Get Chicago culture news sent to your inbox every weekday morning. Subscribe to Newcity Today here.
Art On The Mart’s “Season Of Light” Debuts November 16
Art on The Mart, the digital art project that transforms a Chicago architectural landmark into a larger-than-life canvas, opens its winter season with a new projection by Yorgo Alexopoulos, a School of the Art Institute of Chicago alum known for immersive moving image works, and a collaborative work made by current SAIC students. Alexopoulos’ and the SAIC projections will be on view nightly at 7:30pm from November 16 through December 30. More here.
UChicago “Nightshade” Could Poison A.I. Image Plagiarism
A team of University of Chicago researchers released a research paper outlining “Nightshade,” a data-poisoning technique aimed at flummoxing the training process for AI models, reports MIT Technology Review. “A new tool lets artists add invisible changes to the pixels in their art before they upload it online so that if it’s scraped into an A.I. training set, it can cause the resulting model to break in chaotic and unpredictable ways.” (The paper is here.)
Lee Bey On Architect Daniel P. Coffey
“Architect Daniel P. Coffey, a South Side bricklayer’s son who oversaw the restoration of the Chicago Theatre and other venues that formed the core of the downtown theater district, has died,” writes Sun-Times architecture critic Lee Bey. “While his firm was in its infancy, Mr. Coffey in 1985 took on the $10 million restoration of the Chicago Theatre… helping rescue the then-faded movie house from the brink of demolition. He worked with the edifice’s new owners, the Chicago Theatre Preservation Group, and oversaw the restoration of the building’s brick and terra cotta exterior, its ornate interior and its 3,600-seat auditorium.”
“The job turned the dilapidated old film palace into a city landmark worthy enough for Frank Sinatra to perform live on the restored theater’s opening night in September 1986. Mr. Coffey’s downtown theater work includes the restoration of the Nederlander Theatre… in 1996, and the Cadillac Palace Theatre… in 1999. ‘He loved this city,’ said Mr. Coffey’s wife, Robin.”
A History Of Uptown’s Riviera Theatre
Robert Loerzel continues his illustrated episodic history of the edifices of Uptown with Chapter Nineteen: The Riv. “In the midst of Chicago’s turmoil over late-night cabarets, Tom Chamales expanded his local entertainment empire beyond Green Mill Gardens. In March 1916, the Chicago Daily Tribune reported that Chamales planned to build a ten-story hotel building, including a theater, at the southwest corner of Broadway and Lawrence Avenue—just across the street from Green Mill Gardens. In a series of transactions between January 1915 and October 1916, Chamales purchased three lots at the corner, putting together the land where his new building would stand.That building became the Riviera Theatre, which still stands today, well known in recent years as a rock concert venue owned by Jam Productions—’the Riv,’ as many concertgoers call it.” Much more at the link here.
Historians Seek Recognition For Black Panther Site
“Activists hope to update the listing of the Church of the Epiphany in the National Register of Historic Places to commemorate the Black Panther Party’s history,” reports Block Club.
Flee Club Sneaker Store May Close After Third Burglary, Including Latest Stolen Vehicle Smash-And-Grab
Flee Club co-owner Sabrian Sledge tells CBS 2 that “it’s the third time his business has been burglarized within two years… ‘All we’re just trying to do is elevate as a business. You know we want to grow… We want to have multiple locations in our city, but they’re making it real tough for that right now.’ … The windows are boarded up after a group used an SUV to smash into the business… Five to six people jumped out and grabbed whatever they could find.”
Kimbark Plaza Thins Out
The landmark Hyde Park shopping mall is losing tenants, reports Block Club. “Several spaces are vacant, including one left by a longtime pizzeria. Leaders of the cooperatively owned plaza wouldn’t elaborate on their longterm plans.”
DINING & DRINKING
Marz Community Brewing Toasts Nine Years
Marz Community Brewing celebrates nine years of tipple with Liquid Dreams. “It’s our Marziversary! Come and celebrate with us at our ninth official birthday at the Marz Mothership. We are opening a Pop Up Grump-Y Cheese Pizza arcade, a Make your Own Pastry Stout Bar, a Wake and Bake Cafe hosted by Daze Off, a Drink Marz free sampling Bar, The Back Dock Comedy Shop and Cevapcici Chicago will be grilling our favorite street food. House marching band Environmental Encroachment performs at 5pm.” Live performances by GNKO, Winston, Bobby Conn and Baby Teeth, 8pm-midnight. 3630 South Iron, Saturday, November 4, noon-11:30pm. Full program and tickets here.
Marisol Collaboration For Chef James Martin
Starting next Wednesday, Marisol at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, will be serving a tempura acorn squash bocadillo (a Spanish-style sandwich) with avocado, honey and sobrassada goat cheese, through January 2024. The dish, part of Marisol’s Chef Collaborative Series, was created by Chef James Martin of Bocadillo Market in Lincoln Park. The sandwich will be served during Marisol lunch hours, 11am-2pm, Tuesday to Friday. Reservations here.
Fired Latino Workers At Boka’s Japanese Restaurant Itoko Protest
“Amy Casales says it took a while for her to process why she was fired from her job as a server assistant at Itoko,” the Japanese restaurant run by Boka Restaurant Group, reports Eater Chicago. “Casales was one of five server assistants let go in September… She says she feels ‘so disposable’ after a restaurant manager told her and her colleagues that they were fired due to the City Council’s decision to abolish the tipped minimum wage, a move that will increase labor costs for restaurants while bringing pay closer in step with the rate of inflation. Furthermore, Casales points out that she’s part of a group of five workers who all identify as Latino.” A Boka spokesperson “writes no manager ever blamed the layoffs on the ordinance. Boka’s staff, like other managers within Chicago’s restaurant industry, have discussed the ordinance internally, but ‘there were many other factors that directly led to the changes in the service model at Itoko.'”
O.J. Record Highs Expected To Climb
The price of orange juice at the grocery store has gone up ten percent in the past year, reports the Wall Street Journal, and that’s not the end. “Orange juice prices have been climbing as citrus groves have faced a spreading greening disease and extreme weather. Prices for frozen concentrate orange-juice futures have more than tripled since late 2021 and emerged as one of this year’s top-performing commodities, with prices setting records week after week. [They’ve] jumped to a fresh record high of $3.91 a pound, up from $2.11 last October.”
FILM & TELEVISION
Theaters Anticipate Holiday Drought; Talks With Striking Actors Delayed
“Hollywood hoped SAG-AFTRA and studios would resolve their contract negotiations by the end of October. But the strike drags on, preventing major stars from promoting their new films and adding to exhibitors’ anxieties about the upcoming holiday season,” reports Variety. “There’s an adage that moviegoing begets moviegoing, though exhibitors fear that some of [the fall-into-winter] blockbuster hopefuls don’t have enough of a runway beyond opening weekend.”
Unsafe At Any Speed: Ralph Nader Warns Film Industry Of The Rapid Advance Of AI
Elder activist and SAG-AFTRA member says his outreach to union president Fran Drescher has gone unanswered: “The studio people don’t have the high moral ground,” he says, reports the Ankler. “I mean, when you consider what these [executives] are being paid, compared to what their employees are being paid, or whatever you call the different roles. It’s really staggering, the gap is staggering.”
Of the ongoing strike: “This is a struggle that’s going to mean something to millions of workers in the country,” Nader says of the application of artificial intelligence, because “this is one of the first few real negotiations over A.I… If they settle too quickly, they may not get another chance as the forces of automation lock in and force them up against the wall… This A.I. thing is particularly devastating for this industry, as you know, and it’s moving very fast.”
Apple TV+ Also Not Waiting Until End Of Strikes To Hike Prices
“Apple is hiking the price of [its streaming service] significantly, raising the monthly subscription fee to $9.99 per month from its current $6.99 per month,” writes the Hollywood Reporter. “Apple, of course, is far from alone in raising prices.” Earlier this month, Netflix hiked the prices of its ad-free plans, while Peacock, Disney+, Hulu, Paramount+, Discovery+ and Max have all boosted their subscription fees. Perhaps looking toward Apple’s $2.7 trillion-dollar market cap, the Reporter’s television critic Daniel Fienberg posts at Twitter/X, “Apple TV Plus was previously PERFECTLY priced for a service with a decent assortment of worthwhile originals and ZERO library. The best thing the service had going for it was a reasonable and restrained price point that said, ‘We make our profit elsewhere.'”
Burrell Communications Group Acquired By FVLCRUM
“Burrell Communications Group, one of the country’s most renowned Black-owned marketing agencies, is under new ownership,” reports Crain’s. Founded by Tom Burrell in 1971, “the Chicago shop has been acquired by Evolve Holdings, a consortium formed by Channing Johnson, a Los Angeles attorney at Loeb & Loeb, through his investment company View Park Capital and Black-owned private-equity firm FVLCRUM Partners.”
Day Of The deadmau5 Returns To Chicago
Electronic music artist deadmau5 will be in Chicago, Friday, October 27 and Saturday, October 28 for his annual ‘Day of the deadmau5’ celebrations, which includes two shows at Radius nightclub and a pop-up shop in Belmont Gardens. The shop is open at 4256 West Belmont, Friday, 11am-8pm; the Day of the deadmau5 show is at Radius, beginning at 10pm. Saturday, the pop-up is also open 11am-8pm, with a deadmau5 signing 1pm-3pm; and show at Radius beginning at 10pm.
Spotify Will Pay Royalties Only To Songs With Minimum Streams
Spotify will no longer distribute royalties to songs that fail to meet a set minimum of annual streams, reports Billboard. Spotify will “implement changes to its streaming royalty model in early 2024 that would affect the lowest-streaming acts, non-music noise tracks and distributors and labels committing fraud.” More at Music Business Worldwide here: “Today, every play on Spotify over thirty seconds long triggers a royalty payment. This won’t be the case by early next year.”
American Blues Theater Opens New Home With “It’s A Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago!”
American Blues Theater’s twenty-second annual production of “It’s a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago!” will be the inaugural show in American Blues Theater’s new permanent home, located at 5627 North Lincoln, and will run December 8–31. Tickets go on sale November 1 here.
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Bally’s Approved For Medinah Temple Gambling Until 2026
Bally’s, “the operator of the city’s first casino also got its permanent operating license—an important regulatory hurdle to setting up its future site on the Chicago River,” reports Crain’s.
CPD Says It Will Be “Stringent” With Extremists In Its Ranks After Journalistic Investigation
“Superintendent Larry Snelling and other brass did not explain the Chicago Police Department’s lack of action since an [Oath Keepers] membership list was leaked two years ago,” report WBEZ and the Sun-Times. “It serves the Chicago Police Department in no way, in no way good, to have members amongst our department who are filled with bias or members of hate groups,” Snelling said. “And we will not tolerate it.” … “Personnel records show many of the Chicago cops who signed up for the Oath Keepers faced accusations of serious misconduct, including racist comments. Some… disclosed their ties to the department and promised to recruit fellow officers for the Oath Keepers, according to the leaked membership records.”
Columbia College Part-Time Faculty Vote To Strike
“Part-time faculty at Columbia College Chicago voted to authorize a strike after administrators proposed cutting courses this year. College leaders say the cuts are necessary to bridge a $20 million deficit,” reports the Sun-Times.
Michigan Considers No-Declaw Law
The language of a law to prevent declawing of cats is under fire, reports UpNorth Live. But “if it becomes law, Michigan would join only New York and Maryland as states where the procedure is illegal.”
Chicago Pet Euthanasia Up Twenty-Five Percent
“Chicago’s city-run shelter is on track to put down more animals in 2023 than it has in years, a reality that the agency’s leader said was the result of rising pet care costs as well as owners simply not having time anymore after returning to the office post-pandemic,” reports the Trib.
Send culture news and tips to [email protected]