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Lorraine O’Grady Departs Longtime New York Dealer For Mariane Ibrahim
“Lorraine O’Grady, the influential conceptual artist whose well-received retrospective is traveling the United States, has exited her longtime gallery, New York’s Alexander Gray Associates, and joined the Chicago-based Mariane Ibrahim Gallery,” reports ARTnews. “O’Grady is far more established than many others on Mariane Ibrahim’s roster, which… includes Amoako Boafo, a painter whose portraits have sold for vast sums, and Ayana V. Jackson, whose photographs have been seen in various museum shows. Also in the dealer’s stable are Zohra Opoku and ruby onyinyechi amanze. O’Grady is older than all these artists by several decades.”
Puppies Puppies “Terrified”
“An upcoming exhibition at the New Museum by Jade Kuriki-Olivo, also known as Puppies Puppies, puts a microscope on her experience as a trans woman,” reports the New York Times. “Nothing New” begins at the New Museum on October 12, “when she transforms the museum lobby into a 24/7 surveillance operation tracking her experience as a transgender woman. ‘I’m terrified… but I really can’t watch the trans community suffer and not make work about that. I find in my spirit that I don’t have a choice.'” (Puppies Puppies created a guest project for Newcity in 2014, which “hacked fashion editorial spreads in which Lord Voldemort, a recurring motif in Puppies’ work, looms.”)
Northwestern Won’t Stand Down On Concerts At $800 Million-Plus Ryan Field
“In the face of mounting opposition to its proposal to add concerts at the new Ryan Field stadium, Northwestern dug its heels in at an Evanston Land Use Commission meeting Wednesday night. If the school were to not get approval for its proposed six concert events at the venue, which was reduced from an initial twelve, then its stadium rebuild would not be able to move forward,” reports Crain’s. (Chicago Tonight reports here.)
Lime Claims A Million Rides
“Electric scooter-sharing company Lime says its ridership in Chicago is booming,” reports the Sun-Times. “The San Francisco-based company has recorded more than one million rides so far this year. Lime attributes part of the boom to the fifty-percent equity discount on the South and West Sides. More than 400,000 of this year’s rides were taken in those areas.”
Water Department Emails Internally Against Mother Jones Statue
“Top officials with the Chicago water department expressed concerns about putting a statue of labor activist Mother Jones at Jane Byrne Park,” reports the Tribune. An internal email from Joel Vieyra, the department’s first deputy commissioner: “Pardon my ignorance here, but why would we want any statue placed adjacent to the Water Tower? It’s the Water Tower—THE symbol of Chicago.” Ralph Chiczewski, assistant commissioner for safety and security at the water department wrote: “This is the first I am hearing about this press event. Water Tower Park is [water department] property. DCASE has the management of the little art gallery inside the Historic Water Tower. DCASE has zero authority to allow any events there without prior approval and coordination! … Water Tower park has been an assembly area and a flashpoint for demonstrations!”
Graham Foundation Announces Carter Manny Awards
The Graham Foundation has announced the 2023 Carter Manny Awards for doctoral dissertations and research by emerging scholars. Through this annual program, the Graham supports work that contributes to narratives in contemporary understanding of architecture and its role in the arts, culture and society. The winner of the 2023 Carter Manny Writing Award is Aaron Tobey and the winner of the 2023 Carter Manny Research Award is Jia Weng. Both are history and theory of architecture doctoral candidates at Yale University, School of Architecture. More here.
WeWork Isn’t; Renegotiating Its Leases
WeWork has said “it will attempt to renegotiate nearly all of its leases and may exit some properties, an announcement coming just weeks after the workspace-sharing company sounded the alarm over its ability to remain in business,” reports the Sun-Times.
“De Facto Ban” On NYC Airbnbs
New York officials “have started enforcing new regulations mandating that hosts will have to file a registration application and meet a set of requirements to be able to rent homes to guests for less than thirty days,” reports Engadget. “Hosts can only rent out homes for short-term stays if they’re also staying there, and only two guests are allowed at a time. These requirements are part of old and existing rules on rentals, however, and only the Short-Term Rental Registration Law itself is new.”
Power-Generating Glass On The Way
“Panasonic taps ultrathin solar cell layer for power-generating windows,” reports Nikkei Asia. “Panasonic Holdings will roll out ‘power-generating glass’ by 2028… with thin layers of efficient perovskite solar cells incorporated into panes that remain transparent enough to use as windows… A layer of perovskite less than one micron thick is sandwiched between two sheets of glass… Any place in the world where glass is used is a potential market, like office windows and shopping arcade skylights.”
DINING & DRINKING
Lexington Betty’s Dominique Leach Wins “BBQ Brawl” Season Four
Chef-pitmaster Dominique Leach of Lexington Betty’s Smokehouse on the South Side took top honors on the Labor Day broadcast of the Food Network’s “BBQ Brawl.” More on the restaurant here.
Ukrainian Resto In Wherewithall Space
“The end of Wherewithall left space for a new concept, and the interior has been entirely revamped for Anelya,” reports Chicago magazine. “‘I had always felt weird about re-concepting; I hate the word,’ chef Johnny Clark, who with his wife, chef Beverly Kim, runs the acclaimed Parachute, says. ‘But once I started, it actually felt really good. It feels like maybe what it should have been all along… Unless you’ve been to Kyiv in the past five years, you wouldn’t know that it has a really amazing food scene, even in the midst of a war… It’s comparable to Italian food—produce is really important, freshness is important.” And “Borscht is the kimchi of Ukraine.”
Restaurant Association Offers Alternative To End Of Subminimum Wage For Tipped Workers
A suggestion offered by the head of the Illinois Restaurant Association: “Impose stiff fines on restaurants that don’t pay the difference when their subminimum wage workers don’t make enough in tips to reach the $15.80 minimum wage,” reports the Sun-Times. They want to “discourage the Chicago City Council from eliminating the subminimum wage for tipped workers.”
Yes, They Have No Bananas At Starbucks: But Who Noticed?
“Starbucks removed both fresh and frozen bananas from its U.S. menus in May 2022,” reports Insider. “Other chains have been streamlining their menus by removing complicated items. Bananas aren’t complicated, but Starbucks’ strategy focuses on complex drinks customizations.”
Jean Banchet Awards Return In January
“The Jean Banchet Awards for Culinary Excellence will return January 28, 2024, in partnership with Chicago Chefs Cook, a non-profit uniting Chicago’s culinary community to provide humanitarian relief worldwide.” Nominees will be announced in November.
Sip & Savor Opens In Edgewater’s Belle Shores Apartments
Black-owned coffee shop Sip & Savor is opening “inside the former Starbucks at the historical Belle Shores Apartments building” in Edgewater, reports Block Club. CEO Trez V. Pugh III “operates five other Sip & Savor locations in Hyde Park, two in Bronzeville, South Loop and suburban Forest Park.”
Halloween Fanta Will Turn Your Tongue Black
Fanta is rolling out a zero-sugar drink that’s black, “a major departure from the ultra-bright sodas the brand is known for,” reports Eat This, Not That! “The actual flavor of the drink… will remain a mystery [and] Fanta says that the spooky beverage will turn your tongue black.”
FILM & TELEVISION
Richard Linklater Thinks Indie Movies Are Over
Of post-pandemic filmmaking, “It feels like it’s gone with the wind—or gone with the algorithm,” veteran writer-producer-director Richard Linklater tells the Hollywood Reporter. “Sometimes I’ll talk to some of my contemporaries who I came up with during the 1990s, and we’ll go, ‘Oh my God, we could never get that done today.’ So, on the one hand, selfishly, you think, ‘I guess I was born at the right time. I was able to participate in what always feels like the last good era for filmmaking.’ And then you hope for a better day. But, man, the way distribution has fallen off. Sadly, it’s mostly just the audience. Is there a new generation that really values cinema anymore? That’s the dark thought.”
“I just feel we’re all treading water and hoping we don’t drown. Challenging times are certainly here… We’ve given over our lives, largely, to this thing [phones] that depletes the need for curating and filling ourselves up with meaning from art and fictional worlds. That need has been filled up with—let’s face it—advanced delivery systems for advertising. It’s sad, but what can you do? I also don’t want to go through life thinking our best days are behind us. That’s just not productive.”
YouTube Fears “Dying Out”
“Senior staff at YouTube have expressed concern that Shorts, the Alphabet-owned company’s answer to short-form video app TikTok, risks cannibalizing its core business,” reports the Financial Times. “Shorts has amassed more than two billion users since its launch in 2021 but has drawn away audiences from traditional longer videos on the platform… Recent YouTube strategy meetings have discussed the risk that long-form videos, which produce more revenue for the company, are ‘dying out’ as a format… Consumers have turned to short-form video, a move driven by phone usage and the exponential growth of TikTok, particularly among the younger generation.”
More Than $500 Million To Revitalize Local News Via Press Forward
“A coalition of twenty-two donors announced Press Forward, a national initiative to strengthen communities and democracy by supporting local news and information with an infusion of more than a half-billion dollars over the next five years. Press Forward will enhance local journalism at an unprecedented level to re-center local news as a force for community cohesion; support new models and solutions that are ready to scale; and close longstanding inequities in journalism coverage and practice,” the MacArthur Foundation says in a release.
“Since 2005, approximately 2,200 local newspapers have closed, resulting in twenty percent of Americans living in news deserts with little to no reliable coverage of important local events. Press Forward seeks to reverse the dramatic decline in local news that has coincided with an increasingly divided America and weakening trust in institutions.”
Has WLS Determined To Become Nation’s “Most Conservative” Radio Station?; Steinberg Misses Feder
Host John Howell is no longer with WLS-AM, writes columnist Neil Steinberg. “Word is that Cumulus Media plans to make WLS ‘the most conservative station in the country,’ a source said. Though I would debate that word, ‘conservative.’ These people aren’t conserving anything… Here’s where you really miss Robert Feder, who would have dug up the inside story of what really happened… Though just by looking at the WLS lineup, you could sense what’s happening: the station is drifting further right. Howell was always an outlier… Trump wasn’t his God, and that caused trouble—it was an act of courage for him to invite a guy like me on the show, and sooner or later his bosses were going to object. Any radio station that values the services of… Ben Shapiro can’t also shelter a moderate like John Howell.”
WFMT Head Of Programming And Operations Named
Window to the World Communications, Inc. announced that president and CEO Sandra Cordova Micek has selected Roger Wight for the position of WFMT head of programming and operations effective September 11. Wight will be responsible for strategic programming, production, broadcasting operations and syndication for the organization.
Soul Summit Sets Last Party After Thirteen Years
The DJ collaborative event Soul Summit will host its final party at Empty Bottle on October 21, lists Block Club. The parties began “when three DJs—Dave Matta, Duke Grip and Sloppy White—wanted to find a way to celebrate the early soul sounds represented in Chicago.”
The Life And Legacy Of Chicago House Figurehead DJ Deeon
“The ghetto-house pioneer never stopped giving back to the South Side scene that made him,” profiles Leor Galil in an extensive biography at the Reader.
Impromptu Fest Returns
New Music Chicago has announced the fourth edition of Impromptu Fest, “New Music // New Connections,” a showcase of contemporary and experimental music being made in Chicago today, presented in collaboration with Epiphany Center For The Arts, Elastic Arts and High Concept Labs. The free fest runs Tuesday, September 12- Saturday, September 16, with fifteen performances ranging from solo performances to chamber music and ensemble acts. More here.
Billy Corgan To Dress Highland Park Tea Shop As Tower Records As “Siamese Dream” Turns Thirty
Continuing the thirtieth-anniversary celebration of “Siamese Dream,” The Smashing Pumpkins has teamed up with Tower Records to recreate their historical album release event in 1993 with a Tower Records pop-up at Madame Zuzu’s in Highland Park, starting September 14. Billy Corgan and Chloé Mendel’s tea shop and art studio will be transformed into a Tower Records from 1993, with limited-edition merchandise available for purchase in-store throughout the three-day pop-up. The pop-up will culminate with two exclusive performances by The Smashing Pumpkins on September 17, with the band playing intimate acoustic sets with music from “Siamese Dream,” the same set played on the evening of July 27, 1993. A few tickets for each show are on sale here. A free livestream of the second performance will be free via the link available here.
Lyric Dons SoundShirt
Lyric Opera of Chicago is launching the SoundShirt, a pilot program that brings wearable technology to the opera house. The SoundShirt allows all audience members, but particularly those who are deaf or hard of hearing, to experience live opera enhanced by real-time vibrations. The program begins with the performance of Wagner’s “The Flying Dutchman” on Sunday, October 1. “SoundShirt wearers experience the feeling of music rendered on their upper body through a process known as haptic actuation. While the orchestra and artists perform in the pit and on stage, microphones capture their sound and transform it into a digital feed for the SoundShirt wearers. Computer software then transforms this closed-circuit audio feed into touch data that is broadcast wirelessly to the SoundShirts in real-time with the music and voices. Different instruments and voices map to different locations across the body and sleeves of the garment, creating a deepened multisensory experience for operagoers.”
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Jam-Packed Humanities Fest Features Fervent Fall
Chicago Humanities hosts its annual Fall Festival from September 17-November 15, a lineup of over sixty events presented across the area. CHF highlights these attractions: “Pop culture fans can seek out intimate conversations with icon Henry Winkler, actress Millie Bobby Brown, or comedians Sarah Cooper, Maria Bamford and Aparna Nancherla. Plus, Keegan-Michael Key and his wife Elle Key dish about sketch comedy; Bob Odenkirk brings his daughter Erin home to Chicago to share their new book of children’s stories; and Melissa Newman and Illeana Douglas talk Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, and Connecticut in the movies. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, former Illinois Congressman Adam Kinzinger, and a panel of experts—Caitlin Flanagan, Yascha Mounk, Greg Lukianoff and Rikki Schlott—discuss threats to American democracy.”
“Influential writers Naomi Klein, Andy Borowitz, David Brooks and Roxane Gay offer insights into current events, while Fox News’ Bret Baier looks back on the history of George Washington to help explain the divisions we see across our nation today. Music fans can come out for special performances by Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore, the Tyshawn Sorey Trio, and a celebration of Philip Glass’ ‘Etudes.'”
“Book lovers won’t want to miss literary giants Zadie Smith, Teju Cole, Walter Isaacson or Joyce Carol Oates. Foodies are in for a treat with chefs José Andrés and Mark Bittman and Eric Ripert with Christopher Kimball. Those with a design eye will be drawn to ‘Queer Eye’’s Bobby Berk, ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’’s Ginger Minj, and Illinois First Lady MK Pritzker on renovating the governor’s mansion.” Members can buy tickets now; general admission tickets go on sale September 12 here.
Migrant Barbers Arrested, Ticketed
“Officers arrested seven barbers for operating an unlicensed business on park property, police and migrants said. Neighbors also have complained about crime in the area and pushed for more security,” reports Block Club. “One of the migrants who was arrested, who asked not to be named for safety reasons, [said] police handcuffed all of the barbers and detained them for eight hours, informing them it was illegal to operate a pop-up barbershop without a license or permit.”
Migrants Could Be Located Near Fulton Market; Who’s Paying For The Exodus?
“Mayor Johnson’s administration is in talks to convert a five-story, 50,000-square-foot loft office building near the Fulton Market District, at 344 North Ogden, into a migrant shelter to house asylum seekers displaced to Chicago by Texas Governor Abbott,” reports Crain’s. “Tenants in the property, which is roughly two-thirds leased and is owned by a joint venture of Chicago developer Scott Goodman and real estate investor A.G. Hollis, have been told to vacate the property in the next few weeks… Abbott has led a charge to put thousands of asylum seekers on buses to Chicago, with no coordination with local leaders.”
A total of “6,828 migrants who have arrived in the city over the past year are in temporary shelters. Another 1,940 are living in police stations, O’Hare or Midway while they await shelter placement… Johnson, along with Governor Pritzker and the Illinois congressional delegation, have increased pressure on the federal government in recent weeks to provide more help to Illinois and Chicago to respond to the crisis through increased funding and expedited work permits to allow new arrivals to legally work in the city.”
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