Afternoon Briefing: City plan not enough to protect migrating birds, advocates say

Good afternoon, Chicago.

When Mayor Brandon Johnson’s office announced in February it would replace Erin Harkey, commissioner of the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) since 2021, it came as a surprise to many in Chicago’s cultural world. In March, Johnson announced former art appraiser and curator Clinée Hedspeth as Harkey’s successor.

Hedspeth spent much of her half-hour interview with the Tribune giving a detailed tour of the art in her corner office at the Chicago Cultural Center, including pieces pulled from the city’s own art holdings: sketches by Alison Saar, a vibrant textile by Nick Cave and a small sculpture by the late Richard Hunt.

But when it came to her specific plans for DCASE — and its $87 million operating budget this year, its largest ever — Hedspeth had less to say.

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