The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), an organization committed to bettering Chicago’s arts and culture, recently announced its full schedule for the inaugural Lake FX Summit + Expo, presented by Google and co-produced by CIMMfest and The Recording Academy Chicago Chapter, along with a host of sponsors. Geared toward artists, creative professionals and entrepreneurs, this free, four-day conference begins on April 16. It will include professional development panels, workshops, keynotes by industry leaders and a resource fair at the Chicago Cultural Center and various locations around the city.
The 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan, whose structure governs Chicago’s future economic and cultural development, aims to advance the city as a creative and innovative art location. “The Lake FX Summit + Expo is designed to support Chicago’s creative industries and to attract and retain artists in Chicago, which are top priorities of the Chicago Cultural Plan,” Michelle T. Boone, DCASE commissioner, explains in a news release on the DCASE website. DCASE’s commitment to enhancing Chicago’s arts and culture through this plan is reflected in the Lake FX Summit + Expo: a free event showcasing Chicago’s artists and its art and cultural resources to a vast audience. To that end, the Summit will also provide resources, opportunities to network and support for Chicago’s local creative population.
The “Lake Effect,” a keynote address on Thursday at 5:30pm at the Harris Theater in Millennium Park, intends to demonstrate the city’s impact on the work and career of successful Chicago artists and creatives, and reveal how Chicago has helped launch their careers. It will feature a conversation, moderated by Laura Schwartz, among local art and creative professionals, including playwright and television writer Tanya Saracho, visual artist Hebru Brantley and writer Alex Kotlowitz.
The Lake FX Summit + Expo expands on the success of past summits and events, such as the Chicago Music Summit and the Chicago Film and Media Summit. (Note that the Expo portion of this event is not related to Expo Chicago.) Coming together with Google is an apt step to build on these previous events. “Technology plays an essential role for artists today, launching thousands of careers and helping to reach huge audiences,” Jim Lecinski, vice president of Americas Customer, states in the press release. “Google is excited to empower Chicago creators with online tools to continue to inspire innovation in creative industries.”
The extensive programming offered at the Lake FX Summit + Expo includes specialized tracks for the music, film, fashion, culinary and visual and performing art industries. For example, people interested in film may want to attend “From Internet to Network: Web Series Production” or “Impact Strategies for Filmmakers.” There are also cross-disciplinary subjects appropriate for all attendees, such as “Grow Your Brand Online (Google Workshop)” and “Self Management Tool Kit for Artists.”
Fluidity, flexibility and ingenuity are characteristics reflected in this year’s Summit theme: improvisation and innovation. That said, the Lake FX Summit + Expo also suggests an opportunity to promote key ideas from other sectors to the arts and creative industries, which is indicative of the relationship with Google—a leader in technology innovation. (Amy Haddad)
The Lake FX Summit + Expo conference for artists, creative professionals and entrepreneurs, runs April 16-19. Pre-registration is now open. Admission and pre-registration are free.