Chicago Artist Selva Aparicio Wins Burke Prize From Museum of Arts and Design
New York City’s Museum of Arts and Design has announced Selva Aparicio [Newcity Art 50 and Breakout Artist] as the winner of the 2023 Burke Prize. Established in 2018, the Museum’s biennial prize honoring excellence in contemporary craft is named for craft collectors Marian and Russell Burke. It awards an unrestricted $50,000 to an artist aged forty-five or under working in the United States, whose “accomplished work is conceptually rigorous, relevant and pushes the boundaries of materials and creative process.” Aparicio’s work will receive an installation on view November 6, 2023-March 24, 2024. Two Chicago-area artists were recognized among the four finalists for the prize, Alex Chitty [Newcity Art 50 and Breakout Artist] and Julia Phillips [Newcity Art 50]. The finalists also include Kira Dominguez Hultgren of Urbana and Brie Ruais of Santa Fe.
Arts Club’s Picasso “Head Of A Woman” Headed To Manhattan
“Head Of A Woman,” held by the Arts Club, features in “A Foreigner Called Picasso,” curated by Annie Cohen-Solal and Vérane Tasseau (with a catalogue essay by Arts Club board member Silvia Beltrametti). “Head of a Woman” (1922) will be on view at Gagosian’s West 21st Street gallery November 10-December 22. More here.
Ram-And-Grab Crews Wrack Small Streetwear Stores
“Streetwear shops burglarized recently include Round Two, Boneyard, Urban Jungle, Unique Chicago, Endless Supply and Flee Club. Some have been forced to temporarily close as they make repairs,” reports Block Club. “One shop owner estimated his store’s damages and stolen property amounted to $1 million, according to police reports… The majority of the [weaponized] cars… have been stolen Jeep Grand Cherokees, which are possibly being broken into with the help of viral TikTok videos showing how to hack the cars’ computer systems.”
Feds Loan City $336 Million Toward Replacing Toxic Lead Pipes
“Chicago is getting a $336 million low-interest loan through the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act to replace up to 30,000 lead pipes,” reports CBS 2. “Chicago has 380,000 lead service lines. City officials have estimated it will cost up to $9 billion to replace all of them.”
Chicago’s 110th Christmas Tree, A Hale Forty-Five Feet, Hails From Darien
The 2023 year’s annual Chicago Christmas Tree, the city’s 110th annual arboreal offering, has been donated by the Delacruz family of Darien. The forty-five-foot Colorado Blue Spruce will arrive in Millennium Park today.
State Street Macy’s Installs Walnut Room “Great Tree”
“The Great Tree has been a centerpiece at Macy’s, formerly Marshall Field’s, for 116 years,” reports CBS 2. “The theme this year is ‘Sweet Treats Tree’—with colorful candies and oversized confections—from candy canes, gumdrops, and cherry-topped cupcakes to a big stack of macarons. The forty-five-foot tree hangs from the ceiling of the Walnut Room.” The lighting ceremony is Saturday at 11:30am.
Chicago-Area Activists Want To Protect Region’s Trees
For years, “a group of activists have tried to stop the removal of bur oak trees at a proposed industrial park development in Kane County near Geneva, contacting local elected officials, starting a petition and even climbing on machinery,” reports the Tribune. “They say almost all of the historic trees were cut down in the two weeks after Labor Day, calling it ‘a colossal failure’ for the Tree City USA community.”
Obama Contributed To Biden AI Initiative
“Former President Obama advised the White House over the past five months on its plan to address artificial intelligence,” reports NBC News. Obama worked “behind the scenes with tech companies and holding Zoom meetings with top West Wing aides at President Biden’s request.”
Bangladesh Garment Factory Workers Who Supply Gap, H&M, Zara, Levi’s, Take To Streets
“Bangladesh is the second largest garment-producing country in the world after China with its nearly 3,500 factories where some four million workers are employed—most are women,” reports AP. The workers receive $75 as monthly minimum wage and “often need to work overtime to make ends meet.” Protests broke out after an offer “to increase the monthly minimum wage by twenty-five percent to reach $90, instead of the $208 demanded by the workers.” Over 300 factories have been shut down, reports More Perfect Union on X/Twitter (video). France 24: “Levi’s and H&M are among top global clothing brands to suffer production halts in Bangladesh, a garment union leader said… after days of violent protests by workers… Dozens of factories have been ransacked by striking workers, with several hundred others shuttered by their owners to avoid vandalism.” And “the government sent in the paramilitary Border Guard Bangladesh to disperse angry staff who had set fire to factories… The country’s supply chains have been hit by three days of blockades of railways, roads and waterways by political opposition parties, causing major delays and knock-on effects.”
DINING & DRINKING
Maxim’s de Paris Retooled as Private Club With “Swank”
The space “is located on the lowest level of the Astor Tower at Astor and Goethe streets—amid the hush of the well-heeled in the Gold Coast,” reports CBS 2. “It was Chicago’s Maxim’s de Paris—once known as Chicago’s finest restaurant. It was a replica, and a franchise, of the iconic art nouveau institution that has operated since 1893 in Paris—located on Rue Royale between the Place de la Concorde and the Place de la Madeleine, and known as the most popular restaurant in the world… The Astor Tower where it is located was completed in 1963, and Maxim’s de Paris Chicago opened in December of that year. The tower was designed by Bertrand Goldberg—the architect behind Marina City—and started out as a hotel before being converted into condos in 1979. Goldberg’s wife, Nancy Florsheim Goldberg, was the proprietor of Maxim’s de Paris Chicago… After going through red tape and putting down a couple million bucks, the space now belongs to the Bilters. It is much like it was half a century ago—the same old ambiance and the same dramatic grand staircase, but now operating as a new private supper club called the Astor Club.” The Bilters attracted “a membership base that’s almost seventy percent members who live within four blocks,” says co-owner Adam Bilter. “They wanted a walkable, dress code, private place to call their second home.” “It costs nearly $5,000 to join the Astor Club, and $300 a month in dues—not including anything members consume. Adam Bilter and his wife, Victoria, have spent zero on advertising—and yet, they are near capacity with members.”
FILM & TELEVISION
Sundance Institute Episodic Fellows Include Second City And Old Town School Alum
The nonprofit Sundance Institute announced today its 2023 lab fellows for the tenth Episodic Lab program at the Sundance Resort in Sundance, Utah, November 3-7. Designed to bring together early-career writers with an original series IP that has not yet been produced, the Episodic Lab is a five-day immersive experience allowing them opportunities to work under the guidance of established showrunners and executive producers. Among the selected eight artists are Laurie Hartung with “Rabbit Hole”: “After a magician pulls her out of his hat, a bright young bunny seeks to understand what the hell happened to her while protecting the town that thinks she’s gone crazy in an animation-meets-live-action dark comedy. An alum of Second City and iO, Hartung writes and performs sketch and musical comedy. Before moving to Los Angeles, Laurie was a teaching artist at Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music.”
Peripatetic Chicago Filmmaker Locates SXSW Panel
Chicago filmmaker Curtis Matzke, whose travels include joining one of Werner Herzog’s international filmmaker workshops, has a SXSW panel on tap that “delves deep into the world of artist residencies, retreats, and labs, the differences and similarities, and particularly what screenwriters and filmmakers can take away from these experiences. Our discussion will cover ways to break out of your creative slump by finding inspiring peers, explain the importance of being exposed to other art forms, and examine how a different creative process can enlighten narrow-minded views of our profit-driven industry.”
Trib Phillips Amped For Intermission
Would the three-hour-and-twenty-six-minute “Killers Of The Flower Moon” “work better, and attract bigger audiences, especially in the fifty-year-old bladder demographic, with an intermission?” asks critic Michael Phillips at the Trib. “Once upon a time in America, most movies of a certain duration, especially in their road show… extra-long big city engagements at higher prices, embraced the intermission concept from the get-go. Filmmakers wanted all the bells and whistles: the overture; the intermission with intermission music; the entr’acte music; the exit music. It was an event… I’d love to live in a movie world, if we continue to support one, where large, ambitious films of all kinds rediscover the pleasure and tradition of the intentional, filmmaker-driven interval, strategically placed in the service of the story. ‘Flower Moon’ wasn’t one of those films, because the director didn’t make it that way.”
Press Forward Coalition Announces Network of Local Chapters
MacArthur, along with a growing coalition of funders, launched the next phase of a plan to strengthen local news at an unprecedented level: Press Forward Locals. In addition to Press Forward Chicago, other chapters are Alaska; Minnesota; Philadelphia; Springfield, Illinois; and Wichita. Press Forward Locals are an opportunity for funders to create place-based initiatives for local news, driven by the specific needs of their communities. “As local newsrooms have disappeared across America, communities have witnessed fading civic engagement, eroding social bonds, surging misinformation, and dwindling governmental accountability. Over the last decade news organization founders and funders have stepped up to build and invest in emerging ecosystems across the country.” More here.
Calumet City Officials Ticket Reporter For Asking Questions
“Calumet City officials have issued municipal citations to a Daily Southtown reporter who they allege violated local ordinances by seeking comment from public employees on major flooding issues in the area,” reports the Trib. “Several notices sent to reporter Hank Sanders describe the alleged violations as ‘interference/hampering of city employees.’ The Southtown, which is owned by the Chicago Tribune’s parent company, published a story online October 19 and in print October 20 in which Sanders reported that consultants had informed Calumet City officials that their stormwater facilities were in poor condition before September’s historic rains caused flooding. Calumet City is about twenty-three miles south of Chicago and home to 36,000 residents, most of them Black… Tribune executive editor Mitch Pugh called the action by suburban officials ‘outrageous.’ ‘From places like Alabama to Kansas to Illinois, it appears public officials have become emboldened to take actions that our society once viewed as un-American.'” Also: Mayor Jones “is under federal investigation for tax issues involving his campaign funds, the Tribune previously reported.”
What Led To “Dewey Defeats Truman” Headline?
“The Chicago Tribune covered its first presidential election in 1848,” chronicles the Trib. “The race a century later, however, would result in the newspaper’s most famous headline: ‘DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN.’ The Tribune was on deadline the night of November 2, 1948. In the absence of election results, the newspaper assumed that New York governor Thomas E. Dewey (Republican) would sink incumbent Harry S. Truman (Democrat). He didn’t. And the blunder appeared atop a single edition of the Tribune seventy-five years ago. (The headline isn’t the only problem with the page—it’s a typographical mess. Lines and type are askew. It’s a mishmash of type styles. And in the second paragraph of the lead story, five lines of type ran upside down.).”
What Next For Bezos’ Washington Post?
Washington Post staffers “are seeking clarity about long-term strategy, with the paper set to lose $100 million this year, offering buyouts, and hiring a new CEO—all while the newsroom gears up for a consequential election,” reports Vanity Fair. “Owner Jeff Bezos, says one employee, ‘took his eye off the ball.'” (Also: Bezos is relocating from Amazon turf in Seattle to Miami, reports the New York Times; “Bezos had purchased a mansion in South Florida for $79 million, a few months after buying a neighboring one for $68 million. Mr. Bezos is worth $161 billion, making him the world’s third-richest person.”)
When Sly Stone Fronted A Chicago Bar Band
“The unpredictable pop star spent several months of a comeback attempt gigging with local seven-piece One Eyed Jacks” in 1982-83, writes Jack Riedy at the Reader. “In late 1982, Sly Stone was digging out from under years of missed shows, middling albums, and negative headlines, including those arising from a drug and weapons arrest in Los Angeles… He was in need of a new band, and One Eyed Jacks’ agent surprised the group by bringing the singer to one of their shows. ‘As if Sly’s gonna come out to Elkhart, Indiana, to a motor lodge to hear us play,’ saxophonist Peter Neumer says. But they could, in fact, believe their eyes. ‘We walked offstage, and this guy in black leather pants and coat said, “We got a match.”‘ It was that simple. ‘We became the Family Stone, so to speak,’ bandleader Jack Sweeney says. The band was billed accordingly, as Sly & the Family Stone, Sly & the New Family Stone, or sometimes just Sly Stone.”
Indianapolis Black Equity Theater Names Artistic Director
Ben Rose will be the founding artistic director of the new professional Black equity theater company incubated at the District Theatre, reports the Weekly View. “Rose is a well-known Indianapolis-based actor, director and producer. Rose has twenty years of experience in the arts, from mentoring to fundraising and creating his own projects, such as the Indy Filmmakers Bootcamp and the Black and Brown Soulidarity Festival. The program will be independent of The District Theatre, with its own board and governance structure. They aim to bring high-quality Black theatre artists and technicians together to create a positive space for creative development and performance.”
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Will The Humanities Survive Widespread Budget Cuts?
“After years of hand-wringing about their future, liberal arts departments now face the chopping block. At risk: French, German, American studies and women’s studies,” reports the New York Times (free link). “Not only are public officials… questioning state support for the humanities, a growing number of universities, often aided by outside consultants, are now putting many cherished departments—art history, American studies—on the chopping block. They say they are facing headwinds, including students who are fleeing to majors more closely aligned to employment.”
Luminarts Executive Director Exits
Jason Kalajainen, executive director of the Luminarts Cultural Foundation for a decade is leaving the group for a leadership role with a private foundation, Luminarts relays. The Luminarts Cultural Foundation cultivates Chicago’s arts community by supporting young artists through its programs that “offer financial awards, artistic opportunities, and mentoring that bridge the gap between education and career.” In the past decade, Luminarts “transformed into a premiere foundation that provided more than 200 life-changing fellowships to artists in music, dance, architecture and visual art.” Kalajainen “spearheaded the Project Grant Program and developed additional professional opportunities for the fellows, including highly coveted residencies and a [strong] mentoring program.” He also “created partnerships for Luminarts with the Joffrey Ballet, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.” More Luminarts here.
Howard Brown Clinic Workers To Strike Again
“Hundreds of Howard Brown Health workers, in response to what they describe as management’s unfair labor practices, are planning to strike later this month, marking the second strike at the LGBTQ+ health system in less than a year,” reports Crain’s. “The Illinois Nurses Association, which represents 366 Howard Brown workers… delivered a ten-day strike notice to Howard Brown management and intends to begin the strike on November 14. Union members voted ninety-six percent in favor to strike.”
Fund That Kept 15,000 Homeowners In Their Homes Runs Out
“The closure of the roughly $300 million fund on October 31 marked the end of major COVID-19-related aid for Illinois homeowners,” reports the Trib. “The Illinois Housing Development Authority’s assistance fund [was dedicated to] homeowners facing pandemic-related hardships who had fallen behind on their mortgage, property taxes, insurance or homeowner association fee payments… As of the fund’s closing, more than 43,000 people had applied for assistance… The authority had a denial rate of about fifty percent… The fund served people in ninety-eight out of 102 counties… with an average grant size of around $18,000.”
Illinois Arts Council Names Ethnic & Folk Arts Master-Apprentice Awards
The Illinois Arts Council Agency has announced twelve Ethnic & Folk Arts Master-Apprentice Awards in the Performing Arts category. Master artists each receive $3,000 cash awards to instruct their chosen apprentices via one-on-one sessions. Traditional, ethnic, and folk arts practices that are eligible for support include those that have a community or family base, express that community’s aesthetic, heritage or tradition, and have endured through several generations. These art forms are expressions of the regional, national, tribal culture or language group from which they originate. The winners are: Asha Chandrashekara Adiga, Aurora, and Khristi Blocton, Aurora, Bharatanatyam–Indian classical dance; Kioto Aoki, Oak Park, and Helen Nagata, DeKalb, Taiko–Japanese drumming; Tatsu Aoki, Oak Park, and Jill Kiku Taura, Chicago, Japanese shamisen—three-string lute; Edith “Mama Edie” Armstrong, Chicago, and Carmenita Peoples, Chicago, African American storytelling; Sandip Barman, Lisle, and Tyler Krais, Lisle, Hindustani music; Sean Cleland, Chicago, and Jennifer Mullen Ingerson, Chicago, traditional Irish fiddle; Rika Lin, aka Yoshinojo Fujima, Skokie, and Yukio Nang, Skokie, Japanese classical dance; Subhadra Natarajan, Naperville, and Achintya Ram, Naperville, Indian Carnatic vocal music; Daniel Rojas Rivera, Chicago, and Claire Happel Ashe, Macomb, Joropo music on the Llanera harp; Angela Tam, Chicago, and Judy Liu, Chicago, classical Chinese dance; Vanitha Veeravalli, Naperville, and Nikitha Velavan, Aurora, Bharatanatyam—Indian classical dance; Wanees Zarour, Chicago, and Clara Marie Mikhail, Chicago, Traditional Arabic Maqam music. More here.
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