Mayor Lightfoot, DCASE and Local Arts Community Announce New “Chicago Arts and Culture: Funding and Futures” Series
Digital survey and a series of input sessions in January will gather perspectives on the challenges and opportunities faced by Chicago creatives
DCASE Communications firstname.lastname@example.org
CHICAGO—Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) Commissioner Erin Harkey along with Arts Alliance Illinois and the Chicago Cultural Alliance today announced Chicago Arts and Culture: Funding and Futures — a series of input sessions throughout January to gather perspectives on the challenges and opportunities faced by Chicago creatives. The series includes two DCASE informational sessions, four deep-dive focus groups, and a digital survey. Chicagoans may register for one or more of the sessions and share their insights at ArtsAlliance.org/chicagofundingandfutures.
“Especially after the year we have just endured, the continued revitalization of our arts and culture scene remains essential to our ability to recover from this pandemic on a socioeconomic level,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “Through this new series, we will be able to deepen this work by further centering the needs and ideas of our creative community. I am beyond proud to continue offering these kinds of resources to our artists and creatives in 2022 and look forward to hearing their unique perspectives.”
Last year, the City provided $100 million in funds to support the arts landscape, including “Arts77,” a recovery plan that leverages over $60 million in initial funding to support local creatives. Additionally, as part of its 2022 budget, the City will make $26 million in new arts and culture investments — all told making Chicago one of the top major U.S. cities in government support for arts recovery and artist relief.
“We’re excited to team up with Arts Alliance Illinois and the Chicago Cultural Alliance to gather vital community perspectives to guide our grantmaking strategies and other work in the coming year — and contribute to the wider citywide planning initiative, ‘We Will Chicago,’” said DCASE Commissioner Harkey.
DCASE Informational Sessions (virtual):
Tuesday, January 11, 5:30–7pm
Friday, January 21, 2–3:30pm
These large sessions offer an opportunity to hear directly from new DCASE Commissioner Erin Harkey. DCASE will present details about their increased funds, highlights from recent research and program assessments, and plans for strategic direction moving forward, followed by a Q&A session.
Focus Group Discussions (virtual, space limited):
Wednesday, January 5, 10am–12pm
Friday, January 14, 1–3pm
Tuesday, January 18, 10am–12pm
Wednesday, January 19, 1–3pm
Join a deep-dive discussion with other Chicagoans about the challenges and opportunities facing Chicago creatives. These small sessions will be facilitated by the Covey Group and offer opportunities to have substantive conversations about ways we can work together to strengthen Chicago’s arts and culture sector, including the wider citywide planning initiative, “We Will Chicago,” and DCASE’s grantmaking approach.
Chicago creatives and arts lovers who can’t attend an event are urged to fill out an online survey. Responses to this survey will be combined with feedback from the informational sessions and focus group discussions and reflected in a report.
Chicagoans may register for one or more of the sessions and share their insights at ArtsAlliance.org/chicagofundingandfutures.
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Arts Alliance Illinois
Arts Alliance Illinois fights for arts resources and policies that benefit our members and all Illinois residents. With 25,000 active subscribers and hundreds of members, we connect the people and ideas that are shaping the future of the creative sector. As the only multidisciplinary organization concentrated on the strength of arts and culture across the state, the Alliance takes on challenges that no single organization or artist can fight alone. Our work in civic engagement, arts education, and cultural equity positively impacts every community across the state. Visit artsalliance.org to learn more.
Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
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 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. For more information, visit chicago.gov/dcase.
Chicago Cultural Alliance
The Chicago Cultural Alliance (CCA) is an active consortium of over 40 cultural heritage museums, centers, and historical societies that span 30 neighborhoods and nine suburbs in the Chicago area and represent over 30 different cultures from around the world. Their vision is a city where all communities have a voice, and cross-cultural dialogue and collaboration are an integral part of Chicago’s civic fabric. Learn more about their mission, members, and programs at chicagoculturalalliance.org.