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Chicago Sculptor Richard Hunt Makes Gift This Week Of Benton Harbor Satellite Studio To Krasl Art Center
Chicago-based Sculptor Richard Hunt has given his satellite studio to Krasl Art Center, a contemporary art museum located in St. Joseph, Michigan. Krasl Art Center and its staff began their relationship with Hunt upon his arrival in the community in 1995 when he opened the satellite studio in Benton Harbor, a hundred miles from his primary workspace in Chicago. The opening of his Studio Center was a critical seed to launching the Benton Harbor Arts District, a vibrant active area of the City of Benton Harbor downtown. In the twenty-four years since, “proximity to this world-renowned sculptor has become a rich and unique part of the community fabric.” Further plans for the space will be announced at an event on Wednesday.
Jeffrey Gibson Sues Former Gallery Kavi Gupta
“Chicago art dealer Kavi Gupta has denied allegations his gallery withheld more than $600,000 in payments to the New York artist Jeffrey Gibson, the artist who will represent the United States at the 2024 Venice Biennale,” reports The Art Newspaper. “Gupta denied the allegations in an affidavit filed on 4 August, in which he claimed the gallery and Gibson agreed that the production costs and expenses associated with the work would be taken off the top of the purchase price.”
Design Continues On Metra Bridge Improvements
“Design development continues for the upcoming replacement of multiple bridges on Metra’s Union Pacific North Line across the North Side,” reports Chicago YIMBY. “The work comes as the existing bridges push over 120-years in age, with most of them held up by rusted columns… The project is being led by Metra themselves who recently held its second community meeting on the proposed design.”
Relays Evanston Now: “The Union Pacific Railroad, which operates three Metra commuter lines around Chicago, has received court approval to stop running those trains. It’s the latest chapter in a lengthy legal and administrative battle over who will employ the crews and provide operational services for the routes… Both the railroad, which is basically a landlord for Metra, and Metra itself, which pays UP to run the trains, say commuters do not have to start planning to dodge orange construction barrels on the Kennedy heading downtown. Trains will keep running.”
DINING & DRINKING
Goose Island Announces Annual Bourbon County Stout
Goose Island’s announced its Bourbon Country Stout for the year, including Bourbon County Brand Original Stout; Eagle Rare Two-Year Reserve Stout; Angel’s Envy Two-Year Cask Finish Stout; Bananas Foster Stout; Backyard Stout and Proprietor’s Stout. Says John Zadlo, senior brand manager at Goose Island Beer, “Every one of these incredible stouts in our 2023 Bourbon County Brand Stout line-up is a testament to what we at Goose Island have built over the years, as well as what is yet to come. Looking back at our legacy as innovators in craft beer, we are excited to have the opportunity to share our evolution with you this year. Continuously determined to explore the full range of both barrel and variant expressions, we tirelessly strive to push the boundaries of what beer can be.”
Berlin Workers End Strike
Workers at Lakeview’s LGBTQ+ nightclub Berlin ended a two-day strike and have resumed contract negotiations with the owners, reports Block Club. A statement from management: “This is a disappointment to everyone here at Berlin because we believed we were progressing in our contract discussions.” “Workers walked out at 10pm Friday—the club’s opening time—and picketed outside through Saturday night… Workers were joined by performers like Irregular Girl and Siichelle, who canceled popular show ‘Strapped’ on Friday, and Tenderoni, host of the also-canceled ‘Saturday Night Drag Show.'”
Taste Of Andersonville Returns Wednesday
Andersonville Chamber of Commerce presents one of its most popular summer events, the annual Taste of Andersonville tomorrow, Wednesday, August 9 from 5pm-8pm. This year’s Taste features three routes, the Fork Route, the Spoon Route and the Spork Route (Fork & Spoon combo route), allowing hungry neighbors to travel up and down the Clark Street business corridor sampling small plates of more than twenty dinner, dessert and beverage options from Andersonville’s restaurant district. Tickets and more here.
Pandemic Takes Down Lo Rez Brewing After Seven Years
Sunday, September 3 is the last day for Pilsen’s Lo Rez Brewing, founder Dave Dahl posts on Instagram. “In a nutshell, Lo Rez is a COVID casualty. Our taproom and distribution revenue never rebounded from the pandemic. Also, during the pandemic, Lo Rez took out loans to get through. But those new loan payments, and original loan payments, and increasing costs on everything, have become too much for the business to bear. Our income is down, our expenses are up, we’re too far out of whack, Lo Rez is no longer financially viable.” Special events are planned for the coming month to celebrate the good times.
FILM & TELEVISION
William Friedkin Was Eighty-Seven
Chicago’s own Hurricane Billy, Oscar-winning director of many, many movies, including “The Exorcist,” “The French Connection,” “Sorcerer,” “Cruising,” “To Live and Die In L.A.,” two films written by Tracy Letts from his plays, “Killer Joe” and “Bug,” and “The People vs. Paul Crump,” was eighty-seven years old. He also guest-starred on “The Simpsons.”
Friedkin was less what might be called an “auteur” than a consummate craftsman whose signature was finding the means to convey story and its heightened moments. The Hollywood Reporter: “Friedkin was born in Chicago on August 29, 1935, the only child of a former nurse whom he called a ‘saint’ and a father who hopped between jobs, a man who ‘seemed to have no sense of purpose except day-to-day survival.’ Both came from Jewish families that had fled Ukraine following the pogroms of the early twentieth century.”
Variety: “Friedkin started in the mailroom of the Chicago TV station WGN, where he quickly rose to directing television shows and documentaries. He said he directed about 2,000 TV shows during those early years.” Friedkin always spoke his mind: “I have no regard for and no knowledge of the value of money, I’m not saying that’s a virtue, just a fact. For me, the greatest thrill in the world, the only thrill, is getting twenty seconds on the screen that really gasses you.” From 2010, he tells students the difference between making movies in the 1970s and in the twenty-first century here. (And he didn’t suffer foolishness, as in this exchange with Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn.)
“For all his groundbreaking work, Mr. Friedkin remained modest about it,” the New York Times ends its obituary. “I don’t see myself as a pioneer… I see myself as a working guy and that’s all, and that is enough.” Friedkin’s final film, “The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial,” debuts in September at the Venice Film Festival.
Columnist Neil Steinberg On What He Can’t Say Under The Sun-Times’ Not-For-Profit Status
“Last year, the Sun-Times was scooped up and is now an affiliate of Chicago Public Media. They are a 501(c)3 charity and now so are we. Because of that, the paper legally is not supposed to endorse political candidates. As with any rule, there is disagreement over what it actually means,” Neil Steinberg writes at the Sun-Times. Some “believe the restriction is limited to actual official endorsements, to editorials… Others—my bosses—have an even more vigilant view and believe that merely telling readers to support or oppose a particular candidate, whether or not it’s an official endorsement, could threaten our charitable status. It’s a true dilemma, like being offered a pill that could cure your dangerous medical condition. Or kill you. Do you take it? Speaking truth to power and letting the chips fall where they may sounds good, until the entire financial basis of our operation is destroyed and we all lose our jobs. We can’t do much good if that happens.”
The “Tragedy” Of The End Of The New York Times Sports Page
“In a union-busting move, the most important newspaper in the country killed its sports page,” writes Dave Zirin at the Nation. “The New York Times will replace its sports coverage with the website The Athletic, which it purchased for $550 million eighteen months ago in an effort to boost its own subscription base. Now, another side of the attractiveness of The Athletic purchase is revealing itself. The staff there is nonunion. Mere weeks after a contentious labor battle that put Times management on its heels, a section of the union has been gutted… New York Times Chairman A.G. Sulzberger and CEO Meredith Kopit Levien said that this was all part of a bigger plan ‘to become a global leader in sports journalism, which represents a major pillar of our company strategy to be the essential subscription for curious people around the world.’ How one becomes a ‘global leader in sports journalism’ by blithely wrecking your sports page and outsourcing the labor away from deep-dive coverage is a question they should be pressed to answer.”
Lolla VIP Pens Blocked General Admission Views
“Veteran Lollapalooza fans said they struggled to get up close to their favorite acts over the weekend thanks to a pricey new VIP section—which was frequently empty during early performances each day,” writes Block Club. “Some general admission fans called the move a blatant money-grab gone wrong.”
Sunday In The Park With Lyric Is Coming
Artists from The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center will perform favorites from the 2023-24 season at Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park on Sunday, August 20, accompanied by members of the Lyric Opera Orchestra and conducted by Enrique Mazzola, Lyric’s music director. Seating is first-come, first-served for this free event and no tickets are required. More here.
Smithsonian Releases Trove Of Blues
“For decades, one of the most legendary private collections of early blues music was just that—private. Now it’s available for everyone’s ears,” reports NPR. “This is the collection that was… known as The Monster. The archive is a collection of 590 reels of sound recordings and 165 boxes of manuscripts, interviews, notes, photos, playbills and posters, all of it collected by a man named Mac McCormick, a blues researcher and ethnographer who spent years zigzagging through Texas and the American South in search of great artists to record.”
Cirque Returns For Christmas
Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. has announced that their family holiday theatrical—‘Twas the Night Before… by Cirque du Soleil”—is returning to both The Theater at Madison Square Garden and The Chicago Theatre. The holiday-themed show will run concurrently at The Theater at Madison Square Garden and The Chicago Theatre for twenty-eight performances each from December 7-28. Tickets go on sale Friday, August 11, at 10am. Tickets and more here.
Center For Performing Arts Governors State University Announces Executive Director and Season
The Center for Performing Arts at Governors State University has announced its twenty-eighth season, including music, dance, comedy and theater. The Center also welcomes its new executive director, Scott Sowinski. “As the Center says goodbye to Lana Rogachevskaya after eleven cultural seasons, she leaves a legacy of creating compassionate communities and curating artistic experiences that inspire the art-lover in all.” More here.
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Illinois To Ban Gun Ads Directed Toward Children Or “Militants”
“Illinois will soon outlaw advertising for firearms that officials determine produces a public safety threat or appeals to children, militants or others who might later use them illegally,” reports Associated Press.
Conflict Between Logan Square Farmers Market And Nearby Vendors Continues
“Despite the threat of being ticketed for peddling without permits, sellers continued to set up at the ‘outlaw market’ Sunday outside the Logan Square Farmers Market as organizers said they were close to reaching a solution with the city,” reports the Sun-Times.
The $5 Trillion Pandemic Aid Ends
“The federal government’s intervention prevented full-scale economic disaster during the pandemic. The job market has grown consistently for thirty months, but record inflation has largely swallowed up the paychecks of many Americans. Wages have only recently started outpacing prices, and the national economy grew in recent months. But car loan delinquencies and household debt are spiking,” reports the Washington Post in an extensive piece. “‘We had these big gaps in our social safety net prior to the pandemic,’ said Sharon Parrott, president of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. ‘Our willingness to fill those gaps during the pandemic just increased. It’s frustrating to see such progress in such a short amount of time. We know what works.'”
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