and challenged—by disenfranchised stakeholders, employees, climate protestors, religious fanatics, and some less than supportive board members—and, for almost three years, are dealing with the uncertainties brought about by the global pandemic… Arts leaders from all sectors and geographies must now recognize the threats to cultural institutions: potential physical harm to artists; damages and destruction of works of art in their care; censorship from autocratic governments, religious fanatics, and liberal sensitivities; and they must take action and a unified stand. Arts leaders cannot leave solutions (and protection) to the blunt instruments of lawmakers and politicians. Arts leaders must rally the entire ecosystem—governments, private funders, foundations, artists, historians and scientists, volunteers, employees, visitors, and the public—they must lead this group to understand the broad threats to the sector and together take some action.”
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