50 Galleries Initiative

Chicago can and should provide greater public access to performing arts spaces and resources via a public agency comprising 50 publicly-owned, democratically-controlled Galleries for the creation and presentation of the performing arts, one in each of Chicago’s 50 Wards. Similar to the Chicago Park District, with a central administration and budget, while each Gallery would maintain as much autonomy as possible regarding programming. The governance and decision-making for both the central administration and each individual Gallery would be determined by an elected council, which would comprise members of artistic and Ward communities. These levels of democratically-elected control over programming and administration would result in greater community access to resources and programming, both locally and city-wide, through greater community investment, accountability and representation. This Initiative would possibly need to be legislatively mandated by City or State legislatures.