Saturday, May 09, 2020

HELP! >> The last of Chicago's FREE newspapers needs your help!

HELP! The last of Chicago's FREE newspapers needs your help. There are three original Lerner newspapers left only Booster, News Star, and Skyline. These are historic newspapers in Chicago and they are in trouble financially. They are currently owned by Inside Publications and I've licensed hundreds of newsy and celebrity photos to them though the years.
Ann Gerber was the celebrity until she passed away.  Felicia Dechter Thomas O'Gorman write excellent weekly columns!
If you have fond memories of Lerner or its newspapers, please help to keep them alive. Go to and get a subscription please. It doesn't cost much and yet it will help greatly. The subscription link is at the bottom of the front page. You'll receive a digital copy in your email every week.Thank you.

Friday, May 08, 2020

Online Premiere: Chicagoland Shorts Vol. 6, presented by Full Spectrum Features // Thursday, May 21 with Music Box Theatre


Full Spectrum Features Presents 6th Annual Short Film Anthology CHICAGOLAND SHORTS VOL. 6
World Premiere and Q&A Streams Live on Thursday, May 21

WHAT: World Premiere of Chicagoland Shorts Vol. 6. — livestream screening and filmmaker Q&A.

Originally planned as a one-night-only event at Music Box Theatre, Full Spectrum Features now presents a virtual premiere of the latest edition of the organization’s acclaimed annual short film series. This live screening invites audiences to tune-in at the appointed date and time to watch the complete series and participate in a post-film Q&A with filmmakers.
Chicagoland Shorts Vol. 6 unites the best of documentary, narrative, experimental, video collage, and animated short works from Chicago filmmakers. The sixth volume of Full Spectrum Features’ traveling short film anthology features recent works from established and up-and-coming makers alike. The collection embarks on a journey, traveling from the Windy City to Vietnam to Iran, exploring stories of self-discovery, family, childhood, sex, and death. This year’s program—curated by Raul Benitez (Comfort Station), Dalina A. Perdomo Álvarez (Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago) and Shayna Connelly (A Memory Palace of Ghosts)—features eight films presented in a single screening, allowing Chicago’s best and most promising filmmakers a chance to shine. A full list of films is below.

WHEN: Thursday, May 21 / 7pm CT livestream screening and post-film Q&A with filmmakers.

HOW:  Tickets to this live online event are available via Music Box Theatre’s online box office; ticket buyers will be emailed a unique link to access the screening, where the live stream will begin automatically.

Tickets are $5. Or, opt for a $10 Buy One Give One ticket to make it possible for a neighbor and fellow film fan to access the premiere. Those interested in a free Community Ticket can apply here.

WHO: The sixth volume of Full Spectrum Features’ Chicagoland Shorts film collection includes the latest films by acclaimed local filmmakers and debut works by emerging voices. The films selected for the sixth edition are:
  • Go Go, Boy! (6:04 mins) Directed by Oriana Oppice. A young boy discovers his LGBTQ identity when he sets himself free by dancing in his bedroom.
  • I Dream of Vietnam (16:35 mins) Directed by Jiayu Yang. Searching for the “open border” between China and Vietnam, a Chinese filmmaker comes upon her own liminality instead. 
  • Oh Baby! (8:31 mins) Directed by Meghann Artes. Miracle, science and luck all play a part in this vibrant and fantastic imagining of how life begins.
  • Saturday (8:47 mins) Directed by Pegah Pasalar. A family day at the beach from the perspective of the youngest daughter.
  • Killing Irma (17:00 mins) Directed by Sarah Clark. She’s not sick, she’s dying. Irma’s decided to off herself, professionally, with the help of her best friend.
  • OFF THE HIGHWAY LIKE ANOTHER DEER (9:10 mins) Directed by Sofia Alfaro. A video collage that explores the power of sex and death.
  • My Mattachine (11:11 mins) Directed by Martin Mulcahy. A gay man’s search for connection in the 1970s/80s on the southside of Chicago.
  • Fôret (3:48 mins) Directed by Lisa Barcy. Animated iterations and recursions made with sixty-four 2” x 3” collages form a hypnotic bombardment of color and shapes, accompanied by music from Malian artist Luka Productions.
Full Spectrum Features is a Chicago-based nonprofit organization committed to increasing diversity in the independent film industry by producing, exhibiting, and supporting the work of women, LGBTQ, and minority filmmakers. Established in 2015, Chicagoland Shorts is Full Spectrum Features' annual touring short film collection that highlights the incredible diversity of The Windy City and its surrounding communities. This traveling anthology has screened across Cook County, nationally in over 25 U.S. cities, as well as internationally, with screenings in Mexico City. The artists in the collections are diverse, prolific, genre-bending, and quintessentially Chicago.

Thursday, May 07, 2020

Chicago Artists Coalition >> May 2020 Newsletter

May 2020 Newsletter
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Despite the tremendous uncertainty Covid-19 brings to our lives, we are committed more than ever to our mission ensuring artists can live, work and thrive in our city.
We have lost critical revenue from the postponement of our annual benefit, WORK IN PROGRESS, and the cancellation of our spring education programs. We have applied for all available emergency funds, but like so many deserving organizations, we need your help.
Your contributions to CAC anytime between now and June 1 will be matched by the Coleman Foundation 1:1 up to $25,000. Every contribution of any size makes a difference.
Thank you, and may you and yours stay safe and healthy.
Caroline Older
Executive Director
Cat Tiu
Board Chair
HATCH Exhibition: Excavating Memory (Interview)

Excavating Memory a group exhibition that features new artworks by HATCH Residents Katie Chung and Unyimeabasi Udoh. 

Excavating Memory is a journey into the world of archiving, memorializing and reclaiming cultural erasure. Using photography, drawing, sculptural objects and mix-media installations, Katie Chung and Unyimeabasi Udoh resurrect memories that communicate the subtleties and multiple layers of self with the freeing statement, “I define me”.
BOLT Exhibition: Build Yourself

BUILD YOUR SELF a solo exhibition featuring new work by BOLT artist-in-residence Tamara Becerra Valdez.

The works presented in BUILD YOUR SELF stem from Valdez’s deep interest and continued investigation into the archaeology of contemporary, banal material culture and human interaction, individually and collectively, produced with the urban landscape. Valdez gathers found objects, such as door handles with broken key locks, confetti remnants from last night’s party, handwritten notes and photographs, and carefully sets them on or into nooks and recesses of sculptures or architectural details in the gallery. Through a combination of found and crafted objects, preserved and discarded, Valdez constructs a series of new sculptures made from detritus and set in a subtle reconfiguration of space—introducing spatial and architectural interventions in the gallery.
Former CAC artists/curators have been doing Instagram Takeovers on CAC's account during Chicago's shelter-in-place order. They post about their artistic practice or about their creative shelter-in-place life. 
Special Thanks To April Takeovers!
  • Whit Forrester, HATCH 2017-18 
  • Jaclyn Jacunski, BOLT 2015-16 
  • Kelly Kristin Jones, HATCH 2018-19 
  • Roni Packer, BOLT 2017-18 
  • Bobby Gonzales, HATCH 2017-18 
Upcoming  Takeovers
  • Cathy Hsiao, BOLT 2018-19
  • Bobby Meier, HATCH 2015-16 & FIELD/WORK 2018-19
  • Erin Hayden, BOLT 2018-19
  • Leander Knust, HATCH 2015-16
  • Annette Hur, BOLT 2016-17
  • Jesse Butcher, HATCH 2012-13
  • Yvette Mayorga, BOLT 2016-17
We hope you engage with them on Instagram during their takeover.

SPARK GRANTS 2020 - $2,000 (ea)

Juan Arango Palacios
Yesenia Bello
Ireashia Bennett
Peregrine Bermas
Ladipo Famodu
Carlos Flores
Lional Freeman
Stephanie Graham
Juarez Hawkins
Malika Jackson
Dominique James
A.J. McClenon
Juan Molina Hernández
Allen Moore
Gabriel Moreno
Eliza Myrie
Zachary Nicol
 Jose Santiago Perez
Aida Ramirez

David Richards
Roderick Sawyer
Jennifer Senecal
Monica Trinidad

Vicente Ugartechea
Marvin Young

Brittney Leeanne Williams

MAKER GRANTS 2020 - $3,000 (ea)
Selva Aparicio

 Silvia González

Thanks to our Jurors!
SPARK Grants: Sampada Aranke, Gloria Talamantes + Derrick Woods-Morrow
CONEY Family Fund: La Keisha Leek
 + Pascale Ife Williams
MAKER Grants:  William Fox + Stephanie Smith
And Thanks to our Sponsors!
The Joyce Foundation
Les and Chanel Coney
For more information about the grants and recipients, click here.
Launched in 2020, the new ENVISION Grant program is an unrestricted award opportunity for Chicago-based new media artists making exceptional time-based work in the fields of digital, electronic, computerinternet, virtual realityand video-game art.
With the generous support of the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation, the ENVISION Grants offer unrestricted awards of $2,500 each to two artists. CAC is thrilled to announce that there will be three years of awards granted through ENVISION starting in the spring of 2020.
Chicago Artists Coalition
2130 W. Fulton St.
Chicago, IL 60612

Film Center from Your Sofa Week 7: The Infiltrators + Judy & Punch + more Q&As



BEYOND THE VISIBLE: HILMA AF KLINT now held over through May 14!

The Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago enters its seventh week of its streaming series Film Center from Your Sofa: Stay Connected and Stream with Us to maintain community with film lovers during the coronavirus pandemic. Titles this week available for streaming are BEYOND THE VISIBLE: HILMA AF KLINT (held over through May 14); ON A MAGICAL NIGHT; CRESCENDO; JUDY & PUNCH; and THE INFILTRATORS. These selections showcase new and noteworthy independent, international, and classic cinema provided by longtime partnering distributors.

Films streaming that are available to rent as gifts for friends and family are THE INFILTRATORS (May 8-14); JUDY & PUNCH (May 8-14); SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE (May 15-21; available for 72 hours of streaming); and DIANA KENNEDY: NOTHING FANCY (May 22-28). Visit the films’ webpages or Film Center from Your Sofa.  

The Screen to Screen virtual Q&As coming up are STRAIGHT UP (May 7);  ANOTE’S ARK (May 8), presented in partnerships with Human Rights Watch Chicago; BEYOND THE VISIBLE: HILMA AF KLINT (May 12); and UP FROM THE STREETS (May 16) featuring the director and multiple Grammy Award-winning jazz musician Terence Blanchard. Patrons can click on the film’s links on the Gene Siskel Film Center’s website to join the virtual conversations or visit Screen to Screen

Films this week (May 8-14) in Film Center from Your Sofa
BEYOND THE VISIBLE: HILMA AF KLINT (April 24-30; held over through May 14): Hilma af Klint was an abstract artist before the term existed, a visionary, trailblazing figure who, inspired by spiritualism, modern science, and the riches of the natural world around her, began in 1906 to reel out a series of huge, colorful, sensual, strange works without precedent in painting. The subject of a recent smash retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum, af Klint was for years an all-but-forgotten figure in art historical discourse, before her long-delayed rediscovery. On Tuesday, May 12 at 12:30 pm there will be a Q&A with director Halina Dyrschka. 

ON A MAGICAL NIGHT (May 8-14; available for 72 hours of streaming): In this playful new film from writer-director Christophe Honoré, we meet Maria Mastroianni, a woman dissatisfied with her marriage who, after a heated argument with her husband of 20 years, spends the night in room 212 of the hotel across the street from their home. There, she has a bird's eye view of her apartment, her husband, and her marriage. In this comic romp, she confronts her past lovers and relationships on one magical night, fantasizing about the lives she could've lived and wondering if she's made the right decisions. (Description courtesy of Strand Releasing)

CRESCENDO (May 8-14): Loosely inspired by Daniel Barenboim’s West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Academy-Award nominated director Dror Zahavi (EVERYTHING FOR MY FATHER) directs this gripping drama as a constantly growing ‘crescendo’, escalating the tension and conflicts until the last frame. When world-famous conductor Eduard Sporck (Peter Simonischek of TONI ERDMANN) accepts the job to create an Israeli-Palestinian youth orchestra, he is quickly drawn into a tempest of sheer unsolvable problems. Having grown up in a state of war, suppression or constant risk of terrorist attacks, the young musicians from both sides are far from able to form a team. Lined up behind the two best violinists--the emancipated Palestinian Layla (Sabrina Amali) and the handsome Israeli Ron (Daniel Donskoy)--they form two parties who deeply mistrust each other, on and off-stage alike. In English and German with English subtitles. (Description courtesy of Menemsha Films)

JUDY & PUNCH (May 8-14): In a backward country town located in the boondocks of 17th-century England, puppeteers Judy (Mia Wasikowska) and Punch (Damon Herriman) eke out a living with their marionette show. Thanks to Judy's skills with the puppets, the pair are local heroes, but Punch, a mean drunk who drives the audience to rowdiness, takes all the credit. An ill-fated turn of events that divides the town's populace leads to a kangaroo-court of a trial with Punch as star witness. Director Mirra Foulkes creates a colorful tale with a not-for-children storybook air, a touch of magic realism, and an underlying theme of gleeful feminist revenge. (Description by Barbara Scharres) This film is available to be purchased as a gift to stream.

THE INFILTRATORS (May 8-14) is a docu-thriller that tells the true story of young immigrants who are detained by Border Patrol and thrown into a shadowy for-profit detention center—on purpose. Marco and Viri are members of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, a group of radical DREAMers who are on a mission to stop unjust deportations. And the best place to stop deportations, they believe, is in detention. However, when Marco and Viri attempt a daring reverse ‘prison break,’ things don’t go according to plan. By weaving together documentary footage of the real infiltrators with re-enactments of the events inside the detention center, THE INFILTRATORS tells an incredible and thrilling true story in a genre-defying new cinematic language. In English and Spanish with English subtitles. Presented as part of Panorama Latinx. (Description courtesy of Oscilloscope Films) This film is available to be purchased as a gift to stream.

Last chance: through May 8 
Closing on May 7 and 8 are a variety of films plus Q&As. Gay rom-com STRAIGHT UP (May 1-7; available for 48 hours of streaming) features a Q&A Thursday, May 7 at 8 pm with director James Sweeney and actor James Scully moderated by filmmaker and programmer Richard Knight, Jr., founder of the Queer Film Society. DEERSKIN (May 1-7; available for 72 hours of streaming) concerns an out of work man who acquires a buckskin jacket and an old camcorder, sending him on a bizarre journey. This film is available to be purchased as a gift to stream. 2019 Cannes Camera d’Or winner OUR MOTHERS (NUESTRAS MADRES) (May 1-8) finds Guatemala immersed in the trial of the soldiers who sparked the civil war. Presented as part of Panorama Latinx. The powerful documentary PAHOKEE (May 1-7) follows four teens in an impoverished town in rural Florida as they experience the joys and heartbreaks of their last year in high school. AN ENGINEER IMAGINES (May 1-8) is a cinematic homage to one of the most distinguished engineers of the late 20th century, the late Peter Rice, from his childhood in Ireland to his work on such noted structures as the Sydney Opera House and The Pompidou Centre. ANOTE’S ARK (May 6-8) looks at the harsh realities of climate change looming as the low-lying Pacific nation Kiribati must find a new solution for the survival of its people. On Friday, May 8 at 7:30 pm there will be a Q&A hosted by the Human Rights Watch Chicago Committee featuring filmmaker Matthieu Rytz and Senior Researcher with the Environment and Human Rights Division at Human Rights Watch, Felix Horne. Register online to receive a link to the screening. Note: This film is available to stream at no cost. 

Coming soon: May 15 and beyond
SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE (May 15-21; available for 72 hours of streaming): In this Parisian bittersweet romance, warehouse employee Rémy (François Civil) and research assistant Mélanie (Ana Girardot) have never met, but they live parallel lives: they reside in neighboring apartment buildings, ride the same subway route, and are troubled by bouts of insomnia and depression. Their days punctuated by unfulfilling jobs, they seek meaningful romantic and platonic connection. As they stumble through psychotherapy, dating apps, fainting spells, and family visits, the seemingly star-crossed duo orbit around each other but remain just out of reach. Cédric Klapisch spins a delicate “what-if” from their compartmentalization, exploring our increasingly hermetic modern urban life. In French with English subtitles. (Description courtesy of Distrib Films) This film is available to be purchased as a gift to stream.

UP FROM THE STREETS (May 15-21): Tip your hat to jazz music and the recently cancelled annual Jazz Fest in New Orleans with Michael Murphy's omnibus celebration of the music that shaped the culture of New Orleans in UP FROM THE STREETS. Four-time Grammy winner Terence Blanchard serves as executive producer, music director and host for the film. The film features personal reflections from New Orleans’ most impactful musicians including, but not limited to, Terence Blanchard, Harry Connick, Jr., Wynton Marsalis, Mannie Fresh, Dr. Michael White, and commentary by national and international musicians along with archival and newly filmed performances by iconic artists such as Louis Armstrong, Mahalia Jackson, Professor Longhair, Fats Domino, Allen Toussaint and The Neville Brothers. NOTE: For every ticket sold, $2 will be donated to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation COVID-19 relief fund.  (Description courtesy of UMG) Screen to Screen: On Saturday, May 16, 6 pm there will be a Q&A via ZOOM with Terence Blanchard and director Michael Murphy. 

ALICE (May 22-28): Alice (Emilie Pipponier in a tour de force performance), a Parisian wife and mother, seemingly has it all--an upscale middle-class life with her devoted husband François (Martin Swabey) and their adorable toddler son. The illusion is shattered when François mysteriously disappears and his financially ruinous addiction to high-end call girls is revealed.  Left bankrupt, with a mountain of debt and foreclosure on her home looming, Alice desperately accepts a lucrative job offer--working for the same escort service that had supplied her husband's secret obsession. It's the flip side of BELLE DU JOUR with an audacious and sometimes comic feminist angle. Director Josephine Mackerras weaves an engaging tale of dawning empowerment and female friendship that neither glamorizes Alice's choice nor condemns it, but celebrates her determined path to independence. In French with English subtitles. (Description by Barbara Scharres)

MR. JONES (May 22-28): Agnieszka Holland’s thriller, set on the eve of world WWII, sees Hitler’s rise to power and Stalin’s Soviet propaganda machine pushing their “utopia” to the Western world. Meanwhile an ambitious young journalist, Gareth Jones (James Norton) travels to Moscow to uncover the truth behind the propaganda, but then gets a tip that could expose an international conspiracy, one that could cost him and his informant their lives. Jones goes on a life-or-death journey to uncover the truth behind the façade that would later inspire George Orwell’s seminal book Animal Farm. In English, Ukrainian, Russian, and Welsh with English subtitles. (Description courtesy of Samuel Goldwyn Films)

DIANA KENNEDY: NOTHING FANCY (May 22-28): The author of nine acclaimed cookbooks and a two-time James Beard Award winner, Diana Kennedy is called the “Julia Child of Mexico”, but the feisty cook prefers “The Mick Jagger of Mexican Cuisine”. Master chef, teacher and environmental activist, she is living proof that size has nothing to do with strength. Now in her 90s and barely five feet tall, she's a fierce jolt of energy--one of the most celebrated culinary legends of Mexican cuisine. Blending incredible archival footage from her many television appearances and unprecedented access to her ecologically sustainable home, this lively documentary is an homage to a culinary trailblazer and a true inspiration. Features extensive interviews with Kennedy herself, plus famed chefs José Andrés, Rick Bayless, Gabriela Camara and Alice Waters. (Description courtesy of Greenwich Entertainment) This film is available to be purchased as a gift to stream.

YOURSELF AND YOURS (June 5-11): One of Hong Sangsoo’s most delightful comic mysteries is now available in the U.S. When painter Youngsoo (Kim Ju-hyuk) learns that his girlfriend, Minjung (Lee Yoo-young), was recently seen having drinks with another man, he can’t help but question her about it. It doesn’t go well and they part on bad terms. The next day, Youngsoo tries to find her, but can’t. As he wanders and frets, Minjung has a series of encounters with other men. But to them it seems she’s not herself. Featuring a supporting cast of Hong regulars, YOURSELF AND YOURS is a pleasing puzzle full of mistaken identity, excessive drinking and lots of he-said, she-said. As the rumors pile up, Hong, a critically-acclaimed School of the Art Institute of Chicago alum, asks: In a relationship, how important is it to know everything? In Korean with English subtitles. (Description courtesy of The Cinema Guild)

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Note the following about Film Center from Your Sofa:
  • These are films the Film Center has screened in the past, would have been screening now, or reflect the venue’s critically acclaimed programming.
  • Due to the many different sources, there is a range of prices and available dates for each film. However, none of the prices are more than what one would pay for a single, non-member movie ticket.
  • Please note that viewers will be required to set up individual accounts through streaming services and distributors in order to stream Film Center From Your Sofa; having a Film Center account will not apply.
  • Because the Film Center is connecting audience members to a variety of platforms, member or any other discounts for streaming cannot be offered. To compensate, Film Center membership expiration dates will be extended to exclude this period of suspended programming. All proceeds during this challenging time will help the Film Center and partnering distributors to continue operating.

Patrons are encouraged to utilize the Film Center’s Facebook events to express their thoughts, insights, and questions. Also in the works are some virtual discussions moderated by respected film critics, filmmakers, and lecturers to the conversation can be continued together. 

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About the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago 
Since 1972, the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago has presented cutting edge cinema to an annual audience that has grown to over 100,000. The Film Center’s programming includes annual film festivals that celebrate diverse voices and international cultures, premieres of trailblazing work by today’s independent filmmakers, restorations and revivals of essential films from cinema history, and insightful provocative discussions with filmmakers and media artists. Altogether, the Film Center hosts over 1,700 screenings and 200 filmmaker appearances every year. The Film Center was renamed the Gene Siskel Film Center in 2000 after the late, nationally celebrated film critic, Gene Siskel. Visit to learn more and find out what’s playing today.

About Panorama Latinx
Panorama Latinx is an initiative of the Gene Siskel Film Center dedicated to year-round Latin American programming. The Film Center engages the dynamic Latinx community of greater Chicago through showcasing the work of emerging and established Latinx filmmakers educational screenings, and community partnerships.

About the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
For 150 years, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has been a leader in educating the world’s most influential artists, designers, and scholars. Located in downtown Chicago with a fine arts graduate program ranked number two by U.S. News and World Report, SAIC provides an interdisciplinary approach to art and design as well as world-class resources, including the Art Institute of Chicago museum, on-campus galleries, and state-of-the-art facilities. SAIC’s undergraduate, graduate, and post-baccalaureate students have the freedom to take risks and create the bold ideas that transform Chicago and the world—as seen through notable alumni and faculty such as Michelle Grabner, David Sedaris, Elizabeth Murray, Richard Hunt, Georgia O’Keeffe, Cynthia Rowley, Nick Cave, and LeRoy Neiman. Learn more at