UPDATED: Weisberg speaks out to Jim DeRogatis
Crain’s Chicago Business political reporter Greg Hinz broke the news that Lois Weisberg, Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) since 1989, has tendered her resignation effective February 1.
Now 85, Weisberg is the longest-serving member of Mayor Richard Daley’s cabinet. She didn’t let that stop her from criticizing recent changes to the DCA, according to Hinz, condemning the merger of the DCA and the Mayor’s Office of Special Events which took effect Jan. 1, and also disparaging the privatization of the city’s lakefront music festivals and Taste of Chicago, as reported in December by Jim DeRogatis.
Those in the arts community have been puzzled by Weisberg’s silence with regard to the recent changes, and the absence of any public announcement from DCA and/or the new DCASE. Weisberg’s resignation serves as her statement. She told Hinz she was not consulted by the Mayor about the merger or any of the changes, and underscored the point that the Special Events office long has been regarded as a political office. The following story was written and posted prior to Weisberg’s announcement, and provides detailed background.
Read the rest of my story on the changes at DCA here.