Chicago’s New Cultural Affairs Czar Vows to Honor House Music Traditions

House Music is one of Chicago's "great contributions to the world," says Mark Kelly.

The City of Chicago has a new culture czar, and he’s vowed to “honor” the city’s homegrown musical traditions – including its role in the birth and incubation of House Music.

Mark Kelly joins the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events after some 32 years at Columbia College. During his confirmation hearing last week before a committee of the Chicago City Council, Kelly outlined his vision of DCASE’s role:

“There is something special about Chicago,” he said. “We are the birthplace of store-front theater, modern architecture, footwork, improv, gospel music, House Music, the urban blues and more.”

Kelly called House Music one of the “great contributions to the world.”

“We have to know our legacy,” he said. “We have to know what we created and be more proud of it. I hope to support that.”

Kelly replaces Michelle T. Boone, who served as Commissioner since 2011. DCASE has been a remarkable engine for Chicago’s House Music scene in the last few years, organizing and sponsoring outdoor concerts, lunchtime dance shows and of course Move Your Body, the city’s mighty House Music exhibition.

Photo via City of Chicago