Lois Weisberg Has Died at Age of 90 - Former Commissioner of Cultural Affairs
Lois Weisberg did more in a day than most people could try to do in a month.
She was head of the City of Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs under two mayors, Harold Washington and Richard Daley, for the better part of 30 years, until she steppeddown in 2011. She started Cows on Parade (now replicated in many forms in cities around the world) and co-founded the Block 37 Arts program (now After School Matters) with the late Maggie Daley. We have her to thank for the Blues Festival, the Gospel Festival, the Taste of Chicago, Friends of the Parks and much more. She helped make the Cultural Center the Cultural Center (it used to be the Chicago Public Library) and she championed scores of Chicago artists and creatives while advocating for free programs for the public.
Lois Weisberg not only made culture count in Chicago - she showed how critical a strong arts scene is to a thriving city's economy, global reputation and to our every day lives. Though she will certainly be missed, her many efforts and accomplishments live on.
Here are several write-ups about the one-of-a-kind Lois Weisberg:
• Malcolm Gladwell's Famous 1999 New Yorker Profile: Six-Degrees of Lois Weisberg
• Tribune - Chris Jones: The remarkable Lois Weisberg
• Tribune - Rick Kogan: Tireless champion of city's cultural life
• Sun Times: Lois Weisberg, 'den mother of the arts'
• Chicago Reader: Lois Weisberg: Rest in peace doesn't cut it
Top image: Chicago Tribune, Lois Weisberg