At the behest of Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is developing Chicago Cultural Plan 2012. While written for 2012, the target is what our city’s cultural scene will look like in 2030.
The first plan was developed in 1986 under Mayor Harold Washington. It was then revised in 1995 under Mayor Richard M. Daley. Many consider the transformation of Navy Pier into Illinois’ top tourist destination to be the pinnacle of the many results of these plans.
Now it’s 2012, and Mayor Emanuel wants to hear form you. Specifically, DCASE wants to hear from EVERYONE, the starving store front artist to potential multimillion-dollar corporate sponsor. To that end, DCASE is sponsoring meetings around the city. A few have been held already and there’s one more planned.
I attended last Thursday night’s meeting held at Senn High School on the far north side. About 100 attended with a cross section of young artists, higher ed faculty, concerned parents and even patrons of the arts. For much of the meeting, attendees were broken down into about nine brainstorming groups. The group I observed developed a case for the need for art education in K-12 schools, support through tax breaks and other means for the struggling artist, and, most especially, a need for culture events to spread out more into the neighborhoods, to serve as satellites to the rich and internationally renowned cultural events and institutions of the Loop and city center.
There is one more of these public planning events coming up—this Tuesday, February 21. Be sure to pre-register at the Chicago Cultural Plan 2012′s website. There you will find all sorts of information. There you will also find access to the Cultural Plan’s Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages.