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Art Institute Acquires Trove Of Dutch Mannerist Prints
The Art Institute of Chicago has acquired 1,440 Dutch Mannerist prints from the Hearn Family Foundation and Charles Hack collection. Ranging chronologically from the 1530s to about 1650, these prints chart the history of Dutch printmaking at the period of its greatest technical and artistic sophistication. The collection, assembled over three decades, reveals the complexity and sophistication of Mannerist art, “including a virtuosic command of printmaking, unusual perspectives and proportions, and eroticism coupled with a delight in allegory and humanism. The core of this acquisition is the work of Hendrick Goltzius (1558–1617), the most significant sixteenth-century Dutch artist and one of the greatest draftsmen and printmakers of his age. Also featured are works by a generation of artists who either trained with Goltzius or tried to measure up to his formidable example. His pupils—including Jacob Matham, Jacques de Gheyn, Jan Saenredam and Jan Muller, all virtuosos—provide a rich and varied context to Goltzius’ masterworks.” Selections of prints from the collection will start going on regular view in galleries 212a and 213a in November 2023. A large exhibition and publication tentatively scheduled for 2027 will celebrate the acquisition.
Updated Construction Plans For Lincoln Yards
“An updated construction timeline has been revealed for the Lincoln Yards mega development near Goose Island,” relays YIMBY Chicago. “Dubbed The Steelyard, this next zone to be built out of the project will contain multiple mid- and high-rises along with a central commercial axis connecting them all. Work will commence on the first two structures later this year with the remaining on a rolling basis.”
Apartment Project Astride Lincoln Yards Takes $48 Million Loan To Convert “Turd Blossom”
“After scoring a $48 million construction loan, a developer group is moving forward with its plans to convert a 110-year-old industrial building next to Lincoln Yards into 121 apartments,” reports Crain’s. “A joint venture between local apartment broker Jon Morgan and Moline-based Heart of America Group secured the financing for the project at 2032 North Clybourn, the 140,000-square-foot former headquarters of the Anixter Center, a Chicago nonprofit… ‘It’s fun to take a turd blossom and turn it into something beautiful,’ said Mike Whalen, founder, president and CEO of Heart of America. Constructed over stages starting in 1913—its first phase was designed by noted architect Alfred Alschuler—the former home of Ludlow Typograph was designated a Chicago landmark last year. The developers, which paid $15 million for the low-slung brick structure in 2021, landed a $47.8 million loan for the redevelopment in early April.”
Uptown Celebrates A Century
“The Uptown Chamber of Commerce has helped steer the neighborhood from its Roaring Twenties heyday to its current development boom,” reports Block Club. “The chamber is throwing a party to mark a hundred years in existence and to celebrate Uptown’s achievements.” The event “will include performances from groups including Uptown-based Kuumba Lynx, a youth development organization. Timeline Theater, a history-focused theater group that’s moving to Uptown, will help dramatize portions of the neighborhood’s history.” “Be Bold and Prosper!” is 5:30-8pm Friday at the Riviera Theatre. Reservations are encouraged.
Divvy In All Fifty
“Chicago’s Divvy bike-share service now covers all of the city’s fifty wards, making it operational and accessible to residents and visitors all over the city,” reports the Trib. “Network expansion largely focused on neighborhoods not already well-served, with almost seventy-five-percent of growth in recent years taking place on the South and West sides.”
DINING & DRINKING
Family Suits Singe Chicago Pizza Pot Pie
“In a town famous for its deep-dish pizza, Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Co. has made its own way since the early 1970s, serving an upside-down concoction created by its founder called the pizza pot pie,” reports the Wall Street Journal. The legal battles are byzantine. “It’s our entire family legacy. We created this concept, the menu. We built that restaurant,” Amy Bevacqua, the fifty-eight-year-old daughter of the founder, Albert Beaver Jr., told the WSJ. “The original menu and cozy décor are largely intact—even though the owner died seven-and-a-half years ago, and his children, who worked there from a young age, are locked in a messy legal battle with a longtime employee and an ex-wife of their father’s over control of the business and the building where it is located.”
The Chicago Restaurants That Lead In Eliminating Dining Tips
“In summer 2020, as Rick Bayless scrambled to figure out how to keep his restaurants open, he decided to try something new,” writes Talia Soglin at the Tribune. “He did away with most tipping at his Chicago restaurants Frontera Grill, Bar Sótano, Xoco and Topolobampo. Bayless instead implemented service fees and started paying staff higher base wages… Critics of tipping, including Chicago restaurant owners who have moved away from the practice, say it causes significant disparities in pay between servers and kitchen staff; opens the door to harassment of the staff by customers… Some restaurant owners cited business reasons for reducing their reliance on tipping. The service fee model helps Daisies, a Logan Square pasta restaurant with a twenty-five-percent fee, retain employees at a time when restaurant workers have left the industry.” Says Lula Cafe’s Jason Hammel, “We chose this to provide a steady and fair income for employees… And if that’s a value that you know you want to center, you’re willing to pay the price.”
“Rick Tramonto, who led Tru to national prominence,” reports the Trib, “surprised many when, in 2010, he decided to open Restaurant R’evolution in New Orleans with Louisiana chef John Folse. But after thirteen years, he’s ready to return… Tramonto is now the food and beverage director and executive chef for Parker Hospitality, Brad Parker’s booming restaurant group.”
Wisconsin Could Allow Fourteen-Year-Olds To Pour Drinks
Child labor laws continue to be relaxed across the nation: “Two GOP lawmakers are backing a bill to let fourteen-year-olds serve alcohol at bars and restaurants. If it becomes law, Wisconsin would have the lowest age limit for workers allowed to serve alcohol in the U.S.,” relays More Perfect Union.
FILM & TELEVISION
Writers Strike, Day One
“Six weeks of tense negotiations made it clear that the industry faces a reckoning after a decade of the Peak TV content boom that has strained Hollywood’s creative infrastructure to its breaking point”: Variety cover-stories what’s at stake with the writers’ strike. “A prolonged walkout by TV and film writers will have ripple effects across the entertainment community. Now that the strike has been called, industry insiders are scrambling to shut down shows—late-night comedy programs, including ‘Saturday Night Live,’ and daytime talk shows are the first to feel the hit. Studios are initiating emergency contingency plans to keep film production rolling on projects with completed scripts.” A CNN host was shocked when comedian Adam Conover called out CNN’s boss while on CNN: “David Zaslav, the CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, the parent company of the network I’m talking to you on right now, was paid $250 million last year, a quarter of a billion dollars,” Conover said during his interview with CNN anchor Sara Sidner. “That’s about the same level as what 10,000 writers are asking him to pay all of us collectively… So I would say if you’re being paid $250 million—these companies are making enormous amounts of money. Their profits are going up. It’s ridiculous for them to plead poverty.”
Showrunner and former Chicagoan Patrick Somerville writes from the first day on the picket line: “I’ve made more money than I ever could have made had I kept writing novels. I’ve learned more about writing than I could ever imagine, back in my old life. The brilliance of my colleagues and the pressure of production have forced me to become someone I like. My heart’s addicted to collaboration, too, and togetherness, and leadership, and the business of mass media. TV writing gave me myself… We were all picketing outside of Netflix, the disruptive network… It is a headquarters that did not used to be there, like I’m a writer who didn’t used to be here. The unbelievable power and reach of modern television, alongside its evolution in the last decade as ‘content,’ is now impossibly intertwined with venture capitalism, tech, assholes, the internet, and the promise of hypergrowth, which is an illusion, but an illusion that now (I guess?) drives American economics. You are not successful unless you are a moonshot, and I say that having been one in Hollywood… All of this is crazy. We went on strike today because the monstrosity we’ve helped to build is now not so sure it even needs us to succeed.”
Screenwriter-producer Julie Bush: “Six months ago i heard that certain studio execs were so convinced there was gonna be a strike they were already booking their European vacations for this month. now i realize they knew then cuz they were planning on making it happen by not negotiating at all.”
Cutters Studios Founder Tim McGuire Retires After Forty-Three Years
Cutters Studios Founder-CEO Tim McGuire has announced his retirement. “After beginning his career as an assistant editor and working his way up to the editor position, McGuire opened his own shop in 1980, and over the next two decades, McGuire edited countless award-winning campaigns as a key part of Chicago’s advertising community. In 2001, he moved into full-time management, facilitating the growth of the company’s Cutters Editorial, Another Country, Flavor and Dictionary Films divisions.” More Cutters here.
Book Banning Comes To Manitoba
It’s not just south of the forty-ninth: “A push that began last summer to remove a few children’s sexual education books from the southern Manitoba library system has since bubbled up into accusations its staff are pedophiles, as well as a campaign to defund the library—leaving some of its exhausted librarians considering quitting, the library’s director says,” notes the CBC.
Linda Lenz, Seventy-Seven, Founded Catalyst Chicago
“Linda Lenz founded Catalyst Chicago, a nonprofit magazine devoted to public education in the city that began publishing after the passage of a state law which gave more power to parents and local educators,” reports the Trib. “Linda created a pivotal news organization during a period of vast changes in education and school reform in Chicago,” Tribune columnist Laura Washington, a former editor of a sister publication, the Chicago Reporter, said. “Her publication told readers what was working, what was not working and why.”
News Outlet The Messenger Fully Financed
Investors augment money from the sale of The Hill to assemble $50 million to create The Messenger, a Florida-based website, reports Axios. Atop the masthead: a former editor of People. “Jimmy Finkelstein began raising money for his new venture in late 2021, shortly after he sold The Hill, a D.C.-based political newspaper, to Nexstar for $130 million… Finkelstein has tried to avoid the spotlight, hiring dozens of executives and raising tens of millions of dollars mostly in secret.”
Landmark Union Meeting Of 150 African Workers Behind ChatGPT, TikTok, Facebook
“More than 150 workers whose labor underpins the AI systems of Facebook, TikTok and ChatGPT gathered in Nairobi on Monday and pledged to establish the first African Content Moderators Union, in a move that could have significant consequences for the businesses of some of the world’s biggest tech companies,” details Time. “The current and former workers, all employed by third-party outsourcing companies, have provided content moderation services for AI tools used by Meta, Bytedance, and OpenAI—the respective owners of Facebook, TikTok and the breakout AI chatbot ChatGPT. Despite the mental toll of the work, which has left many content moderators suffering from PTSD, their jobs are some of the lowest-paid in the global tech industry, with some workers earning as little as $1.50 per hour.”
Pornhub Bans Utah
Since the start of the week, Pornhub has blocked “access for all Utah visitors,” reports Ars Technica, “taking a strong stance against the state’s age-verification law.” In a video “on Pornhub’s homepage when Utah users attempt to access the adult site,” a Pornhub spokesperson says that “the law was not a ‘real solution… As you may know, your elected officials have required us to verify your age before granting you access to our website. While safety and compliance are at the forefront of our mission, giving your ID card every time you want to visit an adult platform is not the most effective solution for protecting our users—and in fact, will put children and your privacy at risk.'”
Auditorium Sets Season With Dance, Music, Malkovich
The Auditorium Theatre has announced its season, including Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, opening the fall season with a new work featuring multi-instrumentalist Sam Thousand and his ensemble of musicians and singers; Complexions Contemporary Ballet returning to the Auditorium after seventeen years with “STAR DUST: From Bach to Bowie”; Compañía Nacional de Danza making its Chicago debut; a pre-St. Patrick’s Day celebration with Trinity Irish Dance Company; and MOMIX performing “ALICE,” an innovative retelling of “Alice in Wonderland.” Also: “Terence Blanchard: Film Scores Live!”; the annual spring engagement of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; the return of South Chicago Dance Theatre; and a co-presentation by Auditorium Theatre and Steppenwolf Theatre Company of the Chicago premiere of John Malkovich starring in “The Infernal Comedy,” an international touring production of a stage play for one actor, a chamber orchestra, and two sopranos, based on the real-life story of Austrian serial killer Jack Unterweger, embodied by John Malkovich. Tickets and more here.
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Johnson Inauguration Plans Announced
Brandon Johnson will become Chicago’s next mayor in an inauguration ceremony at the former UIC Pavilion on the University of Illinois at Chicago campus on May 15, reports the Tribune.
Vallas Was Vaunted By Pollsters But For One
“Not all pollsters were predicting a slim Paul Vallas victory going into the April 4 mayoral runoff. IZQ Strategies had Brandon Johnson in the lead—and by an eye-opening five percentage points. Once mail-in votes were tabulated, that forecast wasn’t far off: Johnson wound up with 52.1 percent of the vote to Vallas’s 47.9,” reports Chicago magazine.
USA TODAY Readers Name Navy Pier Fireworks Best In Nation
Navy Pier has been voted winner of the 2023 USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards contest for “Best Place to See Fireworks.” “Navy Pier’s beloved fireworks are an invitation we send soaring into the sky, and we’re thrilled that millions of guests from across the street and around the globe have forwarded this colorful invite to the rest of the country by voting Navy Pier to the top of the USA TODAY poll,” Navy Pier president and CEO Marilynn Gardner says in a release. “As our iconic Summer Fireworks reflect off Lake Michigan and reverberate through Chicago’s spectacular skyline, they represent all that is unique to Navy Pier and its incredible community of partners and supporters.”
Cook County Reassesses By Sixfold Property Held By Bears In Arlington Heights
The Assessor’s office is raising its valuation of the land held by the Bears in Arlington Heights sixfold, reports CBS 2. “The previous owner paid taxes based on a value of about $33 million. The Assessor’s office now says as part of its regular reassessment, the Bears’ proposed stadium site is worth $197 million.”
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