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Arts and Humanities

Invest in arts and humanities for their own sake and as economic strategy

Representative activities:

  • longtime representation of musicians, writers, designers, and other creatives
  • volunteer, Evanston Green Arts Festivals
  • member, Art Institute of Chicago
  • online promotion of musical, artistic, and literary events and issues
  • musician, writer, and photographer

"The arts and humanities have intrinsic value to any society, and will have an increasingly important role in the economy.  I attend and have blogged about events like the Fountain Square Arts festival, the Glenwood Arts Fest, the American Craft Exposition, the Ethnic Art Fest, the Wilmette Festival of Fine Arts, or the opening of a Shorefront gallery or Community Playhouse in Evanston, not just because I enjoy the aesthetic and spiritual stimulation, but because I believe in the importance of the works, the process, and the ideas. I also know that for neighbors to attend a production by a local theater company stimulates the local economy.

"Similar considerations apply to the humanities. History and preservation, in particular, have great importance to any society. Apart from cultural benefit, the knowledge they impart better enables us to address our future.

"Evanston has deep untapped economic potential in the arts and humanities. Since we're unlikely to bring a steel mill to Evanston, we need to look more to the mind and spirit for our growth. One legacy of the nasty town-gown years is a deficit of the vibrancy you can find visiting many other college communities. The arts conference we hosted was fantastic; similar events should be a regular.

"Evanston should have multiple known, identifiable arts districts, and more spaces in which artists can create and cross-pollinate. We continue to need more live music venues, and another museum. Creative production should intersect with cultural, historic, and environmental tourism; this is one splendid potential use for the Harley Clarke site.

"Government should consider support for the arts and humanities not as luxury or frivolity, but as essential to what makes us a better people and a richer community. I will be an advocate as mayor for the role of the performing, decorative, and visual arts as well as literature, music, poetry, and newer art forms, and for the preservation, study, understanding, and communication of culture." — Jeff Smith

On Feb. 28, help paint a colorful new canvas for Evanston by voting for Jeff Smith for Mayor.

Click here to read Jeff's longheld views on funding the arts.

©2017 Jeff Smith. Paid for by in-kind contribution to Jeff Smith for Evanston. A copy of our report is or will be on file with, and available for purchase from, the Illinois State Board of Elections.
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