Free Creative Chicago Expo April 21 sets stage for artists to match up with cultural resources

IFP/Chicago will be one of more than 100 service organizations and vendors participating in the fourth annual Creative Chicago Expo on Saturday, April 21.

Organizers from the Chicago Dept. of Cultural Affairs added more than 20 vendors and extended the fair one hour longer in response to last year’s turnout of some 2,500 enthusiastic creatives.

“The Expo is a really wonderful opportunity for new collaborations and opportunities. Artists will be able to connect with people from the Chicago art scene and even their own neighborhoods,” said Dept. of Cultural Affairs commissioner Lois Weisberg.

Through seminars, discussions, workshops and presentations, the free City of Chicago event aims to connect creative individuals and organizations with business, space, housing and cultural resources.

“This is a great way for us to branch out to the community to present information to a different crowd,” said IFP/Chicago director Elizabeth Donius.

“We’ll be catching people who might be involved in film but aren’t already connected with us. It’s always good to get the word out about our services to the community,” she said.

One attendee last year was independent filmmaker Sean Jourdan, who was researching his first home purchase.

“Creative housing is part of the Expo. They promote film friendly neighborhoods looking to attract artists, like space available for theatre companies,” explained Donius.

“For people who are just starting out, the city puts on great seminars for first time buyers,” said last year attendee and indie filmmaker Sean Jourdan, who produced an award-winning short, “An Open Door,” that screened at the Chicago International Film Festival.

“We used information from programs like ?Tax Smart’ to help buy our first home in Logan Square last June.” He said other filmmakers are moving into his and other rebounding neighborhoods.

“There has always been a draining of talent to L.A., however, more affordable housing for artists, I hope, would help to keep people here?making films,” Jourdan said.

Seminars on low-cost housing loans and initiatives