Shape the Future of Arts in Chicago, Join the Discussion of Chicago Cultural Plan 2012

By Patty Wetli | Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Join the discussion about Chicago's Cultural Plan. Credit: Flickr/ttarasiuk

Remember when Harold Washington was a mayor, not a library? That’s how long its been since Chicago created its official Cultural Plan. Leave it to a former ballet dancer to revisit the subject.

Over the next month, a series of discussions are planned to involve the city’s various neighborhoods in the process of developing Chicago Cultural Plan 2012, a blueprint for the future of Chicago’s arts and cultural community. The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events brings its road show to CSJ‘s neck of the woods on Thursday, March 1, 6-8 p.m., at the Cambodian American Heritage Museum, 2831 W. Lawrence Ave. Registration required.

With world-class museums, restaurants and institutions like the Chicago Symphony and Steppenwolf Theater, there’s little question of the importance of the arts to Chicago: it creates jobs, to the tune of 150,000; attracts businesses and visitors; and generates $2 billion for the city’s economy. Equally important, it provides an environment conducive to creativity and innovation, and countless opportunities for residents to engage in and experience cultural activities.

The original plan included a number of no-brainers–”extend hours Cultural Center is open”–as well as grand designs like revitalizing Navy Pier and developing a downtown theater district. It also advocated for increased arts funding in education budgets and we all know what happened there.

A key goal for the 2012 plan is to extend more arts programming into neighborhoods. Here’s an opportunity for residents to shoot for the moon. When it comes to theater, dance, art, design, literature, film, music, fashion, style, food and drink, what do you want for yourself and future generations?

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