The investigative red flags that led to this story on Chicago's arts future

Arts and CultureMaggie DaleyChicago TribuneChicago Cultural Center

There are a whole lot of changes going on with the city’s arts programming, so it’s easy not to notice when something turns up missing.

But while making my way through city and IRS documents, I realized that the late Maggie Daley’s Chicago Cultural Center Foundation – once an influential group that pumped money into activities like the Summer Dance program and the World Music Festival – has not been very active in quite a while.

This is an organization that has supported arts programming in Chicago for 20 years and once raised $2 million in one night.

But with Maggie Daley’s death, the change of administration, and the resignation in 2011 of powerful Cultural Affairs Commissioner Lois Weisberg, it has lost some of its resources and its most powerful champions, raising many questions about what the future of the Cultural Center Foundation will be.

The implications were worth reporting. After nailing down more particulars, the result was Wednesday's story in the Chicago Tribune. 

You're probably reading this because it's a subject you care greatly about, and perhaps know a good deal about as well. Is there somewhere else we should be looking? Email me at hgillers@tribune.com.

-- Heather Gillers

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