A guide to the Evanston Arts Council, its goals and funding programs


Editor’s Note: The following is one of RoundTable’s many educational explorations of the City of Evanston government and how things work. Call it Evanston Arts Council 101.

The Evanston Arts Council is a citizens’ committee that promotes the arts in Evanston. It is composed of 12 individuals, appointed by the mayor, with the opinion and consent of the City Council. The Arts Council reports to the Human Services Committee, made up of five City Council members who in turn report to the larger City Council – a bureaucratic hierarchy that actually works.

A member of the Arts Council must be a resident of Evanston or an employee of Evanston. The term of office is three years and the maximum that can be served is two terms. The board meets monthly at the Civic Center, but during the pandemic, the meetings were held on Zoom, proving efficient but not nearly as fun.

Evanston Arts Council Zoom meeting, July 12. In order from top left to bottom right: Toby Sachs (Chair), Gay Riseborough (Roundtable reporter), Rosie Roche (Cultural Arts Coordinator), Angela Williams, BJ Jones, Melissa Blount (guest), speaking ), Krista Fabian DeCastro, Chantal Healey, Pilot Nieves, Renee Stone (guest), Tasheik Kerr (off-screen but assistant city manager and Arts Council staff), Melissa Raman Molitor. 7 members make a quorum. Missing: Maasai Amewa (Vice President), Lisa Corrin, James Deeb, Taichi Fukumura, Indira Freitas Johnson. Credit: Gay Riseborough

The board met virtually in July of this year but canceled its traditional August meeting. “Most members would love to be back in person, but there’s a funky rule that if the meeting is a hybrid, only those in the room count towards a quorum – so the hybrid isn’t a good fit for us,” said Toby Sachs. , current president. .

Zoom details are always posted with the council’s agenda on the city’s website.

Five years of current and past meeting agendas, minutes and information packets on agenda items are also posted there.

What kind of funds are there?

The Arts Council has an annual budget of $50,000 from the General Fund for grants and program expenses. The Public Art Working Group has its own budget of $30,000 that comes from General Operating Titles for construction. Sometimes this budget fluctuates because it depends on capital improvement projects.

From the Arts Council’s $50,000 budget:

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