Mayor Rahm Emanuel And DCASE Mark One-Year Anniversary Of Chicago Cultural Plan 2012

October 30, 2013

Half of the 241 Initiatives in the Cultural Plan Have Been Addressed to Date; Plans for Continued Funding and New Stewardship Committee; Cultural Plan to Receive the 2013 Burnham Award for Excellence in Planning

Mayor’s Press Office    312.744.3334

Jamey Lundblad    312.744.2493

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) Commissioner Michelle T. Boone today announced that approximately half of the 241 initiatives in the Chicago Cultural Plan have been addressed to date and the formation of a new stewardship committee for the Chicago Cultural Plan will be organized by Arts Alliance Illinois. Mayor Emanuel also reiterated his commitment to funding Cultural Plan implementation via the 2014 City budget.

“The Chicago Cultural Plan is the centerpiece of our strategy to elevate the city as a global destination for creativity, innovation and excellence in the arts,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “With advocacy and support from an independent group of advisors, the Cultural Plan will continue to create a framework to guide the city’s future cultural and economic growth for many years to come.”

Released in October 2012 and funded by Allstate Insurance Company, The Chicago Community Trust and the Illinois Arts Council – produced with the assistance of Lord Cultural Resources – the Chicago Cultural Plan was the first new plan for strengthening the city’s arts and culture sector in more than 25 years.

The proposed 2014 City budget includes a $1.25 million investment to support initiatives of the Chicago Cultural Plan. Additionally, Arts Alliance Illinois will bring together a high-level group of advisors by the end of the year to inform the development of an impact framework to measure progress toward the Chicago Cultural Plan’s top priorities.

“We’re thrilled with our progress so far and grateful for the continued support of Mayor Emanuel and our community and cultural partners,” said Commissioner Michelle T. Boone. “Half of the 241 initiatives in the Cultural Plan have been addressed to date.”

“We are pleased to partner with the City of Chicago to advance the Cultural Plan,” said Ra Joy, Executive Director of Arts Alliance Illinois. “The stewardship committee, to be formed under the leadership of Arts Alliance Illinois, will be charged with advocating for, promoting and monitoring the implementation of the Plan’s top-line priorities.”

On November 1, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) will honor DCASE with the 2013 Burnham Award for Excellence in Planning. Since 1988, MPC has presented the Burnham Award to a plan that measurably creates more livable communities, addresses human capital, improves regional mobility or makes government more efficient. This year, MPC will present DCASE with the award for the Chicago Cultural Plan 2012. The award will be presented at the organization’s Annual Luncheon.

The Chicago Cultural Plan contains a set of 10 priorities, 36 recommendations and 200+ ideas for making them a reality, within four categories: People, Places, Policies and Planning Culturally. Following are highlights of initiatives completed and the significant progress made within the past year by DCASE, other City departments and numerous community and cultural partners.

People – Investing in youth and creative workforce

  • 487 CPS staff identified as Arts Liaisons, 77% coverage in program’s first year
  • 376 CPS schools have completed the Creative Schools Certification, 60% of schools
  • 415 Arts Partners in CPS schools in 2012-2013, +70% identified over 2011-2012
  • 207,964 youth participated in Summer of Learning 2013 initiative at libraries, museums, parks
  • 71,000 children read 2.1 million books in Chicago Public Library “Rahm’s Readers” program
  • 1st Chicago Music Summit and Chicago Film + Media Summit presented by DCASE

Places – Growing access to the arts and supporting strong, vibrant neighborhoods

  • 189,000 people participated in Night Out in the Parks in 230 Chicago Park District locations
  • 47 neighborhood music festivals, 35 neighborhood food festivals counted by new Choose Chicago neighborhood asset inventory
  • 51 communities highlighted on new Choose Chicago neighborhood tourism website
  • 12 “People Spots” in 2013 (expanded from 4 pilots last year) via CDOT’s “Make Way for People” placemaking initiative
  • 8/27/2013 groundbreaking of The 606 and Bloomingdale Trail

Policies – Creating a pro-culture government that is responsive and efficient

  • 200 grants totaling $1.2 million awarded via re-launched, online Cultural Grants Program
  • 17 food trucks highlighted at 8 events presented by DCASE
  • 12/9/2013 Artists Health Care Town Hall to be presented by DCASE
  • 25th, 45th, 48th = Chicago wards now with designated arts coordinators
  • 1st Chief Small Business Officer hired by Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection to streamline permit and licensing reviews

Planning Culturally – Fostering collaborations to promote culture

  • 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan incorporated into other City plans: Chicago Technology Plan, Healthy Chicago (Public Health), Chicago Pedestrian Plan (Transportation)
  • 6,200 tickets sold to 300 performances during first-ever Chicago Theatre Week presented by League of Chicago Theatres with Choose Chicago
  • 513,000+ diners served during Chicago Restaurant Week presented by Choose Chicago with 280 participating restaurants

The Chicago Cultural Plan has also been embraced by the private sector, with several foundations now seeking to fund arts projects that implement and advance the Cultural Plan.

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors.

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