What We're Reading: 9/20
In Paris this weekend, traffic stopped and crowds gathered to see the Arc de Triomphe transformed: the huge monument wrapped in shimmering, fabric, tied in place with red rope – the colors subtly emulating the French flag.
It's the creation of the artist known simply as Christo. But when Christo died last year at 84, finishing the project became a mission for Christo's small team of three: his nephews, Vladimir Yavachev and Jonathan Henery, and studio manager Lorenza Giovanelli.
"All the design was done," said Henery. "Every rope, every fold, every pleat, is exactly, exactly and precisely the way Christo designed it. It will be his baby. We're just finishing it for him."
Thumbnail image: Christo's long-planned dream of the wrapped Arc de Triomphe. CBS NEWS
A new art exhibition explores themes from “A Raisin in the Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry — the seminal play set in Chicago — where local and global artists wrestle with the theme of “home.”
The National Museum of Mexican Art will hold its first ever music festival with help from Mexican artists around the country. It’s called Sonido Dieciocho or Sonido 18 Fest, and the theme “Sounds of 18th Street” pays homage to its location.
“For a lot of the South Side Mexicans and Latinos, it wasn’t known as Pilsen it was known as La Dieciocho,” says Jorge Valdivia, the museum’s director of performing arts. “That’s how it was commonly referred to way back in the day. Now ‘Pilsen’ is used to refer to it a lot more. So it’s sort of paying homage to La Dieciocho and how we used to identify Pilsen as.”
In a 1999 profile published in the New Yorker, the writer Malcolm Gladwell described the “Six Degrees of Lois Weisberg.” Weisberg was the city of Chicago’s first commissioner of Cultural Affairs, serving from 1989 to 2011, when she retired at the age of eighty-one. The essence of the story was that she was one of those people who knew everybody—a “connector”—for jobs, for collaboration, for friendship.
The irony is that if Gladwell’s story were to be written today, it would be about the woman who stepped into Weisberg’s formidable—and legendarily extravagant—shoes when she succeeded her as the Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Michelle Boone.