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Antioch Missionary Baptist Church Needs $3 Million
“A year after a fire destroyed the building on Good Friday, plans to rebuild Antioch Missionary Baptist Church have been finalized, but the church still needs at least $3 million to open debt-free in 2025,” reports the Sun-Times.
AM Radio Station Owners Protest Removal Of Their Bandwidth From Electric Vehicles
“Facing an existential moment in the hundred-year history of the medium, AM broadcasters are banding together, calling on allies in Congress, and enlisting listener support to preserve their place in the automobile,” writes Inside Radio. A survey of the industry is expected “to reinforce the position of the nation’s more than 4,500 AM stations that online streams and FM translators are not a sufficient substitute for AM radio… Most of the eight automakers that have decided to drop AM radio from some of their models, mostly EVs, cite interference with AM radio reception caused by electric motors.” The head of the Massachusetts Broadcasters Association says workarounds aren’t as far-reaching and the internet isn’t dependable during widespread disasters. “In my area, we reference the Boston Marathon Bombing, we reference 9/11 and how cell towers were clogged and it was difficult to provide information via the internet.”
DINING & DRINKING
Chicago Gourmet Looks To Autumn
Chicago Gourmet returns from September 21-24 on the Harris Theater rooftop in Millennium Park, with founding sponsor Illinois Restaurant Association and presenting sponsor Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits. The theme for the weekend culinary event is “All Roads Lead to Gourmet.” “Travel has the power to turn a chef into the greatest of storytellers,” Sam Toia, president and CEO, Illinois Restaurant Association, says in a release. “This year, we celebrate travel for its ability to inspire and connect us all, particularly those in the culinary world.” Sections include Tacos & Tequila, hosted by Chef Rick Bayless, and The Hamburger Hop, hosted by Chef Stephanie Izard. The full lineup will be announced in July here.
FILM & TELEVISION
Thirty-Ninth Latino Film Festival Opens
The thirty-ninth Latino Film Festival starts today, Thursday, April 13 with an Opening Night Gala screening of “Love & Mathematics” with actor Roberto Quijano in attendance. The night ends with an afterparty at CHEZ. More here.
Telander Takes To “Air”
Veteran basketball observer Rick Telander has a take at the Sun-Times on Ben Affleck’s no-business-like-shoe-business saga, “Air”: “The movie is about Nike’s signing of NBA rookie Michael Jordan to a shoe contract in 1984, but it’s also about the glorification of pursuing the god of profit at the expense of morality.”
Missouri Republicans Will Defund All Public Libraries
Not banning, or burning, but banishing: the Republican members of the Missouri House Of Representatives, reports WCPT 820, “voted to defund all of the state’s public libraries, in a proposed $45.6 billion state budget that will soon move to a vote in the GOP-controlled state Senate…The Missouri House debated for over eight hours… on a budget that is roughly $2 billion less than the one Republican Governor Mike Parson proposed last January, cutting not only the $4.5 million Parson had slated for libraries, but also costs for diversity initiatives, childcare and pre-kindergarten programs.”
Melissa Block Takes NPR Buyout After Almost Forty Years
“After thirty-eight-plus years at NPR,” posts NPR special correspondent Melissa Block, “I’ve decided to take a voluntary buyout. I’ll be staying on as a correspondent until the end of June, and you’ll hear me guest-hosting ‘All Things Considered’ later this month… I’ve had an amazing career at NPR, with brilliant colleagues and incredibly devoted listeners, so the prospect of leaving feels bittersweet. But it’s mostly sweet, and I’m excited about what comes next!”
NPR Steps Away From X Corp’s Twitter
“NPR will no longer post fresh content to its fifty-two official Twitter feeds, becoming the first major news organization to go silent on the social media platform,” reports NPR. “In explaining its decision, NPR cited Twitter’s decision to first label the network ‘state-affiliated media,’ the same term it uses for propaganda outlets in Russia, China and other autocratic countries.” The New York Times: “NPR’s organizational accounts will no longer be active on Twitter because the platform is taking actions that undermine our credibility by falsely implying that we are not editorially independent,” Isabel Lara, NPR’s chief communications officer, said in a statement. “We are not putting our journalism on platforms that have demonstrated an interest in undermining our credibility and the public’s understanding of our editorial independence.”
Records Released In Ukrainian Village
Two local bands still on the Ukrainian Village scene, FACS and Mute Duo, release records with hypnotic, idiosyncratic sounds this month. A new record from art-rock band FACS, “Still Life In Decay,” is out now. Sample the record at Bandcamp here. Mute Duo’s “Migrant Flocks,” their second LP with American Dreams, features Sam Wagster on pedal steel and Skyler Rowe on percussion and “synthesizes their wide-ranging influences and techniques into a striking document of singular music. It’s sharp, dynamic, understated, inventive, and their first album to bring the power of their concerts onto record.” Contributors include bassists Douglas McCombs and Andrew Scott Young and classical flautist Emma Hospelhorn. It’s out April 14, with a release show at Empty Bottle Thursday, April 13, on a bill with Helen Money and Ibises. Tickets here.
Hüsker Dü Releases 1979-80 Live Recordings
Hüsker Dü will release “Tonite Longhorn,” a previously unreleased double-disc set of live recordings from the band’s embryonic onstage beginnings. Drawn from the historical Hüsker Dü recording archives compiled by late sound engineer Terry Katzman, the album assembles twenty-eight explosive tracks captured over four different nights between July 1979 and September 1980 at Minneapolis’ notorious Longhorn Bar. It’s on the band’s own Reflex Records at all DSPs and streaming services on August 25. A limited edition 2xLP black vinyl release will be available on Record Store Day, Saturday, April 22 at participating stores. Listen to “Do You Remember?” from the band’s 1979 set at the Longhorn here.
Wisconsin Teacher Who Complained About Dolly Parton Song Ban On Administrative Leave
“Heyer Elementary first-grade teacher Melissa Tempel had been working with other teachers to prepare for a spring music concert,” reports the New Republic. “The teachers decided to include Miley Cyrus and Dolly Parton’s ‘Rainbowland’ in the setlist. But school administrators, including the principal, barred the song’s inclusion, citing a district-wide policy on items ‘that may be considered political, controversial, or divisive.’ Tempel tweeted about the ban, prompting massive public attention on the Waukesha School District.” The school district has placed her on administrative leave but has not clarified when she will be allowed to return or what repercussions she may face. An “administrative session” related to “specific personnel problems” was slated for Wednesday.
Steppenwolf Sets Season
Steppenwolf Theatre Company has announced its forty-eighth season, featuring three world premieres and three Chicago premieres at Steppenwolf’s expanded campus, which includes the in-the-round Ensemble Theater in Honor of Helen Zell, the Downstairs Theater and the intimate 1700 Theater. World premieres include “Purpose,” an epic drama that confronts family, faith and Black American Politics by two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, featuring ensemble members Alana Arenas, Glenn Davis and Jon Michael Hill; a not-yet-titled play by MacArthur Fellow Samuel D. Hunter (“The Whale”), directed by Joe Mantello (“Wicked”) and featuring ensemble member Laurie Metcalf; and the SYA production of “a home what howls (or the house what was ravine),” a look at displacement and youth activism by Matthew Paul Olmos, directed by Laura Alcalá Baker.
Chicago premieres include season opener, “Sanctuary City,” Pulitzer Prize winner Martyna Majok’s harrowing and hopeful tale of immigration and young love, directed by Steph Paul. Additional Chicago premieres include “POTUS, or Behind Every Great Dumbass are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive,” Selina Fillinger’s irreverent look at sex, politics and the women in charge of the man in charge of the free world, directed by ensemble member and artistic director Audrey Francis and featuring ensemble members Celeste M. Cooper, Sandra Marquez, Caroline Neff and Karen Rodriguez; and MacArthur Fellow Larissa FastHorse’s “The Thanksgiving Play,” a skewering comedy about everything right, wrong and woke in America, featuring ensemble members Audrey Francis and Tim Hopper. Steppenwolf’s season is dedicated to the memory of longtime Steppenwolf ensemble member Frank Galati. More here.
Casting Announced For Lyric’s “West Side Story”
Ryan McCartan, Kanisha Marie Feliciano, Brett Thiele, Amanda Castro and Yurel Echezarreta will headline Lyric Opera of Chicago’s production of Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim’s American musical, “West Side Story.” Featuring almost a hundred artists, the event returns to Chicago’s biggest stage June 2-25 at the Lyric Opera House. More here.
Jeff Awards Announce Inaugural Jeff Impact Fellowship Grants
The Jeff Awards is launching the Jeff Impact Fellowship to inspire early- to mid-career artists of color in the Greater Chicagoland area. Grants of $10,000 each will go to two artists to support their work in Chicago theater. The Fellowship is intended for the professional, academic or personal development of candidates in the theater community. Eligible recipients must be involved in Chicago theater for at least one year as actors, directors, stage managers, designers, theater technicians, cabaret artists, playwrights, music directors, theater composers, theater musicians and improvisational performers. “Supporting a vibrant Chicago theater community is part of our mission, so we understand how vital it is to provide this type of opportunity for emerging artists in our hometown,” John Glover, chair of the Jeff Awards says in a release. All applications must be accompanied by two letters of recommendation, one of which must come from an artistic director of a Chicago area theater company that has produced in the area for at least two years, and be submitted by the recommender via email here. Applications are due June 30, 5pm, here.
Lorraine Hansberry Family Seeks Land Reparations
“Nearly sixty-five years after Broadway playwright Lorraine Hansberry’s property lawsuit against the city of Chicago, her family is continuing the fight to reclaim not only their land, but their legacy,” reports The 19th. “The Hansberrys are working with nonprofit organization Where is My Land, founded by Kavon Ward… Ward declined to discuss the strategy her organization will take with the Hansberry family. She did not specify an amount of money or whether there were any specific properties the family would pursue. ‘What I can say is we will be evaluating and assessing whether it makes sense to go about this legislatively, legally, or legislatively and legally… We’re going to be pursuing justice around this by any means necessary.'”
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
UChicago Names Dean Of College
Melina E. Hale, PhD’98, William Rainey Harper Professor in the Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy and the College and a vice provost of the University, will be the next dean of the University of Chicago College, effective July 1.
Evanston: Illinois’ Best-Tasting Tap Water?
“Evanston won the water taste test at the Illinois Section of the American Water Works Association’s WATERCON conference in Springfield in March, giving its tap water a chance to advance to a national competition. In June, Evanston’s water will face off against other state champions at AWWA’s ACE conference in Toronto,” reports the Daily Northwestern. “Drawing from the lake makes Evanston’s water treatment process easier as freshwater is free of high levels of salt and minerals, which can affect the taste and quality of water.”
For DNC 2024, What Will Law Enforcement Take From 2012 NATO Summit And Other Public Gatherings?
“Between 1860 and 1996, Chicago hosted twenty-five Republican and Democratic conventions. No other city has hosted nearly as many,” records the Chicago Tribune. “Shortly after the announcement that the Democratic National Convention will land in Chicago next summer, chatter about the violent convention here in 1968 reverberated across social media and stoked the partisan divide,” writes Tom Schuba at the Sun-Times. “But former police officials say the city needs to look at lessons from a more recent turbulent event in Chicago, the NATO summit of 2012, which drew world leaders but led to the first terrorism case to be heard in a Cook County courtroom…The convention is slated for the tail-end of the summer, when gun violence typically spikes and police resources are stretched thin, meaning Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson could be forced to slash cops’ time off to fill shifts. Meanwhile, the department’s troubled response to unrest that followed the police killing of George Floyd in 2020 remains fresh in the minds of many Chicagoans.”
Images Of Chicago, 1968
Chicago Film Archives has Film Group’s eleven-minute “Social Confrontation: The Battle Of Michigan Ave.” here. The short film “shows the events of Wednesday, August 28 at the 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention including National Guardsmen detaining protesters, mass arrests near Grant Park, and Mayor Daley cursing at opponents from the convention floor.” The clip from Haskell Wexler’s docufiction “Medium Cool,” in which the filmmaker gets caught up in the actual violence in 1968, is here. Both the 1952 Republican and Democratic conventions were in Chicago; CBS 2 has footage here.
New York Times Bulletpoints Five Reasons Why Chicago
“President Biden’s decision to host the Democratic National Convention in Chicago represents the triumph of practicality over sentimentality,” writes the New York Times. “He picked a major Midwestern city with ample labor-friendly hotels, good transportation and a billionaire governor happy to underwrite the event. That combination overpowered the pull Biden felt from runner-up Atlanta, the capital of a state Mr. Biden won for Democrats in 2020 for the first time in a generation.” The five reasons? Labor; Pritzker and money; political geography; “logistics, logistics, logistics” and crime and local politics. “As a political issue, the tough-on-crime messaging may… be losing its power. The city this month elected a new mayor… who defeated a… conservative rival backed by the local police unions who focused his campaign on the issue of addressing the city’s crime.”
Trib Says, “Welcome Back!”
“The event will offer a welcome economic infusion for the city, and not just during the convention. The DNC provides weeks of international media attention, raising awareness of the city and its attractions throughout the world,” writes the Tribune editorial board. “We recall the impact of the 1996 convention, when Mayor Richard M. Daley set about installing wrought iron railings around vacant lots on streets surrounding the United Center. That convention had a huge impact on the development of what we now know as the West Loop, a booming part of the city.”
Times Dramatizes Convention As Chance For “Staggered” City To “Shine”
“Republicans have cast Chicago as a metropolis of crime and dysfunction, but with the 2024 Democratic convention, Chicagoans are eager to prove them wrong,” writes the New York Times’ Jonathan Weisman, amid “world-class city” rhetoric from local figures. “No political trash talk seemed to dampen the excitement of a metropolis less in need of a pick-me-up than a little validation for the comeback it is sure is coming… It would be dishonest to say Chicago, which last hosted the Democratic convention in 1996, has recovered all of its swagger since the coronavirus laid it low… its violent crime, though receding from its post-pandemic high by some measures, is still ‘a cancer that’s eating the soul of this city,’ said Arne Duncan, a former secretary of education whose new venture addresses violence in Chicago’s worst neighborhoods.”
How To Stem The Proliferation Of Gun Murder?
“The only path out of America’s cycle of gun violence is for the Republican Party to change course and join Democrats in backing far-reaching gun control. Otherwise, Americans will continue to be victims of gun violence, see friends or relatives shot, or be haunted by those possibilities,” writes columnist Perry Bacon Jr. at the Washington Post. “Because these shootings just keep happening, so many Americans now know someone affected. Twenty-one percent say that either they or a family member or friend has had personal experience with gun violence, according to a 2022 poll… States with higher rates of gun violence are largely Republican-dominated, with looser regulations, while those with lower rates are often blue states with greater gun control… If the United States severely restricted AR-15’s and other such weapons, there would be fewer mass killings in which one person shoots dozens… Australia did something similar in the 1990s after a mass shooting there. But we all know the problem. Such massive policy changes would require Republican politicians, powerful right-wing institutions such as Fox News and many hard-line conservative voters to stop acting as though radical gun freedoms are essential to a free society. In our current political environment, Fox and other conservative entities regularly suggest that conservatives are under mortal threat and that owning a gun is both good and necessary.”
Reports Reuters: “Kentucky and Tennessee political leaders called for tighter controls on guns, including tougher laws preventing people in crisis from accessing firearms, after two mass shootings killed eleven people in Louisville and Nashville.”
“We like to look to the horizon instead of to the soil because we bury the people we do not care about in the South. It is where we have put migrants and poor people and sick people. It is where we put the social problems we are willing to accept in exchange for the promise of individual opportunity in places that sound more sophisticated. But the South is still a laboratory for the political disenfranchisement that works just as well in Wisconsin as it does in Florida. Americans are never as far from the graves we dig for other people as we hope,” writes New York Times opinion columnist Tressie McMillan Cottom.
Ken Griffin Takes Hundreds Of Millions To Harvard
No longer in Chicago after his largesse with local institutions, including the $125 million notched for the future Kenneth C. Griffin Museum Of Science And Industry, hedge fund CEO “and Republican superdonor” Ken Griffin added $300 million in giving to his alma mater, Harvard, bringing his contributions to the university to over a half-billion dollars, reports the Harvard Crimson. “Harvard will rename the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences after Griffin… Griffin’s gift is unrestricted, meaning Harvard can utilize the given funds for purposes at its own discretion. According to the University press release, the donation will support ‘long-term excellence in teaching and research.'”
Executive Director Sought For Downtown Aurora
Aurora Downtown is looking for an executive director to replace its longtime manager. The group, formed in 1975, was board-run for many years prior to hiring current manager Marissa Amoni, who took on the role of manager after a few years as the group’s event coordinator. Aurora Downtown’s board of directors “seeks a dynamic community leader interested in spearheading” the work of the group. Information and application here.
Republicans Mostly Silent On Unilateral Judge Theory From Texas Jurist
“The decision from District Court Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk could represent the biggest blow to abortion rights in the U.S. since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last summer. That ruling upended the 2022 midterm elections, prompting a backlash that helped Democrats outperform expectations at almost every level of government,” reports CNN. “Republicans have been quieter in response, but this latest setback for abortion rights supporters is another sign of the increasingly tight grip conservatives hold on the courts–an issue poised to play an influential role in the 2024 election.” The ruling relied on an 1873 “zombie law,” reports MSNBC. The Comstock Act “essentially resurrects baseless arguments and once-dead law to wreak havoc on our settled legal principles. And the real horror is the damage that could be done to women’s ability to obtain safe, reliable and life-saving reproductive care.”
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