In Chicago, culture can be a very political thing. Mayor Emanuel is deeply involved with the city’s culture, showing up regularly at plays, concerts and recitals. But there are fears that, in this period of deep budget cutting, a lot of the cherished city-sponsored cultural events and venues may be suffering. The merging of the Department of Cultural Affairs with the Department of Special Events and the apparent reduction of programming at the Cultural Center are two of the topics we kick around on today’s show.
Nick Rabkin is currently working with the City on a massive survey to ascertain the public’s perception of culture in Chicago – what we have, what we need, and what the City’s involvement should be.
Alison Cuddy is WBEZ’s culture expert. As a host, reporter and editor, she’s covered all manner of arts and culture for the station, and has been actively following the politics of culture.