In what apparently is the first concrete result of the evanstARTs report, Evanston aldermen tonight will be asked to add another arts position to the city staff at a net cost of as much as $75,000 a year.

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz says the new cultural arts coordinator would serve a role for arts policy issues similar to that of the sustainable programs coordinator in the city manager’s office who deals with environmental policy issues.

The city now has one person filling what until budget cutbacks in 2009 had been two different jobs — director of the city’s Arts Council and recreation program manager for cultural arts. On the city’s org chart, that job is housed within the city’s parks department.

The combined position now costs the city about $110,000 in salary and benefits.

In a memo, Bobkiewicz proposes that the new cultural arts coordinator would be paid at that level and would also serve as staff director for the Arts Council, while the redefined recreation program manager job would earn a salary that, combined with benefits, could total as much as $75,000.

The new cultural arts coordinator would be expected to help the city meet two other top priority goals of the study — working with community groups to “drive research, planning and implementation” of the reports “cultural vision” and creating “a comprehensive plan for cultural development.”

The $30,000 EvanstARTs report, funded by the city and the Evanston Community Foundation, was developed through a series of community meetings and surveys starting last fall and was presented to the City Council in March.

Update 6/19/13: The aldermen Monday approved creating the new position, forming a new task force on the arts and updating the work plan for the Arts Council.

Related stories

Council ‘accepts’ arts report, postpones action

Beware of advocates waving figures

Arts advocates unveil survey results

Talking about growing the arts in Evanston

Related document

Executive summary of evanstARTs report (.pdf)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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