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New Executive Director For Chicago Artists Coalition
Chicago Artists Coalition’s Board of Directors has named Brookes Ebetsch executive director of Chicago Artists Coalition. Ebetsch’s background as an executive director in the nonprofit arts sector, “as well as her interest in fostering mutually beneficial relationships with artists and patrons alike, will aid in advancing CAC’s mission to support the arts community in Chicago.” “We are thrilled to have Brookes Ebetsch join the Chicago Artists Coalition team,” says Gibran Villalobos, Chicago Artists Coalition board chair and interim executive director. “The board aimed to bring on a team player that was energetic and focused to match the challenges faced by cultural organizations today. Brookes arrives on the eve of our fiftieth anniversary and is poised to chart our upcoming course.” Ebetsch will oversee the day-to-day operations at CAC, “providing support for both BOLT and HATCH artist residency programs, maintaining current and forming relationships with donors, as well as facilitating further opportunities for development, including the Sabina Ott Library and the newly designated Third Space gallery.”
MCA Acquires Edra Soto Bus Shelter
Edra Soto’s GRAFT series bus shelter has been acquired by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. This project, which has seen multiple incarnations, including at EXPO Chicago 2022, a solo show at the Institute of Contemporary Art San Diego, as well as her solo exhibition “La Distancia” at ENGAGE Projects, is now part of the MCA’s permanent collection. Soto’s newest version of the piece will open to the public in MCA’s exhibition “entre horizontes: Art and Activism Between Chicago and Puerto Rico” on Saturday, August 19. “entre horizontes” examines the artistic genealogies and social justice movements that connect Puerto Rico with Chicago. Visit the MCA’s website for more here.
AIA Chicago 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award To Cynthia Weese
AIA Chicago, the second-largest chapter of the American Institute of Architects, has announced that Cynthia Weese, FAIA, Principal of Weese Langley Weese Architects, will receive the 2023 AIA Chicago Lifetime Achievement Award. “Cynthia has been a trailblazer for women in the field of architecture,” Mindy Viamontes, 2023 AIA Chicago president says. “Her influence will continue to inspire female leaders for generations to come.” “For nearly fifty years, Weese has served the architectural profession as a reformer working to advance women in the field, as a design innovator in affordable housing, adaptive reuse and educational facilities, and as an academic visionary. Weese’s lifelong fascination with architectural design began as a child in Iowa where three buildings sparked her imagination: Eliel Saarinen’s Art Center in Des Moines, Iowa; Frank Lloyd Wright’s Johnson Wax Research Tower in Racine, Wisconsin; and her grandmother’s Craftsman-style home built by her grandfather in Des Moines.” Weese will receive the award at AIA Chicago’s Designight 2023, held at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Millennium Park on Thursday, September 28. More here.
Walgreens Blasts Classical Music To Repel Loitering
“The pharmacy chain has been playing orchestral music outside of certain Chicago stores, joining other major retailers,” reports the Sun-Times. “Deerfield-based Walgreens said it’s using classical music to discourage vagrancy, although it declined to explain why it thinks it’ll work. Retailers, especially 7-Eleven, have tried the tactic in other states like California and reported some success. Douglas Schenkelberg, executive director of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, said he found the Walgreens tactic ‘really disturbing… The root cause of homelessness is a lack of housing and the problem is not going to be solved just by getting people to move from a parking lot to somewhere else…'” Merchants, he said, “should reconsider policies that ‘treat people like a nuisance rather than like human beings.'”
Uber Adds Feature To Audio-Record Your Travel; Company Still Not Profitable
Uber has introduced a feature to supposedly increase safety for riders and drivers in Chicago, reports CBS 2: the option to audio-record a trip. “Recordings will then be stored and encrypted on the person’s device. According to a video posted on the company’s website, no one will be able to access it–including the person who initiated the recordings or even Uber. A person can file a report using the recording if there is a safety concern.”
Uber still claims profitability is coming, writes corporate observer Cory Doctorow. “Uber was a boring taxi company masquerading as a tech company. Predatory pricing used to be illegal, but Chicago School economists convinced judges to stop enforcing the law on the grounds that predatory pricing was impossible because no rational actor would choose to lose money. They (willfully) ignored the obvious possibility that a VC fund could invest in a money-losing business and use predatory pricing to convince retail investors that [an investment] of sufficient size must have a pony under it somewhere.”
How Long Can Companies Keep Raising Prices?
“As companies reported their latest quarterly earnings, their executives were frequently asked about their next moves on pricing,” reports the New York Times. “Many consumer goods companies have raised prices by double-digit percentages in the past year, a move they often attribute to rising commodity prices… But other companies have seen their ingredient costs go down.” When asked “if Kraft Heinz had raised prices too soon and by too much, the company’s chief executive… said: ‘I would do everything again.’ But as costs go down, the question is whether the high prices will stay.”
McDonald’s CFO “said he expected ‘our pricing levels to also start to come down’ along with cooling inflation.” But Clorox’s chief executive “told analysts that it did not plan to reduce prices if its costs fell. The company—which sells Burt’s Bees skin care products and Brita water filters, as well as a slew of cleaning products—increased its prices by sixteen percent in its most recent quarter. ‘We intend for these price increases to stick.'”
DINING & DRINKING
Where Lolla Celebs Supped
“Lollapalooza has become the Super Bowl of A-list downtown Chicago celebrity sightings,” reports Eater Chicago. “These celebrity ‘moments’ captured on social media aren’t always organic—publicists dip into whisper networks banked with lists of preferred restaurants, ones with experience accommodating high-profile customers in affording them the privacy they may need after a late-night gig. Restaurants know celebrities talk among themselves and to ensure they themselves remain A-listed, general managers and servers have become more responsive to the needs of these rarefied clientele, helping them orchestrate meals—and occasionally stunts—that drive up social media impressions.”
FILM & TELEVISION
Strike Talks Promised
The studios have said they will schedule more meetings, if not negotiations, in the next few days. Writer Ashley Nicole Black posts: “An industry, actually entire cities, are being held hostage by a very small group of very rich people who pride themselves on their deal-making abilities, who for some reason have decided to stop doing the kind of compromising that always goes into making a deal.”
Apple-Disney Merger Talks Bubble Up Again
Always a popular rumor: “Facing the staggering problems afflicting all legacy studios, is Bob Iger contemplating a once-unthinkable option?” asks the Hollywood Reporter, leaning to “yes.” An observer: “I don’t think [Apple] would buy the company as it presently exists… But if you see Bob start to divest things… that feels like he’s prepping for a sale. And there’s clearly no buyer like Apple.” (Thursday’s market capitalizations: Apple, $2.79 trillion; Disney, $162.8 billion.) Disney heiress and corporate activist Abigail Disney: “Any talk of an Apple buyout of Disney should immediately raise every antitrust alarm bell we have. Disney is already too big and controls too much media after its merger with Fox.”
Print Endangered As Presses Stop
The pattern “of printing-press closures and consolidation has been playing out across the country [for] several years,” writes Mark Caro at Northwestern|Medill Local News Initiative, prompting “local news outlets to scramble to keep publishing, even if that means having their papers printed at facilities in other states or even other countries. When some presses close, existing alternatives may not be feasible for every paper printed there, which [some publishers] are seeking new solutions.” Says Marty Baron, retired executive editor of The Washington Post: “I think the demise of printing presses will just accelerate the disappearance of print.”
Thousands Of Words Gathered From Juggalo World
“For more than a decade, the event’s sensational aspects have been the subject of innumerable Vice articles, YouTube documentaries, and the like,” reports Micco Caporale in 7,000 words at the Reader. “Longtime attendees describe it as a family reunion—a common outlook in subcultures that hold any kind of annual gathering. But this subculture was built in the nineties by rust-belt freaks, heads, and hillbillies, so it combines the Midwestern spirit of generosity, the ask-a-punk DIY mentality, and a welcoming embrace of the outcast or marginalized, whether poor, disabled, queer, or just too strange for straight society.”
“The Gathering of the Juggalos is an annual music festival founded by Detroit rap duo the Insane Clown Posse in 2000. It’s grown into a four-day dark carnival for Faygo freaks of all kinds, currently held at a historic rock venue called Legend Valley in Thornville, Ohio. On the evening of my bout, the entertainment included a bewildering array of simultaneous events: an electric cage match, a foam party, a concert by Dallas rapper Lardi B, a fire-dancing circle (beside a fire-breathing laser harp!), a haunted house, an air-conditioned movie screening, a UFO-themed hayride with the members of ICP that was described as an ‘alien probe adventure’ (I’m pretty sure chromed dildos were involved), and of course blindfolded boxing. We were the final competitors, and our prize was free acid.”
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
It’s Sundays On State This Sunday
There were 125,000 visitors to the last month’s edition: “Neighbors from every Chicago community and beyond unite for a free, interactive block party, while safely enjoying art, culture, active recreation, food, drinks, shopping, and local attractions in the heart of everyone’s neighborhood–the Loop.” (Among the many attractions: Preservation Chicago will have a booth in front of the Century and Consumers Buildings.) Join Sundays on State on Sunday, August 13 here.
Northwestern Athletes Don “Cats Against The World” T-Shirts; More Suits Filed
“With Northwestern’s football program still embroiled in a hazing scandal, some coaches and staff showed their support for fired coach Pat Fitzgerald on Wednesday at practice, a move athletics director Derrick Gragg called ‘offensive and tone deaf,'” reports CBS 2. The shirts (seen here) bear the slogan, “Cats Against The World” and Fitzgerald’s former jersey number, “51.” Crain’s: “In response to queries that perhaps the shirts were insensitive to the hazing victims, interim head coach David Braun said the coaches and staffers have a right to exercise their ‘free speech.'” The Trib: “I’m not going to dive into (that)… It certainly isn’t my business to censor anyone’s free speech,” Braun said. “I have not put any of that energy into considering the potential of censoring anyone’s free speech.”
A new lawsuit against Northwestern alleges inaction on a report of sexual assault “by a former member of the women’s lacrosse team, [including] details of the alleged assault by another athlete that accuses the school’s administration, including its Board of Trustees, of negligence,” reports Crain’s.
Thunderstorms Shake Insurers
“A recent report from insurer Swiss RE Group found severe U.S. thunderstorms in the first six months of the year caused $34 billion in damages, the highest insured losses ever recorded in a six-month period,” reports The Hill. “Ten events prompted losses of $1 billion and more each, compared to an annual average of six events during the past ten years. The most affected state was Texas.”
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