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Local News

Joliet Arts Commission awaits approval

A Joliet Arts Commission could take up the question of whether the city's decaying public murals can be repaired.
A Joliet Arts Commission could take up the question of whether the city's decaying public murals can be repaired.

Joliet will have an arts commission if the city council approves it on Tuesday.

The plan for an arts commission has been on hold since it was first proposed in May.

The Land Use and Legislative Committee took up the matter again this week and voted 3-0 to recommend approval for the commission, which is on the agenda for the full city council next week.

The commission would consist of a 17-member panel representing various forms of art – painting, dance, theater – for the purpose of promoting the arts in Joliet.

Such commissions are common in large and mid-sized cities, one of the potential commission members told the committee on Wednesday.

"We are the only one of the top 10 cities (in Illinois) that do not have an arts commission or an arts council," Eric Deshaun Dorris said.

Dorris has experience writing grant applications.

Pursuing grants for art projects would be one of the purposes of the commission, interim City Manager Steve Jones said.

"No one really focuses on arts from a city perspective," Jones told the committee. "They're going to come up with ideas we never thought of."

Getting a grasp on just what the commission would do was a topics of discussion for the committee.

"Are they going to help with any of the art that we currently have in terms of repairs?" Councilwoman Jan Quillman asked.

A number of murals and other public art created by Friends of Community Public Art in past years have fallen into disrepair.

Quinn Adamowski, one of the leaders in the commission project, said the commission could review the need for repairs of existing public art and look for solutions. He noted that any proposed project would have to be approved by the city council.

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