Chicago Cultural Plan to Be 65 Percent Complete by Early 2014, Leaders Say

By Lizzie Schiffman on February 6, 2013 8:07am 

 The Cultural Advisory Council reviewed the status of the 2012 Cultural Plan during a meeting at the Chicago Cultural Center Tuesday.
The Cultural Advisory Council reviewed the status of the 2012 Cultural Plan during a meeting at the Chicago Cultural Center Tuesday.
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Flickr/La Sequencia

CHICAGO — The city's ambitious 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan is already 20-percent complete, and will be nearly two-thirds done by early 2014, Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events' (DCASE) commissioner Michelle Boone said at a Cultural Advisory Council meeting Tuesday.

The Cultural Plan, unveiled in October after months of public meetings, is the city's first expansive effort to improve its arts presence since 1986. It consists of 241 initiatives focused on improving "creative industries," promoting tourism, developing more "cultural districts" and increasing arts education through a partnership with Chicago Public Schools.

Of more than 40 initiatives already completed, DCASE highlighted new high school arts graduation requirements and the completion of an Arts Education Plan to be released this spring among their successes. The department also touted studies of Uptown, Cermak and Bronzeville as possible areas for cultural development, and the beginnings of a cultural tourism strategy that will be released by fall of this year.

The city hopes to complete 45 percent of those initiatives within 12 to 15 months, making the entire plan 65-percent complete at that time, Boone said Tuesday.

Boone also revealed her department's new mission statement — "to enrich Chicago's artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy" — which she said she "loved."

"I mean, that's the essence of what we want to ground our work on," she explained. "How can we make sure that what we do here in this department is supporting the cultural community, how are we helping to promote the city as a real, vital hub for creative activity?"

Boone also outlined the four ojectives of DCASE's strategic plan: To foster a robust, healthy arts community where artists and cultural organizations thrive; to achieve global prominence for Chicago's arts and culture; to ensure that all arts and culture are accessible to all residents; and to strengthen Chicago's economy through the advancement of culture and the arts.

The next Cultural Advisory Committee meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, June 4, at 4 p.m. at the Chicago Cultural Center. It is open to the public.

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