EXPO Art Week Attractions Throughout City Announced
EXPO Chicago has announced the lineup of citywide partner exhibitions, openings, screenings, and programs taking place during EXPO Art Week (April 10-16), aligned with the tenth anniversary edition of the fair. EXPO Art Week will span museums, galleries, historic facades of hotels, and unused commercial spaces across Chicago. It’s presented in conjunction with Choose Chicago, the city’s tourism and marketing organization, and Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE). “Chicago is a city of diverse creative collaborators,” says Tony Karman, president and director. “We are proud to work alongside an incredible range of artists, curators, galleries and civic leaders to highlight a wide array of citywide art exhibitions and events which showcase Chicago as a leading international city for artistic talent, innovation, and rich cultural dialogue. This year’s EXPO Art Week alignments feature content which extends far beyond EXPO Chicago at Navy Pier to highlight the extraordinary cultural institutions and creative hubs throughout our great city.” More here.
Downtown Chicago Shall Rise Again, Says Blair Kamin
“Nearly 152 years ago, with the ground still hot from the Great Chicago Fire and the core of his city in ruins, Joseph Medill, the late, great former editor of the Chicago Tribune, published a prophetic editorial,” writes Blair Kamin at Chicago Loop Alliance. “‘Cheer Up,’ the headline read. And there was this memorable line in the text: ‘Chicago Shall Rise Again.’ My message echoes Medill’s: ‘Downtown Chicago Shall Rise Again.’ Skeptics will scoff: What about the twenty-percent office vacancy rate? What about North Michigan Avenue’s thirty-percent retail vacancy rate? And the challenge posed by the shift to remote work is unprecedented. To which I reply: So what?”
“The Great Fire posed an unprecedented challenge. So did the postwar flight to suburbia. So did the September 11 terrorist attacks, which had false prophets predicting that no one would want to work in Willis Tower. Downtown has overcome all these hurdles. And it has the capacity to overcome the ones it faces today, though reimposing a suburban head tax and making the hotel-motel tax even higher won’t make things any easier. If you scan the news about downtown, you can see optimistic signs that resemble fresh blades of grass popping through late-winter snow.” More here.
JAHN After Jahn
Bisnow talks to Helmut Jahn’s son, Evan, about the business and the Thompson Center. It’s “no secret that there’s a lot of interest and passion in this office for the James R. Thompson Center. I got the opportunity to work on not just such a pivotal piece of architecture in the Loop in Chicago, but now with Google’s involvement, it obviously takes on a whole other degree of impact for the city. And obviously, it has a still really big relationship to the legacy of design that Helmut had at that building. It’s also a building with unique form that just has so much potential for creating unique space. And that’s really what’s so exciting about that project is that there’s all this opportunity for different types of access and utilization and vibrancy brought into the downtown business district to make it an exemplary project for how big, design-focused projects can have such a big impact on the financial viability and stability of downtown areas… I think that Google still has every intention on occupying the building. It just brings more of a microscope on not just this project, but what Google’s doing on all their real estate improvements and projects, and being very diligent with where they’re spending their money.”
Jeanne Gang To Design Rockford Women’s Baseball Museum
Jeanne Gang, a Belvidere native, will design the International Women’s Baseball Museum at Beyer Stadium in Rockford, reports the Rockford Register-Star. “On the ground floor, the centerpiece of Gang’s modern museum design features a Rockford Peaches bus.”
Greyhound Passengers Stranded: Company Doesn’t Have Enough Drivers
“Several Greyhound passengers were stuck at the station in the West Loop on Monday morning,” reports CBS News, “and they might be there for forty-eight hours or more.” Passengers were told there were no drivers for the buses. “When they called a helpline, it rang and rang without an answer.” Said a passenger, “The buses are here, but we have no bus drivers, and I think it’s wrong. They should do something for us. They should at least tell us something. I don’t think it’s fair.”
DINING & DRINKING
Tasting Menu Set At Adorn
Adorn Restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel announces the debut of executive chef Richie Farina’s New American concept. The five-course tasting menu—as well as a canapés course and a mignardise course—features dishes including: Caviar (Potato, Brioche, Lemon, Fine Herbs), Salmon (Carrot, Pistachio, Green Cardamom), Surf & Turf (Maitake, Kombu, Romanesco), Pork Cheek (Cranberry, Sunchoke, Black Lime), “Raw Egg” (Mango, Passion Fruit, Coconut), and Salsify (Hazelnut, Chocolate, Toasted Rice). “My goal with this tasting menu is to make serious food without being too serious,” says Farina. “We refer to the tasting menu as ‘modern nature,’ with nature-inspired ingredients and textures while using refined, modern techniques. But, at the end of the day, the flavors are familiar, comforting, and delicious.” More here.
Pullman’s Veteran Roasters Gets $7 Million City Infusion
“Veteran Roasters would include a restaurant and cafe and bring about fifty permanent jobs, many of which would go to military veterans,” reports Block Club. The $7 million project, a combination microbrewery-coffee roaster-restaurant-café, was approved by the Chicago Plan Commission. “Cup O’ Joe LLC wants to build Veteran Roasters, a two-story 16,800-square-foot coffee roastery and beer brewing facility at 756 East 111th. The project will need zoning approval and City Council backing.”
FILM & TELEVISION
Chicago Film Archives Brings CTA Public Art
The Chicago Transit Authority, in partnership with the Chicago Film Archives, has launched a temporary art installation at the Cicero Green Line station, part of CTA’s commitment “to enhance the customer traveling experience, and to expand public art to bus and rail facilities throughout the city.” The installation, “we love,” “is a filmic exhibition of home movies and amateur films selected from collections housed and preserved at CFA.” The forty-eight-minute video is projected onto a wall in the mezzanine area of the Cicero Green Line station (4800 West Lake). The video will run day and night through mid-March 2024. “We often tout that the public artwork featured in our stations is a glimpse into the windows of the community surrounding the station, but in this rare instance, this public art is offering a glimpse into the homes and lives of Chicagoans over the last several decades,” CTA president Dorval R. Carter, Jr. says in a release. “This unique, temporary public art installation offers riders a welcomed new addition to their daily commutes that cannot be seen or experienced anywhere else in this city.”
“As we sifted through our collections for footage to include in this exhibition, we discovered how often the images from any family’s home movies are universally relatable,” Nancy Watrous, CFA founder and executive director says. “We can easily recognize ourselves in these historic images of small moments: family rituals, loved ones, and the personal shenanigans we all act out in our private lives. We offer this installation to CTA riders as a public celebration of everyday Chicagoans, past and present.” More on CFA here. More on “we love” here.
Steve James Takes SXSW Audience Award
Steve James’ latest, an ESPN bio of Bill Walton, “The Luckiest Guy In The World” debuted at South By Southwest; it also brings home the Television section’s audience award.
Dance In Darkness: Former Washington Post Dance Writer Talks
“There will never be a way to understand why. This is the point I’ve come to. It really was out of the blue, there was nothing leading up to it,” former Washington Post dance writer, Sarah Kaufman, tells MD Theatre Guide of her firing. “I was in the office the day before… I had just written a big piece for the Sunday section and so I was starting my new things, and then boom. That’s the way it happened with everybody. I was laid off on the same day as the entire Sunday magazine staff and then a few weeks later there were further layoffs. Similarly, there was just no preamble. I can only understand it through my [perspective] on what issues The Washington Post was facing… I don’t want to come across as bitter or angry… I just see the forces at work and it’s disappointing. I know the reality that these decisions are fixed in, even though I disagree with them.” (The publication identifies Gia Kourlas of The New York Times as the last full-time American dance critic.)
Pitchfork Lineup Lands
Pitchfork Music Festival returns to Union Park on Friday, July 21 through Sunday, July 23. The 2023 lineup includes headliners The Smile, Big Thief and Bon Iver. The Festival commences on Friday with the U.S. festival debut from The Smile (comprised of Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood and Tom Skinner), Alvvays, Perfume Genius, Leikeli47, Nation of Language, Roc Marciano & The Alchemist, Youth Lagoon, Ric Wilson, Grace Ives, Jlin, Axel Boman (Live), Mavi, Sen Morimoto and Contour. Saturday programming: Big Thief, Weyes Blood, King Krule, Snail Mail, Panda Bear + Sonic Boom, Julia Jacklin, Charlotte Adigéry & Bolis Pupul, Vagabon, MJ Lenderman, Yaya Bey, Black Belt Eagle Scout, 700 Bliss, Palm and Deeper. The festival closes on Sunday with Bon Iver, Kelela, Koffee, Killer Mike, JPEGMafia, Hurray For the Riff Raff, Mdou Moctar, ILLUMINATI HOTTIES, Jockstrap, Soul Glo, Florist, Lucrecia Dalt, Rachika Nayar and Ariel Zetina. More here. Ticket packages and payment plans here.
Coleridge-Taylor, Copland And Dvorák At Symphony Center
Thomas Wilkins, principal conductor of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, makes his CSO subscription debut with a program celebrating different facets of America in music. The CSO’s first performance of composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s “Suite from Hiawatha” opens a program that also showcases CSO principal clarinet Stephen Williamson as soloist in twentieth-century American composer Aaron Copland’s Clarinet Concerto, which features a blend of jazz and classical sounds. Concluding the program is Dvorák’s Symphony No. 9 (“New World”), which draws on African American and Native American musical sources. More here.
“Little Mermaid” Ballet Surfaces At Joffrey
The Joffrey Ballet will close its sixty-seventh season with the Chicago premiere of John Neumeier’s “haunting” interpretation of “The Little Mermaid.” Neumeier’s production of Hans Christian Andersen’s 1837 tragic folktale follows the tormented heroine on a journey between the worlds of land and sea—one utterly complex, the other magnificently serene. “With sets and costumes of the grandest scale, this heartbreaking tragedy, based on Andersen’s original and complex themes, will mark the largest production ever mounted by The Joffrey Ballet.” “The Little Mermaid” will be presented at the historic Lyric Opera House, 20 North Upper Wacker, in ten performances only, from April 19–April 30. Tickets and more here.
Thodos Dance Chicago And DanceWorks Chicago Announce New Dances 2023 Choreographers
Thodos Dance Chicago and DanceWorks Chicago will collaborate on New Dances 2023 and continue a shared tradition of developing choreographic talent and serving Chicago’s dance community. Originating with Chicago Repertory Dance Ensemble, New Dances has been part of Chicago’s dance history for forty years, supporting early career choreographers with artistic, logistic and financial support as they create new work. “Over the past forty years, New Dances has produced over 300 community choreographers, engaged over 600 dancers, and reached over 15,000 audience members,” says Melissa Thodos, founder and artistic director of Thodos Dance Chicago. “This New Dances opportunity was a pivotal springboard for my trajectory in dance creation, and we are immensely passionate and inspired to continue this valued platform for our special community,” The six Chicago-based dancemakers selected for New Dances 2023 are Anna Caffarelli, Rahila Coats, Tina Diaz, Imani English, Isabella Limosnero and Eduardo Zambrana. More here.
Links Hall Sets Spring Season
Links Hall’s spring season, running April 24-June 25, will feature performances by Chicago artists and curators, including Take Some Leave Some, Christopher “Mad Dog” Thomas, Erin Kilmurray, Rika Lin, Rigo Saura, Destine (D’Roc) Young, Marcela Torres, HL Doruelo and Rough House. Kicking off the season, Black Coffee + Raw Sugar makes its Links Hall debut with an evening of shorts from local, Black + Brown movement artists. May brings the Chicago premiere of Body Watani’s “TERRANEA: hakawatia of the sea,” a new dance work weaving waterbound and migratory memories from Palestine, to Beirut to the Midwest. Neighborhood events take place on April 29, May 26-28, June 9-10, and June 29-30, in Pullman, Lawndale, Pilsen, Argyle and Albany Park, organized by the 2023 Co-MISSION curators-in-residence in partnership with community organizations. More here.
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Arts Contribute A Trillion Dollars To GDP
Reports the National Endowment for the Arts: “Analysis shows that while the total economic value added by arts and cultural industries grew by 13.7 percent from 2020-2021, several core arts industries did not return to pre-pandemic production levels. This group includes independent artists (as an industry), performing arts organizations (e.g., theater, dance, and opera companies, music groups; and circuses), and arts-related construction, among many others. Despite setbacks for those industries, the overall arts economy in 2021 represented 4.4 percent of GDP, or just over $1.0 trillion—a new high-water mark.” The NEA adds, “Additionally, in 2021, just under 4.9 million workers were employed to produce arts and cultural goods and services, which is less than the 2019 (pre-pandemic) level of 5.2 million but more than the 2020 level of 4.6 million workers.”
Amazon Firing Another 9,000 Workers
After earlier discharging 18,000 workers, “Amazon plans to eliminate 9,000 more jobs in the next few weeks, CEO Andy Jassy said in a memo to staff,” reports the Sun-Times. “The job cuts would mark the second-largest round of layoffs in the company’s history, adding to the 18,000 employees the tech giant said it would lay off in January… Tech companies have announced tens of thousands of job cuts this year.” The Wall Street Journal reports the “9,000 more corporate jobs across units… include its profitable cloud-computing and advertising businesses, a sign that the company’s cost-cutting is extending into all aspects of its operations as technology giants continue to slash spending.”
Wisconsin Republicans Propose Official State Rifle
“Wisconsin would become the tenth state in the U.S. to designate an official state firearm under a new Republican bill, joining flowers, cheese and birds as having an official state symbol,” reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “The Wisconsin-manufactured Henry All-Weather .45-70 would be designated the state’s official rifle. Henry Repeating Arms, maker of the gun, has its Wisconsin headquarters in Rice Lake.”
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