Previews of upcoming arts events

Catherine Rogers ‘18 Named National Merit Scholarship Winner 

Mother McAuley graduate Catherine Rogers has been named a National Merit $2,500 Scholarship Winner by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC).  She is one of 2,500 designees who were chosen from a talent pool of more than 15,000 outstanding finalists in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program.  

Rogers is a Beverly/Morgan Park resident and graduate of St. John Fisher School.  

With a grade point average of 4.49, Rogers earned the distinction of valedictorian for the McAuley class of 2018. Last year, Rogers earned the highest possible ACT composite score of 36. On average, less than one-tenth of one percent of students who take the ACT earn a top score. She will attend the University of Illinois where she plans to study engineering. 

“The distinction of being selected as a National Merit Scholarship winner is the perfect capstone to Catherine’s Mother McAuley career,” said Eileen O’Reilly ’03, school principal. “Throughout her years at McAuley, Catherine’s academic success has been a testament to her drive to never settle for less than her best. As she moves into college and a career, I know that she will continue to set and achieve the impressive goals she sets for herself.”  

National Merit $2,500 Scholarship winners are the finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. Scholars were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors, who appraised a substantial amount of information submitted by both the finalists and their high schools: the academic record, including difficulty level of subjects studied and grades earned; scores from two standardized tests; contributions and leadership in school and community activities; an essay written by the Finalist; and a recommendation written by a high school official. 

Rogers is a Catherine McAuley Honors Scholar, a program which recognizes superior academic achievement. She also is a member of the National Honor Society, National English Honor Society, Junior Classical League, Student Ambassadors, Book Club, Math Macs and runs Cross Country and Track.  

Her freshman year at McAuley, Rogers received the Sister Agatha O’Brien Memorial Scholarship which recognizes students who score in the top five percent on the High School Placement Test.  She also was one of 16 students to receive the Tradition of Excellence Scholarship for legacy students.  

Art and Culture at the Ridge Park Art Fair

 By Krsistin Boza 

The inaugural Ridge Park Art Fair & Festival is slated for Sat., June 23 at the Ridge Park Cultural Center, 9625 S. Longwood Dr. As a joint effort between the Ridge Park Advisory Council (RPAC), the John H. Vanderpoel Art Association and the Chicago Park District, the art fair promises to bring art, culture and fun to the community. 

Irene Testa, president of the John H. Vanderpoel Art Association, came up with the idea of the summertime art festival to enhance the rise of the vibrant arts community in Beverly/Morgan Park.  

“Artists need our support and their contributions to society are not adequately acknowledged and rewarded,” Testa said. “The Art Fair fits perfectly with the mission of the John H. Vanderpoel Art Association, which is to aid children and adults in acquiring a knowledge of and an appreciation for art.” 

The Art Fair is supported by Ridge Park supervisor Dan Ryan, and RPAC, led by Mary Jo Viero. Testa says that the assistance and support from the park district and RPAC has been invaluable to gaining momentum for the Art Fair. 

Forty-one artists will open booths at the Art Fair, selling their art and chatting with attendees. Participating artists will be selling paintings, photos, jewelry, ceramics, and even dolls.  

“I invite the public to support the artists by purchasing their art. It takes a lot of work to set up a booth and dedicate a day to selling their creations,” Testa said. “Let’s make it a rewarding day for the artists, and the community will benefit from having an Art Fair right here in Beverly.”  

The Ridge Park Art Fair will also offer visitors many opportunities to experience community fun. The ceramics studio at Ridge Park and the Vanderpoel Gallery will be open for tours, and local artist Judie Anderson will create a watercolor rendition of Ridge Park during the event. 

Families with young children are welcomed as well, and a bounce house will be set up for the kids to enjoy. Three food trucks will be selling food onsite, including Calabria’s, Pollo Locuas and Smokin’ BBQ Kitchen. Attendees can also dance and enjoy live music. 

For more information, visit the Ridge Park Art Fair & Festival website at 

Zeshan B and the Transistors at Beverly Art Center June 22 

Zeshan Bagewadi, one of the Rolling Stone’s 10 New Artists You Need to Know, will be performing Fri., June 22, 8 p.m., at the Beverly Arts Center (BAC), 2407 W. 111th St.  Zeshan B and the Transistors will play a concert that mixes Memphis R&B, Chicago Blues and the sounds of Bagewadi’s roots in India and Pakistan.  

Zeshan B and the Transistors is composed of some of Chicago’s brightest musical talent. Now on tour, they performed at the Lincoln Center in New York last month and will be at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Tennessee in June before heading to Chicago for their concert at the BAC.   

Born in Chicago, Zeshan B’s distinctive musical style was formed by the influences of the local music scene as well as the music played in his home. Bagewadi’s parents are from India, and exposed their son to traditional Indo-Pakistani music in addition to an extensive collection of music from the 1960s and 1970s, including blues, soul and R&B.  

Music lovers and the media took notice when Zeshan B released “Vetted” in 2017. The album charted at 8 on Billboard’s Top Ten Albums (World Music), and received excellent reviews from Rolling Stone, NPR, ABC, and the Times of India. Zeshan B’s hit single, a cover of George Perkins’ 1970 civil rights-inspired “Cryin’ in the Streets” that resonates with today’s social justice and political issues, earned high praise from American Songwriter (which called it “an anthem for modern protesters”), New York Times, Chicago Tribune and other media.  

Tickets for Zeshan B and the Transistors are $27 ($24 for Beverly Arts Center members) and available at, the BAC, 111th and Western, Chicago, or by phone 773-445-3838.  

Art Fair & Festival Debuts at Ridge Park this Summer

The 1st annual Ridge Park Art Fair & Festival will take place Sat., June 23, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Ridge Park Cultural Center, 9625 S. Longwood Dr. The event is being planned by the Ridge Park Advisory Council (RPAC) and John H. Vanderpoel Art Association along with the Chicago Park District, and will highlight Beverly/Morgan Park as a cultural hub.

The Ridge Park Art Fair & Festival will feature more than 40 Chicago area artists working across a wide variety of media, selling original paintings, sculptures, textiles, photographs, jewelry, art glass, leatherwork and more. Registration is now closed to artists.

As a Chicago Park District cultural center, Ridge Park offers rich and dynamic programming that will be highlighted throughout the art fair and festival. The John H. Vanderpoel Museum is located in the fieldhouse through the Chicago Park District’s Arts Partners in Residency Program, which unites artists and communities in Chicago’s parks. The Museum hosts a world-class collection of Impressionist paintings and other late 19th and early 20th century paintings and works on paper. Ridge Park Art Fair attendees will  have the opportunity to take guided tours of the Vanderpoel Museum, as well as of the park facilities and ceramics studio.

Rounding out the day will be events for patrons of all ages: food trucks, a bouncy castle, local bands, the opportunity to connect with Beverly/Morgan Park institutions and services.

Information about the Ridge Park Art Fair & Festival is available at Donations and sponsorships are still available. For more information, contact Irene Testa,, or Mary Jo Viero,

Public Art Installation Coming to 99th Street

Quantum Me, a permanent piece of public art created by Chicago artist Davis McCarty will be unveiled at 99th and Walden Parkway amid a community celebration on Sat., May 19 beginning at 5:30 p.m. Quantum Me s a sculpture fabricated from mirror polished stainless steel and dichroic Plexiglas, is the 19th Ward’s installation through the City of Chicago’s 50×50 Neighborhood Arts Project.

Among the people planning to gather for the installation are Mark Kelly, Commissioner of the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), artist Davis McCarty, 19th Ward Ald. Matt O’Shea, Morgan Park Beverly Hills Business Association Executive Director Caroline Connors, and Co-Directors of the Beverly Area Arts Alliance Monica Wilczak and Sal Campbell. The public is invited to the installation which will be followed by a block-party style celebration between 99th and 100th Streets on Walden Parkway.

‘This is a great opportunity for us to come together and show Mark Kelly and the City that we are a neighborhood that loves and supports art,” Campbell said.

Quantum Me is a piece of art that will be easy to love” Colorful, ever-changing and offering a reflective perspective of viewers and the environment.

“If you walk around Quantum Me, the colors will magically change before your eyes,” McCarty said. “Two people standing in different locations can actually see different colors looking at the same spot.”

People who gather for the celebration will be among the first to have a close-up look at the sculpture that is sure to draw a lot of attention and visitors at its spot just across the street from the 99th Street Metra Station.  The celebration will include live music by blues vocalist Sheryl Youngblood, micro-brews from Horse Thief Hollow and Open Outcry Brewing Company, food from local establishments, and a preview of the Brews, Bags and Art competition coming up on May 20. All of the 99th and Walden businesses will stay open late for the event.

McCarty’s companion piece to Quantum Me is installed in Rogers Park, book-ending the city. Quantum Me is a giant spherical ball that transports the viewer into the sky. The Rogers Park sculpture is reversed, with the ball on the ground.

McCarty grew up in Southeast Asia where his parents were missionaries. He moved back to the United States to attend school at Beloit College in Wisconsin, majoring in computer science.  His work is influenced by Asian temples as well as science and technology.

The sculptures McCarty created for the 19th Ward and Rogers Park will last for decades because of the materials used to create them. “They will look as great in 50 years as they do today,” McCarty said.

The polished steel portion of Quantum Me is made from the same material as the Bean in Millennium Park. “As a society, we use images to share our experience with others,” McCarty said. “Creating a sculpture that allows people to photograph themselves in the art while simultaneously capturing the city is a great way to commemorate the experience of visiting Beverly. I hope to make people ask ‘where is that?’ and want to plan their own visit.”

McCarty’s Quantum Me was selected for the 19th Ward by a panel of community members, including representatives from BAPA, the Ward office, residents and artists. The project was spearheaded by the Beverly Area Arts Alliance.

Southside Friends of the Chicago Sinfonietta Raise $30,000 to Support Orchestra

The Southside Friends of the Chicago Sinfonietta recently presented a check for $30,000 to Chicago Sinfonietta CEO Jim Hirsch. The donation, raised at the group’s 18th annual Magical Holliday Breakfast held in December (2017) in the Crystal Garden at Navy Pier, was presented by Beverly/Morgan Park neighbor Loretta Hopkins Davenport, 2018 President of the Southside Friends of the Chicago Sinfonietta, at a breakfast held in February at the Ingersoll-Blackwelder House in Beverly/Morgan Park.

The Southside Friends group support the Chicago Sinfonietta through fundraising, hands-on activities, and introducing friends and family to the orchestra. Donations from these dedicated volunteers benefit the Chicago Sinfonietta’s programs to expand performance opportunities to talented young musicians and classical music education outreach to the Chicagoland communities. The recent donation will help fund the SEED (Student Ensembles with Excellence and Diversity) and Project Inclusion programs. Musicians from Project Inclusion performed a chamber music recital at the Southside Friends’ breakfast event.


Founded in 1987, the Chicago Sinfonietta is a professional orchestra dedicated to modeling and promoting racial and cultural diversity and inclusion through the universal language of symphonic music, making classical music for accessible to everyone. Learn more about the orchestra at and more about membership in the Southside Friends of the Chicago Sinfonietta by calling Courtney Parker, 312-284-1559.

Neighborhood Notes – April 2018

Spring Flower Sale. Morgan Park Presbyterian Church, 2017 W. 110th Pl., is accepting orders for its annual sale of spring flowers through May 10. Choices include several varieties of impatiens, petunias, salvia, geraniums, herns and more, and can be ordered in four-packs, flats, pots and baskets. Flower pick-up is May 19. Info:

CAPS Meetings. 22nd District Police CAPS meetings are open to all. Beat 2221, Tues., Apr. 3, 7 p.m. Christ the King, 9225 S. Hamilton; Court Advocacy Subcommittee, Wed., Apr. 11, 1:30 p.m. 22nd District Police Station, 1900 W. Monterey; Bea 2213, Thurs., Apr. 12, 6:30 p.m. Ridge Park, 9625 S. Longwood Dr.; Domestic Violence Subcommittee, Thurs., Apr. 26, 10:30 a.m. 22nd District Police Station.  Info: 312-745-0620.

Smith Village Open Mic Night. Area singers, musicians, comedians and other entertainers are welcome to perform at Open Mic Night, Tues., Apr. 3, 7 to 10 p.m., Smith Village Community Hall, 2320 W. 113th P. Free; refreshments will be served. To sign up an act, contact Debbie Parks, or 773-574-9727. For information about attending, call 773-474-7300 and ask for Meghan Maple.

Beverly Therapists Offer Groups, Events. Beverly Therapists, 10725 S. Western, 2nd floor, offers a variety of groups and seminars. Free ongoing monthly LGBTQ+ Support Group for high school aged teens; call Christina Sprayberry, 314-550-4384 or Bonn Wade, 773-330-2544 for info. Spring Renewal Wellness Seminar, Sat., Apr. 21, 3 to 5 p.m., featuring guided meditation, QiGong and gentle yoga to raise energies for a fresh start,$10.  Grieving a Child Support Group meets the first Wednesday of each month, 7 to 9 p.m., and Grieving a Partner Support Group meets the third Wednesday of each month, 7 to 9 p.m., $30 per session. Info and registration:

LSC Meetings. John H. Vanderpoel Humanities Academy LSC, Tues., Apr. 3, 5:30 p.m. 9510 S. Prospect Ave., 773-535-269; Kellogg School LSC, Thurs., Apr. 5, 6 p.m. School Library, 9241 S. Leavitt St., 773-535-2590; Barnard Elementary School LSC, Mon., Apr. 16, 6:30 p.m. Room 203, 10354 S. Charles St., 773-535-2625; Clissold School LSC, Mon., Apr. 16, 7 p.m. Auditorium, 2350 W. 110th Pl., 773-535-2560; Sutherland School LSC, Tues., Apr. 17, 6:30 p.m. school, 10015 S. Leavitt St., 773-535-2580; Morgan Park High School LSC, Wed., Apr. 18, 7 to 9 p.m. Library, 1744 W. Pryor, 773-535-2550; and Barbara Vick Early Childhood & Family Center LSC, Tues., Apr. 24, 3:45 p.m., St. Xavier University, 3700 W. 103rd St., 773-535-2671.

Dance Gallery Registration. Registration is now open for the spring session of dance classes for children and adults at the Dance Gallery, 10628 S. Western. Classes are offered for beginners through advanced levels in several dance disciplines, and are taught by a professional dance faculty. Info: 773-445-8910 or

Butterfly Gardening Workshop. The Oak Lawn Park District hosts a butterfly gardening workshop Sat., Apr. 7, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Oak View Center, 4625 W. 110th St. The workshop will be divided into three parts: butterfly gardening, monarch conservation, and raising caterpillars at home. $10.  Register using code 427117 at 708-857-2201.

Yoga and Wellness Events. Light House Yoga & Wellness, 11240 S. Western Ave., 2nd floor offers the following events this month: Ayurveda for Spring with Maureen Ryan, Sun., Apr. 8, 1 p.m.; Women’s Workshop with Life Coach Bridget Rourke, Sun., Apr. 15, 3 p.m.; Welcome to Light House Open House Celebration, Sun., Apr. 22, all day, featuring free yoga classes (sign up at, live music, refreshments and good vibes; and Sound Healing: Live Music, Restorative Yoga and Aromatherapy with Brendan McAlinden and Erin Kelly, Sun., Apr. 29, 3 p.m. Info: 773-569-1015. Complete class schedule and registration:

Registration Opens Apr. 8 for Summer Peace Camp.  Registration opens Apr. 8 for the annual Peace Camp at Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church, 9401 S. Oakley Ave. Peace Camp is for children entering 1st grade through 6th grade, and will be held June 2 through 29, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Children will learn how to find peace through yoga and prayer, non-violent conflict resolution, multicultural appreciation, the arts, care of creation, and more. Bible stories will teach about peace and camp includes a one-day field trip. All children welcome. $60 per camper (scholarships available). Register on a first-come, first-served basis at  or 773-445-7558.

Seminar Topic is Jesus’s Ministry. Lois Tverberg, author of “Reading the Bible with Jesus,” will present a seminar on the topic Jesus, Our Rabbi and Lord Sun., Apr. 8, 5 to 6:30 p.m., Bethany Union Church of Chicago, 1750 W. 103rd St. The seminar will look at how Jesus’s first-century Jewish context sheds light on his ministry and messianic claims. Free. Info/RSVP: 773-779-0123 or

Chicago Speech Study Seeks Volunteers. The Georgetown University Department of Linguistics is conducting a study on the production and perception of Chicago speech, seeks the help of people over age 18 who were born and raised in the Chicago area and have normal hearing and speech.  The study lasts around 60 minutes and will take place at Northwestern University, Apr, 9 to 13. Participants will read a series of sentences while the movement of their tongue is measured with ultrasound. Their speech will be recorded with audio and video. You will then complete a computer-based task where you are asked to listen to speech samples and report what you hear. Info: Jonathan Havenhill, Participants will receive a $20 Amazon gift card.

Longwood Writers Guild. Longwood Writers Guild, a critique group for adult creative writers, will meet Mon. Apr. 9. 7 pm., BAPA Community Room, 11109 S. Longwood Dr. Bring a piece you are working on to read aloud for productive comments. Donation requested. Info:

Kellogg School Events. The Adler Planetarium’s ‘Scopes in the City will be at Kellogg School, 9241 S. Leavitt, Mon., Apr. 23, 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. for a free  program of observing the spring sky – hopefully including the moon and Venus – by telescope. The event will be held weather permitting, so check and Twitter @AdlerPlanet for updates closer to the event.  Jazzin’ at the Blossom, a benefit for Kellogg School, will be held Fri., June 1, 7 to 10 p.m., Wild Blossom Meadery & Winery, 9030 S. Hermitage. The event features live music, open bar, and wine and food pairings with Chef Alvin Green. $50 before May 11 or $60 after. Info:

End of Life Care for Pets. Veterinarian Dr. Amir Shanan will present “Hospice and Other Choices for End of Life Care for Pets,” a lecture and discussion, Tues., Apr. 24, 7 p.m., Ingersoll-Blackwelder House, 10910 S. Prospect Ave. Dr. Shanan provides information, support and guidance in helping owners of beloved geriatric or seriously ill pets with care options. He is founder of the International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care. Reservations needed by Apr. 12 at or 708-638-6813. $5 donation requested for the not-for-profit Compassion for Pets organization that assists families unable to pay for end of life care for their pets.

Free Shred Event. Beverly Bank and Trust, 10258 S. Western, will hold a free shred event Sat., Apr. 14, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Items you can shred include: tax information and returns, investment and bank records, cancelled checks and paycheck stubs, bills and household information, personal documents and more. Electronic devices will be collected for recycling. Info: 773-239-2265.

Rummage Sale. Morgan Park United Methodist Church, 11030 S. Longwood Dr., will hold a spring rummage sale Fri., Apr. 13 and Sat., Apr. 14, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Clothing, household items, jewelry, books, furniture and more will be available. Enter at north end of the parking lot. Info: 773-238-2600

Life Line Screening. Life Line Screening, a provider of community-based preventive health screenings, will offer a preventive health event Tues., Apr. 17, Bethany Union Church, 1750 W. 103rd St. Five screenings will scan for potential health problems related to blocked arteries, abdominal aortic aneurysms, hardening of the arteries in the legs, atrial fibrillation or irregular heartbeat, and bone density. Fees, information and registration: 1-888-653-6441 or

Renaissance Academy. The John T. Farrell, Sr. Forum of Renaissance Academy presents a spring forum, Catherine of Siena:  Philosopher, Theologian, Saint and Doctor of the Church, Thurs., Apr. 19, 11:30 a.m., Saint Xavier University, 3700 W. 103rd St., Butler Reception Room. Dominican Sister Nancy Murray dramatizes vignettes of St. Catherine’s life from childhood to her influence on political and church leaders of her time. A light luncheon precedes the presentation. Admission is free and open to the public.

Clean and Green. Join BAPA and help clean up a park, train station or public space near you on Chicago clean and green spring clean-up day, Sat., April 21, starting at 9 a.m. Find locations and easy sign-up at

Band Plays Four Seasons Music. The Four C Notes, a tribute to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, will perform Sat., Apr. 21. 8 p.m. Baffes Theatre, Beverly Art Center (BAC), 2407 W. 111th St.  Tickets: $30 ($27/Beverly Arts Center members). Tickets/info: 773-445-3838 or

Open House Highlights Rehab Therapy Services. Learn about the physical, occupational and speech therapy teams at Mercy Circle, 3659 W. 99th St., at an open house, Sun., Apr. 22, 11 to 2 p.m. Therapists offer short-term services to help patients with the transition from a hospital stay to self-reliance back at home. Information about this rehab option as well as an introduction to Mercy Circle’s independent living lifestyle will be offered at the open house. Guests are encouraged to tour the chapel, exercise room, salon, library and dining rooms and ask questions about the many, daily activities at Mercy Circle. Info/private appointments: 773-253-3600.

Faith and Unity: Community Choir Concert.  The Beverly/Morgan Park Community Choir will perform its annual concert with the theme “Faith & Unity,” Sun., Apr. 22, 4 p.m., St. Cajetan Church, 2445 W. 112th St. The choir will perform a variety of sacred music from classical to gospel, accompanied by piano, percussion, and brass instruments.  Nearly 60 singers from 20 churches throughout the South Side are members of the Beverly/Morgan Park Community Choir. The group draws singers of all faiths. The concert is open to all; a free will offering will be taken at intermission. Info: or

Motown Revue at BAC. Masters of Soul Motown Revue, a celebration of the legendary songs and performers that defined Motown and soul music, will be on stage Fri., Apr. 27, 8 p.m. Baffes Theatre, Beverly Art Center (BAC), 2407 W. 111th St.  Tickets: $38 ($34/Beverly Arts Center members). Tickets/info: 773-445-3838 or

‘Cinderella’ at BAC. Chicago Kids Company presents “Cinderella,” one hour musical adaptation of the popular fairy tale geared to children age 2 to 12, selected dates through May 5, Baffes Theatre, Beverly Art Center (BAC), 2407 W. 111th St. Tickets: $12; lap children under age 2, free. Group rates available. Info/tickets: 773-205-9600 or

Robbie Fulks at BAC. Robbie Fulks, alternative country singer-songwriter and instrumentalist, performs Fri., May 4, 8 p.m. Baffes Theatre, Beverly Art Center (BAC), 2407 W. 111th St.  Tickets: $30 ($27/Beverly Arts Center members). Tickets/info: 773-445-3838 or

BIA Bird Watch and Nature Walk. The Beverly Improvement Association (BIA) hosts its annual Bird Watch and Nature Walk Sat., May 12, at Dan Ryan Woods. The free coffee, juice, and donuts tailgate begins at 7:30 a.m. in the 89th and Western Avenue parking lot. At 8:15 a.m., noted local ornithologist Walter Marcisz will begin the tour. Bring binoculars and wear waterproof boots.


Golden Masquerade Gala Marks 50th Anniversary of Beverly Arts Center

The Beverly Arts Center will celebrate its 50th anniversary at the Golden Masquerade Gala on Sat., Apr. 7, 7 to 11 p.m. The event will honor Bill Baffes, CEO of County Fair with the BAC Founders Award, and Pat McGrail, former BAC executive director, with the BAC Lifetime Achievement Award.

The South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Committee and Edris Hoover, former BAC board member, auxiliary member and former President of the Ridge Historical Society, will serve as honorary co-chairs of the Golden Masquerade Gala Committee.

The BAC’s signature fundraiser, the Golden Masquerade Gala will feature silent and live auctions, live music and dancing, passed hors d’oeuvres, food stations and open bar.  Masks are encouraged.  Gala proceeds will help provide arts programming to audiences and students participating in dance, music, visual arts, theater and film at the BAC, as well as the BAC’s arts outreach program which annually serves nearly 6,000 students in schools throughout Chicago.

Fulfilling and Sustaining a Dream

Fifty years ago, a group of community members led by Eleanor Pillsbury and Alice Baer dreamed of an arts center that would not only house fine arts, but allow people to actively participate in the pursuit of those arts. They envisioned a center that would reach beyond the Beverly/Morgan Park area to develop young and adult talent and generate experimentation in all phases of art including music, dance, fine arts and drama. Influential community leaders including Arthur Baer, Ross Beatty, Paul Steinbeck, Dimitry Wanda, Alice Christopher, John Horton, James Tuthill and George Wendt founded the Beverly Arts Center and formed the original Board of Directors.

Bill Baffes was chosen to receive the BAC Founders Award because he has demonstrated the same commitment, passion and vision for supporting the arts in the community as the Center’s founders.

“In his unwavering support for the community and encouragement of the arts, Baffes is dedicated to assisting organizations like the BAC that keep the community strong,” said current BAC Board President Barb O’Malley. “During the BAC Challenge several years ago, Baffes was one of the first to step up with a sizeable donation to kick off the campaign and reinvigorate the BAC.  His support has continued through the years as a donor and patron.”

In December 2014, the BAC rededicated its 400 seat theatre as the Baffes Theatre.

Pat McGrail will receive the BAC Lifetime Achievement Award for her work both as a volunteer and staff member at the BAC.  Mc Grail has been an integral part of the BAC since its beginning.  She was first a volunteer and then the BAC manager for nearly a dozen years.  She was active member of the Board of Directors, served many times as chair of the BAC Auction, and has volunteered for many BAC programs.

“Pat McGrail is also one of our most dedicated supporters of BAC programs,” O’Malley said. “She is frequently spotted at gallery openings, films, events and concerts, and is among the first to step up and help when the BAC has a need.”

The Celebration

The 50th Anniversary Golden Masquerade Gala will be held at the Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St. Festivities include silent and live auctions that are sure to encourage lively bidding and comedian Pat McGann will serve as the emcee and auctioneer. Auction items include four Park Hopper passes to Disney, airline tickets, four admissions including pit passes for NASCAR at Chicagoland Speedway, and a variety of tickets from Chicago’s outstanding theater, music, ballet, sports and museum venues

A real hit at last year’s BAC gala and auction event, ReTurn2Soul will be performing dance music ranging from R & B to pop, Motown to hi-hop.  Composed of drums, saxophone, flutes, keyboards, bass guitar, guitar and vocals, Gala guests will not be able to stay in their seats when the band starts playing.

Throughout the evening, guests will enjoy passed hors d’oeuvres and food stations catered by Chef Alvin Green, and an open cocktail bar.

A short 50th Anniversary program featuring a video, performances by dance and music students, the presentation of awards and recognition of past board members will be held prior to the live auction.

Thanks to the Sponsors

The BAC’s 50th Anniversary Golden Masquerade Gala Diamond Sponsor is County Fair and the Platinum Sponsor is Peoples Gas. Others sponsors include Roberts McGivney Zagott LLC, Core Spaces, PwC, UAW-Ford, M. Patricia McGrail, Jim and Mary Pat Rohan, James Noonan and Dana Levinson, Desmond & Ahern, and Audrius Plioplys. Sponsorship levels begin at $500.

Gala sponsors are invited to an exclusive VIP reception from 6 to 7 p.m., prior to the start of the Gala. For information on becoming a Gala sponsor, contact Amy Chmura, BAC Development Director, 773-445-3838 ext. 207 or

Join the Party

General admission to the Golden Masquerade Gala is $75 person. Tickets can be purchased at the BAC, by calling 773-445-3838 or online at The Beverly Arts Center is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to fine arts programming and education.

Art Fair & Festival Debuts at Ridge Park this Summer

The 1st annual Ridge Park Art Fair & Festival will take place Sat., June 23 at the Ridge Park Cultural Center, 9625 S. Longwood Dr. The event is being planned by the Ridge Park Advisory Council (RPAC) and John H. Vanderpoel Art Association along with the Chicago Park District, and will highlight Beverly/Morgan Park as a cultural hub.

The Ridge Park Art Fair & Festival will feature Chicago area artists working across a wide variety of media, selling their paintings, sculptures, wearables, prints, photographs, and much more. Event planners anticipate a diverse array of art and artists will participate.

As a Chicago Park District cultural center, Ridge Park offers rich and dynamic programming that will be highlighted throughout the art fair and festival. The John H. Vanderpoel Museum is located in the fieldhouse through the Chicago Park District’s Arts Partners in Residency Program, which unites artists and communities in Chicago’s parks. The Museum hosts a world-class collection of Impressionist paintings and other late 19th and early 20th century paintings and works on paper. Ridge Park Art Fair attendees will  have the opportunity to take guided tours of the Vanderpoel Museum, as well as of the park facilities and ceramics studio.

Rounding out the day will be events for patrons of all ages: food trucks, a bouncy castle, local bands, the opportunity to connect with Beverly/Morgan Park institutions and services.

Chicagoland artists are invited to apply for the Ridge Park Art Fair & Festival at  A. $20 application fee is required and will be used toward the $85 booth fee for artists accepted into the juried fair. Space is limited. Eligible fine art media include paintings, sculpture, ceramics, leather crafts, textiles, jewelry, and art glass.  For more information, contact Irene Testa,

Make a Date for Movie Night at BAC

Whether you’re with friends, your significant other or going solo, movie night is a great way to spend an evening. The Beverly Arts Center (BAC), 2407 W. 111th St., Chicago, is a hidden gem, perfect for cinema lovers on a quest to find the films that may not be screened anywhere else nearby by as well as for movie fans looking for a place to see a show without busting their entertainment budget.

The popular BACinema movie selection is outstanding – just as you would expect from a fine arts venue! Coming up on the BAC’s big screen in the next few weeks are a film nominated for the Sundance Grand Jury Prize, a screening in the 7th Annual One Earth Film Festival, the one-day South Side Irish Parade Film Festival, a Chicago International Film Festival official selection, and a program of this year’s Oscar-nominated short films.

The intimate 400-seat theater ensures an unobstructed view for the BACinema screenings of new, indie and classic films. Bonus amenities are the regular $6 admission (a dollar less if you’re a BAC member!), and the bargain price of $2 for fresh popcorn.

Jonathan Moeller, coordinator of the BAC’s film program, carefully curates the critically acclaimed features, independent and foreign films, documentaries, classics, Chicago-made movies, and children’s films that are screened at least twice a month at the BAC. On the BACinema schedule are:

2018 South Side Irish Parade Film Festival will be held on Sat., Mar. 3 and includes a 3 p.m. matinee, 6 p.m. festival reception with traditional Irish music, and 7 p.m. evening screening followed by post movie music. Films are “Life is Short,” a short film about a woman who finds herself at a crossroads in her own life when she discovers a secret from her grandmother’s past; “The Boxer,” a feature about a man trying to rebuild his life after “taking the rap” for the IRA and serving 14 years in prison; “Uisce Beatha,” a short film about a successful young banker whose eyes are opened on a visit with her hardworking parents in rural County Kerry; and “The Secret Scripture,” a feature with Vanessa Redgrave and Eric Bana about a woman who keeps a diary during her extended stay in a mental hospital. Matinee admission is $10; evening movie with pre- and post-receptions admission is $18; and an inclusive festival pass is $25.

The BACinema screening for the 7th Annual One Earth Film Festival is “What Lies Upstream,” a documentary by Cullen Hoback that reveals how the quality of drinking water is impacted by how companies and the government circumvent public health policies and the lax enforcement of laws that protect the environment, Wed., Mar. 7, 7:30 p.m. The One Earth Film festival is the Midwest’s premier environmental film festival. The 2018 theme is “This is the Moment,” and the BAC is one of 47 Chicago area venues that will be screening quality environmental documentaries that underscore the urgency for awareness and action as the effects of climate change intensify across the planet. Festival programs will offer solutions-based opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds. The BACinema screening will be followed by a led discussion.

“Rogers Park” (2017) official selection in the Chicago International Film Festival, will be screened Thurs., Mar. 8, 7:30 p.m.  Set in Chicago’s most diverse neighborhood, this thought provoking drama follows four intertwined lives as two couples begin to buckle under midlife pressures. Filmmaker Kyle Henry will conduct a Q&A with audience following the screening.

Enjoy an evening of top-quality, creative filmmaking on Wed., Mar. 28, 7:30 p.m., as BACinema screens several live action, animated and documentary short films nominated for 2018 Academy Awards.

For more details, movie trailers and tickets, visit and find BACinema under the events tab. The not-for-profit Beverly Arts Center offers fine arts programming in visual and performance arts as well as filmmaking and specialty arts. Now celebrating its 50th anniversary, the BAC serves artists and audiences from throughout Chicagoland. For more information, call 773-445-3838.