Chicago Could Lose the Blues

An editorial in Crain's suggests that by not taking full advantage of its history with the Blues, Chicago is wasting a precious cultural resource and missing an opportunity for tourism dollars.

1 minute read

January 26, 2017, 7:00 AM PST

By Casey Brazeal @northandclark

Chicago Blues

Tristan Bowersox / Flickr

Blues songs have told Chicago's story for generations, but a recent piece in Crain's Chicago Business argues the city has been unwilling to return the favor. Besides being home to some of the greatest blues musicians, it's also the site of a living musical culture that could be a boon to the city.  "[T]o think of Chicago blues as merely a historic legacy is to overlook its worldwide following in the here and now—and to miss out on a tourism and economic development opportunity that's pumping hundreds of millions​ of dollars into other cities," Crain’s argues.

Compared to cities like Memphis, St. Louis, and New Orleans, which have built museums and tourism campaigns around their musical heritages, Chicago is lagging behind—both generally and with the blues specifically. "[W]hen tourists land in Chicago seeking a place to learn about the blues, they're pretty much on their own," Crain's writes. While Chicago is host to a major weekend Blues Festival every year, Crain's sees this as not nearly enough. "You'll find no museums here. No statues, no official tours, no markers of the vital clubs where the music gestated on the South and West sides," Crain's writes. These clubs are largely unknown even to local Chicagoans, but they have a powerful story to tell and great music inside.

Saturday, January 21, 2017 in Crain's Chicago Business

Satalite image of a bright green lake surrounded by brownish-green land

California’s Largest Natural Lake Turns Green With … Algae

A potentially toxic algal bloom has turned Clear Lake in Northern California bright green, fed by increased runoff from human activity.

June 4, 2024 - Los Angeles Times

Three colorful, large beachfront homes, one khaki, one blue, and one yellow, with a small dune in front and flat sand in foreground.

Florida Homeowners 'Nope Out' of Beach Restoration Over Public Access

The U.S. Corps of Engineers and Redington Shores, Florida are at a standstill: The Corps won’t spend public money to restore private beaches, and homeowners are refusing to grant public access to the beaches behind their home in return for federal assistance.

June 7, 2024 - Grist

Multistory apartment building under construction.

New Tennessee Law Allows No-Cost Incentives for Affordable Housing

Local governments in the Volunteer State can now offer developers incentives like increased density, lower parking requirements, and priority permitting for affordable housing projects.

June 10, 2024 - Nooga Today

Delivery drone holding a brown paper wrapped box hoveringin air with city in background.

Utah Establishes Air Mobility Framework

The program outlines a statewide approach to delivery drones and other air transportation options.

30 minutes ago - PR Newswire

Amtrak train at Union Station with Chicago skyline in background.

St. Paul-to-Chicago Borealis Rail Line Launches

The Amtrak service, 12 years in the making, doubles the number of available trips on the corridor.

1 hour ago - Route Fifty

Three men riding recumbent bikes on paved greenway next to bayou with Houston skyline in background.

Houston Developers Question Mayor’s Stance on Pedestrian Projects

The new mayor’s reversal of road safety projects, some already underway or completed, is raising eyebrows among developers who say residents want walkable, mixed-use streets.

3 hours ago - Houston Chronicle

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.