EXPO CHICAGO Directors Summit Participants Set
EXPO CHICAGO has announced the participants and programming for the second annual Directors Summit, which is part of the tenth anniversary edition of the fair, April 13-16. The Summit will gather emerging art museum leaders from across the country for three days of conversations “on the future of museum leadership and institutional reinvention.” Participating directors include Nora Abrams, Museum of Contemporary Art Denver; Daisy Desrosiers, Gund Gallery at Kenyon College (Gambier, Ohio); Anne Ellegood, Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Courtney J. Martin, Yale Center for British Art (New Haven); Veronica Roberts, Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University; Klaudio Rodriguez, Bronx Museum of the Arts and Virginia Shearer, Sarasota Art Museum. More here.
Two Chicago Hotels Land On A “Best 50 Hotels” Compendium
List-making concern U.S. News & World Report cites fifty U.S. hotels, including The Peninsula at number eleven and The Langham at number eight.
DINING & DRINKING
The Point Sues City
Shuttered for a year, Wicker Park nightspot The Point has filed suit against the city, reports Block Club. “Owner Jun Lin says he’s being scapegoated for speaking out about Chicago violence, and the city is using code violations to keep The Point closed—even though other businesses in the building are open,” violating his due process rights. “‘The city has engaged in a campaign of punitive, retaliatory and harassing conduct,’ according to the lawsuit, [which] also alleges The Point’s closure and subsequent reopening delays are part of a larger campaign by the city to shut down other late-night bars and clubs.”
“Pop-Up Books through the Ages” At The Newberry
The Newberry Library will present “Pop-Up Books through the Ages,” tracing” the surprisingly extensive history of hands-on reading,” March 21-July 15. “For centuries, readers have been lifting flaps, spinning dials, and opening elaborate three-dimensional spreads in the pages of books. Interactive components can be found in everything from a 1483 astronomical calendar and a 1775 battle map to a 1932 edition of ‘Pinocchio.’ Viewing these different items in one place, visitors will see how the art, science, and business of pop-up books evolved over hundreds of years.” More here.
Semicolon Bookstore Continues Loop Pop-Up
The Semicolon Bookstore pop-up inside The Kimpton Gray Hotel will be open through the end of the month, featuring women authors of color, reports Block Club Chicago. “Narrative: A Semicolon Concept at The Gray,” “features gray-colored surroundings with splashes of colorful books floating around a bed. Guests are invited to view books written exclusively by women of color.” Semicolon owner Danielle Mullen says, “When you walk in you get how life feels on a normal basis and it’s black and white like the inside of a book. As you move through the space, you enter what is more of a dreamlike space that represents the work of women of color.”
WTTW and WFMT Elect Three New Trustees
Window To The World Communications, Inc., parent organization of WTTW and WFMT, has announced the election of three new members of its Board of Trustees, each to three-year terms. Connie Lindsey recently retired as executive vice president and head of corporate social responsibility at Northern Trust; David Mabie is co-founder and partner at Chicago Capital, a financial services and personal investment firm; Rachel Saunders is the CEO of Apex Digital Assets, a digital investing platform subdivision of Apex Fintech Solutions and a PEAK6 portfolio company.
Digital News Editor Named At The TRiiBE
Chicago journalist Jim Daley has been named to the digital news editor role at The TRiiBE, coming from a year at the Reader, where he “oversaw more than a dozen investigations, produced the first-ever voter guide to Chicago’s Police District Council races, restructured the alternative paper’s news and commentary sections [and] started the first column in a Chicago newspaper by an incarcerated writer.”
Classick Studios Takes Soundscape Space
“In a historic moment for the infrastructure of Chicago hip-hop, Chris Inumerable has bought the building that houses Michael Kolar’s defunct studio,” reports Leor Galil at the Reader.
Congo Square Presents “How Blood Go” World Premiere At Steppenwolf 1700 Theater
Congo Square Theatre Company presents a world premiere by Cleveland-based playwright Lisa Langford, “a provocative–and wholly topical–story of two family members who are subject to medical experiments without their consent, fifty years apart, from Tuskegee to today.” “Infused with Afrofuturism,” “How Blood Go” debuts at Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theater as part of its LookOut series March 11-April 23. More here.
Looking For Ways To Make Sustainable Theater
“Many of the problems facing the nonprofit theater industry…—from scant resources to the lack of diversity—have been around for ages. But before the pandemic, performing arts groups were so focused on raising the curtain each night it was easier to ignore long-standing problems than fix them,” opines NPR. “Now, thanks to a combination of lackluster ticket sales and an end to government relief, they have no choice but to try out new things in order to secure a future.” Three companies are highlighted as studies. Theatre Communications Group executive director and CEO Teresa Eyring says, “I would advise any company to have a three-to-five year plan for rebalancing their organizations, to get away from the urgency of the moment, even though it’s there.”
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Illinois Humanities Grants Fourteen Organizations
Illinois Humanities has granted unrestricted funding to fourteen inaugural recipients through the General Operating Grants fund. With this funding, grantee recipients will be able to allocate support wherever they need it most rather than being limited to using the funds for a specific project or program. For organizations of differing development, size and staffing, flexibility is critical. The recipients in Cook County include Cicero Independiente ($5,000); Contratiempo ($5,000); Liberation Journeys ($5,000), Blue Island; Mitchell Museum of the American Indian ($5,000), Evanston; National Cambodian Heritage Museum & Killing Fields Memorial ($5,000); Strategy for Access Foundation ($5,000) and REAL Youth Initiative ($5,000). More here.
Cardinal Announces Opposition To Chicago Labor Ordinance
Catholic Cardinal Blase Cupich has stepped into city business, writing the mayor and all fifty aldermen, “asking them to oppose a measure that would require Catholic Charities to sign a peace pact with union officials,” reports Crain’s, and “effectively be required to pay a union-negotiated wage to social service workers.” Cupich pleads poverty: “Such a pact wouldn’t necessarily result in staffers being unionized, but it would likely result in higher wage and related costs—costs Cupich says the archdiocese can’t afford to pay.”
Union League Boys & Girls Clubs Open Three School-Site Clubs On West Side
Union League Boys & Girls Clubs has opened three more school-site Clubs: Erie Elementary Charter School in Humboldt Park; Joseph Kellman Corporate Community Elementary School in Homan Square; and Leif Ericson Elementary Scholastic Academy in West Garfield Park. The total number of professionally staffed inner-city Clubs operated by Union League Boys & Girls Clubs is nineteen, in addition to programming that serves youth in the Chicago Juvenile Detention Center and at an overnight camp in Kenosha. “Our Clubs offer youth a safe space to do homework and engage in sports and other play, all under the guidance and mentorship of our incredibly dedicated staff,” says Mary Ann Mahon Huels, president and CEO in a release.
Gibson Foundation Launched To Digitally Archive Project For Wrongfully Convicted Individuals
“Through The Clara and James Gibson Foundation, James Gibson, who was wrongly accused of murder and served twenty-nine years behind bars, aims to raise $250,000 to create a digital archive to share stories of those wrongfully convicted of crimes, advance social justice, and advocate for police reform in America. The Foundation’s goal is to yield transformative and lasting change to the current broken, abusive, and discriminatory systems. The creation of The Clara and James Gibson Foundation is instrumental in the fight for criminal justice reform as it is currently minimal for resources for wrongfully convicted individuals to tell their stories or seek for help for their cases.” More here.
A Museum Built On Native American Burial Mounds
“For decades, Dickson Mounds Museum in Illinois displayed the open graves of more than 200 Indigenous people. Thirty years after a federal law required museums to begin returning remains, the statewide museum system still holds thousands,” reports ProPublica.
Just One Trump Judge In Remote Texas Will Likely Outlaw The Abortion Pill Nationwide
“A single judge could outlaw the abortion pill nationwide. And that’s not even the worst of it,” report Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Joseph Stern at Slate. “Less than a year after the fall of Roe, conservative activists are trying to put the issue of abortion access into the hands of a single man for whom no one ever voted: a federal judge in Texas named Matthew Kacsmaryk. In the coming weeks, there is a very real possibility that Kacsmaryk will single-handedly outlaw medication abortion in all fifty states, massively disrupting access to reproductive health care across the entire country. Worse, there is a substantial likelihood that higher courts—including the Supreme Court—will let him get away with it… The suit was filed in the remote Amarillo division of the Northern District of Texas. No, there’s no specific connection between Amarillo and abortion pills. The plaintiffs only filed there because they were guaranteed to draw a single judge: Kacsmaryk, whom Donald Trump placed on the bench in 2019.”
In the past, “Kacsmaryk served as deputy general counsel at the far-right First Liberty Institute, where he fought LGBTQ equality, abortion, and contraception. (He once said that being transgender is a ‘delusion’ and scorned ‘secular libertines’ who sacrifice children to their ‘erotic desires.’) Since his confirmation, he has gained a reputation as perhaps the most lawless jurist in the country.”
UChicago Appoints Vice President Alumni Relations And Development
Armin Afsahi will be the next vice president for Alumni Relations and Development at the University of Chicago, starting April 1. Afsahi arrives from Harvard University, “where he currently holds joint appointments as associate vice president of alumni affairs and development and dean of development for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. As vice president, Armin will have responsibility for all aspects of fundraising strategy and activity, alumni engagement, and management. With the aim of advancing the University’s mission, Armin will collaborate with colleagues to encourage the intellectual, social, professional, and philanthropic engagement of all members of the campus community. He also will serve as a partner to president Paul Alivisatos, the deans, the provost, faculty, and other senior leaders to help realize important philanthropic opportunities, including cross-divisional strategic initiatives, so that the University can leverage its strengths to make an impact on societal and global matters.”
Western Lowland Gorilla Jontu Takes Brookfield Zoo
One of the latest additions to Brookfield Zoo, Jontu, a twenty-six-year-old western lowland gorilla from the St. Louis Zoo gets acclimated to his surroundings, the animal care specialists, and the zoo’s current all-female gorilla family—Binti, thirty-four; Koola, twenty-seven; Kamba, eighteen; Nora, nine; and Ali, four. Departing: Zachary, a seven-year-old western lowland gorilla. “There comes a time in a male gorilla’s life, when it’s time for him to leave his natal group. In some instances, adolescent male gorillas, known as blackbacks, may be solitary before seeking out females to form their own families. And, in other circumstances, it has been documented that males form bachelor groups. The latter is the case for Zachary, who now has a new home at St. Louis Zoo. He will soon be introduced to a bachelor group that includes two adult males Joe, twenty-five, and Bakari, eighteen, who was born at Brookfield Zoo in 2005.”
“Since Zachary is unable to mate with any females at Brookfield, now is the right time to make this transition,” Tim Snyder, vice president of animal care says in a release. “Plus, Zachary, who is the grandnephew of Bakari, has a great opportunity to interact and learn important skills that are needed to become a successful leader from the silverbacks. We’re grateful to our partners at St. Louis Zoo for our collaborative efforts to create a seamless and comfortable transition for these incredible animals.”
Send culture news and tips to [email protected]