Today In The Culture, February 8, 2022: residency at Hyde Park Art Center | Syl Johnson dies a week after his brother | Raven Theater Commands

Playwright Paul Michael Thomson / Photo: David Hagen Photography


Hyde Park Art Center residency marks the decade

The Jackman Goldwasser Residency Program at Hyde Park Art Center offers full residencies to twelve local, national and international artists and curators whose creative practices address social issues, HPAC announces. The twelve artists are Bun Stout, Oyindamola Fakeye, Edra Soto, Kelvin Haizel, Ariella Granados, Noelle Garcia, Melissa Clark, Joseph Lefthand, Tina Petersone, Regina Agu, Robert Paige and Jennefer Hoffmann. The visitor residency program returns after a pandemic hiatus to welcome three artists, from Nigeria, Ghana and Latvia, and one from Minneapolis, in addition to eight artists from the Chicago area. Each year, the residency provides a platform for them to take creative risks within their practice and expand their professional networks within the context of a historic arts space and community in the heart of Chicago. Megha Ralapati, director of the residency program, said in the statement: “While we were able to deepen direct support for Chicago artists last year, this year we are especially delighted to welcome visiting artists and curators. at the Art Center, to learn and connect inside our space. Visiting residents are an essential part of the program, and in 2022 we look forward to planting the seeds of a long-term engagement between practices located here and there. More here.


Eighty-four-year-old boutique JP Graziano teams up with rappers and fashion designers

“Jim Graziano never imagined rapper Freddie Gibbs handing out midnight sandwiches behind the counter of the eighty-four-year-old Italian food import and distribution family business,” Block Club reports. “His great-grandfather, Vincenzo Graziano, used to count the money behind that same wooden counter at 901 West Randolph in 1937 when he started JP Graziano Grocery, wholesale Italian products like olive oil, baccalà and pasta to other moms and pop shops.The forty-one-year-old fourth-generation owner says, “There is a ton of life in this place…I can sell to an eighty-five-year-old lady who’s been shopping here for sixty years, but I can also partner with Joe Freshgoods and create the baddest hoodie anyone’s ever seen in their life. We’ll be having a block party on Randolph with four hours notice.


Bucking “The Great Resignation”

“We have all heard of the Great Resignation. As the pandemic stretches into its third year and new variants of the virus sweep across the country, pulling harder and harder at the frayed threads of our social contract, exhausted people across the country are giving up the rat race. in the face of an endless crisis. A collective cry of Carpe Diem, and terminal fucking capitalism, the great resignation was the story of 2021,” writes editor Martha Bayne in a lengthy personal essay to Oldster Magazine about how financial hardship during the pandemic changed her life. . “I’ve always had a strained relationship with professional ambition…Even though I struggled for continuing to struggle long after my peers figured out how to get paid, I still held on. .. For ten years I had a job that I loved, even though it paid the absurd average of alternative weekly wages When I left that job I was gutted and swore I would never let a mere workplace claim such an all-consuming claim on my soul again… In a time that has made it clear that uncertainty is the only thing that remains certain… getting ripped off forced something loose that COVID and the Trump era hadn’t quite made it. So much has been lost in the last two years, but the pandemic has also lost, now, the belief that I didn’t need stability – that it wasn’t something something for me, and therefore something I didn’t want… A few weeks years after the scam, a friend forwarded me a job offer. It was a good job, in my field… It promised stable income. My desire made me short, an electric shock in the back: ‘I want this.’ ” More here. Last week, before the wave of online admiration for the just-published essay, Bayne posted“One thing that amuses me – and I mean NO disrespect to anyone – is how siled our public personas can be. I’ve worked in Chicago media for over 20 years and I ‘ve published 3 other books, but for a lot of people, I will forever be “that soup lady”. For example, I would like to talk about the editorial structure of the cookbook, the performance hospitality (I also do theatre!), organizing strategies that inform community-building events like potlucks. But the way media works, there’s rarely room for that. I probably should just write an essay or something, but who has time for that?”

Essays on paying medical bills after self-harm

Christopher Borrelli writes to the Trib about Evanston’s Emily Maloney, “whose marvelous new collection of essays, ‘Cost of Living,’ tells in part how, after a suicide attempt, she worked in hospitals across the Chicago area to pay medical bills… Months after Emily Maloney attempted suicide, she finally opened her mail She was 19, lived in Iowa City, an undergraduate at the University of Iowa She felt she never really knew how to be a person in the world.In high school, back in Lake Forest, she wore wedding dresses and combat boots in class, she wore bowler hats and tuxedos. She said she never fit in with the young descendants of Chicago’s business barons. She graduated early, and now, alone in Iowa City, she was depressed. She was recovering. The Mail accumulates…”


Soul singer Syl Johnson was 85

“Syl Johnson, the Chicago soul and blues singer whose 1967 single ‘Different Strokes’ became one of hip-hop’s most sampled songs,” was 85, writes Pitchfork. “His death came less than a month after the death of his brother and fellow musician Jimmy Johnson at the age of 93.” Filmmaker Rob Hatch-Miller, director of “Syl Johnson: Any Way The Wind Blows” posts“Some fun memories of the movie – after being told by Janet Pierson that we just missed the cut for SXSW, we decided to show the documentary in Chicago in 2015 because that’s the hometown of Syl and… .he didn’t show up for the first screening .Or the second (of two) screenings!Our second festival was Indie Memphis (the city where he recorded all the Hi Records classics with Willie Mitchell) and Syl came along! Every time his ex-wife appeared onscreen, he would loudly shout “she’s lying!” During the end credits, he stood up and led the sold-out crowd in a single, writes Rolling Stone , “Johnson’s most lasting impact on music would come in the form of his 1967 song ‘Different Strokes’. part of which ended up on the fourth volume of the pioneering sampling compilation Ultimate Breaks and Beats. Elements of “Different Strokes” would later be heard in “Fight the Power” and “Fear of a Black Planet” by Public Enemy, “The Joy” by Kanye West and Jay-Z in Watch the Throne, “Shame” by Wu -Tang Clan. on a—-, ‘Criminal Minded’ by Boogie Down Productions, ‘Talk Like Sex’ by Kool G Rap and DJ Polo, songs by Tupac Shakur, NWA, the DOC, Das EFX and countless other rappers… Johnson – well that he himself – proclaimed “the most sampled artist of all time” – rarely saw royalties on his sampled song, leading to a notable $29 million lawsuit against Cypress Hill and so on. than another lawsuit against West and Jay-Z, who eventually settled their lawsuit with Johnson in 2012. Johnson would eventually regain control of the song’s royalties… “I’m sitting in the house that Wu-Tang built with their money,” Johnson joked to The New York Times in 2010. “(“Syl Johnson: Any Way The Wind Blows” is available on Vimeo for $4 here.)

Nighttime violence in Wicker Park continues

‘Area residents who speak up about crime continue to raise concerns’: A second after-hours shooting in four months at the Point Club on Milwaukee Avenue is reported by the Sun-Times. “A twenty-nine-year-old man was seriously injured early on Sunday when a hail of gunfire erupted again and tore through the bar and concert hall. Just after closing at 5 a.m., about ten bullets were fired at The Point… which is located on a busy nightlife and shopping street. The victim, who is not believed to be the intended target, was struck in the right eye and later taken to Stroger Hospital… Point owner Jun Lin said a police car was parked outside the club until 5am as an extra precaution. , but he told the officers to leave at that time. About five minutes after the car left, Lin said someone started shooting in the bar, where a Phish cover band had performed earlier.

The Chicago Philharmonic Society Presents Premieres

For the third of four concerts of its season, the Chicago Philharmonic Society presents “Chicago Fanfare” on March 27 at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance. Led by Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Scott Speck, the orchestra features a US premiere of Pulitzer Prize-winning and Grammy-winning Jennifer Higdon, as well as world premieres of Reinaldo Moya and Nicholas Hubbell, as well as “Gli uccelli.” and “Trittico botticelliano” by Ottorino Respighi. More here.


Raven Theater Commissions Play by Paul Michael Thomson

Raven Theater has commissioned Chicago playwright Paul Michael Thomson as part of its new play development initiative. Thomson’s new work, “brother sister cyborg space”, will be developed throughout 2022. In addition to financial support, Thomson will benefit from workshops with actors and private or public readings during development. He joins Tyla Abercrumbie as the second of three commissions made possible by a donation from Raven board member Stephen Johnson. Learn more about Thomson here. Learn more about Raven here.

Launch of the Downstage artistic training program

Downstage Arts will launch a one-of-a-kind performing arts training program at the Miracle Center, the group announced in a statement. The program is “designed to bring the performing arts back to the way they were meant to be taught – not from textbooks, but with more direct personal experiences. The Downstage Arts post-high school program offers daily private lessons in singing, acting and dancing, to ensure that each student receives the care and attention they deserve. Training will also be provided on career planning and job search, managing finances as an actor, as well as physical and vocal health. “Downstage Arts is a lower cost alternative to traditional higher education. Committed to affordability, students can expect to graduate without having to pay thousands of dollars in student debt. DSA students will receive three years of training, seven hours a day, five days a week. More here.

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