The New Chicago Cultural Plan: Looking ahead or a retread?

Rabkin and Joy

October 16, 2012 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Harris School of Public Policy
1155 East 60th St.
Room 289B

Nick Rabkin, associate of the Cultural Policy Center and consultant on the Chicago Cultural Plan

Ra Joy, executive director of Arts Alliance Illinois

On October 15, the city of Chicago will release its first cultural plan since 1986. Where did the new Chicago Cultural Plan come from, and does it represent a bold new direction or a warming-over of the plan from 26 years ago? This talk will present a short history of the first plan, Lois Weisberg's long leadership of the City's cultural affairs department, and Rahm Emanuel's campaign commitment for a new plan. It will also explore the content of the new plan as well as the methods behind it, and leave time for a discussion of strengths and weaknesses.

Nick Rabkin is an associate of the Cultural Policy Center, a member of the consulting team that created the new Chicago Cultural Plan, and a writer of a forthcoming report on innovation in the arts for the Irvine Foundation. His work on arts education includes a monograph for the National Endowment for the Arts, the first large-scale national study of teaching artists, and Putting the Arts in the Picture: Reframing Education in the 21st Century. He has served as director of the Center for Arts Policy at Columbia College Chicago, senior program officer for arts and culture at the MacArthur Foundation, Deputy Commissioner of Cultural Affairs for the city of Chicago, and executive director of the Organic Theater.

Ra Joy is executive director of Arts Alliance Illinois, a statewide arts advocacy network. In October of 2011, Ra was appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to serve as a member of the City of Chicago's Cultural Advisory Council. He is a member of the Executive Council for Americans for the Arts State Arts Action Network and has been a frequent speaker at national conferences including the Alliance for Artists Communities, Americans for the Arts, the Gard Symposium, Grantmakers in the Arts, and Independent Sector.