Support Us

2020 City of Culture Initiative

IMG 9396 Small

International Beethoven Project announces
“2020 City of Culture” Initiative

CHICAGO (December 16, 2014) —The International Beethoven Project (IBP), led by Founder, President and Artistic Director George Lepauw, released details today about its “2020 City of Culture” Initiative, inspired by Beethoven’s legacy as artist, promoter of universal brotherhood, and upcoming 250th anniversary in 2020, exactly six years from today. The Initiative is intended to bring cultural, educational, public and private sector organizations, together with individual citizens, artists, and community groups in a multi-disciplinary exploration of culture and its impact on social, economic, and civic engagement. The Initiative will culminate in a grand yearlong celebration of creativity throughout Chicagoland in 2020, co-designed by all organizations and individuals engaged in this deeply collaborative project, to showcase the best of what Chicago has to offer, and invite the world to take part.

“Since the founding of IBP in 2009, we knew we would organize something important and ambitious to celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birthday in 2020, right here in Chicago”, said Lepauw. “But we did not want to replicate a typical Beethoven celebration. Instead, we wanted to honor his legacy and build upon it with a broad collaborative project that would engage the city throughout its neighborhoods, engage the world beyond, and connect to Chicago’s own great history of world fairs and bold architecture, its Burnham Plan of Chicago, its ongoing Cultural Plan, and its rich diversity. Celebrating Beethoven’s enduring spirit by bringing people of all backgrounds together to strengthen our bonds of universal brotherhood, epitomized by his Ode to Joy, and so deeply relevant today, is the most meaningful hommage we can pay to this universal genius. Creating a major cultural project in 2020 to showcase the talents and can-do attitudes of Chicagoans, and working toward a fully-engaged city, is a lofty ideal in line with Beethoven’s own. Together, we can build this grand project, make our city shine brighter, and learn important lessons.”

The 2020 City of Culture will be built in three broad phases. The first will focus on engaging partners, developing a task force and committees, setting in motion basic organizing principles, and connecting with neighborhood communities throughout Chicago. The second phase will focus on drawing up a specific plan of action and budget for 2020, and the third phase will be to implement it. Throughout, conversations will be ongoing, events will be organized, and momentum will be gathered. Updates will be sent to report progress and milestones on a regular basis.

Organizations and individuals interested in partnering and getting involved should send inquiries to

  1. Stefan Patrut
    Stefan Patrut03-27-2017

    Hello friends at IBP!
    Allow me to call you “my friends,” although I have not made anything to deserve it. Although I have surveyed your work dedicated to the promotion of Beethoven’s music, I felt shy of joining you, because I am not, like you, a musician or a musicologist and I could not contribute to your admirable dedication. I am just a “Beethoven fan” and my endeavors to add a little to the scholarly understanding of Beethoven has bore only scanty fruit.
    I am addressing you now because I have an idea – a movie to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the man that has filled our lives with so much. It would be far more that IBP can achieve, because it should be a regular feature. However, the IBP community has connections that may reach the movie industry. After the calamitous last movies about Beethoven (IB, Copying ..), it would be the right time to celebrate this anniversary with one finally showing the real man – viewed through the eyes of a woman. What about “The Girl than Loved Beethoven?” Maybe one of you knows the right person someplace.

Leave a Reply