Artists Book House Vacates Harley Clarke Mansion
The Artists Book House has informed the city of Evanston that “it is leaving the Harley Clarke mansion, bringing an abrupt end to the group’s dream to create a book and literary center in the long-shuttered lakefront building,” reports Evanston RoundTable. “The decision was reached reluctantly, after consulting with four fundraising firms, who, while agreeing it was possible to raise the money required to restore the mansion, concluded that it would take eight to ten years, far beyond what the group had committed to originally, said Audrey Niffenegger, the founder of the Artists Book House.” The nonprofit group was originally extended a forty-year contract.
Milwaukee Museum Changes Name to Celebrate Women And Nonbinary People In Art
The Charles Allis Art Museum, on Milwaukee’s East Side, is changing its name from January 26 through June 11 to the Sarah Ball Allis Art Museum, honoring the Wisconsin socialite and art collector who bequeathed her home and art collection to Milwaukee upon her death. The name change comes as part of an exhibition, crafted by Milwaukee-based artist and guest curator Kate Schaffer, who collaborated with the museum to rename the institution for the exhibition. “’Women and nonbinary people have historically been disadvantaged, their narratives written by others,’ Schaffer, who identifies as nonbinary and uses she/her pronouns for political purposes, says. ‘By renaming the Allis, we’re repairing the history of the home, the collection and Sarah herself and we’re taking a small but significant step to amend the historical silencing of women and nonbinary persons, particularly in the art world.'” More here.
Jean Albano Gallery Takes On Artist Paul Brourman
New gallery artist Paul Brourman’s work is on display at Jean Albano Gallery as “Chicago Looks Good on You.” “Paul was commissioned to create several portraits of Chicagoans wearing the city’s iconic landmarks as symbols of pride. Reproductions can be seen on display as sixteen-foot murals outside Pinstripes at 435 East Illinois, on the way to Navy Pier. The original paintings are on display in the gallery.” More here.
Early Design By Frank Lloyd Wright In Oak Park Yours For $595,000
“A three-bedroom, 2,064-square-foot house in Oak Park that is an early design by architect Frank Lloyd Wright is on the market for $595,000,” reports the Trib. “Built in 1898 and known as the George Smith Home, the shingle-style house on Home Avenue… has been owned by the same family for more than six decades and has not been on the market during that entire time.”
Bike Infrastructure On The Move
“It’s a shift happening across the city: pro-bike activists becoming more involved in Chicago politics. They range from gritty demonstrators in newly formed groups to professionals in established nonprofits, but they share a vision of radically reimagined streets they hope will make biking safer and easier,” reports the Trib.
Fifty Finalists For City’s “Name A Snowplow”
The “You Name a Snowplow Contest” shows a city full of wit, reports NBC 5. “Residents can vote for up to six names of their choice by January 31.” The names under consideration to be emblazoned on one snowplow in each of six districts include “Austin Plowers,” “Ferris Blizzard’s Day Off,” “Chance the Scraper,” “Sleet Home Chicago,” “Better Call Salt,” “Bozo The Snowplow,” “Ludwig Mies van der Snow” and “Mrs. O’Leary’s Plow.” Vote for six: The full list is here.
DINING & DRINKING
Mandatory Online Food Training Fee Goes To Lobby Against Worker Wages
“The National Restaurant Association uses mandatory $15 food-safety classes to turn waiters and cooks into unwitting funders of its battle against minimum wage increases,” reports the New York Times. “For many cooks, waiters and bartenders, it is an annoying entrance fee to the food-service business: Before starting a new job, they pay around $15 to a company called ServSafe for an online class in food safety… In taking the class, the workers—largely unbeknown to them—are also helping to fund a nationwide lobbying campaign to keep their own wages from increasing.” The primary states mandating the course and the fee: Florida, California, Texas, Illinois and Utah. “The National Restaurant Association does not release figures about the cost of offering food-handler classes, but… because they are generally offered online, the costs are low and the profits high.”
Gordon Ramsay Goes To Downtown Naperville
“Gordon Ramsay operates twenty-one restaurants in the U.S. The Naperville Ramsay Kitchen will be the third of its kind after outlets in Boston and Las Vegas,” reports the Sun-Times. “The celebrity chef will be opening Ramsay’s Kitchen—just the third in the nation—at… the site of the former Ted’s Montana Grill and Oswald’s Pharmacy.”
Press Room Opens Kitchen To Spotlight Chicago Chefs
The Press Room in the West Loop is opening its kitchen to help emerging chefs who don’t have a brick-and-mortar location make a name for themself and serve the Chicago community their style of cuisine. This chef residency program kicks off this weekend, on Sunday, January 22, with Chef Jordan Dominguez from Nomad Sushi. “Chef Jordan produces tasting menus influenced by fish from Japan and fresh produce from Chicago. Sushi Sundays will feature two multi-course tasting menus that rotate weekly: an Omakase Experience with twelve-to-fifteen luxury sushi courses and a Kaiseki Experience featuring an eight-course traditional Japanese meal. Diners can choose from two seatings, at 5:30pm or 7:30pm. Each seating will accompany ten guests and last an hour-and-a-half. Diners can experience the tasting menu for $150 per person.” More here.
Midwest Food Eddies Outward
Portillo’s, “the historic hot dog and Italian beef chain, has [just] over seventy locations, with the majority in the Midwest but with a few in California, Arizona, Texas, and Florida—and ten more openings planned for the latter half of 2023. It’s in those non-Midwest markets that Portillo’s CEO Michael Osanloo says the brand is coming out of the gate hot,” reports The Takeout. “Home Run Inn pizza is expanding… its premium frozen pizza line [nationwide to] major grocery chains… Buona Beef and Rainbow Cone are two more cherished Chicago-area brands teaming up to reach a nationwide customer base. The new franchise partner program… will bring combo beef-and-ice-cream shops to other states across the Midwest, as well as Florida, Texas, Colorado, Tennessee and Arizona.” Culver’s, a “Midwest darling,” is “spreading throughout the U.S. Although the restaurant began its ButterBurger in Wisconsin, it now has multiple locations in… Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Idaho, Texas and Arizona.”
FILM & TELEVISION
Wrigley Alamo Drafthouse Opens January 27
The first Illinois location of the Alamo Drafthouse movie and restaurant chain opens January 27, across from Wrigley Field. At 3519 North Clark on the third floor, the six-screen, 372-seat theater will also house Video Vortex, a standalone cocktail bar with a video store offering more than 11,000 VHS, DVD and Blu-rays available for free loan. “The retro-themed design features art installations with video screens playing VHS clips and VHS-themed decor. The bar will feature an extensive menu of custom and classic cocktails along with thirty-two beer taps focusing on the thriving local craft beer scene. The back bar will also be available to host small events, parties, and even film screenings on giant screens that cover the walls.” The lobby is decorated with an installation refracting “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” including a red sports car appearing to fly out a window. More here.
CineYouth 2023 Opens Submissions
Submissions are open for the Chicago Film Festival’s CineYouth 2023, advises the Chicago Film Office. “CineYouth will accept films from filmmakers twenty-two or younger. CineYouth 2023 will offer film screenings, filmmaking workshops, live Q&As, and more. Early-bird deadline is January 23.” More here.
Sarah Sherman Much-Disgust At SNL
Vulture considers the case of product-of-Chicago Sarah Sherman: “Sarah Sherman is a twenty-nine-year-old body-horror comic who has been playing with detached eyeballs and exploding buttholes since she started performing stand-up in Chicago under the name Sarah Squirm. She finds glory in gore: In May 2021, shortly before she was cast on ‘SNL,’ she made a video called ‘The Sarah Vaccine,’ in which she made a concoction of ‘gasoline, juice, and the special ingredient… piss,’ then drank it. ‘I did a show in Portland,’ she says, ‘and my friend Tommy had to walk out in the middle to puke in the parking lot.’ … On Saturday Night Live, she’s an agent of chaos. Rather than tackling current events or playing with modern archetypes as her colleagues do, Sherman has managed to remain disgusting, strange, and confrontational. She’s known for playing a version of herself on ‘Weekend Update’ in which she goads Colin Jost—as in a segment where she asks him why there are no Jews at ‘SNL.’ When he replies that there are Jews on the show, including her, she turns to the camera and says, ‘In other news, local wet blanket Colin Jost is keeping track of the amount of Jews at “SNL.”‘ In one of her most famous sketches, she plays a woman who reveals to her date that she’s covered in anthropomorphic meatballs that sing and spit bile.”
Empty Bottle Gets Managing Partner
The Empty Bottle’s head of marketing and promotions, Matt Ciarleglio, is the venue’s new managing partner, report J. R. Nelson and Leor Galil at the Reader. “Managing partner—it’s never been done here before,” he says, “but [Bruce Finkelman] has replicated it at some of the other 16 on Center properties.”
Gerald Arpino Centennial Celebration Set
In the hundredth-birthday month of Joffrey Ballet co-founder Gerald Arpino, the Gerald Arpino Foundation has announced a lineup of ballet companies from across the country that will perform in the Chicago Centennial Celebration in September at the Auditorium. As the culminating event in a multiyear salute to the choreographer, ballet companies from around the country will perform his work on one stage. Performances take place September 23-24 at the Auditorium. Tickets go on sale in March here.
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
UIC Faculty Union Strikes
“Faculty members at the University of Illinois Chicago are going on strike Tuesday after nine months of negotiations and failing to reach a contract agreement during a marathon bargaining session Monday,” reports the Sun-Times.
Times Still Big On “Pickleball”
Another big feature from the New York Times on “the addictive game” and “sports craze,” this time for business travelers. “In 2022, Tess Jacoby, thirty-six, took forty-seven flights. She packed her pickleball paddle on each one,” the feature on those “who can’t get enough” begins. “‘I joke that I’m an addict,’ said Ms. Jacoby, who works in commercial real estate in Chicago. ‘I will bring my paddle anywhere it’s warm.’ Pickleball websites, apps, Instagram and LinkedIn help her find competition—and new friends—away from home, opening doors in distant places… She plans to honeymoon in Cape Town where she hopes to find a pickleball group. ‘I won’t Google where to eat… If I find a game down there, that’s where I would ask.'”
Why Snow—Where There Is Any—Costs America Billions
“Snow is peaceful and calm when it falls, but it leads to billions of dollars in cascading costs,” reports The Hustle. Opening with the history of Chicago’s Mayor Bilandic losing an election for failing to keep streets clear, Mark Dent charts the financial costs. “The nation’s tab for snow and ice removal can be upwards of $4 billion per year. Every year, cities and states must decide how to budget for random winter weather events. When they aren’t sufficiently prepared, the costs accumulate. Where do those billions of dollars go? And how do cities plan for unpredictable weather events?”
Send culture news and tips to [email protected]