Louvre Reduces Daily Admissions By One-Third
“The Louvre in Paris, the world’s most well-attended museum, will limit the number of daily visitors to 30,000 ‘in order to facilitate a comfortable visit and ensure optimal working conditions for museum staff,'” reports ARTnews. “Prior to the pandemic, the Louvre could welcome up to 45,000 visitors each day.”
Lender Seizes Chicago Board Of Trade Building
“New York investment giant Apollo Global Management has taken control of the Board of Trade Building in the Loop and hired a Chicago developer to try to inject new life into the distressed landmark tower,” reports Crain’s.
Metra, CTA Add To Bus Tracking
“Metra announced new GPS technology Tuesday that lets customers see where their trains are and when the trains will reach the station, and the Chicago Transit Authority announced changes to its bus tracking system to create more reliable service,” reports the Tribune.
Trib Editorial Board Trashes Soldier Field Science-Fiction Video
“We’ve said many times that the future of Soldier Field is not tied to the Bears. We support the stadium’s post-Bears regeneration as a better venue for soccer, college football and summer concerts, assuming the money can be found, although we’d like to see as much access as possible to the spiffy lakefront view for regular folks, not members of private clubs,” writes the Tribune editorial board. “We’re all for nice, new places to have a drink, listen to music and watch a show. But we think the city’s historic entertainment venues need attention first, and we believe private developers should build new venues according to market demand and on their own dime.”
Chicago Tool Library Goes Garfield Park
“The new warehouse is nearly five times larger than the library’s original home, is close to public transit and has a small outdoor courtyard,” reports Block Club Chicago. The space opens January 28 at 4015 West Carroll. “People can start donating tools to the library again now that the new space is ready to go… Donations had been on pause since organizers didn’t have enough room for existing inventory.” Their website is here.
DINING & DRINKING
Coca-Cola Gets Wrigley Field Monopoly
The new “Legacy Partnership” means Coca-Cola products—including Sprite, Diet Coke, Dasani and Minute Maid Lemonade—will be the only soft drinks and water sold at Wrigley Field, Gallagher Way and Sloan Park in Arizona, reports NBC 5.
Fairmont Chicago Debuts Immersive Dining Experience
Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park has partnered with TableMation for an animated 3D dinner, “Le Petit Chef: An Immersive Dining Experience.” The “unique culinary experience” is dining as “sophisticated virtual reality theater, without the use of glasses or equipment.” “Le Petit Chef,” created by Skullmapping, “follows the world’s smallest chef on a gastronomic journey. Standing at two-and-a-haf inches tall, an animated 3D chef character appears on every table narrating guests through a multisensory five-course tasting menu with curated wine pairings. Throughout the ninety-minute production, Le Petit Chef moves around each place setting preparing the courses, with the help of 3D projection mapping, and tells a story of the history, ingredients and techniques used to make each dish. Choreographed in real life, each inspired course is delivered in unison with the animation.”
The journey through five courses includes “an exploration of tomatoes in the first course paired with Gran Moraine Brut Rosé and a main course of Butter Poached Beef with spinach, mustard seeds, caramelized onion, beets and bittersweet chocolate paired with Chateau Lassegue Saint-Emilion Red Blend, to the dessert of Hazelnut and Sea Salt Mille-feuille with chocolate crémeux, burnt orange caramel and Nutella sand paired with Cyprès de Climens Barsac wine.” Pricing per person starts at $155, with an optional French wine pairing of $42. Seatings are Thursday-Saturday, 6pm and 8pm, through the end of the year. “Le Petit Chef” begins Thursday, January 19 in the Cuvée Room on the lobby level. More here.
FILM & TELEVISION
“A Toast To Jean” At The Film Center
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Gene Siskel Film Center will present “A Toast to Jean,” celebrating the nearly twenty-year tenure of the Film Center’s outgoing executive director Jean de St. Aubin. The Film Center will honor her leadership, toast to her next chapter, and celebrate her love of the movies with a 35mm showing of one of her favorite films, Charlie Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator,” which “is in no way a reflection on Jean’s own leadership style!” “My commitment to and love of our film community is why I wanted a public event to celebrate my time at the Film Center,” de St. Aubin says in a release. The film will be followed by a video tribute and a post-screening reception with champagne, pretzels and more. All ticket proceeds will benefit the Film Center. Sunday, January 29, 6pm. More here.
“The Bear”‘s Jeremy Allen White Awarded Golden Globe
The tarnished Golden Globe Awards recognized the performance of a charismatic if damaged character, Jeremy Allen White as chef Carmy on Chicago-set “The Bear,” with Best TV Actor In A Musical/Comedy Series. (White’s acceptance speech is here.) Season Two reportedly drops on FX and Hulu before summer.
CMP Opens Submissions For 2023 Shifting Voices Film Fund
CMP, the Midwestern social impact documentary funder and producer of the annual Doc10 film festival, has opened submissions for the 2023 Shifting Voices Film Fund. The program, which launched last year, provides fundraising and mentoring to documentary filmmakers who identify as Black, Indigenous and People of Color. From the pool of eligible submissions, twelve semi-finalists will be selected in February, with six finalists selected in March, including at least one Chicago filmmaker, with grants being made to each semifinalist and finalist. Finalists will present their projects at CMP’s Great Chicago Pitch, which will be part of the Doc10 documentary film festival in May.
“The Shifting Voices Film Fund is designed to help marginalized filmmakers overcome the systemic barriers to funding support that have been in place in the film industry for a long time,” Hussain Currimbhoy, CMP Director of Global Project Development and Investment says in a release. “The goal is to connect these filmmakers with Chicago’s impassioned and connected film-loving audience, and with each other. Empowering and encouraging filmmakers to tell their stories on their own terms is how we see real change happening in the industry.” Submissions close January 31. Applications and more here.
Viral Reverb For Volumes Bookcafe Vent
A presumptuous customer’s $800 return request prompted a tweet from Volume Bookcafe’s chief bookseller Rebecca George, reports the Sun-Times. “Turns out one of our biggest sales last month was for the person to stage their home for the holidays and now they want to return them all. Please don’t do this to a small business, people. That one sale was a third of our rent,” George tweeted. “Usually we get less than 1% returns. This person was an unusual case. They were expensive (some wrapped) art and cook books.” Writes the Sun-Times, “Unfortunately for the customer, she called a few days after the thirty-day return period had expired. After ‘much negotiation,’ the bookshop and the customer agreed on a store credit.” On the other hand, George said, “We’ve been getting tons and tons of orders overnight from all over the U.S., and we are so thankful for it.”
Barenboim Steps Down
Daniel Barenboim will resign from his Berlin State Opera role due to poor health, reports the Guardian. The conductor and pianist says he can “no longer achieve the level of performance required of a general music director. Barenboim, who is among the preeminent conductors in the world, has served as music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris and La Scala in Milan… The eighty-year-old has been leading the Staatsoper since 1992 and expressed his gratitude in a statement for the thirty years of collaboration, ‘which in all respects, both musically and personally, have enabled us to fly.'”
Italian Rightwing Government Criminalizes Raves With Draconian Penalties
“Event organizers can have their phones tapped and face six years in jail,” reports the Guardian, and have charges leveled “similar to criminal conspiracy.” A lawyer who defends rave organizers says, “This is a clear statement to citizens that holding a rave is one of the worst crimes you can commit.” “The so-called ‘decreto anti-rave’ was the first bill proposed by Giorgia Meloni’s rightwing coalition when [she] took office in October.” The law, now official, “makes organizing raves a specific crime punishable with three-to-six years of jail time, fines of up to €10,000 ($10,700) and the confiscation of equipment. The new statute also allows the surveillance of groups who are suspected of holding these unauthorized events.”
International Latino Cultural Center Mourns José Gómez
“We mourn the passing of a good and loyal friend of both the Chicago Latino Film Festival and the International Latino Cultural Center: José Gómez,” the ILCC alerts its subscribers. “For more than a decade, José was in charge of our merchandise table and also served as a sort of in-site customer service rep for the Festival. His smile was contagious; he was friendly and loving and easygoing with each festivalgoer and his team. We send our deepest condolences to his family and friends.”
Mary Zimmerman Remembers “Philosopher King” Frank Galati
“Often there were tears. Frank was weepy. I’m weepy like that too. Especially now.” Frank Galati left many lessons, writes Lookingglass’ Mary Zimmerman at American Theatre magazine. Among them: “Theater is the living manifestation of metaphor: This stands in for that. And this is particularly critical when the source text was not conceived for the stage and its limitations; then we must use all our cunning.” And: “About death he once said, ‘Why is everyone always wondering what it is like? We know what it is like. We’ve been dead already. We were dead before we were born. It’s just like that.'”
Paula Vogel’s Play About Censoring A Play Censored In Florida
“Jacksonville’s Douglas Anderson School of the Arts has canceled performances of a play involving censorship and the first lesbian kiss in American theater [in 1923],” reports the Florida Times-Union. “‘Indecent’ won Tony awards during a Broadway run in 2017, but a school production planned for March was called off this week because it was deemed unsuitable for teens… Students staging the play had to get parents’ approval, but ‘a closer review of the mature content of “Indecent” led us to the conclusion that “[The] Seagull” is better suited for a school production,’ principal Tina Wilson told families… ‘”Indecent’ contains adult sexual dialogue that is inappropriate for student cast members and student audiences. It’s that simple,” a Duval County school system spokesman told the paper.
Reports The Forward: It’s “a ‘queer Jewish love story’ about a censored Yiddish play… ‘The hundred-year anniversary of Sholem Asch’s “God of Vengeance” being shut down on Broadway is the same week that our production of “Indecent” would have opened,’ said Madeline Scotti, the student who first drew attention on Instagram to the censorship by her local school board… ‘One hundred years—one hundred years—and we are still fighting the same injustices that Sholem Asch and his company did.'” Vogel says, “Parents who live in the community have written to me and said, ‘There is rising antisemitism in our community… I very much think that what the school board may not be able to express is their concern about presenting a play that shows how censorship is the first step to the Holocaust.”
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Donnelley Foundation Grants For “Broadening Narratives”
The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, which supports land conservation, artistic vitality and regional collections for the people of the Lowcountry region of South Carolina as well as the Chicago metropolitan area—has announced twelve recipients of the Foundation’s “Broadening Narratives” initiative, which aims to fund specific collections projects that bring forward underrepresented stories. These are the third and fourth rounds of organizations to receive the grant. The projects collectively illustrate BIPOC communities, LGBTQ+ perspectives, working-class narratives, small community experiences, as well as other underrepresented groups and viewpoints. The seven Chicago-based organizations are the Chicago Theological Seminary, Korean Cultural Center of Chicago, Museum of Science and Industry, National Indo-American Museum, The Newberry Library, Southeast Chicago Historical Museum and Urban Juncture. More here.
Ron DeSantis Imposing Political Control On Florida Schools
It can’t happen here? “The threat of right-wing authoritarianism in the United States has lodged itself in the public mind in the model of January 6: A candidate for office refuses to accept defeat and then gins up phony legal complaints escalating into violence,” writes Jonathan Chait at Intelligencer. “But the more durable and successful model is the pattern used by strongmen like Viktor Orban, which does not require a violent assault on the state but instead employs a combination of legal methods: stacking legislative districts, using state power to bully corporations into support for the ruling party, marginalizing independent media and exploiting state-controlled pseudo-journalistic alternatives, and seizing control of the education system… Ron DeSantis has used all these tools at various times. Over the last week, the last piece—his determination to control the ideological tenor of schools — has been on bright display. Orban identified schools and universities as a source of dissent, and set out to seize ideological control by placing his allies in control. DeSantis is doing the exact same thing.”
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