Cultural Advisory Council September 1, 2015 Meeting Minutes

Meeting minutes were approved at the Cultural Advisory Council Meeting on Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at the Chicago Cultural Center's 5th Floor Millennium Park Room, 4-5pm.



Cultural Advisory Council ("CAC") Members: Chair Nora Daley, Homer Bryant, Antonia Contro, Mary Ittelson, Ra Joy, Eileen LaCario, Roell Schmidt, Howard Tullman, Chay Yew, and Angel Ysaguirre.

Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events ("DCASE") Staff: Commissioner Michelle T. Boone, Tracie Hall, Jamey Lundblad, David McDermott, Kenya Merritt, Matt Nielson, Erin Roberts, and Sue Vopicka.

Other: Marilynn Gardner, President and CEO, Navy Pier, Inc.; Amy Ege, Director of Development, Capital Campaigns, Navy Pier, Inc.; and Charles Adler, Kickstarter.


Nora Daley called the meeting to order and stated that voting on the minutes from the CAC meeting on February 3, 2015, would be put on hold as a quorum of eleven was not present. She recognized special guests Marilynn Gardner, Amy Ege, and Charles Adler. Ms. Daley congratulated CAC member Antonia Contro on Marwen’s recent expansion and the dedication of the Marwen Arts Campus.

Ms. Daley introduced Erin Roberts, DCASE’s new Deputy Commissioner of Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships and thanked outgoing CAC member Roell Schmidt for her service. She acknowledged the other outgoing members who were not in attendance – Anita Blanchard, Jay Franke, Diana Martinez, Mike Reed, and Rebeccah Sanders.

Commissioner Boone said that the meeting packets included a copy of Mayor Emanuel’s Second Term Priorities Committee - Recommendations for the Next Four Years report. She said that in 2011, Mayor Emanuel invited arts and cultural leaders to participate on his Transition Team and develop a set of recommendations to advance arts and culture in Chicago. She said that over the last several months, she had convened members of the 2011 Arts Transition Team, the CAC, and other key stakeholders to revisit the recommendations that were made to Mayor Emanuel at the start of his first term in 2011 and work to develop a new set of ideas and recommendations for his second term. She said that in July, the group provided the Mayor with a concise and thoughtful overview of the recommendations the team came up with in the areas of Arts Education, Economic Development, and Policy.

Commissioner Boone introduced Marilynn Gardner and Amy Ege who gave a Power Point presentation detailing the ongoing redevelopment of Navy Pier. Marilynn said that the Ferris wheel would soon shut down and be dismantled to make way for a brand new and 50-feet higher Ferris wheel to open in 2016 in celebration of Navy Pier’s centennial. Commissioner Boone asked if there were plans in place for permanent public art at the Pier and Marilynn replied that there was a committee working on scoping that out. Commissioner Boone then asked about plans for a grand re-opening. Marilynn said that the centennial year would kick off with the new Ferris wheel in May of 2016, followed by the America’s Cup racing event and then the arrival of the Tall Ships. She said that the centennial celebration would continue for the remainder of 2016 into 2017 and culminate in a major event that is in the planning stages.

Commissioner Boone then gave an overview of DCASE fall programming. She said that the Chicago Jazz Festival would kick off on Friday, September 4. She recognized CAC member Mike Reed for all of his help with the Festival. Commissioner Boone then spoke about the upcoming Fifth Star Awards to be held September 16 in Millennium Park. She said that the five honorees were Stanley Tigerman, Ella Jenkins, Sandra Cisneros, Norm Winer and the Joffrey Ballet. She thanked CAC member Eileen LaCario for her assistance in securing Rita Moreno to present the award to Sandra Cisneros and said that Sandra Delgado would pay tribute to Ms. Cisneros with a reading accompanied by music. She said Sweet Honey in the Rock would perform in honor of Ella Jenkins. She said that the Joffrey Ballet was celebrating its 20th anniversary in Chicago and its 60th season. She said that choreographer Christopher Wheeldon would present the award and that dancers from After School Matters and the Joffrey Ballet would perform. Commissioner Boone said that the theme of the Chicago Architecture Biennial – The State of the Art of Architecture – was inspired by Fifth Star honoree Stanley Tigerman’s 1977 conference of the same name and that Mr. Tigerman would be honored with two actors from Steppenwolf Theatre performing excerpts from his biography. She said that radio legend Norm Weiner would be honored with a performance by a tribute band and his award would be presented by Terri Hemmert.

The Commissioner said that this year’s Fifth Star Awards would include a new feature – the Rising Star Award given to Abdullah Quick, a young graphic design student. Howard Tullman inquired about tickets to the awards and Commissioner Boone said that all CAC members would receive an invitation via email.

She said that the Chicago Architecture Biennial would soon take over the Chicago Cultural Center. She said that CAC members would be notified of preview events. She thanked Angel Ysaguirre and Illinois Humanities for collaborating on public programming for the Biennial.

Commissioner Boone said that World Music Festival would kick off on September 10 in Millennium Park and that musicians would be coming to Chicago from 25 nations all over the world. She acknowledged DCASE staff member Carlos Tortolero for his work on the Festival.

Commissioner Boone then opened the floor for CAC member announcements. Homer Bryant said that the Chicago Multi-Cultural Dance Center was celebrating its 25 anniversary and that 83 new kids would be starting classes that week.

As there were no more announcements, Nora Daley adjourned the meeting.

Respectfully submitted, Sue Vopicka