Chicago Cultural Plan For the People? Or For the 1%. . . Commentary by Chris Drew

            The Chicago Cultural Plan

                                      commentary by  Chris Drew
Read the Chicago Tribune story here

Here is the on line hub for the Chicago Cultural Plan 2012

For Two decades the Uptown Multi-Cultural Art Center has been calling on Chicago to honor Mayor Harold Washington’s Chicago Cultural Plan by reviving its concept of cultural democracy. We are the only place to find the original Chicago Cultural Plan on-line. It has been published on our website since 1999 at Will the new plan live up to the legacy of the original. I tend to doubt it but remain hopeful. The original plan stressed the need to support community art activities and the Washington Administration followed through on that promise. Mayor Daley abandond independent community based artists to stress downtown interests and centralization of support for the arts. For more on the history of the Chicago Cultural Plan and my suggestion for the new plan that will tell us all we need to know to evaluate whether this new Chicago Cultural Plan will follow the Daley or the Washington model visit my blog at

 Artists Called to Display/Protest During Art Chicago

This is a call for all artists who want to Occupy Art Chicago and protest the lack of open-air opportunities to survive by our art in Chicago. Art Chicago is an annual event for artists to showcase their work at the Merchandise Mart. Booths start out at 3-5 thousand dollars for three days exposure. Most artists can’t afford to attend. At the same time the laws of Chicago prevent us from surviving by selling art on the street and creating art scenes where people are used to seeing us promote our art.

So we will ask artists to show their art outside the Merchandise Mart along Wells Street during Art Chicago. You may pass out your business cards and promote your websites to those attending Art Chicago without the expensive fees artists are paying inside. At the same time we will be promoting changes that lead to an artist friendlier City of Chicago where artists are encouraged to survive by creating open-air art scenes to sell their art to the public. Reply to this email if interested in joining us.

 Valentines Day Protest at my Court Hearing.

My next court date is our opportunity to begin to organize to make my trial for audio-recording my arrest for selling art for $1 into a national/international event that properly embarrasses the City of Chicago for violating its citizen’s rights. On February 14th we will have the oral arguments over our motion to dismiss my case based on First Amendment issues. This will be a very interesting discussion – well worth your attendance.

We need all supporters who want to help to meet us at 26th and California on February 14th at 10:30am in front of room 602. Those who will be there should reply to this e-mail so we can plan. This will be a very quiet show of force. We will save the theatrics for the trial.


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