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Public Arts Ordinance to Cut Public Scrutiny?

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Chicago aldermen just streamlined the process of putting sculptures, paintings and murals in publicly-funded buildings, but Chicago Public Radio’s Shawn Allee reports there are questions about how public public art will be.

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The city foots the bill for millions of dollars of art, but who decides how to spend it?

Panels of city staff, artists, and community reps used to.

But the city council scrapped that.

Now, the Department of Cultural Affairs has ultimate say.

Alderman Walter Burnett says the city decides, but it will get public opinion first.

BURNETT: Now, instead of having seven people decide, you have a public forum where more people from the community can decide and more artists from the area can have input, instead of just two artists.

But critics worry the new process won’t be transparent.

They say the city doesn’t have to make decisions publicly or keep notes on why some art makes the cut.

I’m Shawn Allee.

Chicago Public Radio.

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