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cultural arts plan envisioned in evanstARTS report

March 24, 2014 | ECF Press Release

At the March 10 City Council meeting, the Evanston Community Foundation, the City of Evanston and the Evanston Arts Council jointly announced publication of the final report of the collaborative community engagement process known as evanstARTs.

Priorities, Progress and Recommendations Presented in the Final Report –evanstARTs_small.jpg

evanstARTS vision

The evanstARTs collaboration created a vision and "roadmap for the arts" for Evanston based on public input gathered during open listening sessions, an online survey, stakeholder interviews and focus groups between September 2012 and January 2013.
The process engaged over 750 participants from all of the City's wards, representing 1% of the total population of Evanston. The final report, available at www.evanstARTS.org, articulates a vision for the cultural arts plan, and identifies priorities, recommendations, and progress achieved since the executive summary presented at the City Council Meeting on March 18 of 2013.

arts priorities

The top three priorities surfaced during the research analysis were to: 1) create a new cabinet level position to focus on the arts sector and economic development; 2) design infrastructure to drive research, planning and implementation of the cultural vision; and, 3) create a comprehensive plan for cultural development aligned and integrated into Evanston's goals.
Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl pointed to the City's efforts to support the evanstARTs recommendations. Since the initial report in March of 2013, "the City has formally adopted the evanstARTs vision statement, hired a cultural arts coordinator, and formed a task force to pursue the goal of a multi-arts focused and flexible event space." Additionally the Evanston Arts Council has begun work on the planning, implementation and management of a downtown "kiosk" to build awareness of arts programming in Evanston.

Evanston Community Foundation President and CEO Sara Schastok said, "The Foundation will continue to collaborate with its evanstARTs partners, and looks forward to shining a light on our community's significant and diverse cultural assets now and into the future."

city of Evanston arts vision

Evanston is invested in fostering a dynamic, accessible and culturally rich arts community, where creativity fl­ourishes in a welcoming, collaborative, environment that encourages lifelong participation in the arts by residents and visitors alike.

evanstARTS working group members

Judy Kemp, Committee Chair, former board chair – Evanston Community Foundation
Judy Aiello, retired assistant city manager – City of Evanston, board member – Evanston Community Foundation
Ann Berkeley, Co-chair – Evanston Arts Council
Heidi Bloom, Co-chair – Evanston Arts Council
Jeff Cory, Cultural Affairs Division, City of Evanston
Joan Gunzberg, retired Executive Director – Arts and Business Council, board member – Evanston Community Foundation
Sara Schastok, President and CEO – Evanston Community Foundation
Amina Dickerson, Project Consultant, Dickerson Global Advisors
Amanda Carlson, Project Advisor

about the foundation

THE EVANSTON COMMUNITY FOUNDATION is in its 28th year of helping Evanston thrive now and forever as a vibrant, inclusive, and just community. With assets of $19 million, The Foundation builds, connects, and distributes resources and knowledge through local organizations for the common good. The Foundation creates endowments for current and future opportunities, fosters private philanthropy, focuses the impact of collective giving, finds solutions to community challenges, allocates grants, and provides leadership training.