Chicago releases 1st cultural plan since 1986

CHICAGO -- The city of Chicago released a new cultural plan on Monday _ its first in more than 25 years.

The plan calls for making arts a core subject at Chicago Public Schools, providing tax incentives for creative industry start-ups and developing a large-scale new festival and permanent festival grounds.

According to the plan, most of the initiatives can be done within 18 months. Others will take about five years.

The last time the city released a cultural plan was in 1986 under Mayor Harold Washington. That plan included making Navy Pier a tourist and culture destination. It also included developing a theater district in downtown Chicago.

Funding for the plan came from the Chicago Community Trust and a grant from the Illinois Arts Council. The plan was put together with the input of thousands of Chicago residents after a series of town hall meetings earlier this year.

The city says its creative economy generates $2 billion a year and employs 150,000 people.