With Arts at the Heart: Promoting artistic vitality in St. Paul, MN, and Cuyahoga County, OH

January 30, 2013 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Chicago Cultural Center
78 E. Washington St.
First Floor Garland Room

This conversation with civic arts leaders offers a peek behind the curtain at the machinery with which cities seek to nurture cultural life. Delving deep into the details of their respective programs as well as the funding and administrative structures that support those programs, this study in comparisons and contrasts will also look to the future: what direction does the field of civic cultural planning need to move in, and what ideas might Chicago borrow?

Karen Gahl-Mills, Executive Director of Cuyahoga Arts & Culture

Under Ms. Gahl-Mills' leadership since 2009, the five-year old Cuyahoga Arts & Culture agency remains one of the nation's top five sources of local public funding for arts and culture. CAC has granted more than $95 million dollars to more than 200 local arts organizations.

Joe Spencer, Director for Arts and Culture for the city of St. Paul

When Mr. Spencer was hired in 2006, Mayor Chris Coleman told him "Go make St. Paul cool." Since then, he has invented a summer food truck caravan, grown the Twin Cities Jazz Fest, and nurtured live music downtown. You can follow his work on his blog.

Julie Burros (moderator), Director of Cultural Planning for Chicago'sDepartment of Cultural Affairs and Special Events

For over a decade, Ms. Burros has worked at DCASE at the intersection of urban planning, culture, neighborhood and economic development, and capacity building. She was also the project manager for the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan.