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Place Lab digest • Issue #8 • Friday, September 2, 2016
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The Place Lab digest is a weekly round-up of pertinent news, opinion, investigations, and explorations of the arts, architecture, and city-building in Chicago and beyond.

This week @ Place Lab

Ethical Redevelopment Salon

Session #1 - The Day in Review

As we look forward to Salon Session #2 next Thursday, we reflect on the inaugural Session. Place Lab's Mejay Gula reviews the discussions and happenings from Salon Session #1 - Repurpose + Re-propose.

Read the recap on SITE

What Place Lab is digesting

Not just Star Wars artifacts: a peek at what will be in the Lucas museum
Kim Janssen, Chicago Tribune

What exactly is going to be in the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art?...Now that billionaire "Star Wars" creator George Lucas and his wife, Ariel Investments President Mellody Hobson, have taken their plans back to San Francisco, their team appears to have learned a lesson from their doomed approach in Chicago.
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Miss last Friday's edition of the digest? Read it in the archives here.
City pitches sale, redevelopment of 18-acre riverfront facility
Jay Koziarz, Curbed Chicago

Currently serving as the maintenance garage and headquarters of the City of Chicago’s Department of Fleet and Facility Management (2FM), the massive riverfront complex at 1685 N. Throop — and its roughly 200 jobs — will be relocated to a new facility slated for the intersection of Wentworth and Marquette at the former Kennedy King College campus in Englewood on the city’s south side.
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Cook County not ‘in the business of saying what is and what is not fine arts,’ according to CFO
Lee V. Gaines, Chicago Reader

The comments from Cook County CFO Ivan Samstein come after a hearing officer appointed by the county's Department of Administrative Hearings claimed last week that DJ sets, rock, rap, and country performances music do not constitute "fine art" under the county's code and therefore small music venues would be hard-pressed to argue that they should be exempt from a 3 percent county amusement tax on ticket and cover charges for those types of shows.
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Is integration worth pursuing? Three lines of argument
Marisa Novara, Metropolitan Planning Council

"The goal of integration suggests that people of color are somehow insufficient on their own, that they need white people to be whole." It does suggest that, and that is highly problematic. As Northwestern sociologist Mary Pattillo argues, proximity to whiteness is not a solution unless we start from the premise that the problem is blackness.
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These Neighbors Got Tired of Waiting for Traditional Developers
Oscar Perry Abello, Next City

While the Twin Cities continue to grapple with longstanding racial inequity, one working-class community has figured out a way to take back some control of their local economy. And their real estate investment cooperative, with some tweaks, could serve as a model for overcoming even greater economic marginalization.
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Inclusive Cities: Inclusion equals diversity plus equity
Hazel Borys, PlaceMakers

When diverse groups are given opportunity to serve on boards, group-think ends and new networks open. More diversity leads to more benefits. One person is a token. Two people are a special interest group. 30% diverse is a real shift.
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Stay up-to-date on Place Lab projects, events, news, and happenings with our dedicated blog, SITE.
Tampa Works on Supporting Minority-Owned Businesses One Day at a Time
Johnny Magdaleno, Next City

The mayor’s efforts appear to have been fruitful. In 2015, the city announced it had surpassed its minority and small business contracting goals by 20 percent. That’s leaps and bounds better than the year these new measures went live in 2012, when the city missed its contracting goals by 44 percent.
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We Are Chicago - Teaser Trailer
Culture Shock Games

The indie game, which is being developed in Ravenswood and set to be released next year, was created based on interviews with Englewood residents, and its creators plan to donate a portion of its proceeds to groups that are helping South and West Siders.
Watch video
Making Sense of Cultural Equity
Clara Inés Schuhmacher, Katie Ingersoll, Fari Nzinga, Ian David Moss. Createquity

About us. By us. For us. Near us. It has been almost a century since the great W.E.B. Du Bois–one of the co-founders of the NAACP–offered this stirring call for what, today, we would call “cultural equity.” 
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From our bookshelf:

Why Philadelphia?
An essay on the history of the modern civil rights movement in Philadelphia 
by Matthew J. Countryman

Read it here
Atlanta Asks Citizens for Opinions on Development at New Pop-Up Studio
Jen Kinney, Next City

According to What Now Atlanta, Ponce City Market — a former Sears warehouse turned mixed-use development — will serve as an incubator, workspace, and meeting area for residents, design professionals and urbanists to talk about visions of the city’s future.
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6 People We Met In Chatham Tell Us How The Historic Neighborhood Is Changing
Adeshina Emmanuel, Bea Malsky, Latricia Polk, City Bureau/Chicagoist

Chatham represents the old bastion of black economic mobility in Chicago, where working class folk, political movers and shakers, business people and other professionals have formed the foundation of the tight-knit community since the 1950s. Yet the signs of decline are impossible to ignore, especially on once-thriving business corridors like Cottage Grove and 79th Street...
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Their Soil Toxic, 1,100 Indiana Residents Scramble to Find New Homes
Abby Goodnough, The New York Times

The extent of the contamination came as a shock to residents of the complex, even though it is just north of a huge former U.S.S. Lead smelting plant and on top of a smaller former smelting operation, in an area that was designated a Superfund site in 2009. Now, in a situation that many fearful residents are comparing to the water crisis in Flint, Mich., they are asking why neither the state nor the Environmental Protection Agency told them just how toxic their soil was much sooner, and a timeline is emerging that suggests a painfully slow government process of confronting the problem.
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NEA ranks our arts participation — do the stats mean anything?
Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

The NEA does note that arts-participation rates, contrary to what you might think when you go the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, actually skew higher among the young, and thus the rates tend to be higher in states (like Oregon) with lots of young people. Like a lot of issues in the arts, the causes of inequality go well beyond the arts themselves and thus are not easily changeable by anybody in the arts. 
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Place Lab is a team of professionals from the diverse fields of law, urban planning, architecture, design, social work, arts administration, and gender and cultural studies.  A partnership between Arts + Public Life, an initiative of UChicago Arts, and the Harris School of Public Policy, Place Lab is a catalyst for mindful urban transformation and creative redevelopment. Led by renowned artist and University of Chicago faculty member Theaster Gates, this joint enterprise merges Chicago Harris’ Cultural Policy Center’s commitment to cultural policy and evidence-based analysis with Place Lab’s work at Arts + Public Life on arts- and culture-led neighborhood transformation.
Copyright © 2016 Place Lab, All rights reserved.

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