Updated: Weisberg speaks out to Jim DeRogatis
A month ago, my WBEZ blog colleague Jim DeRogatis broke the story about the city administrative reshuffle merging the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) and the Mayor's Office of Special Events, effective January 1, 2011. He reported that nearly 30 DCA employees had been laid off, and that many of DCA's functions were being switched to the little-known Chicago Tourism Fund, which is the funding arm of the Chicago Office of Tourism (COT). Among those let go were the highly-regarded directors of DCA's theater and music programming. Also, the Chicago Tourism Fund (CTF) never had functioned as an executive authority, but only as a fiscal agency. Got it so far?
Jim's narrower interest was/is the city's privatization of the various annual music festivals, which here-to-fore had been free public events but now will sell tickets. My interest is how the reshuffle will affect ongoing arts programming and policies, especially theater, and what the hell is really happening, anyway?