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New Board Chair At Detroit Institute Of Arts
The board of directors of the Detroit Institute of Arts voted unanimously to elect Detroit business leader Lane Coleman as its next chair, lists Crain’s Detroit. Coleman is the first new board chair in two decades and takes the job on January 1. “Coleman is the founder, president and CEO of Strike Group LLC, a sustainment logistics and material supply-sourcing venture. An avid supporter of the arts, Coleman is a board member of the Detroit Institute of Arts and serves on the DIA’s Executive Committee as well as the Finance and Audit Committee. He and his wife, Leigh, are also passionate collectors of African American art. A native Chicagoan, Coleman and his family reside in Detroit, where he serves on local and regional boards, including the City of Detroit Water Commission, Henry Ford Hospital Health Network and the Detroit Regional Chamber.”
Chicago Architecture Biennial Sets Extended Dates And Cultural Partners For “This Is A Rehearsal”
The Chicago Architecture Biennial has announced an opening plan and extended dates for its fifth edition, “CAB 5: This is a Rehearsal,” along with details on more than a hundred cultural partners that will present programming in coordination with this year’s citywide exhibition. “Reflecting the 2023 Biennial’s theme of architecture as a time-based, iterative practice, CAB 5 will open in two phases. Beginning September 21—building upon the decentralized model of the previous Biennial—CAB 5 will launch installations at locations across the city at sites throughout the fall with public programming from community and cultural partners.”
“CAB will hold a citywide opening celebration on November 1, with all of the Biennial’s City Sites opening at the same time as the extensive CAB exhibitions at the Chicago Cultural Center and the Graham Foundation.” The Cultural Center exhibition will remain on view through February 11, 2024. Details about the full Biennial program and schedule of events will be announced in September. More here.
Fermilab Finds Force Of Nature
“Physicists now have a brand-new measurement of a property of the muon called the anomalous magnetic moment that improves the precision of their previous result by a factor of two,” Fermilab relates in a release. “An international collaboration of scientists working on the Muon g-2 experiment at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory announced the much-anticipated updated measurement on August 10. This new value bolsters the first result they announced in April 2021 and sets up a showdown between theory and experiment over twenty years in the making… Muons are fundamental particles that are similar to electrons but about 200 times as massive. Like electrons, muons have a tiny internal magnet that, in the presence of a magnetic field, precesses or wobbles like the axis of a spinning top. The precession speed in a given magnetic field depends on the muon magnetic moment.” More details here.
International Slavery Museum Cuts Ties With Sir David Adjaye But Will Still Use His Design
The latest project to jettison architect David Adjaye after harassment allegations—including a planned development in Old Town—is Liverpool’s International Slavery Museum, which “has cut ties with the company run by Adjaye but it will still use his design for its redevelopment,” reports the BBC. “Adjaye Associates had led the architectural design of the museum’s $72 million plans. It follows reports in the Financial Times three women had accused Sir David of sexual assault and harassment.”
U. S. Steel Would Like To Be Bought
After rejecting an unsolicited $7.3 billion deal, U. S. Steel, one of Northern Indiana’s largest employers, would like to be bought in part, or in whole, the company says in a release. “U. S. Steel’s Board and management team are committed to maximizing value for our stockholders… we have commenced a comprehensive and thorough review of strategic alternatives.” Adds the Times of Northwest Indiana: “The Pittsburgh-based company, which founded Gary as a company town around its flagship Gary Works steel mill in 1906 [after it was founded in 1901] was long the largest steelmaker in the world before foreign competition and mini-mills stepped up their game.” The move “could have seismic repercussions for the domestic steel industry and Northwest Indiana.”
Jane Byrne’s Daughter Says No Room For Mother Jones
“The Chicago Monuments Project recommended support for a statue honoring Mary Harris ‘Mother’ Jones, an Irish American labor leader who spent part of her life in Chicago in the 1800s,” reports the Tribune. “Mayor Brandon Johnson’s administration is moving forward with a plan to install a Mother Jones statue at Water Tower Place, inside Jane Byrne Park, which is named in honor of Chicago’s first female mayor.” That plan is criticized by Byrne’s daughter, Kathy Byrne, “who argues that the plaza is too small for a statue and that it’s inappropriate to honor a woman who opposed giving other women the right to vote at a park named after the city’s first woman mayor.”
Robot Taxis Berserk By The Bay
Around 11pm last Friday, “as many as ten Cruise driverless taxis blocked two narrow streets in the center of [San Francisco’s] North Beach bar and restaurant district. All traffic came to a standstill,” reports Yahoo. “Human-driven cars sat stuck behind and in between the robotaxis [and] no one knew how to move them. The cars sat motionless with parking lights flashing for fifteen minutes, then woke up and moved on.” North Beach’s rep on the city’s Board of Supervisors “fears what could happen when a major fire or other life-threatening emergency breaks out with multiple robotaxis blocking the way. ‘Our houses in North Beach are made of sticks.'” San Francisco Chronicle: “Driverless Cruise and Waymo taxis can now charge for rides in San Francisco at all hours of the day.”
DINING & DRINKING
Ryan Pfeiffer Out As 16″ On Center Culinary Director
“Ryan Pfeiffer is no longer culinary director of 16” on Center, operator of Dusek’s, Longman & Eagle, etc…,” reports food critic Michael Nagrant at The Hunger. 16” on Center partner Bruce Finkelman tells Nagrant: “Ryan’s first job with us was to reinvigorate Dusek’s, which he did wonderfully. The plan, which he executed perfectly was to pass the baton to Geoff (executive chef) Thompson to continue building on the program they built together. They still collaborate, but the program is firmly in Geoff’s loving hands… I do believe Geoff deserves all the accolades he can get—he is a very talented fellow.”
Writes Nagrant, “Realistically, much probably won’t change since 16” on Center has always delivered great product no matter who’s been in charge. They will likely have their choice of culinary directors if they choose to re-fill that role. Dusek’s chef Geoff Thompson is super-capable, and as he told me last week ‘Pre fixe is seventy-percent Geoff, thirty-percent Ryan. Tavern is seventy-five-percent collaboration between Ryan and I, twenty-five-percent specifically his.'” Nagrant notes that he wrote a positive review recently, and during fact-checks, did not hear anything suggesting Pfeiffer was heading out the door. “I trust 16” on Center. It’s not an indictment of them. It’s more an observation of the standard comms practices of the industry that should be examined.”
Chicago Food Deserts Measured By Miles
“The number of Chicagoans living more than a mile away from a major grocer has jumped by sixty-three-percent since 2013,” a WBEZ and Sun-Times analysis found.
“The West Loop Is Over”?
“If [John] Kessler thought Chicago’s dining scene was bad back [in 2018, when he took the Chicago magazine food writing job], it’s arguably worse today,” posts The New Chicagoan site. “Ground Zero is the West Loop… Before COVID, a strong argument could be made that Kessler was wrong about the neighborhood. Yes, restaurant groups such as Lettuce Entertain You and the Boka Group were present and expanding but they weren’t dominating the area… Back then the West Loop was considered, implicitly if not explicitly, as the innovative engine of Chicago’s restaurant scene… Outside the old guard, and a few respectable newcomers (Ever, Rose Mary, El Che), the West Loop is now dominated by vacuous restaurants signifying nothing.”
FILM & TELEVISION
Chicago International Film Festival Seeks Seasonal Workers
CIFF is looking for seasonal workers in at least twelve areas for the October 2023 Festival. More here.
Streamers To Charge More For Less
“The era of cheap streaming is ending, as Hollywood’s largest studios turn the screws on customers with price rises that rival the expensive cable television bundle consumers began ditching for Netflix fifteen years ago,” reports the Financial Times. “A basket of the top U.S. streaming services will cost $87 this autumn, compared with $73 a year ago, as Disney, Paramount, Warner Bros Discovery and others have raised their prices in response to pressure from Wall Street to end the profligacy of the streaming boom. The average cable TV package costs $83 a month.”
Times Says It’s Good For “Peak TV” To Be Killed Off
A New York Times television reporter essays that it’s good billions of dollars in television production is going away. “The slowdown will represent a major shift from recent years, when viewers were inundated with a firehose of content—a record 599 new television scripted premieres last year… For many viewers, the writers’ and actors’ strikes in Hollywood will soon be felt in the form of altered film release schedules and prime-time lineups littered with game shows, reality TV and reruns… The pause in new scripted material provides a moment for many viewers to catch up after the breakneck pace of the so-called Peak TV era, when dozens of shows were premiering each month… Mel Russo, a fifty-six-year-old yoga teacher who lives in Brooklyn, said the Max service alone ‘could keep you busy for the next ten years, to be honest… I think it’s disgusting what’s going on… But I am not in dire straits about it as a watcher and as a lover of entertainment.'”
Talent Agencies Take Strike Opportunity To Lay Off Workers; More Union Efforts
“Major Hollywood talent agency Creative Artists Agency is planning to lay off sixty people amid the fallout over twin strikes by actors and writers that have roiled Hollywood,” reports the Los Angeles Times. Posts Native TV writer Lucas Brown Eyes: “So far, instead of negotiating a fair deal, the Media Corporation Gurus have inspired WGA to strike; SAG to strike; VFX to unionize; TV commercial production to unionize; South Korean Actor & Director strike talks; Reality Show performer unionization talks… And more to come.”
Former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich to the Hollywood Reporter: “We can’t simply sit back and assume this is normal or necessary or inevitable… The real power with regard to the entertainment industry is in Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft and Meta… These giant technology firms are moving into the entertainment space at a very rapid clip.”
Money Hemorrhage Could Be The Death Of ChatGPT
“OpenAI spends about $700,000 a day, just to keep ChatGPT going. The cost does not include other AI products like GPT-4 and DALL-E2. Right now, it is pulling through only because of Microsoft’s $10 billion funding,” reports India’s Firstpost. Troubles cited include “growing financial losses, declining userbase, the inability to generate consistent and meaningful revenue and diminishing quality of their star product.”
Fifty-Fifth Jeff Equity Nominations Announced
This year’s Equity Jeff Awards nominees include 214 theater artists across thirty-two categories in theater production among shows from thirty-five companies in a season that ran July 1, 2022-June 30, 2023. The fifty-fifth anniversary Equity Jeff Awards are set for October 2 at Drury Lane in Oakbrook. Goodman Theatre got the most honors, with thirty-two nominations from nine productions, two of which were co-productions with other companies, followed by Paramount Theatre (eighteen), Mercury Theater Chicago (fifteen), and a tie by Drury Lane Productions, Marriott Theatre and Teatro Vista (thirteen). “The Dream King” at Teatro Vista drew the largest number of nominations for a single production (ten). Among the New Work category, ten world premiere plays and two new musicals are in award consideration. The complete list is here.
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Flagship State Universities “Devouring Money”?
“Students foot the bill for flagship state universities that pour money into new buildings and programs with little pushback,” reports the Wall Street Journal. “The University of Oklahoma hit students with some of the biggest tuition increases, while spending millions on projects including acquiring and renovating a 32,000-square-foot Italian monastery for its study-abroad program. The spending is inextricably tied to the nation’s $1.6 trillion federal student debt crisis. Colleges have paid for their sprees in part by raising tuition prices, leaving many students with few options but to take on more debt. That means student loans served as easy financing for university projects… ‘These places are just devouring money,’ said Holden Thorp, who was chancellor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 2008 to 2013 and is now editor in chief of Science. Offering everything to everyone all at once is unsustainable, he said. ‘Universities need to focus on what their true priorities are and what they were created to do.'”
West Virginia University Cutting World Languages, Literature, Linguistics
West Virginia’s flagship university “is recommending eliminating nine percent of its majors, all the foreign-language programs and seven percent of full-time faculty members,” reports Inside Higher Ed. Among the options being explored: “an online language app.” Journalist David Cay Johnston: “University of West Virginia trustees are eliminating foreign languages, twenty graduate programs, and much more, going in exactly the wrong direction in our increasingly complex world.” WVU’s Daily Athenaeum has the list of intended and proposed eliminations here.
Prime Casino Card Shuffler Hacked; And Illinois Will Allow Convicted Felons In Non-Gambling Casino Jobs
A caution as a temporary casino opens in River North? A “months-long investigation into the Deckmate, the most widely used automated shuffling machine in casinos today,” reports WIRED, has found a major flaw: “If someone can plug a small device into a USB port on the most modern version of the Deckmate… that hacking device could alter the shuffler’s code to fully hijack the machine and invisibly tamper with its shuffling… The Deckmate 2 also has an internal camera designed to ensure that every card is present in the deck, and that they could gain access to that camera to learn the entire order of the deck in real time, sending the results from their small hacking device via Bluetooth to a nearby phone, potentially held by a partner who then could send coded signals to the cheating player.”
Plus, Illinois has opened non-gambling positions at casinos to convicted felons, reports the Trib. “The legislation, which was supported by unions, casino companies and the Illinois Gaming Board, removes automatic disqualification for… positions such as restaurant staff, maintenance and housekeeping.”
Dollar General To Pour Money Into Health Acquisitions
“Dollar General is part of a trend of major retailers trying to move into medical care,” reports the American Prospect. “Cut-rate treatment is the last thing needed in the vulnerable populations dollar stores serve… The chain store’s growth strategy follows a pattern: It hunts for cheap land in depressed areas with average incomes less than $40,000 a year, and then crushes any remaining competitors by supplying low-priced products to cash-strapped populations… Dollar General announced plans for an expansion of DG Wellbeing, a long-term play to attach health clinics to select stores. Executives at the corporation are making a bet that [it can] take hold in rural ‘health care deserts,’ where populations are underserved by traditional medical networks.”
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