"The Three Arts Club was so amazing that it bordered on magical.... Walking through the halls, you could feel the presence of a creative force."
Looking for a Miracle
Comment on "Mission Diminished" by Deanna Isaacs, The Business, March 20
My name is Mandy Corrado-Gutwaks and I was not only living at the Three Arts Club at the time of the closing, I was also a resident assistant. Thus, in the summer of 2003, I lost my job and home simultaneously—within three months of my graduation from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. My career as an artist was struck a severe blow by this unforeseen event, and I dare to say that now, five years later, I am just finally recovering. To have this safe haven for women artists ripped away was a very cruel act to have to have endured.
The Three Arts Club was so amazing that it bordered on magical. Women artists throughout generations called this nurturing and supportive environment home. Walking through the halls, you could feel the presence of a creative force. One could often sit at their window listening to a classical pianist practicing on the grand piano downstairs. On any given night, you could go down to the dining hall and be in the company of fellow visual artists, filmmakers, musicians, dancers, writers, etc, etc, etc. As an artist, having this type of constant interaction with fellow artists is absolutely invaluable. The type of camaraderie and inspiration that was found within the walls of the Three Arts Club was, in my experience, unique to any place in the world, let alone Chicago. To say that our city suffered a loss at the closing of the Three Arts Club doors is definitely an understatement.
To have lived at the Three Arts Club is to have loved the Three Arts Club. Many former residents went on to have extremely successful careers. At the time of the closing we were told that the doors would be shut for a short period of time (up to two years, if I recall correctly) for some renovation work that would cost a few million dollars. After we were evicted the story changed and the board suddenly had a plan to raise something like $12 million, for very extravagant plans. When that fell through, they opted to keep the doors closed forever and sell the magical place that I called home.
The fact that the new board, and Esther Grimm, are touting their new plans as progress is sickening. They destroyed a uniquely rich cultural institution in favor of taking a payout. The fact that the building that was designed and built, brick by brick, to serve as a home for women in the arts was sold and has been sitting as an empty shell for five years fills me with sorrow. Hearing yet another plan that involves completely stripping the building of its soul is heart wrenching.
How the Three Arts Club board, whose job it is to uphold the mission, can get away with such atrocities is beyond me. I wish there were some sort of checks and balances that would have prevented this in the first place, or some agency that could bring justice to this situation. I hope that this is not a lost cause and that the Three Arts Club can be restored to its purpose to be a home for women in the arts. If anyone out there has any ideas of how to help, please contact the Friends of the Three Arts Club [firstname.lastname@example.org]. I guess we're looking for a miracle, so if you know of any miracle-makers, please let us know.
Goldberg Got a Free Pass
Comment on the book review "Liberal Fascism?" by Michael Solot, March 20
I'm stunned at such a vapid review from a seasoned critic.
Solot gives Goldberg a free pass by ignoring how his "precise" definition of fascism is actually sloppy, self-serving hokum which has been repeatedly debunked by many critics.
The key to Goldberg's false equation of liberals with fascists is the claim Mussolini was a socialist until the end, when in fact Mussolini repeatedly defined fascism as separate and opposed to Marxists and socialism.
In a pathetic interview with Salon, Goldberg is confronted with actual Mussolini quotes and defends himself by admitting he can't remember the texts and "And if you get too caught up in the labels, rather than the policies, you get yourself into something of a pickle" and "I bet you if you gave me an hour I could find places where he once again says nice things about Marxism" and "I think the problem is you get into one of these sort of overly doctrinal, 'let's go to the text' approaches where words get confused for things."
The interview is at salon.com/news/feature/2008/01/11/goldberg/index.html and is just one of many examples of stuff Solot ignores.
At the end of the review Solot concedes to the presence of ad hominem attacks, but he dishonestly pretends they all come at the end when they are, in fact, pervasive. The line "The white male is the Jew of liberal fascism" isn't just some throwaway line, it's central to the premise of entire chapters. This is a book which says the presence of gays among Nazi officers means gay rights activists are fascist. This is a book which tries to blame the KKK on the left.
Solot has written a dishonest review about a dishonest work.