Garfield Park Glassblowing Studio Creates Memorial Markers For 1919 Race Riots
“Memorials in the form of glass markers will be installed on city streets to commemorate those who suffered during some of the worst instances of racial violence in Chicago history,” reports the Sun-Times.
Chicago Public Schools Team With NASCAR For Design Competition, Race-Car Curriculum
“When NASCAR announced last year it would host a street race in Grant Park this summer, the racing giant built a permanent office in Chicago and said it would lay roots here,” reports the Sun-Times. NASCAR moved forward on that promise “by announcing that the racing giant and Chicago Public Schools will create a design competition and curriculum to promote careers in STEM: science, technology, engineering and math.”
Chicago Interior Designer Nick Luzietti Transformed Corporate Office Spaces, Was Seventy-Six
Nick Luzietti’s designs include “the Harley-Davidson Financial Services building in Carson City, Nevada, Volkswagen Group of America headquarters in Herndon, Virginia, Ariel Investments in the AON Center and the Bank of America Plaza (formerly the ABN Amro Plaza) in the Loop,” reports Mitch Dudek at the Sun-Times. “With sketchbook and marker in hand, punk music coming through his earphones, Luzietti would spend Blue Line commutes between his Old Irving Park home and downtown office drawing whatever musings entered his head… ‘His projects had kind of an irreverent personality, but super strong architecture, and he found the spirit of the company he worked for, he dug it out of them and you could feel it all over the space,’ said Cindy Allen, editor-in-chief of Interior Design magazine.”
DINING & DRINKING
Boka Opens GG’s Chicken Shop On Southport
“The first of three phases of Boka Restaurant Group’s Lakeview project” in the former Southport Lanes, reports Eater Chicago: “GG’s Chicken Shop will debut on Tuesday, February 28 with something unusual for Boka, a company that focuses on upscale dining in neighborhoods like River North and West Loop: A ribbon-cutting ceremony.”
Akahoshi Ramen Coming To Logan Square In Autumn
“Mike Satinover, known to many in Chicago and across the U.S. as Ramen_Lord, will make his long-anticipated leap from amateur cook to professional ramen chef,” reports Eater Chicago. “Satinover, a suburban Oak Park native who has over thirteen years documented his ramen education for ever-growing hoards of online fans, aims to unveil Akahoshi Ramen in the fall at 2340 North California.”
James Beard Awards Name America’s Classics Winners
Wagner’s Village Inn in Oldenburg, Indiana is the 2023 America’s Classics: Great Lakes Region winner. More here.
CEO Howard Schultz Chooses CNN Sit-Down Over Congressional Testimony
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz tells CNN that “the labor movement [is] a sign that things had gone sour at Starbucks, and for young people in general… ‘It’s my belief that the efforts of unionization in America are in many ways a manifestation of a much bigger problem. There is a macro issue here that is much, much bigger than Starbucks… I’ve talked to thousands of our Starbucks partners… I was shocked, stunned to hear the loneliness, the anxiety, the fracturing of trust in government, fracturing of trust in companies, fracturing of trust in families, the lack of hope in terms of opportunity… I don’t think a union has a place in Starbucks. If a de minimis group of people … file for a petition to be unionized, they have a right to do so. But we as a company have a right also to say, we have a different vision that is better.'”
FILM & TELEVISION
No Bids For Regal Entertainment Parent’s American Assets
“Regal Entertainment Group parent Cineworld has received around forty non-binding bids from potential buyers, but with none showing interest in the exhibition giant’s UK or U.S. assets or coming near to covering a $6 billion debt load,” writes the Hollywood Reporter.
HBO Cancels Fourth Season Of Englewood’s “South Side” Series
Media conglomerates are downsizing, firing hundreds, selling off and canceling series left and right, including “South Side”‘s fourth season, reports Variety. “’While HBO Max will not be moving forward with a fourth season of ‘South Side,’ we are so proud of the rich world Bashir Salahuddin, Diallo Riddle and Sultan Salahuddin created,’ a spokesperson said. ‘For three seasons, this beloved series balanced cutting, hyperlocal social commentary about life on the South Side of Chicago with silly, sometimes zany humor. The result was a wholly unique, ambitious and fearless comedy that could speak to everyone living the American dream.'”
Chicago-Shot Marvel Series, “Ironheart,” May Be Delayed
Kevin Feige has announced Marvel will be affected by the Disney Co. wave of cutbacks and delays. The Hollywood Reporter writes that “‘Loki’ season two and the Samuel L. Jackson-led ‘Secret Invasion’ are the only sure bets to debut this year. Even projects that wrapped months ago, such as ‘Hawkeye’ spinoff ‘Echo’ and ‘Wakanda Forever’ spinoff ‘Ironheart’ are unlikely to arrive in 2023 as the studio spreads out its content and tinkers in postproduction.” (More about “Ironheart” here, where Disney Plus indicates the streaming series is still coming for fall 2023.)
Judge Mathis Returns, But Not To Chicago
“After losing his long-running show, Judge Greg Mathis is due back in TV court, but this one won’t be in Chicago,” reports the Sun-Times. After twenty-four seasons at NBC Tower, comedian-turned-mogul Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group is producing “Mathis Court With Judge Mathis” in Los Angeles. Allen “also produces syndicated court shows starring gavel-bangers Kevin Ross, Mablean Ephriam, Christina Perez, Karen Mills-Francis, Glenda Hatchett and Lauren Lake.” Says Mathis in a release, “It’s exciting to see him build the Motown of court programming by bringing together all of my fellow judges from his eight court shows.”
Iowa Prepares To Ban Books
Republican Iowa governor Kim Reynolds has a bill enforcing library “book removals” and the teaching of gender identity, reports the Des Moines Register. Her latest measure “would put any successfully challenged school library book on a statewide ‘removal list,’ requiring parental permission to check out the books even in districts where they weren’t challenged; prohibit schools from teaching about gender identity in kindergarten through third grade; require school districts to immediately tell parents if they believe a student is transgender; require districts to share their curriculums and course materials online.”
Eighteen States Pass Laws Banning Books, Forty-Four Considering It
“A wave of Republican enthusiasm for banning concepts, authors and books is sweeping across the United States. Forty-four states have proposed bans on the teaching of ‘divisive concepts,’ and eighteen states have passed them,” reports the Guardian. “These laws have been represented by many as a ‘culture war.’ This framing is a dangerous falsification of reality. A culture war is a conflict of values between different groups. In a diverse, pluralistic democracy, one should expect frequent conflicts. Yet laws criminalizing educators’ speech are no such thing–unlike a culture war, the GOP’s recent turn has no place in a democracy.”
Florida Teacher Who Shot Video Of Empty Bookshelves Fired After DeSantis Complaint
Brian Covey, “a full-time substitute teacher, was abruptly fired last week after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis complained about a video of empty bookshelves that the teacher posted to social media,” writes Judd Legum at Popular Information, confirming scattered reports. “On February 14, a reporter asked DeSantis about images posted on social media of ‘bookshelves emptied’ in Duval County. DeSantis responded that the video was a ‘fake narrative’ and ‘not true.'” The next day, Covey tells Popular Information, he was fired in a forty-five-second phone call. Still, a spokesperson “confirmed that the empty shelves in Covey’s video once housed ‘the fiction titles,’ but those titles were removed pending review by a ‘media specialist.'”
The Duval County Public Schools have “placed a tremendous burden on its media specialists. The small group… are responsible for reviewing each book in the county’s 1.6 million title collection. They must not only determine if the books violate Florida’s child pornography statute—a label that right-wing activists have applied to Pulitzer Prize-winning novels—but also whether each book complies with the STOP Woke Act and the Parental Rights in Education Act, also known as the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law. Making the wrong decision could cost the media specialists their job—or even a third-degree felony charge.”
Youth Media NPO Announce Pilsen-Based Midwest Hub
YR Media has announced a physical space to serve as the nonprofit organization’s Midwest hub. The 5,200-square-foot office in Pilsen will transform YR Media’s virtual Midwest operation into a physical learning and multimedia production hub for underrepresented content creators from ages fourteen to twenty-four. Located at 1100 West Cermak Road, with a newsroom and recording studios, the location will include state-of-the-art equipment, and is easily accessible by public transportation. “In keeping with YR Media’s model, the location will provide learning stipends, paid career pathways and support resources, including mental health counseling, academic advice and healthy meals,” the group relays. More here.
Riccardo Muti Returns To Millennium Park; Reflects On Life After CSO
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association has announced that Maestro Riccardo Muti will
Muti also reflects on his thirteen-season tenure as music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and his possible future with the CSO in an interview with music critic Dennis Polkow. “I will continue to conduct the orchestra that I love very much,” Muti says. “When you end as music director of an institution, it doesn’t mean you suddenly become a stranger. You’re still connected if your relationship has been with respect, with love.” Muti has “the pleasure of conducting orchestras and musicians that I respect and who respect me. I am not retiring. I have many projects. Until this moment, I am in very good health and feel very strong. But I also want to enjoy my children, my grandchildren and all of my animals out in the country and enjoy a life that I couldn’t because I had to travel and devote myself to every aspect of being a music director. I’ve been a music director since I was twenty-seven years old.” The forty-five-minute interview is here.
Memorial At Metro March 4 For DJ Dave Roberts
“All of us have our personal lives, family lives, work lives, and then there are third spaces, they’re what fill us, sometimes third spaces are churches, sometimes they are New Wave dance clubs filled with oddballs,” DJ Dave Roberts’ partner Kristine Hengl tells the Sun-Times. “He made a third space for people who didn’t have anywhere else to go. And he was proud of that.” Roberts, sixty-four, “died from a bacterial infection that spread to his bloodstream and heart.” Metro will host a no-cover memorial celebration March 4, 7pm-11pm. Roberts’ “Beatle boots, his hair spray, his comb and a whole lot of New Wave buttons will be on display.” Hengl told the paper, “He loved this city so much. He called the Brown Line the $2.50 tour of Chicago.”
Frequency Festival Tunes Through Sunday
Constellation hosts Frequency Festival 2023 through Sunday. The festival debuted in 2016 as an extension of the Frequency Series, a weekly program of contemporary and experimental music at Constellation that has become a showcase for the city’s new music community and touring international artists since it began in April of 2013. Artists and performances here.
Matador Signs Lifeguard
“Chicago trio Lifeguard have joined the Matador Records roster,” the label reports. “Formed in 2019, Lifeguard is Asher Case (bass, vocals), Isaac Lowenstein (drums, percussion), and Kai Slater (guitar, vocals). The trio is young–they met in junior high –but have already found a place at the forefront of an important emerging music community in their hometown.” Lifeguard will tour this summer with Horsegirl.
“You’ll Be Back, Soon, You’ll See”: “Hamilton” Returns
Broadway In Chicago has announced that “Hamilton” will return to Chicago for the first time following a record-breaking three-plus-year run. This multiweek engagement begins September 13 at the James M. Nederlander Theatre. Groups of more than ten are available now. Casting, performance schedule, and individual ticket sales will be announced later this year. More here.
Laurie Metcalf Takes Horror To Broadway
After a well-reviewed Chicago opening, “Grey House” will open on Broadway in April, starring Laurie Metcalf and Tatiana Maslany, directed by Joe Mantello, reports the New York Times. Metcalf and Mantello’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?,” never opened because of the pandemic. Levi Holloway’s snowbound story was produced in 2019 by A Red Orchid Theatre.
Second City Names Recipients Of Victor Wong Fellowship For Asian American Pacific Islander Voices In Comedy
The Second City has announced inaugural recipients for the Victor Wong Fellowship for Asian American Pacific Islander Voices in Comedy. Named after The Second City’s first Asian American performer and funded by the family foundation of Peng Zhao, CEO of Citadel Securities, the fellowship will support the professional training and development of a group of actors and music directors. “A program like this is incredibly important for empowering the Asian American community, not only through a comedic lens but in providing more opportunities to share our stories and culture,” Second City’s showcase director and program creative lead, Jonald Reyes, says in a release. More here.
Athenaeum Center: Church Or Stage?
“After debuting a new mission statement ‘to revitalize the great Catholic tradition of the arts,’ changes at the city’s oldest continuously operating off-Loop theater have generated controversy among some small Chicago theater companies that once rented space there,” reports the Trib. “Owned by the neighboring St. Alphonsus parish since its inception but operated independently for decades, the Athenaeum Theatre in Lakeview was long a hub for Chicago storefront theater, as well as music groups and dance companies that performed on its multiple stages.” The Athenaeum reorganized as a nonprofit at the end of 2021. “The rechristened Athenaeum Center for Thought and Culture has since unveiled significant renovations to the venue’s first floor, a new website and an in-house performance series featuring largely Christian-based programming.” But “the changes have been accompanied by compulsory content reviews for prospective renters. To many, the notion of a content review by a religiously affiliated organization is anathema.”
Neo-Nazis Picket Outside Broadway Revival Of Musical About Historical Lynching Of Jewish Leo Frank
“Protestors outside the first preview performance of ‘Parade’ greeted audience members with chants such as ‘[Leo Frank is] a Jewish Pedophile,'” reports Broadway World. “It is now widely accepted that Leo Frank was innocent and his conviction was a result of growing antisemitism in the American South at the time.”
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
City Still Needs Poll Workers
Check out the application to become a poll worker for next week’s election here.
More Than 600 Police Nationwide Have Taken Florida Relocation Incentives
In the wake of Ron DeSantis’ Monday suburban audience, CBS 2 reports on police who are leaving their posts for work in the Sunshine State. “The Fort Lauderdale Police Department alone recently added eight former Chicago cops.” Said one of the group, “Down here it seems like, ‘Hey, we want you guys,’ and they’re getting quality over quantity in Florida.'”
The Untold Story Of The Birthplace Of Black History Month
Chicago’s Wabash Avenue YMCA was the birthplace of Black History Month, yet few know the historic site is also the birthplace of several storied Black institutions, reports the Crusader. “While there are plenty of articles and books on the historic month, there are none written about the Wabash Avenue YMCA, an iconic Black institution with a rich history that includes the establishment of the foundations of prominent Black institutions.”
NASCAR Evicts Grant Park Softball
“‘These people are killing softball,’ said one organizer who’s worried the sport may never again be played at Grant Park,” reports Block Club. “Softball leagues are being ousted from Grant Park this summer due to the city’s NASCAR deal and other big-ticket festivals like Lollapalooza, frustrating longtime players.”
The Illinois Lottery Games Selling Top Prizes You Can’t Win
“NBC5 Investigates found scratch-off tickets where all the top-tier prizes were claimed weeks ago, yet they’re still for sale and marketed online,” the station reports. But “every lottery ticket has fine print on the back warning, ‘Instant tickets may continue to be sold even when all top prizes have been claimed.'”
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