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Project Experience

City of Chicago Cultural Plan


The City of Chicago and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) initiated its Cultural Plan in February 2012; Mayor Rahm Emanuel launched the Plan on October 15, 2012 in a star-studded event at a local primary school.

Lord Cultural Resources was selected to facilitate the plan. We engaged thousands of people to share their ideas in 43 neighborhood cultural conversations, arts sector workshops, priority-setting forums and town halls, as well as through a website and social media campaign. We analyzed Chicago’s arts facilities, their distribution throughout the city, and how Chicago is positioned in the highly competitive national and international contexts. The result is a roadmap for Chicago’s cultural development and for building Chicago’s reputation as a global destination for creativity, innovation and cultural tourism. The plan in its draft and final form has been downloaded an amazing 53,000 times. The journey to these outcomes has been a dynamic process of co-creation among Lord Cultural Resources, City staff and an advisory council, under the leadership of DCASE Commissioner Michelle T. Boone. It was Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s inspiration to make the creation and implementation of a Cultural Plan a focus of his new administration.

US National Endowment for the Arts Chair, Rocco Landesman said:

“It really is a visionary plan. It focuses on the relationship of the arts and the real world. It’s about the integration of the arts and neighborhoods. It’s about collaboration among the various city agencies that might have an effect on the arts.”