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Accelerate Culture launches with survey on arts, city livability
From a press release
2014-11-15

This article shared 3539 times since Sat Nov 15, 2014
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CHICAGO — A new public opinion survey released today shows Chicago residents overwhelmingly agree arts and culture attract tourists, improve the livability of Chicago, make significant contributions to the economy, and prepare students for future success. Chicagoans also participate in the arts at a higher level than national rates. The survey of 800 Chicago residents is being released today by Arts Alliance Illinois, as part of Accelerate Culture, a citywide initiative to advocate for, promote, and monitor the implementation of the Chicago Cultural Plan's top line priorities.

The results of the public survey confirm that Chicagoans overwhelmingly support and place a high value on culture and the arts. At the same time, access to these experiences is not universal and awareness of neighborhood-based cultural activities can be increased across the city.

"The Cultural Plan and the survey results demonstrate the widespread support by Chicagoans for culture and the arts in Chicago no matter where they live in the city. Arts and culture play an enormous role in Chicago's success and are the reason the city is vibrant and such a desirable place to live and visit," said Michael Dorf, who chairs Accelerate Culture and directed the development of Chicago's first Cultural Plan in 1987.

Accelerate Culture, through coalition building, policy advocacy and community engagement, is working to advance the top line priorities of the Chicago Cultural Plan and to track and measure the Plan's long-term impact on the city of Chicago.

"The arts scene in Chicago is a world-renowned civic strength and a driving economic force for the city," said Ra Joy, Executive Director of Arts Alliance Illinois. "Accelerate Culture is a call to action to organizations and to government, foundations, corporations, and everyday Chicagoans to elevate culture as a civic priority citywide."

Accelerate Culture has identified a focused set of priority actions directly linked to specific goals and recommendations from the Chicago Cultural Plan. These priority actions are grouped in four overarching categories: People, Places, Policies, and Planning Culturally, and include:

People

- Positioning Chicago's artists and creative professionals as central to the city's workforce development efforts with additional fellowships, mentoring opportunities, incubator spaces, and residency programs within the cultural sector and larger community

- Ensuring each CPS school has an appropriate number of certified arts instructors, a minimum of two hours per week of arts instruction, and at least one cultural partner that engages teaching artists

- Increasing the accessibility and number of programs for adults to participate in the arts both formally and informally

Places

- Supporting neighborhood cultural councils in every region and encourage local community development organizations to facilitate cultural programming and infrastructure

Policies

- Creating efficiencies in City zoning, permitting, and licensing rules for creative initiatives

- Designing arts-specific briefing tools and training sessions to help artists and creative entrepreneurs navigate City approval processes

- Increasing public and private investment in culture and the arts by the private sector, public sector, and individuals

Planning Culturally

- Designating cultural liaisons in city departments and sister agencies who can connect and refer queries and opportunities

- Integrating the priorities of the Cultural Plan into the work of City departments and agencies, measured by collaborations and the allocation of resources

- Increasing cultural sector representatives serving on advisory boards and commissions across key departments and agencies

"Significant progress has been made during the last two years to implement the Cultural Plan," said Commissioner Michelle T. Boone of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. "I applaud the work of Accelerate Culture for doing its part to make the Cultural Plan a lasting priority."

"LISC is thrilled to be involved in this important initiative. Culture and the arts are the sights, sounds, and smells we all cherish as residents of the city and our neighborhoods," said Keri Blackwell, deputy director, LISC Chicago. "The best investments are those that improve daily life."

The survey was conducted by APC Research, Inc., from September 30 through October 9, 2014 and included interviews on landlines and cellphones with 800 Chicago residents. The sample was robust and reflects Chicago's diverse demographics. It has a margin of error of 3.5%. The survey found:

- 91% of Chicagoans say culture and the arts attract tourists

- 79% of Chicagoans say culture and the arts improve the city's livability

- 78% of Chicagoans say culture and the arts contribute to the city's economy

- 78% of Chicagoans say arts education in schools helps prepare students for success in college, careers and life

- 94% of Chicago households have participated in a cultural activity in the past 12 months

- 39% of Chicagoans believe cultural activities are the best things about living in Chicago when compared to a number of items, including financial opportunity, convenient transportation, quality of colleges, the lakefront, ethnic diversity, and sports teams

- 49% of Chicagoans say arts and cultural activities are not readily available in their neighborhoods

About the Chicago Cultural Plan

The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events ( DCASE ) unveiled a comprehensive Cultural Plan in 2012 to build on Chicago's rich cultural history and further establish the City's position as a national and global centerpiece for arts and culture. It was the first Cultural Plan to be drafted in the city in a generation and was the product of more than eight months of work, dozens of town hall meetings, and the input of thousands of residents. The final plan included more than 200 specific recommendations and addressed four key areas: people, places, policies, and planning culturally.

About Accelerate Culture

The Accelerate Culture initiative was launched in November 2014 to advocate for, promote, and monitor the implementation of the Chicago Cultural Plan's top line priorities.

Accelerate Culture, through coalition building, policy advocacy and community engagement, is working to advance the top line priorities of the Chicago Cultural Plan and to track and measure the Plan's long-term impact on the city of Chicago.

Accelerate Culture is led by Arts Alliance Illinois and guided by a 30-member committee representing a broad cross-section of Chicago's cultural leadership. Support for this initiative is provided by The Boeing Company, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust, and The Joyce Foundation. Visit www.accelerateculture.com to learn more and get involved.

About Arts Alliance Illinois

Incorporated in 1982, Arts Alliance Illinois is a 501( c )( 3 ) nonprofit arts advocacy and service organization promoting the value of the arts to all residents of Illinois. With nearly 30,000 advocates and hundreds of member organizations, the Alliance is the largest statewide arts advocacy network in the country and the only organization in Illinois that represents artists and cultural organizations across all disciplines, budget sizes, and geographic areas.

Arts Alliance Illinois works to amplify the collective voice of the arts sector through legislative and grassroots action, close collaboration with policymakers and public agencies, and digital engagement. The Alliance ensures that the arts are central and indispensable to Illinois by empowering arts and culture stakeholders with the knowledge, skills, and resources needed to be active participants in the policymaking process and the civic life of their communities; by proving data-driven evidence on the impact, assets, and needs of the arts and creative industries in Illinois; and by connecting and supporting leaders across multiple sectors around common goals and shared outcomes. Visitwww.artsalliance.org to learn more .


This article shared 3539 times since Sat Nov 15, 2014
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