It turns out last summer’s 40th edition of Evanston’s Lakeshore Arts Festival will be its last.
Parks Director Lawrence Hemingway told aldermen this week that a plethora of summer arts festivals around the metro area and declining attendance for the Evanston event led to the decision to pull the plug.
Hemingway says his staff is planning instead a winter festival featuring ice skating, ice sculpting and other winter events that he hopes to launch in winter 2018.
He says he also is hoping to revive interest in the other city-sponsored summer lakefront arts event — the Ethnic Arts Festival — which has also suffered declining attendance in recent years — by grouping exhititors there by their cultural origin.
The Parks and Recreation Board has been working for the last few years to increase the total number of events on the lakefront, but distribute them more evenly across the year.
Hemingway says he’s also planning to economize by reducing the circulation of the city’s Evanston Life magazine.
The city now distributes over 100,000 copies annually of the publication that lists recreation programs and classes, split across four quarterly issues, Hemingway says, and “there seems to be a lot of waste in that.”
He says he plans to combine the spring and summer issues and reduce the print run from 35,000 to 10,000 copies.
The magazines will still be distributed to “key partners” including senior citizen buildings, but won’t be mailed to all city households.
The publication will continue to be available online, Hemingway says.