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“Father & Son Photographers” Opens; “Art Shay: An America So Real” Gets Trailer
A trailer for the documentary “Art Shay: An America So Real” is here, with a fast-cut panoply of his decades of work. Gallery Victor opens the exhibit “Father & Son Photographers,” featuring the work of Art Shay and Richard Shay. 300 West Superior Street, Friday, May 12, 5-8pm.
Picturing The Endangered Damen Silos
“At the Damen Grain Silos, trees, weeds, and wildflowers have reclaimed what civilization surrendered,” writes and shoots Edward McClelland at Chicago magazine.
John Ronan-Designed Park District Headquarters Dedicated On Southwest Side
“Mayor Lightfoot, Chicago Park District CEO Rosa Escareño and community leaders cut the ribbon on the new Chicago Park District headquarters and multipurpose fieldhouse and green space for families in the Brighton Park neighborhood,” reports Urbanize Chicago. “The new Park District headquarters and fieldhouse at 4830 South Western brings seventeen acres of open space to one of Chicago’s most park-deprived communities and furthers the City’s commitment to bring significant investment to areas in need.” The Park District “will relocate its administrative headquarters to the building from its current Streeterville location in early June. This 58,100-square-foot, multistory facility with seventeen acres of multi-use park space will include a 20,000-square-foot public fieldhouse that will bring new recreation, as well as cultural and educational opportunities, to the neighborhood.”
City Releases “Evolved” Renderings Of Likely Bally’s Casino
“The design of the planned Bally’s River North casino and hotel complex has undergone a significant makeover that replaces much of the original scheme’s Vegas-like glitz with a more sober look,” writes architecture critic Lee Bey at the Sun-Times. “Department of Planning Commissioner Maurice Cox said the new ‘evolved’ design is the result of months of biweekly meetings with casino officials, stakeholders and others. He said the result is ‘a better product.'”
Chicago City Markets Open On Daley Plaza
Chicago’s longest-running farmers market opens for the 2023 summer season, running each Thursday through October, 7am-2pm, at the Daley Plaza City Market. Attendees can visit over thirty vendors including Misericordia Hearts + Flour Bakery, Soap Junkii, D + S Farms, and Fons-Plan Based Empanadas. A list of city markets is here.
Uber Warns City Against New Rules
Uber “is trying to leverage Chicago’s hosting of next year’s Democratic National Convention and the city’s need for cash to quash pending legislation in Springfield that would put app-based ride-share companies on par with taxis when it comes to the liability of their drivers,” reports the Tribune. In separate letters to the Democratic National Committee “and Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson, the ride-share company warned that the measure could lead to higher costs for riders and a reduced number of drivers due to greater insurance requirements. That would lead to reduced city tax revenue and less availability of rides, particularly during next year’s national presidential nominating convention.”
DINING & DRINKING
“Hey Bud Light Boycotters, Protesting Beer Is Actually Really Gay”
“Transphobes are protesting Bud Light after its partnership with actress Dylan Mulvaney. But fifty years ago, queer activists organized the original beer boycott against Coors,” reminds Bon Appetit.
Kroger CEO Will Battle For Albertsons Merger
“Kroger Co. said it’s committed to hunkering down for a long legal battle if US regulators attempt to block its $24.6 billion acquisition of Albertsons,” reports Bloomberg. “’We believe very strongly that we had the best professional advisers, and Albertsons had the best professional advisers, on being able to find a viable solution,’ Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen said. A successful outcome would mean that ‘the combined company will create the right environment and lower prices, and we’ll be able to divest stores to somebody that’s good.'” (McMullen’s 2020 compensation was reportedly over $20 million, a 909-to-one ratio with the average Kroger worker, with much more to come with a successful merger of the behemoth grocers.)
FILM & TELEVISION
Chicago Writers Strike Event Announced
“WGA Chicago Strike Event CONFIRMED!,” posts screenwriter-strike captain Brett Neveu. “Join us WEDNESDAY MAY 17 at noon at NBC Tower (454 North Columbus)! Wear red and/or black & make your signs of SUPPORT! Can’t wait to see SAG/AFTRA & DGA & other amazing unions there!”
Nolo Digital Film Relocates To Sarofsky Studio
Nolo Digital Film and Sarofsky Studio have formed a new strategic partnership, “sharing customer service and production resources, and combining superpowers on demand.” Sarofsky principal and executive creative director Erin Sarofsky [Newcity Film 50 2022] and Mike Matusek, founder and colorist at Nolo Digital Film, have announced that Nolo has relocated into Sarofsky’s state-of-the-art studio in the West Loop, with Nolo sharing Sarofsky’s customer service and production resources. As a key part of this new arrangement, Sarofsky’s managing director-executive producer Steven Anderson and head of production Joel Signer will share oversight on production for both companies. This unique collaboration combines the offerings of two standout artist-owned production entities. “Nolo’s top-tier talents remain dedicated to delivering exceptional color grading and digital intermediate mastering services to both in-studio and virtual clients, catering to the distinct requirements of the advertising and entertainment industries.” More Nolo here. More Sarofsky here.
Bombshell Report On Martin Luther King’s Criticism Of Malcolm X
“Jonathan Eig was deep in the Duke University archives researching his new biography of Martin Luther King Jr. when he made an alarming discovery: King’s harshest and most famous criticism of Malcolm X, in which he accused his fellow civil rights leader of ‘fiery, demagogic oratory,’ appears to have been fabricated,” reports the Washington Post. “I think its historic reverberations are huge,” Eig told the paper. “We’ve been teaching people for decades, for generations, that King had this harsh criticism of Malcolm X, and it’s just not true.” The quote “came from a January 1965 Playboy interview with author Alex Haley, a then-forty-three-year-old Black journalist, and was the longest published interview King ever did. Because of the severity of King’s criticism, it has been repeated countless times, cast as a dividing line between King and Malcolm X. The new revelation ‘shows that King was much more open-minded about Malcolm than we’ve tended to portray him,’ Eig said.”
CSU To Confer Honorary Degree To Nikole Hannah-Jones
Chicago State University will award Nikole Hannah-Jones the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters during commencement on May 18, reports the Crusader. “Hannah-Jones is the Pulitzer Prize-winning creator of ‘The 1619 Project’ and staff writer who covers civil rights and racial injustice topics for The New York Times Magazine… ‘Ms. Hannah-Jones is an embodiment of everything CSU stands for,’ said President Zaldwaynaka ‘Z’ Scott. ‘Her commitment to the transformation of students’ lives contributes towards the testament of how important education, coupled with innovation and research is.'”
Sun-Times Staffers Take National Headliner Awards Honors
“Sun-Times staff members have won the National Headliner Awards’ top honors for breaking news reporting by newspapers and local interest columns on a variety of subjects,” the paper posts with links. First place for breaking news in daily newspapers, all sizes, went to Highland Park coverage “Horror on the Fourth.” First place for local interest column was awarded—for the second consecutive year—to Neil Steinberg, for three columns. Also recognized: the story “Hidden Highway Hazard,” with second place for investigative reporting in newspapers in top twenty media markets.
Logging The Death Of Dooce
Pioneer dooce.com blogger Heather B. Armstrong’s “writing was sack-of-meat raw, raunchy and transcendently real. She wrote fiercely and furiously. She kept posting after she was fired. She was one of the first women to be branded a ‘mommy blogger‘ and, later, a mom ‘influencer.’ She was No. 26 on Forbes’s 2009 list of the most influential women in media. She wrote books. She became a writer on her own terms,” writes Lyz Lenz at the Washington Post. “Heather died on Tuesday at age forty-seven. Her partner” told AP “that she died by suicide after years of struggling with depression…Heather was a role model. When I couldn’t get my writing published, when editors wouldn’t answer my email, when it seemed my life was nothing but spit-up and baby wipes and bleeding nipples, I decided, heck, I’d publish it myself—and started my own blog. Heather had shown me that I didn’t need to ask permission… Reading Heather, I learned how to write with humor and heart and skin-peeling honesty. She was like the Hunter S. Thompson of birthing and child-rearing—a wild, weird gonzo journalist of domesticity and dog poop.”
Pumpkin Pays Hacker
Billy Corgan “paid off a hacker [who] stole [new Smashing Pumpkins] songs and threatened to leak them,” reports CBS 2. The station talked to Corgan outside Madame Zuzu’s, the café he and his wife own in Highland Park. “But Corgan did not want to talk on camera about the hack, the investigation, or the out-of-pocket payoff.” “A fan contacted me and said nine of the songs have leaked. This is like six months ago. And they were all probably the most catchy, singley type songs,” Corgan said on a radio program. “You’re pretty much giving away the album before you even have a chance to even set your feet into the ground.”
Lyric Introduces Artist-in-Residence Program With Soprano Whitney Morrison
Anthony Freud, general director, president and CEO of Lyric Opera of Chicago, has announced a new artist-in-residence program. Developed by Lyric Unlimited, the company’s learning and creative engagement division, the program will extend Lyric’s “commitment to advancing the art form of opera while providing the foundation for an exceptional artist to develop original work.” “Through widening the range of the stories we tell and those who tell them, we are engaged in a long-term project to maintain and expand the vitality of opera,” says Freud. “This program will support projects that push the boundaries of the genre even wider into exciting new spaces.”
Soprano Whitney Morrison, a Chicago native and an alumna of the Ryan Opera Center, “was most recently celebrated for her work in the current season’s world premiere of ‘Proximity’ at Lyric, where she has also appeared in ‘Fire Shut Up in My Bones’ (2021-22), ‘Dead Man Walking’ (2019-20) and ‘Elektra and Idomeneo’ (both 2018/19). As Lyric’s first artist-in-residence, Morrison will not only perform existing and new work, but share her personal creative explorations and processes with an audience beyond the concert hall.” Details here.
Newberry Consort Collaboration Concludes Fortieth Bella Voce Season
“Singen und Sagen: Music for Hope in a Time of War” will be presented this weekend by Bella Voce and the Newberry Consort, with music by Praetorius and texts from the Thirty Years War. The times are Saturday, May 13, 8pm, at St. Chrysostom’s Church, Chicago and Sunday, May 14, 4pm, at St. Luke’s Church, Evanston. Adult tickets $45-$65; student tickets $10. More here.
Chicago Sinfonietta Announces Season
Chicago Sinfonietta dubs its new season “RESONATE,” a “lineup of fan-favorite works by composers such as Mahler, Shostakovich, and Rachmaninoff, along with exciting contemporary pieces by composers like Carlos Simon and Clarice Assad.” The Sinfonietta will also feature a lineup of special guests, including violin prodigy Amaryn Omeda, composer and bassist Xavier Foley, conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto, and pianist George Li. “And for the first time ever at our new home, the Auditorium Theatre, we’ll be hosting a holiday concert, ‘Holidays of Light,’ led by conductor Chelsea Tipton.” More here.
Congo Square Celebrates Black Art With 2023 Homecoming Benefit
Chicago’s Congo Square Theatre Company, one of the nation’s premier African American theaters, “kicks off Juneteenth weekend with a celebration of all things Black, beautiful and bodacious!” the group announces. “Blackity, Black, Black,” their 2023 Homecoming Benefit, will take place Thursday, June 15. Hosted by WTTW’s Angel Idowu, three Chicago theatermakers will be singled out and recognized for artistic excellence and contributions to local theater: actor and producer Tosin Morohunfola will receive the Emerging Artist award; actor, screenwriter, producer, and director Morocco Omari will receive the Artistic Excellence award; and Chicago producer, director and Illinois Arts Council board member Pemon Rami will be awarded the Lifetime Legacy award. More here.
Can Dance Adjust To COVID Norms?
“During the past three years, we’ve caught glimpses of healthier ways to conduct business, produce more inclusive events and better support artists. Right now the dance community is teetering at a crucial edge. In an urgency to return to business as usual, there is a danger that we’ll do just that,” reports Dance magazine.
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Texas Governor Accelerating Exodus Of Migrants To Chicago
Texas governor Greg Abbott, “a Republican, has resumed a program that started last year to send migrants to cities controlled by Democrats, including Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver and Washington, D.C.,” reports the New York Times. Abbott has said “that his state would continue ‘this necessary program’ to provide relief to border cities. Chicago has faced a similar strain, and a similar dilemma, as New York: Many residents embrace the city’s reputation as a sanctuary for new immigrants, but the arrival of more than 8,000 migrants has tested its resolve.”
Groupon Warns It May Not Be Able To Go On
“Groupon issues ‘going concern’ warning to investors,” reports Crain’s. “In a sign of deepening financial problems, online-deal company Groupon warned investors of concerns that it could run out of cash. ‘Continued cash outflows and operating losses indicate that we may not be able to meet our obligations over the next twelves months,’ the company said in a footnote to its quarterly financial report filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission. ‘These conditions and events, when considered in the aggregate, raised substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern.'”
Cook County Medical Debt Jubilee Has Billion-Dollar Goal
You can’t apply for it, but “over 72,000 Cook County residents will receive $25 million in medical debt relief in the first round” of a program paid for by federal relief funds, reports the Sun-Times. “Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said that the Medical Debt Relief Initiative aims to abolish $1 billion of medical debt… To qualify for this program, individuals must live in Cook County, have incomes up to 400 perceent of the current federal poverty guidelines or have debt totaling five percent or more of their annual income.”
Kalapriya Center Announces “Summer of Kalapriya”
The Kalapriya Center for Indian Performing Arts has announced its “Summer of Kalapriya” event series, featuring music, poetry, drama, dance, arts and crafts, and food in neighborhoods across Chicago. Founded in 1994, The Kalapriya Center for Indian Performing Arts presents India’s artistic diversity through performing arts that preserve traditional South Asian art forms and builds bridges between the performing arts and our contemporary lives. Schedule here.
Illinois Will Be Eighteenth State To Ban Indoor Vaping
“Both the Illinois House and Senate passed a bill that would make Illinois the eighteenth state in the country to outlaw indoor vaping,” reports CBS 2. The bill is on Governor Pritzker’s desk.
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