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MCA Announces Resonance Series
Each spring the MCA presents a series of performances “shaped by a curatorial theme reflecting our contemporary moment.” The 2024 series, which runs March 28-May 12, takes up the theme of “resonance” through works by four artists who explore the physicality of sound and voice: Anna Martine Whitehead, Samita Sinha, Laura Ortman, and 7NMS | Marjani Forté-Saunders and Everett Saunders. Together, the artists and their respective pieces “form voices expressing the present power of protest.” More here.
New Board Members For Intuit
Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art welcomes three new board members: Kahil El’Zabar, Maya Sonal Patel and Vincent Uribe. Kahil El’Zabar is an interdisciplinary artist trained in music, visual arts and writing. He is an accomplished educator, events curator and experienced arts administrator, who has worked for The National Task Force for Arts in Education under President Clinton and with Steppenwolf and the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. Maya Patel is a consultant at Bain & Co. and recently completed her Kellogg School of Management MBA board fellowship at Intuit. In addition to her MBA, Patel holds a master’s in design innovation from Northwestern University and a bachelor’s in engineering from Duke University. Vincent Uribe is the director of exhibitions and external relations at Arts of Life and director of LVL3, a volunteer artist-run exhibition space. Uribe holds bachelor’s degrees in fine arts and in visual critical studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he recently joined the graduate faculty.
Recipients Announced For Next Level Award From 3Arts
3Arts, the Chicago-based nonprofit grantmaking organization, announced the recipients of its 3Arts Next Level Awards—$50,000 unrestricted cash awards given to past 3Arts awardees—during the 3Arts Awards Celebration this week at the Harris Theater. While 3Arts has in the past awarded three Next Level grants, the roster was expanded to include two additional awards for teaching artists. At $50,000, this is the largest no-strings-attached cash award for teaching artists in the world. 2023 Next Level recipients are teaching artists Miguel “Kane One” Aguilar and Regin Igloria and visual artists Dianna Frid, Edra Soto and Dorian Sylvain in recognition of their outstanding work in the arts and in neighborhoods across Chicago. More here.
Attendance Off By A Third, SFMOMA Fires Thirty-Five Percent Of Staff
“The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has cut twenty staff positions, citing a thirty-five percent drop in attendance since the start of the pandemic,” reports the San Francisco Chronicle. “SFMOMA Director Christopher Bedford justified the reduction in staff as a necessary ‘response to our current economic landscape.'”
Former Landmarks Illinois President David Bahlman Was Seventy-Eight
David Bahlman was “a champion of historic preservation when he led Landmarks Illinois. David played an instrumental role in the fight to save Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House,” posts Blair Kamin. Bahlman became CEO and president of Landmarks Illinois in Chicago in 1999, according to his obituary. “In 2003, Mr. Bahlman was instrumental, along with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and prominent Chicago philanthropists, in leading the campaign to save [the] Farnsworth House… from being purchased at auction and moved out of the state.” Bahlman retired from Landmarks Illinois in 2008.
Housing Costs Biggest Drag On Perception Of Economy
“For some, unaffordable homes undercut the American dream even more than high gasoline and food prices,” billboards the Wall Street Journal. “I asked why Americans were in such a rotten mood when the data said the economy is in such good shape. The disconnect has only grown since. Inflation, we just learned, eased in October, extending a two-week rally in stocks and bonds. And yet the University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment keeps falling.”
DINING & DRINKING
Metropolitan Brewing Closes Next Month After Eviction Battle, Bankruptcy
“Metro got its start in a Ravenswood warehouse in 2008, expanding to the dog-friendly Avondale brewery and tap room in 2017,” reports the Trib. “Patrons flocked to social media Tuesday to share memories of kayaking up the Chicago River for a pint and letting their pups run loose on the brewery grounds… Metropolitan Brewery filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October, as low retail sales clashed with a yearslong rent payment dispute… The brewery owes more than $1 million in equipment rental fees to Live Oak Bank, based in North Carolina, and another $386,000 for a pandemic loan from the Small Business Administration.”
Posts Revolution Brewing on X/Twitter, “This is a monumental loss to the Chicago beer community, Metro made some of the finest beers in or outside of Chicago. Drink local and support your favorite indie breweries. It’s tough out there.” Posts Metropolitan: “We’re here to confirm that we’ve been unable to resolve our differences with our landlord, and are left with no choice but to close our business. The last day our taproom will be open is Sunday, December 17 from 11am to 9pm.”
Englewood’s Sikia Gets Second Life
“Before 2020, Sikia, located at 740 West 63rd, was Englewood’s only fine dining restaurant,” reports the Sun-Times. “Sikia was about making something special for the community, said Katonja Webb-Walker, president of Kennedy-King College. It was the kind of dining experience you could get right there, rather than heading to Hyde Park or downtown. But the restaurant eventually closed, citing issues stemming from the pandemic… Fifteen years since it first opened its doors, Sikia is getting a new lease on life, now that Kennedy-King’s Washburne Culinary & Hospitality Institute is making moves to revamp it. Staff at Washburne plan to bring Sikia back with a new look after [a] renovation [leading to] a grand reopening in fall 2024. Kennedy-King plans to renovate the restaurant using $500,000 of a $5 million grant it received from billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott.”
Split-Rail Closes After Six Years, But Dorothy Doesn’t Surrender
West Town’s Split-Rail will close December 10, with a final brunch this Sunday, reports Axios. “It’s no secret that this industry—while wholly beautiful in the core of gathering, drinking and dining—is challenging,” chef Zoe Schor and Whitney LaMora wrote in the email. “They were also pioneers in doing away with tips to help pay better wages for staff, instead adding a twenty-percent service fee to the bill.” Their adjacent private space, The Martin, will also close, but their cocktail bar Dorothy, beneath the restaurant, will continue.
Research: Leftover Pasta And Rice Even Better For You
“The idea that you could change the health properties of a food by merely cooking and cooling it may sound too good to be true,” details the New York Times (free link). “By the next day, some of the natural starches in the food will have transformed into healthier versions, called resistant starches, which have been linked to a range of health benefits including lower blood sugar, better gut health and a reduced risk of certain types of cancer.” (The full process is at the link.)
Salmon Population Plunges In Yukon
“As waters warm, Alaska Native families confront a world without the fish that fed them for generations,” reports Grist. “I thought this wouldn’t happen in my lifetime,” a member of a fishing family says. “I thought there would always be fish in the river.” Salmon have been in the Yukon, “the fourth-longest river in North America, for as long as there have been people on its banks. The river’s abundance helped Alaska earn its reputation as one of the last refuges for wild salmon, a place where they once came every year by the millions to spawn in pristine rivers and lakes after migrating thousands of miles. But as temperatures in western Alaska and the Bering Sea creep higher, the Yukon’s salmon populations have plunged.”
What Became Of Wendy’s Solariums?
“Wendy’s sunrooms, or solariums, were a staple of the chain’s aesthetic in the 1980s, nineties, and 2000s,” reports Mental Floss. “Changing architectural trends and a push for energy efficiency are to blame for their demise.”
FILM & TELEVISION
Not So Meep-Meep! Warner May Be Called To Congress Over “Coyote vs. Acme”; New York Times Magazine Profiles Headstrong WBD Majordomo David Zaslav
Congressman Joaquin Castro has called out Warner Bros. Discovery, reports Variety, “for planning to shelve the completed film ‘Coyote vs. Acme’ [to get] a $30 million tax break… The WBD tactic of scrapping fully made films for tax breaks is predatory and anti-competitive,” Castro wrote on X/Twitter. “It’s like burning down a building for the insurance money.”
David Zaslav “had met all the stars and players, was widely feted as the next in line to save the eternally struggling industry and was well into the process of renovating a landmark house in Beverly Hills. ‘You’re the dog that caught the bus,’ the billionaire octogenarian cable pioneer John Malone, one of Discovery’s largest shareholders, told him. All he needed to do now was pay back the $56 billion in debt that he piled onto the new company to make the deal happen,” write Jonathan Mahler, James B. Stewart and Benjamin Mullin at the New York Times Magazine (free link). “Zaslav had set a ‘synergy target’—cost cuts, essentially—of $3 billion in the next two years, and now, with the clock ticking, he got to work. To help, he had brought along his chief financial officer from Discovery, an amateur pilot and former McKinsey consultant.”
“As spring turned to summer, they laid off hundreds of workers, shuttered or reorganized divisions and suspended or canceled hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of programming. Anything we don’t think is awesome, Zaslav told executives, stop production right now. Turn the cameras off.” WBD “is shackled with a colossal debt load, the price of the merger that brought Zaslav to power… The stock has now lost well over half its value since Zaslav took charge… Zaslav kept finding new ways to infuriate Hollywood,” the writers observe in the 8,000-plus-word deep dive.
Tracie D. Hall On Access To Books As American Library Association Term Ends
“When she offered a toast at April’s Time 100 Gala in New York City, Tracie D. Hall, selected for Time magazine’s list of influential people, drew attention to librarians who have faced bomb threats, firings, and even jail time for resisting a growing effort to ban books,” writes Lolly Bowean at Chicago magazine. “Hall, the first Black woman to head the Chicago-based American Library Association, received a standing ovation for her passionate declaration: ‘Free people read freely.'” Hall “recently stepped down after nearly four years at the ALA. The timing was right… She had helped close the organization’s budget gap, led it through a pandemic that temporarily closed libraries’ doors, and taken stands in support of librarians thrust into the middle of the culture wars.”
Chance, Q, Jennifer Hudson Invest In Reborn Ramova
“Chicago icons Jennifer Hudson, Chance the Rapper and Quincy Jones have teamed up to reopen and revitalize the Ramova Theatre,” reports Variety. “With Hudson, Chance and Jones as co-owners, the Ramova will reopen… as a 1,500-capacity live music venue with a grill, beer garden and brewery in partnership with Other Half Brewing. ‘I believe the cultural divides in our communities will always be bridged and uplifted by music and the arts,’ said Jones. ‘With Ramova, I see a future where the rich cultural heritage of Chicago shines even brighter alongside the country’s most talented artists, which will inspire future generations to come and bring glory to America’s Second City.'”
Definition Theatre Looks For Home
“For Definition Theatre, bucking the trend as a BIPOC-focused organization,” reports Kerry Reid at the Reader, “means moving forward with plans to open their own built-from-the-ground-up arts center in Woodlawn. But Definition isn’t just interested in serving theater artists and audiences. Founded as a non-Equity company over ten years ago by Tyrone Phillips and Julian Parker, graduates of the theater program at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, they’ve been working to grow deeper roots within their South Side community by partnering with everyone from local entrepreneurs to high school students.”
Cleveland Ballet Suspends Husband-And-Wife President And Artistic Director Under Investigation
“The Cleveland Ballet Board of Directors has temporarily suspended the organization’s president and CEO Michael Krasnyansky and the artistic director Gladisa Guadalupe amid an investigation into ‘serious workplace allegations,'” reports Cleveland.com.
America’s First Prima Ballerina, Maria Tallchief, Inspires Generations Of Native American Dancers
Born in “1925, in Fairfax, Oklahoma, on the Osage reservation, Tallchief began ballet training at three years old. Her family, like many of the Osage nation, lived on quarterly oil royalty checks,” reports CNN. “After oil was discovered on Osage land and brought wealth to their community, White settlers murdered dozens of Osage to steal their mineral rights, as depicted in the book, recently made into a movie, ‘Killers of the Flower Moon.’ Tallchief’s family used their wealth to move to Beverly Hills when she was eight years old.”
“In the 1940s, Tallchief began working with famed ballet choreographer George Balanchine, and later became the star of his newly-founded dance company, the New York City Ballet. Balanchine and Tallchief would eventually marry and he choreographed leading roles for her in ‘Swan Lake,’ ‘The Nutcracker’ and ‘The Firebird.’ Tallchief’s performance in Firebird propelled her to fame and was praised immensely… Tallchief retired from dancing in 1966 and taught ballet at the Lyric Opera of Chicago before founding her own ballet company… Through the power of dance, the school gives aspiring ballerinas, who represent about twenty different tribes, a chance to channel that trauma and express themselves.”
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
NEA Announces ArtsHERE
The National Endowment for the Arts has announced ArtsHERE, a pilot initiative supporting about ninety-five nonprofit organizations across the nation with non-matching project-based grants available of $65,000-$130,000, as well as peer learning opportunities. ArtsHERE will fund specific projects that will strengthen an organization’s capacity to sustain meaningful community engagement and increase arts participation and is open to organizations in all fifty states and six jurisdictions to apply. The deadline for groups to submit a statement of interest is Friday, January 19, 2024. Go here for full guidelines and to apply.
Chance The Rapper Joins Museum of Science and Industry Tree Lighting
Chance the Rapper will be flipping the switch on the Museum of Science and Industry Grand Tree this Saturday at 11am. He’ll join Santa and MSI’s Vice President of Education and Chief Learning and Community Partnerships Officer Jessica Chavez to kick off the run of “Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light” and announce the return of SocialWorks’ fifth annual “A Night at the Museum” event. More SocialWorks here.
Universities Prepare Two-Year Colleges
“The goal of the model, started at Loyola University, is to get low-income students to and through college with little to no debt,” reports Inside Higher Ed. “Under the model, universities create two-year colleges that serve low-income students and are primarily funded by state and federal financial aid, which reduces costs for the institutions and ensures students take out minimal to no student loans. Students have use of university amenities and receive extra support, including free breakfast and lunch, laptops, and dedicated faculty advisers and social workers. The students also have the opportunity to transfer seamlessly to the host university. Loyola founded Arrupe College, the first college in the network, in 2015, and University of St. Thomas in Minnesota followed suit two years later when it created Dougherty Family College.”
Historic Horseshoe Pits In Welles Park Encroached By Burgeoning Cornhole, Pickleball
“Neighbors and the local alderman are concerned a long-awaited plan to rehab the Welles Park horseshoe pits and add pickleball courts is stalling as time to use critical funding [of $110,000] for the project runs out,” reports Block Club. “Lincoln Square and North Center [pickleball participants] for years have [reportedly] asked park officials to build them courts at Welles Park near the horseshoe pits… ‘We want to protect and preserve the history of the horseshoe pits while also making some additional space for pickleball,'” the council president said. There is “discretionary funding to convert the current ten horseshoe pits at Welles Park into a mix of pickleball courts, a cornhole area and rehabbed horseshoe pits.”
Florida Increases Child Labor In Dangerous Settings
The Florida Legislature is addressing “labor shortages caused by their recent anti-immigrant law [by] introducing bills to gut child labor protection laws and allow them to work full time and overnight,” organizer Tom Kennedy posts on X/Twitter. Investigative reporter Jason Garcia: The bill “that loosens the state’s child-labor laws… would allow sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds to work on top of roofs, scaffoldings and building superstructures.”
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