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Derrick Woods-Morrow Awarded $25,000 MacColl Johnson Fellowship
“One of just three artists selected from a pool of 135 applicants, Derrick Woods-Morrow was awarded a $25,000 MacColl Johnson Fellowship aiming to help artists ‘spend more time making art and less time making ends meet,'” relays ENGAGE Projects. “Fellowship awardees are chosen by a panel of out-of-state professional artists who deliberate based on work samples, genre contribution, artistic development, and the potential for the fellowship to advance careers as emerging-to-mid-career artists. ‘Ultimately, it will give me some space to radically imagine what dreams I’d like to follow next,’ says Woods-Morrow.” More here.
Marquette’s Longhenry Named Sheldon Museum of Art Director
SAIC alumnus Susan Longhenry, director and chief curator of the Haggerty Museum of Art at Marquette University, has been named the next director of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Sheldon Museum of Art, reports Nebraska Today.
Sculpture Milwaukee Celebration Week Begins
Sculpture Milwaukee Celebration Week runs today, June 26 through June 30. The weeklong series of activities celebrates the opening of their newest exhibition, “Actual Fractals, Act I,” curated by John Riepenhoff, the extended exhibition of “Nature Doesn’t Know About Us,” curated by Ugo Rondinone, and the start of their 2023 programming season. Community organizations and businesses are participating, including Roll Train, Betty Brinn Children’s Museum, The Avenue and St. Kate-The Arts Hotel. More here.
Seating The Bear
Dan Sullivan posts on Instagram about crafting the furniture for the Blackbird-like space the restaurant opens in: “While deep in the weeds working on Salt Shed a producer reached out and asked about designing and building the furniture for a high end establishment to be featured in a certain Chicago-based TV show about running a restaurant. This of course turned out to be the highly acclaimed ‘The Bear,’ Season 2. Um, you bet!!!! I explained that I can’t build props, only the genuine article, which was precisely what they wanted. This conversation led to a sizable contract for my Franklin Dining Chairs (available through the Dock 6 Collection), as well the opportunity to design a new Bar Stool version and a new as-of-yet unnamed dining table, which I’m super excited about. So immediately after completion of our Salt Shed contract we pivoted hard to furniture production to meet another crazy deadline.”
Cornell Drive In Jackson Park Permanently Closed For Obama Presidential Center
“Cornell Drive will be permanently closed starting June 30 from Midway Plaisance to Hayes Drive,” reports the Tribune. “The long-expected road closure is part of a plan to create more than five acres of new green space by turning portions of roadway into parkland.”
Sky Blue Waters At Archie’s Restored
“After a seven-month hiatus, the red, white and blue Hamm’s beer sign that has long hung above Archie’s Iowa Rockwell Tavern is once again affixed to the front of the building,” sights Block Club. Months after city bureaucrats said the sign had to go, “and just days before the bar celebrates its eightieth birthday with a block party—City Council unanimously approved the necessary zoning change… Wasting no time, Archie’s owners rehung the sign [the next] morning.” (A picture of the restoration in progress here.)
Return To Office Move Enters “Desperation Phase”
“The next stage of getting workers back at their desks includes incentives like $10 to the charity of their choice—and consequences like poor performance evaluations if they don’t make the trek in,” writes the New York Times.
DINING & DRINKING
Illinois Restaurants Get Another Five Years Of To-Go Cocktails
“A program designed to help restaurants and bars struggling during the height of the pandemic was extended when Governor Pritzker signed a new law allowing them to continue selling alcohol to-go for at least the next five years,” reports Nick Kindelsperger at the Tribune. “To-go liquor was originally approved in June 2020. It was set to expire on January 3, 2024, but has been extended until August 1, 2028. The law still has stipulations… All the alcohol has to be sealed in a container and labeled with the drink’s name and ingredients. If the alcohol is picked up in a car, it has to be placed in the trunk. Third-party delivery services such as Grubhub, DoorDash and Uber Eats are still prohibited from delivering alcohol.”
Peoria Packing Butcher Shop Moving Out Of Fulton Market To North Lawndale
One of Fulton Market’s last remaining butcher shops, Peoria Packing, a “thirty-year-old shop, joins other meatpacking companies that have moved out of the neighborhood as restaurants, bars and retailers have moved in,” reports Block Club. “Peoria Packing Butcher Shop is relocating from 1300 West Lake to a six-and-a-half-acre site at 4125 West Roosevelt… The new shop will feature a deli and a meat processing facility.” Its Lake Street home will be developed into a 46-story tower.
Castaways Bar & Grill On North Avenue Beach Closed For Renovation
“Castaways Bar & Grill on North Avenue Beach is ‘synonymous with summertime in Chicago’ goes the popular venue’s tagline,” reports the Sun-Times. But “the sprawling ship-shaped venue—which would normally be swarming with sun-seeking revelers at this time of year—is closed, with no date for reopening on one of the city’s busiest party beaches…The building tenant, Phil Stefani Signature Restaurants, has applied to the Chicago Department of Buildings for a permit to do about $150,000 worth of renovations. But that was in February, and the permit application is still pending.”
Logan Square’s Dos Urban Cantina Closing After Eight Years
Dos Urban Cantina is closing this week, reports Eater Chicago. The Mexican restaurant from Brian and Jennifer Enyart “opened in November 2015 [and] endured the pandemic, attempting to redefine itself by offering taco kits and other to-go-friendly items. But when the Enyarts were firing on all cylinders, their restaurant was packed with diners enjoying elegantly plated dishes like scallop ceviche, goat albondigas, and carnitas with sauerkraut.” Former Tribune critic Phil Vettel called Dos Urban “the most important Mexican restaurant to open in Chicago since Topolobampo.” The comparison “to Rick Bayless made sense, as the Enyarts both worked for the celebrity chef who, from time to time, has to defend himself from being called ‘the white guy in Mexican cooking.'”
Loba Pastry + Coffee Persists
Valeria Socorro Velazquez Lindsten, “the owner and baking whiz behind seven-year-old… Loba Pastry + Coffee has labored for years to source enough funding for a new location, refusing to give up on her tiny indie bakery amid waves of public health and economic turmoil,” reports Eater Chicago. “Despite the steep odds, the labors of Velazquez Lindsten (Blackbird, Charlie Trotter’s) have paid off. She unveiled Loba’s new home at 3600 North Lincoln in late May [in] a corner space at the intersection of Addison, Lincoln, and Ravenswood near the border of North Center and Roscoe Village.”
FILM & TELEVISION
The Most Popular Bear Since “Paddington” Is… “The Bear”
Rick Bayless saw some of the first season of “The Bear” and none of the deeply thoughtful second season, but he still thinks the series is dangerous. At an appearance for a Wall Street Journal conference (full video here), Bayless spoke out against the FX-Hulu series. “The Bear,” he said, “has pushed us back another twenty years. Like I said, if you’re a mother of a teenage boy that’s watching that show and he goes, ‘Mom, I want to work in a restaurant,’ would you let him? No, you wouldn’t. You would say that’s like the worst profession in the world. And I’m saying that we’re trying to go the other direction in all of this. What we’re trying to say is that, yes, it’s a profession. Something that you can work in for years and years and you can work your way up ladders and you can learn craft and you can make a life for you and your family and that is the thing that I feel like our culture does not embrace.”
But watching the series over the weekend, what’s most gratifying across its ten episodes is its rock-bottom reverence, even kindness, within a shared dream and many a shared panic attack. “It conveys an unexpected optimism about the restaurant industry and the people who make it run,” writes Tejal Rao at the New York Times. “It subverts the power structure of the brigade system and invites more workers into the center of the story, where they belong… Each member of the kitchen crew finds moments of joy and deep meaning in their work, whether they’re drawn to it by devotion or dysfunction (or a broken emulsion of both).”
Also for the Times, Chris Vognar is gratified by the depiction of grief across the whole of Season Two, matching it to personal experience: “Grief is not portrayed simply as a character trait or an emotional obstacle. It’s a suffocating and all-encompassing experience that comes rushing through the cracks of everyday life, replacing oxygen with anxiety. ‘The Bear’ depicts grief as a prolonged nervous breakdown. Even the vertiginous aesthetic of the show itself, with its jarring camera work and quick cuts, enforces this sensation. Other shows are about grief. ‘The Bear’ feels like grief. It is a rare and inspired merging of form and content.”
Still, the Times featured an Italian beef “recipe” for “these classic Midwestern sandwiches,” an effort that has been reviled in these parts: “You’ll often find this sandwich doused in the cooking jus (or gravy, as Chicagoans call it) or with the jus alongside, for dipping. Pickled green hot peppers are traditional, but any kind of pickled pepper, like mild banana pepper rings, spicy piparra peppers or jalapeños, will bring a welcome bit of heat and crunch.”
Manny’s Deli tweeted: “to remain professional all I will say is this: today I saw a recipe for an Italian beef written by a new york publication.” Others include “No, chef,” “did chatgpt write this” and “Beef Stew on a roll.”
Bon Appétit’s Sam Stone sees the show as a full-on “chaos menu”: “While the cast figures out their hopes and dreams, this season also seems to ask why Carmy might choose to stay in this industry that has been so utterly destructive for him. Is it obsession or passion? Fun or fear? Purpose is the idea that floats above these episodes, just out of sight… These are questions applicable to the real-world restaurant world, too. Food is an undeniably scary industry in which to work… There are a thousand things that can go wrong, even as a million others somehow, miraculously line up perfectly.”
But Chris Zucchero, the owner of Mr. Beef, still hasn’t seen the show, reports Sophia Scorziello at Variety. “Zucchero hasn’t watched a single episode… and probably won’t ever. It’s not for lack of interest or support—he just can’t afford to lose sight of the restaurant that’s been feeding Chicago for six decades, since his father acquired the original Mr. Beef in 1979. ‘Somebody’s still got to wake up the next day and make beef,’ Zucchero says. ‘The only thing I’ve ever known in my life is that restaurant.'”
Bookforum Down Off The Shelf
“In surprisingly bright news for an industry that had stopped expecting it, Bookforum will soon return: On Thursday, it announced a new partnership with the left-leaning magazine the Nation, and that its next print issue would arrive in August. ‘It’s very emotional for me, and I’m thrilled,’ Bookforum editor Michael Miller said… Readers can expect the publication to look much the same as before… It will continue to publish quarterly, and the staff… will remain the same. Its subscription price will rise: An annual print and digital subscription, consisting of four issues, now costs $40,” reports the Washington Post (via MSN).
Tribune Affiliate Pays $13 Million For Printing Plant
“Tribune Publishing affiliate Twenty Lake Holdings paid more than $13 million for the Daily Herald printing plant in Schaumburg, a facility it will need when a planned Chicago casino takes over the site of its current printing plant along the Chicago River,” reports Crain’s. “Tribune Publishing and Daily Herald publisher Paddock Publications announced the deal last month, but didn’t disclose the purchase price. A real estate transfer declaration filed May 24 with the Cook County clerk shows Twenty Lake, an affiliate of Tribune Publishing owner Alden Global Capital, paid a total of $13.3 million for the facility.”
Riccardo Muti Named Music Director Emeritus For Life
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association has named Riccardo Muti, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s tenth music director, as Music Director Emeritus for Life beginning in the 2023-24 season, the CSO announces. Muti, who is in Chicago leading concerts that culminate his tenure as music director after thirteen seasons of artistic partnership, will assume the new role in September and conduct two weeks of concerts in Chicago to open the CSO’s 133rd season, followed by two concerts in New York’s Carnegie Hall to open their season October 4-5. In the role, Muti will maintain a close connection with the Orchestra with an additional six weeks of concerts already planned for the 2024-25 season–four in Chicago and two in tour performances to be announced–with annual weeks of concerts with the CSO in discussion for subsequent seasons. More here.
Silver Room Block Party Says Eighteen’s The Last
The Silver Room will present its eighteenth annual and final Silver Room Sound System Block Party, “bringing together community, family, diversity, music and art with the Chicago lakefront and skyline as its backdrop.” “Under the call of ‘Love to the World,'” writes the Silver Room, the Block Party “will be a bittersweet end of an era as rising costs and shifting resources result in the event’s final chapter.” “The Block Party is an ode to our childhood–to the tight-knit community we’ve always had,” said Eric Williams, founder of The Silver Room Block Party. “After eighteen years of mostly self-financing this special event that’s grown from 500 to 40,000 people, changes had to be made. Location, ticket cost, and more–all while working to stay true to the essence we started with. It’s been an honor to do this for the community and I hope you’ll join me one last time for Chicago.” Saturday, July 29-Sunday, July 30, Oakwood Beach. More details and tickets here.
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” In Concert
Conductor and film composer David Newman will lead the CSO in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” featuring the score by American composer John Williams. June 29-July 1. Tickets here.
Children’s Theatre Company Of Minneapolis Seeks Artistic Director
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Chicago Riverwalk 2023 Summer Season Is Here
“The award-winning, pedestrian-friendly Chicago Riverwalk stretches one-and-a-quarter miles from Lake Michigan to Lake Street, offering restaurants, wineries and bars, live music and performances, public art, urban recreation and more,” the city writes. “Highlights of DCASE arts programming include ‘Sounds of the Riverwalk,’ a nine-week free music series offered select Sundays at 1pm through early October, featuring a variety of musicians from the Chicago Band Roster. Art on theMART, the largest digital art projection in the world, covering over two-and-half acres of theMART’s river-facing façade, announces two commissions this summer. The Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project’s ‘The Big Bang: Movement Theory + the Black Dancing Body’ and ‘Building Light,’ by Gensler will be showcased throughout the summer. Make Music Chicago brings musical activities for all ages and skill levels and the family-friendly Chicago Park District Fishing Program returns with interactive fishing and education opportunities.” Full schedule here.
“The Blue Paradox” Looks At Oceans Choked With Garbage
“An ocean loaded with plastic garbage. Beaches so overwhelmed with waste you can’t see a grain of sand. Microplastics in our food and drinks. It is one thing to read about; it’s another thing to see in person how pervasive plastic pollution is within the largest ecosystem on our planet: the ocean,” relays the Museum of Science and Industry. Starting July 1, the immersive experience “The Blue Paradox” will allow visitors to “walk beneath the ocean’s surface, explore the impact plastic pollution has on this vital natural resource, and discover the meaningful actions needed to stop plastic waste from becoming pollution. ‘The Blue Paradox’ was initially launched in 2021 as an immersive pop-up experience in London to make the ocean plastic crisis–and collective actions needed to address it–relevant and relatable to everyone.” More here.
High Concept Labs Artistic Director Leaving
Yolanda Cesta Cursach Montilla is leaving High Concept Labs. “Since assuming the role in 2019, following the successes of previous artistic director Billie Howard, Cursach Montilla has brought extensive experience as a performing arts curator as well as a global network of creative partners. Cursach Montilla also initiated HCL’s LabX and LabE programs. LabX is a curated residency that promotes new work development through international exchange. LabE is an ongoing program designed to enable a vibrant disabled artist ecosystem and address the needs and interests of disabled artists through regular gatherings including community-building events and in-progress showings.” The board of directors is searching for her replacement, to serve as co-director in partnership with managing director Angee Lennard. More here.
Local Pasteboard Billionaire Richard Uihlein Extending Political Reach Across The Nation
A Florida group primarily funded by Illinois billionaire Richard Uihlein, “Foundation for Government Accountability,” is exerting influence in Ohio, Missouri, South Dakota and Arkansas, reports the Guardian. The group has “played a key role in recent efforts to raise the threshold for passing citizen ballot initiatives from a simple majority to a supermajority, and to make it harder to place measures on the ballot in the first place.These efforts are designed to derail citizen-led ballot initiatives to protect abortion rights, raise the minimum wage or expand Medicaid. In effect, FGA and its allies seek to give forty-one-percent of the voting population an effective veto over the wishes of the other fifty-nine-percent.”
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