Chicago Cultural Plan 2012 - Strengthen the City's Arts

Chicago Cultural Plan 2012 - Strengthen the City's Arts


Community Input Led Directly to a New Initiative to Develop an Arts Education Plan for Chicago Public Schools

CHICAGO - Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) Commissioner Michelle Boone today unveiled the Chicago Cultural Plan 2012, the first new plan for strengthening the city’s arts and cultural sector in more than 25 years.  The Plan was developed after months of meetings with stakeholders and community members across the city and includes input from thousands of Chicagoans. The new Plan will serve as the central planning document for enhancing Chicago’s thriving arts and culture sector, supporting creativity, innovation and excellence in the arts.  “Chicago already boasts an incredible arts and cultural sector, from marquee events downtown to creative and innovative shows in our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Fueled by participation from residents from all corners of the city, Chicago’s new cultural plan identifies ways the arts can build community, stimulate economic development, create jobs, attract visitors and foster innovation for years to come.”

“The Chicago Cultural Plan 2012 represents the ideas and passion of Chicago’s greatest asset – its citizens,” said Commissioner Michelle T. Boone.  “This input helped us craft a vision for the city’s future cultural life that values making the arts more accessible to all; ensuring cultural activities are abundant in every neighborhood; and identifying new ways for residents and visitors alike to experience Chicago’s vibrant creative scene.”  

“The CPS Arts Education Plan aims to elevate the arts to a core subject to ensure that every CPS student will receive a comprehensive and sequential study of the four art forms – visual art, music, dance and drama – from preschool through high school graduation,” said Barbara Byrd-Bennett, CEO of the Chicago Public Schools.  “Arts education will be tied to learning in the other subjects such as math, reading and science, to develop the skills students will need for success in the 21st century workforce:  creativity, innovation, critical thinking and communications skills.” 

The proposed 2013 City budget includes a $1 million investment to support some of the new initiatives that will be implemented through the Chicago Cultural Plan 2012.  Half of this will be directed towards initiatives that are being developed for the Arts Education Plan.

"Every time I open the paper these days I read that our country needs the workforce of the 21st Century to be collaborative, flexible, innovative and imaginative. Those are exactly the skills students learn through the arts," said world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma. "Additionally, research shows us again and again that children who study the arts are more likely to graduate high school, attend college and contribute to the economic and civic life of their communities. The visionary plan for arts education announced by Mayor Emanuel today will be transformational for the students of Chicago."

“Art revitalizes communities, offering a shared experience and fostering civic pride, while arts education in schools gives voice to young hearts and minds. This self-realization boosts their potential to contribute back to the community,” said Renée Fleming. “With civic leaders, educators and artists working together, Chicago will lead the nation in harnessing the power of the arts for the public good.”

“The arts uniquely inspire, invigorate and involve us,” said Damian Woetzel. “The energy and enthusiasm created by the arts today at Perez Elementary is a model for every neighborhood and school in Chicago and beyond.”

"Bravo to the City of Chicago!  The Cultural Plan of Chicago allows for our over 250 theatres, as well as Chicago educators and the greater cultural community, to travel on a defined road map - a map that clearly honors and supports our work as well as celebrating and trumpeting Chicago's greatest assets to the world.  This plan gives all of Chicago, in every nieghborhood,  the opportunity to access an amazing array of theatre and culture", said Eileen LaCario, Chair of the League of Chicago Theatres and Vice President of Broadway In Chicago

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