Friday (3/4) on the Chicago Tribune blog Theater Loop, Chris Jones writes, “In a wide-ranging interview about cultural matters with the Tribune last week, Rahm Emanuel, Chicago’s mayor-elect, signaled his intent to ‘raise up’ the arts in Chicago, especially in the neighborhoods, and previewed a major generational and cultural shift at a City Hall about to be run by a confident leader who listens to the alternative rock band Wilco, likes the darker plays at Steppenwolf Theatre and American Theater Company and is not about to stop hanging out at rock venues like Schubas or the Riviera Theatre. … Our roughly 45-minute conversation was framed around his general intents and desires in the cultural arena, rather than the budgetary and managerial specifics that will come when he takes office in May. … He also argued that major institutions like the Lyric Opera have a track record of attracting business to Chicago. … Emanuel also said that he plans to focus on the role of the arts in after-school programs, saying that he firmly believed the arts would best help him reach ‘the souls of those children who seem to be left out of our civic and cultural life.’ ”

Posted March 8, 2011