“Working Memory” By Erin Garrity-Duffey At Madron
Madron Gallery presents “Working Memory,” an exhibition of new work, as the first solo gallery show for Erin Garrity-Duffey. The show “investigates the nexus of art, science and the human condition. Her art is consumed with the mechanics, formation, and deterioration of the human brain. Neuroscientific studies of memory loss, early childhood development, and trauma have produced a wave of discoveries in recent decades about how the mind functions and falls apart. This research—collected from science journals, newspapers, and magazines—has acted as inspiration and source material. Her drawings and paintings are reminiscent of magnified fluid pressed between glass slides, reflecting a longstanding practice of observing blood, scabs and other biological specimens under the microscope; biomorphic forms allude to the interior of the human body without directly portraying it.” “Working Memory” consists of fifteen paintings and eighteen drawings. Artist-educator Garrity-Duffey received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2004 and a Master of Education from Saint Xavier University in 2011. The exhibition opens March 6 and runs through June 16. More here.
Milwaukee Bronzeville Center For The Arts Proposed For $5 Million
“The Bronzeville Center for the Arts, which leaders hope will be a transformative community and arts center for Milwaukee, could get a boost in state funds under Governor Tony Evers’ proposed capital budget,” reports Wisconsin Public Radio. “Evers allocated $5 million for the project in his $3.8 billion capital budget… Those funds would help construct a planned 50,000-square-foot building” on Milwaukee’s King Drive.
Are Lightfoot-Supported Invest South/West, NASCAR, LaSalle Street Projects Endangered?
“Mayor Lightfoot’s impending exit from City Hall raises big questions about the future of economic development and real estate-focused initiatives she championed over the past four years,” writes Danny Ecker at Crain’s. “Lightfoot’s wide-ranging Invest South/West program, her recent push [for] a LaSalle Street revival with affordable housing, the planned Bally’s riverfront casino she has pushed forward and even future city support for an annual NASCAR race around Grant Park that Lightfoot has touted are among the high-profile efforts that hang in the balance for the next mayor, with little clarity about what will continue, what won’t and who will be making those decisions.”
Racine Green Line Reopen Boards Ninety-Three Percent Vote
“In the non-binding ballot question, about ninety-three percent of Englewood residents approved relaunching the station, which shut down nearly three decades ago,” reports Block Club.
DINING & DRINKING
Battle Brewing Between Levy Restaurants And Its Chicago Workers
“If you’ve bought a hot dog and a beer at a major sporting event in North America lately, there’s a good chance you were perplexed at what it cost. Maybe you did actual math in the bleachers, running a sort of cost-benefit analysis to help you decide whether you ever want to do that again, or just calculating the going rate per ounce of utility-grade meat. It’s not the only reason why these things cost so much, but it’s worth factoring into your computation that a good amount of what you spent went to England. That’s because Levy Restaurants, a food services company that staffs over 200 stadiums and parts of Disney World, was bought by the British multinational Compass Group in 2006. The entity netted $1.4 billion in profit in 2022,” reports Defector.
The history of the entity’s fraught relationship with “wage-working humans whose workplace experience is being optimized into misery” is detailed: “Their job descriptions expand but their pay remains stagnant, their benefits effectively don’t exist, and they’re handling pests and dangerous materials—[a worker] describes a new hot dog machine that, if used incorrectly by under-trained temp workers, could easily start a fire. Local 1 has been looking for a fresh labor deal with Levy for about two years, but they couldn’t get their employer to the negotiating table until they voted overwhelmingly to strike if they had to… A strike is still on the table if further significant concessions aren’t in the cards, and at this point of the year, that action would be a disaster for the company.”
Small Cheval Coming To Wrigleyville
“Small Cheval, Hogsalt Hospitality’s spinoff of the Au Cheval burger spot, is opening soon in Wrigleyville,” reports Block Club. The 1119 West Waveland location “will be the sixth Small Cheval… since Hogsalt opened the first restaurant in 2015 in Bucktown.”
The Aims Of Atelier And Chef Christian Hunter
“Coming into an established restaurant as a brand-new chef is always a challenge; will angry guests complain about the changes, and demand a return to their beloved traditions, or will the new approach be seen as refreshing and welcome?” writes Anthony Todd at Chicago magazine. “At Atelier, in the space that formerly housed Elizabeth, chef Christian Hunter sees the challenges, but hopes that his devotion to local ingredients and global flavors will win over the restaurant’s large fan base… His menu combines flavors from all over the place, but the uniting feature is an obsessive commitment to local ingredients… The ‘salad’ (or pasta course, depending on your point of view) on his current menu [is] made with super-thin ribbons of rutabaga, which is plentiful here during the winter but very rarely seen on restaurant menus. He serves them with a dressing that he describes as ‘Caesar-like,’ a combination of anchovy-forward bagna cauda, white miso, and lime juice… It’s served on a dollop of romaine puree, with black pepper and pecorino cheese. ‘We serve it with a spoon, we want you to spin it, and see if it hits you as a Caesar or as a pasta.'”
Foxtrot Gets Another $18.6 Million In Debt Financing For Accelerated Expansion
Nearly $20 million in debt financing will fuel expansion plans at the upscaled version of 7-Eleven, reports Crain’s. “CEO Mike LaVitola said in an email that it came from existing investors. ‘We’re excited to bring Foxtrot to more neighborhoods.'”
Federal Judge Rules Starbucks Firings Illegal; Baristas Must Be Reinstated
A National Labor Relations Board judge has ruled that Starbucks illegally fired seven baristas in Buffalo, posts labor reporter Steve Greenhouse, and “orders Starbucks to reinstate them and make them whole for financial harm they suffered.” Twenty-six other workers will be reimbursed for “consequential harm.” Also ordered: multibillionaire CEO Howard Schultz must read a notice to workers or make a video for the Buffalo workers and Starbucks must make a physical and electronic posting nationwide. The New York Times: “The decision cited ‘egregious and widespread misconduct,’ including illegal monitoring and firing of workers. Starbucks signaled that it would appeal.” More Perfect Union profiles the workers here. (The 218-page order is here.)
FILM & TELEVISION
The New 400, 111-Year-Old Theater, Likely To Close
The longest continuously operated theater in Chicago, the New 400, may soon dim its lights for good, reports the Loyola Phoenix. “I absolutely love this theater,” Aaron Lawson, the theater’s general manager, tells the paper. “It’s an old school movie theater, and we like it that way.” Current owner Tony Fox says he is “almost certainly closing The 400” as soon as he finds a new tenant. “Fox said attendance has only been about fifty-percent of what it was pre-pandemic. A similar trend led to the closure of Harper Theater in Hyde Park, which was also owned by Fox. ‘The only difference between that one and this one is that I own the real estate at The 400, and I didn’t own the real estate at the Harper, so I was paying rent to the University of Chicago.” Lawson said, “It’s not like it’s a dead industry or even, in my opinion, a dying industry. It’s just a lot tougher than it used to be.”
Wall Street Takes Another Look At Movie Houses
It’s not just mega-movies like “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Avatar: The Way Of Water” that are getting attention from the stock market, reports the Wrap. “Cinemark is betting on premium formats… but thinks there’s a role for non-tentpole movies as well. CEO Sean Gamble pointed out that the flexibility to shift movies from theaters to streaming if they’re not performing well at the box office may actually prompt studios to take more risks with ‘mid-tier films that were starting to disappear prior to the pandemic.'”
“The Shredding Of Midwestern Newspapers”
Introducing a history of the newspaper industry in Middle West Review, Jon K. Lauck writes, “The once-mighty Chicago Tribune had a newsroom of 670 people in 2006; now it is about 120. In 2007 the circulation of the Chicago Tribune was 566,827; now it is 106,000.” (Via Public Square.) More here.
Scott Adams Has More To Say About Race And Himself
Cartoonist-turned-podcaster Scott Adams would like to revise his remarks, reports the Los Angeles Times, with lengthy extracts from a livestream this week. He “harshly criticized the media, particularly the Washington Post, for publishing details that he admits are factually true but framing them, in his opinion, in a way that gives an incorrect impression… [He] said anyone who knows him would know he was using hyperbole and not commenting literally.” The Post notes the examples of Adams’ recent work: “In a September 2 ‘Dilbert’ strip, a boss said that traditional performance reviews would be replaced by a ‘wokeness’ score. When an employee complained that could be subjective, the boss said, ‘That’ll cost you two points off your wokeness score, bigot.'”
Mike Peterson, columnist for the industry blog The Daily Cartoonist, says that Adams appeared to have run out of jokes. “The strip jumped the shark.” USA Today’s Rex Huppke: “I guess the question I have to ask myself is: When will people like me in the media wake up and realize people like Adams and [Elon] Musk just want equal treatment, as long as that equal treatment means they are in control, as they have been throughout history, and are allowed to discriminate against whoever they want under the guise of ‘free speech’?”
Hyde Park Summerfest Announces Headliners
Hyde Park Summer Fest, a two-day music festival that celebrates Chicago culture, will be headlined by hip-hop duo Clipse, as brothers Pusha T and No Malice will reunite. Other acts: Vic Mensa, 2 Chainz, Robert Glasper, Tobe Nwigwe, Uncle Waffles, Terry Hunter, Twista, Shawnna, Do Or Die, Crucial Conflict and Jonathan McReynolds. Held at Midway Plaisance Park, June 17-18. More here.
“Chicago And The Birth Of House Music”
A 2,200-word-plus takeout with fresh interviews from Throughline via NPR Music: House music, as a genre, was “invented by Black and primarily gay DJs in Chicago in the late 1970s and eighties… House has evolved; it has gotten bigger, it has gotten whiter, it has made a lot of people a lot of money. But the story of house’s roots is one about finding joy and making community even when that feels impossible. So when we decided to tell the story of its history, we knew we needed to go to some of the people who were there when it started, some of the musicians and DJs and dancers who filled little Chicago clubs and basements decades before house music’s influence took off in Europe, before it caught the ear of major labels, before it drew millions to festivals, before it made it onto the world’s biggest stages, including the one where Beyoncé accepted her record-breaking Grammy.”
Myrna Salazar Receives Lifetime Achievement Award
Chicago Latino Theater Alliance executive director and co-founder, the late arts activist Myrna Salazar, will be recognized for her lifetime achievement of theater excellence at the Forty-Ninth Non-Equity Joseph Jefferson Awards. “Salazar was dedicated to building a strong relationship between the Latino theater community and the Jeff Awards,” John Glover, chair of the Jeff Awards says in a release. “Her advocacy helped give Latino theaters new opportunities for theater excellence recognition by establishing expanded award categories for foreign language productions with subtitles as well as short-run productions.” More here.
Holographic Wild Animals Stampede Circuses
“A new spectacle is taking over the tented world of acrobats, clowns and juggling entertainers. And while it may have a trunk and tusks, it weighs absolutely nothing. Circuses, once known for showcasing elephants in all their heft are now presenting a much lighter creature—a 3D hologram,” reports the Washington Post, pioneered by Germany’s Circus-Theater Roncalli. “The holographic figures are custom-built for the circus using 3D animations, photography and virtual rendering. The system of eleven digital laser projectors positioned around the stage [project] animations onto a circular net… The entire light show is operated by one person, and it takes about ten people to take down the metallic netting to make room for the other performers, including acrobats, clowns and dancers.”
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
OI Changing Name April 4
It won’t be for a few weeks, but the OI—previously the Oriental Institute—has announced a relaunch with a new name and logo. “Our current name has led to confusion, often contributing to the perception that our work is focused on East Asia, rather than West Asia and North Africa. Additionally, the word ‘oriental’ has developed a pejorative connotation in modern English. To address these issues, we organized a name change committee in 2021 that worked collaboratively with University of Chicago faculty, staff, students, stakeholders and supporters, as well as colleagues at peer institutions. The committee collected data representing a broad range of perspectives, which informed the decision to recommend a new name that more clearly honors the cultures, regions, and time periods that we study.” More here.
Chicago Cultural Comeback Falls Short
“Chicago’s leading performing arts venues are back, but the crowds aren’t. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Goodman Theatre and Steppenwolf Theatre say ticket sales rebounded last year from 2021, but not enough to restore their financial health, as federal dollars that got them through the worst of the pandemic are drying up,” reports Crain’s.
Zuckerberg-Founded Group To Invest $250 Million Across Ten Years In Chicago Biotech Hub
“A group founded by Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg and his wife will spend $250 million to create a biomedical research hub in Chicago where scientists from Northwestern University, University of Chicago and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign will study human disease,” reports the Chicago Tribune. “The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, named for Zuckerberg and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, plans to invest $250 million in the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Chicago over a decade. Governor Pritzker has also committed $25 million in state dollars to support the project.” Pritzker says in a release, “Illinois continues to grow as a thriving innovation hub with world-class research institutions and top-tier talent. We’re incredibly proud that three Illinois universities will play a critical role in launching the newest endeavor that is a part of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative creating CZ BioHub Chicago, a biomedical research hub that will take medical research to a new level. Illinois is home to the best and brightest minds and I look forward to seeing their new discoveries help people around the world.” More here.
Chicago Loop Alliance Inducts New Leadership
Chicago Loop Alliance has added new board leadership, including Rich Gamble as the organization’s chair. Gamble has served as board chair for the Magnificent Mile Association, where he remains active; he is also a board member of Choose Chicago and Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and has over twenty-five years of executive leadership experience at major Chicago institutions. Vice chair: Simone A. Randolph, partner, Thompson Hine LLP; Treasurer: Laura Graves, vice president of planning and business operations, ABC 7; and Secretary, Kemena Brooks, director of development, Community Builders. The five new members: Lenny D. Asaro, partner, Faegre, Drinker, Biddle & Reath LLP; Todd Bancroft, president-CEO, Draper and Kramer; Kris Hansen, manager, community and government relations, DePaul University; Noreen Heron, CEO, Heron Agency; and Markeyon Wallock, founder-CEO, Wallock International Group, LLC and BWYB Products. The full list of board of director members is here.
“The Jungle” Redux: Slaughterhouse Migrant Child Labor Focus Of Feds
“The Department of Homeland Security has widened its investigation into migrant children found cleaning slaughterhouses and is working with the Justice Department to examine whether a human smuggling scheme brought migrant children to work in multiple slaughterhouses for multiple companies across multiple states,” reports NBC News. “At the heart of the investigation is determining how Central American children, some as young as thirteen, wound up working dangerous jobs that are legal only for American adults by presenting identification stolen from U.S. citizens.”
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