Arts

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Nearly a year after Profiles, Chicago theater professionals are still learning to talk to each other about abuse

Posted By today at 02.18 PM

Lori Myers and Laura T. Fisher, two of the leaders of Not in Our House - DANIELLE A. SCRUGGS
  • Danielle A. Scruggs
  • Lori Myers and Laura T. Fisher, two of the leaders of Not in Our House

In the two years since the secret Not in Our House Facebook group was formed, a number of things have changed. Chief among them is that Profiles Theatre no longer exists. Profiles was the group's initial inspiration to organize and support people who have been harassed and abused at non-Equity theaters; it closed last June following an investigation by the Reader into more than 20 years of verbal abuse and physical attacks on actors and crew members. The investigation helped spark a conversation about how to prevent such abuse, and seemingly lowered the theater community's collective tolerance for it—most recently, Dead Writers Collective shut its doors after one of its members posted abusive comments from the company's artistic director on Facebook.

More significantly though, Not in Our House has finalized its code of conduct for non-Equity theaters, now known as the Chicago Theatre Standards. An early draft of the standards was unveiled at a community meeting last April, and 20 theaters in the city volunteered to be part of a pilot program to test them out. Many smaller theaters aren't part of Actors' Equity, the actors' union, which has its own extensive codes of conduct and, crucially, a governing body to which actors who claim to have been mistreated can bring their complaints. The standards are an attempt to provide the same sort of clear, written documentation of the rights and responsibilities of non-Equity theaters and actors—that is, theaters and actors that aren't part of the union.

These 20 companies have put on 30 shows in the past year, and have used the standards at least five times to resolve various conflicts and misunderstandings, says actress and activist Laura T. Fisher, who cofounded Not in Our House and has been supervising the pilot program.

"What used to be most comfortable was sweeping stuff under the rug," Fisher says. But now, "if we see it, we have to deal with it. . . . Little problems that could have festered and corroded the happiness and success of a production were addressed without drama."

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Millennials are tickled by ‘millennial pink,’ says millennial

Posted By today at 09.45 AM

NATE BOLT
  • Nate Bolt

New York magazine last week declared the latest fashion trend brought in by millennials, and millennials only: the color pink. It was in 2012, the article states, that the color first started showing up everywhere. By 2016 it existed in multiple shades and was given the name "millennial pink."

The author of the piece—who, by the way, is 25 years old—does acknowledge that perhaps the color's popularity had been a long time coming. A time line charts the appearance of a rosy hue in a painting from 1767, then jumps straight to 1968 and in no short order to the 2000s as Paris Hilton is credited for being a pioneer who "created a lifestyle out of pink."

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Monday, March 27, 2017

The Lavender Menace poster project creates queer visibility in dive-bar bathrooms

Posted By on 03.27.17 at 02:13 PM

Lavender Menace at the Empty Bottle on March 26 - DANIELLE A. SCRUGGS
  • Danielle A. Scruggs
  • Lavender Menace at the Empty Bottle on March 26

Artist Angela Davis Fegan debuted her Lavender Menace poster project during Dyke March 2015. She created jumpsuits covered with words like "butch" and "womyn," and she designed and distributed letterpress-printed signs saying things like "We want agency beyond the dance floor" and "We are the queers you fear, the ones who riot, fuck, and vote."

Fegan came up with Lavender Menace while finishing up her MFA in book and paper arts at Columbia College Chicago. The idea was to address queer-visibility politics while creating art objects that are easily distributed. Fegan planned to place the posters in bar bathrooms and encourage others to tag their response to a specific question on the walls—that way, their thoughts and experiences could be shared with the masses. Through a grant from the Propeller Fund, she expanded Lavender Menace this year: She used the money toward creating more posters for each event and producing an eventual publication documenting the project.

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Kim Foxx on the Girl Talk, the Chicago Improv Festival, and more things to do in Chicago this week

Posted By on 03.27.17 at 01:41 PM

Kim Foxx talks with Jen Sebella and Erika Wozniak about working in a male-dominated justice system on Tue 3/28. - SUN-TIMES MEDIA
  • Sun-Times Media
  • Kim Foxx talks with Jen Sebella and Erika Wozniak about working in a male-dominated justice system on Tue 3/28.

There's plenty to do this week. Here's some of what we recommend:

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Saturday, March 25, 2017

A logo-heavy look, inspired by transportation

Posted By on 03.25.17 at 08:00 AM

Street View is a fashion series in which Isa Giallorenzo spotlights some of the coolest styles seen in Chicago.

ISA GIALLORENZO
  • Isa Giallorenzo

Florean Faune Ives describes her personal style as "activity based." "I was running around all day, thus I chose to wear clothes that were influenced by transportation," says the biochemistry student and fashion marketing consultant, wearing a Ferrari sweatshirt she received during a New York Fashion Week modeling gig and carrying a retro-looking Pan Am purse she was surprised to find a decade ago in the company's online store. "The products whose logos I wear typically are companies that I pay homage to for their craftsmanship. Faced with the exterior or interior of a Ferrari, you truly know the essence of thoughtfulness in every moving part," she says. "And when I think about the history of air transportation, Pan Am sticks out as a airline that defined an iconic aesthetic for its flight attendants. I don't recall any other airline in history that created such a definitive aesthetic for its employees."

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Friday, March 24, 2017

David Leggett at Shane Campbell Gallery, Kweku Collins, and more things to do in Chicago this weekend

Posted By on 03.24.17 at 11:05 AM

Kweku Collins headlines local hip-hop label Closed Session's showcase on Fri 3/24. - ZAKKIYYAH NAJEEBAH
  • Zakkiyyah Najeebah
  • Kweku Collins headlines local hip-hop label Closed Session's showcase on Fri 3/24.

There's plenty to do this weekend. Here's some of what we recommend:

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

A mock trial at the Art Institute revisits the dicey question of who owns culture

Posted By on 03.23.17 at 02:30 PM

A verdict is reached in the Parthenon Marbles case. - NATIONAL HELLENIC MUSEUM
  • National Hellenic Museum
  • A verdict is reached in the Parthenon Marbles case.

Last week, on my way to a trial to decide what the British should do with the Parthenon Marbles they stole—er, took—from Greece, I made a short detour for a look at some treasures they stole from Benin.

The trial—a mock event about an actual, raging cultural dispute—was produced by the National Hellenic Museum, which, yes, has some skin in the game.

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The multidisciplinary Tesseract explores queer identity through the lens of science fiction

Posted By on 03.23.17 at 11:25 AM

Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener in Tesseract, at the MCA this weekend - COURTESY OF RASHAUN MITCHELL + SILAS RIENER + CHARLES ATLAS.
  • Courtesy of Rashaun Mitchell + Silas Riener + Charles Atlas.
  • Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener in Tesseract, at the MCA this weekend

Long before he started dancing, the choreographer Silas Riener preferred reading science fiction novels and dreaming of far-off realms.
"It's part of a queer identity—the 'otherness' of aliens or fantasy," Riener says, noting his penchant for sci-fi. "It attracted me because of being in the closet, growing up with people who are different or ways that the world is different."

A former member of Merce Cunningham Dance, Riener is one-third of the creative trio behind Tesseract, a two-part work based on otherworldly themes that will be performed at the MCA this weekend in conjunction with the exhibit "Merce Cunningham: Common Time." The other two-thirds: Rashaun Mitchell (also a former Cunningham dancer) and video artist Charles Atlas, who began working with the Cunningham company as a stage manager back in the mid-70s. Together, the trio bring a decidedly alien approach to movement.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

What to know about Amazon Books, now open on Southport

Posted By on 03.22.17 at 03:53 PM

The storefront on Southport, in what used to be an Irish pub - AIMEE LEVITT
  • Aimee Levitt
  • The storefront on Southport, in what used to be an Irish pub

The day Chicago's independent booksellers have been dreading for the past six months has finally come to pass: Amazon Books is here.

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Switch on with the gig poster of the week

Posted By on 03.22.17 at 07:00 AM

17410218_832774897475_1221993323_n.jpg

ARTIST: Dave Sagan
SHOW: Chris Dertz & the River, Arizona Landmine, Retirement Party, Vaya, and Coaster at Beat Kitchen on Thu 3/30
MORE INFO: ratboys.bandcamp.com

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