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Sample Alex Katz’s Collaborations With Poets
The Paris Review looks at five collaborative illustrations alongside the release of “Alex Katz: Collaborations With Poets,” from GRAY, following on the recent exhibition at the Poetry Foundation. “What Katz found so compelling about… the New York School in the fifties and sixties… ‘was its complete disregard for aesthetic precedent, irreverence for an academy of poetry, and gravitation toward vernacular expression, where words were less pondered and possessed an immediacy that spoke of nowness,’ writes the art historian Debra Bricker Balken in the forthcoming book.”
How To Make State Street, Chicago’s “Front Porch,” More Inviting?
“Plans would divide the corridor between Wacker and Ida B. Wells drives into three distinct districts highlighting arts, retail and education,” reports the Sun-Times. “It’s arguably Chicago’s most famous street, older than the city itself… After a history with as many peaks and valleys as the Chicago skyline itself, State Street is in line for yet another makeover aimed at making it a hit again. State Street is ‘what many consider Chicago’s front porch,’ said Michael Edwards, the president of the Chicago Loop Alliance. The idea is to make that porch more welcoming to residents and visitors alike.”
Key City Nod For Redevelopment Of Royal George Theatre Site
“Neighbors have fiercely opposed plans to replace the closed theater with a nine-story apartment building, but local businesses and nearby Steppenwolf Theatre have endorsed the project,” reports Block Club.
DINING & DRINKING
Burning Bush Quaffed In North Center
Lion’s Den, Sour of Babel, and Sermon on the Malt are among the beers brewed at a burgeoning brewery by Horner Park and the river, reports WTTW. “‘We really did score on the location. We didn’t realize at first how much the river would be a huge bonus,’ Brent Raska [the former pastor and founder of Burning Bush Brewery] says, adding that the completion of the 312 RiverRun trail and bridge just south of Irving Park Road has been a nice draw for their outdoor space.”
Tasty Testing At Goose Island Wrigley Innovation Lab
“Up in a lab in Mars Wrigley’s Goose Island innovation center, a machine mimics how people chew gum. Chewbacca, as it is affectionately called, spurts green liquid into its chambers to imitate saliva, then chomps up and down, back and forth, squishing, squishing, squishing. The test subject on a recent afternoon is Respawn Tropical Punch, a gum the candy company rolled out to try to capture the sizable gamer market. It’s infused with B vitamins and green tea extract to help with focus. Chewbacca is testing how those vitamins seep out as the gum is chewed,” observes Ally Marotti at Crain’s.
FILM & TELEVISION
National Cinema Day Returns
Four-dollar tickets will be the rule on Sunday, August 27 at over 3,000 locations, reprising last year’s promotion, reports Variety. “The second annual National Cinema Day, hosted by the Cinema Foundation, is designed to ‘celebrate the power of movies to bring us all together’—or, to populate multiplexes during the dog days of summer. The event comes as the summer box office is 16.6 percent ahead of 2022 but 5.4 percent below 2019… Approximately 8.1 million moviegoers turned out for last year’s inaugural National Cinema Day and resulted in the highest-attended day of 2022… All of that foot traffic in theaters usually means there will be more popcorn and concession stand sales.” Check your local theater for listings.
Citibank Wealth Adviser Convinced Clients To Finance Horror Movies
“By day, Helen Grace Caldwell was a wealth adviser and a vice president in the downtown Chicago offices of Citibank,” reports the Sun-Times. “She also was a horror movie producer. Caldwell, fifty-eight, funded her film career in part by persuading her older Citibank clients to invest their savings in her film ventures, an alleged fraud costing them as much as $1 million, according to a lawsuit filed against the bank and Caldwell by the Cook County public guardian’s office… Caldwell, through her attorney, has denied all allegations of wrongdoing. Citi lawyers also have denied the allegations in court.”
Fifty-Percent Of Streaming Viewers Watch With Subtitles
“In the streaming era, [with] content shrunk down for televisions, tablets and smartphones, making dialogue crisp and clear has become the entertainment world’s toughest technology challenge,” reports the New York Times. “About fifty-percent of Americans—and the majority of young people—watch videos with subtitles on most of the time… in large part because they are struggling to decipher what actors are saying… In big movie productions, professional sound mixers calibrate audio levels for traditional theaters with… speaker systems capable of delivering a wide range of sound, from spoken words to loud gunshots. But when you stream that content through an app on a TV, smartphone or tablet, the audio has been ‘down mixed,’ or compressed, to carry the sounds through tiny, relatively weak speakers.”
Libraries Close After Bomb Threats
“Several libraries across the northern suburbs received bomb threats Thursday afternoon, and while police found no bombs, the libraries responded by shutting down in order to calm shaken employees and patrons,” reports the Trib. “Libraries in Morton Grove, Park Ridge, Gurnee and Wilmette have reported receiving threats, prompting Glencoe Public Library, which did not receive a threat, to close its doors, citing a building emergency. The apparent first threat was sent at about 2:09 p.m. through the Wilmette Public Library’s Chat with a Librarian function.”
More threats Monday: “A police search of all three Oak Park Public Library branches has turned up nothing of concern, authorities reported,” writes Wednesday Journal. Law enforcement found threats “not credible.” The threat read, “There will be a big explosion all over Cook county’s highways and librarys including Chicago gurnee and oak park. It will explode sometime tomorrow 8/21/2023.”
Washington Town Can’t Single Out One Advice Book For Ban; Will Ban Library Instead
“Residents of a small Washington State town where seventy-percent voted for Trump last election are forcing a vote to cancel their community library rather than allow it to offer one nonfiction advice book about trans people,” posts Media Matters writer Ari Drennen. “Fox News left out this detail, of course, but librarians moved the book out of the young adult section after community feedback, and moved all sex ed books to a section of the library called ‘parenting.'”
Gerber/Hart Triples Staff With $200,000 Grant
“Gerber/Hart Library and Archives, the Midwest’s largest collection of LGBTQ+ titles, has tripled its staff after receiving a public knowledge grant,” reports Block Club. “It’s the largest grant Gerber/Hart has received in the last forty-two years, and it follows a $100,000 grant Mellon gave the library and archives that allowed the organization to hire a full-time development staffer.”
Hideout Seeks Program Director
“The Hideout is accepting applications for Program Director position,” the club posts on Instagram. “The Program Director curates performances at the Hideout… We celebrate all voices and backgrounds and that should be reflected in the booking and promotion of the venue. The Hideout is a progressive and artist-centered venue for a niche market. The venue prides itself on community and therefore it puts as much importance on local acts as it does national headliners. Beyond booking, the Program Director makes sure that everything from artist relations, promotion, customer service, and production are of the highest quality, reflecting the venue’s values.” Full job description here. Apply here.
African American Arts Alliance of Chicago Names First New Board President In Quarter-Century
The nonprofit African American Arts Alliance of Chicago has announced Charlique C. Rolle as its new board president. Rolle is the first new president in the Alliance’s twenty-six-year history, following the tenure of founding president Jackie Taylor. Joining Rolle as the new vice president is Vershawn Sanders-Ward. Rolle brings extensive experience to the Alliance, with over a decade as an arts administrator, interdisciplinary artist, choreographer, director, producer, actor and writer. She is the current executive director of Congo Square Theatre Company and a 2023 Chicago Urban League IMPACT Fellow. For the past three years, Rolle has served as a board member of the African American Arts Alliance and developed signature events for the organization, including its Black United Theatre and Black United Dance auditions, as well as producing the Alliance’s annual Black Excellence Awards.
“It truly is an incredible honor to stand upon the shoulders of the Alliance’s founders, whose dream and vision was to ensure that Black artists and organizations had a place that not only reflected them, but represented them,” Rolle says. “As I step into this role, I express my deepest gratitude to Jackie Taylor, the Alliance’s founding president. Twenty-five years of Black excellence in serving our community is a legacy that I do not take lightly.” Founders Jackie Taylor, Joan Gray, Chuck Smith and Ron O.J. Parson saw a need in 1997 for community interaction and development, and incorporated as a new African American Arts Alliance to build upon the history of the original Black Theatre Alliance, expanding to serve the needs of Black performing, visual, literary, technical and design art forms.
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Will There Be Enough Cooling Centers This Week?
Following the 1995 heat wave that killed at least 740 people, “the city strengthened and updated its heat emergency response system, which included establishing six citywide cooling centers, and a 311 program for well-being checks, as well as disaster preparedness and response training,” reports the TRiiBE. “But community organizers say the small number of cooling centers, their locations and limited hours of operations are not enough to keep people safe during times of dangerous heat.” Says Lonette Sims, chair of the People’s Response Network, a grassroots volunteer organization of public health workers, organizers and activists, “The city of Chicago only has six cooling [and] warming centers, and only one of those centers is open twenty-four hours, and that’s the one on South Kedzie…”
“Instead, she would like to see each community area in the city have a designated cooling center. Sims advocates for buildings like churches to be used as respite centers during extreme weather events…. People who don’t have access to air conditioning can also access public libraries and park districts as alternatives. People that are unhoused or without transportation can call 311 to receive a ride to a cooling center.” “Historic institutions, that have given people guidance for decades, don’t have air conditioning, heating or proper backup generators,” Sims said. “As we think about climate change, we’ve got to think about protecting the buildings that are already here so we’re not putting a strain on hospitals.”
Class Action Against Chicago Ambulance Company
“A class action wage theft lawsuit has been filed against Elite Ambulance, a large private ambulance company in the Chicago area,” posts More Perfect Union. “Paramedics and EMTs say the company deducted red light and speeding tickets from their pay. Tickets they got trying to get patients to the hospital.”
Internal Corporate Flaws Outstrip Shoplifting
“Retailers who have blamed organized theft for lower profits could be overstating the crime’s impact to cover up internal flaws such as steep discounting and bloated inventories,” reports CNBC. “Companies are quick to blame organized theft for shrink losses, but behind closed doors the parallel issues of employee theft and self checkout are their primary focus areas… Retailers are facing other issues they can better control, including theft by their own employees… even as they blame external theft in public… While theft has hit Target’s bottom line, it also has to contend with high shrink from other parts of its business. Spoiled food from the retailer’s grocery aisles and its inventory practices can both weigh on profit.”
Texas Employers Ignore Sanctions To Pay Workers
“Wage theft is persistent across Texas, costing individual workers nearly $4,000 a year on average in minimum wage violations, and over $12 billion as a group over the last fourteen years,” reports The Dallas Morning News. “One in three workers who try to recover their wages is retaliated against by their employers, and that becomes more commonplace with immigrant and undocumented workers.” A report finds that the Texas Workforce Commission is “years behind on recovering back wages for workers… While nearly $99 million in wages were ordered across more than 57,000 cases from 2010 to 2020, eighty-percent of those payments have yet to be received by workers.”
Wisconsin Republicans Try To Remove Work Permits For More Children
“Children ages fourteen and fifteen would no longer need a work permit or parental permission to get a job under a bill Republican Wisconsin lawmakers released,” reports NBC 5. “The proposal comes amid a wider push by state lawmakers to roll back child labor laws and despite the efforts of federal investigators to crack down on a surge in child labor violations nationally.”
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