Cultural Advisory Council ("CAC") Members: Chair Nora Daley, Vice Chair Marj Halperin, Carol Adams, Jeff Alexander, Homer Bryant, Barak adé Soleil, Carlos Hernandez-Falcon, Ra Joy, Eileen LaCario, Maria Pinto, Jane Saks, Amanda Williams, David Woolwine, 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, Sue Vopicka, Melanie Wang, and Danny Schulman.
Special Guests: Mike Puican, Board President, and Lisa Wagner, Executive Director, Guild Literary Complex
Commissioner Boone called the meeting to order and introduced Mike Puican and Lisa Wagner. Mr. Puican stated that the 4th Annual Brooks Day was taking place in the Chicago Cultural Center. He said that the Guild Literary Complex would soon announce its open call for poetry submissions for the 23rd Annual Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Award. He said that the 2017 centennial of Gwendolyn Brooks’ birth will be celebrated throughout Chicago and asked for the help of the CAC members with the citywide celebration. Lisa Wagner then read three poems by Ms. Brooks.
Nora Daley recognized new CAC members Carlos Hernandez-Falcon and Marshall Brown who were not able to attend the meeting on December 1, 2015. Nora congratulated CAC member David Woolwine on Allstate being named 2016 Corporate Citizen of the Year by The Executives’ Club of Chicago for their unmatched commitment to youth empowerment. She then motioned for the approval of meeting minutes from December 1, 2015, and those minutes were unanimously approved.
Commissioner Boone presented an overview of DCASE’s 2016 Summer Programming including the Chicago Gospel Music Festival that took place June 3 and 4; the Chicago Blues Festival from June 10-12; Chicago SummerDance to kick off on June 24; Taste of Chicago from July 6-10; Chicago Air & Water Show from August 20-21; Chicago Jazz Festival from September 1-4; World Music Festival Chicago from September 9-25; the Fifth Star Awards on September 14; Chicago Farmers Markets running from May through October; Maxwell Street Market open Sundays year-round; the Millennium Park Summer Music Series that kicked off on June 6 running through August 25; Millennium Park Summer Film Series running June 21 through August 30; Millennium Park Summer Workouts from June 1 through September 3; and the Grant Park Music Festival, Family Fun Festival, Millennium Park Presents series, Lurie Garden Events, and a new exhibition of Chakaia Booker’s work, all happening in Millennium Park.
Commissioner Boone then introduced Danny Schulman, Program Director/Visual Arts, who gave an overview of 2016 Chicago Cultural Center exhibitions including Pablo Helguera: Libreria Donceles; Present Standard; Theo Jansen: Dreams of the Strandbeest; Carlos Rolon: I Tell You This Sincerely; Regin Igloria, Dan Gamble, and Dorothy Hughes; Observatory; Walkabout Theatre’s The Cure; Phyllis Bramson: Under the Pleasure Dome; Visible from Space: Paul Catanese; Parsons & Charlesworth: Spectacular Vernacular; and Procession: The Art of Norman Lewis. Danny also gave three teasers for 2017 exhibitions: Wall of Respect Photography; Eugene Eda’s Doors for Malcolm X College; and Candida Alvarez Survey.
Commissioner Boone then introduced Tracie Hall, Deputy Commissioner, Arts and Creative Industries, who explained that DCASE is currently in the process of building a first ever Public Art Plan for the City of Chicago with the ambitious goal that this plan be a unifying document bringing together the various municipal agencies and policies that impact public art to create one cohesive citywide strategy. Tracie gave an overview of the project, and then CAC members participated in a short work session where they were asked to answer two questions regarding the initiative and report back as a group. Their ideas were collected and retained by DCASE staff.
Commissioner Boone invited the CAC members to attend that evening’s screening of Mavis!, a documentary film of the legendary Mavis Staples and the Staple Singers, at 6:30pm in Millennium Park’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion and a free, live performance by Blues artist Nellie “Tiger” Travis at 6pm before the screening. She then opened the floor for CAC member announcements. Homer Bryant mentioned that posting his video “Hiplet Sur Les Pointes” has drawn close to 8.9 million views, catapulting the Chicago Multi-Cultural Dance Center into a media frenzy and an appearance on “Good Morning America.” As there were no more announcements, Nora Daley adjourned the meeting.
Respectfully submitted, Sue Vopicka