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Art On The Mart Lights Up On September 14
ART on the MART, the digital art project that transforms a Chicago architectural landmark into a larger-than-life canvas, notes its fifth anniversary this fall with work by two veterans in the field of digital and video art. The 2023 fall programming will feature a new commission by the acclaimed Dr. Yiyun Kang, esteemed in the field of projection mapping and immersive art, and the return of the popular projection by the renowned Charles Atlas. Dr. Kang and Atlas’ projections will be on view nightly, September 14-November 15, 7pm. More here.
Consultant To City: Your IT Infrastructure Stinks
“An IT consultant hired by City Hall to diagnose the city’s… technological woes urged aldermen to drastically revamp its software and up its investments in information technology infrastructure after years of city neglect and cost inefficiencies,” reports the Tribune. “Sixty-one percent of city applications have been aging for decades and should be replaced.”
Hyundais And Kias Largest Numbers In Post-2021 Spike In Chicago Car Thefts
DINING & DRINKING
Michelin Stars Held Until November
Michelin will make its 2023 announcements at a New York City party in November, reports Eater Chicago, assembling chefs from Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C. Chicago is also “waiting for the new Bib Gourmands, the list that recognizes restaurants that provide better value.” More here.
Taste Of Chicago Street Closures Have Started
Road closures for this year’s Taste of Chicago include Columbus from Balbo to Monroe; Ida B. Wells from Michigan to Columbus and Jackson from Michigan to DuSable Lake Shore Drive, reports the Sun-Times.
Fork’s Put A Fork In It
Lincoln Square’s Fork restaurant is closing after more than a decade, reports Block Club. “With mixed emotions, we announce the permanent closure of Fork Restaurant. It has been an incredible journey, and we are immensely grateful for your unwavering support throughout the years,” the owners posted on social media. The 4600 North Lincoln property is also for sale. “If you, or anyone you know, is interested in taking over this culinary gem, please reach out to us.”
Debonair Social Club Is Done After Shooting, Citations
The owners of Debonair Social Club in Wicker Park are closing the business permanently in light of a shooting inside the establishment and more than thirty building code violations, reports Block Club. The business closed around August 9 after citations as a “public safety threat.” The owners also said they expected a substantial rent hike from landlord North American Real Estate. From an email: “After seventeen amazing years in Wicker Park, Debonair Social Club has made the difficult decision to close immediately.”
FILM & TELEVISION
Chicago International Film Fest Sets Michael Shannon Directorial Debut; Fincher’s “The Killer”; “Rustin”; Cannes Highlights
The fifty-ninth Chicago International Film Festival has announced some highlights of what North America’s oldest competitive film fest will be showing October 11-22. Chicago actor Michael Shannon will appear October 13 with his directorial debut, “Eric Larue,” adapted from Brett Neveu’s 2002 play which had its bow at Shannon’s A Red Orchid Theatre in Chicago. The film follows a mother’s reaction to a shooting spree by her son, starring Judy Greer, Alexander Skarsgård, Paul Sparks, Alison Pill and Tracy Letts.
The Festival Centerpiece film is “Saltburn,” a tale of privilege in England, starring Barry Keoghan (“The Banshees of Inisherin”) and Jacob Elordi (“Priscilla”), written and directed by Emerald Fennell (“Promising Young Woman”). David Fincher’s “The Killer,” partially shot in Chicago, stars Michael Fassbender in a satirical take on the assassin genre. Also: Palme d’Or winner “Anatomy of A Fall,” by Justine Triet and Cannes Grand Prix award-winner, World War II drama “The Zone of Interest,” from writer-director Jonathan Glazer. And: George C. Wolfe’s portrait of activist Bayard Rustin, “Rustin.”
Venues include AMC’s NEWCITY 14, the Music Box, the Gene Siskel Film Center, the Chicago History Museum, the Hamilton Park Cultural Center in Englewood, Harrison Park in Pilsen, the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, as well as some selections shown virtually. More here.
Doc Films Needs Fall Volunteers
They’re giving preference to students, but Doc Films is open to others volunteering at Ida Noyes this autumn. Application here.
Where There’s A Witch, There’s A Way: Museum of Classic Chicago Television Busted By “Bewitched”
“A nonprofit that preserves classic television videos [could have had] its YouTube channel shut down today over copyright claims for ‘Bewitched’ episodes that originally aired in the 1960s,” reports Ars Technica. “The Museum of Classic Chicago Television has about 5,000 videos, including many decades-old commercials and news shows, posted on its YouTube channel.” After sixteen years, the group “received six copyright strikes for posting twenty-seven ‘Bewitched’ episodes owned by Sony Pictures Television.” After learning of this second-party complaint, Sony’s copyright office relented “in exchange for ‘assurances from you that you or the Fuzzy Memories TV Channel will not post or re-post any infringing versions from “Bewitched” or other content owned or distributed by SPE [Sony Pictures Entertainment] companies.'”
Fix Film For The Future
“In a world where streaming and technology have the potential to change everything, the WGA and SAG strikes are a wake-up call,” essays Fortune. “They are telling those who run the industry to fix things, not just for now but also for the future. We all love movies, and the people who create and make them should be respected and paid fairly. These strikes are like a major plot point, a chance for Hollywood to make things right and show that it values its workers—all of whom create the magic of movies.”
One Book, One Chicago Takes Up Native American “There There”
“‘There There’ is Tommy Orange’s first novel. It follows twelve characters who are all headed to a powwow at the Oakland Coliseum in California,” reports WBEZ via the Sun-Times. “It is the first novel about the urban Native American chosen by the Chicago Public Library for One Book, One Chicago.”
Giannoulias Will Testify At Durbin Senate Hearing On Rise Of American Book Bans
Next week, Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin convenes a hearing on book banning, reports the Sun-Times, “with Illinois Secretary of State [Alexi] Giannoulias to testify about the state’s first-in-the-nation ban against bans… The Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, ‘Book Bans: How Censorship Limits Liberty and Literature,’ will include other witnesses selected by Democrats and Republicans on the panel.”
Newspaper Losses: 2,000 And Counting
“Over the past few decades, more than 2,000 newspapers across the country have closed, leaving many communities without a reliable source of local information,” reports PBS NewsHour. “Researchers say this crisis in journalism, driven by changes in technology, is fueling the country’s political divisions.”
Alden Buys Up Clutch Of Pennsylvania Local Papers
“Some of the preciously few locally controlled newspapers in Pennsylvania just got sold to Alden Global Capital, and the family running the paper put their own shareholders on blast for selling out to Alden,” the Los Angeles Times’ Matt Pearce posts to Twitter. The sale includes the (Scranton) Times-Tribune, The (Wilkes-Barre) Citizens’ Voice, The (Pottsville) Republican Herald, and The (Hazleton) Standard-Speaker “and several weekly and periodic publications,” reports WNEP 16.
The family that started Times-Shamrock says in a statement, “Newspapers have been our family business for nearly 128 years. Since 1895, we have had the privilege of serving this community with local news, events and happenings… We feel it is important to express our personal dissatisfaction with the sale of Times-Shamrock newspapers to MediaNews Group, a subsidiary of Alden Capital. This was a transaction that we do not support or endorse. Alden does not reflect the business principles we feel are consistent with the stewardship of any newspaper.”
Philanthropy For Journalism On The March
Reports AP: “There has been a ‘substantial’ increase in philanthropic spending for journalism over the past five years, particularly outlets that serve poor and minority communities, a new report [says,] but journalists need to tighten ethical rules that govern the new spending.”
NPR CEO OUT
NPR’s chief executive, John Lansing, will retire at the end of the year, concluding “a rocky four years atop the public broadcaster,” reports the New York Times. His term “will be defined by his handling of the pandemic, a racial reckoning, and severe headwinds in the podcasting industry,” says NPR’s David Folkenflik. “‘Our work has never been more important. Our shows and journalists are world-class and are serving the American public with the most professional, contextual and truthful information when it has never been more important in our country,’ Lansing says.”
Chicago Public Media Expanding Arts And Culture Coverage
“Chicago Public Media announced plans to significantly increase its arts and culture coverage to better serve Chicago and the region, with expanded reporting and programming from WBEZ Chicago, the Chicago Sun-Times and Vocalo,” CPM outlines in a release. “Fourteen journalists, content creators and producers will cover arts and culture as part of this effort. This includes current staff from WBEZ, the Sun-Times and Vocalo who already cover arts and culture-related topics, as well as additional freelancers. Chicago Public Media will appoint a director of arts and culture to lead the coordination of this coverage, and WBEZ plans to hire a senior editor for arts & culture, theater reporter and digital producer… Chicago Public Media’s expansion of arts and culture coverage is made possible with generous philanthropic funding from the Joyce Foundation and the Pritzker Foundation.”
Gannett Pulls Back On Articles Compiled By AI
“Gannett has paused the use of AI to write sports articles after readers pushed back,” reports Insider. “AI-written articles quickly went viral over their bizarre language and lack of detail. Gannett is among a number of publications experimenting with AI-generated journalism, with mixed results.”
Season Announced For Nichols Concert Hall Presents
The Music Institute of Chicago has announced the concert programs for the 2023–24 season of Nichols Concert Hall Presents, featuring classical, jazz and family-friendly music. Performances take place at the historic Nichols Concert Hall in downtown Evanston. Performers include mezzo-soprano Cecilia Duarte; violinist and Music Institute alumna Jennifer Koh; pianist Matthew Hagle; musical trio Time for Three; and jazz vocalist and Music Institute Artist-in-Residence Tammy McCann. More here.
Jackalope Lands At Loyola Park Fieldhouse
Jackalope Theatre has a new home at Loyola Park, the company announces. “For the foreseeable future, you can find our offices, rehearsals, and community events on the second floor of the main parks building. The park features beautiful beaches, fun playgrounds, lush lawns, all while remaining connected to our beloved Edgewater community and our new friends in Rogers Park. We recently vacated our previous home at the Broadway Armory Park, where Jackalope has produced mainstage productions since 2013, as a result of the international migration crisis. We look forward to building upon our strong relationship with the Chicago Parks department as we plan for our future stage productions. We can’t wait to welcome you back to another Jackalope production soon.”
Co-Founder Departs Pivot Arts
Director Julieanne Ehre of multidisciplinary performance hub Pivot Arts is leaving to become assistant director for programming and engagement at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Ehre has been Pivot’s director since co-founding the organization ten years ago. “She has conceived the organization’s programming and curated and produced the Pivot Arts Festival, Pivot Arts Podcast, and site-specific works. She has directed Pivot’s incubator program in partnership with faculty and staff at Loyola University Chicago, and developed multidisciplinary works by more than thirty artistic groups. Under her leadership, Pivot Arts has been a hub for innovative performances and a home for BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and diverse artists and audiences.”
Pivot Arts also begins a partnership with the Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Centers at Northwestern University to co-produce a residency and January 2024 workshop for Anna Martine Whitehead’s work in development, “FORCE! an opera in three acts.” “A meditation on Black women, femmes, and queer people in invisible places like prison waiting rooms, ‘FORCE!’ was part of the 2022 Pivot Arts Festival.” More here.
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Immigrant Refugees A Chicago Tradition?
“We’re reaping the fruits of a catastrophic policy failure. Immigrants from poor, often oppressive countries in Central and South America continue to storm the border, and because they don’t have the same political cover that, say, Cuban refugees do in Florida, they have become a human football, with 13,000 and counting bused here by governors such as Texas’ Greg Abbott, who wants us to share his pain but also wants to score a few political points,” writes Greg Hinz at Crain’s. “Mayor Brandon Johnson and predecessor Lori Lightfoot get credit for at least trying. But ‘trying’ increasingly means housing people in neighborhoods around the city that aren’t majority-Latino.”
But “handled correctly, this influx can be a plus. There is a worsening labor shortage in this town… That’s why Johnson, Governor Pritzker and even some Republicans—such as Indiana Governor Holcomb—are urging Biden to take a little political risk and issue rules allowing refugees (who are in this country legally) to work while their cases are adjudicated.”
Think Of The Trees: Protests In Lake Geneva Over Lost Centuries-Old Bur Oaks
“Activists in west suburban Geneva protested against construction they say will destroy 300-year-old trees and harm endangered bats,” reports CBS 2. “The protesters gathered at Kirk Road and Fabyan Parkway. They temporarily stopped a worker from cutting down trees by blocking machinery.” The Daily Herald: “Hundreds of trees had been cut down, but activists were unsure how many of them were the centuries-old bur oaks. There are other trees on the ten-acre wooded area, including ashes, hickories and elms… The woods sits within a 211-acre site that Oak Brook-based Midwest Industrial Funds wants to develop as an industrial park.”
Think Of The Bees
The Trib front-pages the pollinators: “While population sizes fluctuate year to year, research shows that there has been a dramatic decrease in the abundance of insects worldwide, specifically pollinators such as bees, flies, butterflies and beetles. Experts attribute some of the declines to habitat loss or pesticide use but warn that climate change poses new risks… Extreme weather in Illinois, such as drought, flooding or sweltering heat with temperatures reaching one hundred degrees that have amassed attention this summer, can contribute to low abundance.”
Chicago High School For The Arts Strike Called Off
“The teachers union at the Chicago High School for the Arts has called off its strike at the last minute after ‘major breakthroughs’ in negotiations,” reports the Sun-Times. “The union reported that key differences were resolved… over pay and benefits, social worker and nursing staffing and the time teachers need to prepare for classes.” A deal has been reached, says Block Club.
River West Gambling Temple Could Open Saturday
“The city’s first legal slot machines are already visible through the glass doors of the soon-to-open casino at [the former Medinah Temple at] 600 North Wabash—and they’ll be taken for their first spins Wednesday and Thursday during practice sessions under the supervision of state gambling regulators,” reports the Sun-Times. Axios Chicago takes a tour, noting two restaurants by One Off Hospitality. “The casino retains many of the features of Medinah Temple’s original Moorish architecture, including the stained-glass windows and exposed dome. A mural by Chicago artist Shawn Michael Warren adorns the walls of the lower level and includes a nod to the annual Shrine Circus that was held at the temple through much of the twentieth century.”
3Arts Awards Returns
Nonprofit organization 3Arts returns for the first in-person 3Arts Awards ceremony in three years with “For the Love of Artists,” a celebration featuring performances by Chicago artists (and former 3Arts awardees), and the announcement of the recipients of more than $500,000 in unrestricted grants to artists working in the performing, teaching, and visual arts. The celebration will include performances by opera singer Will Liverman; choreographer Stephanie Martinez; and a grand finale led by Chicago’s Inaugural Poet Laureate avery r. young joined by past 3Arts awardees JoVia Armstrong, Meagan McNeal, Bethany Thomas, Caitlin Edwards and Sam Thousand.
3Arts has distributed over $6.6 million in grants in its sixteen-year history to more than 2,000 Chicagoland artists. 3Arts awardees reflect sixty-eight percent women artists, seventy-three percent artists of color, and twenty-one percent deaf and disabled artists. The 3Arts Awards’ “For the Love of Artists” celebration takes place at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, Monday, November 13. Tickets will be available on September 12 here.
Small Towns Disbanding Police Departments
“America is in the midst of a police officer shortage that many in law enforcement blame on the twofold morale hit of 2020—the coronavirus pandemic and criticism of police that boiled over with the murder of George Floyd by a police officer,” reports Associated Press. “From Minnesota to Maine, Ohio to Texas, small towns unable to fill jobs are eliminating their police departments and turning over police work to their county sheriff, a neighboring town or state police… In the past two years, at least twelve small towns have dissolved their departments…Officer resignations were up forty-seven percent last year compared to 2019—the year before the pandemic and Floyd’s killing—and retirements are up nineteen percent.”
Florida Converts Education Cash To Home-School Vouchers, Used For PS5s, Big-Screen TVs And Disney Tickets
“In March, Ron DeSantis signed a massive expansion of the state’s school voucher program, including $8,000 vouchers for thousands of homeschoolers,” reports Judd Legum at Popular Information. “Parents are exploiting the program, using taxpayer dollars for Disney World passes, PS5s and fifty-five-inch TVs… Florida has delegated the administration of the vouchers to two private non-profit organizations, Step Up for Students and AAA Scholarship Foundation. These non-profits generate revenue based on how many students they can attract. So, they are incentivized to meet the demands of parents who receive vouchers.”
Maine Could Convert Electric Utility To Consumer Ownership
“Maine residents could create the first statewide consumer-owned utility in the United States.,” relays More Perfect Union on Twitter. “People face skyrocketing electric bills and frequent blackouts, as power companies bring in $187 million. In November, Maine will vote on bringing the utilities under community control.”
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