Joffrey Ballet Prospect Turned Chicago Mayor

Since Rahm Emanuel was elected mayor, he has been featured not only in Chicago news, but around the country as well. From a mystery tweeter posing as the mayor-elect to his plans for the Windy City, it has been easy to stay informed on future Chicago politics.


Today’s story in the Chicago Tribune “Arts & Entertainment” section highlights Emanuel’s focus on the arts scene in Chicago. As a music / dance fan and theatergoer, the mayor-elect is committed to improving stakes in the arts. (Turns out Emanuel was even offered a Joffrey Ballet scholarship in his past dancing days.)


When asked how he will handle arts groups looking to him for financial resources, Emanuel point-blankly stated, “I will be looking right back at them.” This means greater opportunity for the groups to leverage their creativity in increasing ticket sales, reaching audience members who do not frequent arts events and celebrating the community that is music, theater and dance.

·         Why not host fundraisers where a song or scene from an upcoming production is featured to interest attendees and provide a taste of what’s to come?

·         There is a wealth of talent seen on the big screen and stages across the country who received their start in Chicago. Local groups can increase their status by bringing in these hometown heroes for special events.


Emanuel’s plan to focus on arts in after-school programs is a reassuring one. I am a firm believer in the notion that theater created the person I am today and solidified the confidence I carry. I hope this component of Emanuel’s plan holds strong through all the upcoming changes he initiates.


Mayor Daley has been described as leaving a lasting arts legacy on Chicago. I am grateful the next mayor will be picking up where Daley left off and further leading the charge.


And mayor-elect – if you are looking for recruits for the arts task force, I’m all ears.


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