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Place Lab digest • Issue #28 • Friday, January 20, 2017
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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.

Happenings @ Place Lab

An interview with Salon Member Majestic Lane

Majestic Lane is the Director of External Affairs & Membership Engagement at Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group (PCRG), a membership organization for Community Development Corporations, Community-Based Organizations, and related nonprofits that represent low- and moderate- income communities throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania. Place Lab sat down with Ethical Redevelopment Salon member Lane to discuss design and Inclusive, equitable community development.

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Promising Developments

Wednesday, January 25, 9am-5pm
Experimental Station
6100 S Blackstone Ave, Chicago [map it]

Join Place Lab team members Naomi Miller and Carson Poole, along with some of the South Side's most impactful voices. Organized by Terreform Center for Advanced Urban Research, The City College of New York and Experimental Station, this day-long conference/conversation will feature a host of South Side activists, planners and doers, all working to design a better future for our South Side communities. 

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What Place Lab is digesting

Our cities, our politics
Adrian Glick Kudler, Curbed

With Donald Trump about to assume the presidency, the United States feels like it's straining to contain multiple citizenries with radically opposed value systems; political scientists say we’re more polarized than we’ve been since the Civil War. But instead of splitting along a relatively straightforward latitude line, Americans today are sorted by the types of places they live: rural and exurban areas, suburbs, and cities.
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Stay up-to-date on Place Lab projects, events, news, and happenings with our dedicated blog, SITE.
Artists Want Museums To Protest 'Trumpism.' Here's What Chicago's Are Doing
Stephen Gossett, Chicagoist

Despite a loud demand for cultural institutions to close their doors on Friday, the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration, in demonstration against the "normalization of Trumpism," most of Chicago’s major art museums are not answering the call, put forth by more than 130 artists and critics. But some are nonetheless responding to the anxious political climate in their own fashion.

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Chicago responds to President Trump 
Chicago Reader

rtists, writers, musicians, academics, activists, and politicians—even Rahm!—weigh in on the new administration: the threats, the fears, the absurdity.

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Trump Nominees Make Clear Plans to Sweep Away Obama Policies
Michael D. Shear, The New York Times

Many of the nominees sought to shave the sharp edges off Mr. Trump’s more provocative campaign promises and their own past decisions and statements. Some backed away completely from past assertions, making clean breaks with Mr. Trump on climate change or the need to build a wall at the Mexican border. Others remained vague about their commitment to the most divisive proposals in their policy areas, leaving a veil of uncertainty over what they would do to lead their departments if confirmed.

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What are you thinking?

Is there something you'd like to see more of in our digest? Topics, interest areas, or subject matter that we're missing? Just havea  couple of notes?

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Miss last Friday's edition of the digest? Read it in the archives here.
Contemporary African art exhibit at the BMA looks at race, privilege and protest
Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun

With the help of Kevin Tervala, a former curatorial fellow at the museum, BMA associate curator for African arts Shannen Hill selected more than two dozen pieces that provide a multiracial sampling of living artists. The overall shade of the exhibited works is gray. But, as Hill puts it in an introductory note posted on one of the gallery walls, the politics behind the art is "utterly unambiguous."
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The Detroit Start-Up Helping Women Craft a Path Out of Homelessness
Jessica Leigh Hester, CityLab

Climbing out of poverty, Simmons says, is a vicious cycle. “As soon as you get a foothold on one thing,” she says, “it drops.” A steady job is one path out of homelessness, but women stare down many barriers that seem daunting to scale...COTS is taking a smaller-scale, long-term approach to connecting homeless women with employment. Now in its third year, the shelter’s Passport to Self-Sufficiency program, run by Simmons, pairs women with mobility coaches who take a holistic look at the family’s well-being, accounting for financial literacy, education, health care, and more.
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Donald Trump Has Plans To Hit The Ground Running. Here's What He Wants To Do
Scott Horsley, NPR

Trump, who's accustomed to completing projects "on time and under budget," will try to bring an unfamiliar business discipline to the nation's capital. He may find that Washington is not as nimble or responsive to orders from the chief executive as his family-run business. His first couple of days will also be filled with ceremonial celebrations: the inaugural parade, Friday night balls and a Saturday church service. The real workout for the new president and his pen could start Monday.

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Congress Gutted Researchers' Ability to Study Gun Violence. Now They're Fighting Back.
Bryan Schatz, Mother Jones

On November 14, six days after Donald Trump won the presidential election, more than 80 researchers from 42 schools of public health gathered for a closed-door meeting at the Boston University School of Public Health. Their agenda: how to get around the federal government's de facto ban on researching the health impact of gun violence and get it done anyway.

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Report: Trump administration planning budget cuts that will eliminate the NEA, NEH
Alex Greenberger, artNews

...ahead of President-elect Donald J. Trump’s inauguration comes news that members of his transition team have been preparing dramatic budget cuts that would eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Hill reports that doing so would be part of a general trend under the Trump administration, which is reportedly seeking to cut federal spending by about $10.5 trillion over the next ten years.
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From our bookshelf:

The Defender: How the Legendary Black Newspaper Changed America
by Ethan Michaeli

Purchase it here
How to Become a Social Impact Designer Without Going (Permanently) Broke
Gilad Meron & Mia Scharphie, Next City

A beta test. That’s how architect Katherine Darnstadt describes Latent Design, the small social impact architecture and design strategy firm she started seven years ago. “Latent Design started as a plan B,” remembers Darnstadt. New to the field of architecture and only recently licensed, the Chicago designer found herself laid off from her job due to the recession — and pregnant: “I had no job, and no prospects. I had to figure out what to do and how to survive.” She cashed out $10,000 from her 401(k) and Roth IRA, and started her practice on a shoestring, with nearly all of her savings eaten up by software and startup costs in the first month.
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Thank you.
A letter to America from Barack Obama

It’s a long-standing tradition for the sitting president of the United States to leave a parting letter in the Oval Office for the American elected to take his or her place. It’s a letter meant to share what we know, what we’ve learned, and what small wisdom may help our successor bear the great responsibility that comes with the highest office in our land, and the leadership of the free world. But before I leave my note for our 45th president, I wanted to say one final thank you for the honor of serving as your 44th. Because all that I’ve learned in my time in office, I’ve learned from you. You made me a better President, and you made me a better man.
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Inaugural address: Trump's full speech
CNN Politics
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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 © 2017 Place Lab, All rights reserved.

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