Chicago-based nonprofit Rebuild Foundation announced the new program, Dorchester Industries, this week. The initiative will provide workforce training and apprenticeships to unemployed and underemployed people of the city’s South Side. To staff the program, Rebuild is tapping into its artists in residence and local contractors and artisans, who will share their expertise with the community through training sessions where they will learn skills for building and creative industries—masonry, millwork, carpentry, and pottery among them. In addition to hands-on construction experience, trainees will work in artist and artisan studios to create art and design objects, which will be sold, with proceeds going to program participants. “By providing workforce training in highly employable crafts such as carpentry or pottery work, we support the people in our community in real and tangible ways while also fostering an engagement and appreciation for a variety of artforms,” said Gates in a press release. Dorchester Industries grew out of Rebuild’s programs to develop workforce opportunities within the community. Participants will be involved in Rebuild’s community revitalization projects, including renovating vacant homes and buildings in the neighborhood, which have been at the core of the nonprofit since Gates founded it in 2010.
07 The city of Helsinki has offered a new plan to finance the proposed Guggenheim museum there, relying more heavily on private donations.
Following the state government’s rejection in September of a plan that would require it to pay €40 million ($44 million) to aid in the museum’s construction, Helsinki city officials announced a new plan on Thursday, which will see private donors pay €66 million, to make up for the loss of state support. The plan calls for the city to pay €80 million ($89 million). The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation first proposed the Guggenheim Helsinki in 2012. From the project’s early days, Finnish government officials and citizens have been reticent to direct taxpayer money towards the museum. Supporters of the project purport that the museum would boost the city’s status as a major international cultural destination and thus its economy overall, citing as an example the massive growth and revitalization that the
incited in Bilbao in the early 2000s. Under the new plan for Helsinki, the Guggenheim has agreed to decrease the annual licensing fee it would charge the museum to carry its name, from $30 million to $20 million. “You could say this is our last proposal,” Ari Lahti, head of Guggenheim Helsinki Support Foundation, said to the press. “The city must now either take it or leave it.”
08 German baking and frozen food giant Dr. Oetker suspects works in its art collection may be Nazi loot.
A family-owned German company that produces baking goods and frozen food has found four works of art in its private collection that may have been looted by the Nazis. The company has located heirs to the original Jewish owners of the works, and pledged to reach an “amicable settlement” if the art turns out to have been stolen or sold under duress. The collection—which includes painting, porcelain, and silver—was amassed largely during the 1950s by the company’s executive director Rudolf-August Oetker, who retired in 1981 and passed away in 2007. It is notable that Dr. Oetker has been proactive in reviewing its collection for works obtained under dubious means, and stating it will those work with those affected. After releasing a study about the company’s history during the Third Reich, Dr. Oetker hired a researcher to investigate the collection. Due to a confidentiality agreement with the heirs, a company spokesperson has declined to offer details about the implicated works of art.
09 Nearly two decades in the making, Greece’s first National Museum of Contemporary Art has opened to the public in Athens.
Although legislation establishing the National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST) was passed in 1997, delays fueled by government disagreements around regulations and administration, as well as a shortage of funds, kept the museum from opening for 19 years (the delays lost the project a $3.3 million European Union subsidy.) During the first 11 years, the museum shelled out $37 million to convert an abandoned Athens brewery into an exhibition space—but once completed in 2014, it still didn’t open its doors due to regulatory and administrative struggles. Soon after, a $3 million grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation was pledged but then withdrawn in November 2015 because of continued delays. The EMST’s challenges speak to the wider economic crisis in Greece and how these problems have been impacting the country’s artists and cultural institutions. But encouraged by the news that Athens would host documenta 14 in 2017, the museum has finally opened its doors. The inaugural show, “Urgent Conversations: Athens—Antwerp” combines the Greek museum’s collection with work by Belgian artists from the Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp (M HKA).
10 The spinning Astor Place cube was reinstalled Tuesday after months of false starts, concluding the beloved public sculpture’s two-year hiatus from the New York plaza.