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After sifting through interviews, meeting notes and survey responses, the EvanstARTs team presented its preliminary findings at two meetings this week.

EvanstARTs, a citizen-engagement initiative with representatives from the City of Evanston, the Evanston Arts Council and the Evanston Community Foundation, has been seeking input from residents to help form a “roadmap to the arts in Evanston.” The roadmap will help direct public and private efforts to bolster the arts in Evanston.

Attendees at each meeting were asked to “vote” for their first and second choices among the six that had surfaced through the EvanstARTs process: having a central plan, having an “arts czar or czarina” to coordinate and spearhead cultural development throughout the community, developing public-private partnerships, having a coordinated infrastructure – both physical and virtual – and a “brand” for Evanston’s arts, nurturing young artists and cultivating patrons of the arts, and improving communication among arts groups and between arts groups and the community.

A report and recommendations will be presented to City Council on March 18.
“Evanston has a lot of potential,” said Amina Dickerson, who served as paid consultant on the project.  “This is a great opportunity for Evanston to become the arts anchor of the North Shore.