Interview with Jane Byrne
QUESTION 21
JAMES A. DeVINNEY:

Is that right?

JANYE BYRNE:

I, as a matter of fact, wanted to cancel it when I walked in the door. And I wanted to cancel it because I thought it's not enough in the neighborhoods. It's all downtown. I'm on record for this. Check the Tribune. And that we were expending a lot of money but we weren't getting out there into the communities. And a wave of protest hit me. And editorials from the Chicago Tribune hit me. That it was mean, it was petty. And it was probably that I was jealous that Bilandic had established it. So I said, "Fine, let it go on." But no, I didn't--I was not the inventor of Chicago Fest. As it went on I came to see that it was very good. And it did bring people together. But I didn't allow it to go on alone. I established sixteen neighborhood festivals to go with Chicago Fest so that the neighborhoods were taken care of as much as the out-of-towners, the suburbanites who really went to the fest. And we brought in top talent to perform at every neighborhood festival. Ah, people that are still stars today.