We’ll start with the worst moments in Chicago’s 2015; just to get it over with and to help us move on. Some of these still sting.
Although Spike Lee’s new satire had a real opportunity to make a statement about gang violence in the South Side, it missed the mark and didn’t have the intended effect. Critics blasted the movie, and attendees were generally underwhelmed.
It could have been a rallying cry for the city of Chicago. Instead, we all just collectively grumbled, “Meh.”
The Roof Is On Fire At The Second City
Classes, performances, and general comedy-making came to an extra-alarm halt this summer when the downstairs restaurant, Adobo Grill, caught on fire. The flames shot up through the ventilation systems and straight through The Second City at Piper’s Alley.
Luckily, the precious comedy archives are stored offsite, and the mainstage theatre next door was fine. But the fire obliterated much of the offices, damaged classrooms, the lobbies, and ruined all the technical equipment in Donny’s Skybox Theatre.
The city of Chicago has a tumultuous relationship with Riot Fest. They were banished from Humboldt Park after the crowds and weather destroyed the place and left residents fuming. This year, they set up shop in Douglas Park, and gave a repeat performance of costly damages.
$180,000 in damage alone was racked up, but on top of that, many Riot Fest performances co-opted neighborhood parks for profit during 2015’s festival. Not cool.
On that note, here are some of the best moments in Chicago from 2015 to restore your faith in humanity:
The Art Institute Gets A Massive Donation
The city’s favorite art museum recently received $400 million worth of pop art for their still-shiny modern wing. The extensive collection is sure to draw an overwhelming number of crowds, and the monetary value of the donation along is unprecedented.
In 2014, The Chicago Art Institute was voted as The Best Museum in the World. Now we can defend that title with such a significant boost to the museum’s collection.
Chicago Musicians Hit It Big
Chance the Rapper dropped a hit album in 2015, was featured on a slew of prime-time tv spots, headlined festivals (including a free one he hosted for teens), led an anti-violence campaign, and proved himself to be a true son of Chicago. He’s been using his recently-acquired wealth and fame to give back to the city that raised him, and we’re all grateful for his efforts to improve the community.
But also, thanks for the great music.
Jeremih’s Late Nights: The Album has also done incredibly well in the music scene. He’s a Chicago-native up-and-comer who’s made it into national notice. It’s well-deserved.
Chicago-Based Shows Steal TV
Suck it, east and west coasts. Chicago is the new hot place to set prime-time shows. Chicago PD, Chicago Med, and Chicago Fire are all still going strong and stealing the hearts of suburban moms across America.
But it’s Fox’s Empire that wins the crown for best Chicago-set tv show. It’s the hottest show on right now, with millions of devoted fans. Empire is apparently the first primetime broadcast series in at least 23 years to have its viewership consistently increase each week. Empire even finally beat out The Big Bang Theory as the highest-rated scripted series in 2014-2015.