I suppose you are all wondering why I called you here today. It is with great pain that I am announcing, as of January 1, 2009, the Chicago Art Scene will cease all operations. After much discussion, the Chicago Art Board has determined that the Scene can no longer function as a world class operation, and has therefore decided to abolish it, rather than allow it to continue on in a very limited fashion. This decision did not come easy. The Board looked at each individual segment of the Chicago Art Scene and its operation on a very detailed level, then looked at the scene as a whole. Combined with the current economic recession and the general belief that it will get worse, before getting better, it appeared that the Chicago Art Scene would not have a chance of being world-class. Rather than let it limp on, they decided to go out of business.
Those of you who are supporters of the Chicago Art Scene are encouraged to support Chicago’s other fine artistic institutions, such as the Chicago Music Scene and the Chicago Theater Scene. Active participants are encouraged to transfer to other urban art scenes as soon as possible.
We have been working with the Milwaukee Art Scene and the Indianapolis Art Scene and will schedule a workshop for mid-January for art professionals wishing to transfer to those locales. Representatives from Milwaukee and Indianapolis will be on hand to promote their scenes and help in any way. We have also approached the Minneapolis Art Scene and hope they can participate as well.
Unfortunately, our talks with New York and L.A. have not gone as well. They insist that they are not looking to expand and apparently do not have any respect for members of the Chicago Art Scene. I won’t get into specifics, as their comments were quite offensive, but the term “third-rate Second City” was mentioned more than once.
The Chicago Art Scene will continue to exist in a somewhat limited capacity after January 1st in order to facilitate an orderly dismantling of the scene. All property, including trade marks will be donated to the Chicago Public Library for archival purposes. If at any time in the future a group wants to start a new art scene, it may be able to become the Chicago Art Scene as this intellectual property will become public domain.
It saddens me to inform you of this, but the Board and I agree that, under these circumstances, this is the best solution. I thank you for your time and look forward to your support and co-operation.
I now open the floor to questions.