Broken Glass: A Community Impact Study of the Chihuly Exhibit in Garfield Park, Chicago

February, 2003

 For academic researchers and policy makers interested in the economic, social, and political impact of the arts, the Garden of Glass experience offered an opportunity to study the ways that cultural events like this one impact the attitudes of city residents, the lives of community citizens, and the strategies for economic redevelopment already in place. Garden of Glass was unquestionably an artistic success, but did it influence the neighborhood that hosted it? Using a variety of methodologies, we have set out to assess the economic and social impact of the Garden of Glass exhibit on the Garfield Park neighborhood. This study is animated by a number of questions--most centrally, how did the Garden of Glass exhibit contribute to the economic and social redevelopment of the Garfield Park neighborhood? What was the impact of this show on the neighborhood and its residents and on the mostly middle-class audiences visiting it for probably the first time? And what lessons can this show provide city and arts planners looking to integrate arts and cultural projects into community development? We do not yet have all the answers, but this report offers findings from the first stage of the study.

Download the Working Paper

Topic Tags: