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Detroit Contemporary Art Gallery Reyes | Finn Closed; Finn To Art Basel
Detroit’s Reyes | Finn has announced “the conclusion of our collaborative journey… Established in 2017, Reyes | Finn has remained steadfast in its commitment to showcasing groundbreaking contemporary art and fostering a thriving artistic community… Our mission has been to unveil an artistic profile that is both internationally renowned and deeply rooted in the local artistic dialogue to diversify and strengthen the arts community of Detroit. We are immensely grateful to the talented artists who have entrusted us with their work.”
Art Basel has appointed Bridget Finn director of its Miami Beach Fair, starting in September: “Finn will steer the direction of the Miami Beach edition as it continues to innovate, overseeing the team staging the fair, cultivating and expanding Art Basel’s network of galleries, collectors, and artists in the Americas, and working in concert with Miami and South Florida’s world-class museums, institutions, and cultural partners. Finn will focus on strengthening Art Basel’s position as the premier Modern and contemporary art fair in the Americas and global platform for the dialogue and discovery of new artistic practices and perspectives from the region.”
AIC Curator Robyn Farrell Joining The Kitchen In New York City
Beginning in August, “Robyn Farrell is our new Senior Curator,” The Kitchen posts on Instagram. “Farrell will be responsible for expanding our program… operating out of our satellite space at Westbeth while our building in Chelsea is being renovated, and as we bolster our institution to serve the next generation of the avant-garde. Farrell arrives to The Kitchen after a decade at the Art Institute of Chicago, where she has made distinguished contributions to the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art’s commissions, exhibitions, acquisitions, and public programming. During her tenure, Farrell curated and co-curated numerous exhibitions, including the 2021 exhibition with Barbara Kruger, ‘THINKING OF YOU. I MEAN ME. I MEAN YOU.’; the Chicago presentation of Gregg Bordowitz: ‘I Wanna Be Well’ (2019); Christine Sun Kim’s “Cues on Point” (on view through Fall 2023); and a forthcoming project with Maren Hassinger.”
Congress Theater Gets Its Renovation Funding
An $88 million plan to restore the 3,500-seat Congress Theater means it seems it will be renovated at last, reports Block Club. “The full City Council approved allocating $27 million in tax-increment finance dollars (TIF) to local developer Baum Revision’s project and extending the life of the Logan Square TIF district, clearing the way for construction to begin.”
606 Trail Extension Announced
“The City of Chicago has announced its plans to proceed with the extension of the 606 trail in Bucktown,” reports Chicago YIMBY. “The extension will only be a portion of the greater planned expansion that will take the trail into the Lincoln Yards megadevelopment… The Chicago Department of Transportation is leading the work with an unannounced design team already working on plans.”
Deep Inside Deep Tunnel
With the Deep Tunnel’s capacity, now and in the future, in the news, it’s worth revisiting David Schalliol’s text-and-photographic essay “Physicality of the Tunnel and Reservoir Plan” at MAS Context: “Started more than forty years ago, the Tunnel and Reservoir Plan is a goliath project designed to mitigate [problems] by reducing the number of times when untreated sewage must be released into the area’s waterways. During periods of heavy precipitation, rain is diverted into the Deep Tunnel, a network of more than a hundred miles of conduits as wide as thirty-three feet in diameter and deep as 350 feet below ground. The tunnels channel the effluent and rainwater into large reservoirs, which store the combined wastewater until it can be treated by the plants—and then released into the waterways.” Among the portions surveyed: The Thornton Reservoir “is being constructed from one of the world’s largest aggregate quarries and will hold 7.9 billion gallons of water when complete.”
DINING & DRINKING
A Century Of Lou Mitchell’s
“Lou Mitchell’s, at 565 West Jackson, has stood the test of time in Chicago’s culinary scene,” writes Amy Bizzarri at the Sun-Times. “Though the city that surrounds the diner has grown tall with skyscrapers over the years, little has changed inside. The original wooden stools at the multi-sided counters are packed with coffee-sipping, newspaper-reading regulars; couples cozy up in the wooden two tops; families share laughter over silver dollar pancakes in the larger booths. Shiny silver toasters pop up slices of bread ripe for a generous spread of butter, the salty-sweet smell of bacon wafts through the air, and servers swerve from table to table, gracefully balancing fresh-from-the-skillet omelets and steaming coffee pots.”
Legal Sea Foods Takes Over Dick’s Last Resort Space In Marina City Towers
The two-story Legal Sea Foods restaurant at Marina City Towers “will have private dining rooms, a full bar and outdoor seating along the Riverwalk. Legal Sea Foods is toying with the idea of an oyster bar on the upper floor,” reports the Trib. The restaurant “will serve seafood staples including clam chowder, oysters, shellfish, lobster and sushi.”
The Evie Opens On Michigan Avenue
The Evie opens Monday, July 24, a locally owned-and-operated upscale restaurant by a team of lifelong Chicago restaurant figures—partner George Archos (Wildberry Café); partner-chef Nick Nitti (Forno Rosso, Lucia Rose, Cucina 3 Italian); and executive chef Phil Rubino (Spiaggia, L2O, Cicchetti). The Evie will present lunch and dinner service spotlighting classic dishes, reimagined city favorites, and seasonally focused craft cocktails within a space designed by Chicago’s woman-owned interior design studio AGN Design (Lost Larson, Forno Rosso/West Loop, La Josie, Del Toro) which will also showcase rotating curated pieces from local artists. The 7,100-square-foot space includes a sprawling 125-guest dining room, open-concept kitchen and bar space, reimagined by Aida Napoles, owner of AGN Design, in collaboration with Chicago-based workers. The Evie will be open for lunch and dinner service 11am-9pm, Sunday-Thursday and 11am-10 pm, Friday-Saturday. More here.
FILM & TELEVISION
Chicago-Financed And Shot “The Becomers” Gets Russell Mael Narration
“Zach Clark’s ‘The Becomers,’ about confused alien lovers trying to find their place on Earth,” relays Variety, “produced by Joe Swanberg and Edwin Linker… features Isabel Alamin [and] Mike Lopez (seen in last year’s [Chicago production] ‘All Jacked Up and Full of Worms’). Says Clark, “The producers came to me, asking if I had any ideas for low-budget genre movies. It was something they wanted to do more of, but we had to shoot in Chicago, with mostly Chicago-based crew and actors.” Clark says, “During the pandemic, a friend was running secret Zoom movie screenings. He was able to get special guests, and one time he got Sparks. When it was time to find someone to do this narration, Russell was the first person I thought of. He is famous for his voice, but his singing voice. It seemed like a cool opportunity to do something different with it.”
Netflix Kills $10 “Basic Plan”
“Netflix is no longer offering its cheapest streaming plan without ads in the U.S.,” reports Variety. “The basic plan, which provided a single stream for $9.99 a month… is no longer available ‘for new or rejoining members’… According to Netflix, existing basic members can ‘remain on this plan until you change plans or cancel your account.’ The elimination of Netflix’s basic plan is designed to boost customers on the ad-supported ‘standard with ads.'”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Drops In On School Board Meeting About His Book
“A South Carolina school board meeting, in which community members railed against an African American culture writer’s award-winning memoir about racial injustice, featured a special guest appearance: Ta-Nehisi Coates, the famed author in question,” reports the Daily Beast (via MSN).
WHPK Funding Slashed
Writes Gossip Wolf at the Reader, “Student organizers at University of Chicago radio station WHPK released a public letter to university leadership requesting more financial support for the upcoming school year—in part to mitigate an oncoming crisis of equipment maintenance. In April, the student-run Program Coordinating Council, which allocates student government money every year, gave WHPK $20,600 for its next annual budget—about thirty-five percent of its $57,490 request… The PCC had previously funded the station’s operating costs (events, music, marketing) as well as its capital expenses (which include the repair and replacement of gear). This year the council covered only operating costs, so WHPK needs help—it wants the university to continue to pay for the upkeep of its equipment, the way it maintains other school facilities.” More details at the link.
With Funding Drying Up, Chicago-Based Cameo Cuts Seventy-Five
“Tech startup Cameo laid off more than half its staff in the company’s third round of cutbacks,” reports Crain’s. The celebrity-recorded video offering “cut about seventy-five jobs and now has a little over forty employees.” This is the company’s third round of layoffs.
Columbia Chronicle Wins Grant To Investigate Mental Health Issues
“The Columbia Chronicle is one of eight collegiate newsrooms awarded a $10,000 grant to incorporate solutions journalism into their media operations,” the publication reports. The Chronicle “will spend the 2023-24 academic year reporting on mental health on campus, including the rising rates of suicides, depression, and anxiety.”
Dining And Drinking Choices For Beyoncé Renaissance Weekend
Tomorrow, And Tomorrow, And Tomorrow: Chicago Shakespeare Names Artistic And Executive Leadership
Theater, television, and film director Edward Hall returns to Chicago Shakespeare to lead as artistic director as arts executive Kimberly Motes brings more than two decades of leadership experience to lead as executive director, slates Chicago Shakespeare. These appointments, says the theater, underline its commitment to “bold artistic vision, dynamic breadth of programming with global reach, robust education programs, and dedicated service in the community.”
The appointment marks a homecoming for Hall, who has maintained close ties with the company since he directed the “Rose Rage” trilogy of “Henry VI,” Parts 1, 2, and 3 at Chicago Shakespeare in 2003, garnering critical acclaim and the Jeff Award for Best Direction. This epic theatrical event went on to play the Duke on 42nd Street, marking Chicago Shakespeare’s off-Broadway and NYC debut. In February 2024, he is set to direct this season’s “Richard III,” starring 2023 Tony Award-nominee Katy Sullivan in the Courtyard Theater. Son of British theater legend and Royal Shakespeare Company founder Sir Peter Hall, Edward Hall has built his love of Shakespeare around original interpretations of the Bard’s plays, making this a central focus of his own career.
Incoming executive director Kimberly Motes brings more than twenty-five years of senior leadership experience within the performing arts and higher education in Minnesota and Washington, D.C. Since 2016, Motes has served as managing director of the Tony Award-winning Children’s Theatre Company, the nation’s largest and most acclaimed theater dedicated to serving multigenerational audiences. With a budget of $13.1 million, the Minneapolis-based company employs over 400 people and serves 250,000 community members annually. Her tenure has been defined by demonstrated successes in financial management and revenue growth, increasing philanthropic contributions and achieving the organization’s highest-ever ticket sales. Motes has served the Twin Cities arts communities as the Managing Director of Theater Latté Da, and the first executive director of the Cowles Center for Dance and Performing Arts, where she led the efforts to build and develop this new arts center.
Lookingglass Sets Annual “Sunset 1919”
“Sunset 1919,” Lookingglass Theatre’s annual lakeside ritual commemorating the start of the 1919 Chicago race riots, will be held Thursday, July 27, 7pm. This year’s event features grounding rituals from Fawn Pochel; original spoken word by Marvin Tate; movement from Ugochi Nwaogwugwu and live music from Dr. Adam Zanolini; the laying of fifty white carnations at Eugene Williams’ memorial marker; and a DJ set and dance party featuring DJ Lady D. RSVP for the free event here.
A Case For Federal Funding For American Theater
“The American theater is on the verge of collapse” is the lede at the New York Times in a piece by author of “The Method: How The Twentieth Century Learned To Act.” Describing the accelerating rash of recent setbacks from across the country, Butler writes, “it might be easy to look at Broadway’s return to pre-COVID audience numbers and think it signals something like normal. But Broadway in its current form depends on nonprofit theaters to develop material and support artists. Nonprofit theaters are where many [hits start out]… So how do we avoid this catastrophe? Just as in other areas of recent American life where entire industries were imperiled—banks, the auto industry—this crisis requires federal intervention. That’s right: The American nonprofit theater needs a bailout.”
After describing the failing twentieth-century model of finance, he advocates, “A collapse in the nonprofit sector doesn’t just mean fewer theaters and fewer shows across the country; it also means less ambitious work, fewer risks taken and smaller casts. The reverberations will be felt up and down the theatrical chain, and a new generation of talent will be neglected. As with a bank collapse, in which a few foundering institutions can bring down a whole system, the entire ecosystem of American theater is imperiled. And American theater is too important to fail.”
Shattered Globe Assembles Season
Shattered Globe Theatre announced its 2023-24 season, its thirty-third, starting with Arthur Miller’s “A View From the Bridge.” Ensemble Member Louis Contey returns to tackle the timeless story; his 1993 production of Miller’s masterpiece “is one of the shows that first put Shattered Globe on the map,” relays the company. Its run is September 8-October 21. “Flood” follows, a comedy about the end of the world, the Chicago debut of playwright Mashuq Mushtaq Deen, in a production directed by Kenneth Prestininzi, opening January 25. For the season finale, Shattered Globe presents “Jump,” a Midwest premiere by Charly Evon Simpson, directed by Shattered Globe’s associate artistic director, AmBer Montgomery. More here.
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Rahm Offers Mayor Cursing Tips
Mayor Johnson got some specific advice from former mayor Rahm Emanuel, reports NBC 5. Says Johnson, “Only one of us used profanity on a regular basis. We shared, if I were to start to use profanity, how I would sequence vulgarity.”
First Sunday On State Has Record-Breaking 125,000 Attendees
Over 250 attractions filled State Street on July 16, surpassing 2019 pedestrian traffic by sixty-six percent, Chicago Loop Alliance relays. More than 125,000 people entered the event footprint between 11am and 6pm on July 16. The final event lineup for August 13 is here.
UPS’ 3,300 Pilots Won’t Cross Picket Lines
“The union representing 3,300 UPS pilots says they will not cross picket lines if Teamsters drivers and package sorters walk off the job when the current contract expires August 1, resulting in the immediate shutdown of the express logistics company’s global air operations,” reports FreightWaves. “UPS pilots are allowed under their collective bargaining agreement to honor primary picket lines and did that for sixteen days during the Teamsters’ strike in 1997.”
Attorney General Cautions Fortune 100 Companies Against Diversity Cutbacks
Six Democratic Attorney Generals, including Illinois’ Kwame Raoul, “push back against claims that efforts to diversify workplaces violate discrimination laws after the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on affirmative action,” reports Crain’s. “Following a letter issued by thirteen Republican attorneys general warning America’s biggest companies from using race-based hiring practices,” those Attorneys General called “the letter ‘audacious’ and ‘inaccurate.'”
More Former Northwestern Players Speak Out About Abuse
“This is shocking, deplorable, appalling, but it is not surprising,” civil rights attorney Ben Crump says of sexual hazing at Northwestern, reports CBS 2 as more Northwestern athletes get representation. “The former Northwestern students claim there was a fear of retaliation within the university, and they feared they’d lose their scholarships if they spoke up, so they suffered in silence.” Attorneys say hazing was widespread, reports Crain’s: “The act of hazing at Northwestern University extends beyond the football program and includes allegations of indecent acts in both the baseball and softball programs, according to Crump and Chicago-based law firm Levin & Perconti.”
Children Held In Louisiana’s Angola Prison Swelter
Are Illinois’ jails and prisons up to coping with heat waves and other changes in weather? Louisiana’s are not, reports the Appeal. “With heat indexes in the area regularly hitting triple digits, children incarcerated at Louisiana’s Angola prison have been locked in windowless cells for nearly twenty-four hours a day… Children incarcerated on the former death row unit of Louisiana’s Angola prison were locked in their cells without air conditioning for several days this month amid scorching summer temperatures… The kids were only let out of their cells for an eight-minute shower, which they had to take while handcuffed with their ankles shackled.. The ACLU and other legal groups submitted statements from young people held at Angola to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana. The plaintiffs asked the court to order State officials to immediately move all kids out of the unit and to cease transfers into the unit.”
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