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New York City Approves Design for Shirley Chisholm Monument By Amanda Williams And Olalekan B. Jeyifous
New York City officials “approved designs for a monument to Shirley Chisholm, who, in 1968, was elected the first Black woman to serve in Congress, representing a district that encompassed her childhood neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant,” reports The New York Times. “A national symbol of empowerment for women and people of color, Chisholm was also the first woman to seek the Democratic presidential nomination. The Public Design Commission, which has authority over the city’s permanent art collection, unanimously approved the thirty-two-foot-tall, yellow and green sculpture of the congresswoman, a slightly scaled-back version of the original design.”
“It will rise near the southeast entrance of Prospect Park. The artists Amanda Williams and Olalekan B. Jeyifous presented their initial concept more than four years ago. The Department of Cultural Affairs has called it the first permanent public artwork in Brooklyn dedicated to a woman in history.” (Williams is represented by Rhona Hoffman Gallery.)
Signs Of Life From Congress Theater Restoration… Again
“Shuttered for a decade and deteriorating fast, the 103-year-old Congress Theater where Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis once strutted their stuff is at a crossroads,” reports Fran Spielman at the Sun-Times. “One fork ‘leads to demolition’ of the ornate movie theater-turned-concert-venue. The other road ends with what local Ald. Daniel LaSpata hopes will be a ‘complete rehab… as a genuine community development project.’ … The City Council’s Finance Committee chose the brighter, but more costly path in hopes of breathing new life into the long-stalled restoration… Alderpersons extended the life of the Fullerton/Milwaukee tax increment financing district by three years—until December 31, 2027—and granted the latest development team tackling the formidable project a $27 million city subsidy.”
Bally’s Temple Prepares To Open
The branded signs are up at the former Medinah Temple in River North, reports CBS 2. “Bally’s chairman said the company is ready to go… waiting on state approval from the gaming board. ‘It’s done. We’ve done our work and now the regulators are going in, making sure everything works the way they want it to work. The doors should be opening soon. It’s pretty exciting,’ said Bally’s Chairman Soo Kim.”
Trump Tower Sued By Sierra Club, Friends Of The Chicago River
Trump International Hotel & Tower violates the Clean Water Act via discharge into the Chicago River, The Sierra Club and the nonprofit Friends of the Chicago River allege, suing the entity, reports Crain’s. “The two environmental groups served a notice of intent this week claiming that the owners of the ninety-two-story tower ran afoul of their National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, or NPDES, permit by underreporting the rate at which the building withdraws water from the Chicago River. Trump Tower uses the river for its cooling system and dumps heated water back into it. The practice is allowed if the building holds a NPDES permit, which is mandated by the federal Clean Water Act. But for more than a decade, the Trump Organization has underreported its flow rates to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency by forty-four-percent.”
Private Equity Billionaire Justin Ishbia Demolishes $5.7 Million Lincoln Park Home
“Justin and Kristen Ishbia, the couple who made waves with their purchases and demolitions of a trio of Winnetka mansions, also bought a multimillion-dollar property in Lincoln Park and demolished it,” reports Crain’s. “The couple, who are spending about $78 million creating a Winnetka estate, paid $5.7 million in December for a property adjacent to their Lincoln Park mansion… Forbes estimates the couple’s net worth at $2.9 billion. Aside from Shore Capital, Justin Ishbia has a twenty-two-percent stake in the Detroit firm his father founded, United Wholesale Mortgage… Earlier this year, he and his Michigan-based brother, Mat, bought a majority stake in the Phoenix Suns.”
DINING & DRINKING
Andersonville Land & Lake Shutters
“After more than two years operating on Clark Street the time has come for Land & Lake Andersonville to close our doors,” relays LM Restaurant Group. “Our final service will be Sunday, July 23. We have loved being a part of your celebrations and visiting with you over bubbly brunch and happy hour on our beautiful outdoor patio. Most of all we have enjoyed having you as our neighbors; the Andersonville community is truly a special one. We hope you’ll visit the other LM Restaurant Group restaurants when you choose to dine out. Especially Land & Lake Ravenswood, located a short distance away at 1970 West Montrose at Damen. Ajdin and his fabulous team will be moving to that location on July 25 and very much look forward to serving you there.”
Taco Crawl Returns To Rogers Park
A taco extravaganza returns to North Clark between Devon and Touhy, one of the city’s dining destinations for Mexican restaurants. Offerings from the fourteen restaurants along the two walks include steak, chicken, al pastor and vegetable tacos, as well as chocolate caramel dessert tacos and churros. Participating restaurants include Taquería El Chorrito, South of the Border, Taquería El Charro, El Pecado Mexican Restaurant, Taquería El Dorado, Urban Tables, La Choza, Supermercado Roman, Tamales lo Mejor de Guerrero, El Sabor Poblano, El Famous Burrito Restaurant, Taquería Restaurante Ciudad Hildalgo, Supermercado Y Taquería La Chapala and Su Taquería El Rey Del Taco. Teremana Tequila will offer tequila tastings for patrons twenty-one and older with chips and salsa for all eventgoers. $20 advance, $30 day-of. Thursday, July 20, 3pm-7pm. More here.
Lakeview’s Waterhouse Tavern Runs Dry
Waterhouse Tavern & Grill in Lakeview has closed after eighteen years, the owners announced on Instagram, with something “exciting” on the way in the space.
FILM & TELEVISION
Chicagoans Invited To Solidarity Walk And Rally On Behalf Of WGA-SAG-AFTRA Strike
Playwright-screenwriter-strike captain Brett Neveu posts, “Chicago STRIKE EVENT this THURSDAY 7/20 12-3PM beginning at Millennium Park! Help all Chicago Labor support actors & continue marching for @WGAEast @WGAWest @Teamsters727 @CTULocal1 @chicagolabor @IATSE & MORE!!!” The route of the walk is here.
Penguin Random House Editors Exit
“Some of publishing’s most celebrated and enduring editors are leaving Penguin Random House after accepting buyout packages. And an undetermined number of company-wide layoffs has begun,” reports ABC News. “Longtime editors of such prominent writers as Anne Rice, Lorrie Moore and Nobel laureates Alice Munro and Elie Wiesel are among those stepping down.” Author Hari Kunzru: “Standing on the street with a bunch of writers, everyone phones out, all trying to find out if their editors have been fired.”
David Grubbs Reading At Seminary Co-Op
“On September 22 I’ll be back at my old stomping ground the Seminary Co-op bookstore to read from and discuss ‘Good night the pleasure was ours,’ followed by a solo guitar performance,” posts David Grubbs. In Grubbs’ book, says the Co-Op, he “melts down and recasts three decades of playing music on tour into a book-length poem. The world outside the tour filters in with eccentric sparseness. From teenage punk bands to ensembles without fixed membership, and from solo performance to a group augmented by digital avatars, Grubbs presents touring as a series of daily dislocations that provides an education distinctly its own. These musicians’ job is to play that evening’s gig—whether to enthusiastic, hostile, or apathetic audiences—and then to do it again the next day. Grubbs depicts music making as an irreversible process—one reason for loving it so.” RSVP requested here.
City Bureau Co-Founder Darryl Holliday Is Stepping Down
“City Bureau co-founder Darryl Holliday is stepping down from his role as Co-Executive Director of National Impact to build the field of participatory media from a new perspective. We’re excited to collaborate with Darryl in new ways going forward, and incredibly grateful for everything he’s done since co-founding City Bureau eight years ago,” emails City Bureau. “Darryl helped build all three of City Bureau’s Chicago programs, led the growth of the Documenters Network across the United States, and shaped how we—and much of our field—think about the purpose and impact of our work. But the best expression of Darryl’s leadership is the network of deep relationships rooted in collaboration, creativity and connection he’s woven throughout City Bureau and our broader community.” Holliday’s outgoing letter is here.
Cubs To Honor Lin Brehmer On His Birthday In August
The Cubs announced that they will pay tribute to WXRT’s late Lin Brehmer at Wrigley Field on Saturday, August 19. “Lin’s Binge” takes place on what would have been his sixty-ninth birthday and will feature events inside and outside of the ballpark, reports WGN 9.
To Sell Or Not To Sell: Ownership Of Los Angeles Times In Flux
Former part owner of the Chicago Tribune, whose inaction led to its acquisition by Alden Global Capital, in the news: “The Los Angeles Times is the largest and most important news organization in America’s largest and most important state. And it might soon have new ownership. The Times suffered under a series of lackluster-to-worse owners—including both Sam Zell’s and Michael Ferro’s iterations of Tribune—until it was seemingly rescued by local billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong in 2018” as part of a half-billion-dollar deal, writes Nieman Lab.
“Los Angeles Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong and entertainment trade publishing magnate Jay Penske are discussing a deal to transfer ownership of the West’s largest newspaper,” reported Joe Bel Bruno at The Intersect over the weekend. The newspaper would be “folded into Penske’s PMC Media empire that includes Rolling Stone, The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard and Variety. It would allow Soon-Shiong, who last week unloaded ownership of The San Diego Union-Tribune to vulture-capital firm Alden Capital, a way out of a legacy news organization bleeding money.” Such a deal would make Penske “a local owner who controls every major publication in Los Angeles.” The present Penske portfolio is detailed here.
Chicago Tribune owner Alden Capital “has deep interests in buying The Times… One person familiar with Soon-Shiong’s thinking said the doctor won’t entertain such an offer because ‘he still has to live in Los Angeles.’ Selling to Alden, the person said, would make the biotech billionaire persona non grata among the Los Angeles elite.” Soon-Shiong denied the talks in an early Monday morning tweet, followed by a denial of meetings: “Fake news ( if you call the piece news) that we are in discussions to sell the LA Times. Completely fabricated. We are committed to grow this most important newspaper on the West Coast and the journalistic need to speak truth to power.” (In the final Tribune sale vote in 2021, Soon-Shiong’s “nonparticipation tipped the vote in favor of Alden.“)
Pioneering Female Journalist-Jazz Critic Harriet Choice Was Eighty-Two
“Thousands of people knew Harriet Rosenfeld Choice by the words she wrote for this newspaper, decades worth of her enthusiastic and influential coverage of the jazz scene, which compelled her to be one of the founders in 1969 of the Jazz Institute of Chicago, a nonprofit organization dedicated to nurturing and preserving jazz in all its forms,” recollects Rick Kogan at the Trib. “When the Jazz Journalists Association awarded Choice the Jazz Hero Award in 2020, her friend, esteemed jazz critic and writer Neil Tesser observed, ‘Harriet Choice’s love affair with jazz started in her teen years, thrived as she brought it into her professional journalism, and blossomed further through the kind of activism that supports and enriches the art form.'”
Austin Pendleton Leaves Steppenwolf’s “No Man’s Land”
Steppenwolf Theatre Company has announced Chicago actor Mark Ulrich as the replacement for Austin Pendleton in the role of Spooner for its revival of Harold Pinter’s “No Man’s Land,” directed by Les Waters. Ensemble member Pendleton is leaving the production for personal reasons. “No Man’s Land” continues through August 20 in Steppenwolf’s Downstairs Theater, with ensemble member Jeff Perry, Jon Hudson Odom and Samuel Roukin. Single tickets for the production running through August 20, starting at $20, are available here. (In a short video made before Pendleton’s departure, Perry talks about the production that was to be.)
Joffrey Academy Of Dance Seeks ALAANA Artists For Winning Works Choreographic Competition
The Joffrey Academy of Dance, Official School of The Joffrey Ballet, is seeking ALAANA (African, Latinx, Asian, Arab and Native American) artists to submit applications for the fourteenth annual Winning Works Choreographic Competition. The goal of the award is to recognize talented and emerging ALAANA choreographers whose unique perspective will ignite creativity in the form of original works of dance. The winning choreographers will be awarded a $5,000 stipend and given a minimum of thirty rehearsal hours. Choreographers will also be provided travel and accommodations for the duration of their residency. The choreographic work must be original and developed by the applicant. The finished piece must be at least ten minutes long (maximum of twelve minutes) and include a cast of at least ten dancers. The deadline for application is July 31, 2023. Other requirements and application here.
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Obama Foundation Funds Thirty-Three Community Groups With $1 Million
“Thirty-three local organizations will receive $30,000 grants from the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, an Obama Foundation program which supports young men of color,” reports Block Club. “Awardees of the 2023 ‘Freedom Summer’ grants include Future Ties in Woodlawn, Christianaire and Lost Boyz Inc. in South Shore and CHAMPS Male Mentoring and Ring of Hope in Greater Grand Crossing. Others include Project I Am, New Life Centers, I Am A Gentleman, the North Lawndale Eagles youth football program and #IncreaseThePeace.”
Friends Of Prentice Awards $350,000 To 2023 Grant Recipients
Friends of Prentice, a nonprofit organization that works with Northwestern Medicine Prentice Women’s Hospital to fund the future of women’s healthcare, has announced their annual grant recipients, who get a total $350,000. These six critical research projects are focused on gene therapy, ovarian cancer and IVF research. More here.
Chicago Booth Announces New Master In Management Degree
The University of Chicago Booth School of Business has announced a ten-month Master in Management Program, with the inaugural group of students arriving in fall 2024. The program is designed for ambitious recent college graduates who studied humanities, arts, social sciences, biological sciences, or physical sciences in college, and are interested in jobs that seek business-oriented skills and knowledge. It is the first time since 1935 that Booth has launched a degree program. More here.
Texas Orders State Troopers To Shove Children Into The Rio Grande
Texas isn’t just busing people to Chicago and other cities: A Texas state trooper, reports the Houston Chronicle in a paywalled story, says “that officers were told to push children and nursing babies back into the Rio Grande and to withhold water.” CNN expands on the story. A trooper emailed his superiors: “I believe we have stepped over a line into the in humane [sic]. We need to operate it correctly in the eyes of God. We need to operate it correctly in the eyes of God. We need to recognize that these are people who are made in the image of God and need to be treated as such.”
The Chronicle: “The reporting prompted immediate condemnation from Texas Democrats, many of them calling for President Biden to get involved. ‘There is one person who has the power to stop Abbott,’ Beto O’Rourke tweeted. ‘Stop him from deploying razor wire & medieval drowning devices designed to ensnare & mutilate. Stop every illegal thing he’s doing on the border that ends up killing human beings. Mr. President, we need you to act.'” Also reported: the razor wire installed by Governor Greg Abbott’s government along Rio Grande is also hindering border agents.
First Lawsuits Filed In Northwestern Football Sexual Hazing Case
“A former Northwestern football player filed the first lawsuit against Pat Fitzgerald and members of the school’s leadership, seeking damages stemming from a hazing scandal that cost the former football coach his job,” reports CBS 2. Writes the Tribune: “The lawsuit allegations include naked players in locker rooms forcing freshmen to also strip naked and then perform various acts. It also accuses Fitzgerald of enabling a culture of racism, including forcing players of color to cut their hair and behave differently to be more in line with the ‘Wildcat Way.'”
Insurers Bailing On Individual Policy-Holders Remain Keen On Gas, Oil
“Three of the country’s largest home insurers have announced plans to limit new business in California, citing rising costs in a state where climate-fueled wildfires have become a fact of life. Homeowners already bracing for extreme weather this summer now face another threat: that their homes will become uninsurable, making it nearly impossible to rebuild or relocate should disaster strike,” reports The Lever. “Yet as insurers demand higher rates and cancel policies amidst intensifying climate risks, they’re actively contributing to those risks. The three groups planning to limit or cease new business in California—Farmers Insurance Group, State Farm, and Allstate—also hold nearly $40 billion in fossil fuel investments.”
And “insurers are using the disaster to push for deregulation. In order to continue writing homeowner policies, insurers and their lobbying groups are now demanding that regulators relax the state’s landmark price-gouging protections, considered the most rigorous in the nation.”
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