Artists in Residence, the movie | Bleader

Artists in Residence, the movie


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The Near Northwest Arts Council, a player in last week's culture column about the contentious sale of the Wicker Park Art Center to the Love Holy Trinity Blessed Mission, also has a central role in another rocky arts-and-real-estate saga, director Kelly Luchtman's Artists in Residence, a one-hour documentary set for a showing tonight at the Chicago Cultural Center.

Luchtman’s film, ten years in the making, chronicles the development of the Acme Artists Community (now known as the Bloomingdale Artists' Building) by NNWAC and its executive director, Laura Weathered.

A city-subsidized factory rehab, the Acme condominium project was supposed to be a model of affordable, displacement-proof artists’ housing. But even before an all-smiles 2003 ribbon cutting with Mayor Daley (where any hint of trouble was swept under the rug), the 25-unit project had been hit by some of the floods, leaks, and other problems that would polarize residents and make living there a hassle that included intense communal politics for years to come. Luchtman does a fine job of capturing both the initial euphoria of ownership and the growing disappointment, frustration, and anger that register on one frazzled face after another.

Weathered (who's now working on a new project, the Bronzeville Artists Lofts) and two of the condominium's formerly pissed-off owners, Batya and David Hernandez, are scheduled to be on hand for a postscreening discussion of the agonies and legacies of Acme.

6:30 PM, Thu 4/19, Chicago Cultural Center's Claudia Cassidy Theater, 78 E. Washington, free. The film also screens on WTTW on Sun 5/6, 2:00 PM.

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