On the Road to Prosperity in Chicago, IL...

Posted by Mr. Randy Cohen, Jun 13, 2007 0 comments

aep3-header.JPGJune 6 marked the release of the local study findings of Arts & Economic Prosperity III. We were able to partner with the Illinois Arts Alliance, the Arts & Business Council of Chicago, the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to announce the Chicago data as well as signal the release of local data for the 156 local partners.

The announcement event took place at the Chicago Cultural Center, a building that is itself a work of art and across the street from the great Millennium Park. The morning began with Ra Joy, Executive Director of the Illinois Arts Alliance, and I briefing 100 members of the arts community with a special preview of the Chicago data and a call to action about how to apply them.

This was followed by a national press conference to announce the findings. The press conference featured compelling remarks from: Robert Lynch, President & CEO, Americans for the Arts; Jonathan Fanton, President of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, (read his remarks here); Lois Weisberg, Commissioner of Cultural Affairs for the City of Chicago; and Diane Swonk, Senior Managing Director and Chief Economist for Mesirow Financial. All passionately conveyed the cultural and economic value of the arts, both in Chicago and nationally.

Following the press conference, a panel of local leaders talked about how the arts drive tourism, business development, and strengthen the community fabric. The impressive group, moderated by Bob Lynch, included: Dorothy Coyle, Director of the Chicago Office of Tourism; Ra Joy, Executive Director of the Illinois Arts Alliance; Paul O'Connor, Executive Director of World Business Chicago; and Arthur Sussman, Vice President of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

In addition to Chicago's data, June 6 was the national release date for all of the local study partners. More than 100 stories appeared in newspapers across the county including numerous editorials. Visit our website for a sampling. And keep checking back with ArtsBlog for more updates On the Road to Prosperity!

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