The Lessons of the Chihuly Show

February 18, 2003 - 10:00am to 12:00pm

The University of Chicago Gleacher Center, 450 North Cityfront Plaza Drive

Melissa Harris-Lacewell, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago

The Chihuly exhibit has created a citywide and national buzz, has attracted visitors from all over the world, and has reminded Chicagoans of a previously neglected landmark in the city. But has it contributed to the economic and social development of the poor and predominantly African-American neighborhood that surrounds it? What is the impact of this show on the mostly middle-class audiences visiting it for probably the first time? What lessons can this show provide city and arts planners looking to integrate arts and culture projects into community development? This project includes an examination of key economic indicators, an analysis of public and leadership opinion, and an investigation of similar art based redevelopment strategies, and recommendations for future endeavors of this type.

Read the working paper

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