Saturday, December 10, 2011

ARTS POLICY: Really? We're Important?

So sayeth Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel:
A few months after his May inauguration, Emanuel said, he decided that he would work out of the mayor's so-called ceremonial office — and not the relatively plain office in the back that he has turned into "kids study hall" for his children after school — and he would make it a showcase for Chicago art and furniture. He said he especially liked the idea of promoting Chicago artists, given the dignitaries who pass through his doors regularly, including foreign leaders such as President Lee Myung-bak of South Korea, China Investment Corp. Chairman Lou Jiwei and various ambassadors and mayors.
Oh, so, you think the local arts are important?
So Emanuel talked to the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and local furniture designers about contributing works, and now the room boasts a series of conversation pieces that reflect the city. "The goal was, A, we could showcase things about Chicago that people don't expect, and, B, it had to be free," he said. "People had to donate them."
But, uh, not important enough to pay for?

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