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Press Releases

February 3, 2012

City of Chicago Launches 2012 Cultural Plan Initiative with Lord Cultural Resources as Lead Consultant

February 3, 2012 - This week, the City of Chicago launched a new initiative to develop the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan. The plan will create a framework to guide Chicago's future cultural and economic growth as the centerpiece for elevating the City as a global destination for creativity, innovation and excellence. The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events along with partner Lord Cultural Resources is seeking input from Chicago's residents, cultural organizations, neighborhood groups as well as the private and philanthropic sectors. The Plan will set out the blueprint for a vital and leading edge cultural Chicago.

Chicago has the third largest creative economy in the United States with 24,000 arts enterprises, including nearly 650 non-profit arts organizations, generating more than $2 billion annually and employing 150,000 people. Chicago's creative vibrancy generates jobs, attracts new businesses and visitors to the city, and improves the overall quality of life in Chicago’s neighborhoods.

To further the conversation and to allow an even greater role, the planning process seeks input online and through comprehensive social media outlets with the launch of www.chicagoculturalplan2012.com. Additionally, a citywide public engagement process begins on February 15th, including town hall meetings, neighborhood cultural conversations, a youth forum, and cultural sector summits. The final plan will be unveiled in the fall.

"We are creating a new Cultural Plan to address the challenges our city faces today and to identify opportunities for the future," said Michelle T. Boone, Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. "We want residents and community leaders to help shape a plan that will guide the City's cultural growth and to reinforce Chicago as a global destination for the arts."

Orit Sarfaty, Senior Cultural Planner, Lord Cultural Resources, states, "Our team looks forward to working with the residents of Chicago, stakeholders and City staff to develop Chicago's cultural plan reflecting the innovative spirit and global reach of this world city. This outcome oriented plan will encompass broad civic impacts such as economic vitality, dynamic neighborhoods, and Chicago's sustained leadership position in a globalized cultural marketplace." Gail Lord, Co-President, adds, "Chicago is one of the world's leading cultural cities and so we are truly honored to be working with City leadership to plan its even greater cultural future." Orit and Gail will be joined by the Lord Cultural Resources team of Chris Lorway, Director, Festivals and Performing Arts and former Artistic Director of Luminato, Toronto's international mutli-arts festival; and Joy Bailey, Senior Consultant; and sub consultants Lisa McDonald, Research Explorers; Carly Cannell and Jorge Orozco-Cordero, Weetu; Amina Dickerson, Dickerson Global Advisors; and Nick Rabkin, a former Deputy Commissioner of Cultural Affairs for Chicago.

Lord Cultural Resources, founded in 1981, is the world's largest global professional practice dedicated to creating cultural capital worldwide having conducted over 1,900 cultural projects in 50 countries on 6 continents. We collaborate with people and organizations to plan and manage cultural places, programs and resources that deliver excellence in the service of society. Lord Cultural Resources has completed assignments for the National September 11th Memorial complex and Central Park Conservancy in New York, West Kowloon Cultural District in Hong Kong, Saadiyat Island Cultural District in Abu Dhabi, and Guggenheim Bilbao and the Cultural Plan for the Basque Government. We have led cultural plans in both large and small cities across North America and around the world.

For the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events announcement, click here.

For media information, contact Andrea Ott, Director, Marketing and Client Relations at aott@lord.ca.