Today in Culture, March 18, 2022: Sacred Rose Music Festival | Public Humanities Prize Winners | Blues for BLUES on Halsted?

BLUES on Halsted / Photo: Courtesy Enjoy Illinois


Former post office at ninety-five percent occupancy

“The 2.8 million square foot former post office in downtown Chicago has been renovated into an office building whose tenants include Uber, Walgreens and PepsiCo,” reports the Chicago Business Journal. Developer 601W Cos. says his billion-dollar investment is paying off with “many large companies return to their respective offices in April and May.”

St. Louis Symphony Orchestra plans $100 million renovation of Powell Hall

The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra renovation project, estimated to cost more than $100 million, is the first major renovation since the symphony orchestra took up residence at Powell Hall in 1968, the magazine reports. St. Louis. “Built in 1925 and originally named the St. Louis Theater, Powell Hall has been an integral part of the Grand Center for decades. The new project, which includes both renovations to the existing structure and a 65,000 square foot expansion, focuses on accessibility and strengthening community ties. While the project itself is still in the planning stages, the SLSO hopes to make Powell Hall a “state-of-the-art music center for the community” while preserving its historic character. »

How Permanent DST Became Kablooey Last Time

Forty-eight years ago, the United States applied daylight saving time year-round, but it didn’t go well, reports USA Today (via the Sun-Times). “In the midst of an energy crisis in the United States in 1973, President Richard Nixon quickly signed a bill that put the United States on daylight saving time for two years.” The experiment began in January 1974. “People liked the idea of ​​avoiding the confusion and frustration of changing one-hour clocks twice a year. But Americans quickly learned what permanent daylight saving time meant: sunrises at 8 a.m. or later in the middle of winter. In some areas, sunrises could be as late as 9:30 a.m.… Public approval of the law dropped sharply and rapidly – ​​from seventy-nine percent in December 1973 to forty-two percent in February 1974… In October 1974, Congress reversed course and put the country back to standard time for four months of the year.


No light at the end of the tunnel, says gathering of restaurateurs

On the anniversary of the March 2020 pandemic shutdown of the state of Illinois, the Trib brought together four owners and operators of bars and restaurants “to look back and forward… It has been a uneven and circuitous path – mask mandates, limited capacities, reopening for indoor service, closing again for indoor service, vaccination mandates and at least three major surges of COVID-19 have upended old habits. Erick Williams: “Exhausted. It’s been exhausting waiting for new regulations, then enforcing those new regulations, and then finding out how those regulations affect our businesses. We have never had a time like this in our life to instruct us on how to deal with it. It was a huge adjustment to make immediately, and for it to last this long, it’s just exhausting.


Legendary Chicago host Merri Dee was eighty-five

Merri Dee, a staple of Chicago television for decades as a reporter and anchor for WGN-TV, has died, reports the Sun-Times. “Dee was a pioneering broadcaster who won the hearts of Chicagoans while hosting public affairs shows, charity telethons and raffles during a forty-three year tenure at WGN. Ms Dee was also a strong advocate for victims of violent crime following her own contact with a near-death kidnapper while working at another TV station. “If you want to live, you must be determined to live,” she wrote in her 2013 memoir, “Life Lessons on Faith, Forgiveness & Grace.”


No Boo-Hoo for the closure of the Amazon bookstore

“Surely there is a place reserved in hell for those who rejoice at the closing of a bookstore,” writes Christopher Borrelli at the Trib (via Yahoo). “Perhaps the exception is that once sinister brick-and-mortar Amazon Books, the weirdest excuse for a bookstore chain and, for five cold years of living in Chicago, the dumbest bookstore in the city. Jeff will get over it, move on, and disrupt something else. (In the time it takes me to write this, he will have acquired more personal wealth than several generations of my family will ever see. ) On the other hand, we lost the only bookstore in Chicago where you could walk in and buy a discounted copy of ‘The 1619 Project’ and a slow cooker. Unless your local go-to bookstore is Costco.


Broadcast Technicians’ Strike Halts ‘Chicago Tonight’

Broadcast technicians and other WTTW employees went on strike Wednesday at the public television station Window to the World Communications shortly before the start of the nightly news program ‘Chicago Tonight.’ International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1220, representing more than two dozen technicians, graphic designers and floor crew members, announced the walkout at 6 p.m.,” reports Robert Feder. The argument is about “proposed changes in labor jurisdiction and job protection. Contract negotiations have been ongoing since May 2021.”

How Bilingual Cicero Independiente leverages its community

“Cicero Independiente is an independent, bilingual news organization serving the people of Cicero and Berwyn,” Development Coordinator Irene Romulo told Nieman Lab. “Both communities are predominantly Latin, working-class towns with a history of corruption and what appears to be a reluctance to adapt to changing demographics. For example, although monolingual Spanish speakers make up a large part of the community, public meetings do not provide interpretation or translation services, making it difficult for people to engage in local democracy. Our reports serve the needs of our community by connecting residents to crucial information about local resources, amplifying residents doing good things, and investigating local government agencies to push for accountability and transparency. We also pay and mentor local youth to report issues that matter to them. »


Sing the BLUES on Halsted for a million dollars

“BLUES on Halsted, which has been closed since the pandemic shuttered non-essential businesses in March 2020, is for sale,” Block Club reports. “Owner Rob Hecko has been trying to sell BLUES, 2519 North Halsted, for the past four to five years so he can retire, but he recently hired an estate agent…” We tried to reach out to the people from the community that we knew. just so someone can keep it as BLUES to keep it alive for our staff and musicians,” said general manager Jen Littleton, who has worked at the bar since 1994. “The only difference now is that a real estate agent has been hired, and our hope is still that he stays BLUES, but he may or may not.’ The asking price is $915,000.

Announcement of the Sacred Rose Music Festival

Chicago producers Collectiv Presents have announced the launch of Sacred Rose, a multi-genre music festival August 26-28 at SeatGeek Stadium Campus in Bridgeview. Headliners include Phil Lesh & Friends, Khruangbin, The War on Drugs, Black Pumas, Umphrey’s McGee, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Goose, STS9, Greensky Bluegrass and Kamasi Washington. Three-day passes and one-day tickets go on sale Monday, March 21 at noon here.


Chicago’s Irish Theater returns to the stage

Chicago’s Irish Theater returns to the stage with Brian Friel’s “Molly Sweeney,” directed by ensemble member Siiri Scott, from March 31 through May 8 at the Chopin Theater. Tickets and more here.


The Forty-Third Annual Parade of the Puerto Rican People is Launched

The Humboldt Park Puerto Rican People’s Parade and Festival returns in June, Block Club reports. “In addition to Puerto Rican cuisine and music, the events will feature family-friendly activities including a dominoes tournament and sip and paint, as well as theater and acrobatic performances. The Latin American Association of motorcycles, which celebrates its forty-fourth anniversary, is set to run throughout the event, with proceeds going to the Tu Casa Project, a local organization that provides youth programs, entrepreneurship opportunities and financial education.

Illinois Humanities Names Public Humanities Award Recipients

Illinois Humanities has named its Public Humanities Award recipients, individuals and groups who have impacted Illinois through their work and support of the humanities. Nicole Bond: award-winning poet, museum educator and teaching artist from Chicago. Nicole weaves together media, words, ideas and images, leveraging the humanities to inspire and provoke; Lorenzo Savage: Executive Director and Co-Founder of I Am East St. Louis. Lorenzo is a creative, collaborative, and engaged leader who creates change and builds community through the humanities in his hometown; Sue Scott: Director of the Western Illinois Museum in Macomb, Illinois. Sue builds community through a combination of proven programs and bold, creative approaches to addressing current issues, local history and storytelling. Beacon Award Winner: The Art for Justice Fund, a national organization disrupting mass incarceration by funding artists and advocates working together to transform our criminal justice system and reduce the prison population. Prizes will be awarded virtually on May 19, from noon to 1 p.m.; more here.

The rising tide of Chicago sewage COVID

“New CDC wastewater monitoring data shows rising levels of COVID in Cook County,” reports Axios Chicago. “Two recent sewage samples from the city and northwest suburbs showed a 1,000% increase in the presence of the virus over two weeks.” But “sewage researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago tempered their concerns in an interview with ABC-7, noting that the exponential rise began with very low virus levels.”

Legal Weed Sales Slow, Triggered by High Prices

“Massive monthly revenue was one of the few bright spots for Illinois’ highly regulated recreational pot program, which generated more than $2 billion in sales in its first two years despite some one-year declines. month to month,” reports the Sun-Times. “Sales have fallen dramatically since dispensaries in Illinois unloaded a record $137 million worth of recreational cannabis products last December, raising concerns that limited supply and sky-high prices could push consumers into the illicit market.”

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