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Art Institute A Key Beneficiary Of Flurry Of Ellsworth Kelly Bequests
“To honor the centenary of the artist Ellsworth Kelly’s birth, Jack Shear, his widower, is donating 146 works to nineteen museums. Mr. Kelly died in 2015,” reports the New York Times. “Four of the institutions to which Mr. Kelly had a special connection—the Museum of Modern Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art—are getting twenty-five works each, and they chose the ones they wanted. ‘They all know what they have, and what story they want to tell,’ his widower, Jack Shear said of the favored four; for the other institutions, which are getting fewer works, he made specific offers.” (“Ellsworth Kelly: Portrait Drawings” opens at the Art Institute July 1.)
Jeanne Gang Takes History Museum With “Gloriously Imperfect” “High Flintstones”
More reviews are in from Manhattan, with Curbed looking to a “Modern Stone Age”: “The team led by Jeanne Gang has embodied geological forces in the form of the granite-clad, cavelike Gilder Center, the High-Flintstonian west wing of the American Museum of Natural History. It’s a stony portal to a rock hall of fame and a labyrinth of fossils, a gateway to the museum’s explorations of all that’s hidden in the soil. Like the schist outcroppings that rear up a couple of blocks away in Central Park, Gang’s mixture of urban attitude and immemorial forms reminds us that even a megalopolis like ours is just a collection of boxes clinging to a very old boulder. The building is far from faultless, but… invigorating in its rejection of high gloss and generic bigness.”
Catching Sight Of Fresh Pedway Signage
Blair Kamin posts a pic: “Finally! New signage in the downtown Chicago pedway. Too bad there aren’t trainloads of office workers to use it.”
Virgin Hotel On The Block
The Virgin Hotel Chicago “is hitting the market while leisure travel boosts downtown hotels’ recovery—but as high interest rates and recession fears make it a tough time to find buyers,” reports Crain’s. “A joint venture of Miami-based Lionstone Development and Virgin Hotels has hired the Chicago office of Jones Lang LaSalle to sell the 250-room hotel at 203 N. Wabash Ave., according to a marketing flyer. There is no formal asking price for the 26-story landmark property in the northeast corner of the Loop. But the listing notes that the ownership venture spent more than $117 million redeveloping and renovating the Old Dearborn Bank Building, which debuted as the first-ever Virgin Hotel in 2015.”
Window Shrinking For Gambling At Medinah Temple
“Bally’s placeholder casino in River North was slated to open by end of June, but it still hasn’t passed an important hurdle with the state,” reports Crain’s. “There’s still no word on whether the Illinois Gaming Board will sign off.”
Seventh Annual One of a Kind Spring Show And Sale At THE MART
The One of a Kind Spring Show and Sale will return to THE MART April 28-30 for three days, featuring 300 independent artists, designers and makers from across North America, including a hundred never before seen at the show, all under one roof. More here.
DINING & DRINKING
Lardon Pairs With Top Chefs For The Cured Collective
Logan Square salumeria Lardon, a Michelin Bib Gourmand recipient for its in-house charcuterie program, is teaming with all-star chefs for The Cured Collective, a summer-long celebration of charcuterie. Executive chef and partner Chris Thompson of Meadowlark Hospitality worked alongside three notable Chicago chefs to create “an exclusive collection of cured meats that showcase each chef’s signature flavors. Following a long winter’s rest in Lardon’s in-house curing room, the speciality charcuterie is ready.”
Participants include pitmaster & Food Network star Dominique Leach of Lexington Betty Smokehouse; Chicago birria king Jonathan Zaragoza of Birrieria Zaragoza; and Joe Frillman and Thomas Leonard of Daisies. Starting Memorial Day weekend, May 27, Leach will grill air-dried applewood smoked andouille salame with andouille seasoning, brisket-spiced pancetta sandwiches and her Wagyu Steak Dogs on Lardon’s sidewalk patio. On June 20, Zaragoza serves up bold Mexican flavors in a collaborative charcuterie dinner with Chef Chris Thompson at Lardon, including black pepper cured goat loin with chorizo spices and mole manchamanteles goat salame. On August 8, the Daisies duo will present a coursed dinner at Lardon, including “Sopremarsala,” marsala marinated sopressata with fermented mushrooms and Lonza and coppa with dehydrated leeks and mustard. More on Lardon’s Instagram here.
James Beard Foundation Journalism Media Award Nominees
The James Beard Awards have served a vast list of nominees for its Media Awards, the ceremony of which will be held on the campus of Columbia College Chicago on Saturday, June 3. In the category of “Beverage with Recipes” is Violet Hour mixologist Toby Maloney and co-author and Emma Janzen for “The Bartender’s Manifesto: How to Think, Drink, and Create Cocktails Like a Pro,” and for profile, Monica Eng at Chicago magazine for “Being Paula Camp.”
La Caridad Family Liquor Store Closing After Forty Years In Logan Square
La Caridad, “a family-owned liquor store that has called Logan Square home for nearly forty years, will serve its final customers” on Sunday, reports Block Club. They were not allowed to renew their lease. “Cook County property records show the owners of neighboring grocery store Tony’s Fresh Market bought the property in February for $900,000.” (La Caridad was robbed at gunpoint Wednesday night.)
Oggi Trattoria Reopens At Chicago Avenue Site
“After more than three decades of serving red-sauce Italian hits along Grand Avenue, a family-owned restaurant stalwart is beginning an emotional new chapter in West Town. Oggi Trattoria, owned by the Padilla family since its founding in the 1990s, completed its move with a Friday, April 21 debut in a new space” at 1461 West Chicago, at the former La Farine bakery location, writes Eater Chicago.
FILM & TELEVISION
Siskel Film Center Names Emily Long Executive Director
Emily Long is the next executive director of the Gene Siskel Film Center at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, starting May 15. Long will oversee the Film Center’s operations, fundraising and membership, and programming. Prior to joining the Film Center, Emily worked as director of development at Kartemquin Films, where she raised critical funding to support both operations and documentary filmmaker programs. At Kartemquin, she helped champion undertold stories from Chicago and beyond. Originally from Chicago, she spent nearly two decades in New York City, working on Wall Street, at media nonprofits, and in grassroots fundraising. While in New York, she served as assistant director of development at Film at Lincoln Center, the film society behind the New York Film Festival.
A Short History Of The Poetry Slam
“Harold Bloom once stated in an interview with The Paris Review that poetry slam is ‘the death of art.’ I like that,” writes Joshua Bennett at The Nation. “The gravity of the statement feels like its own commendation. But I would like to offer here that poetry slam is more accurately described as the art of death—the art of dying to oneself. You can hear the resonances of this approach in some of the descriptive terms of the slam, nowhere more vividly than in the role of the sacrificial poet: the first writer to touch stage during a slam.”
After Disney Slashes, Nate Silver To Leave Chicago-Born FiveThirtyEight
“The second round of Disney layoffs hit ABC News,” writes the Hollywood Reporter, “with Nate Silver’s data-driven politics and journalism brand FiveThirtyEight” among the affected. “ABC News is expected to keep the FiveThirtyEight brand name, with plans to streamline the site and make it more efficient.”
Cook County Circuit Court Forbids Electronic Devices For Reporters And Others
Effectively immediately, “all media and members of the public except employees and authorized personnel shall not bring cellphones, laptops or any electronic devices into the George N. Leighton Criminal Courthouse” … The ban was ordered after a reporter took photographs with a cellphone while in a courtroom, reports the Sun-Times. “A meeting has been set for Friday with court officials ‘to discuss expectations going forward.'”
“Journatic” Man Who Wanted Chicago Reported Offshore Now Manufactures Slanted “News” On Demand
“The top Republican campaigns in Illinois used a private online portal last year to request stories and shape coverage in a network of media outlets that present themselves as local newspapers,” reports The Washington Post. “Screenshots show that the password-protected portal, called Lumen, allowed users to pitch stories; provide interview subjects as well as questions; place announcements and submit op-eds to be ‘published verbatim’ in any of about thirty sites that form part of the Illinois-focused media network, called Local Government Information Services. In some cases, users with Lumen access could choose whether to add a fact-checking step… Campaigns could find feedback about the stories they had submitted within the portal, including online views and the kinds of audiences reacting to the content… The online portal offers the potential for a new level of collaboration between political operators and certain media outlets—one in which candidates can easily seek to customize news stories without the public’s knowledge. The use of the tactic in Illinois has caught the attention of allies of former president Donald Trump, who have discussed the potential of expanding the operation.”
“The network is run by Brian Timpone, a businessman and former television broadcaster who told federal regulators in 2016 that his publishing company was filling the void left by the decline of community news, ‘delivering hundreds and sometimes thousands of local news stories each week.’ … The Illinois-centric outlets form just one part of a broader network of sites, estimated to number more than 1,200 nationally, that the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University has connected to Timpone.” (CJR wrote about fake bylines by Timpone’s “Journatic” enterprise as well as the Tribune’s now-ended alliance with his companies.)
TIME Dropping Paywall
Hundred-year-old TIME magazine is fully removing its digital paywall beginning June 1, reports Axios.
Longtime New York City style magazine Paper has fired its staff, reports Adweek. “The layoffs affect between twenty to thirty full-time staff. Their last day will be Friday… Editor in chief Justin Moran will remain with the company through May, although editorial operations will cease immediately. The publisher itself is not shuttering, but is instead seeking to cut costs as it looks toward alternative options to remain in operation.” (Paper was in Chicago for EXPO, with a whiskey-sponsored influencer dinner.)
“VICE News Tonight” Shutters
“VICE Media will cancel its acclaimed program ‘VICE News Tonight’ as part of a broad restructuring that will result in painful cuts across the organization,” reports CNN. The final broadcast will be May 25. “The program, which has received the most Emmy nominations of any newscast for five consecutive years, has been on the air for seven years and just celebrated its thousandth episode last month.” The editor-in-chief leaves today. The internal memo is here: “We’ve decided to streamline VICE News and make reductions in roles across our global News team to focus on our growing digital video business and our News documentary and series production business.”
Instant Award In Improvised Music Given
“The Instant Award in Improvised Music is presented to outstanding improvisors who this year receive an unrestricted award of $50,000,” relays Corbett vs. Dempsey. The 2023 recipients are Tristan Honsinger and the duo of Tobias Delius and Christian Lillinger.
Senate Targets Ticketmaster
Ticketmaster transgressions stir the Senate, reports Variety: “Titled the ‘Unlock Ticketing Markets Act,’ the legislation aims to ‘help restore competition to live event ticketing markets by empowering the Federal Trade Commission to prevent the use of excessively long multi-year exclusive contracts that lock out competitors, decrease incentives to innovate new services, and increase costs for fans.’”
August Wilson New Voices Competition At Goodman On Monday
The Goodman is hosting the national competition of August Wilson New Voices—including Monologue and “Designing August” divisions. This builds on fourteen years hosting the regional final competition, together with longtime Wilson collaborator Derrick Sanders, and the League of Chicago Theatres, and roots the competition in the first city to have experienced all ten of Wilson’s American Century Cycle plays. Thirteen finalists from high schools in cities across the United States perform their monologues and present their designs in the National Competition on Monday, May 1, 7pm in the Goodman’s 856-seat Albert Theatre. Reserve free tickets here.
Casting Announced For Steppenwolf Season Closer, Pinter’s “No Man’s Land”
Steppenwolf will conclude its forty-seventh season with Harold Pinter’s “No Man’s Land,” directed by Les Waters, July 13–August 20 in the Downstairs Theater. “No Man’s Land” will feature ensemble members Austin Pendleton and Jeff Perry, with Samuel Roukin and Michael Patrick Thornton. Single tickets starting at $20 are on sale here.
Closed Windy City Playhouse For Sale
“The Windy City Playhouse, a once-lively performing arts venue located at the western end of Chicago’s North Center neighborhood, has closed and been put up for sale,” writes Chris Jones at the Tribune. “The building, which includes a bar, dressing rooms and two small upstairs apartments, opened in 2015. It was the brainchild of artistic director Amy Rubenstein, who tells the Tribune that she felt that ‘the Chicago theater community seems to want something we are not able to provide and that other leaders can do better.'”
Remy Bumppo Sets Season
Remy Bumppo Theatre Company has announced its 2023-2024 season, including “Blues for an Alabama Sky,” by Pearl Cleage, directed by Mikael Burke and “Love Song,” by John Kolvenbach, directed by artistic director Marti Lyons. All performances are at Theater Wit. Single tickets for the productions will be available Wednesday, July 19. Subscriptions are $50-$100 and go on sale today. Friday, April 28 here.
Raven Theatre Names Interim Managing Director
Raven Theatre’s board of directors has announced that Markie Gray will step down as the theater’s managing director at the end of April and Cole von Glahn will assume the interim managing director position at the beginning of May. Gray has been the company’s administrative leader since July 2020 and will be joining another major Chicago arts organization. Von Glahn returns to Raven, having previously served as the theater’s production manager and artistic producer from January 2018 through June 2021.” More here.
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Analyses Of Mayoral Runoff Multiply
“An unconventional media strategy helped power Brandon Johnson to victory in the Chicago mayoral race. While opponent Paul Vallas used his deeper campaign coffers to reach voters through television ads and other traditional media, Johnson took his message to smaller, alternative outlets that target demographic niches such as younger voters, minority groups and LGBTQ audiences,” writes Crain’s.
Railroads Force Children In Hammond To Climb Under Trains To Get To School
“When trains block a crossing for hours on end, kids risk their lives to get to school,” reports ProPublica. “The stopped trains also prevent ambulances and fire trucks from helping people in an emergency… Every day across America, trains [including those of Norfolk Southern in Hammond, Indiana] park in the middle of neighborhoods and major intersections, waiting to enter congested rail yards or for one crew to switch with another. They block crossings, sometimes for hours or days, disrupting life and endangering lives… Company officials have reminded [Hammond’s mayor that] the rails ‘were here first,’ running through Hammond before it was even a city. ‘To them, I am nobody… They don’t pay attention to me. They don’t respect me. They don’t care about the city of Hammond. They just do what they want.'”
ProPublica “witnessed dozens of students… in Hammond climbing over, squeezing between and crawling under train cars with ‘Frozen’ and ‘Space Jam’ backpacks. An eighth grade girl waited ten minutes before she made her move, nervously scrutinizing the gap between two cars. She’d seen plenty of trains start without warning. ‘I don’t want to get crushed,’ she said.”
Emmett Till Accuser Dies; Museum Exhibition Dedicated To Till And His Mother
“The white woman who accused Black teenager Emmett Till of making improper advances before he was lynched in Mississippi in 1955 has died in hospice care in Louisiana,” reports the Trib. “‘Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley: Let the World See,’ at the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson, Mississippi, is a powerful traveling exhibit that tells Emmett’s personal story,” relays The Bulwark. “It also shows a mother’s perspective: Mamie Till-Mobley’s bravery is much in evidence, as is her ability to bring together a community to fight for justice. Her work helped fuel the civil rights movement in America more than six decades ago.”
States Leaving Migrants In Chicago Without Notice
It’s still happening: “Across the city, migrants overwhelming the city’s social services have been living at police stations while awaiting placement at shelters, raising health and humanitarian concerns among police and community organizations. People seeking asylum have been placed at more than a dozen police districts around the city, sleeping in the lobbies and waiting—often with children—for days,” reports the Tribune. The Trib highlights a familiar voice: “This city said, ‘We’re a welcoming city, we’ll take you,’ but has no plans to do that,” Chicago FOP President John Catanzara Jr. said. “This is not a knock on them, but these people are now living in the lobbies of police stations, which is ridiculous.” …”More than 6,000 migrants have come to the city since last fall, when Texas Governor Greg Abbott began sending busloads of migrants to Chicago.”
Lincoln Park Zoo’s 300-Year-Old Bur Oak Comes Down Monday
“At 250 to 300 years old, the bur oak in Lincoln Park Z00 is one of the oldest living things in the city. But it’s dying and is due to to be cut down Monday,” reports the Sun-Times. “The tree, which is about seventy feet tall and with a diameter of about forty-six inches, shed all of its leaves in August 2021, about six weeks before a healthy tree might… On Sunday, the tree looked as though it was already dead—its gnarled branches a charcoal-black silhouette against a sullen sky.”
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