Get daily Chicago culture news sent to your inbox every weekday morning. Subscribe to Newcity Today here.
EXPO CHICAGO Announces 2024 Program Curators
EXPO CHICAGO, the International Exposition of Contemporary and Modern Art, has announced program curators for the eleventh edition (April 11-14, 2024) returning to Navy Pier’s Festival Hall. EXPO CHICAGO’s program dedicated to large-scale sculpture, video, film and site-specific works throughout Festival Hall, IN/SITU, will be curated by Amara Antilla, senior curator at large at the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) in Cincinnati. Activating interstitial areas throughout the historic Navy Pier and beyond, Antilla’s selected artists will expand upon IN/SITU’s legacy of ambitious projects that aren’t typically possible within the context of a fair.
Rosario Güiraldes, curator of visual arts at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis will curate the 2024 EXPOSURE section, which highlights solo and two-artist presentations from galleries ten years and younger. This year’s presentation will focus on heralding emerging artists and exhibition programs, overseen by Güiraldes with counsel from the selection committee and the exposition’s president and director Tony Karman. The program curators work in tandem with Kate Sierzputowski, formerly EXPO CHICAGO’s director of programming and recently appointed artistic director, to realize the respective programs. More on EXPO here.
John Barker Joins Illinois State Museum Board
Governor Pritzker has named John Barker to the Illinois State Museum Board. Barker began his career over thirty years ago as a self-employed real estate developer specializing in residential and commercial projects in several cities across Illinois, and he is a co-owner of Barker Real Estate. He also serves as the secretary and director for Middletown State Bank. Barker is also a member of the Vachel Lindsay Association and has been involved with Downtown Springfield, Inc and the Sangamon Club.
David Childs-Designed Project On Former Chicago Spire Site Could Soon Begin Construction
“An initial public hearing was held for the potential financing of the first phase of the residential development at 400 North Lake Shore in Streeterville,” reports Chicago YIMBY. Held by the Illinois Housing Development Authority, “the proposal looks to redevelop the long-vacant site originally meant for the canceled Chicago Spire… Developer Related Midwest appears to be resuming its work for their multi-phase plan designed by SOM… On perhaps one of the most notorious sites in the city with its large hole originally meant for the supertall skyscraper, concepts call for a two-tower project sitting on landscaped ground with a path to the upcoming DuSable Park.” Plans also include extending the Riverwalk. The architect is David Childs of One World Trade Center and Time Warner Center in New York City; the canceled Chicago Spire is detailed, from 2020, here.
Gensler Unveils Renovations To Merchandise Mart
“Gensler has completed renovations to the sprawling 1930s The Merchandise Mart… that include several amenity spaces,” reports Dezeen. Completed this spring, “the latest phase of the renovation includes the updating the South Lobby with new details to foreground the Art Deco history and installing new lounge furniture…On top of the interior renovations, the studio has also implemented outdoor space along the front of the structure to open it up to pedestrians. It also took part in this year’s programming for Art on the Mart, a large-scale installation that features projections cast on the building’s facade, accompanied by music.”
Trib Finds Downtown Buildings Sinking From “Underground Climate Change”
“Buildings are unlikely to crumble because of underground climate change, a researcher says,” reports the Tribune, “but damage from what he calls a ‘silent hazard’ could lead to ‘tremendously’ costly upkeep and retrofitting bills.” Plus, “sensible people tend to be uncomfortable with cracks in walls. These deformations are occurring because of a phenomenon called underground climate change. Buildings, their garages and basements, as well as transportation systems like trains and tunnels, are constantly diffusing heat into the ground. The more of these packed into a given area, the higher the temperatures will be below the surface, causing the ground to contract and expand.”
What’s In The Subway Drip That Lands On Your Head?
It’s more of a problem in New York City, but Curbed analyzes the components of “subway drip.”
Bloomberg: Get Back In My Offices!
“Mike Bloomberg emails employees telling them that ‘a large part of our organization’ will be expected to work from the office for four days a week beginning October 1,” posts New York Times media reporter Ben Mullin.
Ken Griffin’s $63 Million In Gold Coast Condos Linger On Market
“A year ago this week, Ken Griffin put a portfolio of four upper-end Gold Coast condos on the market, each priced at more than $10 million, as he shifted his business and family from Chicago to Florida. Griffin later added a fifth condo to the offerings. It hasn’t gone well,” reports Crain’s. The largest problem, an observer says, “‘is that these days, everybody seems to want brand-new. They don’t want to do any work, just move in.’ That preference, which agents at all price levels of the price ladder have mentioned, may hurt Griffin in two ways… Some of the billionaire’s offerings are unfinished floors at No. 9 Walton, where you have a lot of work to do before you move in… and one is a Park Tower condo Griffin bought more than two decades ago. Listing photos show dark floors, dark countertops and dark wood trim, all of which are long out of style.”
FCC Chair Proposes 100Mbps National Standard, Evaluation Of Broadband Pricing
“The Federal Communications Commission hasn’t raised its broadband speed standard since early 2015 when it adopted a metric of 25Mbps downloads and 3Mbps uploads,” reports Ars Technica. That could change under Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, “who is proposing a fixed broadband standard of 100Mbps downloads and 20Mbps uploads along with a goal of bringing affordable service at those speeds to all Americans… The FCC would evaluate broadband availability, speeds and prices to determine whether to take regulatory actions to promote network deployment and competition.”
DINING & DRINKING
GrubHub Just Can’t Close Sale
“Just Eat Takeaway.com NV is finding it difficult to complete the sale of its U.S. business, Grubhub Holdings Inc., because of a combination of high price demands from some investors and a weak market for deals,” reports Bloomberg. CEO Jitse Groen: “We’re talking to buyers still, but it’s a very difficult M&A situation… It’s all very easy on Excel sheets, it’s very hard in reality.”
Russia Threatens Alternate Routes For Ukraine Grain
We’re back to fluctuations in the price of food worldwide, including the U. S. facing import scarcity. Russia’s “attack on a grain hangar on the Danube River, an alternative export route that has become an economic lifeline, complicates Ukraine’s efforts to export its grain,” reports the New York Times of a threat to food worldwide. “Global grain prices were up seventeen percent on Tuesday from eight days earlier, before Russia pulled out of an agreement that, since it was signed a year ago, had allowed Ukraine to export nearly thirty-three million metric tons of food.”
From the Guardian: “Russian drones launched a four-hour attack on Ukraine’s Danube ports of Reni and Izmail, destroying grain warehouses and other facilities, as Moscow appeared to escalate its attempts to strangle Kyiv’s globally important agricultural exports. The attacks, using Iranian-supplied drones, follow Russia’s withdrawal this month from the Black Sea deal that allowed Ukraine to export its grain and threats by both Moscow and Kyiv to target civilian carriers visiting ports.”
FILM & TELEVISION
What Does “The Bear” Get Right About Chicago?
The New York Times Magazine devotes some pages to the Chicago presented in “The Bear.” “The show is about ambition, and Chicago, and the freedom the nation’s third-largest city can offer to follow your ambitions on your own terms… Chicago is in the sweet spot, asking for no explanation, happy to serve as a kind of median city… There are, in fact, more than twenty restaurants in the city with at least one Michelin star. But ‘The Bear’ captures something real about the city’s dining culture—and, more broadly, what you might call the geography of ambition.”
“Chicago, for ‘The Bear,’ is depicted—accurately—as a place where the goal is not necessarily to win status or acclaim so much as to create something great and original, ambitious without pretense, committed to excellence for its own sake rather than prestige or fame… It continually suggests that once you abandon the ladder-climbing it associates with the coasts, ambition can be more about playing the game on your own terms or not playing it at all—pursuing your ambition without the brutal expense or atomizing ultracompetitiveness of places closer to the cultural spotlight.”
Chicago International Film Festival Sets Dates
The Chicago International Film Festival returns for its fifty-ninth year, October 11-22. Festival selections will show across the city, including the Gene Siskel Film Center, Music Box, Chicago Historical Museum, select Chicago Park District venues, and at its new hub theater, the AMC Newcity 14 in Lincoln Park. More to come here.
AI Threatens Hundreds Of Thousands Of Jobs In Video Game Industry
“Executives and politicians across the world worry about the havoc that next-generation artificial intelligence will wreak on industries from finance to healthcare. For the $200 billion games sector, the revolution has already begun,” reports Bloomberg. Some say Toronto is a hub of AI; Toronto Life asks execs about the implications and potential dangers of the technology: “It doesn’t yet have any understanding of truth.”
Workers In Commercials Get Union Representation
“Five thousand workers who make TV commercials just won a union. Commercial production workers have been some of the only non-union workers on set for decades. But a majority of workers just signed union cards with IATSE and the companies previously promised to recognize them,” posts More Perfect Union. “Their win is years in the making. ‘Stand With Production’ has been organizing to unionize with IATSE and combat the outrageous conditions they face—including heat exhaustion, abuse, and sixteen-plus-hour days with no overtime pay.” IATSE posts its announcement: “The group set to become the largest contingent of production department workers and entry level production assistants within IATSE.”
“American Psycho: The Musical” Sets Casting
Kokandy Productions concludes its season with the Chicago premiere of “American Psycho: The Musical,” directed by producing artistic director Derek Van Barham, with music direction by Heidi Joosten and choreography by Breon Arzell, September 14–November 26 at The Chopin Studio Theatre. Kyle Patrick plays Patrick Bateman; those around him include Jonathan Allsop (Craig McDermott), Ryan Armstrong (Detective Kimball), Hailey Brisard (Vanden), Amber Dow (Mrs. Bateman), John Drea (Paul Owen), Sonia Goldberg (Jean), Emily Holland (Sabrina), Quinn Kelch (Luis Carruthers), Will Lidke (Tim Price), Caleigh Pan-Kita (Evelyn Williams), Kevin Parra (Sean Bateman), Anna Seibert (Victoria), Quinn Simmons (Christine), Danielle Smith (Courtney Lawrence) and Evan B. Smith (David Van Patten), “portraying the world of executives, fashionistas, waiters, bartenders, club kids, trainers and neighbors that frequent the tables at Dorsia, the dance floor at Tunnel and the late-night streets of New York City.” Tickets here.
Force & Motion Returns To Comfort Station
For one month every year, Comfort Station gives over its space to exploring performance in multiple contexts, with programming each weekend, the gallery relays. “From experimental sound art and performances combining video projection and movement, to a weekend of loud Latinx-fronted bands, Force & Motion aims to reimagine and recontextualize how bodies, sound and vision occupy our space.” In its fourth year, Force and Motion’s August 2023 season presents “artists who are approaching collectivity. How do the relationships we build in turn build the work we engage in?” Three Chicago-based performance collectives who collaborate will feature work on the public lawn “that examines our relationship to one another and the possibilities that can be tapped into through those bonds.” More here.
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Northwestern President Grants Interview To Daily Northwestern; Schill Says Ryan Field And Hazing Shouldn’t Be Linked; Athletic Director Comments About Women
“Breaking his silence about the burgeoning hazing scandal, Northwestern University President Michael Schill says he fired head football coach Pat Fitzgerald—days after ordering a two-week suspension—after concluding Fitzgerald ‘didn’t try to find out what was happening’ and ‘had to bear responsibility for that,'” reports the Sun-Times. The full Daily Northwestern exchange is here: “Do you feel as though your job is in jeopardy, and do you have any plans to evaluate your position at the University?” Schill replies, “Not in the slightest. I have been in communication with tons of members of the board, and the vast majority are supportive of my decision to terminate the coach. They know that it was the right thing, they know that it was the only moral decision that could be made at that time…” “Do you anticipate these… events having any influence on the anticipated Ryan Field rebuild?” Schill says, “In my view, Ryan Field and the hazing situation are two different issues, and I don’t think they should be linked.”
Plus: Northwestern athletic director Derrick Gragg calls women “man’s greatest distraction” in “40 Days Of Direction: Life Lessons From The Talented Ten,” a 2015 book he wrote of advice to athletes. “‘I know it can be difficult to be a gentleman at all times,’ he writes. ‘We usually have only seconds to make some of the most important decisions that can ultimately change the way our lives turn out. I know it’s tough. The alcohol is flowing, she is feeling you and you are definitely feeling her. This is why it is critical for you to think with your brain and not your physical emotions or feelings during these times.’ He goes on to examine how these ‘situations’ affect the lives of male college athletes.”
Illinois Has The Nation’s Most Tornadoes In 2023: 119 To Date
“One-hundred-nineteen tornadoes have been confirmed across Illinois so far in 2023—the most of any state… according to the National Weather Service,” reports the Sun-Times. “Many of the events this year were small, short-lived tornadoes categorized as EF-0 or EF-unknown. Illinois also routinely ranks among the top ten states in tornadoes each year despite being geographically outside Tornado Alley, which primarily includes parts of Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and Texas.”
Rogers Park Super 8 Motel Now Migrant Shelter Housing For 250; No Longer Temporary Housing For Homeless
“The Sheridan Road Super 8 Motel is the fifteenth emergency shelter the city has opened for the 11,500 asylum seekers who have come to Chicago since last summer,” reports Block Club.
Send culture news and tips to [email protected]