Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

City Council Votes on Event Promoters Ordinance Tomorrow!

The Event Promoters ordinance will go before the city council at 10:00 AM, Wednesday, May 14th. I received an e-mail about a campaign to flood city hall with opponents of this ordinance. The campaign is being organized through The Point, and the goal is for 100 people to commit to attending the council meeting tomorrow. Save Chicago Culture will present a petition opposing the ordinance at the meeting.

Because the proposal was fast-tracked through committee, the Chicago arts community has had very little time to respond. I, for one, will be attending the council meeting tomorrow. If you care about preserving Chicago’s theatre, music and comedy I expect to see you there too. If you can’t make it, please e-mail your alderman today and express your opinion.

Otherwise, I suppose you could just pay a hundred bucks a pop and go see Wicked again.

The Event Promoters’ Ordinance

Well, this is appalling.

This Wednesday the city council votes on the so-called “Event Promoters’ ordinance.” If this thing passes it could mean that any artist wishing to produce or promote his own work would have to pay up to $2,000 for a license. He or she would have to be over the age of 21, must get fingerprinted, submit to a background check, and inform the police seven days in advance of an event. This ordinance is aimed directly at small venues and new artists who have yet to develop an audience. Larger spaces that seat over 500 — in other words, places that can actually afford the license — are exempt.

The weblog Save Chicago Culture is collecting signatures in opposition to the ordinance. On their site you can find a .pdf of the complete text of the ordinance, as well as links to the city council site, and your local alderman. The Sun-Times’ Jim DeRogatis has an in-depth analysis on his blog.

The problem is, blogs are the only place this thing has gotten any attention. So, if you don’t want to lose the Double Door, Schuba’s, Martyrs’, the Vic, the Riv or the Metro, get a message to your alderman at once.

A New Holiday, Just ‘Cause

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Yesterday turned out to be Incredibly Awesome Thursday, and I’m determined to make it a weekly occurrence. Essentially, Incredibly Awesome Thursday (IAT) involves saying “yes” to something that you normally wouldn’t, perhaps because it sounds boring, it’s too far away and you’re lazy, whatever. My “yes” last night was to a dance performance at the Chicago Cultural Center featuring Matthew Hollis’ and the Power of Cheer. My mom, a former high school cheerleader extraordinaire, was quite keen on going, so I somewhat reluctantly agreed to tag along…and it ended up being awesome. Incredibly awesome, in fact.

Matthew Hollis, an amazing choreographer, dancer, and performance artist, presented a taste of the work he’s developing with a grant from the Chicago Dancemaker’s Forum, a unique blend of cheerleading, modern dance, theater, activism and a little bit of therapy. Hollis and his troupe of equally talented dancers (did I mention they’re all in short shorts?) act out stories from Hollis’ life, including a particularly impressive number performed on teetering stilettos. The cheer that I can’t get out of my head? “Guns are bad, guns are gross, you might as well eat poo on toast!” Well put.

Before the performance, we popped into the Gallery 37 Store, which was chock full of fantastic artwork by Project Onward artists, from colorful silk screened tees and bags to vibrant pastel drawings. Project Onward is an organization designed “to support the creative development of visual artists with developmental, cognitive, and mental disabilities.” Rock on.

We also had a chance to investigate the Puppet Bike, which, unfortunately, was out of commission by the time we arrived, but even the outside of this happy little cart covered in whimsical paintings of frolicking bunnies and kitties was entertaining. According to the Puppet Bike website, the stage on wheels was created by Mr. Trusty for a bipolar friend who couldn’t hold down a conventional 9-5, but the portable theater offered the perfect solution–work when you want, park it when you get bored. I’ll definitely be heading down to Millennium Park this summer so I can see the Puppet Bike in action. (Metblog’s Fuzzy Gerdes beat me to the Puppet Bike punch in his February post, but I just had to ramble on about it again.)

So that, my friends, is what Incredibly Awesome Thursday is all about. Next week–who’s with me?

Art + Bikes = Rad

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Ooh wee! My calendar just got a little happier with the addition of the Manifest Urban Arts Festival on May 16 and Andersonville Bike Week, May 12-18.

Manifest is a smörgåsbord of artsy amazingness created by Columbia College seniors and graduate students, including a two-hour live broadcast, Going Green For Our Future; an Animation Production Studio Screening; You Gotta Hear This: A Fiction Writing Department MFA student reading; Music! Music! Music!; and so much more.

Andersonville Bike Week packs in Yoga for Cyclists, Bike Maintenance 101 clinics, jazz, hip-hop, and spinning classes, art exhibits and body cleansing, along with tons of discounts at local merchants when you bring in your helmet. You’ll definitely find me heading over to La Cocina de Frida with my bike helmet to receive 15% off their yummy, plantain filled enchiladas. Oh yeah.

Mitch O’Connell at Tattoo Factory Gallery

Mitch O’Connell PosterThe Tattoo Factory Gallery, a new gallery space next door to the (wait for it) Tattoo Factory in Uptown, will be hosting a show by Mitch O’Connell — an artist with a delightfully old school style. Opening nights are Friday and Saturday, April 25 and 26.

(via Boing Boing

Most UnBeautiful

Campus Squeeze (who’s that? who cares – it’s a list!) names the Illinois Institute of Technology campus one of the twenty ugliest college campuses in the US. Bryan Bedell at Coudal Partners disagrees. Fight!

Typographic Neighborhoods Map

Chicago Typographic Neighborhoods MapJennifer Beorkrem’s ORK Posters has this gorgeous typographic treatment of Chicago’s neighborhoods. Coudal Partners have it in their Gifted holiday collection in a limited edition bundled with El Boton‘s El buttons series for $50. You can also get a non-limited edition direct from ORK for $22 (+ shipping).

(There’s also the original Red-and-Grey Lines version, discounted due to a misspelling of Ukranian [sic] Village. You say “problem”, I say “collector’s item”.)

Layer Tennis

Layer Tennis

Every time I try to explain Layer Tennis to someone in person, they look at me like I’m crazy, so let’s see if this makes sense: Chicago design house Coudal Partners is hosting this online sport where two designers trade Photoshop files back and forth in 15 minute “volleys” with commentary by a blogger. It all unfolds in real time on Friday afternoons in front of a live audience chattering away in forums. This afternoon’s match features Chicago’s own Chuck Anderson vs Steven Harrington and next week has Gapers Block (etc.)’s Naz Hamid vs Chris Glass.

40 free days at the MCA

I work just blocks away from the Museum of Contemporary Art and I always tell myself I’m going to stop in after work on free Tuesdays, and I so rarely do. It’s going to be a lot easier to just stop by for the next month or so, because the museum is celebrating their 40th anniversary with 40 free days. Saturday, September 29 to Wednesday, November 14 the museum is free every day and there are a ton of special events.

Chicago Papercraft Postcards

Build Your Own Chicago

I haven’t made papercraft models in years, but these postcard-sized models of Chicago buildings from Build Your Own Chicago might get me started again, especially at just $1.50 a pop. They’ve even got some freebies you can print yourself, like the Sun-Times building and a section of L track to display your postcard-built L cars on.

(via Boing Boing)

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