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SAIC Names Raven Chacon Bill And Stephanie Sick Distinguished Visiting Professor
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago announces Raven Chacon as the 2023–24 Bill and Stephanie Sick Distinguished Visiting Professor. Chacon is a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, performer and installation artist from Fort Defiance, Navajo Nation. As a solo artist, collaborator, and a member of Postcommodity from 2009 to 2018, Chacon has exhibited, performed or had works performed at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Renaissance Society; San Francisco Electronic Music Festival; REDCAT; Vancouver Art Gallery; Haus der Kulturen der Welt; Borealis Festival; SITE Santa Fe; Chaco Canyon, New Mexico; Ende Tymes Festival; The Kennedy Center; Whitney Biennial; documenta 14, Athens and Kassel; Carnegie International, and Carnegie Museum of Art.
A recording artist of twenty-two years, Chacon has appeared on more than eighty releases. In 2022, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Music for his composition “Voiceless Mass.” His 2020 Manifest Destiny opera “Sweet Land,” co-composed with Du Yun was named the 2021 Opera of the Year by the Music Critics Association of North America. Since 2004, he has mentored more than 300 Native high school composers in writing new string quartets for the Native American Composers Apprenticeship Project. Chacon will present a free public lecture through SAIC’s Visiting Artists Program on October 17 at the Art Institute. Details here.
Museum Of Modern Art Hikes Tariff To Thirty Dollars
MoMA follows “a nationwide trend of cultural institutions that have seen ticket prices increase by twenty percent,” reports the New York Times. “Other museums across the country are dealing with higher operational costs after their own expansions, a challenge matched by slumping attendance as well as rising inflation.”
Asia On Argyle Welcome Sign Mothballed
Crews working on the Red Line overhaul are removing the “‘Asia on Argyle’ sign and the pagoda above the Argyle station,” reports Block Club. “The sign and pagoda will come down as crews continue demolishing the old Red Line tracks and stations as new rail infrastructure is rolled out… The sign and pagoda’s removal could mark the end of an era for Uptown’s historical Asian district. The pagoda dates back to the early nineties, while the controversial ‘Asia on Argyle’ branding and sign were installed in 2013.” The Sun-Times reports the CTA sent a message to neighbors: “We understand how important these pieces are to the community, and we are working diligently to ensure both the pagoda and the sign are safely and securely preserved as we continue demolition in the area.”
Downtown Evanston Has New Executive Director
Andy Vick has been named executive director of Downtown Evanston, the nonprofit that supports and promotes the downtown Evanston business district, reports Evanston RoundTable. The association’s work includes managing “downtown landscaping contractors. It supports efforts such as murals and street pole banners as well as programs and activities for public spaces like Fountain Square.”
DINING & DRINKING
Daily Tweaking At Atelier
Atelier, in the location that once housed Iliana Regan’s Elizabeth, sees daily tweaks in its menu under chef Christian Hunter, reports Chicago magazine. “When Regan moved to Michigan to open Milkweed Inn, she sold the restaurant to former employee Tim Lacey. Lacey closed it in 2022 to [prepare for] Atelier, then hired Hunter and gave him free rein to cook what he wanted… He swaps out and tweaks dishes on a weekly, sometimes nightly, basis. On the night I visited, at least three offerings on the twelve-course tasting menu ($190) were making their debut. But there are through lines in the menu and Hunter’s food. ‘The goal is to keep up with the most recent thing that’s in season and get it at the perfect time.’ … That hyperseasonality is something Atelier shares with its predecessor.”
Bon Appétit Plucks Indienne As One Of Nation’s Twenty-Four Best New Restaurants
“An expansive dining room lined with pastel pink banquettes. White tablecloths. Plates festooned with gold leaf and dramatic swooshes of sauce. The opulence of Chicago’s Indienne might make it suspect; in 2023 a traditional fine dining backdrop is not always the venue in which you expect daring, exciting cooking to happen,” encapsulates Bon Appétit. “Yet every course of chef Sujan Sarkar’s tasting menu brings new thrills. In Sarkar’s rendition of yogurt chaat, tangy yogurt is transformed into both an airy mousse and wobbly panna cotta. Each element of the dish, which is topped with a wispy potato nest and dots of chutney, brings a surprising burst of flavor and texture.”
Three Floyds Reopening Munster Brewpub
“Three Floyds Brewing plans to reopen its brewpub and taproom in Munster,” which closed in 2020, taps Crain’s. “Construction is underway [with plans] to open by May, when Three Floyds hosts its marquee festival, Dark Lord Day.”
City Gives Five Years To Phase In Higher Pay For Tipped Workers
“Tipped workers—now paid sixty percent of Chicago’s minimum wage—would receive annual pay increases of eight percent starting next July and continuing through July 2028,” reports the Sun-Times. (Fran Spielman’s piece gives an idea of the shape of the negotiations.)
Bomb Threats Against Chicago Libraries Condemned
The American Library Association and the ACLU are condemning bomb threats made this week against Chicago area public libraries, reports WBBM Newsradio.
Scott Turow To Receive Lifetime Achievement Award
The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame will present its Fuller Award for Lifetime Achievement to author Scott Turow on Thursday, October 5 at the Harold Washington Public Library, as part of the library’s 150th anniversary celebration. Bill Kurtis and Donna LaPietra will emcee an event that includes comments and readings by Tony Fitzpatrick, Aaron Freeman, Cornelia Grumman, Richard Guzman, Jane Hamilton and Christie Hefner. Elizabeth Taylor will lead a conversation with Scott after he accepts the award. Details and free registration here.
Janet Jones Voice Of The Heartland Award Winner
Janet Webster Jones, “a trailblazer in both education and bookselling, has been honored with the prestigious 2023 Voice of the Heartland Award for her lifelong commitment to fostering a love of learning and promoting literacy within her community,” the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association relays. “Janet’s journey is intertwined with Detroit’s history, mirroring the city’s triumphs and struggles. She witnessed the rise of the automobile industry and the subsequent Great Migration, which transformed Detroit. Her story echoes the city’s vibrant cultural history, from the Motown era to the challenges posed by suburbanization.”
“Janet opened her first brick-and-mortar store, Source Booksellers, inside the Spiral Collective–a shared space with three other women-owned, African American businesses on Cass Avenue and Willis Street in Detroit’s Midtown area in 2002. In 2013, as Detroit faced bankruptcy, Janet seized an opportunity to open Source Booksellers in the Midtown district, contributing to the neighborhood’s revitalization. Her bookstore has always focused on history, culture, health, metaphysics, spirituality, and literature by and about women. Janet’s commitment extended beyond selling books; she actively promoted titles on vital topics, such as water resources and racial history, making Source an essential hub for social discourse.”
A Decade Of Fireside Bowl
WBEZ listens back and packages a lost era at the end of the century: “About thirty years ago, a rundown bowling alley hosted its first few punk shows. Then, for a little over a decade it became the all-ages heart of Chicago’s indie scene… A whole generation of young people… laced up their Doc Martens and came to the Fireside Bowl in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood to mosh, dance and shout along to the anthems of the era. For a little over a decade, the walls shook and the music blared at the rare all-ages punk venue.”
Lyric Announces Ryan Opera Center Ensemble Singers
The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago has announced twelve singers for its 2024-25 Ensemble. Sopranos Adia Evans, Gemma Nha, and Emily Richter, tenor Daniel Espinal, baritone Sankara Harouna, and bass-baritones Ossian Huskinson and Finn Sagal will join five returning singers of the Ensemble: mezzo-sopranos Lucy Baker and Sophia Maekawa, tenor Travon D. Walker, baritone Ian Rucker, and bass-baritone Christopher Humbert, Jr. More here.
Jeremy O. Harris Considered As Theater Institution With Chicago Origins
“For college, [playwright Jeremy O.] Harris went to the acting conservatory at DePaul University, in Chicago. The program’s structure was brutal: after freshman year, only half of the students were allowed to continue with the acting cohort; the others were cut, and had to pursue different fields of study if they wished to remain at the school,” writes Vinson Cunningham in an almost-9,000-word profile at The New Yorker. “Harris found the first year—essentially a protracted audition—disorienting. ‘A lot of my teachers said that my intellect was going to get in the way of me being a real actor,’ he said. ‘I always sort of directed or rewrote the circumstances of the scene to fit the emotional states that I wanted to play around in, to make it more interesting to me.’ Part of the problem, he said, was that so many of the roles and scenes were geared toward white actors. But he internalized the message that ‘if you’re smart, you have to hide it.’ It was June—a beautiful month in Chicago but, for Harris, who had just turned nineteen, the grim beginning of an uncertain period.”
Beverly Arts Center Stage Budget Slashed
About a month after a successful mounting of “Hello, Dolly!” closed, Beverly Arts Center’s board announced it had cut the live theater budget, reports Block Club, and “eliminated the position of artistic director Kevin Pease, who joined Beverly Arts Center in October 2021, and did not renew the one-year contract for technical director Rick Keeley.” BAC “cited economic challenges much like theaters across the country are facing due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic, as well as challenges keeping up with the costs of their recent higher-end theater productions.”
Where The “Sweat” Comes From: Lynn Nottage Interviewed In Paris Review
“After Occupy Wall Street, I wanted to understand the way the economic downturn was reshaping the American narrative,” Lynn Nottage says of the genesis of her play, “Sweat,” in the latest long-form interview in The Paris Review’s “The Art of Theater No. 19.” “With my assistant at the time, Travis Ballenger, I set out to find a city that was a microcosm of what was happening across the United States. On our first visit to Reading, Pennsylvania, we stopped at a gas station and a guy said to us—and this is a direct quote—’You don’t look like you’re from around here.’ We said, ‘No.’ He was like, ‘Can I give you a piece of advice? Get out before sundown.’ We knew we’d found the place.”
“In the end, we spent two years going back and forth from New York to Reading, meeting people in their homes, in police stations and homeless shelters, at city hall. We found our setting for the play in Mike’s Tavern, which had been the local steelworkers’ bar before the mill shut down. It was the place where people were most lubricated, so they’d open up.”
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Forty-Million-Dollar Anonymous Gift To Brookfield Zoo, Its Largest Ever
Brookfield Zoo has received an unprecedented $40 million donation—the largest single private contribution in its eighty-nine-year history. Coming from “a family with a long history of support for the Zoo who wishes to remain publicly anonymous, the extraordinary gift will further the advancement of the organization’s commitment to animal care, wildlife conservation, education, and connecting communities with nature.” Says Dr. Michael Adkesson, president and CEO of the Chicago Zoological Society and director of Brookfield Zoo, “This significant gift will support the construction of Tropical Forests, featuring state-of-the-art outdoor and indoor environments for our great apes, as well as new animal habitats. Zoos play a critical role in connecting people to wildlife and nature.” The Zoo plans to reveal further details in early 2024 with the release of its new master plan and Next Century Campaign.
National Realtors Staff Calls For Executive Firings
“Staff members of the Chicago-based National Association of Realtors are calling for the removal of the organization’s CEO, its current president and two other high-level officials, the latest turn in a sexual harassment controversy that has been swirling since a New York Times article about a ‘culture of fear’ created by its past president,” reports Crain’s. In a confidential letter by staff members, “the writers claim that upper-level staff knew about the bad behavior and focused on protecting the president rather than the staff. They delivered the letter to NAR’s executive committee Monday.”
CEO Out At Cboe Global Markets Over Undisclosed Personal Conflicts
Edward Tilly resigned as chairman and CEO of Chicago-based options trading house Cboe Global Markets, “one of two dominant derivatives exchanges based here,” reports Crain’s. “The board of directors determined that Mr. Tilly did not disclose personal relationships with colleagues, which violated Cboe’s policies and stands in stark contrast to the company’s values,” the company said in a release. “The conduct was not related to and does not impact the company’s strategy, financial performance, technology and market operations, reporting, or internal controls.” Succeeding “Tilly, sixty, as CEO is Fredric Tomczyk, sixty-eight, a Cboe board member since 2019 who was president and CEO of TD Ameritrade from 2008 until 2016.”
Retail Crime Of $100 Billion Claimed
“The National Retail Federation estimates the cost of ‘shrink’ and other inventory losses has climbed to almost $100 billion a year, ranging from small-time pilfering to Mafia-type cargo heists,” reports Bloomberg. “Losses from theft are at historical highs, and I’d say, we find it unacceptable,” Erik B. Nordstrom, chief executive officer of Nordstrom said during an earnings call. “We’re looking at everything we can do to make our stores safe and secure.”
Chicago Region Food System Fund Awards $2.66 Million
The Chicago Region Food System Fund has announced grant awards for the “Evolve the Food System” round of grant funding. $2,150,000 is awarded to twenty-three organizations for projects that “guide Chicago’s food system away from extractive, commercial agriculture and food systems—which reward a small group of corporations and shareholders—and towards cooperative models and sustainability for both land and livelihoods.” “Evolve the Food System” is the first of three interconnected rounds of funding through April 2024. Round two, “Grow Local and Regional Food System Resources,” opens September 21. Round three, “Prepare for Future Food System Emergencies,” opens in February 2024.
“Evolve the Food System” grant recipients are Advocates for Urban Agriculture, $150,000; Artisan Grain Collaborative, $150,000; Chicago Community and Workers’ Rights, $150,000; Chicago Food Policy Advisory Council, $100,000; Chicago Workers Collaborative, $125,000; Community Food Navigator, $75,000; Faith in Place, $75,000; Foresight Design Initiative, $50,000; Fuller Park Community Development, $75,000; Grow Greater Englewood, $100,000; Illinois Food Justice Alliance, $150,000; Illinois Food System Infrastructure Collaborative, $75,000; Illinois Public Health Institute, $50,000; Illinois Stewardship Alliance, $100,000; Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting, $125,000; North Lawndale Employment Network, $75,000; Puerto Rican Cultural Center, $75,000; Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, $50,000; Survivors Know, $75,000; Temp Worker Justice, $75,000; The Southwest Collective, $75,000; Warehouse Workers Justice Center, $150,000; West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum, $25,000. More here.
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