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Home Explore Newcity Chicago February 2020

Newcity Chicago February 2020

Published by Newcity, 2020-01-29 12:11:14

Description: In honor of the publication's thirty-fourth anniversary and the beginning of a new decade, Newcity spoke to eleven leaders of culture and commerce about how the twenties will roar, covering public libraries and transportation, film production and storefront theater, inclusivity and retail, and much more. Also in this issue: Shani Crowe and the art of braiding, Apathetics' punk rock archive, a changing of the guard at Jackalope Theatre as well as this month's Top 5s in Art, Dance, Design, Dining & Drinking, Film, Lit, Music and Theater.


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Perfect Visions: Feb 2020 Eleven Leaders on How the Twenties Will Roar in Chicago

THE A of human hair of 40 feet of crumpled paper OF MATT Left to Right: gu wenda, united nations: american code, 2019, Photo © Museum Associates/LACMA. Zhu Jinshi, Wave of Materials, 2007, Photo © Museum Associates/LACMA. Ai Weiwei, Tables at Right Angles, 1998, Stockamp Tsai Collection, New York. Xu Bing, 1st Class, 2011, Photo © Museum Associates/LACMA.

ALLURE of craftsmanship of half a million cigarettes TER THE ALLURE OF MATTER Material Art from China Presented at the Smart Museum of Art on the South Side and Wrightwood 659 on the North Side, this exhibition features monumental artworks made from common materials such as stretched pantyhose, iron nails, and half a million cigarettes. The Allure of Matter highlights the unconventional use and transformation of seemingly everyday objects through 48 works of art by 26 leading contemporary Chinese artists. February 7 – May 3 |

From dance to literature: you want to be here. The Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago is a multidisciplinary home for artistic practice. Connect with the Logan Center for concerts, exhibitions, performances, family programs, and more from world-class, emerging, local, student, and international artists. Logan Center for the Arts 773.702.ARTS 915 E 60th St loganUChicago Photo: Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre dancers in Between Us, courtesy of the company.

Punk Adolescence Lost February 2020 The quest to find Apathetics’ Arts & Culture archives Art 8 Augmenting the schedule at Experimental Station 32 Cultural Coiffure Dance Shani Crowe and the art of Justin Peck goes “Racing” at the Joffrey Ballet braiding 35 12 Design Womanish seeks a new understanding of womxnhood Perfect Visions 37 Eleven leaders on how the Dining & Drinking twenties will roar in Chicago Searching for cognac in Chicago 39 16 Film The passion of “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” FEBRUARY 2020 Newcity 41 Lit Audrey Niffenegger talks about her Artists Book House project 44 Music Ratboys grow up 46 Stage A changing of the guard at Jackalope Theatre 48 Life Is Beautiful Teen Dream is moving 50 5

CONTRIBUTORS ON THE COVER Cover Design Fletcher Martin DAVID SAFRAN (Writer, “Punk Adolescence Lost”) is a Chicago-based writer, musician and producer. In 2016, the Atlantic named Safran’s song, “Adult Things” Vol. 35, No. 1400 as its Track of the Day and listed it among the magazine’s “Best Songs Based on Art and Literature.” Safran has lent his music to many brands and organizations— PUBLISHERS from Adidas to Amnesty International. Safran is currently producing an upcoming Brian & Jan Hieggelke project with UCP, a premium content studio, under the NBCUniversal umbrella. Associate Publisher Mike Hartnett EDITORIAL ISA GIALLORENZO (Writer, “Cultural Coiffure”) is a Brazilian who has lived in Editor Brian Hieggelke Chicago since 2009. She runs a street-style blog called Chicago Looks and believes Managing Editor Jan Hieggelke this is one of the most stylish—and kindest—towns on the planet. Her four-year-old Art Editor Kerry Cardoza son takes a lot of her time, but she still tries to showcase her favorite local designers Dance Editor Sharon Hoyer whenever she has a chance.  Design Editor Vasia Rigou Dining and Drinking Editor FLETCHER MARTIN (Designer, cover, “Perfect Visions” feature) is the creative David Hammond director and partner in the branding and digital firm a5. Since 1993, Fletcher has Film Editor Ray Pride been carrying a pocket sketchbook with him at all times. He’s currently sketching Lit Editor Tara Betts in sketchbook #699. Music Editor Robert Rodi Theater Editor Kevin Greene CAROL ROSS BARNEY (Writer, “Perfect Visions”) Editorial Intern Alexander Tannebaum Design Principal, Ross Barney Architects ART & DESIGN Senior Designers Fletcher Martin, MICHELLE T. BOONE (Writer, “Perfect Visions”) Dan Streeting , Billy Werch Chief Program and Civic Engagement Officer, Navy Pier and South Shore resident Designers Jim Maciukenas, Stephanie Plenner EMJOY GAVINO (Writer, “Perfect Visions”) MARKETING Founder and Executive Director, The Chicago Inclusion Project Marketing Manager Todd Hieggelke OPERATIONS JOHN GREENFIELD (Writer, “Perfect Visions”) General Manager Jan Hieggelke Editor, Streetsblog Chicago Distribution Nick Bachmann, Adam Desantis, Preston Klik, MARK KELLY (Writer, “Perfect Visions”) Quinn Nicholson Commissioner, City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events One copy of current issue free at select locations. CHARLIE MEYERSON (Writer, “Perfect Visions”) Additional copies, including back issues up to one Founder, year, may be ordered at Copyright 2020, New City Communications, Inc. KWAME OMAUKU (Writer, “Perfect Visions”) All Rights Reserved. Director, Chicago Film Office at the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events Newcity assumes no responsibility to return unsolicited editorial or graphic material. All TYRONE PHILLIPS (Writer, “Perfect Visions”) rights in letters and unsolicited editorial or Founding Artistic Director, Definition Theatre graphic material will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication and copyright purposes ANDREA TELLI (Writer, “Perfect Visions”) and subject to comment editorially. Nothing may Chicago Public Library Commissioner be reprinted in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. RICK VALICENTI (Writer, “Perfect Visions”) Producer, Director, Collaborator Newcity is published by Newcity Communications, Inc. ERIC WILLIAMS (Writer, “Perfect Visions”) 47 West Polk, Suite 100-223, Chicago, IL 60605 Founder and Creative Director, The Silver Room Special Events Visit for advertising Newcity FEBRUARY 2020 and editorial information. 6

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR FEBRUARY 2020 Newcity This issue marks the thirty-fourth anniversary of Newcity and we again mark the occasion by looking forward, instead of retrospectively; this year with the help of some of the city’s most visionary leaders. But I am going to look back in this letter, as my father died on January 1. Curtis J. Hieggelke was a physicist, with a PhD from the University of Nebraska, who devoted his life to teaching, both students at Joliet Junior College where he spent his entire career, as well as other teachers around the country, through his workshops funded by the National Science Foundation, where he was known as an innovator in community college education. I’ve been thinking about him, and learning so much about his impact on others around the country these last couple weeks while writing his obituary and a eulogy for his funeral. But the impact I’ve thought most about was on me. He was my teacher too. This publication would not exist without him. He never wrote an article for us, nor shot a photo or designed a cover. But insatiable curiosity, a love for vigorous but polite debate, a commitment to reading and valuing great writing and the ambition to make a difference in the world were values he taught me through his example. He supported us in so many ways, whether encouraging me when times were tough, or simply by reading the publication closely, especially my writing, and letting me know he thought what we were doing was important and that he was proud of me. He came to so many of our events over the years and blended right in. As one of his close friends described him, he was a scientist with a liberal-arts mind. His very last public outing before pancreatic cancer overwhelmed him was the Chicago premiere of our latest film, “Knives and Skin,” at the Chicago International Film Festival in October. As sad as I am that he’ll never read another article I write or see another movie I’ll produce, the memory of his excitement that night, both at the film and at the after-party where he found the energy to take part in the conversations and the congratulations that followed comfort me. I’ll miss him beyond words, but I take solace in the fact that my mom, who was always by his side, literally and figuratively, is still vigorous. Newcity did not have an editor’s letter when Jan’s parents, Shelby and Richard, died in 2013 and 2015 respectively, but if we did, we’d have written something very similar. Jan’s mom was a rock of support, especially when we blended youth, parenting and a startup business in our early twenties, and needed someone who could step in and babysit at any time when the demands of getting Newcity off the ground required it. Jan’s dad was a carpenter and he literally built much of Newcity, from our first light table (when production was done physically rather than digitally), to building out the entire office space when we had our largest staff and largest office back in the nineties. Newcity is described as a family business due to the number of Hieggelkes who’ve worked here over the years, but the family that makes it work is much larger. With eternal gratitude, BRIAN HIEGGELKE 7

Punk Adolescence Lost: BY DAVID SAFRAN In Search of Apathetics Archives Like most important stories, this one begins with a cassette deck, an amateur archivist and hundreds of screaming teenagers. THE APATHETICS

The Apathetics entered my adolescence DAVE HOFER in 1997. At the time, I played guitar in a blessedly short-lived skatepunk band even worse than our name: “the Stinkers.” A half-broken VHS cassette, rediscovered this summer, captured my single Stinkers show. The Apathetics, unimpressed attendees, scrutinize my musicianship and mock me. Soon after, I was asked to join their band. S Forever touring between three Illinois Jones at House of Blues; Steve Lawrence FEBRUARY 2020 Newcity ince 2013, Dave Hofer, the former product counties in a white minivan, the and Eydie Gormé at the Star Plaza buyer at Reckless Records, has become Apathetics were megastars to this Theater; Huey Lewis and the News at a sought-after digital archivist middle-schooler. Frankly, I’m still not sure Ravinia Festival; the Apathetics at a pool specializing in out-of-print punk rock. why they recruited me as their hall called “Family Billiards.” What began as a project focusing on permanent bassist. Apart from a DuPage County, Hofer’s old home, has significant age difference—I was in Between 2014 and 2017, Dave Hofer fanned out across the Chicago area. eighth grade; my bandmates were all unknowingly preserved three Apathetics Hofer has personally digitized and posted grizzled high-schoolers—I didn’t play the songs while restoring compilation 354 releases, and his YouTube channel bass. But I owned one, and that was albums from his personal collection. I has over 250 videos of fantastically rare good enough. wrote to Hofer in late April, curious if he footage. owned other Apathetics recordings. He To get this out of the way: you’re not didn’t, but we quickly became e-pals on a This spiky repository has turned Hofer reading a nostalgia piece. I adored my jubilant, if exasperating, quest to uncover into a punk rock Alan Lomax. Bandcamp gifted, mercurial bandmates, but they all things Apathetic. Daily, the music website’s editorial showed little interest in their newly section, called Hofer’s sprawling project, recruited Apathetic. At best, I was While Hofer reached out to owners of “a feast for the eyes and ears: not just a tolerated. At worst, when tape labels long-defunct punk labels, I attempted to portal to the past, but a wondrous survey came courting, these young careerists reconnect with my ex-bandmates. The of all the kooks pumping out music… credited another bassist on songs I Apathetics mysteriously fired me in the during the late nineties.” Leor Galil, staff recorded. fall of 1998. Shunned from the writer for the Chicago Reader, put it more brotherhood, I’d had no contact with simply: Hofer is “the great digital archivist While the Apathetics lacked camaraderie, them until 2019. I never even bumped of Chicago’s punk past.” we still made biting, catchy, occasionally into an I accidentally discovered Hofer’s anthemic music Apathetic on collection last April. Within seconds, I together. More than the train. stumbled upon music from my own band, two decades later, Instead, I the Apathetics. I hadn’t heard our songs though, our very local vividly recall in over twenty years—and never digitally. success has been seeing reduced to a couple punkers in our of flyers, footage of us shirts and headlining a markedly patches. An empty Fireside Bowl anecdote now; and an archived a panic attack concert listing from then. April 1998. The latter is a charming little The first remnant: Davy Jones person I at the Rosemont tracked down Theatre; George was the band’s drummer and 9

GREG OGRE had been an Apathetics nyway, time or teen fan. Perhaps because of carelessness had gotten to the this, he was able to dig Apathetics tapes. Audio degradation and out two personal strange gaps—”errant pause-button cassettes. These weren’t depressions,” according to Hofer—were the master recordings— scattered about Brian Korey’s personal those are lost to history— cassettes. And the only official release but mixtapes that, luckily, Hofer could obtain, a split album released included Apathetics in 1998 by A.P. Records, sounded songs. uncomfortably close to Alvin and the Chipmunks. “I would dub [tapes] on my de facto manager. The chain-smoking Korey, now a regional home stereo,” Ryan Durkin, the label’s ruffian, who perpetually wore military chef, also mentioned he saved an owner, explained, “and the later AP tapes camo pants and a pink studded bracelet Apathetics T-shirt. Adorably un-punk, his suffered from an overworked cassette and went by the name “Greg Ogre,” is mother stitched this shirt into a quilt, and deck.” As a result, extremely fast music now a realtor posting vigorously about it’s somewhere in storage. got sped up even further. the wonders of mosaic-tiled spa tubs and napping nooks. He didn’t respond to my This is about as good a definition of I wondered if the Apathetics, a band with emails. “posterity” as I can find. no legacy to reckon with, should perhaps not be publicly displayed sounding like Moving on, I worried our lead guitarist Between April and May, various “Chipmunk Punk.” However, I was up and secondary songwriter, Ryan Ramtin, Apathetics recordings were sent to the against Dave Hofer’s unbudgeable belief would be harder to locate. I had heard Field Museum, Hofer’s workplace at the that bad recordings are part of his rumors that Ramtin—known time. The Field isn’t officially affiliated collection’s appeal. To the stringent Apathetically as “lil Mel”—was living with his archive, but Hofer used its archivist, we were what we recorded. dangerously “out west.” In reality, I found resources until last August. “I think With the rest of the Apathetics indifferent him working for a digital marketing they’re—at best—passively interested in to preservation, I was essentially given a company in suburban Chicago. While the project,” he tells me. choice: either accept the band as Alvin, Ramtin seemed lightly curious about our Simon and Theodore, or get pulled from preservation, he didn’t save anything Hofer accepts materials without a deed his collection and return to oblivion. from the band he co-founded. of gift or other legal agreements. After Reader, I relented. digitization, he simply mails everything Next, with Dave Hofer’s assistance, I back to the bands and labels. Since the Excluding duplicates, Hofer digitized found the band’s primary songwriter and public can choose to pay for these fifteen Apathetics songs and improved lead vocalist, Rick Leech. (Real name.) If re-releases, any revenue goes directly to three I had converted myself. He the Apathetics were unignorable, it was Hofer. His collection has received over assembled these songs into four because of this preternaturally 124,000 listens, but it averages around separate releases, and uploaded them in accomplished visual artist and songwriter. $255 a year. Like his donors, Hofer is June. Leech wrote slinky pop tunes hardly profiting from punk rock. with sophisticated chord Most of this music is progressions and hid them in unlistenable. But some one-minute hardcore tunes have endured punk—craftsmanship I didn’t surprisingly well. The fully realize until an archivist lyrics are inaudible, sure, reintroduced me to my band. and Rick Leech sings like a Muppet, but a handful Newcity FEBRUARY 2020 During my tenure, this of late-nineties virtuosic seventeen-year-old Apathetics recordings said maybe thirty words to sound as fabulously me. So, I was surprised when squalid as SoCal Rick Leech replied to my hardcore punk from email. Now a poster twenty years earlier. illustrator in Los Angeles, Leech admitted he saved To better showcase the only a few photos. All the rest durable stuff, I created a is gone. YouTube channel, I concluded my search with RICK LEECH Brian Korey, the bassist who replaced me. Before going full-time as a member, Korey 10

Apathetics Archives, separately from drastically changing their sound from Dave Hofer told me Hofer’s collection. This isn’t our greatest melodic hardcore punk to sludgy, insipid that as a result of his hits; we were too young to realize that emo. As I listened to their later songs for collection, forgotten songwriters should record their the first time this past spring, I thought bands have reunited. earworms. The A.A. channel is, instead, a the Apathetics sounded bored and I hope this never taut introduction to the Apathetics. It’s teenage-y and derivative—everything the happens with also a plea to the public to help find more band implacably had gone against in my the Apathetics. of us. era. “The consensus between my bandmates THE AUTHOR This isn’t a complaint from the bitter is that the Apathetics go pretty hard and AS A FOURTEEN- ex-bassist. It’s all there in the murky achieve the gritty punk attitude in their YEAR-OLD archives. music better than many of the young- A PAT H E T I C adult punk bands that we are familiar Dave Hofer told with today. The attitude we find in the So far, the band’s most intriguing me that as a stage presence is something all of us try artifacts—say, a photo of Mike Dirnt result of his to emulate, some better than others. If holding up an Apathetics patch at a collection, they were around today you’d find us in Green Day concert—haven’t been forgotten bands the pit at shows. Wished this kind of located. But this is a new archive, and have reunited. I thing was still around more.” there’s always another box in the hope this never basement of a childhood home. happens with I wasn’t anticipating a positive review. the Apathetics. Kvelling a bit, my instinct was to call up For one thing, Rick Apathetic and Greg Ogre and lil Mel. we are about as A beautiful blurb from RIP Tom—a band punk as a pair of produced by Steve Albini, no less—would novelty Circle have secretly meant everything to them. Jerks socks. Also, But then I remembered it’s 2019, and my beyond the fellow Apathetics are indifferent or bassists, the unreachable strangers in their late Apathetic men thirties. have sniffed at their high-school stuff. Charming, in a way, considering that was their attitude as high-schoolers. Still, with an extinct creature somewhat revived, I’m left with a nagging curiosity: what would today’s adolescent punks think of the ancient Apathetics? Despite disagreements about how to RIP Tom is a high-school band whose So, I thanked Antoinette for her band’s help and asked about their upcoming present largely forgotten music, I’m members come from Morton Grove, shows. After that, I indulged in a selfish thought: this old-timer would return to a thankful for Dave Hofer’s archival work. If Lincolnwood, Park Ridge and Chicago. basement or backyard or pool hall or bowling alley—or wherever punkers play anything, it helped to clear up the My girlfriend saw them live at an out these days—and from the pit of this show, catch RIP Tom covering (RIP) mystery surrounding my Apathetics under-populated Evanston street fair in Apathetics. dismissal. Since I was fired without any 2018. Just as it was for me two decades The thought ended when I remembered, for all our digital preservation, we didn’t real explanation (or none that I ago, ferocious teen punk in the staid bother to save the lyrics. remember), I’ve sometimes wondered North Shore offered my girlfriend a what I had done so hideously wrong to moment of transcendence. the boys I admired. An answer arrived twenty-one years later. According to In May, I emailed RIP Tom nine Brian Korey, the bassist who replaced me, Apathetics songs—a mixture of studio it was simple: he had a car. and live recordings—and requested their FEBRUARY 2020 Newcity evaluation. “It’s an easy gig,” I wrote to I gave up on punk bands in 1998, a Antoinette, RIP Tom’s singer and guitarist. high-school freshman. The Apathetics “Just listen to the music, maybe share it would stagger on for another year or so, among any bands you’re friendly with, and send back your honest judgment.” A couple weeks later, a reply arrived. 11

Cultural Coiffure: BY ISA GIALLORENZO in collaboration with Amanda Williams How and when did your work with and Andres L. Hernandez. Her work has braiding start? Why did you choose hair South Side braiding artist Shani Crowe been featured in the New York Times as as the medium for your practice? has considerably expanded her well as Vogue, Elle, Essence, Ebony, influence in recent years: from learning Allure and Glamour. She created I started braiding as a child. I picked up the skill as a child by watching her Solange’s bedazzled halo hair look for the skill by watching my aunts and older family braid, to having her own clients at her SNL performance of “Cranes in the cousins braid, and from the feeling of the age of eleven, to representing the Sky” and Madison McFerrin’s stunning having my own hair braided—then I United States in the 2018 Venice Pitchfork Midwinter hairstyles. And she’s practiced on dolls and myself. I braided Architecture Biennale with “Thrival just turning thirty. She talks about her my own hair from fifth grade onward, and Geographies (In My Mind I See a Line),” speedy yet steady trajectory. the styles I created on myself attracted clients, which I started taking between the ages of eleven and twelve. Braiding is a skill I grew up with that has positively impacted my life by allowing me to become an entrepreneur and have a taste of financial independence at a young age. It gave me the agency to create my own unique looks and allowed me the privilege to beautify other black women and be paid for it. Newcity FEBRUARY 2020 12

tShheaAnirCt orfowBreaEidxipnagnds Braiding isn’t the only medium I use in always admired the artistry of sculptured Tell us about the human connection my artistic practice, but it’s important for ponytails, French rolls, and especially created by beauty rituals and hair me to give honor to my experience and fingerwaves. Creating fingerwaves on adornment. How would you describe all that it has given me. Hair is an black hair was a process that started the relationship with someone whose important part of black and African with perming and relaxing the hair, or hair you’re braiding? culture. It’s a means through which we chemically straightening it, slathering it express ourselves and unfortunately, is in gel, then delicately molding waves Braiding is physically connective one of the most policed aspects of our with your fingers and a comb and because I’m touching and manipulating appearance—because of this, black hair sometimes a curling iron. I thought it was the hair on someone’s head. During the is always political. Black people are the beautiful, but it was deemed ghetto by process we talk and there’s usually a bit only people whose hair is deemed mainstream society. When I created this of counseling involved. The practice itself unacceptable by mainstream society in look I wanted to recreate fingerwaves is an intergenerational cultural staple its natural state. One of the first photos with cornrows and present them in the among people of African descent so it’s that surfaced of Michelle Obama highest form, that of a deity, a saint. A inherently connective to our ancestors post-White House was one with her hair being who is all pure light, goodness and and our homeland. in its natural state. That says a lot. peace, in its final form, a presence that is perfect and impervious to negative BELOW: “The Breadth We All Share” by What do your hairstyles represent? opinion or any opinion at all, one who Shani Crowe. With Taheera Cartman, just is, and is appreciated, admired and Bianca Bulliner, Nailah Cartman The braided styles I create have various praised just because they are. My hair meanings, but one of the most popular work is always intended to venerate the looks from the “Braids” series is called image of the black “Fingerwave Saint.” Growing up on the woman. South Side of Chicago in the nineties— the era of Pump It Up! spritz and Pro Styl gel-shellacked hair—I FEBRUARY 2020 Newcity 13

Newcity FEBRUARY 2020HbyaiSrhsatynliinCgroTwipes FAVORITE LOCAL SHOPS: “I love Star Beauty on 76th and Stony Island. They have a great selection for such a small store, but the best part is the staff: they are some of the friendliest ladies and they give excellent customer service. Another choice for sheer volume of braiding hair is Urban Beautique on 35th Street. Huge store with a great selection of fashion accessories.” HAIR BRAIDING: “Clean parts go a long way—also go easy on people’s edges!” Learn more about Crowe’s work at Small prints of her work are available for purchase on her website, and large originals are available on request. RIGHT: “Dorcas” Dorcas Owusu by Shani Crowe 14

Newcity FEBRUARY 20202 Perfect Visions: Eleven Leaders on How the Twenties Will Roar in Chicago 16

2s A century ago, Chicago embarked on a decade that would forever branded the city as a mecca of runaway mayhem, a reputation FEBRUARY 2020 Newcity define it. The Roaring Twenties were a decade of big-shoulders that continues to this day. Now our twenties, the 2020s, might be bravado—whether through the race to the skyscrapers for civic just as transformative. Wondering how we will arrive on the other dominance between Chicago and New York, the arrival of Louis side, we asked a cross-section of city, business and arts leaders to Armstrong and the Jazz Age or the early surges of the Great envision the Chicago to come through their eyes. Migration, the city transformed itself. Even the rise of the mobster, epitomized by Al Capone in the face of Prohibition, conveyed its - Brian Hieggelke own particular Chicago swagger—unfortunately it also unfairly 17

Ittimshonnaicankeacgepiisndtt,yuegadrttdrhe. aiicffnnoesglrilsteeitconotntitvaihnepignpeknfrroeionarmgcghy1. The future of theThe new dense city needs new ingenious2. The future of systems. We have to see our existing public libraries built environmentresources in new ways. Can rooftops produce food? Can we leverage our fresh BY ANDREA TELLI BY CAROL ROSS BARNEYwater for green manufacturing? Can weCHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY DESIGN PRINCIPAL,use the river for transportation? Can weCOMMISSIONER ROSS BARNEY ARCHITECTSuse data to relieve congestion and shortages? How can we harvest… and Is the public library an institution whose Nearly three million people lived inre-harvest… clean energy? time has come and gone? Or is the Chicago in 1920. In less than seventy public library an institution whose time years it had grown from a village of underToday’s Chicago, organized by a two-has come again? As we reflect on the 30,000 to the world’s fifth largest city.dimensional grid sliced by arterials, willways information and resources were be rebuilt as an exquisite multi- accessed in the previous decade, the 2Thisexplosivegrowthresultedfromdimensional environment. The new beginning of the next beckons us to look abundant resources, expansivesystems will be biometric… more likeahead at the benefits, challenges and opportunities and unbridled ingenuityyour hand than a grid. impact of a limitless stream of unleashed to create a livable city. Today, information, knowledge and discovery, as one-hundred years later, Chicago still hasCarol Ross Barney, FAIA, has been in thewell as how it can be available and 2those qualities—and the potential to bevanguard of civic space design since accessible to all.  0oneoftheworld’smostprogressiveandfounding Ross Barney Architects in 1981. desirable cities.With a career that spans over forty years, Chicago Public Library became the Carol has made significant contributions to largest system in the country to eliminate But we have work to do. the built environment. As an architect, overdue fines last fall. The decision was urbanist, mentor and educator, she has encouraged and championed not only by Future Chicago needs to be denser,relentlessly advocated that excellentMayor Lightfoot, but by our front-line tighter and e icient. design is a right, not a privilege. sta whose real-time interactions showed the impact of fines on our users. Cities attract smart people who want toFor nearly two decades, Carol’s studio hasWe heard stories of families blocked from work with other smart people. World-worked along Chicago’s rivers. Thesechecking out books due to built-up fines. changing ideas happen when we worke orts include the design of the ChicagoWhen materials had been overdue so and live together. Planning traditionally atRiverwalk and studies on all 150 miles oflong that the amounts owed seemed a constant and uniformly low densityriverfront across the city. The goal:insurmountable, many patrons simply worked in the last century, but in a cityreconnect people with the dynamic andnever returned the items and did not transitioning from making things tochanging life of the city’s natural resources.return to the library themselves. As we thinking things, a di erent approach toCarol’s work has been honored with over one-hundred major design awards. 220capturecollectiveenergyisneeded.  Newcity FEBRUARY 2020 looked deeper into fines and fees at CPL, we realized that the people most often blocked from library access because of fines lived in communities beset with 18

economic, educational and socialseven days a week regardless of busy struggles, and were those who would benefit most from the promise andfamily or work lives or religious potential of the public library. Since we’ve removed fines as a barrier to access,observation. We also opened three new we’ve seen materials long assumed lost or forever gone returned, and mostbranches in 2019, co-located with importantly, previously blocked patrons returning to their libraries.a ordable housing in partnership with Fines and fees aren’t the only barrier tothe Chicago Housing Authority. The access. CPL recently began opening mixed-use buildings fulfill a purpose that 2branches on Sundays to ensure that librarians and supporters have anyone in the city has access to a library highlighted as a central part of modern libraries for years: a library is, above all, a community space.  3. The future of but so does the audience—the stories fail inclusivity to challenge, as does the storytelling. In the 2020s, libraries will change the When theater-makers stop innovating way their physical spaces exist within BY EMJOY GAVINO and imagining—the very job we signed their communities. Gone are the days of FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, up for—we may as well stop altogether. quiet, dark stacks filled with whispering THE CHICAGO INCLUSION PROJECT readers and librarians waiting to be Reliance on traditional standards (i.e. asked questions. Tomorrow’s library will Whether you work for a storefront theater Western ideas and structures) reinforces no longer be a one-way street but a with decades of fascinating lore that straight white able-bodied people thriving intersection where librarians reverberating through its black-box are the norm, and that everyone else is listen to their communities and adapt to space, or for a revered Equity institution less-than or invisible. While we have their needs. We will also find along the in a shiny new building complete with made small strides in the past few years way that the skills and knowledge of our new seats and a lobby bar, the hope is in terms of diversity in casting and in users will bring peer-to-peer, neighbor- that you love what you do. But the season selection, we could be much, to-neighbor, and community-to- assumption is that that is enough. much braver.  community opportunities absent in the older models. My hope for this next decade is for In 2020, CPL will open the first regional In Chicago, we exist in a system that theater leaders, their sta , their board FEBRUARY 2020 Newcity library on Chicago’s West Side since the begs to maintain the status quo: members, theater reviewers and 1970s, another step toward citywide marginalized artists of di erent donors—every person who has a say in equity. Legler Regional Library is the communities have been called tokens those rooms—to examine their biases; to namesake of Henry Legler, an early and trends, all the while being othered so really evaluate if what they consider leader of our system. In 1917, Legler that gatekeepers can maintain their “good” is based on those biases; to open called for a constantly evolving system of positions and very little changes. I’ve their hearts and minds to the possibility library branches that “so epitomizes the been told by multiple people that it that things can be done di erently; to spirit of democracy.” His words are as comes down to money and resources, make a conscious e ort to nurture the true today as they were over a century but what was unspoken in those talent and audiences in our city who do ago. As we welcome a new decade, CPL conversations was fear. When production not have a true platform or ways to truly will continue to transform as we build a decisions are made out of fear (of losing be seen. My hope is that theater in system that evolves and supports every subscribers, of o ending mainstream Chicago becomes what I know it to Chicagoan’s quest for lifelong learning. publications and so on) the art su ers, be—a brave space where all are welcome. And that would be enough. With nearly thirty years of experience Emjoy is an actor, a 3Arts Make a Wave leading library and branch operations with grantee, an associate artistic director and Chicago Public Library, Andrea Telli is a casting director for The Gift Theatre, as recognized champion of urban libraries. well as the founder-executive director of She was appointed commissioner by The Chicago Inclusion Project Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot in 2019. 19

4. The future answer. The real solutions aren’t as sexy, reds on streets like Ashland and Western. of public but they’re way more democratic, and Ideally, we would have continuous, transportation they use proven technology that has camera-enforced bus lanes on every existed for many decades: buses, trains major street, plus time-saving features BY JOHN GREENFIELD and bicycles. like prepaid boarding and express EDITOR, STREETSBLOG CHICAGO service with limited stops. Latin- The basic mistake made by car salesmen American metropolises like Bogotá and As the car-choked transportation like Musk is assuming that the future of Mexico City have had bus rapid transit systems of big U.S. cities like Chicago transportation will continue to be (BRT) networks with subway-like speeds become more and more dysfunctional, auto-centric. But private cars—large for years, so this isn’t rocket science. We tech gurus like Elon Musk want the metal boxes that typically carry no more also need to beef up bus frequency, so public to believe they will save us through than one or two occupants—are a you’re never waiting more than fifteen Jetsons-like inventions. Usually this new profoundly inefficient way to move minutes for a ride. technology would allow people to cling to people through cities. In contrast, bus the luxury of traveling in private travel isn’t glamorous, but a sixty-foot Expanding the El network would be automobiles, or at least high-end, articulated CTA bus seats about fifty, not much more expensive, but ultimately it’s low-occupancy vehicles geared toward counting standees, while only occupying in Chicago’s interest to augment our elites. Some of the ideas Musk has as much road space as a handful of cars. current hub-and-spoke rapid transit floated include underground car tunnels; And there are lots of ways we can make system, which often requires autonomous vehicles that would let bus travel more attractive, although they straphangers traveling from one side of executives sleep while they’re require political will and proper funding. the city to another by rail to travel all the chauffeured from suburban McMansions way downtown and back out again. to downtown offices; pricey “electric sled” Chicago buses get mired in driver- Having more north-south and east-west pod service to whisk travelers between generated traffic jams. The city has taken El lines would be a game-changer. A the Loop and O’Hare at one-hundred baby steps to speed service, including train running down Cicero Avenue could miles per hour; and Hyperloop vacuum building a few miles of red bus-only lanes make traveling between O’Hare and tubes that would supposedly cut and adding transit-friendly stop lights Midway way more practical. At the very the travel time between Chicago which keep buses from getting stuck at least, we need to keep the city’s and Cleveland to a mere half hour. Newcity FEBRUARY 2020 None of that technology exists, The real solutions aren’t as sexy, but but Musk and his kind assure us they’re way more democratic, and they’re on the cusp of inventing it. they use proven technology that has Musk would surely dismiss me as existed for many decades: buses, a “subway Stalinist,” but if we trains and bicycles. want a safer and more equitable, efficient and enjoyable Chicago transportation network by the year 2030, the gee-whiz schemes of self-styled tech saviors aren’t the 20

decades-long promise to Far South would be an issue, but thanks to Chicago it will be viewed as a privilege, Siders by finding funding to extend the increased ridership this could be a reserved for people with mobility Red Line from its current terminus at revenue-neutral program. challenges, families with small children, 95th Street to Altgeld Gardens. folks hauling heavy cargo, and those As for short trips within Chicago, the celebrating special occasions. But Speaking of transit equity, the city should future of transportation involves a much non-car transportation will become so follow through on recommendations older form of technology—the bicycle. efficient and pleasant that residents from the Active Transportation Alliance’s Cycling isn’t for everyone, but in cities won’t mind the change. recent “Fair Fares” report, including like Amsterdam and Copenhagen over a offering reduced CTA fares for low- third of all trips are made by bike, which Another perk is that, with so few people income Chicagoans, similar to programs makes a major dent in traffic jams and driving, metered parking spots would see in cities like New York and Seattle. smog. Our city may never reach that level, little use, rendering the seventy-five-year Increasing frequency and lowering fares but we could exponentially increase our meter contract basically worthless, which on Metra, an idea that’s been endorsed by the Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle, as well as providing free transfers between Latin-American metropolises like Metra and CTA, would also improve access to Bogotá and Mexico City have had bus jobs and education for residents of rapid transit (BRT) networks with underserved communities. Some subway-like speeds for years, so this cities, from Tallinn, Estonia to Kansas City, isn’t rocket science.Missouri even provide free transit service, an idea that might pay for itself in Chicago by reducing crashes, congestion and pollution, as well as first-responder, current, puny 1.7 percent bike mode- would really stick it to Chicago’s much- healthcare and property damage share by passing European-style laws to hated parking concessionaire. They’d expenses. hold drivers accountable for injuring beg us to let them out of the deal, which cyclists, rolling out universal bike would open up even more curbside On the other hand, if we want public education in the public schools, and space for bus lanes and bikeways. transportation to be competitive in an era building better infrastructure. of underpriced Uber and Lyft service, John Greenfield is the editor of the transit needs to be perceived as safe, Chicago-style protected bike lanes, in transportation news website Streetsblog sanitary and dignified. One possible which cyclists are shielded from traffic by Chicago and a columnist for the Chicago solution is an old-school idea, bringing a line of parked cars, are okay, but Reader. He previously worked at the back CTA conductors—the position was mediocre sightlines can make it tricky for Chicago Department of Transportation, eliminated in the late nineties—to patrol turning motorists and fast cyclists to see arranging the installation of roughly 3,500 the trains at night. Their presence would each other at intersections. Instead we bike parking racks across the city. deter crime and encourage compliance should build a continuous network of with rules against smoking and littering, Copenhagen-style raised bike lanes, and they could do outreach to the many where cyclists ride a few inches above homeless people who shelter on the Red the street, but a couple of inches below and Blue lines, helping them to connect the sidewalk, so motorists don’t drive in with housing and healthcare resources. the bike lane, and pedestrians don’t walk Finding money for conductor payroll in it. The bottom line is that, instead of clinging FEBRUARY 2020 Newcity to the notion that traveling in private motor vehicles is a right that needs to be preserved at all costs, in a future, utopian 21

cultural capitalBY MARK KELLY about authentic voices, undistracted by the business of arts and culture. COMMISSIONER, CITY OF CHICAGO’S DEPARTMENT OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS ANDChicago’s youth will have more pathwaysUtopian thinking? Hardly. We are a world SPECIAL EVENTSto develop their creative chops, andcultural capital, and as the city organizes Chicago citizens will value their cultural itself around this idea, it will shift our NpoewweYro, LrkoswAinllgbeeleasbaobuotuctugltliurearlChicago is a hothouse of cultural vitality:engagement, no longer viewing it as anthinking and actions, bringing many more elitist or anointed undertaking, but rather Chicagoans into the fray and enticing the birthplace of modern jazz, the urbanwhat Chicagoans do: create. Ourvisitors from around the world to visit our world-class cultural organizations will authentic and vital cultural scene. and Chicago will be aboutblues, gospel music, house music, 5. The future of embrace and respond to these shifts in footwork, the skyscraper, improv, spokenour cultural landscape as they become authentic voicesword and so much more. Even with thisChicago as a global more diverse, accessible and engaging. amazing legacy, Chicago has never actedthe world’s most-recognized centers ofMayor Lori Lightfoot will have galvanized Mark Kelly is the Commissioner of the City or has been appreciated as a worldcultural creation. cultural capital. This is about to change.governmental bodies and civic andof Chicago’s DCASE, which presents and 0By2030,ChicagowillemergeasoneofThe driving force for this emergence willphilanthropic institutions to support this promotes high-quality free festivals, be Chicago’s embrace of the cultural cultural emergence, knowing its value to exhibitions, performances and holiday vitality of its neighborhoods and its our citizens, our artists, and our celebrations in parks, the historic Chicago young creators. As the city becomes less economic livelihood. Our cultural vitality Cultural Center and other venues separated by the historic divide of race brings life to our streets, fills our throughout the city. He was appointed to and class, Chicago’s gritty cultural scene restaurants and hotels, and supports the the post by Mayor Rahm Emanuel in July will pop across the creative genres of financial livelihood of our creators as 2016. theater and music, art and design, dance citizens and visitors flock to our clubs, and film production. museums, theaters, and festivals. Kelly previously served as the Vice Creative industries will invest and return President for Student Success at Columbia College Chicago, where he fostered and Newcity FEBRUARY 2020 Visitors will flock to our cultural scene to the city because they want to be close oversaw an immersive arts experience for with our authentic music clubs and to our creative scene. Our newly Columbia’s burgeoning student body, vibrant, engaging and provocative theater burgeoning film production community is across one-hundred di erent degree in every neighborhood, with our artists one example of this new creative programs. For more than thirty years, Kelly and cultural institutions thriving. New dynamic. served in leadership roles at Columbia, York will be about cultural power, Los supporting students who view the world Angeles about glitter and Chicago will be There is also a deep democratic impulse through creativity in attaining a world- to make art accessible to all by bringing class education that blends media arts, liberal arts and business. down the barriers of cost and encouraging participation and engagement. Think of Chicago SummerDance and Night Out in the Parks writ large. Every neighborhood is filled with free or low-cost art o erings as a new civic cultural life emerges. 22

6of. Tmheedfiua tureBY CHARLIE MEYERSON I hope for disintegration of the radio stations dominated Chicago’s news conglomerates that have strangled production and consumption. A diversity FOUNDER, CHICAGOPUBLICSQUARE.COM creativity up and down the dial. We need of reliable, responsible and well-funded a renaissance of local management sources is a good thing—and a big A decade of layo s, bankruptcies and empowered to create more live and local improvement over the days when a greedy management atop some of content—which happens to be broadcast handful of organizations, mostly run by Chicago’s biggest media organizations radio’s best defense against Spotify, white guys, decided what was lends itself to dire forecasts about the Pandora, Apple and Amazon. newsworthy. future of journalism. But much of the Charlie Meyerson has brought Chicago the chaos is a function of an analog news I hope for success of the adventures into news for decades—on radio at WXRT, business making the transition to the nonprofit journalism by organizations WNUA, WGN and FM News; and on the digital world. And the mayhem will end. including the Reader and the former internet at, WBEZ and Eventually. Wednesday Journal suburban newspaper Rivet and now at his daily email briefing, chain, now known as Growing A news organization freed of a daily Community Media. newspaper’s legacy overhead—real BY KWAME OMAUKU estate, printing presses, distribution and I also hope the investment and DIRECTOR, CHICAGO FILM OFFICE AT THE the demands of predatory management— advertising sectors find new ways to CITY OF CHICAGO’S DEPARTMENT OF can plow much more of its resources into properly value the small but real CULTURAL AFFAIRS AND SPECIAL EVENTS journalism. audiences assembled by local news organizations. A low-technological threshold for entry— anyone can launch a blog!—and a I hope for continued proliferation of news continued public thirst for reliable sources across Chicago and the suburbs: information foretell a new and vibrant More small and independent but local news ecosystem. relentlessly focused online services like Block Club Chicago (neighborhood 7C.hTihcaegfoutfiulrme ofThe decade we’re leaving hasnews), Streetsblog Chicago (transportation), Chalkbeat (education), demonstrated journalists like me have no The Triibe (news for black millennials); and direct-to-consumer columnists like productionbusiness predicting the future—so pleaseSteve Rhodes (The Beachwood Reporter), Robert Feder (media criticism) know that these are hopes for the state of and Neil Steinberg (Every Goddamn Day). local media in 2030: And I hope Chicago’s local news 2I hope for the survival of Chicago’s legacyorganizations embrace a medium that is the logical successor to the historical 0daily newspaper organizations, even as service, function and distribution of the their print presence dwindles. But if they newspaper and the newscast, as I have: don’t survive, the talent that has been laid Email.  The city of Chicago is in the midst of a o or taken voluntary buyouts over the huge boom in film production. 2019 was last decade could today sta a damned I do not hope for a return to the days another record-breaking year. good news organization or two, launched when a couple of newspapers, three or Productions like Dick Wolf’s Chicago from scratch. four TV stations and one or two radio shows (“Chicago Fire,” “Chicago Med,” “Chicago P.D.”) have a home here and I hope the city’s TV and radio news more episodic television is looking at operations add depth to their digital Chicago as a place to call home. We are FEBRUARY 2020 Newcity presence. Broadcast stations’ websites in taking steps to create our own content, particular would benefit from more polish with projects like Showtime’s LGBTQ- and better editing—anything to keep their centered comedy “Work in Progress.” It’s pages from looking, as they often do, like a unique moment where opportunity and afterthoughts. preparation can create a recipe for success for Chicago filmmakers. 23

An unprecedented number of scripted either coast. Over the next ten years, I 8. The future of shows were produced here last year. This would love to see the city develop its Chicago’s storefront huge boom in content creation has built own brand of filmmaking. The Chicago- theater up a huge demand for production style feature, the Chicago-style doc. I facilities and crew. The Illinois Tax Credit, want Chicago to be taught as a genre in BY TYRONE PHILLIPS which provides a rebate of up to thirty film schools. We have great writers, but FOUNDING ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, percent for money spent in Illinois, has we need writers’ rooms here. We have DEFINITION THEATRE been a huge draw for major producers more film students than anywhere else. such as Netflix, Amazon, Warner Bros. We just need them to stay here, make In 2030 the Chicago storefront theater and Fox. With additional film industry this their home to create and work and will be an international destination for infrastructure like soundstages, the city not flee to either coast. In front of the anyone who considers themselves a could take the lead in production, camera, we have a vibrant community of theater artist. Chicago is already known surpassing Atlanta and New Orleans. both stage and screen actors. I see a day for its robust theater-making community With the help of nonprofits like Free Spirit when they won’t have to leave to “make and is the kind of place where you’ll find Media, we are training a workforce of it.” I see a time when Chicago is not just a world-class actor sitting next to you on youth from underserved areas of the city a production center, but a content- the train. It is my hope that the storefront to become not only film workers, but creation hub. Chicago doesn’t need to theater industry will maintain its creators. I look forward to stages being ask for a seat at the table. It needs to hometown quality while expanding its built in underserved areas of the city, build its own table. reach across the world.  allowing opportunities for all of Chicago’s residents to take advantage of this Kwame Amoaku brings twenty-five years of The arts will always have the upswing in work. experience in the film industry as an transformative power to break cycles of executive producer, director, assistant social injustice and give voice to our Thanks to the leadership of Mayor director, production manager, location everyday heroes. I pray Chicago theater- Lightfoot, Commissioner Kelly and the manager, actor and writer. Prior to joining makers will widen our perspective and local industry, the future looks bright for the Chicago Film O ice, Amoaku was create and produce more stories that the film business in Chicago, and not location manager for the NBC series highlight cultures we do not see only for film workers. I believe we are at “Chicago Fire” (since 2014) and for the represented in mainstream media. the beginning of a huge renaissance of Netflix movie based on Chicago’s hip-hop independent film production in the city. scene, “Beats” (2019). His acting credits The audiences will come to see new The wealth of talent we have in front of include “Chicago Fire,” “ER” and “Prison plays for more than entertainment. They and behind the camera can make Break.” He attended Southern Illinois will come to be reminded of their Chicago a city to reckon with, equal to University. humanity. They will come to laugh or cry or mourn. They will come to find their Newcity FEBRUARY 2020 I would love to see the purpose. They will come to be inspired. city develop its own brand Most importantly, they will come to heal.  of filmmaking. The Chicago-style feature, I look forward to the impact of Definition the Chicago-style doc. Theatre, which by that time will have opened a world-class theater and arts I want Chicago to be education space in Woodlawn.  taught as a genre in film schools. Tyrone Phillips is the founding artistic director of Chicago’s Definition Theatre. Named one of Newcity’s Players—the fifty leaders of Chicago’s theater, dance, opera and comedy culture of 2020—Phillips is a graduate of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting with honors. Definition Theatre is currently in a capital campaign for the purchase and rehab of their first home in Woodlawn.  24

2 9. The future of lakefront, the old US Steel South Works Mayor Lightfoot’s visionary new initiative, public space site (79th-83rd and the Lake), is slated as INVEST South/West, is designed to an ambitious multi-use campus that leverage resources from government BY MICHELLE T. BOONE  includes a film production lot and with the private and philanthropic sectors CHIEF PROGRAM AND CIVIC ENGAGEMENT concert venues. These projects will into neglected neighborhoods and South OFFICER, NAVY PIER AND SOUTH SHORE attract more people and investments to Shore is among those targeted. RESIDENT the region. Community residents are organized and actively working for change with a clear “2030” sounds so futuristic, but it’s right All the right pieces are there—glorious vision of South Shore’s future. With all around the corner! One place we’ll see beaches (63rd Street Beach and this in the pipeline, by 2030, South Shore lots of change in ten years is the South Rainbow Beach); great access to public will be one of the most dynamic Side of Chicago, and specifically, my transportation (Metra and multiple CTA communities in Chicago. neighborhood, South Shore. By 2030, the Express bus routes); amazing Obama Presidential Center will be architecture (check out Lee Bey’s book, Michelle T. Boone is the chief program and complete and will have a tremendous “Southern Exposure: The Overlooked civic engagement o icer at Navy Pier, an impact on the area. Nestled across from Architecture of Chicago’s South Side”); independent nonprofit and historic the Museum of Science & Industry in bike and pedestrian trails; boat harbors; Chicago landmark. She designs, develops, Jackson Park, it will firmly establish the new gathering spaces for entertainment curates and oversees the Pier’s arts and “Museum Campus South,” anchored by and community such as The Quarry culture public programs, festivals and those two institutions to the east, and the Event Center, with more on the horizon special events. Previously, Michelle was Smart Museum and DuSable Museum to (the Avalon Regal Theater reopening; a commissioner of the Chicago Department the west. A cultural hub stretching east new entertainment multiplex space and a of Cultural A airs and Special Events to west from the Lakefront across to new media arts center, Sisters in Cinema, (2011-2015).  Washington Park, and from Hyde Park to coming to South Shore); and more dining South Shore is ripe with potential. Plans options each year. Artists are making FEBRUARY 2020 Newcity for the renovations and upgrades to the community mural projects, presenting Jackson Park Golf Course (designed by pop-up music and art festivals and Tiger Woods) and improvements to the bringing other cultural programming to historic South Shore Cultural Center will activate public spaces. enhance acres of beautiful public space, parks and beachfront for Chicagoans. And the final stretch of South Side 25

0210.Thefutureof Sure, the most transcendent sensory Chicago design as impact happens when the interventions or protests, or whatever, is already activism familiar. And yes, without singing from the familiar hymnal, the public’s enemy BY RICK VALICENTI may never pay attention until the world of PRODUCER, DIRECTOR, COLLABORATOR  hackers and hacking get more design- emboldened and have their activist ways fucking with the stranglehold of I remember when I first saw “design promotional messaging and media- activism” on display. I was entering the sanctioned narratives. Subversive Chicago Cultural Center’s Washington surprise—the radical force. Street brass doors and there above the Rick Valicenti is a producer, director and 11. The future panic-bar handle on the other side of the collaborator working with a wide network of retail glass was that ubiquitous subsurface- of designers and artists. Formerly the sticker depicting a handgun violated with founder and design director of Thirst, a BY ERIC WILLIAMS a red stripe slicing through it. This glyph venerable Chicago design studio, Valicenti FOUNDER AND CREATIVE DIRECTOR, targets those concealing their carry and is a recipient of the American Institute of THE SILVER ROOM asserts that this building does not allow Graphic Artists (AIGA) Medal, 2006, and your guns. In your face! It’s the deluxe the Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt National version of design activism—a simple, Design Award, 2011. Rick is also an invited direct shot.  member of AGI (Alliance Graphique Internationale). So there you have it—design activism Valicenti shares a studio with Anna Mort The death of retail has been greatly living anywhere we’d never expect to and together they provide catalytic exaggerated.  confront it. I am always caught o guard invention and design. when I come in contact with this li’l Every other day headlines scream of mall Newcity FEBRUARY 2020 handgun leaving me subconsciously closures, big-box retailers shutting their feeling more on guard. Leveraging the doors, high-end boutiques filing repetitive and appropriating abstraction bankruptcy and national chains means that any future graphic design liquidating assets. According to the activism has been benchmarked. But National Retail Federation (NRF), over keeping me on edge by taking potshots 12,000 stores closed nationwide in the at my peripheral vision is not really last ten years, and more than 140,000 sustainable enough to keep me on edge.  retail jobs were lost in the last three years alone. How we purchase goods has changed since the advent of e-commerce, but I’d like to o er a less bleak view of the future. 26

Shopping is experiencing the sensations that it o ers. skyrocketing rents—they’re immune to therapy. A great retail experience feeds the e-commerce. Food halls will replace senses and transports you into a new meatpacking houses, bars will move into People shop place, one that for the moment allows the old bodegas, and restaurants will for reasons you to forget the outside world. Retailers replace your local dry cleaner. Shifts in beyond that create a unique shopping experience the retail landscape will continue, but it transactional through a knowledgeable, friendly sta , will be up to us to say what that looks like.  purposes.  well-curated music playlists and quality, unique o erings can win the future.  I hope that we will think about what real There is a false assumption that most support for local retail looks like: buying a retail purchases are made online, even What retail will look like in 2030 is not Christmas gift from the local jeweler, though e-commerce currently accounts preordained. They say online shopping is surprising your husband with shoes for only ten percent of total retail sales. the future because it saves so much time purchased from the bootmaker down the The majority of the top fifty online and money, but it seems like everyone is street, or ordering the custom hat from retailers also have a brick-and-mortar still too busy and too broke to see where the milliner who just graduated fashion presence.  it has gotten us. As a society we have to school. If we don’t shop locally and with ask ourselves, what do we value in our intention, we will see more shuttered Online retailers such as Amazon, Warby cities and communities? Do we let the businesses and empty storefronts and Parker, Boll and Branch and Casper— local bookstore go out of business to blighted commercial corridors in our just to name a few—have opened save three dollars on a book from communities, and that’s not good for brIck-and-mortar stores in recent years. Amazon? Is saving thirty minutes by anyone.  As retailers embrace technology to shopping online worth seeing our increase online sales, e-commerce sites neighborhood dressmaker go under? Are Or you can just keep giving Je Bezos are doing their best to make the online we so transfixed on the transaction and your money because at least he won’t shopping experience resemble the not the experience of shopping that we ask how you are doing. feeling of shopping in a boutique. If the don’t financially support small businesses future of retail is dying, why would these in the neighborhoods that we claim to Eric Williams is the founder and creative online behemoths open up traditional love?  director of The Silver Room, an innovative physical storefronts?  retail, arts and community events space Before I moved my business from Wicker opened in 1997. The Silver Room intersects One word: Experience.  Park to Hyde Park in 2015, I noticed the the worlds of fashion, music and visual art, shopping habits of the new residents and operates as a boutique, gallery and As we move into a new decade, online changed as the neighborhood gentrified. community arts center. Williams founded retailers realize the one thing that can’t Many of the new residents wanted little The Silver Room Block party in 2004 (and be duplicated through algorithms, or no human interaction.  in its sixteenth year attracted more artificial intelligence, facial recognition 40,000), co-founded Grown Folks Stories, software, geo-locators or any of the latest A simple “How are you?” was rebutted a monthly storytelling event, The Harper consumer tracking technology: human with a “I’m just looking.” Great, I was just Court Summer Music Series and Connect connection. Shopping is therapy. People saying hello. Gallery and arts festival. Williams is shop for reasons beyond transactional strategizing concepts that will revitalize purposes.  As neighborhoods like Wicker Park, South and West Side communities and fuel Bucktown, West Loop, Logan Square and their economic growth through retail, arts many others continue to gentrify, many and culture. Williams holds a degree in retailers will go out of business because finance from the University of Illinois at bars and restaurants are the only Chicago. concerns that will be able to a ord There is a rush of adrenaline, not from FEBRUARY 2020 Newcity finally making a purchase, but from merely entering a retail environment and 27

VA. de Pintor Nathaniel Mary Quinn City Unhinged Soil, Seed, and Rain Collision – 4’ x 4’, Encaustic, Oils, Bullet Casings 24 JAN – 22 FEB FEBRUARY 21–MARCH 28, 2020 Zolla/Lieberman Gallery Opening Reception 1711 WEST CHICAGO AVENUE 24 Jan 2020 CHICAGO ILLINOIS 60622 Main Gallery WWW.RHOFFMANGALLERY.COM 325 West Huron Street, Chicago, Illinois 60654 from 5pm to 8pm [email protected] Logan Center Gallery • Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts • 915 E 60th St Chicago IL 60637 Harold Mendez January 24 — THE YEARS M O D E R N I S M SJANUARY21–April5,2020 NOW March 8 Iranian, Turkish, and Indian Highlights from NYU’s Abby Weed Grey Collection

Joffrey Ballet’s “The Times Are Racing” at the Auditorium Theatre, February 12-23 The Joffrey's mixed-rep program takes its title from the finale number, a sneaker ballet by New York City Ballet resident choreographer Justin Peck celebrating youth, individuality and community. rts & CulturePhoto:JoffreyBalletdancersEdsonBarbosa,DaraHolmes,JeraldineMendoza,DylanGutierrez/Photo:CherylMann

EXHIBITIONS THE ARTS CLUB OF CHICAGO GRAY 201 East Ontario Street Richard Gray Gallery, Hancock: 875 N. Michigan Avenue, 38th Floor 312 787 3997 Mon–Fri 10-5:30, Sat by appointment [email protected] / Gray Warehouse: 2044 W. Carroll Avenue By appointment Tues–Fri 11-6, Sat 11-3 312 642 8877 [email protected] / January 16–February 22 89th Exhibition of Visual Artist Members Please contact gallery for more information. Through April 6 Garden Project | Bernard Williams: The Black Tractor Project THE BLOCK MUSEUM OF ART KAVI GUPTA GALLERY At Northwestern University Kavi Gupta | Washington Blvd., 835 W. Washington Boulevard 40 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston, IL Tues–Fri 10-6, Sat 11-5 847 491 4000 [email protected] / Kavi Gupta | Elizabeth St., 219 N. Elizabeth Street Thurs–Fri 10-6, Sat 11-5 Tues, Sat–Sun 10-5, Wed–Fri 10-8, Mon closed 312 432 0708 January 21–April 5 Modernisms: Iranian, Turkish, and Indian Highlights [email protected] / from NYU’s Abby Grey Collection Opening February 28 Tony Tasset: The Weight January 21–April 19 Terence Gower: Ciudad Moderna (Kavi Gupta | Elizabeth St.) CARL HAMMER GALLERY LOGAN CENTER EXHIBITIONS 740 N. Wells Street At the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts 312 266 8512 915 E. 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637 [email protected] / 773 702 2787 [email protected] / Tues–Sat 11-5:30 Tues–Sat 9-9, Sun 11-9, Mon closed January 10–February 29 3-D Inside / Out: Neil Goodman, Jay Kelly, January 24–March 8 Harold Mendez: The years now Aristotle Georgiades, Vanessa German and Donald Lipski DEPAUL ART MUSEUM MONIQUE MELOCHE GALLERY At DePaul University 451 N. Paulina Street 935 W. Fullerton Avenue 312 243 2129 773 325 7506 [email protected] / [email protected] / Tues–Sat 11-6 February 1–March 21 Candida Alvarez: Estoy Bien Mon–Tues closed, Wed–Thurs 11-7, Fri–Sun 11-5 Closed for installation February 24–March 19 Through February 23 Julia Fish: bound by spectrum Through February 23 Remember Where You Are Through February 23 Architectural Annotations Opening March 19 The World to Come: Art in the Age of the Anthropocene

MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY RHONA HOFFMAN GALLERY PHOTOGRAPHY 1711 W. Chicago Avenue At Columbia College Chicago 312 455 1990 600 S. Michigan Avenue [email protected] / 312 663 5554 Tues–Fri 10-5:30, Sat 11-5:30 [email protected] / Through February 15 Gordon Parks: This Land is Your Land Mon–Wed 10-5, Thurs 10-8, Fri–Sat 10-5, Sun 12-5 February 21–March 28 Nathaniel Mary Quinn: Soil, Seed, and Rain January 16–March 29 In Real Life SMART MUSEUM OF ART THE NEUBAUER COLLEGIUM FOR CULTURE AND SOCIETY At the University of Chicago 5550 S. Greenwood Avenue At the University of Chicago 773 702 0200 5701 South Woodlawn Avenue [email protected] / 773 795 2329 Tues–Wed 10-5, Thurs 10-8, Fri–Sun 10-5 [email protected] / February 7–May 3 The Allure of Matter: Material Art from China Mon–Fri, First Saturdays 9-5 March 12–August 21 Apsáalooke Women and Warriors (co-presented with Wrightwood 659) POETRY FOUNDATION WRIGHTWOOD 659 61 W. Superior Street 659 W. Wrightwood Avenue 312 787 7070 773 437 6601 [email protected] / [email protected] / Mon–Fri 11-4 By appointment Saturday, February 8 11-4 February 6–May 2 The Allure of Matter: Material Art from China January 9–April 30 A.R. Ammons: Watercolors (co-presented with Smart Museum of Art) THE RENAISSANCE SOCIETY ZHOU B ART CENTER At the University of Chicago 5811 S. Ellis Ave., Cobb Hall, 4th Floor 1029 W. 35th Street 773 702 8670 773 523 0200 [email protected] / [email protected] / Tues–Wed, Fri 10-5, Thurs 10-8, Sat–Sun 12-5 Mon–Sat 10-5 January 11–March 29 Silke Otto-Knapp: In the waiting room January 17–February 21 Threads of Truth. Social Impact & Fiber Arts

Art Image courtesy Experimental Station Ongoing Growth organizations, cultural programs continue to be an important component of the institution. New Structures for the Arts at Experimental Station Highlights of 2019 included last summer’s Blackstone Block Party, now an annual event By Marina Resende Santos combining a back-to-school drive with food, workshops and shows from several South Newcity FEBRUARY 2020 “Building independent cultural infrastructure.” also the result of intensive outreach and Side groups; “Fugal Systems,” a program Experimental Station’s tagline captures experimentation, led by assistant director curated by Jordan Martins and Angel Bat ongoing growth. The phrase rings with new Matthew Searle, who has sought to expand Dawid, where musicians and dancers truth when we tally cultural programming at and reimagine Experimental Station’s art and improvised independently in locations the organization in recent years. Experimental culture programming since late 2018. throughout the building, in sets made by Station hosted seventeen arts and culture Norman Teague and Martins, creating a events in 2017. By 2018, there were over forty. The Experimental Station emerged as an spatialized chance symphony; and the Last year, the multi-pronged non-profit artist’s project under the direction of Dan cross-institutional residency of France-based organization held nearly ninety performances, Peterman, who today keeps his studio in the artists and organizers Dorothée Munyaneza showcases, residencies, artist talks and other building. Throughout the years, Experimental and Nicolas Détrie, organized with High cultural programs in and around the building Station grew out as a civic, social service and Concept Labs, the French Embassy and located on 61st Street and Blackstone Avenue. educational institution, developing programs at other organizations. This number grew organically, from partner- Blackstone Bike Works and the 61st Street ships with other organizations, long-held Farmers Market, and incubating journalism, Emerging from the past years is a preference relationships with curators and new interest civic architecture and social justice projects. for programs that involve learning and from artists and producers. But the leap is Through partnerships with artists and participation, that go beyond showcasing work to an audience, and that are site-specific, using, highlighting and hijacking the building 32

and the many organizations and communities mental Station kitchen—a polyvalent space cultural producers can be a constructive that live in it. Experimental Station also that has proven ideal for showcases that presence in the organization. privileges working with cultural and social combine conversation in a warm, inviting projects from the South Side; new programs in atmosphere. Starting in 2020, the “Mother-of-Color Creative 2019 centered on emerging black artists. Residency” is one such residency model. Also slated for 2020 is “The Artists Series” Designed by artist and organizer Wisdom Baty, For 2020, Experimental Station is starting to (TAS), developed with the Banks Performance the program will host one mother-of-color from de ne structures to partner and give access to Project. TAS is a public critique series, where the Woodlawn neighborhood at a time for a artists and producers to program the space. artists will apply to showcase works in creative residency. The project, which was This includes residencies and “platforms,” progress and receive feedback from an awarded a Propeller Fund grant to get off the experimental initiatives of artists to create attending expert as well as from the audience. ground, will support each resident with paid space for other cultural producers. This year, childcare, professional development and the organization will produce four platforms, all The last platform will be the new “Identity wellness care. enabled by partial funding from the Paul M. Cabaret,” with three sessions planned for the Angell Family Foundation. year. Idealized by Woodlawn-based artist and “When an artist comes to Experimental Station, curator William Hill, and based on research it’s very different from showing up at the Logan The project will continue to support “Self-Care into the history of the form, this unique cabaret Center or at some white cube. It’s showing up = Resistance,” organized by musicians Angel series aims, in Searle’s words, to “center the to a community, to people that are already in Bat Dawid and Julian Otis, who have hosted black queer community and promote motion, there is already a lot of activity in the six events since December 2018. Each intergenerational friendships, while asking the building,” Searle says. session invites artists of other crafts to the audience to re ect on their own identities.” space, to perform beside free jazz musicians Munyaneza and Détrie, for example, engaged who show up for the rare opportunity to jam From the Carla Stilwell Institute, to Peggy youth associated with Blackstone Bike Works with Bat Dawid and Otis. Pierrot’s residency in 2018, and Munyaneza and with the Invisible Institute’s Youth/Police and Détrie’s time in the building last fall, Project, who came in for weekly, paid “Warming Station,” which debuted in 2019, Experimental Station has held space for artists workshops involving storytelling, vocalizations continues this year. The open mic series is to work in residency in the building’s common and a communal meal prepared by the artists. organized by Aquil Charlton (a.k.a. AQ), and areas. When planning to establish regular artist Détrie also gathered community leaders, hosted by Jasmine Barber (a.k.a. J Bambii), residencies, Searle thinks about how artists and members of the civic projects in the and is accompanied by soup made by a vegan Experimental Station can distinguish itself for building to share his work as the founder of chef from Woodlawn. It’s held in the Experi- artists seeking opportunities, and how resident Yes We Camp, in the refugee settlements in It’s time to register for Spring programs with the Chicago Park District! SPRING SESSION REGISTRATION Online registration begins: Monday, February 24 at 9AM for parks WEST of California Ave. (2800 W.) Tuesday, February 25 at 9AM for parks EAST of California Ave. (2800 W.) Tuesday, February 25 at 12PM for gymnastics centers In-Person registration begins: FEBRUARY 2020 Newcity Saturday, February 29 for most parks. Some parks begin Monday, March 2 Activities start the week of March 30 for most programs. For more information visit or call 312.742.7529 or 312.747.2001 (TTY) City of Chicago Lori E. Lightfoot, Mayor STAY CONNECTED. Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners Michael P. Kelly, General Superintendent & CEO 33

ART TOP 5 Work in progress performance by 2019 artist in residence Dorothée Munyaneza. Image courtesy Experimental Station. /Photo: J Michael Eugenio. 1 Vaginal Davis: The Newcity FEBRUARY 2020 White to be Angry. Marseilles and other French cities. Ben LaMar producers. One of Experimental Station’s The Art Institute of Chicago. Gay, avery r. young, Keyierra Collins, Norman distinguishing features, after all, is its ability to Davis' breakthrough video Teague, Folayemi Wilson and Raquel Monroe, be “incoherent in a good way.” work from 1999 audaciously Chicago artists who worked with Munyaneza pokes fun at the ways white last fall get to join her in the final presentation Looping back to the tagline, arts management supremacy permeates the of the performance in Marseilles later this year, at Experimental Station is about infrastructure. political spectrum. and there is conversation about youth “I haven’t seen myself as a curator,” Searle Opens Feb 1 participants following as well. distinguishes, “I see myself as a facilitator. It’s about listening a lot and responding, guiding 2 Gordon Parks: This Searle ponders the gains and losses of and supporting.” Precisely as Experimental Land Is Your Land. formalizing art programming at the Experimen- Station builds out its own structures, it will Rhona Hoffman Gallery. tal Station. As the organization undergoes a build up more opportunities for others, as the Work dating from the 1940s capital campaign to build an annex and organization stays true to its distinctly through the 1960s, focusing considers its growth and mission, Searle notes collaborative approach to art programming. on the hope and heartbreak that “there is an opportunity to be clear for of African-American youth. itself and to the public [about] what it is, and Searle says that the openness and the learning Through Feb 15 what it can do consistently.” For Searle, of the past year have paid off. “I am excited to defining structures for Experimental Station’s have this conversation because I think it’s a 3 Return to the arts programs has to do with enabling wider very interesting moment in a long-standing Everywhere. access to the space. Platforms and residen- organization,” he says. “I’m really proud of Weinberg/Newton Gallery. cies will be announced to the public, call more what we’ve been able to do over the past few The artists in this group people into the building, and help direct artists years. It feels like there is momentum and that exhibition mined the station's and communities to the resources offered by the organization has responded to it by saying archive for material; each work the organization, in and beyond the arts. yes, we want more of it.” examines the tenuousness of objectivity in a \"post-truth\" era. However, it is just as important for Experimen- Experimental Station is located at 6100 South Through April 4 tal Station to keep up the nimbleness that has Blackstone. Find out about their ongoing allowed it to offer the most to new cultural programming at 4 Very Fine on Both Sides. Chicago Artists Coalition. BOLT resident (and 2018 Newcity Art 50 artist) Latham Zearfoss uses sculpture, video and painting to pull apart the bogus false equivalences permeating current media and political discourse. Through Feb 13 5 Jun Fujita: American Visionary. The Newberry. Fujita was the first Japanese- American photojournalist, and the work here includes images of some of the most famous moments of early twentieth-century Chicago history, alongside his poetry. Through March 31 34

Dance Jeraldine Mendoza and the ensemble in rehearsal for \"The Times Are Racing\" /Photo: The Joffrey Ballet. Whole and Connected business, to set a work by NYCB’s superstar FEBRUARY 2020 Newcity resident choreographer Justin Peck for the The Joffrey Ballet presents Justin Peck's company that inspired him to pursue ballet. “The Times Are Racing” The Joffrey premieres “The Times Are Racing” By Sharon Hoyer at the Auditorium Theatre February 12 -23, and chose to use the closing number as the Craig Hall came of age at the Chicago and made me want to become a ballet title for the entire mixed-rep program of short Academy for the Arts in the 1990s—freshly dancer.” Two years after graduation, Hall works by contemporary choreographers, relocated from New York to Chicago—watch- landed a spot in the New York City Ballet’s including big names like Peck—who recently ing the Joffrey Ballet rehearse at his high production of “The Nutcracker” and has been won a Tony award for choreographing the school. “I was lucky to see the company in with George Balanchine’s legendary Broadway revival of “Carousel”—and their early days,” Hall says in a phone company ever since—for seventeen years as Christopher Wheeldon, as well as less-promi- interview. “They didn’t have a studio so they a dancer and as a ballet master, or, as he nent but highly talented and increasingly used our school. They were the ones who unassumingly puts it, \"a coach,\" for three. sought-after choreographers like Amster- introduced me to the world of classical dance Hall returned to his hometown last August on dam-based Batsheva Dance company alum Itzik Galili and Chicago-based “Winning Works” awardee Stephanie Martinez. Joffrey 35

DANCE TOP 5 Craig Hall in rehearsal with Edson Barbosa, Jonathan Dole and Greig Matthews. Photo: The Joffrey Ballet. Newcity FEBRUARY 2020 1 The Times Are Racing. artistic director Ashley Wheater says he the Joffrey, are so well-rounded athletes it’s a Auditorium Theatre. The hopes the show will appeal to a younger wonderful way to showcase these artists.” Joffrey's mixed-rep program crowd. “The program is definitely a mixed takes its title from the finale bag. We wanted to title the whole program I asked Hall how he imparted the spirit of the number, a sneaker ballet by ‘The Times Are Racing’ because our times thirty-two-year-old choreographer’s work, New York City Ballet resident are. People are trying to assess the world— created in the days following the 2016 choreographer Justin Peck the political world, the social media world presidential election, to the Joffrey dancers. celebrating youth, individuality which is like a runaway train. There’s so “We were going through a lot of turmoil and community. Feb 12-23 much hype and drama out there, how do we politically and, while it’s not a political ballet, contain it? I think the arts are a great place to our first rehearsal was a couple days after the 2 Same Planet pass on a message without attacking election,\" he says. \"Living in a metropolitan Performance Project. individuals.” area where so many individuals live and Dance Center of Columbia speak as individuals and not knowing what College. SPPP director Joanna Youth culture is at the heart of Peck’s ballet, would happen in the next couple of years Reed presents a new dance which is danced in sneakers and streetwear with the arts and people’s voices being on boundaries and consent to the second half of electronic musician Dan silenced, I think it was a little daunting. alongside a commission from Deacon’s “America” album. “It’s a bunch of Everyone came in the first day feeling a little New York-based Ivy Baldwin young dancers expressing themselves the broken and wounded. We realized that no on ecological destruction. only way they know how right now, which is matter what was happening in the outside Feb 21-22 movement,” Hall says. “It’s an exciting ballet. world, we always had the sanctuary of I think a lot of Justin Peck’s choreography is coming in the studio and creating art. That 3 Trinity Irish Dance about community. A few dancers step out was the first discussion we had with the New Company. Auditorium and take the spotlight, but always come back York City Ballet, that we were safe to Theatre. Chicago's traditional to their home base and you realize you’re experiment, to fall down and pick yourself Irish dance company presents only as strong as your home and your back up and you’re taken care of.” three new works, including a connection.” commission by tap superstar While that underpinning spirit of nurturing and MacArthur fellow Michelle A gorgeously produced teaser video to and sanctuary may not seem political on the Dorrance. Feb 29 promote the 2017 world premiere gives a surface, care for self and others is a tenet of peek at choreography that seamlessly blends activism with ever-increasing visibility. 4 Light in Winter. Unity classical and contemporary ballet, tap and Costumes include T-shirts emblazoned with Temple, Winifred Haun & jazz in a three-minute duet that speeds “Defy” and “Change,” and that defiance Dancers present a collaboration joyously along a New York City subway comes in the form of tenderness, the change with composer Renee Baker platform, up and down staircases, in the sort a change to compassion. Hall, who is in inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright's of public-dancing fantasy thousands of us charge of all of Peck’s repertory, says it’s one Unity Temple in Oak Park. With quietly harbor. Of the tap sequences in “The of his all-time favorite ballets, the rare sort live accompaniment by Chicago Times...” Hall says, “Most ballet dancers that makes him want to jump up and be Modern Orchestra Project. started out doing something other than ballet. onstage again. “I think there are some pieces Feb 21-22 My path was jazz and tap and gymnastics where the dancers enjoy it more than the before that. But you realize you have to just audience or the audience enjoys it more than 5 The Nearest Place. Links choose one style if you’re really going to the dancers, and I think this one is right Hall. Emma Draves and excel at it, so you put the others in a little box down the middle, where everyone gets an Project Bound Dance provide under your bed. I think that was the same experience. By the end, you feel whole and much-needed February with Justin. He started out as a tapper and connected. It’s like going to some sort of comfort with a series of solos was influenced by those rhythms. Now, when religious service—it moves through your and duets about hibernation, you come to the ballet it’s not always pink body like none other.” safety, warmth and empathy. tights and tutus—it’s still under the heading Feb 28-March 1 of ballet, though it’s really just dance. I think The Joffrey Ballet presents \"The Times Are Justin wanted to highlight dancers doing Racing\" at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 East 36 things unconventional in a ballet setting. All Ida B. Wells, (312)386-8905. February 12-23. the dancers, in the New York City Ballet and Tickets start at $35,

Design Photo: WOMANISH \"Discover your ISH\" Launch Event Ish-Ism creating safe spaces where one can come together and share their most intimate Womanish Seeks a New Understanding of Womxnhood experiences and thoughts—whether that’s feeling celebrated, or misunderstood, liberated By Vasia Rigou or disconnected, proud or wrongly labeled. But as one digs deeper into those sociopoliti- WOMANISH is not just another pop-up. own. To get the conversation started, they cal topics through art, community dialogue FEBRUARY 2020 Newcity It is a conscious effort to bring women’s bring together influential women and gender and collective healing, they realized that experiences to the forefront. Following their non-conforming people who dissect topics— WOMANISH is also about something else: not launch, an event titled “Discover your ISH,” from style, to family, to the self—and the ways forgetting to have fun. which brought together fifteen artists, each those inform and shape their perspectives and presenting their respective \"ISH” through their identity. Those events will set the ground for What exactly is WOMANISH and what was work, and a dinner party that shed light onto what’s to follow: an interactive exhibition the inspiration? aspects of womanhood, the team behind the launching this spring. WOMANISH founders Emily Dahlquist: WOMANISH is a movement newly launched brand proceeded to organize Dionna and Danyelle Gray, and creative that celebrates the multifaceted perspectives a monthly series of panel conversations that director Emily Dahlquist talk to Newcity design of womxn through visual and interactive events invite you to take a step back, listen to editor Vasia Rigou about what defines us as and exhibit experiences—a place for all people empowering women's stories and share your contemporary women and the importance of to understand womxn’s identities through art and creative installations. 37

Newcity FEBRUARY 2020 DESIGN TOP 5 Danyelle Gray: My sister and I are all about Your inaugural panel discussion, Famish, community. We were inspired by our passion focused on family culture, and was 1Julia Fish: Bound by for women empowerment as well. WOMAN- followed by a Stylish panel event that Spectrum. DePaul Art ISH was a chance to create a safe and fun debated the role of style in womxns’ Museum. Bringing together environment for people of all backgrounds to lives. Having just wrapped your first two painting, drawing and come together in a place imagined and events, what was the biggest lesson architecture, Fish’s work reveals designed just for them. learned so far? her observations of her own E.D.: That what we are doing is a movement, home—a 1922 Chicago We live in the world of the “Made-for- and those who show up are a part of it. The storefront—for over three Instagram museum,” where interactive response from those who attended has been decades. Through Feb 23 exhibitions strive to provide the perfect incredibly overwhelming. We have a vision that photo op and pop-up experiences can wasn’t started by a brand or corporation, and 2 C2E2: Chicago Comic reach cult status. What sets WOMAN- the affirmations we have had from people who & Entertainment Expo. ISH apart? are getting involved and joining the conversa- McCormick Place. A weekend- E.D.: The WOMANISH exhibit will not be tions is tremendously important to the growth long celebration of comic books, another pop-up museum of cute, random and meaning of WOMANISH. A lot of the toys and videogames, cosplay, pieces. Rather, guests can expect artists who have been involved, as well as the anime, original artwork and conceptual, sociopolitical installations and guests, have broken down their stories with us celebrity guests. Feb 28 – rooms that feature national and local artists’ and shared their current transformations in life. March 1 perspectives that are vital to the conversa- Most people have said, “This couldn’t have tion. We are taking the curation to another come at a better time in my life” and “being 3 Great Ideas of Humanity level. As creative director, I am working here makes me feel like I am a part of 2020. Design Museum of deliberately with each artist to reach their something special and relevant.” Chicago. Chicago Public School vision, and dive into parts of themselves that students get inspired by local they haven’t explored before. This results in As we move closer to the WOMANISH public artworks and respond not only a very visual, but a very emotional exhibit launch in spring 2020, can you with creative ideas that cross experience for each artist and each talk about what you have coming up? cultures and disciplines. Opens attendee. At WOMANISH, we are not afraid E.D.: We have a lot of work to do. We are a Feb 25 to touch on taboo topics. Secondarily, we small, strong team of courageous womxn find a lot of value in the programming breaking new ground—and we are so here 4 Chicago Works: Assaf around our exhibit. Our team has been for it. We are working with a handful of artists Evron. Museum of creating cultural programming for a decade, to create their own perspectives into large Contemporary Art. The multi- so our curatorial and community involve- installations, as well as creating about ten to disciplinary artist and former ment process is intense and relevant. Folks fifteen conceptual installs that we have been photojournalist explores local can expect workshops, private events and dreaming of and tweaking since the summer histories of Israel and Chicago at intimate listening parties throughout the of 2019. There will be special programming the intersection of architecture, exhibit’s duration. leading up to the WOMANISH exhibit that is design and place. Through yet to be announced. March 1 WOMANISH is centered around one core question: \"How do we define and What are you hoping the visitors will take 5 Weaving Beyond the express the multifaceted parts of away from this experience? Bauhaus. Art Institute of ourselves in the contemporary world?\" E.D.: A sense of empathy and communal Chicago. Last chance to visit Why is now the time to have this understanding of womxnhood. And an an exhibition presenting the conversation? understanding that we each have various work of Bauhaus artists as they E.D.: There is a lot of tension around social beautiful identities and that we should be moved from Germany across topics, I believe because there are more inspired to express those different parts that the Atlantic to shape the and more platforms that allow free make up who we are. American design landscape. expression, including conceptually built Through Feb 17 experiences. At WOMANISH, we think it's a What's one thing you want the world to miss not to use this new experiential trend know? 38 to an advantage that actually has a purpose. E.D.: The WOMANISH movement is a living, A lot of people ignore or look sideways at breathing thing that, if nurtured, can lead to a social politics and, unfortunately, we live in a powerful cultural shift in terms of how we think world where womxn are still not treated and understand ourselves and the womxn equally. WOMANISH provides a fun place to around us. Communication and expression not only let people express their perspec- begets more communication and expression, tives of their feelings, but for others to and so on. And that’s what the WOMANISH understand them and feel inspired, too. platform is all about.

&DrDininkiinngg probably won’t find cognac listed as an ingredient. The drinks menu at Mordecai, Eater Chica- go’s 2018 bar of the year, lists tequila, vodka and bourbon cocktails, but no cognac variations. Ditto Scofflaw, The Bandit, Bokeh. We checked cocktail menus at high-volume places like Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse and Shaw’s Crab House, and at these places, too, there were no cognac cocktails to be found on their menus. No doubt, you could have the bartender make you a classic—be- lieved to be America’s first cocktail—or other cognac-forward cocktail, but such drinks don't seem to be perceived as popular enough to put on the menu… which is odd. “Cognac is a heavily underrated spirit. Its flavor characteristics stand out in ways that vodka [America’s bestselling spirit] can’t, and it runs neck-and-neck with bourbon for complexity,\" bartender Neko Harris at The Dawson (730 West Grand) tells us. \"Cognac’s refreshing notes of apple, caramel and its subtle sweetness make for some amazing cocktails as well as standalone sippers.” Alex Schmaling/ Photo: Felicia Saade Photography Mark Phelan, bar manager at Revival FEBRUARY 2020 Newcity Café-Bar in Revival Food Hall (125 South Subtle Sweetness Clark) explains that cognac sales suffer, at least in part, because of bourbon’s In Search of Cognac in Chicago popularity. “Bourbon is so popular,” Phelan says, “that it’s hard to get people to move By David Hammond away from that. However, old bourbons and Scotch flatten out after a certain number of Everyone knows cognac, which has The United States accounts for the highest years; they might even taste worse than a traditionally been respected as a higher-end percentage of cognac consumed worldwide, younger one. Cognac, on the other hand, straight sip and cocktail component. But try but a lot of this consumption likely takes has impressed us with the nuance and the finding cognac in a Chicago bar and you may place at home rather than in a bar or number of layers it can have. It expands as have a harder time than you might think. restaurant. Check just about any cocktail it gets older. Still, it’s a category that not There are reasons for that. menu at any local bar or restaurant: you many people are carrying.” Perhaps the reason why many bars in Chicago don’t have cognac cocktails on their menus is that the stuff is often more expensive than other dark spirits. “Making alcohol out of grapes is fundamentally more expensive than making it out of grain or sugarcane,” says Alex Schmaling, head bartender at Beacon Tavern (405 North Wabash), “so the entry-level price on any brandy is simply higher. There are some newer cognac brands priced affordably for cocktail menus, and as a result, I think we're already seeing more cognac on menus.” At Revival Food Hall, Phelan serves cocktails inspired by Chicago architecture. His 39

DINING & DRINKING Neko Harris/Photo courtesy Neko Harris TOP 5 Marquette cocktail is a cognac-forward liquid Cognac lost more traction when the plague 1 Grand Chefs Experience. reflection of the 1895 Holabird & Roche-de- of Prohibition hit in the 1920s. That’s a The Field Museum. Thirty- signed building on Dearborn, which used to shame because, as Phelan contends, five chefs, signature hors have a cognac cellar in the basement. This “Cognac is a great base for drinks, stirred or d’oeuvres, drinks and dinner shaken, because it’s not as assertive as and the world’s largest cellar suggests that cognac was more dinosaur; a benefit for the other brown spirits might be.” Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. popular in late nineteenth-century Chicago Feb 8 than it is today. As many of Chicago’s earlier “I like drinking cognac,” says Marina 2 Food, Booze, Tunes. Cubby Bear. Chef Cleetus restaurants reflected a distinctly French Holter, lead bartender at The Whistler Friedman interviews Louisa Chu (Chicago Tribune) and Monica influence, cognac benefited from the (2421 North Milwaukee). “It lends itself Eng (WBEZ) about creative processes, favorite music and conventional wisdom that French food and very well to cocktails, providing a refined food; Friedman will also prepare a food and beverage pairing to drink was “the best.” Consequently, when backbone to a lot of drinks. It’s not sample. Feb 12 people dined out (a much rarer event in the something that people are scared to 3 Southport Wine and Chocolate Stroll. nineteenth century than now), they wanted drink but there isn’t a lot of knowledge Southport, Belmont to Irving Park Road. Participating what they considered to be the highest about it. I can go days without touching businesses along Southport provide wine, chocolate and quality comestibles. my bottle of cognac.” special deals during this ticketed event designed to bring The mid-nineteenth century phylloxera Cognac has had its ups and downs over a joy during the most wretched month of the year. Feb 13, epidemic, which laid waste to French 6-9pm vineyards, damaged cognac production and the centuries, but it retains its aura as a traditionally premium, sophisticated spirit. 4 Eighth Annual Cider made it, like French wine, less available. As Summit. Navy Pier Aon Bartenders recognize its value even if it's Newcity FEBRUARY 2020 Grand Ballroom. A celebration cognac became harder to find, bartenders of international ciders and the not featured on the regular bar menu. people who make them, fueled substituted spirits like rye and bourbon for by nearly 200 ciders, cocktails and apple spirits. Feb 22 cognac in cocktails like Sidecars and Sazeracs. With time, those made-in-America On a recent trip to New Orleans, the most 5 Tickled Pink. Rockwell French city in the United States, we tried on the River. Much spirits would slowly supplant cognac. The merrymaking, with food and Sazerac was originally made with, and named Sazeracs at multiple bars, and the drink cocktails courtesy of Eden, after, Sazerac de Forge et Fils Cognac; now seemed uniformly richer and more flavorful Cindy’s Rooftop and Labriola, than many we’ve had elsewhere. The among others, to generate the Sazerac company produces rye and awareness about breast owns bourbon makers like Buffalo Trace and secret to this deliciousness was likely, in cancer. Feb 28 Pappy Van Winkle. You can see why people part, because Crescent City bartenders still make the drink following the traditional 40 might think that the appropriate spirit for a recipe: with cognac. Sazerac cocktail is either rye or bourbon.

FILM TOP 5 Film 1 Thirtieth Anniversary Festival Momentary, of Films from Iran. Siskel. Momentous Highlights include two documentaries painstakingly assembled from clips The Passion of Portrait of hundreds of pre-1979 films, all of a Lady on Fire sourced from surviving home video tapes of work from the theocracy’s By Ray Pride destruction of Iranian pre-revolution cinema. February Night: the eighteenth century. FEBRUARY 2020 Newcity 2 Angel Face. Chicago Film At the overture of Céline Sciamma’s “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” (Portrait de la jeune Society at NEIU. This bitterly, fille en feu), a young woman, soaked, alone, warms before a hearth. She sits in bracingly noir, shown in 35mm, has profile, knees upraised, nude, a painterly composition in which she and the fire always been the coin of the realm of share the center of the frame. She is flanked by two canvases, also damp from her those who revel, agog, in the camera journey across the sea to an isle of Brittany, arriving at this estate by dark, drying, mastery of Otto Preminger. February 19 too, before the warmth. 3 Winchester ‘73. Siskel. The blanks are possibility itself, the coiled human contemplating the task ahead. Speaking of coin of the realm: She is to paint the wedding portrait of Héloïse, the “young girl on fire,” with the Anthony Mann’s magisterial, even convent behind her and a hardly wanted marriage ahead. But her task is covert: sublime 1950 Western with Jimmy Marianne (Noémie Merlant) is to befriend Héloïse (Adèle Haenel), soaking in her Stewart, Dan Duryea and Shelley essence by day and rendering her in oils by night. Fire, started, persists, grows, Winters is shown in a 4K digital consumes. The portrait-to-be becomes emblem, a talisman of freedom, or what restoration. February 7, 8, 10 freedom might become. To simply see for oneself beyond the assignment, the moment at hand. It is a memory in the making. 4 Hi, Mom! Siskel. Brian DePalma has always been one of American cinema’s foremost satirists: Discuss after seeing a 35mm print of his early, politically wary Robert De Niro-starring social satire. February 7, 13 5 Disco Godfather Chicago Film Society at Music Box. Rudy Ray Moore and his pugnacious polyester presence battle PCP dealers while investing screen acreage with kung fu, psychedelia and black disco culture. “Dolemite” was no mad fluke. February 10 41

Céline Sciamma’s fine earlier features, which as Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, Artemisia vanish. I like the idea of this silhouette, so include “Tomboy” and “Girlhood,” are richly Gentileschi and Angelica Kauffman.) modern, which is rehabilitated as if revived.” observed, but the intent intimacy of “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” plies deeper water still. It’s mystical and galvanic in a movie when But her great challenge in historical re-creation, Her compositions are stately, painterly, the expression of desire finds its form Sciamma says, is in reconstituting notions even as she creates the life of one of the readymade, in image after image, a cauldron of intimacy. “Even though these women era’s unknown female artists. As Marianne of motion and emotion rather than a fraught knew their lives were marked out in advance, captures essence from close yet surreptitious landscape, caught at breakneck speed, they experienced something else. They were observation, sustained observation, gestures seemingly both offhand and etched, in curious, intelligent and wanted to love,” she are no longer offhand. The act of looking, the movies like Wong Kar-wai’s “Chungking continues. “Their desires may be part of a art of looking: capturing the ephemeral with Express” or “In the Mood for Love” or Jane world that forbids such things, but they exist precision. Is this an essence of movies? A Campion’s “Bright Star,” the brilliant other- all the same. Their bodies become their own “female gaze”? Of falling toward a particular, world of planet Earth in Krzysztof Kieslowski’s when they are allowed to relax, when vigilance momentary carnal love? Yes, yes and “The Double Life of Veronique” and the Three wanes, when there is no longer the gaze of certainly, yes. It is the transformation of Colors trilogy, and certainly movies by Claire protocol, when they are alone. I wanted to the world, a person, the figure in front of Denis. It is not only looking and being seen— return their friendships and questions to them, us through the artist’s livid imagination— the subject of the film—but images that their attitudes, their humor, their desire to run.” both painter and filmmaker. (And cinemat- aren’t just imagery that advance “story,” ographer Claire Mathon.) but are in fact the story, colors and textures Bong Joon-ho, director of “Parasite,” made an that thrill in every combination. observation that suits Sciamma’s film as well. There surely are as many ways to express “I’m not making a documentary or propaganda desire in movies—film, cinema, storytelling— Sciamma, in an interview in the film’s Cannes here. It’s not about telling you how to change as dreams yet to be dreamt, imaginations 2019 press kit, speaks of starting at the the world or how you should act because and concentration yet to be focused, artists emblematic, with “one uniform per character”: something is bad, but rather showing you the yet to be introduced, even born. The two-hour “It’s a form of tailor-made characterization and terrible, explosive weight of reality. That’s what feature-film format is a feat of compression, we have to deal with costume politics more I believe is the beauty of cinema.” elision and ellipsis, and glances exchanged, than ever. The choice of cuts and materials— that suggest hours and days and weeks in particular their weight—engages at one Héloïse and Marianne live their desires. between characters. There are over a hundred and the same time the sociology of the The patience haunts as much as the passion. years and tens of thousands of movies that character, historical truth and the performance Lavishing in moments both secret and were made, some survived; only a few bristle of physically constrained actresses. I was shared, rippling with textures and gestures, and ripple in unexpected fashion. (Sciamma determined that Marianne should have Sciamma’s film of essences is essential. cites a figure of a hundred or so female artists pockets, for example. For her general attitude, who carved careers in an era of vogue for but also because pockets for women would “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” opens Friday, portraiture, beyond better-known names such be banned at the end of the century and February 21 at the Music Box. Newcity FEBRUARY 2020 42

Live at The Book Cellar Story Studio Deborah J. Cohan 164 North State Street • Between Lake & Randolph \"The movie of the year.\" Student and Teacher Reading “Welcome To Wherever We Are” - A.O. Scott, The New February 1, 6pm February 20, 7pm York Times Susan L. Kelsey Graham Moore PARASITE “Billy Caldwell: Chicago and “The Holdout” JAN 31 - FEB 6 the Great Lakes Trail” February 21, 7pm February 6, 7pm FEB 28 - MAR 6 Lori Rader-Day Storytime with Miss Jamie! THE TIMES OF “The Lucky One” in conversation BILL CUNNINGHAM February 7, 11am with Susanna Calkins BUY TICKETS NOW at February 22, 6pm Michael Zapata History in Fiction “The Lost Book of Adana Moreau” and Non-Fiction Book Launch February 8, 3pm at The Hideout with Steve Bellinger, “The Chronocar” and Chicago Crime Fiction Night Joe Rulli, “Chicago Socialism” February 27, 7pm with Jack Fredrickson and Michael Wiley Launch Party! February 13, 7pm Mark Rader in conversation Storytime with Miss Tonya! with Jonathan Messinger about “The Wanting Life” February 14, 11am February 28, 7pm The Kates! The Kates! : Leap Year Edition February 14, 7pm February 29, 7pm Local Author Night featuring Nicholas Hayes with Barnaby Dinges, Matthew Caracciolo and Michael Young February 19, 7pm Go to our website for event details, book clubs and more! Your Independent Book Store in Lincoln Square! 4736-38 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago 773.293.2665 • Jun Fujita Exhibition on view at the Newberry Library American Visionary 60 W. Walton St. January 24 – March 31 Presented by the Newberry Library and the Poetry Foundation.

Lit Artists Book House is a new organization trying to make a place for people to get together and learn and experience all kinds of books. Book arts encompasses letterpress printing, calligraphy, typography, paper making, book binding, artists books, zines and comics. It’s everything from origami to edible books. Almost anything you can imagine as a book has probably been tried and even if it hasn’t you can learn to make it at Artists Book House. It will encompass a bookshop full of curious things. It will embrace local authors. It will host creative writing classes and events like poetry slams and book launches. It will be a place where people can do bookish things. The impetus for the creation of this organization was the death of Columbia’s Center for Book and Paper Arts. Could you talk about its exodus? The Book and Paper Center existed at Columbia College from 1994 to May 2019, if you ignore a handful of graduate students. It is closed to the public so I consider it over. We founded it as a community book arts center where anyone could take classes and try things at any level. You could be a beginner or an expert bookbinder: there was something for you. It was a gathering place where people taught each other. There was a gallery space so people could come in and see these amazing book objects. People would come from other cities, because most major cities have a book arts center, and they would be wowed. It was a beautiful place. So you’re looking to find a place to anchor that community? Newcity FEBRUARY 2020 To Make Audrey Niffenegger photographed Chicago has particularly fantastic book arts Something in a mirror at the Harley Clarke Mansion and writing communities. The talent here is wonderful, wild and weird. When I see my Good It’s no surprise that an author has a fellow book artists and writers, I think “Wow, relationship with books, but Audrey this really is a fantastic bunch. Wouldn’t it An Interview with Niffenegger’s is deeper than most. Before be cool if we were all in one building?” I’m Audrey Niffenegger on her bestseller “The Time Traveler’s Wife” hoping that by giving everybody reason to Artists Book House and the was published in 2003, Niffenegger was an emerge from their studios through continuing Harley Clarke Mansion accomplished book artist who co-founded Chicago’s history of having a wonderful Book the Center for Book and Paper Arts at Arts Center, great things will happen. By Brendan Buck Columbia College of Chicago. Since the death of the center after the college’s shifting We need to talk about your intended priorities, Audrey has been trying to create home for the Artists Book House: a new book arts center she calls Artists Book Evanston’s Harley Clarke mansion. House. We discussed her ambitious plans How did it come on your radar as a for the center, which are focused on a pitch possible community center? to the City of Evanston for what may be its most contentious property: the vacant Harley I first visited the house when I was fourteen, Clarke mansion. back when it was the Evanston Arts Center. I was given a scholarship to take etching What is the Artists Book House and lessons and was blown away by how beautiful what is its mission? that place is. Later, when I graduated from the Art Institute at the age of twenty-two, 44

I couldn’t magically materialize the with a fantastic proposal and I won’t have LIT TOP 5 money to get my own print studio, so to raise a trillion dollars to fix this place. I did what most printmakers do. I went [Laughs] Falling short of that, I believe 1 Xandria Phillips and Raych FEBRUARY 2020 Newcity out and found myself a print studio. it would make a fabulous book center. Jackson. 57th Street Books. I went back to taking lessons at Harley Phillips and Jackson share from Clarke until I was asked to take over a What are some next steps for their debut poetry collections “Hull” class a year later. It was a great laboratory your proposal? and “Even the Saints Audition.” for learning to teach. There was a lot of room to experiment, and no grades. I feel very lucky to have collaborators. February 7 It wasn’t expensive. A lot of the people I have John Eifler, a brilliant architect in the classes were very experienced and experienced with preserving old buildings. 2 Danez Smith. American only needed me to answer the occasional He’s done all sorts of wonderful projects, Writers Museum. Award- technical question. That building was including some Frank Lloyd Wrights. winning poet and National Book crackling with amazing talent. We also have Nick Patera, a landscape Award finalist Smith reads from architect very knowledgeable about their third collection “Homie.” The history of the building itself is that Jens Jensen. One hope we have is to it was originally a lakefront home built for adapt the original Jens Jensen plans for February 11 the Clarke family. Harley Clarke was a the gardens. Even if it can’t be leaf for leaf, utilities magnate and a pioneer in early the University of Michigan has the Jens 3 “Best Women’s Erotica educational film. The house had Jens Jensen archives, so we’re able to see the of the Year: Volume 5.” Jensen gardens and a gorgeous land- original planting list. We know what was Women & Children First. Editor scape. It was built in 1927, the last big there. It’ll be a matter of interpreting it. Rachel Kramer Bussel reads house built on the North Shore before with Kathleen Delaney-Adams, the Depression. The Clarke family sold From the mountain of feedback I’ve Lauren Emily, Jayne Renault, it in 1949 to the Sigma Chi Fraternity heard going to city council meetings, Sierra Simone and Suleikha Snyder. to be their national headquarters, which I understand that what everybody agrees With Valentine’s Day-themed then sold it to the City of Evanston. on is that there should be a café. That’s refreshments and giveaways. Aside from carving off the Lighthouse part of this plan, but I also am formulating Beach from the property, the city didn’t it so that the people of Evanston can February 13 really have a plan for the house and experience the building, even if they’re decided the Evanston Arts Center not bookish. 4 Lori Rader-Day. Volumes should have it. They were in the house Bookcafe. Award-winning from 1965 to 2015, when the city felt As much as possible I want to enliven the mystery writer Lori Rader-Day will like it wanted to do something different. house. There is something inherently sad be in conversation with WGN’s The Arts Center is now in a different about empty places. They always have this Marcella Raymond and read from location, happily for the Arts Center. quality of waiting. Anticipation. The house her new novel “The Lucky One.” One of the issues with this building is feels in between right now. It’s a place that that the Arts Center was unable to afford people remember as being tremendously February 19 complying with the ADA [Americans warm and interesting and full of action. with Disabilities Act]. It’s something that That’s the vibe that I hope we can create. 5 Chicago Comic and anybody moving into that building will Entertainment Expo have to address. What do you need from the (C2E2). McCormick Place. The community to make this work? eleventh annual deep dive into A lot has happened since then. The comics, graphic novels, movies, fact that it was almost demolished Send me money! Send me ten bucks series, videogames and pop was nuts. and your address to my P.O. box and I’ll culture. Cards Against Humanity count you as a donor. Send me anything curates performances from the I give credit to preventing that to the group whatsoever, because what I need to show Chicago comedy community. that is now called Evanston Community is a broad base of support. Some people Lakehouse and Gardens. Not to mention think, “I don’t have gazillions,” but what February 28-March 1 Save Harley Clarke and Friends of Harley I need to show the city council is that a Clarke. Those groups were going on all lot people want this to happen. cylinders with lawn signs and referendums. They saved that building. The donation drive is going to be important. This is an appeal to vote with whatever Back in 2017 when the Lakehouse modest or amazing amount you can. Group applied, I considered applying. People need to feel like they’re working Then I went to one of their mandatory together and creating something. It’s been open houses and thought, “Hey, they a few years of everything getting ripped seem groovy. They could do this.” So, apart. Things we care for have vanished I didn’t propose and neither did anyone or burst into flames. It would be nice to else. And we all know what happened make something good. next. I have no idea who said what to whom, but the city first said they would Artists Book House supporters are negotiate and then said “No, actually, No.” collecting donations through their website Then Evanston entertained the whole and via Artists Book House, PO Box 5851, debacle with Evanston Lighthouse Dunes, Evanston, Illinois 60204-5851. They have the group who proposed to tear it down. filed for 501(c)(3) status, which is pending with the State of Illinois. Donations will So, here we are with another request be held in an escrow account until the for proposals. Part of me hopes that proposal for the Clarke House to become someone other than me will come up Artists Book House is approved. 45

Music Ratboys Grow Up MUSIC TOP 5 Added Members, Bigger Sound, 1 Joe Henry. Old Town School Brand New Album of Folk Music. Singer-songwriter Henry, whose album “Bloom” was By Craig Bechtel released in November, is one of the rare artists who’s achieved the grace Ratboys: Dave Sagan, Julia Steiner, and gravitas to make a solo show Marcus Nuccio, Sean Neumann as exciting as an arena event. Newcity FEBRUARY 2020 I meet Ratboys at Sleeping Village in From the beginning, Steiner and Sagan’s February 22 Chicago, the venue on Belmont recently combination has been an obviously talented opened by The Whistler people. The five of one-two punch of winsome melodies 2 Emily King. Evanston us slide into a large booth in the corner propelled by power-pop guitar crunch, with SPACE. No idea how the before their bassist’s band, Jupiter Styles, Steiner’s helium-soaked soprano conveying lavish production of her acclaimed plays in the middle of a bill in December. her lyrics, which alternate between highly album “Scenery” will translate to the personal anecdotes and impressionistic stage; but the pure, gorgeous R&B Sean Neumann on bass and Marcus word paintings. Their outstanding new tunes surely will. February 14, 15 Nuccio on drums are the newest members album, “Printer’s Devil,” due in February from of Ratboys, a band formed in 2011 by Topshelf Records, does not change that 3 Kindred the Family Soul. City Julia Steiner and Dave Sagan. The two winning formula, but builds on the strengths Winery. Singer-songwriters Aja met during freshman orientation at Notre of their previous output while adding Graydon and Fatin Dantzler are both Dame in South Bend. Marching bands additional musical muscle. throwbacks to golden seventies R&B may be a big thing for the Fighting Irish, sonics and thrilling genre-blending but rock bands were not. “There weren’t As if reading my mind, Steiner says that trailblazers. February 7, 8 a lot of students in our class who came sonically, “Printer’s Devil” is indeed “pretty to college looking for a music friend,” as different,” as recently Ratboys has had 4 Wolf Parade. Thalia Hall. Steiner puts it, and the two “bonded over “really cool opportunities to play in bigger The indefatigable Canadian our love of music.” rooms on tour opening for bands who are indie-rock trio with the gorgeously bigger than us and so we got a chance to feral sound tour their long-awaited Ratboys (whose moniker was inspired by understand how it feels to fill those rooms new album, “Thin Mind.” February 16 a high school nickname) put out some with sound, and so we took that idea and music for free on the Internet and started ran with it.” She says that allowed them to 5 Echosmith. Park West. The playing live the summer following their first “take a big step forward with the sonics on pop trio (comprising siblings year at Notre Dame, but didn’t really start the record, recording it live.” Sydney, Graham and Noah Sierota) touring until after they graduated and tours its irresistibly tech-heavy, released two full-length albums, “AIOD” Sagan concurs that they “were playing with eighties-inflected album, “Lonely and “GN,” in 2015 and 2017 respectively. a lot of bands that had so much energy, Generation.” February 20 46

that it was kind of infectious… Every tour is parents had moved out of it and into a condo. Sagan says these songs still seem fresh, given different, but if we were touring with a loud “It was nice to be able to put the punctuation Ratboys played them on the road for the first or hilarious band, we were naturally louder mark at the end of that sentence, to sit in time in 2019, and the band uses the experi- and more hilarious than we already are. We my old bedroom and attempt to make a list ence of recording the songs to inform how kind of played as a bunch of different flavors of songs I had written there and pay my these songs are played onstage. Steiner says depending on who we were playing with, and respects.” She describes the experience these songs still mean a lot to her. “I tried to we tried to bring that to the record too, that as a “special thing,” given that a lot of her keep a pretty good journal when we were energy that we got from tour we wanted to “musical discoveries happened in that house.” demoing and recording it, so I’ve been reading put that down on tape.” that back to remind myself where we were at. Steiner sometimes worries that her lyrics It was such a long, drawn-out process,” she He’s speaking metaphorically, since, of course, border on the “too personal,” but she never admits, but says she still feels pretty “in it, to as Steiner is quick to point out, the album was wants to pull back, because she doesn’t think be honest.” recorded digitally, at Decade Music Studios in the songs would be as “compelling to listen Chicago, produced by the band and engineer to… It is something to think about,” she Steiner always knew the record should Erik Rasmussen. This was the first time all four continues, citing the song “Anj” as being commence with “Alien With A Sleep Mask of the current members were in the control “about a specific person in my life and I haven’t On,” the first single, and end with the title track, room together, “building these songs,” and had the chance to speak with her about that “a different song than anything we’d written they agree it was more of a team effort. song. I really want to get together with her before,” and she sees ending the record that before the record comes out because it’s way as “like the final kind of ‘statement’ in While Sagan, Neumann and Nuccio grew semi-autobiographical, [although] the last my head.” Between those two bookends, of up playing in punk bands in the Chicago verse veers off into an extension of reality.” course, there are all kinds of rocking pow- suburbs, lead singer and lyricist Steiner grew er-pop goodness and some winsome, lovely up in Louisville, Kentucky, penning what The topic is of greater concern to her with ballads too. It’s clear from our conversation she describes as “singer-songwriter”-type songs she’s currently working on: “There are that the band agonized over the sequencing, songs (integrating country inspirations) in her a lot of changes happening in my family right and the results speak to the attention paid to bedroom beginning at thirteen. In fact, her old now, and that’s the main thing I want to write that portion of the finished product. The end Kentucky home, where she had lived since about, [but] it’s gonna be weird down the line result is all killer, no filler. age seven, being sold by her parents heavily to find an appropriate and graceful way to informs the song composition on “Printer’s explain it.” One of those new songs features Ratboys kick off their “Printer’s Devil” Devil.” Many of the songs on the record the chorus, “I don’t want to talk about that.” tour with a headlining show February 28 seem to be reminiscences of her experiences But thankfully that’s not as much of an issue at Lincoln Hall (2424 North Lincoln), growing up there and moving away, and for the time being, as those issues don’t then continue througg the spring, Sagan and Steiner actually demoed the songs inform, “Printer’s Devil,” which was largely including shows during South for the record in her house there, after her written in the summer of 2018. By Southwest. Arts + spirit in the magnificent setting of Rockefeller Chapel’s resonant space Eden Sabala Eden Sabala  GERRISH ORGAN RECITAL Shabbat Bach Singet Dem Herrn Raúl Prieto Ramírez Shirah SATURDAY FEBRUARY 1 | 7:30 PM FRIDAY FEBRUARY 7 | 7:30 PM THURSDAY FEBRUARY 27 | 7:30 PM FEBRUARY 2020 Newcity Raúl Prieto Ramírez, San Diego’s Civic Organist KAM Isaiah Israel and Rockefeller Chapel Rockefeller Chapel Choir and Chicago Children’s and Artistic Director of the Spreckels Organ, plays Choir join in a profound and festive service of Choir of Hyde Park led by Mollie Stone present a dazzling program featuring music of Widor, Shabbat music, including rarely heard works original works with their modern reinterpretations, Humperdinck, Liszt, and Meyerbeer. This Spanish with Thomas Weisflog at the E.M. Skinner Organ. including J.S. Bach’s Singet dem Herrn and music master has an absolutely riveting way of entertaining Cantor David Berger curates and directs the of Ted Hearne, Sven-David Sandström, Katherine young and old, music experts and casual listeners, service. Free and open to all. Pukinskis, and traditional South African choral work. like remarkably few others. Tickets $10 at the door, Tickets $15 general admission, $5 for students. free admission to students with school ID. Full details at   |  Rockefeller Memorial Chapel   |  5850 S. Woodlawn Ave., Chicago IL 60637  |  773.702.2667 All events held at Rockefeller Chapel and tickets can be found online at or at the door day of 47

Stage Kaiser Ahmed, Gus Menary /Photo: Joel Maisone Onward and is curled cozily into a corner of the Broadway Upward, Always Armory Park while the company’s ancillary space, The Frontier, is just around the corner, A Changing of the Guard at Jackalope Theatre alongside dry cleaners and convenience stores. In a sprawling city, both in terms of By Kevin Greene geography and artistic output, Jackalope has carved out a little corner for themselves, an idyllic slice of urban Americana in which they fastidiously tend their garden. Newcity FEBRUARY 2020 There are a lot of rules about what you Book-It Repertory in Seattle. Menary, who has I spoke with Menary and Ahmed via email should and shouldn’t do with the people been Jackalope’s artistic director since 2015, about that which lies heavy on most minds in you’re closest with. Don’t date your co-work- has overseen the development of works by these days of trouble and brilliance: the past, ers. Don’t share groceries with your room- national and local playwrights alike, including the present and the future. They were, as I mates. Perhaps somewhere down that noteworthy world premieres from Ike Holter, have always known them to be, generous vertiginous line of rationality there’s some Calamity West and Kristiana Rae Colón. Under and gregarious lads. wisdom about starting theater companies his leadership, Jackalope has become one of with your college friends. But if there is, it the destinations for storefront theater in a city Take me through the Jackalope was advice that Kaiser Ahmed and Gus already teeming with great options for the origin story. When and where exactly Menary studiously ignored when they formed, aesthetically and intellectually adventurous. did you first meet? Was it an instanta- alongside AJ Ware and Andrew Swanson, In his wake, the company hands the reigns neous creative meet-cute or did you Jackalope Theatre in 2008. Developing out back to Ahmed, who served as the company’s take it slow? of a fast friendship and a revelatory manage- founding artistic director and took the group ment course, the two, along with their through their first three seasons. Since then, Gus Menary: Not gonna lie. It was pretty ever-growing contingent of artistic peers, Ahmed has directed notable productions at cute. Couple of ne’er-do-wells. I think we have been inseparable ever since. Jackalope and occasionally puts his actor became friends pretty naturally, recognizing training to use. Both he and Menary are regular something similar about each other during a In December it was announced that Menary presences in the North Side neighborhood class we had no great proficiency in. I imagine would take over as the artistic director of of Edgewater, where Jackalope’s home space we were both already thinking about making the switch to directing from acting, to some degree. Couple that with deep friendships 48

with fellow students AJ Ware and Andrew Kaiser: Storefront theater, it seems to me, STAGE TOP 5 FEBRUARY 2020 Newcity Swanson. Fun times. I think the bedrock is a Chicago brand of boutique black-box of that friendship, for the four of us, was theaters. Storefront theater companies let 1 Chicago Musical Theatre the joy we found in working together. But audiences stroll down theater districts and Festival. Underscore Theatre our class in management techniques browse the craft of hundreds of different Company. The annual showcase crystallized that we wanted to make art mission statements and styles. If Chicago’s of musical theater creators from together in some official sense. Together storefront theaters are the Netflix of the Chicago and beyond returns for its and right now. theater industry, maybe Jackalope could sixth year. February 3-23 be “Stranger Things.” Actually, Sideshow Kaiser Ahmed: South Loop 2004, I had is probably “Stranger Things.” We’re like, 2 graveyard shift. Goodman just transferred to Columbia College and the John Mulaney Christmas special? Theatre. Inspired by the saw Gus do a monologue for our first day legacy of Sandra Bland, korde in Voice I. We became fast friends among Gus: To me, in its current incarnation, arrington tuttle’s world premiere a larger group of amazingly talented storefront is the nexus of independent is an unflinching, open-hearted Columbia alumni, including co-founder theatrical artmaking. A collectivism experience rooted in navigating a AJ Ware. Insert college years montage between hundreds of artists who believe world full of fear. Opens February 17 of working on each other’s shows, rooftop that what they make has value. It subverts parties, summer nights and holidays. the established, or well-monied, institution- 3 Titus Andronicus. Haven. The three of us were directing majors and al framework to create a new legitimacy In the hands of Haven took several classes together including and community. Through sheer will and artistic director Ian Damont Martin, one called Management Techniques for determination, some of the best theater in Shakespeare’s revenge-tragedy Theater, where we did case studies of the country is now created in small black promises a thrilling, bloody theater companies and their business boxes sandwiched between nail salons and marathon centered on the voices models throughout Chicago’s present and gyro spots. It’s the living embodiment of marginalized people too often and past. It was revelatory to examine of artistic potential. Plus, it’s fun as hell. excluded from classical theater why and how companies rose or fell. In performance. Opens February 18 the class discussions, the three of us A Jackalope show always feels like aligned closely on artistic and business a specific and yet hard-to-pin-down 4 Kill Move Paradise. values already laying the groundwork for thing. How would you describe what TimeLine Theatre Company. the class final project: work in groups of you do to someone who’s never been Inspired by the ever-growing list three to develop a business proposal to your theater? of slain unarmed black men and for a mock theater company. And lo, women, this new play from Kevin Jackalope was born as a class project in Kaiser: We expand the definition of Ijames is a portrait of those lost. May, incorporated in June, rehearsed in American Identity, celebrating diverse Directed by Newcity Player of the July and performed its inaugural world perspectives, that’s our mission and in Moment Wardell Julius Clark. premiere production in August of 2008. that way you’ll see a limitless variety of The pace hasn’t slowed since. stories as there are a limitless variety of Opens February 19 American identities. But the way we’ve You two have spent a lot of time consistently approached and produced 5 Plano. First Floor Theater. together as friends, roommates, these stories over the years has sharpened Steppenwolf ensemble colleagues. How are you dealing an organically formed aesthetic. We are member Audrey Francis directs the with being separated? incredibly resourceful artists with a deep local premiere of this play about admiration and respect to the design three sisters stuck in a Chekhovian Kaiser: Right now, I feel like Gus just left process. But, most of all, we’re nice to domestic hellscape the likes of for summer camp. He’ll be back to visit everyone and very supportive of their which you’ve never seen before. soon and again in a couple of months artistry. When all those things are givens, to direct “Night Creatures.” I got to visit a lot of room is left for passion, craft and Opens February 20 Seattle for the first time over Christmas fun. And I think that it shows on stage. and fell in love with the mountains. I’m excited to visit more and explore their Gus: Jackalope makes the best new plays theater scene. Gus and I have seen dozens with some of the most exciting artists in the of close friends move in and out of town country. over the years with fluidity. I think that’s just the nature of Chicago: this city can You’ve got a decade and change always be a home to artists who move under your belt now as a company. away. This theater community doesn’t What are the next ten years at forget you, it builds upon and stretches Jackalope going to look like? out as you represent it in other places. Reminding myself of this is helping me Gus: Onward and upward. Always. deal. But yeah, I miss my buddy. Kaiser: It’s like the sun: too bright to look Gus: Time will tell. Luckily, Seattle is at directly, but definitely the object to orbit. a breathtakingly beautiful city with an You’re sure to see what the world will look incredibly exciting theater scene. Excited like in ten years reflected on our stage. to get cracking, but I can’t lie: I miss When you do, you’ll be among a communi- the dude. ty of audiences and artists and that “very specific yet hard-to-pin-down thing.” As shorthand, “storefront theater” is kind of like “indie rock,” a phrase with Jackalope’s next production is Carla vague structural and socioeconomic Ching’s “Fast Company,” directed by implications under which a lot of art Kaiser Ahmed, from March 10-April 11 falls. What does it mean to you? at the Broadway Armory Park. 49

Newcity FEBRUARY 2020 Life is BeautifulBy David Alvarado 50

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