Today In Culture, Tuesday, June 11, 2024: Lula's New Neighbor | R.I.P. JJ Ingram, Chuck Roberts And Regan Davis | Artists Book House In Irving Park (2024)

Today In Culture, Tuesday, June 11, 2024: Lula's New Neighbor | R.I.P. JJ Ingram, Chuck Roberts And Regan Davis | Artists Book House In Irving Park (1)

875 North Michigan, June 8, 2024/Photo: Ray Pride

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Armory Show Sets Exhibitors for Thirtieth Anniversary

The Armory Show has released details for its thirtieth edition, now part of the Frieze network of fairs. The Armory Show 2024 will feature over 235 galleries representing more than thirty countries at New York’s Javits Center September 6-8. Chicago participants include Corbett vs. Dempsey, Kavi Gupta, Monique Meloche and Mariane Ibrahim Gallery. More here.

Chicago Artists Coalition Names Artist And Curatorial Residents

Chicago Artists Coalition has announced its artist and curatorial residents for 2024-26. “As we approach our fiftieth anniversary, I am excited to welcome this next group of creatives to the CAC community,” executive director Brookes Ebetsch says in a release. “I cannot wait to see the connections that are made [within] the collaborations that are sparked.” Incoming curatorial residents are Francine Almeda, Gordon Fung, Sidney Garrett, Christine Magill, Christina Nafziger; incoming artist residents are Reevah Agarwaal, Cecilia Beaven, Chelsea Bighorn, Isaac Couch, an emard, Maryam Faridani, FÁTIMA, Jairo Granados-Cardenas, Eli Greene, Oriana Koren, Ruth Poor, Martha Osornio Ruiz, Nekita Thomas, bex ya yolk and Sangwoo Yoo.

More Notice For Detroit As Arts Hub

“The latest newcomer to Detroit’s art scene,” reports The Art Newspaper, “is Little Village, a sprawling cultural hub in the city’s East Village neighborhood. Spearheaded by Anthony and J.J. Curis, co-founders of the Detroit-based galleries Library Street Collective and Louis Buhl & Co, the new endeavor is transforming several buildings into an arts and culture campus complete with a church-turned-gallery, a bed and breakfast, and a skatepark designed by the skateboarder Tony Hawk and the artist McArthur Binion.”


360 Buys Vacated Signature Room Space

360 Chicago has bought the 30,000-square-foot space that was occupied by the Signature Room until September 2023, reports the Sun-Times. “The operator of the observation deck at the former John Hanco*ck Center has bought the space… 360 Chicago’s observation deck on the ninety-fourth floor of the building, now known simply as 875 North Michigan, will not be [affected] by the construction of whatever the former restaurant and lounge space on the ninety-fifth and ninety-sixth floors” will become before its opening in 2026. No new restaurant is in the early plans. “The sale price wasn’t disclosed,” reports Crain’s.

Lead Architect Talks O’Hare Satellite Terminal

“Architects have long said form follows function. For the team designing the new satellite concourse at O’Hare International Airport, that means a curve or, more specifically, an arch,” reports Crain’s. “’The arch shape… it’s an old concept: this idea that the most efficient way to span is with a curved form—like a barrel vault or like a bridge. That’s what gave form to our roof,’ says Scott Duncan, a partner at Skidmore Owings & Merrill, who leads the satellite design team that includes Ross Barney Architects, Juan Gabriel Moreno Architects and Arup.” SOM displays designs here. Duncan has also worked on SOM projects at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai, India, and Changi International Airport in Singapore.

“I care about economies and efficiency,” he tells Crain’s. “There’s structural efficiency. You can shape the structural members in a smart way and reduce the amount of cost and carbon that goes into a building. I think that has value beyond just the financial side. There are both financial and aesthetic benefits to the ‘less is more’ approach. SOM’s design calls for wooden frames for an interior glass facade along the sides of the concourse. Because costs for aluminum have gone through the roof, it has become more cost-effective. Solutions like this, which may have been seen as a real premium in the past, are actually more cost-effective. The most prominent example is in the support columns that look like tree branches at the top. It’s a reference to O’Hare’s history: The airport’s abbreviation, familiar to travelers around the world, is ORD, which is short for Orchard Field.” Completion of the additional nineteen, flexible gates is anticipated for 2028.

Chicago Skyline Called One Of Nation’s Finest

“Chicago’s skyscraper innovation was born out of destruction: the Great Fire of 1871 [destroyed] the city’s downtown, forcing it to rebuild and eventually create the first skyscraper,” vamps Thrillist, concluding a list that starts with Seattle, Miami and a huge hero shot of Chicago’s central skyline. “While Chicago built up just like New York, it managed to avoid the Big Apple’s haphazard ways, maintaining a stunning skyline with shape and recognizable features. Set that on the shores of Lake Michigan, and you’ve got one of the best big city skylines in the world.”

Humboldt Park Beach Reopens After Four Years

“The city’s only inland beach has been closed due to pandemic-era restrictions and lifeguard shortages,” reports Block Club. “The reopening of Humboldt Park’s beach comes after a four-year closure and earlier disruptions to beach access because of issues of upkeep and water conditions.”


Aperitivo Bar Cara Cara Club Takes Space Next To Lula Cafe

“Cara Cara Club is opening in Logan Square next to Lula Cafe. They’ll be a ‘Tropical Aperitivo & Amaro Bar. Italo Disco & Funk, French House’ co*cktail bar,” tweets local observer B Talent. “From the owners of Nine Bar and Moon Palace in Chinatown. They take over for Big Kids, which closed in February.” Cara Cara’s Instagram is here.

Restaurants Claim Biggest Year Ever

“2024 will be the U.S. restaurant industry’s biggest year ever in sales—$1.1 trillion by the end of December, per National Restaurant Association estimates,” reports Axios. “That’s despite big financial pressures on restaurateurs, such as tech investments and the cost of labor and food.”

Times’ Restaurant Critic Goes After Chicago-Free “World’s 50 Best Restaurants” Ranking

“Among the Fifty Best are a number of establishments where they let you see a menu written in real words and order things you actually want to eat. Some of these… are hard to reach. Nearly all are very expensive. Still, there are places on the list where a relatively normal person might eat a relatively normal dinner and go home feeling relatively well-fed,” writes Pete Wells in the New York Times. “But the list is dominated by places that normal people can’t get into, where the few diners who will go to almost any length for reservations will go home feeling bloated and drunk. They are not restaurants, or not just restaurants. They are endurance tests, theatrical spectacles, monuments to ego and—the two most frightening words in dining—’immersive experiences.'” The listing in question is here.

Romeoville: Mango Mecca Of The World?

“For a few brief summer weeks, premium mangoes from all over the Indian subcontinent mingle together in a warehouse in Romeoville,” writes the Tribune’s Ahmed Ali Akbar. “The door is locked and unlabelled. I thought I was in the wrong place until the scent of about 1,000 mangoes stacked high on pallets reached my nose… To get the best mangoes at the proper ripeness, technology, agriculture and capital have to coordinate at a very complex level. [These mangoes] are more prone to spoilage than the ones commercially available in supermarkets… MangoZZ (also known as ZZ Group Inc. and ZZ Mango) was founded in 2008. The company distinguishes itself by offering mangoes without national bias, selling products from India and Pakistan between April and August. Deliveries come as often as three times a week, though some weeks may be skipped due to rain. The season begins with Kerala and the Konkan belt in southern India, bouncing back and forth northward to the end of the season in Pakistani Punjab in August.”


Chicago Force, Producer JJ Ingram Dies

Friends have been posting remembrances of producer Jacqueline “J.J.” Ingram, who died over the weekend, reportedly of cancer, describing her as an irreplaceable “force” on the Chicago filmmaking scene. Ingram’s credits include supervising producer of eighteen episodes of the Lilly Wachowski co-produced “Work In Progress”; producer of Frank V. Ross’ “Bloomin Mud Shuffle”; co-producer of Hannah Fidell’s “The Long Dumb Road”; and a producer of Haroula Rose’s “Once Upon A River.” In 2022, she was Creative Development Producer at Breaking Light Studio. Writes filmmaker Grant Rosenmeyer on Facebook, “She took care of absolutely everyone, her crews, her friends, her family. I never felt more safe than when I was on one of her sets… She took other people’s dreams and made them realities, and asked for so little in return.” Producer Eddie Linker, who worked with Ingram on several projects and was close, describes her as a “smart, resourceful, excellent producer but most importantly a beautiful person/human.”

William Friedkin Gets Honorary Street Name

Chicago-born filmmaker William Friedkin, director of films including “The French Connection” and “The Exorcist,” now has a local street named after him. It was dedicated on Monday in front of Senn High School, his alma mater, at 5900 North Glenwood. His widow, Sherry Lansing, a native of Chicago’s South Side, and the former CEO of Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox, was to attend the designation by Alder Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth. The honor comes through the efforts of Senator Billy Marovitz, a lifelong friend of Friedkin, who died last year. Local writer Frank Sennett tweeted: “Hope the ceremony ends with an epic car chase.”


New Digs For Artists Book House

Artists Book House has a new home at 4207 West Irving Park, writes founder and board member Audrey Niffenegger: “This is a single-story, double storefront in the charming Old Irving Park neighborhood, near the Irving Park stops on the Blue Line and the Union Pacific Northwest Metra line. We are embarking on the designing, planning, and construction of our bookshop, gallery, library and studios for papermaking printing, and bookbinding.” The result will be “a state-of-the-art bookhouse. We are ready to be a book and paper center that serves you. It’s been a long time coming.” More here.

New Yorker Story And Novel Launch For Camille Bordas

Chicago writer Camille Bordas alerts on Instagram that she’s got a new short story, “Chicago On The Seine,” this week in the New Yorker. Her novel, “The Material,” is published today. Bordas tells the magazine, “I started writing ‘The Material’ deliberately against the ghost novel I had abandoned. I wanted away with first person, away with flashbacks and family drama (which the failed novel brimmed with). So ‘The Material’ is a third-person, multi-perspective novel that moves only forward. It’s about aspiring comedians getting their M.F.A. in standup comedy in Chicago. Fast-paced. A lot more jokes. Zero ghosts.” She reads “Chicago On The Seine” here.


Newberry Files Royko Show

Legendary Chicago journalist Mike Royko will be the subject of a new exhibition, “Chicago Style: Mike Royko and Windy City Journalism,” at the Newberry Library, June 20-September 28. Royko’s career spanned five decades in an era when Chicago was a city of newsprint, and the exhibit features photographs, news clippings, selected writings and ephemera drawing from the Mike Royko Papers at the Newberry. “Chicago Style: Mike Royko and Windy City Journalism” is curated by Sarah Boyd Alvarez, Director of Exhibitions, Newberry Library; Kristin Emery, Director of Governance and Strategic Initiatives, Newberry Library; and Bill Savage, Professor of Instruction, English Department, Northwestern University. Royko’s widow, Judy Royko, donated the Royko Papers to the Newberry in 2005, and she planned the show with some of her late husband’s former colleagues. More here.

Steve Cochran Out At WLS Radio; Station Tacks Farther Right

WLS radio has fired personality Steve Cochran after two years, axed local programming and added more syndicated rightwing talkers in anticipation of the upcoming election, broadcasts Axios Chicago. “The Big 89 is leaning into the right side of talk with Matt Walsh and Michael Knowles replacing The Closing Bell and PM Chicago,” WLS’ program director emailed. “The station, owned by Cumulus Media, already airs syndicated conservative shows hosted by Ben Shapiro and Mark Levin.” WLS, which ranks twenty-seventh in the local market, was the Chicago berth of Rush Limbaugh, who died in 2021.


Hot Doug’s For Albini Tribute At Hideout

“Thursday, June 13, we’ll be gathering to celebrate Steve with grilling from Hot Doug’s and spinning from Reckless DJs. 7pm, no cover,” the Hideout posts on Instagram, accompanied by a picture of Hot Doug and Albini with a hot dog.

“Voice Of House Music” Chuck Roberts Was Sixty-Six

Songwriter, producer and vocalist Chuck Roberts, the Chicago house icon famous for the “In the beginning there was Jack” sermon from the 1987 track “My House” by Rhythm Control, has died in Berwyn, relays 5mag. “Roberts’ speech appeared in an incredible amount of places over the years, rivaling perhaps only Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have A Dream’ speech as a vocal for inventive DJs to drop over tracks. Possibly the most played version over the years was the one over Larry Heard’s deep house classic ‘Can You Feel It.'”

Billy Corgan Selects Cultural Highlights For British Readers, Including Mozart, Miyazaki and Bozo The Clown

In a piece at the Guardian, Billy Corgan recommends Mozart’s Requiem at the Lyric and Hayao Miyazaki’s “The Boy And The Crane,” as well as Werner Herzog’s memoir, “Every Man For Himself.” He also describes a very special visit via David Arquette, owner of the Bozo franchise, to go see Tom Holbrook, “a guy who’s the biggest Bozo collector in the world. I got a private tour of his Bozeum, which was pretty cool. Because it was such a merchandising cash cow, you can imagine what they could sell to kids: toys, dolls, soap, toothbrushes–anything a child would want, they put Bozo’s name on it.”


Theater And The Cure For Loneliness

“The post-pandemic crisis in the American theater is not over; nonprofits are struggling all over the country as funding sources dry up and audience numbers dwindle. This healing medium needs an urgent and generous infusion of money from state, city or federal governments, or we will continue to see many theaters close in the next few years. Jobs are being lost, doors are closing,” writes Sarah Ruhl at American Theatre. “We are facing a public health emergency—and we need funding from the National Institutes of Health immediately. Let’s treat theater as a proven method to stem the tide of debilitating isolation in this country. Given two joint crises—the loneliness epidemic and the economic implosion of the theater—why not channel emergency funding into our existing theaters from public health coffers?

“A Senate panel in July 2023 approved a two-percent increase in the National Institutes of Health’s budget to $47.8 billion, whereas the National Endowment for the Arts’ proposed budget increase this year was from $207 million to $210 million. For comparison’s sake, France spent 4 billion euros on arts funding last year. If, as the Surgeon General warned, loneliness is as worrisome a malady as tobacco use, not only should the NEA’s modest increase be speedily adopted, but the NIH should also get into the business of supporting theater as one proven medicine used to spur human connection.”

Theater Hand Regan Davis Was Forty-One

Regan Davis, a tech worker who loved improv, puppeteering and “Dungeons and Dragons,” has passed, reports the Sun-Times. “Mr. Davis got a job in tech to support his theater habit. He also was vice president of product at SpotHero and previously held the same title at the tech firm Jellyvision, where he worked on making healthcare benefits easier to access… As a member of the group behind SNORF!, a puppet variety show that performed at Chicago venues and occasionally on WGN Morning News, he wielded animals including a snake puppet who fenced with its own tail while holding a sword in its mouth.”


Police Superintendent Larry Snelling: “This Will Not Be 1968”

The refrain continues from Chicago authorities, according to the Tribune. “This will not be 1968,” said Chicago Police Superintendent Larry Snelling while acknowledging he understands the comparison. “Our response as a Chicago Police Department will be a lot more deliberate… a lot more controlled because our officers are being trained in the best way possible to respond to any level of civil unrest.” With “the whole world watching Chicago once again, avoiding any echoes of 1968—when blue-helmeted officers beat protesting Yippies and working journalists alike in what a government report later termed a ‘police riot’—will be an important test for a department that remains under a federal consent decree over its long-running ‘pattern and practice’ of civil rights violations… Organizers and police officials have downplayed concerns about possible unrest and sought to dispel any comparisons to the events that culminated in the infamous ‘Battle of Michigan Avenue.'”

Local Street Fests Want Your Gate Fee

“Local festival organizers are urging fairgoers to think twice before breezing through street fest gates this summer without paying—even though they can, because festivals can’t charge for entry to a public street,” reports Axios Chicago. “Donations at many festivals plummeted last year… Chicago enjoys one of the dopest summer festival lineups in the nation, but some events could be cut or scaled back if ‘suggested donation’ rates continue to fall.”

Marquette President Was Fifty-Seven

Marquette University president Michael Lovell “died in Italy Sunday after a three-year battle with cancer and a decade at the helm of Wisconsin’s largest private institution,” reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Marquette’s obituary is here.

U Of Wisconsin Downsizing Campuses; Ending A Lot Of In-Person Learning

“The UW System hopes to downsize its remaining branch campuses amid declining student interest in associate degrees and ongoing enrollment struggles,” reports the Isthmus, “according to an October briefing by UW System President Jay Rothman… Five campuses have already been targeted for closure or a transition from in-person learning… The briefing, first sent to branch campus chancellors… recommends that the UW System reduce the physical footprints of the remaining eight campuses and negotiate contractual exits where appropriate. The UW System comprises three levels of universities: two flagship research universities, UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee, eleven comprehensive universities offering bachelor’s and graduate degrees and thirteen branch campuses, offering associate and bachelor’s degrees.”

Colorado Legal Weed Harshed

“Businesses are shuttering or laying off workers as sales have plunged by $700 million,” reports Politico, “and it’s making other states nervous… Regulatory burdens, an oversaturated market and increasing competition from nearby states have all landed major blows to Colorado’s cannabis market, leaving other states with newer marijuana markets scrambling to avoid the same mistakes.”

Walgreens Not Shedding British Chain Yet; Could Turn To Private Equity

“Walgreens Boots Alliance has shelved plans for a potential initial public offering of its U.K.-based Boots drugstore chain as sale talks continue,” reports Reuters. The pharmacy chain is “exploring other options for Boots and has continued informal talks with potential buyers, including private equity firms.”

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Today In Culture, Tuesday, June 11, 2024: Lula's New Neighbor | R.I.P. JJ Ingram, Chuck Roberts And Regan Davis | Artists Book House In Irving Park (2024)


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