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Painter, Teacher, Chicago Imagist Barbara Rossi Was Eighty-Three
The passing of Barbara Rossi, artist and teacher at the School of the Art Institute Of Chicago, was announced on Facebook by the John Michael Kohler Arts Center. “The Arts Center mourns the loss of the incredible artist Barbara Rossi. A heartfelt contribution from Rossi and the Kohler Foundation, Inc. in 2020 graced us with her home collection and library, a true treasure. Radiating whimsy, precision and an unwavering devotion to beauty, form and color—qualities synonymous with her artistry—this collection will stand as an enduring legacy for generations of students, researchers and fellow artists. Rossi, a luminary of the esteemed Chicago Imagists, also held a special place as a beloved mentor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work is in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Denver Art Museum.” More on her work from the Kohler Foundation here and on her life with selected works, from the Chicago Imagists’ history site, here.
Downtown Water Taxi Returns To Weekday Service
“Chicago Water Taxi suspended service in 2020 at the start of the pandemic and has attempted to restart three times in the years since,” reports the Tribune. September 5 will mark another try, at three-day-a-week service for business commuters. “Wendella has been running water taxis since 1962. Named RiverBus in 1999, the bright yellow boat rebranded to Chicago Water Taxi in 2007.”
Chicago Sues Kia, Hyundai, Over Readily Stolen Vehicles
“The City of Chicago filed a lawsuit against Kia and Hyundai after a huge surge in thefts,” reports CBS 2. “The lawsuit accused the companies of failing to equip cars with anti-theft technology that’s standard in vehicles sold overseas.” Adds the Sun-Times, “More than 8,000 Kias and Hyundais were stolen in Chicago last year, the mayor’s office said.” (The city’s full release is here.)
Rent Rise Wracks Another Avondale Polish Store
European Fashion Wear, a mainstay of Avondale’s Polish business community, is closing after thirty-seven years, reports Block Club. “The humble clothing store served as a staple of the bustling strip of Milwaukee Avenue known as ‘Jackowo.'” The building at 3015-3025 North Milwaukee “was sold in April for $1.95 million to a venture named Milwaukee Avondale LLC.” Since then, “tenants were told their rent would increase to $5,000 per month, an increase nearly four times the previous rent.” One of the new owners says, “We have taxes to pay, high utility costs and operational costs, too, and at $4 a foot, you can’t sustain a piece of real estate like this.” Owner Najeh Ajaj: “Rent kills the business. This building has already lost businesses that have been here for decades. When rent costs quadruple, what can we do?”
Former Fruit Of The Loom Honcho Wants $16 Million For East Lake Shore Drive Co-Op
“Bill Farley, the former Fruit of the Loom CEO [in the late 1980s and 1990s] once described by the New York Times as ‘the hunky chief executive [who] donned underwear to star in a television commercial,’ wants $16 million for the East LSD co-op where he entertained Bill Clinton and others,” reports Crain’s.”The home has fifteen main rooms, the primaries facing Lake Michigan on the north and the secondaries facing the neighborhood on the south.”
DINING & DRINKING
Logan Square Farmers Market Hiccup Passes?
Safety issues, including traffic concerns, were behind the short-lived cancellation of the Logan Square Farmers Market, reports the Trib, with a thudding opening paragraph: “Lured by trendy TikToks flaunting stylishly dressed shoppers and colorful produce, upward of 15,000 people now attend the Logan Square Farmers Market every week, which features a wide range of products from smelly raclette to honey-infused tahini, said organizer Nilda Esparza… Esparza praised Ramirez-Rosa and Ald. Daniel La Spata, 1st, whose wards both include parts of Logan Square, for working with the Chicago Police Department and Department of Transportation when she announced the market would be open in an email to customers Friday. She also credited Mayor Johnson for help in addressing the safety concerns.”
Fall Flavor At Garrett Popcorn
“Apple CaramelCrisp popcorn will be available for a limited time as fall quickly approaches,” reports NBC 5. “According to Garrett, the recipe includes ground cinnamon and diced dried apples, bringing the flavors of apple pie to the popcorn tub.”
Rahm Makes Meal Of Fukushima Fish Post-Flush Of Treated Water
Fish from Fukushima are safe even after the release of treated nuclear plant water into the Pacific, says ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel, who on Thursday will sample local delicacies, reports Nikkei Asia. “Emanuel said he will meet with local fishermen [in Fukushima prefecture], other residents and officials during the visit, which is intended to ‘physically show support and then to express confidence in the process that Japan has methodically pursued.’ He said the process was ‘fully transparent, scientifically based and internationally recognized.'” Adds the Japan Times, “Since the nuclear disaster, the water has been treated using an advanced liquid processing system capable of removing most radionuclides except tritium, and stored in over 1,000 tanks installed at the site of the nuclear plant.”
Instacart Going Public
“Grocery delivery company Instacart said it plans to go public on the NASDAQ,” reports CNBC. “Gig economy companies have struggled on the public market as profits have been elusive… Instacart said it will continue to focus on incorporating artificial intelligence and machine learning features into the platform, and that the company expects to ‘rely on AIML solutions to help drive future growth in our business.’ … Instacart said it was leaning into the generative AI boom with Ask Instacart, a search tool that aims to answer customers’ grocery shopping questions.”
Serving And Slinging In Hundred-Degree Heat
Restaurants adapted to the heatwave (or not), reports Eater Chicago. “Pizza restaurants in particular seem susceptible to heat sensitivity… as some staff members can spend an entire shift in front of a roaring oven. Gallucci Pizzeria Napoletana [in] Old Town… took a time out on Wednesday to ‘tackle the scorching heat and give [its] airflow a boost.'” Others took advantage: “Badabing Wings in Uptown rolled out a one-day-only ‘HEATWAVE’ discount code for pickup and delivery orders… Mod Indian haunt Superkhana International [displayed] a photo of a glistening, ice-laden Chai Spirit cocktail (cold oat chai, amaro, cinnamon tequila) with a reminder that it is… ‘2 HOT 2 function!!'”
FILM & TELEVISION
AMPTP Lays Egg; Crisis Messaging Firm Hired
Producers appear to believe that it’s not about fair contracts in the stalemated negotiations with writers, it’s the “messaging.” “As talks with the Writers Guild of America stall, the studio trade association has retained D.C.-based firm the Levinson Group to pursue a ‘fresh messaging strategy,'” writes the Hollywood Reporter. The Levinson Group is a “strategic advisor for corporate clients with reputational and risk concerns” known for working with Comet Ping Pong, “countering ‘Pizzagate,’ as well as the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team in its campaign for pay equity.”
SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher says union demands are at an “inflection point” beyond Hollywood: “The moment is about the entire world of work, and a larger stand against corporate leaders who value shareholders over the people who create their product. ‘At some point you have to say no more… It’s taken on a bigger scope, it’s greater than the sum of its parts… It’s a conversation now about the culture of big business, and how it treats everybody up and down the ladder in the name of profit.”
Chicago’s “Risky Business” In Middle Age
“’Risky Business,’ then and now, is an indictment of privilege, and of somehow keeping the uglier world at bay long enough to buy your way into a kind of imperviousness,” writes Christopher Borrelli at the Trib. “Except—and here’s what I think I responded to [sneaking into the movie as a teen]—it’s funny and confident and cool and all of its points about the spoils of capitalism get disguised inside a dream of opulence. It appears to affirm the early Reagan years as ripe for opportunity while, with a much deeper subtlety, undercuts places like the North Shore as chilly incubators of inequality. No wonder, many decades later, Chicago prefers to see John Hughes as its cultural heritage while, in those same conversations, the city rarely mentions Paul Brickman’s ‘Risky Business.’ … ‘Risky Business’ is our great American high school ‘Chinatown,’ about capitalism, only funnier.”
Dates Set For Chicago Film Critics Awards
The CFCA has announced its 2023 awards calendar, with nominations announced December 8, with winners named December 12. “With the annual Chicago Critics Film Festival each Spring and the CFCA Awards presented in December, the Chicago Film Critics Association is a vital and thriving organization of film journalists, critics and broadcasters influencing the film industry in Chicago and beyond,” the group says in a release. More CFCA here.
Midwest Film Fest Sets Women And Gender Non-Conforming Filmmakers Night
Nine short films are presented tonight at the Siskel Film Center as part of MFF’s Women and Gender Non-Conforming Filmmakers Night, opening with a networking reception and panel, then a discussion and after-party. Details here.
New Yorker Critic On Physical Media In Streaming Crisis Time
“Collecting is an act of love; even though it risks fetish-like attachments to the objects in question, its essence is found not in the objects themselves but in the pleasure that they provide, by delivering movies, music, literature—by providing the experience of art,” posts Richard Brody at The New Yorker. “Not only is streaming a good deal; given the huge losses recorded by many major streaming services, it may be too good a deal, as suggested by the surprising news this week—even as Netflix is ending its original DVD-by-mail service—that Bob Iger, the C.E.O. of Disney, is contemplating restoring physical media to the company’s offerings… The prime factor of home video is control, and it’s the struggle for control, between corporate entities and individual viewers, that’s at play in the shift from physical media to streaming.”
Newcity considered the perplex in July 2019 here: “It’s an archive, not a hoard… Why does this array [that covers the long wall of a room] seem like the future for anyone who’s film-fixated? A few reasons, among them that streaming is not what many consumers take it for. Intellectual property from decades past still must cover costs for library owners, leasing to multiple channels and services, for limited-time licensing. It’s a mirage to imagine an economy that provides any given viewer every film, everywhere, all the time.”
Illinois Issues More Than 140 Library And Literacy Grants, Totaling $27 Million
“Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias announced more than $21 million in grants for library services and almost $6 million in adult literacy grants across the state,” reports CBS 2.
Covid Concerns Resurface At Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference
Are gatherings dangerous still? Bread Loaf, the ninety-eight-year-old writer’s conclave in Vermont marked another milestone, writer Caitlin Eichorn posts on former Twitter: “26 Covid cases at Bread Loaf 2023 (including me), which is still going strong with indoor events + ‘highly recommended’ masking. Today’s correspondence included the choice phrase ‘All of us lived through a traumatic pandemic—and not long ago—but we are no longer in a pandemic.'”
Florida Prisons Confiscate Newspapers In Cryptic Crossword Panic
“A Florida prison refused to deliver copies of a local newspaper to an incarcerated subscriber, claiming that a puzzle game in the publication ‘may be used to create coded messages indecipherable by staff,'” reports The Appeal. “The Florida Press Association has asked the Literature Review Committee to reverse the decision and allow incarcerated people to receive copies of the Citizen. The impounding of the paper ‘appears to be arbitrary and irrational’ and violates the First Amendment rights of the publisher and its incarcerated subscribers, the organization wrote.”
The Magic Parlour Teams Up With Goodman And Petterino’s
“World-class magic and mentalism make a new home in the heart of the Chicago Loop Theater District,” the Goodman writes. “In a first-of-its-kind creative collaboration, Goodman Theatre artistic director Susan V. Booth and executive director-CEO Roche Schulfer announce a brand-new partnership with Dennis Watkins—award-winning third-generation magician and mind-reader—and Petterino’s restaurant. Chicago’s longest-running magic show, ‘The Magic Parlour,’ takes residence adjacent to the Goodman at 50 West Randolph, Petterino’s newly remodeled lower-level space.” While maintaining his signature up-close experience for sixty guests, Watkins will perform six times each week in a ninety-minute immersive show. Tickets and more here.
Broadway’s “Shucked” Closes Stage Door To COVID
“‘Shucked’ will be pausing all stage dooring until further notice,” reports Broadway World. From an Instagram post: “In an abundance of caution all post-show stage door activities at ‘Shucked ‘have been paused until further notice. We appreciate your support and can’t wait to see you at the Nederlander soon.” Coronavirus cases have been on the rise in New York City, “with Josh Groban and Annaleigh Ashford most recently sidelined from ‘Sweeney Todd’ due to the virus.”
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Who Are The Most Highly Compensated Figures In Nonprofit Culture?
“The challenges nonprofit arts organizations have been facing, particularly since the pandemic, have made the job of running one increasingly complex. Those difficulties have also drawn more scrutiny to pay and expenditures,” reports the New York Times. Among the outlays charted: Art Institute of Chicago, “Museum President’s compensation: $972,000; Reported perks included: For the museum president, some business-related, first-class travel is allowed and club fees are reimbursed to the extent they are used for museum business; Institution’s total spending: $300 million; Field Museum of Natural History, “President-CEO’s compensation: $778,000; Reported perks included: The president-CEO received payments toward dues for a social club used for museum business and travel benefits for a spouse who is also a museum volunteer; Institution’s total spending: $73 million.”
Police Asked White Sox To Stop Play After Friday Shooting
After two women were shot during the Friday night White Sox game, “according to the police report, one Chicago police commander on scene told the Sox at 8:12pm that Chief of Patrol Brian McDermott wanted the Sox to stop the game for public safety reasons. This did not come to pass,” reports the Tribune. The Sox senior VP of communications “declined to comment specifically on the request to stop the game. He said that in later innings, CPD and White Sox security staff worked together and decided to allow the game to continue as there was no active threat.”
Hundreds Show For Canceled Friday Morning Swim Club
“A renegade Lake Michigan morning swim club that has swelled to thousands of people and raised safety concerns swam on Friday morning despite the event being officially canceled,” reports Block Club. Adds the Sun-Times, “Police were called over to the 4400 block of North DuSable Lake Shore Drive and found the group was ‘gathered peacefully,’ but officers remained on hand to monitor.”
COVID Cases Rise In Illinois
“The Illinois Department of Public Health warned Friday that COVID cases are on the rise in the state,” relays NBC 5. “Despite all of the state’s 102 counties remaining at what the department said was a ‘low level’ for hospital admissions, wastewater surveillance has detected ‘rising COVID-19 activity.'”
National Labor Relations Board Ruling Increases Cost Of Unfair Labor Practices
“The NLRB has ruled that if bosses commit unfair labor practices in the run-up to a union election then the election will be canceled and the Board will order the employer to immediately recognize and bargain with the union,” relays More Perfect Union (via former Twitter). From the NLRB: “If an employer who seeks an election commits any unfair labor practice that would require setting aside the election, the petition will be dismissed, and—rather than re-running the election—the Board will order the employer to recognize and bargain with the union.” The NLRB ruling is here.
Ninety-Seven-Percent Of United Auto Workers Vote To Strike
Relays More Perfect Union on former Twitter, “150,000 members of United Auto Workers have voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike. With ninety-seven-percent voting yes, the UAW now has the power to strike at Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis. The autoworkers could launch this massive strike as soon as September 15.” Video at the link. (A UAW post here.)
A Guide To Every State’s Supreme Court
With election tempests coming to a boil nationwide, Bolts “breaks down the structure, selection procedures, and functions of each state’s highest court” in a comprehensive rundown here.
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