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“New Art School Modality” Announced At MCA
“The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and the educator Romi Crawford [are] partners in a new program that focuses on pairing instruction by artists of color with hands-on learning by students working alongside them. This intensive, semester-long course, which its founders announced on Monday, is called the New Art School Modality and will start in September at the museum,” reports the New York Times. “Traditional models of art education have become increasingly endangered as trusted schools—from the San Francisco Art Institute to the Watkins College of Art in Nashville—have fallen into bankruptcy or merged with larger institutions… The New Art School Modality is intended to create a sweet spot in academia. Starting in the fall semester it will provide about fifty students each with a free course in Black art history taught by scholars working alongside some of the history-making artists themselves, and underwritten by a $250,000 grant from the nonprofit Terra Foundation for American Art.”
Red And Purple Line Tracks In Lakeview Get Sound Barriers
“The Red and Purple line tracks north of Belmont are getting sound barriers as part of the CTA’s Red-Purple Modernization Project,” reports Block Club.
Herman Miller Furniture In Limbo
“Herman Miller is one of the most revered makers of office furniture in the world,” reports the New York Times, “its designs so esteemed that its Aeron chair, which became a fixture of New York City cubicles, was put in the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection.” But the crash of office occupancy has affected the rolling stock of furniture: “This month, some Herman Miller chairs, which can retail for over $1,000, met a less dignified fate: an appointment with the crushing metal jaws of an excavator… We have ‘never seen so many Herman Miller chairs.'”
Charles Schulz’s Sebastopol Abode Yours For Four Million Dollars
Calming surroundings in fifty pictures: Charles Schulz’s office and art studio isn’t going for peanuts! “Tranquil ponds and water features add to the peaceful ambiance. One distinctive feature is the four-hole par-three golf course which winds its way around the home. The property’s 1.54-acre buildable abutting parcel provides additional space and privacy. Sure to inspire creativity and passion!” Listing on Zillow here.
DINING & DRINKING
Restaurateur Robert Gomez Steps Into Spotlight
“Robert Gomez has owned beloved Chicago music venues Subterranean and Beat Kitchen since the 1990s, yet he may be the most inconspicuous club owner in Chicago,” reports the Sun-Times. Gomez also “owns Beat Kitchen on the Riverwalk and Underbar in Roscoe Village [and] is getting out… to encourage more Chicagoans to visit two restaurants he opened on Navy Pier during the pandemic, Beat Kitchen Cantina and Bar Sol.”
Funkytown Brewery Wins Samuel Adams’ Craft Beer Competition
Chicago’s Funkytown Brewery has won Samuel Adams’ twelfth annual Brewer Experienceship craft brewers competition, reports Fox 32. “The competition is part of the beermaker’s Brewing the American Dream philanthropic program, which provides mentorship and access to capital to entrepreneurs in the food and beverage industry.” Funkytown Brewery, founded by childhood friends Rich Bloomfield, Zack Day and Greg Williams, will receive support from the Boston Beer Co.’s Samuel Adams brand and its founder Jim Koch.
Lardon’s “Yes, Chef!” Sandwich For July From Entre Sueños’ Stephen Sandoval
Lardon continues its support of the Foundation for Culinary Arts’ “Yes, Chef! Culinary Camp” by running a campaign from June through October, featuring one sandwich each month from some of the city’s leading chefs, including Professor Pizza’s Anthony Scardino, Entre Sueños’ Stephen Sandoval, avec’s Dylan Patel, Monster Ramen’s Katie Dong and El Che’s John Manion. July’s feature is Stephen Sandoval’s “Ensenada Pescado Sando,” in anticipation of his soon-to-open brick-and-mortar location in West Town. Sandoval will team with Chef Chris Thompson on an elevated Baja-style fried fish sandwich with crispy beer-battered cod, a spicy diosa verde sauce, cabbage slaw and pickled jalapeños.
A portion of proceeds from each month’s sandwich will collectively go toward sponsoring a one-week summer culinary camp for a CPS student at Yes, Chef! Culinary Camp by the Foundation for Culinary Arts. The mission is to provide transferable life skills and to place economically disadvantaged CPS high school students who are in their formative years on a viable career track. More here.
FILM & TELEVISION
OTV Film And Television Fellowships Announced
Open Television (OTV), “the nonprofit streaming platform and media incubator for intersectional storytelling, with artists and their creative visions at the center, has announced their fellowship program for 2023.” The 2023 OTV Fellowship program, with seven recipients, has expanded internationally in its fifth year. The program provides selected fellows with a $5,000 stipend to support writing, refining, and developing their stories into polished scripts. Each fellow is paired with a creative advisor from the film and television industry, who provides guidance in writing, pitching and serves as a support system for the fellow throughout their work. The recipients are Robert Cunningham (he/they), Chicago; Jewells Santos (she/they), Chicago; Khaleb Brooks (he/him), Los Angeles; Wil Prada (he/him), Los Angeles; Danielle Young, Los Angeles; Priya Jeram Patel (she/they), Cape Town; and Roni Niu (Yen-Jung) (he/him), London.
More British Cinemas Close
While contraction and consolidation are still possible in the exhibition of movies in the United States, Britain’s Empire chain is in bankruptcy, reports the BBC, closing six locations and with eight more under threat. “With the immediate loss of 150 jobs… The impact of the pandemic and the cost of living crisis had ‘significantly affected the companies’ business’… Last month rival chain Cineworld [which owns Regal Cinemas in the United States], also fell into administration, hit by the pandemic and competition from streaming.”
Mississippi Bans Access To Online Library Books
“Despite the age of consent in Mississippi being sixteen, no one under the age of eighteen will have access to digital materials made available through public and school libraries without explicit parental or guardian permission,” reports BookRiot. “It is, of course, one more step toward killing public goods like libraries and one more step toward creating systems wherein young people in some states are granted access to a world of knowledge and resources and young people in other states are shut out entirely.” Texas is preparing a similar absolute ban.
New York Times Sports Desk Expected To Be Folded Into The Athletic
“The Times’ long-suffering sports desk, known for big splashes but always struggling for a core audience, is bracing to be folded into the also-struggling Athletic. Some of its reporters will likely be offered jobs in other sections of the paper,” reports Semafor.
World’s Oldest Newspaper Prints Final Edition After 320 Years
“Wiener Zeitung, a Vienna-based daily newspaper, will no longer print daily editions after a recent law change meant it had ceased to be profitable as a print product,” reports the Guardian. “Austria’s coalition government ended a legal requirement for companies to pay to publish public announcements in the print edition of the newspaper… This change resulted in an estimated 18 million Euro loss… and has forced the paper to cut sixty-three jobs, including reducing its editorial staff from fifty-five to twenty.”
Private Equity Drives Out Major New York City Newsstand
It’s tough to find magazines in Chicago, but wouldn’t you think Manhattan or Brooklyn would maintain newsstands? Today is “the last day in business for Ink, the decades-old newsstand on Avenue A between Fourth Street and Fifth Street.” The owner “has been in a legal tussle with the private equity firm that bought the block-long building last fall for $64 million.” More here.
Poster For “Tony N’ Tina’s Wedding” Banned On London Transport
London transit bureaucrats nix a “Tony N’ Tina’s Wedding” poster featuring a wedding cake “because it was seen to promote ‘foods high in fat, salt and sugar,'” reports the BBC. “The ad for ‘Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding,’ a dinner show at Wonderville, Haymarket, featured a three-tier sponge cake. The team spent £20,000 on the posters to go on London’s transport network.” A spokesperson said: “We are always happy to work with brands to help them follow our advertising policy.” (A Chicago revival of “Tony N’ Tina’s” is planned for later this year.)
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Chicago Hotels Break Pre-Pandemic Record
Illinois hotel revenue of $308 million during the 2023 fiscal year exceeded the highest year on record, relays Governor Pritzker, bringing an increase in visitor spending, tax revenue and local jobs. “Illinois welcomed 111 million visitors who spent $44 billion in 2022—representing 14,000,000 additional travelers spending $12 billion more than calendar year 2021.” More here.
Joyce Awards Applications Open For 2024
The Chicago-based Joyce Foundation is accepting applications for the 2024 cycle of its annual artist commissioning program, the Joyce Awards, and the grant has been increased from $75,000 to $100,000, with at least $30,000 going directly to the artist as a stipend. Aligning with the Joyce Awards’ twentieth anniversary next year, the increased grants will meet the need of rising project costs and equitable compensation for the artists and their collaborators. “The Joyce Awards are the only program dedicated to enabling nonprofits in the Great Lakes region (Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee and Minneapolis-St Paul) to commission and present new works by artists of color, developed in collaboration with communities. Spanning visual arts, design, and performance, the Awards have catalyzed the careers of trailblazing artists including Terence Blanchard, Nick Cave, Theaster Gates, Camille A. Brown, and Lynn Nottage.” (The 2023 winners are listed here.) Letters of Inquiry for the 2024 Joyce Awards are due on September 11 here.
Quiet Battle Pitched For Chicago Hoops
“Faced with a growing shortage of usable courts, hoopers are fighting to preserve streetball in America’s basketball city,” reports Kirsten Ginzky at South Side Weekly. “There was never a mayoral decree or an aldermanic commission that declared war on streetball, but over the past several decades, the intensely local networks and public infrastructure undergirding the game have come under assault. From homeowners who wanted to keep Black and working-class youth from congregating in their neighborhoods to the destruction of public housing complexes’ outdoor courts as well as their communities of players and the accumulated neglect of public courts, the game has sustained blows.”
The Chicago Park District “initially removed 647 of the city’s 771 rims from courts during the initial pandemic lockdown. Even as the Park District slowly began reinstallation, the episode brought new attention to the ongoing neglect of public courts. A 2020 article in the Reader highlighted ‘disappearing hoops in gentrifying neighborhoods,’ but for those involved in the street game, the worst of the damage had been done years before… The disappearance of rims has consequences for the game and for the community. [One observer] believes pick-up games pose a valuable opportunity for ‘us older guys to come to the hood and subtly mentor the youth,’ but without basic infrastructure, these social opportunities are foreclosed.”
Black Cowboy Culture Lives On In Chicago
“The Broken Arrow Horseback Riding Club hosted its annual Speed and Action Rodeo and Horse Show last month at the South Shore Cultural Center. The rodeo is one of the main events for the not-for-profit organization, which aims to foster community around Black horsemanship in the Chicago area,” reports the Sun-Times.
Hammond Could Be Fuel-Free In The Midnight Hours
Indiana lawmakers are considering shutting down local gas stations after midnight in an attempt to curtail crime late at night, reports CBS 2. “Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott has said if this ordinance gets on his desk, he will sign it.”
Norfolk Southern Says Blame On Others For Deadly Derailment, Too
The railroad Norfolk Southern “says the owner of the rail car that caused the fiery Ohio derailment in February failed to properly maintain it in the years before the crash, and the railroad wants to make sure that company and the owners of the other cars involved help pay for the costs,” reports AP (via the Tribune). “The railroad said everyone involved in shipping hazardous chemicals bears some responsibility under federal regulations in making sure they get to their destination safely. Norfolk Southern, like most railroads, doesn’t actually own most of the cars it hauls, and it said the car owner and shippers are responsible for maintaining them even though railroad workers inspect and repair them along the way if they find defects.”
Google Illinois Class Action Payouts On The Way
A total of “687,484 Illinois residents on July 7 began receiving payments as part of a class-action lawsuit that alleged Google violated the state’s Biometric Privacy Act. The lawsuit, filed earlier this year in Cook County Circuit Court, claims that Google violated Illinois law by collecting and storing residents’ biometric data through Google Photos without proper notice and consent,” reports NBC 5. The payments are just over $95 per recipient.
Walgreens Closing Another 150 Stores, Cutting Another 400 Illinois Jobs
“Deerfield-based pharmacy chain Walgreens plans to close 150 of its locations in the U.S. and 300 in the United Kingdom,” reports the Sun-Times. “Emerging challenges,” they say. Walgreens Boots Alliance will also fire “almost 400 employees at an e-commerce shipping center in Edwardsville, Illinois. The drugstore giant’s announcement comes six weeks after it rolled out plans to cut 504 corporate jobs in Chicago and Deerfield, or about ten-percent of its corporate workforce.”
Local-level politics can affect the rest of the nation; radical moves in Florida and Texas have an impact on other states, including Illinois, with the forced busing of migrants. What if other states take Florida laws, under the leadership of presidential aspirant Ron DeSantis, as a sunshining example of cultural transformation?
That state is driving construction and agriculture workers away, reports the Wall Street Journal. “‘The employee who wants to work on the farm is not available anymore,’ says the owner of a Florida produce-packaging facility. ‘How are we going to run the farms?’ Meanwhile, workers at construction sites say up to half of their teams are gone.”
“Florida’s new E-verify law [is] scaring away undocumented immigrants… source of complaints from Florida agriculture, construction, hospitality sector,” reports the Palm Beach Post.
Major conventions are avoiding the Panhandle populace: “Broward County has lost more than a half-dozen conventions as their organizers cite the divisive political climate as their reason to stay out of Florida… Lost conventions could have brought hotel stays to Fort Lauderdale and its surrounding cities, which also meant money spent on restaurants and attractions.” The National Family and Community Engagement and Community Schools Conference “needed more than 2,000 rooms and has bailed.”
State identification and drivers licenses are no longer proper I. D. from five blue states—Vermont, Delaware, Connecticut, Hawaii and Rhode Island. “The law directs Florida police officers to write a ticket to anyone they pull over who has what is now recognized as an invalid license.”
And: Sunshine State alimony laws have been rewritten.
“Tampa Bay Times pulled records on faculty retention at four Florida universities. Resignations are way up, failed [personnel] searches are common, fear and self-censorship are palpable. A disaster in the making.”
Esquire writes about the weird, homophobic ad that was run last week, then withdrawn, by the DeSantis campaign.
Plus, his national immigration plan provides a vision for a DeSantis presidency, reports Vox. “It’s easy to see an administration and country that is inhospitable, hostile, and actively persecuting undocumented immigrants, and by extension, deterring both American citizens and migrants with permission to be here from interacting with those immigrants here without authorization.” Much more detail of the just-signed legislation at the link.
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