After months of meetings and planning, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) unveiled the Chicago Cultural Plan 2012 Monday. The new plan will serve as an initiative to develop an arts education plan for Chicago Public Schools and enhance Chicago's culture sector.
Meetings with stakeholders and community members helped finalize the plan, which first formed with input from Chicagoans. A series of public events and workshops were held to solicit community input.
“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,” said Mayor Emanuel.
The Cultural Plan includes over 200 ideas spread out among 10 initiatives:
-Reinvigorating arts education and creating new opportunities for lifelong learning.
-Attracting and retaining artists and creative professionals.
-Elevating and expanding neighborhood cultural assets.
-Facilitating neighborhood planning of cultural activity.
-Optimizing city policies and regulation that impact the arts and creative industries.
-Strengthening capacity within the cultural sector.
-Promoting culture’s value on Chicago’s economy and our way of life.
-Strengthening Chicago as a global cultural destination.
-Developing and sustaining innovation in culture.
-Integrating culture into daily life – across public, nonprofit and private sectors.
Throughout the process, a main priority was working on improving access to arts education for children. Chicago Public Schools is still hammering out the details of a new Arts Education Plan, but today CPS released an “Arts Abstract.” Some of the outlined goals included providing more funding to ensure arts instruction in every school, and setting aside time in the classroom every week for art instruction.
“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, the newly named CEO of the Chicago Public Schools.
The proposed 2013 city budget includes a $1 million investment to support some of the initiatives in the Chicago Cultural Plan, half of which will be used towards the initiatives being developed in the CPS 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.
The city estimates that one-third of the initiatives will cost less than $50,000 to implement.
Read the full Chicago Cultural Plan 2012 in the PDF below.