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Theaster Gates To Receive 2023 Isamu Noguchi Award
The Noguchi Museum will host its annual benefit gala and presentation of the Isamu Noguchi Award on Tuesday, September 12. Marking its landmark tenth year, the 2023 Isamu Noguchi Award will recognize artist and writer Edmund de Waal, artist Theaster Gates, and novelist and editor Hanya Yanagihara. “The Award celebrates individuals from around the world, across various disciplines, whose works demonstrate the highest level of artistic integrity marked by fearless experimentation and a preoccupation with cross-cultural dialogue and exchange. Honoring individuals whose work exhibits qualities of artistic excellence that are shared with Noguchi, the Award also recognizes work that carries significant social consciousness and function.” More here.
Women Are Running The World’s Great Art Museums
“From the Louvre to the Vatican Museums and the National Gallery of Art, female directors are taking over from men,” notes the New York Times. “’I’m encouraged to see this field of women,’ said Anne Pasternak, who was appointed director of the Brooklyn Museum in 2015. ‘Someone said recently we’re becoming a “pink collar” profession.’ … Sasha Suda, who took over from Timothy Rub as director of the Philadelphia Museum last year, said that, given that women comprise fifty-one percent of humanity, ‘The big question is why this didn’t happen until now.'”
Three New Libraries For West And South Sides
“Three new libraries are coming to the Humboldt Park, Back of the Yards and Woodlawn neighborhoods,” reports the Sun-Times. “The new libraries in Back of the Yards and Humboldt Park will also include residential and commercial spaces as a part of the city’s Invest South/West initiative. The Chicago Public Library will use $18 million in… bonds to fund a new library branch in Woodlawn.”
New Transcontinental Rail Route Coming Through Chicago
“Three of the largest rail providers in North America have announced a new partnership for service across Canada, The United States, and Mexico. The new partnership made up of Canada National (CN), Union Pacific Railroad (UP), and Grupo Mexico Transportes (GMXT) will become the second to ever serve the three countries and will use Chicago as its main interchange point,” reports YIMBY Chicago.
Sale Of Greyhound Station Will Leave Chicago Largest U. S. City Without Intercity Bus Terminal
“Cross-country bus terminals were once a part of almost every big-city downtown, as ever-present and important as tall buildings and department stores,” writes Lee Bey at the Sun-Times. “The Loop once had two: a Greyhound bus depot at Clark and Randolph streets, and a Trailways station at 20 East Randolph… Both were iconic and modern buildings in their prime. But when the land beneath them became valuable—and bus stations were seen as too seedy and downmarket for downtown—both depots were razed in the late 1980s and their sites redeveloped.”
“Drifters slipping into town by bus—in fiction, movies or real life—arriving under the cover of neon-accented darkness. College students with backpacks and suitcases, heading back for the new semester as the hydraulic hiss of the bus’s closing door and the roar of its engine mingle with the sounds of downtown traffic. That it all played out in the middle of downtown showed how central bus terminals once were to the city’s physical and cultural landscape.”
DINING & DRINKING
Hungry Hill’s 3 Star Tavern Closing After Eighty-Seven Years
“I can count on one hand the number of regulars I have,” Luke Marthaler, co-owner of 3 Star Tavern in Chicago Heights, which closed on Sunday night, told the Daily Southtown (via the Trib). “Everyone who comes here says they have a great time, but it slips their mind because it’s off the beaten path.” What’s left? “A half block east of 3 Star, Petrarca’s Grocery became La Granga’s, and then La Rosita Supermercado. A bit farther down 22nd Street, the old San Rocco Parish where the Colangelo family regularly attended Mass was closed and demolished several decades ago and a smaller, wooden church building now serves the neighborhood. Change is inevitable, even along a stretch as seemingly timeless as 22nd Street in Chicago Heights.”
Maple & Ash Accused Of Misuse Of Pandemic PPP Cash
The latest lawsuit: “The operators of Maple & Ash, one of Chicago’s most successful restaurants, are accused in a lawsuit of misusing federal Payroll Protection Program pandemic relief money for personal use,” reports the Sun-Times. “Maple & Ash’s management company diverted some of the millions of dollars it got from Washington to cover bills during the pandemic and used that money for country club dues and private jets,” asserts the suit. “A lawyer for the restaurant says the lawsuit is baseless.”
Dinner On Wrigley Field To Benefit James Beard Foundation
After a 2022 Chicago debut, the Stadium Chef Series returns to Wrigley Field on Sunday, June 4, reports Time Out Chicago. “The evening will feature a coursed menu created by a lineup of local culinary talent, with dinner [in the middle of] Wrigley Field.” Chefs include Matthias Merges (Mordecai, Billy Sunday), Chris Pandel (Swift & Sons), Thai Dang (HaiSous) and Jonathan Zaragoza (Birrieria Zaragoza). After a cocktail reception and passed hors d’oeuvres, “guests venture onto the field for photo ops. A four-course, family-style meal will follow—set to the backdrop of the stadium’s ivy-covered walls and historic scoreboard.” Tickets start at $500 per person and will be available May 4, 10am here.
FILM & TELEVISION
Chicago Filmmakers Seeks Program Manager
Chicago Filmmakers is seeking a highly motivated and experienced Program Manager to join their team. “The ideal candidate will have a well-rounded understanding of filmmaking, a passion for the organization’s mission and programs, and a commitment to promoting diversity and inclusivity in the film industry. The Program Manager will be responsible for developing, planning, and implementing Chicago Filmmakers’ core year-round programs, including education, film screenings, and filmmaker services, as well as seasonal tasks in relation to Chicago Filmmakers’ two film festivals.” More here.
New York Ups Production Tax Incentives
Keeping up with Illinois and Chicago: “New York is set to increase the cap on tax credits the state gives to the film and TV industry from $420 million to $700 million and make other notable changes to its incentive program in a bid to compete,” writes the Hollywood Reporter. “Under an agreement approving a $229 billion budget, above-the-line wage costs will be eligible for tax breaks for the first time… The proposal followed Illinois passing a measure that similarly allowed some non-resident wages to qualify.”
Will Florida Man Regret Taking On Disney?
“For more than a year, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has attacked the Walt Disney Co., derisively referring to it as the ‘Magic Kingdom of Woke Corporatism,'” writes a Brookings Fellow at MSNBC. “Now Disney has filed suit against the presidential aspirant—who is on a world tour where he is being drubbed for being ‘low-wattage’—alleging that DeSantis had violated its constitutional rights. The company’s case seems strong and may well make DeSantis regret the day he decided to pick this fight in his bid to be the right’s leading culture warrior.”
Poet Laureate avery r. young Sings His Debut At Poetry Fest
“The work for me is not to write a poem that will touch your heart, but the work for me is to find the material that does touch your heart, and then put the poetry in that,” avery r. young said at his debut as poet laureate at the twenty-fourth annual Poetry Fest. “The thing that makes you wake up to write the poem is the poetry, not the poem itself. The poem just wants to be heard,” reports the Sun-Times.
New York Mayor Pussyfoots On Scale Of His Slashes To Library Funding
After public outcry, New York City mayor Eric Adams shifts some of his cuts to libraries across that city: Adams “would exempt New York City’s public libraries from his latest round of threatened budget cuts, sparing them from closing many of their branches on weekends,” reports the New York Times. “Library officials were appreciative of the mayor’s decision, but cautioned that they still faced another $36 million in previously announced budget cuts and were worried about their impact on libraries’ hours and programs.”
New York Daily News: “We realize that not everyone will be happy,” Adams said at City Hall, “but that is OK because that is how you get stuff done.” Two rounds of previous deep cuts remain, and will affect “our operations across the board, whether it be the capacity to open new branches, keep our current hours, maintain our collections or offer programs,” testified New York Public Library President Anthony Marx.
Florida Governor Releases Creepy Video Promoting Book Bans
“It’s no accident that activists slapping the ‘pornography’ label on material they deem heretical frequently smear political opponents as ‘groomers’ and ‘pedophiles,'” writes Alan Elrod at Arc Digital. “Note that [Florida governor and presidential aspirant Ron] DeSantis recently released a deranged video loaded with pornographic imagery clearly designed to tar opponents of his book bans as perverts and deviants. This mania is as much about fomenting rage at political foes as it is about targeting books themselves.”
“Painful Goodbyes” As NPR Shears More Staff
“Today was the last day for many people who were let go from NPR in our widely publicized staff reductions. We’re also losing a lot of great people who are choosing to move on. A lot of painful goodbyes,” posted NPR TV critic Eric Deggans on Friday.
Remembering Jerry Springer’s Origins
“The infamous trash TV talk show host started out with serious aspirations but, in a transition that was emblematic of the coarsening of our society, dumbed them down in pursuit of ratings and tawdry glory,” avers Frank Scheck of the Hollywood Reporter. “A pop-psychologist could theorize that the show was an outgrowth of Springer’s traumatic early life. He was literally born in a bomb shelter, in 1944 during the London Blitz, and two of his grandparents died in concentration camps. His early political career included a stint working as a campaign adviser for Robert Kennedy, which ended with Kennedy’s assassination. Clearly, he was no stranger to the dark side of human nature. This was not a man destined to host a children’s show.”
CEO Of Live Nation, Ticketmaster’s Owner, Paid $139 Million
That’s a lot of miscellaneous service fees: “Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino’s total compensation package rose to $139 million in 2022, up from $13.8 million the previous year,” writes the Hollywood Reporter. His huge pay raise “comes after a rocky year for the company… Ticketmaster, which falls under Live Nation Entertainment, has faced backlash” since the fall 2022 Taylor Swift ticketing debacle. “Since then, the company has faced pushback from lawmakers over its merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation and is said to be undergoing an investigation by the Department of Justice. At the same time, concert attendance has been on the rise, as has the company’s revenue.”
Navy Pier Salutes The State’s Music
The achievements and contributions of Illinois’ finest in music are shown in “The State of Sound: A World of Music from Illinois” at Navy Pier through August 27. The exhibit showcases artists including Muddy Waters, REO Speedwagon, Cheap Trick to Earth, Wind & Fire and Chance the Rapper. This free exhibit is located on the Lower-Level Lobby of Festival Hall A. Details here.
Muti Returns To CSO For Three-Week Residency
Riccardo Muti returns to Chicago in May for a three-week residency as part of his thirteenth season of artistic collaboration with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as music director. He is scheduled to lead three subscription concert programs that feature the world premiere of the CSO-commissioned work, “Transfigure to Grace,” by composer-in-residence Jessie Montgomery (May 11-16), concerto appearances by concertmaster Robert Chen (May 18-23) and principal timpani David Herbert in his CSO solo debut (May 25-27), as well as a return to the music of Ottorino Respighi, including performances of “Pines of Rome,” which Muti conducted in his first concert as music director of the CSO in 2010.
Muti leads a free, open rehearsal with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago on May 22 with a focus on selections from Ravel’s orchestration of Mussorgsky’s “Pictures from an Exhibition.” He also leads open rehearsals for invited senior, veteran and community groups (May 11) and donors (May 25). For program, ticket and patron information, go here.
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Johnson Transition Team Names Arts And Culture Leader
Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson has named Leslé Honoré, a Black and Mexican poet who arrived upon Chicago’s poetry scene in 2016 and has been a leader in equitable arts education and economic development, to lead the arts and culture transition team for his administration. Since 2018, Honoré has been a leader of Elevated Chicago, “a multi-sector collaborative that promotes more equitable development of public spaces, buildings and vacant land around Chicago’s public transit infrastructure.” Earlier this year, Leslé was chosen as CEO of Urban Gateways, a sixty-year-old arts education nonprofit that provides access to classes, mentoring and arts performances for young people in Chicago. Her goal, as she has put it, is that “Every young person in Chicago has access to make and see art, no matter their ZIP code.'”
Mysterious Midnight Music Thrums Oak Park
“Oak Park’s police department received between 350 and 400 calls reporting excessively loud music in neighborhoods across the village,” reports Wednesday Journal. “Callers described the noise as ‘a drumming bass sound’ that awakened them from their slumber and prevented them from falling back asleep. The calls started flooding in at 11:55pm, April 27, finally slowing down about two hours later.”
Losing Mayoral Candidate Paul Vallas Money Woes Surge
“Workers on Paul Vallas’ Chicago mayoral campaign said they have not been paid for their work,” reports ABC 7. “Showing off copies of checks they said bounced, the men had a message for Vallas. ‘We were the backbone to your campaign. So, please, pay us the money you owe us because we were out there spreading your name,’ said Jacob Malagon, West Lawn resident.”
Go Live Chicago Campaign From Choose Chicago And DCASE To Promote Performing Arts
Chicago and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), in partnership with industry groups, have launched a campaign to encourage Chicagoans and visitors to experience live theater, music, comedy and dance performances in Chicago. The campaign, Go Live Chicago, reminds that the experience of attending an in-person performance cannot be replicated at home. “Chicago’s performing arts sector is one of the greatest in the world. With this collective call-to-action campaign we seek to inspire our neighbors and visitors to get back in the habit of experiencing live shows,” DCASE commissioner Erin Harkey says in a release. “DCASE is grateful to Choose Chicago and our partners in the performing arts community for rallying together to uplift this important message and drive ticket sales. Our live performances are nothing without audiences.”
The Go Live Chicago campaign is being launched with the support of performing arts industry groups including the League of Chicago Theatres, See Chicago Dance, the Chicago Independent Venue League, the African American Arts Alliance and the Chicago Latino Theater Alliance. More here.
More Security Cash For Democratic Convention Needed, Says City
“The city of Chicago is obliged to provide ‘at no cost’ to the Democratic National Convention Committee ‘police, fire, security, bomb disposal, emergency and rescue service and all other goods or services related to security’ according to the contract,” reports Lynn Sweet at the Sun-Times. “Illinois lawmakers, led by U.S. Representative Mike Quigley are asking Congress for a big boost in federal cash sent to host cities to help cover costs.” Conventions are “routinely designated as a National Special Security Event. That opens the door to substantial federal funding.”
Changes Planned Again To College Board’s African American Course
“The College Board is revamping its Advanced Placement African American studies course again, vowing to give students an ‘unflinching encounter with the facts’ following criticism that it watered down curriculum on slavery reparations and the Black Lives Matter movement after pressure from conservative politicians,” reports Associated Press. “The company did not say what the changes will be or when they will be made public.”
The Wall Street Journal reports that the College Board lied about making the changes demanded by Florida governor Ron DeSantis and others. Wrote Nishani Frazier, a University of Kansas professor on the AP course development committee: “We all know this is a blatant lie. In fact, the major changes which occurred came from my unit—and not once did AP speak with me about these changes. Instead, it rammed through revisions, pretended course transformation was business as usual, and then further added insult to injury by attempting to gaslight the public with faux innocence.”
Thiel’s Palantir To Use A.I. To Wage War In “Legal And Ethical” Way
“Palantir, the company of billionaire Peter Thiel, is launching Palantir Artificial Intelligence Platform (AIP), software meant to run large language models like GPT-4 and alternatives on private networks. In one of its pitch videos, Palantir demos how a military might use AIP to fight a war. In the video, the operator uses a ChatGPT-style chatbot to order drone reconnaissance, generate several plans of attack, and organize the jamming of enemy communications,” reports VICE.
“Barrier” Broken On “Class Awakening” Of Retail Workers
“New York Barnes & Noble workers at a four-story Manhattan bookstore are petitioning to unionize, following union drives announced by co-workers in Massachusetts and at spin-off Barnes and Noble Education on Rutgers’ campus in Jersey,” reports Bloomberg’s Josh Eidelson. “Being subjected to pandemic safety risks contributed to a ‘class awakening’ among retail workers… and witnessing victories elsewhere has helped overcome some workers’ sense organizing was impossible: ‘That barrier has broken.'”
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