Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Creativity and Cultural Collaboration in the Rogers Park Community

It is often said that a community is defined by the people who live, work and play there. How true that is! Regardless of background, ethnicity and age, those who can come together and celebrate life as a collective are more likely to support and encourage each other when times get really tough. Here in Rogers Park, we have a great sense of community pride, with our focus being on accessible social involvement for all, and what better way than taking part in a cultural or creative happening? Research has shown that people who participate in regular creative activities are far happier, more self-confident and less stressed than those who choose to not to take part. So, with that in mind, take a look at a couple of the coolest festivals on offer and a particular creative activity available to Rogers Park Residents over the coming months. Let the good times roll, folks!

Release Your Inner Artist with the Annual ‘Artist of the Wall’ Festival

When:  Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 June 2012, all day
Where:  Pratt and the Lake

Rogers Park’s  19th annual ‘Artists of the Wall Festival’ gives local residents the opportunity to really explore their unique creativity by allowing them to decorate the concrete bench that runs along Loyola Beach from Morse to Pratt in whatever way they choose. Budding painters will be able to work with a pristine surface on each bench, as the layers of paint that have accumulated over the years are sandblasted down to the concrete in preparation for each new festival. The event is organized by the Loyola Park Advisory Council and the money it raises is used to fund several park activities throughout the year. This family-friendly two days of fun (and hopefully sun!) at the neighbourhood’s gorgeous lake front, welcomes both new and experienced painters, from all age ranges, with cash prizes on offer for the three categories: Junior, Teen and Adult. Adding to the festivities, there will be a children’s craft tent, live music and food stalls. Places are on a ‘first come, first served’ basis, so it is advisable to contact the promoters in good time to reserve a space. Even if you don’t fancy picking up your paint-brush, make sure you mosey on down to the festival to see the wonderful art on view and meet some of your neighbours!

Come on Down and Celebrate Clark Street – A Fabulous Festival for the Whole Family!

When:  Saturday 28 July from 1.00 pm – 11.00 p.m. and Sunday 29 July from 1.00 p.m. – 10.00p.m.
Where:  Clark Street between Morse and Touhy Avenues

In 2011 more than 25,000 people converged on Clark Street to celebrate the culturally diverse community of Rogers Park with a two day festival of music, arts, crafts, and food. This year the Promoters urge you to: “Delight your senses!” with a wide array of cultural and creative experiences on offer. Highlights of the festival include two stages of live World Music organised by The Sound Culture Centre for Global Arts, plenty of ethnic food to tickle your taste buds, entertainment and activities for children, and a fantastic arts and crafts market selling a diverse range of hand-made and locally sourced goods. It’s a great chance to get into the party spirit and a real opportunity to experience first-hand the vibrancy of our unique community! For more information visit:, and if you are a local musician or vendor wanting to promote yourself on the day, you’ll find further information on the website on how you can get involved.

Take Up Computing as a New Creative Challenge

Now we know for a fact that there are many sculptors, musicians, writers, and budding performers out there in Rogers Park! In fact, our community boasts a wide array of smart people who have such a wide range of skills between them, it’s totally awesome! You only have to visit The Common Cup Coffee House to see the wealth of local artistic talent on view, and to appreciate how much Rogers Park Residents thrive on creativity and learning. However, we also know that many of you are hiding your talents under a bushel and although you would love to learn a new skill, maybe you lack the confidence to do so. Fear not, because here in Roger’s Park, there are many activities on offer for all to tempt every taste. Taking part is a great way for you to meet new friends, learn new skills and have fun at the same time.

For example, if you would love to know more about computing, but are nervous about doing so, then why not sign up for a basic computing class right here in the heart of Rogers Park? Computers can open up a whole new creative world for both young and old, and the Rogers Park Computer Lab and Technology Centre aims to provide the community with a bridge to a more technically savvy world, empowering residents with essential computer skills and enabling them to gain confidence with the click of a mouse. The course content includes: creating documents, writing emails, exploring the internet and also covers more specific tasks that many would be less familiar with such as online banking. Despite some worrying about security or complexiting making money transfers via the web is actually easier than the old fashioned offline money transfer forms and processes ever were. Finally residents will have the opportunity to learn about designing your their own website or blog page. You can go at your own pace and simply brush up on your computer skills, or if you are feeling brave, explore some more advanced computer concepts. You never know, you could end up writing that novel you always dreamed of, or learn graphic design through Adobe Photoshop! Contact Dan Butt at (773) 508-5885 for more information.

The computing course is just one of many activities available to Rogers Park Residents, but there are many more on offer - you simply have to do a bit of delving to find something that really appeals to you. A good place to start is or you could simply bookmark this blog for regular updates. Rogers Park is your community. Get involved, get active and help to play a valuable part in making this one of the best neighbourhoods in Chicago!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Artists of the Wall is a lot of fun. I did it two years ago, should probably do it again this year just for kicks. Theres always one of two every year that are really impressive. I grew up in RP, and left 14 years ago. But the Artist of the Wall is so cool, I do enjoy coming back for that. And Armadillo Pillow. And Pillars. Oh, and Thai Spice on Devon. The owner is a real cool guy.