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evanstARTs, a community engagement collaboration

Which arts experiences do Evanston residents want to enjoy here, in our community? How might the arts spur economic activity to the benefit of local businesses?

exploring the community's perspective

At a time when change is afoot in city-owned arts facilities, a National Endowment for the Arts funded study has determined where performing arts spaces might be built downtown to draw more audiences from Evanston and the region for theater, dance, and musical performances. The City and the Foundation jointly funded evanstARTs, an initiative to explore community perspectives on facilities, offerings, and how to support the arts. What do residents think? How can Evanston retain its arts organizations, take full advantage of the rich cultural scene we already have, and also attract new talent to exhibit and perform here? What would it take to strengthen the arts here?

community involvement

These and other questions attracted more than 750 people to share their ideas in 2013 with the City, the Evanston Community Foundation, and the Evanston Arts Council in a process facilitated by consultant, Amina Dickerson, for a Working Group chaired by former ECF board chair and arts leader, Judy Kemp.   

A vision and roadmap to achieve it was presented to the City Council on March 18, 2013. Since then, the City of Evanston began its work to achieve that vision by hiring Jennifer Lasik to serve as Cultural Arts Coordinator.