Neighborhood groups unite on festival transparency
The Bucktown Community Organization, the Wicker Park Committee, the Ukrainian Village Neighborhood Association and the East Village Association recognize that festivals can bring a vibrancy to an area, introduce new people to our neighborhoods, and provide financial benefits to certain community organizations. The Bucktown, Wicker Park, Ukrainian Village & East Village communities support a limited number of such events, provided such events are properly managed and work with the community to ensure that these potentially positive results can be realized.
As such, the neighbors of Bucktown, Wicker Park, Ukrainian Village & East Village request the following from all festivals in our neighborhood, including Wicker Park Fest, Do Division, Green Fest, West Fest, Fashion Fest:
- Complete transparency of festival financial statements. Including a detailed breakout of sponsorship, vendors, beer sales, grants, expenses & donations (at minimum, for the prior two years).
- Inclusion of neighborhood groups in each festival’s logistics, safety & police plans in a timely fashion so they can have input and inform residents of what to expect.
- Understanding that profits vary by fest, we would like more consistency between fests in our neighborhoods regarding the portion of proceeds that go to community organizations.
- If the festival decides to take donations, they must post signage explaining how the donation will be used. (Chicago law states that you can’t charge admission to the public way) This should include an established percentage of the gate to be donated to the identified non-profit, excluding festival organizers.
- Each festival takes the responsibility to make sure any community organizations or non-profits receiving are legitimate and are using proceeds as stated to go back into the neighborhood on a timely basis.
Together we feel strongly that more transparency and consistency among fests in our neighborhoods will result in safer festivals, reduce aggravation among community members, and provide more tangible benefits to the community and community organizations.