Agora, Magdalena Abakanowicz
Something struck me on a recent visit to Chicago ~ why are some cities meccas for cultural philanthropy and others are not? Everywhere I turned in Chicago it seemed, there was another outstanding example of civic leadership in support of the city’s arts and culture.
Lion outside the Chicago Art Institute
Chicago has a cultural asset practically on every corner – outstanding public art, theaters large and small, classic and experimental dance companies, museums, public gardens, historic homes…and the list goes on and on.
Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millenium Park
My visit inspired me to think about what makes a community like Chicago so successful at nurturing and breeding civic stewardship? Is it born of the cultures that settle in a given community? Does the size of the community figure into the equation? Does it take one or two passionate, outstanding individuals to stand up and serve as role models? For example, has Seattle seen an increase in philanthropy as the result of Gates and Allen as role models?
Ben, Deborah Butterfield, Senca Park
A couple of years ago in Austin the non-profit community launched a public service program called “I Live Here, I Give Here” to encourage Austin residents to become philanthropic. I love the idea of this program, and it seems to have legs from a marketing standpoint, but I think it is still too early to judge if it will have a long lasting effect.
Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies
I don’t have answers to this question, and I would really love to hear your thoughts about what you think encourages citizens to care about their cultural and social heartbeat. I invite you to share your thoughts here.
American Windows, Marc Chagall, Chicago Art Institute