chicago is developing a cultural plan in 2012. last cultural plan was developed circa 1986 –
– it would be great to have a discourse/meeting on this original plan and how it could potentially inform the upcoming plan
here is a link to 1986 cultural plan in pdf – http://www.cityofchicago.org/content/dam/city/depts/dca/general/ChicagoCulturalPlan.pdf
below is language from 1986 plan:
A TRIBUTE TO CHICAGO
Over 150 years, Chicago has evolved from a small prairie city to a dynamic cultural center of
international status. Therefore, it is fitting that we celebrate Chicago’s Sesquicentennial by
presenting the city with its first comprehensive, cohesive strategy for nurturing our artistic
and cultural resources.
Chicago is alive with culture. Every corner of the city is literally bursting with cultural
and artistic activity – with neighborhood dance troupes and community theater, jazz and
blues musicians and symphony orchestras, sculptors, painters and writers – all contributing
to the great excitement and ethnic diversity that makes Chicago so remarkable.
But culture is a precious resource that requires careful attention. I t is an integral part of
Chicago’s spirit and an underpinning of Chicago’s economic well-being. Yet this city has
never before developed a long-range, coordinated plan for culture and the arts. Now, thanks
to the work of so many dedicated Chicagoans, we have one.
f commend the diligence and vision of those who pursued the development of the
plan, in particular Commissioner Fred Fine, Advisory Board Chair Jessie Woods, Planning
Committee Chair Robert Hutchins and Director of the Plan Michael C. Dorl.
f especially salute the thousands of Chicagoans and hundreds of organizations that
contributed their time and ideas to the development of this plan.
With the Chicago Cultural Plan, we pay tribute to the cultural greatness of Chicago
and pledge to enhance and showcase that greatness for generations to come.
A STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES
The individual artist is at the foundation of our cultural heritage. The ability of artists
to pursue the arts as a career and earn a living wage is basic to the growth and stability of our cultural diversity.
Thousands of cultural organizations and community organizations with cultural com
ponents throughout the city have an enormous impact on the lives of our citizens.
Our large cultural institutions are recognized around the world for excellence. They
enrich the lives of our citizens, draw tourists, and contribute to the city’s economy. Their continued support is essential to the health of the city. Cultivation of audiences and an emphasis on arts appreciation is necessary to continuing cultural development.
Cultural activities should be accessible to the disabled, the elderly and low income
people, both as audience and participants.
Cultural vitality is important to our economy and community development. The cultural sector employs thousands; cultural organizations bring identity to downtown and the neighborhoods; and our cultural diversity helps business maintain a quality workforce that wants to live in Chicago.
The public and private sectors have a responsibility to cultivate the development of the city’s cultural life.
Chicago’s culture is a collage of many cultures that sometimes stand separately, sometimes merge with each other. The heritage of Chicago’s European Ethnic groups, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans and others make rich contributions to our cultural life.
City resources available for cultural support should be distributed on a fair and equitable basis, both among diverse cultures and between citywide and neighborhood-based cultural institutions.
Excellence in the arts is a continuing objective that underlies the entire Chicago Cultural Plan.
Culture comprises our common heritage and avenues of expression – the visual arts
and crafts, humanities, anthropology, science and technology, performing arts, architecture and other means of expression – which people use to communicate their fundamental character and aspirations. Culture and the arts are essential to the quality of life. They help identify our place in the world and provide opportunities for creative expression. With this plan, Chicago states its commitment to providing citizens with these opportunities.
A NEW BEGINNING
The Chicago Cultural Plan is a comprehensive strategy for nourishing and cultivating culture in our city. It proposes to chart a new course by combining our many fine artistic and educational resources into a single voice that says “Culture matlers.” The Chicago Cultural Plan is without precedent in its scope and the grassroots process by which it was crafted. It took shape from the recommendations and observations of thousands of Chicago citizens as well as hundreds of cultural, civic and community groups. It goes to the heart of the rationale for establishing the Department of Cultural Affairs, which
grew out of a recommendation by Mayor Washington’s 1983 Transition Team Report. From the outset, our tenets were:
Culture and the arts are vital to the quality of our lives and should be so recognized in all aspects of municipal planning.
Cultural resources must be accessible and fairly distributed to all to ensure the continued and historically vital contributions of all segments of our diverse culture. Culture is important to our economy by employing thousands of people, attracting new businesses, revitalizing neighborhoods and drawing hundreds of thousands of tourists to the city each year.
The Cultural Plan embraces these principles in a manner that celebrates the cultural
diversity of the city.
The plan was one of the first projects undertaken by the new Department of Cultural
Affairs. Under the direction of Michael C. Dorl, we began work in earnest after the City Council’s unanimous approval of a resolution presented by Mayor Harold Washington in April 1985, to accept a two-year funding grant from the Chicago Community Trust for development of a plan.
This plan is not a finished document. In our rapidly changing urban environment, it
must be viewed as a thoughtful beginning … a dynamic plan that will continue to respond to fluctuating circumstances and ongoing funding requirements.
One very important task has already been achieved by the Plan … and that is tile very process. It has had a leavening effect on much of the cultural community. It has awakened some, reinvigorated others, and met head-on the doubts and skepticism from those who believe that too often their concerns are overlooked or just get lip service. Perhaps most importantly, our meetings were attended not only by artists and arts administrators but also by many who for the first time talked about what art and culture could do for their community and their personal lives.
This summary of the plan will be supplemented with ongoing policy papers and expanded treatment of many concerns barely touched upon here. A major supplementary document will be available May I. 1987.
Our city owes a debt of gratitude to Robert A. Hutchins, who chaired the Planning Committee, appointed from among the members of the Advisory Board by our esteemed Chair, Jessie A. Woods. In my long history, 1have never experienced such commitment and wise generalship. And no project director has given of himself more than Mike Dorf and his staff in the difficult task of seeking a true synthesis of the unprecedented democratic process pursued here. I must also salute and thank Nick Rabkin, Deputy Commissioner of Cultural Affairs; Madeline Rabb, Director of the Chicago Office of Fine Arts; Lois Weisberg, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Special Events; and Kathryn Darrell, Director of the Office of Film and Entertainment Industries, for their ongoing, invaluable contributions.
Let us now join forces to transform this Plan into a liVing realization of OUf finest cultural aspirations.
Departlllent ofC”lt”ml Affairs
We met in church basements in West Town and bank boardrooms in Albany Park. In union halls in South Chicago and park fieldhouses in Austin. In libraries, movie houses, schools … dance studios, community centers, theaters} museums … and in every other place where people could come together. And they came. They came to South Shore in the middle of a blizzard and to Beverly in the midst of a summer thunderstorm. To Pilsen on a dark Wednesday night and to Lincoln Square on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Parents came, and kids came, and businessmen, and aldermen, and teachers, and librarians, and historians, and artists and artisans of every kind. They told us of ways to use the arts in the everyday life of the city. They told us of the joy the arts bring to the soul. We realized again and again the central role the arts play in our life in Chicago and in Chicago’s role and image in the world at large. In all, thousands of Chicagoans participated in setting forth a vision for the cultural future of Chicago. They are the authors of the Chicago Cultural Plan.
Michael C. Dorf
Chicago Cultural Plan
The Chicago Cultural Plan has been developed over the past two years through an intensive citywide effort to analyze the city’s cultural needs and opportunities and to develop recommendations for action. All this work will have been in vain unless there is a concerted effort to turn this plan into action.
Some of the recommendations will require primarily the interest and efforts of city
government and cultural organizations, while other recommendations will require additional funding.
A variety of players will carry out these recommendations: city government agencies, political leaders, community groups, cultural institutions, individual artists, private businesses, foundations, concerned citizens and others.
Tlie overall responsibility for this mission, liowever, rests witH the Department of Cultural Affairs. The Advisory Board to the Department of Cultural Affairs is charged with overseeing the Department’s implementation of the plan and setting future goals. There will be an annual report to update the city on the progress of the Chicago Cultural Plan.
CULTURAL POLICY IN CITY GOVERNMENT
Department of Cultural Affairs
The Department of Cultural Affairs is the principal advocate and spokesperson in city government for cultural development and funding. As the umbrella agency for the Chicago Office of Fine Arts, the Mayor’s Office of Special Events and the Office of Film and Entertainment Industries, it can be instrumental in coordinating and advocating cultural concerns.
However, limitations in its resources and the current scope of its responsibilities restrict the Department’s ability to mediate cultural concerns effectively. Such coordination could streamline and strengthen the impact of city support for cultural activities.
R E COM M E N D A T IO N
Strengthen the ability of the Department of Cultural Affairs to streamline city cultural
programming among the various agencies and to act as an advocate for cultural concerns in such areas as codes, transportation, planning and education. C>= <C
Confirm the role of the Department of Cultural Affairs in the subcabinets of Development and Community Services.
Encourage closer cooperation between the Department, the Illinois Arts Council and
the Illinois Humanities Council.
Increase the staff and resources of the Department, including the Chicago Office of
Fine Arts, the Mayor’s Office of Special Events and the Office of Film and Entertainment Industries, enabling them to administer more effectively services such as technical assistance and grants programs.
Expand the Department’s search for joint public-private partnerships, with foundations and corporate supporters, for example.
An effective, energetic marketing of Chicago cultural activities can further increase the tremendous contribution that culture makes to the city’s economy. The international reputation of Chicago as an arts center is a major factor in attracting conventions and hundreds of thousands of tourists. The richness of our cultural activities is an important economic resource to develop. Restaurants, hotels, transportation industries, parking garages and retail businesses all profit from a dynamic and well-marketed “Chicago Culture.”
R E c o M M E N D A T I o N s
Assist and train cultural organizations to develop cooperative promotions to targeted
Create a task force to encourage and promote cultural tourism. The task force would consist of tourism agencies. such as the Chicago Tourism Council and the Chicago Convention and Visitors Bureau, and other organizations with a strong interest in tourism, such as the Illinois Restaurant Association and the League of Chicago Theaters.
Create and market a “Chicago Card,” an all-purpose admission card that tourists could use at a variety of the city’s attractions.
Support the Chicago Tourism Council’s efforts to offer membership activities and expand its services in order to ensure a secure funding base.
Create an “Office of Cultural Exchange” within the Department of Cultural Affairs to
facilitate national and international cultural tours. Incorporate arts, architectural and humanities exhibits and performances into city funded promotional and marketing programs.
Arts and culture are powerful tools for economic development. For example, a study commissioned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey stated that the arts and culture have a $5.6 billion annual impact on the economy of the New York City metropolitan area. In addition to the contribution that the arts industry, both commercial and not-for-profit, has on Chicago’s economy, our reputation as an arts center is a large factor in attracting new business. We should more fully explore and promote the economic role of arts and culture in Chicago.
R E c o M M E N D A TI o N s
Prepare an “Economic Impact of Arts Study” for the region as a coordinated city interagency effort to demonstrate the large contribution that culture makes to our economy and to outline areas where that contribution can be increased.
Establish Cultural Enterprise Zones in which commercial and nonprofit cultural organizations have clustered office spaces, rehearsal and performance spaces, retail boutiques and galleries, along with studio and living spaces for individual artists. There would be initial tax incentives and subsidies to attract cultural organizations and private investors. Such zones have been successfully established in Seattle and Buffalo.
Create Cultural Incubator projects, to assist in the establishment and spin-off of cultural and arts businesses.
Maintain and coordinate a cultural development component in Chicago Works Together II: Chicago’s development plan.
Explore new tools to maintain and expand Chicago’s share of the feature film and television production industry in cooperation with the Illinois Film Office. These include the feasibility of a major new production soundstage, a revolving film financing fund and tax incentives.
The Park District
Since its founding in 1934, the Chicago Park District has sought to integrate the arts into the daily lives of Chicago residents. In addition to its extensive fieldhouse cultural facilities, the Park District hosts eight of the nation’s most celebrated history, art and science cultural institutions.
While many of the fieldhouse cultural facilities have fallen into disuse and disrepair,
the Chicago Park District has rekindled its desire to be a more active participant in our cultural community. I t has recenlly added the Mexican Fine Arts Center and the South Shore Cultural Center to the roster of outstanding institutions on park land.
R E c o M M E N D A TI o N s
Institute close cooperation between the Department of Cultural Affairs and the Chicago Park District to achieve the objectives of the Cultural Plan.
Make Park District facilities more available to local cultural organizations and artists.
Encourage cooperative programming between the Park District and cultural and arts
Further enhance cooperation between the Park District and the city’s expanding festival programs directed by the Office of Special Events.
Strengthen and expand the financial support of cultural institutions on Park
Public art demonstrates a city’s commihnent to bring beauty to its citizens’ everyday lives. Chicago already has an international reputation for outstanding public art. We will preserve and enlarge that reputation by reaffirming our commitment to commissioning new public art.
R E c o M M E N D A T I o N S
Strengthen the city’s Percent for Art program by mandating that a full one percent of
new construction or redevelopment costs of all public facilities be devoted to acquiring art for those facilities.
To ensure benefits for the performing arts from this program, consider allocating up to fifty percent of the funds to a new trust for public performance facilities.
Extend the Percent for Art program to private development projects with public subsidies or financing.
Shift oversight of the Public Art Program from the Department of Public Works to the Department of Cultural Affairs so it can coordinate public art initiatives in all city departments (such as Department of Aviation, Board of Education, Park District and City Colleges).
Commission public art works for the O’Hare Airport expansion, the Southwest Rapid
Transit route, the new public library, Wright Junior College and other public places over the next five years.
Expand active participation of neighborhood representatives in the selection of public art works, and indude a healthy proportion of Chicago artists in the selections.
Lobby for the restoration of funding for public art in federally-assisted public transportation projects.
CITY WIDE COMMUNICATION AND COOPERATION
Communication About Programs and Resources
The one concern we heard again and again, in meetings held across the city, was the need to increase communication about the programs and resources we already have. Increased communication between the multitude of arts and cultural organizations can help them coordinate scheduling and promotion; alert them to additional resources available; and
perhaps most importantly, allow them to work together to increase their overall impact in the city. In addition, we must increase communication between arts groups and audiences.
Too often the public is unaware of the wealth of available programs in the city. Many mechanisms for reaching broad audiences already exist, such as the branch system of the Chicago Public Library. We can more fully utilize such networks.
R E c o M M E N D A T I o N s
Support development of a citywide calendar of events.
Publish a “Cultural Directory” listing programs, services and funding available from
city government and other public agencies.
Expand the scope and distribution of the Chicago Area “Technical Assistance Hand
book” to provide a comprehensive directory of resources and services available to artists and arts organizations.
Increase ongoing communication between arts service organizations to expand information-sharing, scheduling and long-range planning. For example, the Cultural Collaborative Network and the Grant Park Cultural and Educational Community already bring groups together to share programming, promotional and collaborative activity.
Encourage radio and television to provide more cultural and public service announcements during regular listening and viewing hours.
Promote the works of local film and video makers through the Chicago Public Library system, by distributing their works on cassettes to the branch libraries.
Feature the works of Chicago artists and performers on the two municipal cable television stations, such as on the new “Music Alive” program.
Provide advertising space free of charge to cultural and arts organizations on CTA buses and trains.
Promote tour programs that increase awareness of the arts, culture and architecture.
Public Access to Cultural Programming
Much cultural programming is presented in Chicago without adequate audience support. And, many Chicagoans interested in participating in cultural activities either feel that the programming presented does not reflect their divelSe cultural interests or are unaware of available opportunities. We must bring together these programs and audiences to the mutual benefit of each.
R E c o M M E N D A T I o N S
Expand neighborhood outreach programs by center city institutions, to attract larger
audiences downtown and to bring appropriate exhibits and performances to the communities.
Encourage more community content in the programming of center city and major cultural institutions.
Use public access cable television channels to promote cultural activities as another method of attracting a broader audience.
Encourage tlte development of a citywide radio network for arts programming to bring cultural experiences to radio listenelS at home and on the move.
Expand off-peak public transportation services on days when there are significant cultural activities or to sites where cultural events are occurring.
Community Arts Councils and Cultural Planning
Cultural planning in communities is sporadic. Agroup will assemble to organize an event and then disappear. And all too often, one group will offer a program that others in the community know nothing about. With no central coordination and communication, the overall effectiveness and impact of community cultural activities is greatly diminished, and community resources are not shared. A number of community arts councils have been formed as a result of the Cultural Plan meetings. The Austin Arts Council and Near Northwest Arts Council are located in areas which have strong leadership and are already working to increase the visibility and positive benefits of cultural activities.
R E c o M M E N D A T Io N S
Encourage the organization of a network of community arts councils through assistance by the Department of Cultural Affairs. A community arts council, consisting of representatives from neighborhood arts groups, schools, parks, libraries and businesses, can help its community by coordinating and promoting cultural activities.
Provide grants to develop and maintain community arts councils through the Department of Cultural Affairs.
Provide seed money and technical assistance through the Department of Cultural Affairs for cultural planning in the neighborhoods.
Encourage arts councils to assist in the planning of neighborhood festivals.
Living and Work Space for Artists and Arts Organizations
More than anything else, artists and arts groups need affordable and adequate living and work space. A “space of one’s own” is an essential requirement for creativity. But financial resources are scarce, market forces hostile and antiquated city codes discourage efforts to acquire space. According to a 1983 study by the National Endowment for the Arts, Chicago was the only one of eight major cities surveyed with no policy of support for artists’ space needs.
R E c o M M E N D A T I o N S’ =
Better utilize existing arts spaces in park fieldhouses, schools and libraries. The Chicago Park District, for example, has 48 fieldhouse auditoriums with stages. Only 35 of them are in use for arts activities.
Make available to cultural organizations, on reasonable terms, vacant city-owned buildings for redevelopment.
Create a “Space Registry” to help arts groups and individuals find appropriate, affordable living and work space.
Review and revise the city zoning code to permit artists to live and work in the same space.
Review and update building codes in cooperation with all affected interest groups to
eliminate inconsistencies and conflicting interpretations.
Assess the real estate of artists (if owner occupied) and cultural and arts organizations at lower rates.
Community Cultural Centers
Every community also expressed a need for a “space of its own” for arts and cultural activities. A cultural center can bring an additional focus to the community by providing challenging programs for its youth, stimulating the local economy and offering new opportunities for local artists and arts groups.
R E c o M M E N D A T o N s
Assist communities in determining the feasibility and planning of community cultural
centers, as is being done by the Department of Cultural Affairs at the Hild Cultural Center in the Lincoln Square area.
Develop public-private partnerships to create such centers where feasible.
Make vacant city-owned property available, where appropriate, for redevelopment as
community cultural centers, and help identify other public or private property for this purpose.
Make city financing and other resources available to community cultural center rede
velopment projects. Both the Viatorian Mansion development and the Mexican Fine Arts Center have received public support of this kind.
Bring existing and new community cultural centers into a citywide network of centers.
Equip certain cultural centers – in geographically diverse areas of the city – with
features such as climate controlled galleries, adequate stage area and security to permit them to host exhibits and performances from downtown institutions and touring groups.
Establish local control and possible ownership of community cultural centers. Com
munities would be responsible for programming and maintenance of centers, with support from public agencies.
Plan to include appropriate revenue~producing and fundraising activities in community cultural centers to help underwrite the costs of operations.
Center City and Major Institutions
A vibrant city depends on the vitality of its cultural life. fn Chicago, our cultural institutions, including museums and performance facilities, have received international acclaim. These institutions greatly need resources for renovation, expansion, and sometimes, for new facilities. The private sector and the Park District have played leading roles in assisting organizations such as the Field Museum and the Art Institute with their facilities programs. The city and the private sector created a unique partnership to save the Chicago Theater. We must have more creative partnerships to meet the future needs of our great cultural institutions.
R E c o M M E N D A T o N s
Increase coordination of cultural facilities policy and planning among the Planning,
Economic Development, Public Works and Cultural Affairs departments.
Identify new public and private sector financing sources and techniques to support
development of new facilities and renovation of major institutions.
Identify tenants and private sector funding to supplement city financing for the redevelopment of Theater Rowan Dearborn Street.
Pursue private-public partnerships for the redevelopment of Navy Pier as a cultural
and recreational attraction, as suggested by the Mayor’s Navy Pier Task Force.
Include the Department of Cultural Affairs in the planning process to enhance the success of the new Chicago Public Library, the most important new cultural facility being constructed in the city.
Develop a two-fold policy of city support for major facilities development, both to major facilities without institutional affiliation (such as Theater Row or tbe Auditorium) and to existing major institutions (whether or not on Park District land).
The Cultural Center
Under the Department of Cultural Nfairs, in cooperation with the Chicago Public Library, the Cultural Center hosts 500 free programs and exhibits annually and has a fine reputation for thematic programming and showcasing of diverse local artists. But Cultural Center programming has been perceived as an addendum to the facility’s primary role as a library. There is a need for a full-fledged cultural center downtown that can highlight the very best of Chicago’s creativity and diversity, give prominence to the variety of our European Ethnic, Hispanic, Asian, Native American and Black arts traditions, diversify cultural offerings in the Loop and become the city’s star in Chicago’s cultural galaxy. The Cultural Center
has the potential to become such a facility.
R E c o M M E N o A TI o N s
Establish a joint committee to begin preliminary planning for the Cultural Center’s future as the new public library becomes a reality. The committee should consist of representatives from the Public Library, the Departrnentof Cultural Nfairs and otherconcemed parties.
Explore new funding sources for the further development and operation of the Cultural Center, including such current sources as the Library Fund, hoteUmotel tax fund, private sector financing and other revenue options.
Extend the number of hours the Cultural Center is currently open to the public.
Increase promotion of Cultural Center activities.
–TECHNICAL AND FINANCAL RESOURCES
Funding for Individual Artists and Cultural Organizations
Financial support from both the public and private sector is crucial to the survival of a healthy arts and cultural community. Direct federal support for the arts and humanities is among the lowest of all developed countries. While the private sector has been generous in its support for some elements of our cultural life, that too must be expanded and broadened. The City of Chicago started to support Chicago’s cultural life in a serious way only a few years ago. The growth of its support in the form of grants from the Department of Cultural Affairs has been great – particularly to organizations outside the parameters of mainstream philanthropy. Far more, however, must be done to support all facets of the city’s arts and cultural community, from individuals to community-based organizations to major and mid-sized institutions.
R E c o M M E N D A T I o N s
Increase the size and scope of the CityArts Grant program which provides both program and operating support for Chicago cultural institutions.
Increase the dollar amount of Neighborhood Arts Program grants for individual artists.
Initiate a fellowship program for artists to pursue their own work and inaugurate a
special artist awards program.
Provide grants – such as the forthcoming Department of Cultural Affairs “Commu
nity Arts Assistance Program,” funded with support from the Illinois Arts Council – to organizations with limited or no access to conventional funding source grants.
Advocate increased support from the Illinois Arts Council for the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs.
Create a revolving business loan fund for artists and cultural organizations, such as
the forthcoming Department of Cultural Affairs “Cultural Facilities Development Loan Program” offered in cooperation with the Department of Economic Development.
Subsidize rent to artists in publicly owned buildings for both living and work space in exchange for community service projects performed by those artists.
Provide sweat equity projects in which artist/tenants do post-construction work in exchange for ownership rights, similar to projects initiated in Minneapolis/St.Paul.
Strengthen the principles of peer selection and balanced distribution of grants to underscore equity and quality in all funding matters.
Technical and Materials Resource Centers for Artists and Not-far-Profit Cultural Groups
Many organizations need administrative support – such as access to office equipment and supplies – and help in obtaining costumes, props and other items specific to their discipline. A number of creative solutions have been developed by other cities with great success. Although in some cities these resource centers are funded and operated by the city, they could also be developed by the private sector or through a private-public partnership.
R E c o M M E N o A T I o N s
Create Administrative Support Centers where organizations can use office equipment
and supplies, such as telephone answering services, copy machines and mail drops.
Create a Materials and Supply Center, where organizations can apply for items such
as furniture, office and art supplies, as well as other materials donated by corporations, other arts organizations and individuals. New York’s Department of Cultural Affairs has successfully run such a center for years.
Create a Costume Bank, similar to the ones in San Francisco and New York State, where theater groups can both store and rent costumes.
Create Technical Equipment Banks specific to various arts diSciplines, so groups can
both store and rent such equipment as lights, public address systems and audio/visual equipment.
Administrative Training and Services for Cultural Organizations and Individuals
The need for assistance in management, financial planning and administrative skills necessary to operate a cultural organization was expressed frequently during the Cultural Plan meetings. Both public and private initiatives exist to provide administrative assistance, such as the ongoing program operated by the Business Volunteers for the Arts and management training programs offered at various schools, universities and the Department of Cultural Affairs. These efforts need to be broadened and made available to a larger segment of the cultural community.
R E c o M M E N D A T o N s
Increase management and administrative assistance programs for artists and cultural
organizations available at the Department of Cultural Affairs and through local colleges and universities.
Disseminate information more effectively on management and administrative seminars conducted by the Department of Cultural Affairs and other organizations.
Support and enlarge the pool of management consultants available to assist artists and cultural organizations.
Make management assistance programs offered by other city agencies available to artists, as many such programs are currently restricted to for-profit businesses.
–ARTS AND EDUCATiON
Elementary and Secondary Schools
The arts should be an integral part of schooling and reestablished as a priority in curricula. Viewed as an “add-on” to other subjects, the arts are too often the first program eliminated when school budgets are cut. Not only do we develop future arlists and audiences in school arts programs, but children are exposed to creative learning and problem-solving that expands their learning abilities.
The current Board of Education and General Superintendent have indicated not only
a willingness but a desire to return the arts to education. The Department of Cultural Affairs should work cooperatively with the Board and other non-public school systems to establish the arts as a component of basic education.
R E c o M M E N D A T i o N s
Offer a full program of arts in elementary and secondary education, including restoration of a two-year arts and music course requirement in secondary schools.
Advocate increased arts funding in education budgets.
Strengthen teacher education in the arts so that all teachers will have the ability to use the arts as a teaching tool.
Provide resources in the education budget to fund student access to a wide variety of cultural resources – such as museums, performing and visual arts – and to fund development of educational arts materials designed for the students.
Expand the Artist-in-Residence program of the lIIinois Arts Council, the arts in school programs of Urban Gateways, Young Audiences, and other organizations through additional education and cultural appropriations. All students can benefit from hands-on creative instruction from professional artists.
Enrich and expand the Lighted Schoolhouse Program, a program of afterschool activities for youth, with quality arts programming.
Adult and Continuing Education
Arts education does not stop at the schoolhouse door, but remains an important source of knowledge and creativity throughout our lives. By restoring a complete program of arts in adult and continuing education, Chicago citizens have the opportunity to fulfill their potential for creative expression and development.
R E c o M M E N D A T o N s
Include the full spectrum of arts diSciplines in continuing education programs.
Use cultural centers, park buildings, libraries and other facilities for adult and continuing education.
Advocate increased appropriations for the arts within continuing education budgets.
PAYiNG FOR THE PLAN
The cultural life of our city needs and deserves an influx of new dollars to realize the Plan’s recommendations. Some of the recommendations require little additional funding, but primarily involve the interest and effort of city departments and cultural organizations. Additional appropriations will be necessary, however, to implement many of the recommendations of the Cultural Plan. There are many innovative methods of financing recommended projects – some of which are noted throughout the plan – as well as services and programs which are revenue producing.There is also a pressing need for additional support from the private sector, through in-kind as well as monetary contributions. The city must use its leverage, through partnerships and other methods, to encourage increased corporate sponsorship of cultural activities.
R E c o M M E N D A T o N s
Increase appropriations – at the city, state and federal l eve l – for existing and new
Include cultural projects in general obligation bond issues.
Create special purpose bond issues for cultural projects, as is done in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Broaden access to public bonding procedures for major cultural institutions, which has been done successfully in New York City.
Increase and earmark funds for joint cultural projects with other city departments, such as housing, jobs and public works programs.
Encourage development of programs through which corporations contribute to cul
tural and not-far-profit activities, such as Minneapolis’ “Five Percent Club” and other efforts currently under way in Chicago.
Dedicate a portion of the amusement tax on movie houses for film/video development. Currently, all such revenues go into the general treasury.
Eliminate the amusement tax on legitimate theater to stimulate commercial theater production, proViding a broader tax base. Chicago currently has the highest such levy in the nation.
Increase Chicago’s share of the state hoteUmotel tax, given the contribution that Chicago cultural activities bring to the economic health of Illinois.
Establish fee schedules for proposed city-operated materials and resource centers, similar to the fee schedules established in San Francisco.
Provide technical assistance to artists and cultural organizations, enabling them to move toward self-support.
A CULTURAL PLAN
FOR THE PEOPLE OF CH iCAGO:
THE GRASSROOTS CAMPAiGN
The Chicago Cultural Plan is based on the firm conviction that any blueprint for action is worthless unless the people affected are involved in the planning process. Although many cities have cultural plans, none has the scope and community input found in the Chicago Cultural Plan. The Cultural Plan took shape from the careful distillation of hundreds of suggestions and concerns. It is a plan by and for the city, built solidly upon the needs and aspirations of Chicago citizens. I t is not an attempt to impose one vision upon the city, butrather aplan that springs from the hearts and minds of the very people it seeks to serve. Cultural Plan Director Michael Dorf and his staff spent 18 months meeting with neighborhood, community and ethnic groups, as well as ‘vith representatives of all arts
disCiplines, cultural institutions, city departments and planning groups. In the process, they held more than 300 meetings and involved a total of 10,000 participants, induding the support and involvement of 36 aldermen.
Cultural Plan meetings were held in 65 Chicago community areas as established by the 1980 census report. Prior to each meeting, area leaders met to set an agenda. Notices were sent to members of local arts groups and community organizations and were posted on community bulletin boards to alert area residents to the meetings. Public service announcements and paid advertising were also used as appropriate. Three citywide meetings were held with Latino, Asian and Native American artists respectively, as well as a roundtable meeting co-sponsored by Urban Traditions and the Illinois Consultation on Ethnicity.
A special meeting was held for representatives of center city and major downtown
Six discipline-specific citywide meetings were held for professionals in dance, music,
literary arts, visual arts, film and video and theater.
Cultural Plan representatives met with labor and business leaders to seek their input
and support for the plan. Separate roundtables were held for major contributors to the arts; for organizations and agencies involved in city and regional planning; and for city departments such as Human Services, Parks and Economic Development, The Chicago Public Library and the Board of Education.
Input was solicited from Chicago area colleges and universities, from elementary and secondary school teachers and administrators and from other educational organizations such as the Archdiocese of Chicago. Citywide meetings were held with community and neighborhood organizations once the plan was drafted for their additional input and support.
A preliminary plan was presented at a citywide meeting on December 12, 1986, attended by 250 representatives from many of the organizations which participated in the planning meetings. Based on their final input, these recommendations are presented as a comprehensive plan designed to recognize and increase the crucial role that culture and the arts plays in the vitality and economic well-being of Chicago.
As members of the Board, we were the first of the many volunteers who became intimately involved in the development of the Chicago Cultural Plan. We have seen an increased recognition of the critical role that arts and culture play in every aspect of city life. We have witnessed a groundswell of citizen support and enthusiasm for the development of a sound cultural policy that recognizes this valuable role, as well as the role that our city’s cultural institutions and diverse neighborhood programs play in the city’s reputation at home, across
the nation and around the world. And we are very proud to be part of this great effort.
The members ofthe Cullural Affuirs Advisory Boord
(The Cultural Affairs Advisory Board is appointed by tht Mayor with consent of the City Council to represent neighborhood cultural organiznlions, practicing artists and the community al large. including business, labor and major citywide cultural
organizations. They have endorsed, supported and assisted the process which resulted in the development of this plan.)