Mayor Daley's Lasting Contribution To Chicago's Art Community
Photo by: sfmoe
Unlike other aspects of his position, Daley chose to not let his ego get in the way of the aesthetics, according to Lois Weisberg, commissioner for the Department of Cultural Affairs. "That is the problem that many people get into in high positions: They want to select what the (public) art should be," Weisberg said to the Tribune. "One of the reasons for (Daley's) success is that he had the good sense to realize that. You won't find anything in Chicago about which he says, 'Well, I picked that.' He has made it known if he's not terribly enthusiastic about a project...but he'll come to embrace it. The mayor did not ever impose his feelings to any (art curatorial) committee that I have seen, and that's a good lesson for people to learn."
Both Samuelson and Weisberg agreed that the new mayor needs to focus on neighborhood arts, something that Harold Washington made a priority during his administration. "If I were to give (a new mayor) advice, I would focus on the neighborhood arts. There's so much coming out of our neighborhoods. One needs to reach out into other neighborhoods besides their own," Weisberg said.