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Three Chicago-Rooted Honorary Doctorates From SAIC
Three notable artists with roots in Chicago received honorary doctorates from SAIC for their dedication to the arts during the school’s commencement on Sunday. Sonya Clark, Nate Marshall and Cynthia Rowley were selected for their unwavering commitment to art, poetry and fashion.
Driehaus Restoring Murphy Auditorium
This June, the Richard H. Driehaus Museum will begin renovation on the John G. Murphy Auditorium at 50 East Erie, an important part of the museum’s campus. Upon completion in February 2024, this project will renew 32,000 square feet of former office space to create a dynamic new Learning Center with art and maker studios, a study center with classrooms, a library and archive, redesigned office spaces, seminar rooms, and an 800-square foot outdoor terrace on the top floor. “The magnificent design of the main auditorium space on the ground floor is being restored to its original grandeur and enhanced with cutting-edge acoustics that will make it a world-class venue,” the museum relays. “The opening of the updated building will present a full suite of new programming tied to the Driehaus Museum’s strategic vision, along with a range of activities and events, both public and private, for the community. This renovation is in line with the Museum’s strategic plan to be a more active and visible part of our community.”
The Museum will remain open during the construction, and the Murphy’s historic exterior will remain intact with the renovation work enhancing the soaring interior. On the main floor, the seating area will be unified by leveling the floor, with new lighting and acoustics. More here.
Greenberg Traurig Could Leave Loop For Fulton Market
“Miami-based Greenberg Traurig is in advanced negotiations to lease around 90,000 square feet in the building under construction at 360 North Green,” reports Crain’s. “If the deal is completed, the law firm would move its office from the nearly 125,000-square-foot space it occupies today at 77 West Wacker, where its lease expires in May 2025.”
DINING & DRINKING
Lettuce Entertain You Partners With NASCAR
“NASCAR announced that the city’s largest restaurant group, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, will serve food from its restaurants, including brisket from Bub City, cookies from Summer House Santa Monica, and pasta from RPM Italian as the race’s official food and beverage partner,” reports Eater Chicago. “Two-day general admission passes cost $269 and don’t include food and drink. Premium tickets start at $465 and go up to $3,015 with food options, like granting access to options like RPM Restaurant… inside the President’s Paddock Club—a two-level structure off Pit Road on Columbus between Balbo and Jackson… Fans can indulge in RPM Italian’s signature pasta station and RPM Seafood’s seafood bar. [But] those special club tickets are sold out. There are twelve club sections scattered throughout the course” for those who have already forked out for a reserved ticket.
Bars Nationwide Ditch The “Shifty”
“Even before recent industry reckonings led to managers and HR departments working to create safer, more professional work environments, the shift drink has been… going the way of the handwritten check,” writes Plate. “At Chicago’s Alinea Group, there are no shift drinks, but bar director Paul Sauter says that bartenders are permitted to taste on a few occasions: ‘If you sell a pour from a dusty bottle, a new spirit you’ve never tasted, or you want to refresh your palate on a particular spirit—then they’re all straw-tasted.'”
At Lettuce Entertain You, “which has more than 120 restaurants across the country, culinary director Max Robbins says the policy, which has been in place for more than five years, is that ‘you’re welcome to go to another restaurant in the company, but you can’t remain in your own restaurant.’ Robbins, also the chef at Oakville Grill & Cellar, calls the move away from shift drinks ‘really encouraging.'”
Bon Appétit weighed in only a few days before the pandemic shut down the country on March 10, 2020: “There are plenty of restaurateurs who believe that the industry’s systemic problems can’t be fixed by banning a free cocktail, and that the shift drink can even be a helpful, community-building tool.” Said a worker from a Missouri restaurant, “One shift drink is not going to replace the fact that you have no days off, no vacation, and it is hot as fuck in the kitchen… but it is better than nothing.”
Placing The Picture At Kindling
In John Kessler’s review of the Willis Tower’s Kindling at Chicago magazine, he takes his time setting the scene before spearing a bite or sipping a cocktail with a “robust” eye. He suggests entering by the way of the lobby: “Upon entering the restaurant, you see the reason for its campfire smell: an eleven-foot-long wood-fired grill. In this vicinity you will also likely spy Kindling’s celebrity chef, Jonathon Sawyer. After a storied run in Cleveland, where he was named a best new chef by Food & Wine… he returned to his hometown of Chicago to open Adorn in the Four Seasons Hotel in 2021.”
After that stint, “Sawyer joined the Fifty/50 Restaurant Group… to undertake this ambitious project. If he’s not at the kitchen pass, he may be sitting with visitors at table 52, a booth with a front-row view of the action, or planted at the grill-front counter with his laptop cracked open. He doesn’t migrate far; this rig, which can reach a temperature of 900 degrees, is his baby. Get him talking and he’ll enthuse over the benefits of Michigan white oak and the engineering required to vent smoke from the base of a 1,450-foot skyscraper.”
FILM & TELEVISION
Media and Mental Health On View At Northwestern
From May 25-27, the symposium “Exploring Contemporary Representations of Madness, Melancholy, and Trauma in Film and Television” will be presented by Northwestern University’s Pritzker Pucker Studio Lab for the Promotion of Mental Health via Cinematic Arts (PPSL) and the Remaking Media and Mental Health Across Cultures Buffett Working Group (Rebecca Seligman, Peter Locke, Dave Tolchinsky and Kate Erskine). There will be keynotes, readings and screenings, plus panels including “The ‘Trauma Trope’ in Film and Television,” featuring Robin Means Coleman (author of “Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror,” and vice president for institutional diversity and inclusion for Northwestern University) and Miriam Petty (author of “Stealing the Show: African American Performers and Audiences in 1930s Hollywood”); “Climate Change, Eco-Anxiety and Catastrophe Media,” featuring Michael Metzger; “Melancholia and Malaise in Twenty-First Century Visual Culture,” featuring Richard Reinhardt; and “Industry and Mental Health,” featuring AJ Christian. May 25-27, Northwestern’s downtown Abbott Hall and Block Cinema on the Evanston campus. Schedule and tickets here.
“Fox & Friends” Staged Naperville Diner Interview About Mayor
“Fox & Friends”‘ now-notorious live segment from Rosie’s Home Cookin’, a Naperville diner, featured “two Black men whom Fox’s correspondent said happened to be from Chicago. The correspondent, Gianno Caldwell, presented the segment as a spontaneous interview about Johnson being sworn in as mayor,” reports the TRiiBE. Except that both men “were invited to appear on the segment by Caldwell, but that Caldwell told them the interview would be about violence, not Johnson. One of the men, Lavondale ‘Big Dale’ Glass, is an assistant director of violence prevention for Project H.O.O.D., a nonprofit whose founder endorsed Vallas. The other man, Andre Smith, was paid more than $10,000 by Vallas‘ campaign committee, and told The TRiiBE he ran field operations for the campaign. Glass told The TRiiBE that he didn’t work for Vallas’ campaign and was not aware Smith had been a paid Vallas operative.” After speaking to Glass, “Caldwell turned to the camera and said, ‘We’ve got a lot of folks here from the city of Chicago, right here in Naperville, that we’re talking to.'” (The staged interview is still on Facebook here.)
Boston U. Students Boo Head Of Warner Bros. Discovery: “Pay Your Writers”
Writers strike in academe: At Boston University’s 150th commencement, “picketers and audience members broke out in chants, including, ‘pay your writers!’ as [Warner Bros. Discovery boss David] Zaslav spoke [for twenty minutes] about his career experience and how he rose up to become WBD’s president,” reports the Washington Post. “Crowds yelled, ‘We don’t want you here!’ and ‘Shut up Zaslav!'” During his speech, delivered from behind dark sunglasses, “Zaslav advised students that ‘some people will be looking for a fight, but don’t be the one they find it with,’ which caused an eruption of boos and cheers from the crowd. He then told students to ‘focus on people’s good qualities.'”
The Hollywood Reporter: “At one point, as the WBD CEO joked about giving students life advice, he garnered even more boos and had to repeatedly stop his speech until the waves of cries temporarily died down. He also discussed finding financial success as a lawyer but not feeling fulfilled because he didn’t love what he was doing, encouraging the crowd to pursue their passion. But when he noted, ‘I was making good money, I was feeling really great,’ the crowd responded with another wave of angry chants and boos.” (Zaslav’s 2021 compensation was just short of a quarter-billion dollars.)
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” Again Highlight Sarofsky Main Titles
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” features key visual contributions from Chicago cross-media production company Sarofsky. “The Sarofsky team has been lending their talents to the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ title sequence design since the first film released in 2014. The results infuse each film’s main title sequence with an animated, custom-designed typeface, bold treatments for the Guardians of the Galaxy logo, and typography for the film’s locator cards,” Sarofsky relays.
“Director James Gunn worked closely with the team on his vision for the film’s opening. ‘James let us know that he envisioned weaving the opening credits into this amazing, song-driven opening sequence, that is much more contemplative compared with the other films’ openings,’ executive creative director Erin Sarofsky [Newcity Film 50] says. ‘Right out of the gate, it was a fun challenge for us to evolve our work in a beautiful way that completely sets the mood for the story to come.'” (You can watch or rewatch the main titles here; our review is here.)
“After ten years of publishing, The Nib is going to close down this summer,” comics publisher Matt Bors reports. “Over the past decade, The Nib has published more than 6,000 comics and paid out more than $2 million to creators. Countless book projects have launched from Nib pieces and a number of creators had their first professional comics published with us. For ten years we were the outlet supporting political cartooning and showcasing the possibilities of nonfiction comics. Rather than enduring years of painful cuts and diminishing output, I’d rather go out while The Nib is still in a place that feels respectable, rather than run the publication into the ground.”
“King Of Blackabilly” Eric “Shoutin’” Sheridan Was Seventy-Two
“The two of us were destined to meet,” writes James Porter at the Reader. “Eric ‘Shoutin’ Sheridan, who [was] seventy-two, called himself the King of Blackabilly. And as far as I knew, I was the only other Black musician hanging out on Chicago’s white and Latine-dominated rockabilly scene… Sheridan was a magnetic, turbocharged talent who deserved the ears of every music fan in town. He may have had his greatest local impact during the nineties swing revival, but no one who saw him perform or got to know him as a person is likely to forget him soon.”
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
UChicago Division Of The Humanities Names Deborah Nelson Dean
“Professor Deborah L. Nelson has been appointed dean of the University of Chicago Division of the Humanities,” the university relays. “Nelson is a renowned scholar whose research focuses on late twentieth-century U.S. culture and politics. The Helen B. and Frank L. Sulzberger Professor in the Department of English and the College, she currently serves as chair of the Department of English Language and Literature.”
Rahm’s Stand For Gay Rights Rankles Japan Right-Wingers
“Since taking up his post as U.S. ambassador to Japan last year, Rahm Emanuel has lavished his host country with enthusiastic tweets about riding the world-class bullet trains and subways, hiking Mount Fuji or sampling local delicacies and festivals,” reports the New York Times. “But a recent string of messages about gay and transgender rights, culminating in a video Mr. Emanuel released on Twitter earlier this month, has drawn considerable ire among conservatives in Japan. Critics say the ambassador has overstepped the bounds of diplomacy and crossed into unwanted interference in domestic policy.”
Pew To Eschew Divides
Pew is taking a step back from defining generational divides. “Pew Research Center has been at the forefront of generational research over the years, telling the story of Millennials as they came of age politically and as they moved more firmly into adult life. In recent years, we’ve also been eager to learn about Gen Z as the leading edge of this generation moves into adulthood.” In the future, “we’ll only do generational analysis when we have historical data that allows us to compare generations at similar stages of life. When comparing generations, it’s crucial to control for age. In other words, researchers need to look at each generation or age cohort at a similar point in the life cycle. (‘Age cohort’ is a fancy way of referring to a group of people who were born around the same time.)”
Policing Academy Opens At UChicago
“A new international police leadership academy [has started up] in Chicago, and some of the key lessons for the twenty-four participants are being taken from the successes of the New York and Los Angeles police departments — not the Chicago Police Department,” reports Frank Main at the Sun-Times. “The six-month Policing Leadership Academy, announced last year after [former Chicago resident] billionaire Ken Griffin contributed $25 million to the effort, is based at the University of Chicago.”
Trib Questions Worth Of “Good Vibes” From Democratic Convention
What’s your metric for “vibes”? The Tribune’s big weekend story is headlined, “While DNC coming to Chicago might provide good vibes, experts say economic boost might be overhyped.” The survey of previous host cities that follows tends toward the negative.
JPMorgan Chase Holdings Skyrocket To More Than Thirteen Precent Of Nation’s Deposits And Almost A Quarter Of All Credit Card Spending
“Thousands of banks call the U.S. home. Among them, JPMorgan Chase stands alone,” reports the Wall Street Journal. “The bank has opened branches in twenty-five new states, plus Washington, D.C., since 2018. Its nearly 4,800 locations are in every state in the lower forty-eight, an achievement it alone has unlocked.” The mega-bank holds “more than thirteen percent of the nation’s deposits and twenty-one percent of all credit-card spending, a bigger share in each than any other bank.”
Reports CNN: “JPMorgan has a staggering $3.67 trillion in assets, not accounting for its latest acquisitions. The bank’s tremendous size means it’s often viewed as an economic bellwether and an entity that’s ‘too big to fail.’ … With every failed bank that JPMorgan snaps up, the conundrum becomes clearer: JPMorgan is essentially the biggest risk to the financial system—and every time it expands to uphold the sector’s stability, so does its risk to the financial system.”
NAACP Issues Warning On Travel To Florida
“Florida is openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color, and LGBTQ+ individuals,” advises the NAACP. “Before traveling to Florida, please understand that the state of Florida devalues and marginalizes the contributions of, and the challenges faced by African Americans and other communities of color… ‘Once again, hate-inspired state leaders have chosen to put politics over people. Governor Ron DeSantis and the state of Florida have engaged in a blatant war against principles of diversity and inclusion and rejected our shared identities to appeal to a dangerous, extremist minority,’ said Chair of the NAACP Board of Directors, Leon Russell.”
Associated Press surveys state laws and discovers that many are pre-written by reactionary advocacy groups. “Many of this year’s statehouse proposals to restrict gender-affirming care for youths, as introduced or enacted, are identical or very similar to some model legislation, or ready-made bills suggested to lawmakers by interest groups… The AP obtained the texts of more than 130 bills in forty state legislatures from Plural, a public policy software company, and analyzed them for similarities to model bills touted by the conservative groups Do No Harm and the Family Research Council…The AP’s analysis was not exhaustive; not all model legislation was analyzed and cross-referenced with actual statehouse bills.” The AP lists similarities it discovered.
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