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Chicago Cultural Plan Released

By Chuck Sudo in News on Oct 15, 2012 6:00PM

The Chicago Cultural Center. (Photo credit: Bart Palka)

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events released the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan this morning. The Plan, which has been months in the making and saw DCASE hold neighborhood meetings and town halls across Chicago, is an ambitious one yet still a plan peppered with marketing buzz words and vague as to how it will be funded.

The mayor said in the statement the Plan was the result of all that interaction between DCASE and city residents. (Although we suspect the helping hands of the Canadian marketing company that helped draft it played a role.)

“Fueled by participation from residents from all corners of the city, Chicago’s new cultural plan identifies ways the arts can build community, stimulate economic development, create jobs, attract visitors and foster innovation for years to come.”

Some of the main initiatives of the plan include”

  • Making equal arts education a reality, from the moment children first head to school to well into adulthood.
  • Attract and retain creative professionals in Chicago
  • Identify and expand the reach of neighborhood cultural organizations
  • Connect downtown arts organizations with their counterparts in the outlying neighborhoods
  • Expand public art projects and neighborhood cultural planning.

The plan still places an emphasis on improving Chicago’s status as a tourist destination and using Chicago’s cultural class as an economic business model. This would involve expanding existing trusts and non-profits and establishing new ones, while DCASE and larger arts organizations would work on corporate sponsorships, offer real estate incentives to companies toward cultural contributions and make the regulations process for public art easier to navigate.

The Cultural Plan does specify Emanuel’s Chicago Infrastructure Trust would place an emphasis on cultural projects. This means that transparency could become an issue as the Trust doesn’t fall under Freedom of Information Act requests. And with no new fees or taxes in the works with Emanuel’s 2013 budget, just where the money will come to put the Plan in action will bear watching.

DCASE claims 59 percent of the over initiatives laid out in the Plan will be implemented in the next 18 months, and one-third of the initiatives would cost $50,000 or less.

Final CCP2012 Plan

Final CCP2012 Infographic