Rahm names arts & culture committee…with no voice for indie rock or hip-hop

March 10, 2011

Chris Jones didn’t bother to push Rahm Emanuel to name the members of the arts and culture committee of his transition team during their exclusive chat last week, but Lynn Sweet of the Sun-Times did get the scoop this morning.

No disrespect to any of these folks, but the central concern of this blog is popular music: rock and hip-hop, primarily. This blogger has been covering it in Chicago for two decades, and has never had reason to write about anybody on this list, good or bad. For that matter, the only name that is well-known to this reporter, Marj Halperin, seemingly is a galvanizing one among my peers and acquaintances in the theater community, with as many rabid detractors as fans. The many corners of the music community that aren't represented on the list is the point--and it does not bode well for the issues raised here regarding treatment of that world as it battles for survival with corporate giants such as Emanuel supporters Live Nation and Lollapalooza.

The arts and culture committee is:

Lane Alexander, Chicago Human Rhythm Project

Michelle Boone, Joyce Foundation

David Chavez, Sound Culture

Antonia Contro, Marwen

Helen Doria, Helen Doria Consulting

Marj Halperin, Marj Halperin Consulting

Cheryl Hughes, Chicago Community Trust

Mary Ittelson, Museum of Contemporary Art

Ra Joy, Illinois Arts Alliance

Eileen LaCario, Broadway in Chicago

Josephine Lee, Chicago Children's Choir

Phillip Thomas, ETA Creative Arts Foundation

Angel Ysaguirre, Boeing

So, Boeing gets a seat at the table discussing the arts and culture in the new Chicago, but there isn’t room for the owner of a single independent rock or hip-hop venue, record label, recording studio, or record store, a major citywide concert promoter, anybody from the Chicago Music Coalition, or the Old Town School of Folk Music, or the Pitchfork Music Festival, or Girls Rock! Chicago, or the Chicago office of the Recording Academy, etc., etc., etc.?

Ah, well: At least there’s nobody from Ticketmaster/Live Nation or Lollapalooza co-owners C3 Presents and William Morris Endeavor, a.k.a. Ari’s company.

Emanuel spokesman Ben LaBolt did not respond to requests for comment on the omissions from the committee.

Amount of time Rahm has been ignoring questions from this blog about music and his ties to the corporate concert industry: