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Local News

Vote on Joliet Arts Commission pushed back

A statue of Katherine Dunham stands near Union Station on May 26, 2017, in Joliet.
A statue of Katherine Dunham stands near Union Station on May 26, 2017, in Joliet.

The Joliet City Council plans to delay formation of a Joliet Arts Commission.

The item is on the Tuesday agenda, but a council committee pushed back a preliminary vote on the commission amid questions about how it would operate.

“We’re not going to vote on this today,” council member Jan Quillman told advocates of the commission at the Land Use and Legislative Committee meeting Thursday.

Quillman said Mayor Bob O’Dekirk supports the idea but “wanted to know more about it,” and she had several questions.

Many of the questions were directed at how distinct the commission would be from Friends of Community Public Art, an organization that created public murals and sculptures around town.

Quinn Adamowski, an advocate for the commission, said it would foster the arts in Joliet but not necessarily be devoted to creating public art.

“The idea of the commission is not to have a single focus,” he said. “It’s not to tackle this one concept of public art. That’s part of it.”

Assistant City Manager Steve Jones said the commission would be an arm of the city subject to control by the City Council.

Asked whether the commission would work on murals that have fallen into disrepair, Adamowski said that could be a topic for the commission. But both he and Jones said some of the murals are beyond repair.

Quillman also asked why the commission would have 17 members.

“It was really about making sure we represent all interests in the community in every shape and form,” Adamowski said.

The proposed ordinance creating the commission requires 17 members from diverse backgrounds.

Chairman Terry Morris said the committee would consider the commission again at its next meeting.

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