MCA Leads Chicago Museums In Diversity And Inclusion
The MCA is one of the six cultural institutions in the United States and the only one in Chicago selected as one of the top leaders in the fields of diversity and inclusion, alongside other institutions such as the Pérez Art Museum Miami or the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, ArtNet reports in The Burns Halperin survey of the U. S. art world. “The obdurate reality is that change has barely begun. More work by women entered museum collections in 2009 than any year since. For Black American artists, the peak year was 2015. The situation is especially acute where racism and sexism intersect. Fewer than 2,000 of the almost 350,000 works we catalogued were by Black American female artists—just 0.5 percent of total museum acquisitions in the twelve-year span we examined. Rather than structural change, the data shows that the art world occasionally venerates a few anointed superstars, but that the underlying value systems remain carefully undisturbed… The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago [emerges as a leader] in collecting the work of Black American artists.”
City Council Approves Near-Billion-Dollar TIF To Pay For Red Line Extension
The Red Line extension TIF earns full City Council approval, reports Crain’s. “The new plan will generate nearly $1 billion from a handful of wards to help pay for the long-sought southern addition to the Red Line.” The new tax-increment financing district will take “$950 million over three decades to help pay for the $3.6 billion extension of the Chicago Transit Authority’s Red Line from 95th south to 130th.”
An Unbuilt Frank Lloyd Wright May Be Finished 130 Years Later
“Designed in 1893, Wright conceived the Monona Boathouse at just twenty-six years old,” reports Architectural Digest. “The young architect had just opened his practice in Chicago and was hired to design a structure along the shores of Lake Monona in his home state, Wisconsin. A group of progressive leaders headed by John Olin, the ‘father of Madison’s park system,’ wanted to replace a collection of illegal and unattractive boat houses that had popped up over the years along the lakefront. Wright turned in a design for a circular structure with a conical roof, which would have been built if not for an economic depression in 1894… Nearly 130 years later, this early Wright design may soon become a reality… An ad hoc committee assembled by the Friends of Nolen Waterfront, an organization shepherding the effort to reshape Madison’s waterfront, gathered to hear design propositions from three firms tasked with reimagining the area. Representatives from Sasaki, James Corner Field and Agency Landscape & Planning presented ideas for redeveloping 1.7 miles of shoreline, and… many proposals included Wright’s original boathouse.”
Governor Celebrates Completion Of Jane Byrne Interchange
Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Transportation joined local officials and community leaders to celebrate the completion of the Jane Byrne Interchange reconstruction, a multiyear effort to modernize a key gateway into downtown Chicago and a critical transportation hub for the region and entire Midwest, the Governor’s office relays. “One of the biggest projects in state history, the Jane Byrne Interchange eliminates a notorious national bottleneck and improves safety, efficiency, and mobility across multiple modes of transportation while better connecting people and jobs throughout the Chicago area.” The $806.4 million project is the first major rehabilitation of the Jane Byrne [renamed for the former mayor in 2014] since it was originally constructed more than sixty years ago. “The finished product is predicted to result in a fifty-percent reduction in vehicle delays, saving motorists an annual five million hours previously spent sitting in traffic and $185 million in productivity. Vehicle emissions are anticipated to reduce by a third, with annual gas consumption decreasing by 1.6 million gallons a year. Crashes are predicted to go down twenty-five-percent.”
Talking About A Chicago Teardown Tax
“Right next to the California stop on Chicago’s Blue Line, one-bedroom apartments in a new luxury building start north of $2,000 a month. Recently built single-family homes on adjacent streets frequently go for $1 million or more. Coffee shops and craft breweries have become neighborhood staples,” reports Bloomberg. “Logan Square is not completely transformed. There is new, upscale development here… but less than some surrounding neighborhoods—in part… because community organizers in Logan Square have found a patchwork way to slow the march of gentrification that’s spreading westward from the main commercial Loop. One key tool: a pilot ordinance that charges developers a fee of at least $15,000 for tearing down existing buildings.”
DINING & DRINKING
Tasting Room Open At Chicago Winery
Chicago Winery’s Tasting Room has opened as a destination for birthdays, date nights, and other celebrations. Located in River North, the establishment’s view is of city streets and skyscrapers, rather than vineyards, but “with wines made from grapes sourced from around the country, one glass may take you to the Finger Lakes of New York and the next to California’s Sonoma Valley,” the Tasting Room relays. “There are three flights for guests to choose from, so there’s ample opportunity to compare and contrast, learn about the winemaking process and find a bottle to bring home.” More here.
Beth Neville, Owner Of Lake Forest’s The Lantern, Was Fifty-Five
“She enjoyed the challenge, she enjoyed taking on the menu and mostly, she enjoyed the people,” Ed Neville said of his wife, Beth, who took over The Lantern in Lake Forest from her late father fifteen years ago. “It’s a neighborhood place. People have been coming in there for thirty years,” reports the Lake Forester.
The Outlook For Sustaining Lunch Service Beyond Downtown
At Eater Chicago, Ashok Selvam and Naomi Waxman survey how lunch spots are doing outside of downtown. “The consensus is that larger restaurant groups will be able to offer expanded hours more easily… One Off Hospitality Group announced new brunch and lunch services at Avec River North, Avec West Loop and Big Star Mariscos in West Town. Expanding hours is one way to keep seasonal employees, One Off partner Terry Alexander says. That way, when One Off opens up hiring, it doesn’t have to search for as many workers. ‘We had a lot of talented people working at our cafes and Bar Avec’s rooftop… The last thing you want is to lose really talented people.’… Another consideration is customers aren’t staying out in most neighborhoods: ‘The later nights just aren’t happening for us, the reservations are getting earlier and earlier.'”
Porkchop Opens Near Loyola
“Porkchop has opened in the former Hamilton’s location on Broadway, bringing barbecue, live entertainment and eventually a speakeasy near Loyola’s campus,” reports Block Club. “Known for its barbecue and bar offerings, Porkchop takes over a space that housed Hamilton’s bar, which closed in 2012 after eighty years in business.” The speakeasy, Meet And Whiskey, takes “advantage of the large space [and] pays homage to the fact that the building has housed a bar since the 1930s.” Other attractions: “live music, drag shows and burlesque performances, which are also a staple of Porkchop’s flagship location on Grand.”
Way Out Bar Another Addition To Logan Square Burlesque And Drag Scene
“Way Out Wednesday is the latest addition to the Logan Square area’s growing burlesque and drag scene,” reports Block Club. “They have this really cool runway style with booths on one side and high-top seating on the other,” [promoter Lilly] Rascal said. “Most shows are on stages and the audience is sitting venue-style. I wanted to create something that was more in your face.”
FILM & TELEVISION
Cinema/Chicago Seeks Lab Manager
Cinema/Chicago has an opening for those working freelance in film and entertainment who are looking to supplement their work with part-time gigs – the Chicago Industry Exchange Programs Manager. “The Chicago Industry Exchange Programs Manager will oversee, implement, and manage the activities of the Chicago International Film Festival’s year-round Chicago Industry Exchange programs in collaboration with senior programming staff.” More here.
Lloyd Newman, Peabody-Winning Storyteller For NPR Who Inspired Birth Of StoryCorps, Was Forty-Three
“Lloyd Newman and LeAlan Jones recorded stories of life and death in a Chicago housing project for NPR, winning a Peabody Award and inspiring the birth of StoryCorps,” reports the New York Times. He “teamed up with a fellow teenager in the 1990s to record two award-winning radio documentaries that bared the pernicious underside of growing up in a Chicago public housing project.” The cause of death was complications from sickle cell anemia.
Chicago Dramatists Names President Of Board Of Directors
Debra Gilbert Rosenberg is the new president of the board of directors of Chicago Dramatists, the group alerts its subscribers. “I’ve been a student here at Chicago Dramatists for eight years, and a board member serving in various capacities for four,” she writes. “I’ve found Chicago Dramatists to be a second home. Chicago Dramatists provides people of all races, backgrounds, ages, tastes, skill levels and sensibilities the opportunity to develop creatively in a supportive, nurturing and dynamic atmosphere, both online and in person. I am beyond thrilled and proud to be a part of this new era of leadership in what I know will be a great year ahead.” More here.
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Final City Council Nod Given For $1.7 Billion River West Casino
“Chicago’s thirty-year quest for a casino and entertainment complex is now exclusively in the hands of the Illinois Gaming Board. Bally’s plan is for a $1.7 billion complex in River West, at Chicago and Halsted,” reports the Sun-Times. “Prior to the final vote, downtown Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) appealed to his colleagues one more time not to roll the dice with an under-capitalized Bally’s team with no track record running a big-city casino, let alone building a massive project. ‘We’re hitching our wagon to an inexperienced team… That could come back to haunt us.’ Local Ald. Walter Burnett (27th) countered that the casino project is a ‘big deal’ and ‘bigger than anybody’s ego.'”
UpRising Bakery Cancels Event After Terrorism Bulletin
UpRising bakery in Lake In The Hills “cited a terrorism bulletin from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in a Facebook post announcing the cancellation of its Slay Belles Holiday Drag Spectacular planned for December 17,” reports the Northwest Herald. “This decision comes after days of discussion with our cherished drag performers and in observation of the growing threats of violence and targeted protests against drag performances,” UpRising posted on Facebook. “The U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued an updated Terrorism Advisory System bulletin for members of the LGBTQ community, along with public gatherings, faith-based institutions, schools, racial and religious minorities, government facilities, the media and perceived ideological opponents. It is the seventh advisory issued since January 2021 and replaces the bulletin that expired November 30.”
Fentanyl Slams Milwaukee
“In cities like Milwaukee, fentanyl is increasingly a crisis in heavily Black and Latino neighborhoods. It is spreading within communities that are already straining under the weight of poverty, disinvestment and violent crime, and are now struggling to control [fentanyl], a drug whose reach grows every year,” reports the New York Times. “In 2021, more than 500 drug-related deaths in Milwaukee County were tied to fentanyl… and this year’s death toll is expected to be even higher.”
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