“Roe 2.0” At Woman Made Gallery
Woman Made Gallery will present “Roe 2.0” “in direct protest and response to the United States Supreme Court’s 6–3 Dobbs v. Jackson decision, which overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that established the constitutional right to abortion in 1973.” “Roe 2.0” will feature works in multiple media by forty-four artists in the gallery space as well as responses to the theme by more than a hundred artists in a virtual-only component of the exhibition. Individuals “responded to a call for Abortion stories. Some signed their names while others stayed anonymous. Displayed next to the visual artworks at Woman Made, these written accounts, thoughts, and experiences offer an unflinching view of very personal perspectives entangled with political repression. Abortion Stories will be added online throughout the year as they are submitted.” The exhibition runs January 28–March 4 with an opening day reception from 4-7pm. More here.
Ghost House On Gold Coast
“The ten-unit courtyard building on Dearborn Parkway is a ghost… empty since the 1990s,” reports Crain’s. “It’s well maintained, but… the brick and stone courtyard building… has been locked up with no signs of life for decades.” The reporter surveils the 1451 North Dearborn property: “Few windows have curtains or other coverings, the wrought-iron gate on Dearborn and a gate between garage doors on the alley are padlocked, and on a few walk-bys in the past few weeks, a Crain’s reporter saw only a few lights on in the left side of the third and fourth floors.”
Collection Of Fashion Designer Arthur McGee At Hindman
Hindman has announced the sale of property from the personal collection of American fashion designer Arthur McGee (1933–2019). The collection includes forty-five garments and ensembles of McGee’s own design. A trailblazer in the fashion world, McGee was the first African American to run the design room of a Seventh Avenue apparel company, as early as the 1950s. McGee was recognized after his passing as a highly influential designer, inspiring generations of African American designers through his talent and mentorship. The net proceeds of the sale will benefit a scholarship for emerging fashion designers from Arthur McGee Legacy, LLC. “McGee’s own collection tells a powerful story,” Hindman Couture and Luxury Accessories Director and Senior Specialist Timothy Long says. “The distinct garments are made even more significant due to the fact that the designer behind them played a pivotal role in helping to break racial barriers in the fashion industry.”
McGee was born in Detroit, Michigan, where he was introduced to fashion through his mother, a skilled dressmaker. His potential was recognized early when he became the recipient of a scholarship to study fashion at the Traphagen School of Design in New York City, and later the Fashion Institute of Technology. McGee worked with fashion designer Charles James, then at the apex of his career in New York. McGee also created theatrical costumes for celebrities of the stage, including Sybil Burton, Mary Ure and Josephine Premice. March 14 in Chicago and online; more here.
Massive Navy Pier Thrill Attraction Breaks Ground
“McHugh Construction announced this week that is has started work on a 48,000-square-foot space that will house the ‘new flight ride attraction’ known as FlyOver,” reports NBC 5. “The company Pursuit already has flyover experiences in Las Vegas and Canada,” adds CBS 2. “Riders will feel like they’re flying as they hang suspended from moving seats with their feet dangling below as they watch films on a sixty-five-foot wraparound screen.” Plans are to open the attraction in the 48,000-square-foot space once occupied by Chicago’s only IMAX theater more than a year from now in 2024. YIMBY Chicago says that the space that will be occupied is a sixty-foot-high, eighty-f0ot-wide volume. The Sun-Times: “You’ll soon be able to soar across the Grand Canyon and volcanic Iceland without leaving Chicago… special effects, including wind, mist and scents, provide an extra level of immersion.”
DINING & DRINKING
James Beard Names 2023 Semifinalists
On the long list of categories for the 2023 James Beard awards, Smyth is in the running for Outstanding Restaurant. Best Chef, Great Lakes contenders are Diana Dávila Boldin, Mi Tocaya Antojería; Thai Dang, HaiSous; Paul Fehribach, Big Jones; Tim Flores and Genie Kwon, Kasama; Zubair Mohajir, Wazwan. Other categories: Emerging Chef, Damarr Brown, Virtue; Best New Restaurant, Khmai Cambodian Fine Dining, Obélix; Outstanding Hospitality, Sepia; Outstanding Wine And Other Beverages, All Together Now. The James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards will be presented Monday, June 5 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. The complete list is here.
Ninety Years Of Chicago Bars At Gman
A panel on “Chicago Bars at Ninety” convenes at Gman Tavern on February 2 from 6pm-8pm: “How have saloons, taverns and public houses fared in the ninety years after Prohibition?” RSVP here. A very Chicago caution is provided: “RSVP does NOT guarantee admission. You will be sent a link to pay a $10 deposit to reserve your place and welcome refreshment on or before January 23. Because welcome beverages rock and no-show RSVPs suck. Host definitely reserves the right to ignore RSVP requests from people he’s found exhausting in person in the past.”
FILM & TELEVISION
Best Of The Midwest Awards Shorts Showcase At Siskel
Tickets are still available for The Midwest Film Festival’s Best of The Midwest Awards Shorts Showcase at Siskel on Monday, January 30. Details about the hour-long program and tickets here.
Michael Shannon On The Shooting Case Involving Alec Baldwin
“Was Baldwin criminally negligent for not checking his pistol before rehearsing, with his finger on the trigger? Shannon has some thoughts on that. I talked to him because I wanted to hear an actor discuss his experience with firearm safety protocol,” writes Michael Phillips at the Tribune. “It’s not a sloppy procedure, in my experience. It’s very, very meticulous. On most sets, if there is any activity that’s considered potentially risky in any way, shape or form, they start the day with a safety meeting the assistant director runs,” says Shannon. “They go through all the possible dangerous on-camera activity, and how we’re going to handle that to make sure nobody gets hurt. That’s how the day starts. And all of the armorers I’ve worked with have been super-fastidious about what they do.”
“Rust,” the veteran actor-director says, “is an example of a problem I see in filmmaking more and more these days. On smaller productions, independent productions, the producers keep wanting more and more for less and less. They don’t want to give you enough money. They cut corners, ridiculously, every which way… So every time someone makes a great movie for a million dollars, it sets a precedent. The financiers say, well, Joe Blow made a movie for a million, we’re gonna give you a million, too… ‘But I need $3 million to make it the right way.’ And they say ‘Well, I guess you won’t do it, then.’ They whittle the budget down to the bare minimum—but the one thing you can’t cut corners on is your armorer. If you have guns in your movie, that’s no place to cut corners. The person on ‘Rust’ clearly was not qualified for the job. She should not have been there.”
Farhad Manjoo at the New York Times on the implications of Baldwin’s questioning: “To people unfamiliar with the American criminal justice system, Baldwin’s decision sounds reasonable: Something terrible happened, and he wanted to help. But defense lawyers I talked to said Baldwin’s case should serve as a reminder that if you are involved in a serious incident, it’s best not talk to the police unless you have an attorney present.”
Justice Hopes To Break Up Google Over Ad Dominance
“The Justice Department and eight states,” reports Ars Technica, “are suing Google over its purported domination of the online advertising market… The government has a problem with Google’s position in ‘ad tech,’ or the tools used to automatically match advertisers with website publishers. To solve it, apparently, the DOJ has told Google it’s considering breaking the company up.”
NASCAR Sets Concerts, General Admission
The Chainsmokers, Miranda Lambert, The Black Crowes and Charley Crockett are the headliners in concerts at the NASCAR street race downtown in July, reports CBS 2. (July 2 is the date of the street race.) Two-day general admission tickets, starting at $269, will go on sale on February 2.
Ticketmaster President Apologizes To Senate Committee, Taylor Swift; Billionaire-Owned Bloomberg And Washington Post Attack Swift
“Joe Berchtold, the president and CFO of Ticketmaster parent company Live Nation Entertainment, testified before a Senate committee,” reports CNN, “two months after the Swift ticketing fiasco reignited public scrutiny of the industry. ‘As we said after the onsale, and I reiterate today: We apologize to the fans… We apologize to Ms. Swift. We need to do better and we will do better.’… Ticketmaster, he said, was ‘hit with three times the amount of bot traffic than we had ever experienced’ amid the ‘unprecedented demand for Taylor Swift tickets.’ The bot activity ‘required us to slow down and even pause our sales. This is what led to a terrible consumer experience that we deeply regret.'”
Bloomberg’s editorial board weighs in, in an editorial reprinted by Jeff Bezos’ Washington Post, headlined: “Taylor Swift Can Stop Slagging Ticketmaster: The much-maligned ticket seller isn’t perfect. But an intervention from Congress won’t help consumers—or stars like Swift.” Dominance, say Bloomberg’s editors, “isn’t unlawful on its own. One reason Ticketmaster commands this market share is that it offers an appealing service. It has unrivaled reach, (usually) reliable technology, integrated marketing tools, and a wealth of useful data and analytics. In fact, Swift elected to use Ticketmaster for this tour even though her promoter is AEG Presents—a direct rival with its own ticketing business, AXS… Breaking Ticketmaster up would do nothing to change that dynamic. By eroding the many efficiencies the firm has created, it could well make artists and their fans worse off.” Still, the editorial shrugs, “This isn’t to say the concert-ticket business is pristine.”
National Audio Company Keeps Cassette Tape Alive In Springfield, Missouri
“The audio cassette is a remarkable product. It’s inexpensive, it’s durable, and next to the vinyl record is the oldest format in continuous use,” Steve Stepp tells Belt Magazine. “He’s the president of the National Audio Company, the company he and his father Warren Williams Stepp founded in 1969. In the over five decades since, the National Audio Company has weathered seismic shifts in musical formats, the internet, multiple economic recessions, and now a pandemic. Today the National Audio Company stands as one of the last places in the world making new cassette tape. ‘On a typical day at National Audio we manufacture between four and six million lineal feet of tape. It’s all cassette tape, we don’t make anything else,’ he says. Along with that tape, the company also duplicates and packages cassettes for all the major music labels and over 5,000 independent labels worldwide.”
Dance Center Of Columbia College Chicago Announces Interim Director
Meredith Sutton is now interim director of the Dance Presenting Series as it approaches its fiftieth anniversary. Sutton will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the Dance Center’s public programming, including curation, fundraising, finance and administration, education, audience development and public advocacy. Sutton had been program manager for the Dance Presenting Series since February 2022. Sutton was associate professor of Dance at the University of Southern Mississippi and has also been a faculty member at Tulane University and the University of Virginia. She has performed in the works of noted choreographers including Robert Battle, Ulysses Dove, Ohad Naharin and Blondell Cummings, and has shared her own choreography in venues such as the Kennedy Center and for the New Orleans Ballet Association as their resident artist and choreographer. More here.
New Louis Armstrong Musical Slated For Cadillac Palace In October
Broadway In Chicago announces “A Wonderful World, A New Musical about the Life and Loves of Louis Armstrong” and its pre-Broadway engagement in Chicago this fall, with Tony Award-winning James Monroe Iglehart starring as Armstrong. Mirroring Armstrong’s musical path from New Orleans to Chicago, “A Wonderful World” will premiere at the Saenger Theatre in New Orleans, October 1-8 before its limited engagement from October 11-29 at the Cadillac Palace Theatre. “A Wonderful World” is part of the 2023 fall season and will go on sale to subscribers later this spring. More here.
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Doomsday Clock Set To Ninety Seconds To Midnight
“The Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moves the hands of the Doomsday Clock forward, largely (though not exclusively) because of the mounting dangers of the war in Ukraine. The Clock now stands at ninety seconds to midnight—the closest to global catastrophe it has ever been,” writes Bulletin Of The Atomic Scientists. Details here.
Spertus Institute Presents “Critical Conversations: Combating Antisemitism”
In response to a troubling global increase in antisemitism, along with other forms of bias and hatred, the Chicago-based Spertus Institute will present “Critical Conversations: Combating Antisemitism.” An annual Spertus program that brings together high-profile experts and activists to address critical issues of the day, this year’s event will focus on antisemitism–its current manifestations and what can be done to combat it, both within and beyond Jewish communities. The conversation will be presented both in person on Monday, February 20 at Spertus Institute, 610 South Michigan Avenue and online. Tickets are $18 for in-person, and online participation will be offered at no charge. Advance reservations are required here.
Environmentalists To Sue Over Bell Bowl Prairie, Home Of Endangered Rusty Patched Bumblebee
“The fight to preserve Bell Bowl Prairie in Rockford, where federally endangered rusty patched bumblebees have been found, ramped up this week, with environmentalists saying they intend to return to federal court,” reports the Tribune.
First Class Stamps Now Sixty-Three Cents
“The cost of a first-class ‘Forever’ stamp jumped to sixty-three cents from sixty cents,” reports the Sun-Times. “The last increase was just six months ago, when the cost increased… from fifty-eight cents.”
No CTA Fare Hikes In Budget
“The Chicago Transit Authority’s board of directors approved a $1.8 billion operating budget for 2023… that avoids fare hikes and aims to address customer concerns,” reports the Sun-Times. “The 2023 budget will also maintain its discounted passes in hopes of bringing riders back. This includes one-day passes ($5), three-day passes ($15), seven-day passes ($20) and thirty-day passes ($75).”
CTA Security Clears Out Jefferson Park Blue Line Station
“For at least two years, people experiencing homelessness have used the heated bus shelters at the Jefferson Park Transit Center, 4917 North Milwaukee, as a respite from the frigid winter temperatures.” These people have recently been cleared out by CTA security teams, reports Block Club Chicago.
“In partnership with Miller Transportation, the Megabus will connect Chicago with twenty-three cities, including Indianapolis, Louisville and Columbus,” reports CBS 2. “Tickets on most routes are $17.50 one way, but we found a fare from Chicago to Gary for only one dollar.”
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