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Friday, October 20, 2017

Chicago Design Week’s best events

Posted By on 10.20.17 at 05:42 PM

Cloud of Communication, by Freeman Lau, part of "Confluence 20+" at Block 37 - BLOCK 37
  • Block 37
  • Cloud of Communication, by Freeman Lau, part of "Confluence 20+" at Block 37


Chicago Design Week—a partnership between AIGA Chicago, the Chicago Design Museum, and the Society of Typographic Arts—is a chance for designers to converse, collaborate, and learn about new developments in the industry. This year's theme is Intersections, with a week of programming offering "a deep examination of the various intersections impacting the design world and our broader communities." The full schedule of events spanning October 20-27 can be found at chicagodesignweek.com. Here are our five best bets:

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With his nimble trio, Chris Speed proves he can embrace jazz tradition as well as he’s tweaked it

Posted By on 10.20.17 at 01:59 PM

Chris Speed - BRADLEY BAMBARGER
  • Bradley Bambarger
  • Chris Speed

I've been a fan of reedist Chris Speed for decades, and during that time he's adapted his melodic warmth and cool intensity for a wide variety of projects—among them his early combo Human Feel (with soon-to-be-famous Seattle running mates Kurt Rosenwinkel, Jim Black, and Andrew D'Angelo), the Eastern European-flavored Pachora, Tim Berne's serpentine Bloodcount, his own rhythmically bold Yeah No, adventurous chamber-music group the Claudia Quintet, and the wildly slaloming Endangered Blood. What nearly all of these groups have in common is a simultaneous reliance on and pushing away from a foundation of jazz. But a few years ago, Speed formed a new band that embraced jazz straightforwardly.

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How The Florida Project works wonders with cinematic time

Posted By on 10.20.17 at 01:50 PM

The Florida Project
  • The Florida Project
A pivotal scene in Sean Baker's The Florida Project comes near the end of the film. Six-year-old Moonee (Brooklynn Prince) is eating breakfast at an Orlando hotel near the one where she lives with her mother, Halley (Bria Vinaite). Baker presents the little girl in close-up as she samples each item she took from the dining-room buffet and makes some cute comment about it, and he uses jump cuts to skip from one sampling to the next. The scene is subtly jarring, as jump cuts and close-ups haven't been crucial to the movie's visual grammar up until this point. With the conclusion only minutes away, it seems a little late for Baker to be introducing new visual ideas into his filmmaking. Yet the sense of starting over feels just right—throughout its duration, The Florida Project seems to be discovering itself, figuring out its structure as it goes along. That Baker would suggest that the picture's only beginning just when it's about to end is consistent with his aesthetic project.

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SNL’s Chris Redd and Luke Null, MCA Hearts Chicago, and more of the best things to do in Chicago this weekend

Posted By on 10.20.17 at 01:35 PM

Chris Redd, who was recently cast on Saturday Night Live, comes to the Paper Machete for a special performance Saturday 10/21. - VIA IMDB
  • Via IMDB
  • Chris Redd, who was recently cast on Saturday Night Live, comes to the Paper Machete for a special performance Saturday 10/21.

Here's some of the events we recommend for your weekend:

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How Chicago’s Section 8 voucher voting bloc could sway local elections

Posted By on 10.20.17 at 10:56 AM

John Stevens ran for alderman of the 42nd Ward (which included Cabrini-Green) in 1969. But the Democratic machine held a tight grip on the projects and he lost to a white candidate who didn't bother campaigning. - SUN-TIMES PRINT COLLECTION
  • SUN-TIMES PRINT COLLECTION
  • John Stevens ran for alderman of the 42nd Ward (which included Cabrini-Green) in 1969. But the Democratic machine held a tight grip on the projects and he lost to a white candidate who didn't bother campaigning.

In this week's cover story, I reported about "the Chicago Housing authority's sleeping giant"—the 47,000 households participating in the Housing Choice Voucher program (also known as Section 8)—and attempts of those residents to organize a representative group.

One thing that became clear during the reporting of the story is that this population is a significant (and significantly overlooked) voting bloc in Chicago. These households share interests, grievances, and experiences as surely as other demographic groups like women or homeowners or young professionals. If organized and mobilized to turn out to the polls as a bloc, voucher holders could hold significant sway over not just the government agencies shaping their lives, but over the broader political landscape of the city.

Of course many voucher holders are already voting, but I began wondering about the potential of their collective power. What would happen if candidates spoke to them as voucher holders the way they speak to union households? By analyzing Chicago Board of Elections data and voucher distribution data first reported by the the Sun-Times and BGA last year, I found that ten wards have a high enough voucher population to have decided their 2015 aldermanic races.

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Rauner is fighting to keep details of a lawsuit filed by former business partner under wraps, and other Chicago news

Posted By on 10.20.17 at 06:00 AM

Governor Bruce Rauner announces the public-private partnership to develop “the 78,” a 62-acre site on the Chicago Pier October 19 - MAX HERMAN/FOR THE SUN-TIMES
  • Max Herman/For the Sun-Times
  • Governor Bruce Rauner announces the public-private partnership to develop “the 78,” a 62-acre site on the Chicago Pier October 19

Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Friday, October 20, 2017.

  • Rauner is fighting to keep a former business partner's lawsuit sealed

Governor Bruce Rauner is fighting to keep a lawsuit filed by former business partner Harreld "Kip" Kirkpatrick III sealed, according to the Sun-Times. Kirkpatrick, a former Democratic candidate for Illinois treasurer, and Kirkpatrick Capital Partners Fund filed the lawsuit against Rauner October 5, but very few details are available. "We believe it should be unsealed. They believe it should be sealed," Kirkpatrick attorney Bill O'Neil told a judge during a status hearing Thursday. [Sun-Times]

  • The long-awaited Apple flagship on the Chicago River opens Friday

The highly anticipated Apple Store on the Chicago River is set to open Friday at 5 PM. Customers will enter on Michigan Avenue's Pioneer Court and walk down two pairs of granite staircases to the store on the riverfront. "When Apple opened on North Michigan Avenue in 2003, it was our first flagship store, and now we are back in Chicago opening the first in a new generation of Apple's most significant worldwide retail locations," Angela Ahrendts, Apples vice president of retail.  [Curbed Chicago]

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Daily Show’s final night in Chicago: Hasan Minhaj on 90s Bulls and North Korea; Vic Mensa on the city’s ‘toxic situation’

Posted By on 10.20.17 at 05:00 AM


The Daily Show
 on Thursday finished out the week in Chicago in far better form than the hapless Cubs. For four days at the Athanaeum Theatre, Trevor Noah hosted an "undesked" version of his Comedy Central show that played for the most part as a stand-up showcase interlaced with news clips. Performing amid scenic design that suggested an alley beneath a stretch of elevated train tracks, Noah and Daily Show senior correspondent Hasan Minhaj rarely passed up an opportunity to indulge the hometown crowd, which obediently laughed and applauded on command.

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Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library is SAD!

Posted By on 10.19.17 at 11:28 PM

The author takes a Trump on a golden toilet at the Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library. - STEVE HEISLER
  • Steve Heisler
  • The author takes a Trump on a golden toilet at the Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library.

On a visit to the Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library, I'm greeted by a screen labeled "The Trump Nickname Generator." According to this machine, were the leader of the free world attempting to bully this particular member of the failing fake-news media, he would apparently address me as "Kooky Steve Heisler." (Sick burn!)

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Nothing says ‘new love’ like a borrowed sweatshirt

Posted By on 10.19.17 at 05:10 PM

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

ISA GIALLORENZO
  • Isa Giallorenzo

The Lisa Simpson sweatshirt she borrowed from her "kinda boyfriend." "I was told by one of his close friends that he must really like me if he's letting me wear that sweatshirt," Kayla Garcia says. "I don't really watch The Simpsons, but he does, and it reminds me of him. He always offers it when I'm cold."

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The Hypocrites’ Dracula is a victim of mistaken locality

Posted By on 10.19.17 at 08:00 AM

Breon Arzell and Maurice Demus - BRETT BEINER
  • Brett Beiner
  • Breon Arzell and Maurice Demus

Want proof that context is everything? Consider the Hypocrites' Dracula. Onstage at a cabaret-style comedy venue like, say, the Annoyance, where party-primed customers sit around bistro tables and drink alcoholic beverages, Timothy F. Griffin's new version of the classic horror story by Bram Stoker would be a gory, funny—if overlong—Halloween goof with a fist-pumping feminist gloss. Yes, it'd be a goof with a gloss: righteously yet uncomplicatedly entertaining. We wouldn't even worry about the cartoon mugging of the actors under Sean Graney's direction, needing no better justification than that the funny faces make us laugh.

But Dracula isn't running at the Annoyance. It's at Mercury Theater, where an audience member sits in one of 290 seats arranged in rows, all of which face forward toward the proscenium stage. At that level of formality, and over the course of a two-hour running time, we might start wanting to know things.

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Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
A New Brain No Exit Cafe
September 15
Performing Arts
Perfect Arrangement The Broadway at Pride Arts Center
September 21

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