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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.