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Village Viewpoint, September 2017

By Margot Holland

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

What beautiful August weather we have enjoyed! As neighbors come back from vacations and kids start back to school you can feel the energy building in the neighborhood! It has been quite a summer for many of us. So many things going on everywhere, it seems like one of the busiest summers ever in the neighborhood with concerts, softball, summer camps and all kinds of fun for everyone!

As BAPA’s board and staff prepares for fall and winter programming, we continue to reach out to all the neighborhood small business owners, homeowner and civic associations, parishes, Local School Councils and parent organizations, and business association,  we are always humbled by the commitment of neighbors to the health and beauty of our community.

From my perspective, it seems as though we have seen tremendous growth in our commercial districts and we will work to support continued progress. To that end, we have coordinated with local women owned businesses to host a girls’ night out on Sept. 14 to Sip and Shop along the 99th and 103rd Street commercial corridors. It is sure to be lots of fun, so grab your friends and grown up daughters, and come on out to support the local economy!

This fall we continue our work in beautification by partnering with Openlands, a fellow Chicago non-profit, to plant 28 trees in residential parkways. This is always a great day full of camaraderie and accomplishment. If you are interested in volunteering or organizing a tree planting on your block, give us a call at BAPA, 773-233-3100.  However, the true heroes of our beautification efforts are the volunteers who gather every week for “Weeding Wednesday.” These folks, led by BAPA’s own Mary Jo Viero, pick a spot in the neighborhood each week, often a Metra station, and work hard to clean up and weed the area. THANK YOU to this amazing group!

Beginning in October, BAPA will be hosting a six-week Tech Tuesday program geared towards seniors in our Community Room.  The class will be held once a week, and people can explore how to use their phone, access apps, photos and much more. It is free to BAPA members. There will be more information to follow. We look forward to bringing more and more programming to our community and our members.

We are thankful for those who support BAPA’s mission through membership, and encourage anyone interested in becoming a BAPA member to contact us or check out our website at www.bapa.org. We look forward to a great month of September!

All the best, Margot

 

 

 

Sip & Shop Showcases Women-Owned Businesses

From retail to writing, interior design to salon services, women entrepreneurs and their businesses will be showcased at the Sip & Shop Girls Night Out, Thurs., Sept. 14 in the train station business districts on 103rd and 99th Streets.

The event begins with shopping, food and beverage tastings, demonstrations and more from 6 to 9 p.m. Check in at Calabria, 1905 W. 103rd St., to get a free souvenir wine tote, then start visiting participating businesses: Belle Up, Beverly Barre, Beverly Yoga Center, B Sides Coffee, Cakewalk Chicago/Markland Hubbard, Capsule, Chicago Writers Studio, Heritage Gallery & Gifts, New Beginning Alterations, Pizzeria Deepo, RMH Design, Root, Running Excels, Sweet Freaks and Tranquility.

A BYOB after party will be held from 9 to 11 p.m. at Tranquility, 9908 S. Walden Pkwy.

Admission is $10 in advance or $15 at the door and includes a souvenir wine tote. Buy advance tickets at participating businesses, get your tickets online! 

Sip & Shop is sponsored by Beverly Area Planning Association (BAPA), Southside Women’s Business Alliance and Morgan Park Beverly Hills Business Association.

Beverly Bike and Ski Sponsors Cyclocross Event

By Kristin Boza

Over 700 cyclists will descend upon the Dan Ryan Woods for friendly competition in the 9th annual Chicago Cross Cup Cyclocross bike race event on Sun., Oct. 8. Sponsored by Beverly Bike and Ski, 9121 S. Western Ave., the event is also a draw for spectators as it showcases the beauty of the Dan Ryan Woods to those from the community and from around the country.

Paul Weise, owner of Beverly Bike and Ski, sponsors the event and the Beverly Bike Racing team, which coordinates and participates in Cyclocross and other road races throughout the year.

Weise and his wife, Kathleen, have owned the popular bike business since 1996 — the store originally opened in 1921.  Weise recounts many tales of the history of the shop. “One of the most common stories I hear from customers is how people in the 1920s and ’30s would spend their Sundays grabbing a Rainbow Cone and stopping into the shop to look at the Schwinns,” he said. “When I first bought the shop, I realized the basement had a whole section filled with unicycle parts, including stacks of tires and seat pads. I asked the old owner what that was about and he said the shop used to be the official repair center for Ringling Bros. circus.”

Beverly Bike and Ski sells quality bikes for all ages that are fitted to the riders. The expert staff of mechanics keeps all makes of bikes in top condition, providing tune-ups and repairs. The store also services cross country and downhill skis. Before buying the store, Weise was head mechanic of the bike and ski departments for Erehwon Mountain Outfitters. Beverly Bike and Ski store manager Mike Wurster has 20+ years in the biking industry.

Weise likes to see his Beverly/Morgan Park neighbors staying active, biking in spring, summer and fall, and skiing in the winter. The store rents and sells cross country skis and snowshoes, and support the Beverly Improvement Association’s winter ski outings in the Dan Ryan Woods. Weise’s community spirit does not stop there! The shop sponsors the American Cancer Society Walk and Roll, and is the major sponsor of BAPA’s Beverly Hills Cycling Classic.

Perfect Fall Spectator Sport

Cyclocross has a long history, dating back to the 1910s and ’20s. Tony Rienks, Beverly Bike Racing team member and coordinator of the local races for the annual Cyclocross event, which features a variety of racing challenges as riders compete on trails, up and down hills, and across an obstacle course-worthy variety of terrains.

Rienks is looking to make this year’s event bigger and better. “In the past, the people who came to our Cyclocross event were a part of the cycling community. Now, we’re trying to open it up to everyone in Beverly as a spectator sport,” Rienks said. “Our race is one out of a 12-race series, and we’re the one that has the hills. The best part is the spot in the race at 87th and Western, when you can see the downtown skyline from the top of the hill. It’s a beautiful feature for our riders.”

The races officially run between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., and spectators can enjoy watching during any period of time. But Rienks thinks the best time to come out is between 2:30 and 4 during the slower-paced adult race. “When the beginners are out there, you will really see how well-supported these racers are. It’s truly a sport for everybody who might want to try something competitive.”

One unique Chicago tradition during Cyclocross is what is known as Hand Ups. Spectators can “hand up” an item — from a dollar bill to a jelly donut — for the riders to grab as they pass by.

“Some of the most common hand ups are bacon and Twizzlers. Why do we do it? Who knows why, it’s just because! It’s about the spectators recognizing the rider making an effort and trying to give them something silly; the crowd starts cheering once the rider takes the item,” Rienks said.

Find details and a race schedule for the local Cyclocross events at chicrosscup.com/race/dan-ryan-woods/. Shop at Beverly Bike and Ski 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mon., Tues. and Thurs.; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sat.; and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sun. Closed Wed.

Why I’m a BAPA volunteer

By Mallory Fitzpatrick

I’m so glad I signed on with BAPA; I had such a great experience. BAPA’s events are so great for our neighborhood, and it was wonderful to be a part of that. By bringing so many neighbors out into a friendly, welcoming, and fun environment, BAPA really builds that sense of community and support that makes Beverly/Morgan Park such a great place to live. You really don’t realize how much work goes into those events until you’re helping out behind the scenes.

I’ve lived in the neighborhood as long as I can remember, and grew up with events like the Ridge Run and Beverly Hills Cycling Classic. This summer, watching kids dance at Family Fun Nights and seeing the Ridge Run winners cross the finish line first hand hammered home what an amazing place this is. It was so great to have a chance to give back to the community where I have my family roots. Working with BAPA’s board and staff really demonstrated how hard those people work to make our community as incredible as it is. My deepest thanks to BAPA!

Boundary Art Space Opens in Morgan Park Garage

By Carol Flynn

Boundary, a new art exhibit space, opened in June in the garage of the Chicago bungalow at 2334 W. 111th Pl. The co-directors are Susannah Papish, who owns and lives at the property, and Larry Lee.

Papish and Lee are not new to Chicago’s art scene. Both hold Masters in Fine Arts degrees from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and are accomplished artists. They have distinguished careers in academia and administration. Lee is associate director of undergraduate admissions for SAIC, and is a lecturer on art history, theory and criticism. Papish is an undergraduate alumni recruiter for SAIC and reviews portfolios of prospective students. She has taught at a number of colleges.

Both are passionate about nurturing and supporting artists. Lee is careful not to refer to Boundary as a “gallery” because the concept is broader than a commercial enterprise for selling art.

“Boundary is an art project space that allows artists to ‘incubate’,” said Lee. “We serve as an advocate for the individual artists who exhibit with us.”

The idea for Boundary grew out of Lee’s and Papish’s visits to alternative art spaces and pop-up galleries. They both believe that one of the wonderful things about Chicago is the positive encouragement for artists and alternative settings. This has helped to bring art out of downtown and into neighborhoods, making it more accessible and less intimidating to people.

“I like to keep my finger on the pulse of the city’s art scene, and when I travel, I love to walk through museums to see what is going on,” said Lee. “The alternative spaces and pop-ups represent the vanguard for the next generation of artists; they empower the artists to operate on the fringes or along side the existing system.”

Both add that many spaces and art districts that start out as alternative become main stream. Lee referred to this as “the natural cycle.”

In 2005, Lee began Molar Productions, which he described as a “mobile curatorial project” that allowed him to stage pop-up shows. He has helped a number of friends build out artist spaces. Lee had his eye on his long-time friend Papish’s garage for years. Papish used the garage as her studio, but after she moved her studio to her basement, Lee was finally able to convert the garage into a 420-square foot project and exhibit space.

The name Boundary was chosen because the location is on the far outskirts of the city. But the word also means a frontier, unchartered and unexplored territory beyond the edge of the known, an area for discovery. And there is the psychological interpretation of “personal boundaries” – the beliefs, opinions, attitudes, etc., that help define a person, always relevant in understanding an artist’s work.

Since the opening, two exhibits have been held. The first was “Off Normal,” featuring Chicago artist John Dodge. The second, closing on Sept. 2, was “Triple Happiness,” featuring works by Annette Hur, Julie Lai and Chinatsu Ikeda.

Preparations are underway for the opening of Boundary’s third exhibit, “ANTI/body,” by Maya Mackrandilal, on Fri., Sept. 8, 6 to 9 p.m. It is for free to the public and the artist will be present. The exhibit runs through Oct. 28 and will be open for the Beverly Art Walk on Sat., Oct. 7.

Mackrandilal is a transdisciplinary artist, writer and arts administrator. She is mixed-race with roots in the Caribbean, South America, South and East Asia, and West Africa. Her artwork explores solidarity and liberation, and radical futures, for women of color. She is the Fine Arts Coordinator for the city of Buena Park, Calif.

Parking is on the street, and visitors are greeted by the family cats while walking down the driveway to the yard and garage. Boundary is informal and approachable, yet unique and cutting edge – a welcome addition to the fluid and ever-evolving art scene in Chicago.

Info on the upcoming exhibit: www.boundarychicago.space. Appointments to visit Boundary: 773-316-0562 or boundarychicago@gmail.com.

UCAN Now Serving Students through Former Beacon Therapeutic Day School

By Kristin Boza

Beacon Therapeutic Center, which for many years offered services to help at-risk youth on the south side, closed over the summer. Fortunately, UCAN, a social service agency providing many similar programs, was able to step in and take over and insure that the services provided at Beacon Therapeutic Day School, 107th and Longwood Dr., continue at UCAN Academy.

UCAN Academy absorbed the more than 40 teachers, teacher assistants and other staff as UCAN employees and is providing continuity in the education of more than 100 students. The main UCAN Academy, 3110 W. Grand Ave., is an innovative 1st through 12th grade year-round therapeutic day school and is one of the largest and most-recognized therapeutic day schools in the area.

“UCAN, outside of our expansion through the Beacon program, has been a part of the Beverly community for the last 12 years at our location at 100th and Western,” said UCAN President & CEO Zack Schrantz. “UCAN has been around for 148 years, providing a full range of services to youth and families through child welfare programs, residential foster care, independent living, transitional living, counseling, youth development services and programs, foster care case management, and a teen parenting services network. [This expansion] adds to the continuum that we can offer on the south side, especially in the Beverly/Morgan Park area.”

Schrantz said that UCAN’s goal is to continue to provide the best education possible to Beacon students, including the unique vocational, arts and technology instruction that Beacon was known for. “We’re really looking to bring together the best of both schools. UCAN has resources like teen parent support and youth leadership programming that we look to offer the students at the former Beacon school,” Schrantz said. “We look for ways to strengthen youth and families across all of our different programs. Beacon parents should see more and more support and resources offered in the coming weeks, months and years.”

While UCAN’s leadership has focused on smoothly transitioning staff, students and families at Beacon, Schrantz said they are also looking forward to finding new ways to engage the residents of Beverly/Morgan Park, who historically provided generous donations and community support to the school. To find out more, visit UCANChicago.org.

The Way I See It: Christ the King School at 80

By Father Larry Sullivan,  Pastor, Christ the King Parish

Tradition, shared experiences, collective memories.

These are the things that Christ the King School and Parish have created over the course of 80 years.  And, they’re what bring us together as a community this fall.  Christ the King School will celebrate its 80th anniversary in September, and to commemorate we are planning a grand celebration on Sat., Sept. 16 – CK80 Come Together.  More than 650 tickets have been sold and our guests include parishioners, school families and alumni from around the United States.

We will begin the celebration at 5 p.m. with a special Mass with Bishop Jerry Kicanas as the main celebrant and guest homilist Fr. John Costello.  During Mass we will honor the Sisters of Mercy, CK’s founding teachers, and Allan Dressel, a beloved CK teacher, coach, parent and alumnus.  Several former CK choir members will join the choir for the occasion. The Mass will be followed by a celebration with food, drink, musical entertainment by the Gentlemen of Leisure band and lots of surprises. The Christ the King School Foundation Board, along with honorary chairpersons, Matt and Joyce Walsh and Dan and Patty Walsh, have been working to create an unforgettable event.

The family of Christ the King is a diverse community in the heart of the Beverly neighborhood in Chicago.  We are proud of our varied ethnic backgrounds and strong bonds between generations. We are a people of deep Catholic faith and solid Christian values.

Today, our school serves more than 370 children, dedicated to providing education of the highest quality, and guiding these children to be faith-filled and considerate young adults.  I like to think that our students are who they are, in large part, because of the love, time and energy CK dedicates to each and every student. There is little doubt that the bonds our students make in this grammar school are unique. Many of our CK alumni have made lifelong friendships in the halls of Christ the King and have deep ties to the Beverly/Morgan Park community.  Many people who are no longer in Chicago, still call CK their “home” parish.  And we welcome these friends home.

The Christ the King School community has 4,447 graduates, many living and working around the world, and each with a story to tell. We look forward to hearing those stories on Sept. 16 and showcasing the changes in the school and the new traditions CK has crafted in recent years.

I am proud to say that Christ the King School and Parish are thriving, and we continue to serve each other and those in nearby communities generation after generation.  We look forward to welcoming all friends of CK in September and look forward to the next 80 years. Event and ticket information can be found at www.ck-school.org.

Know Your Neighbors: Paula Robinson

By Kristin Boza

Paula Robinson is dedicated to progressing the economic development of her community through her work with the Morgan Park Civic League. Community activism is in her blood; Robinson’s grandmother, Annabelle Robinson, was also an active participant in the Morgan Park Civic League, which has been working to improve and enhance Morgan Park since 1937.

Robinson’s community involvement isn’t limited to Morgan Park. She, and the rest of the Civic League, recognizes the impact each south side neighborhood has on one another. Community groups in West Pullman, Beverly, Bronzeville and others all collaborate to stimulate economic development and address housing and transportation issues throughout the south side.

“It’s not so much that we need to develop a lot of things here; we have a lot to offer,” Robinson said. “We focus on highlighting what we have, making connections and giving people reasons to go. Once they get the invitation to come and experience something, then it opens up a whole other level of what you can do and how you engage with people. If people don’t even know what you’ve got, then it’s not so much that we have to get a lot of new things, but we just need to figure out how to engage the community.”

Promoting the Major Taylor Trail is a big push of Robinson’s — not only to get people to use it, but to encourage companies to open businesses along the trail that runs from the Dan Ryan Woods to Whistler Woods. “On the northwest side of the city, we’ve seen the success of the 606 Trail and what it’s done to bring communities and neighborhoods together. The bike trail is a community asset and spurs more development.”

Outdoor recreation is a great way to connect communities, according to Robinson. “It’s beneficial for the whole well-being, wellness and health of a community as a whole,” she said. The Civic League is also looking for ways to partner with local artists to install art along the path. “With the tie-in with art and culture, these trails can not only be about recreation, but provide a cultural benefit to the community as well,” she said.

Besides the Major Taylor Trail, Robinson and the Morgan Park Civic League always aim to determine how to create action and excitement around things that already exist. The annual Roots Festival, a farmer’s market, and economic development along 111th Street are other focuses for the group. Robinson hopes to get a visitor’s center up and running on 111th Street to alert people going to the Pullman National Monument about other things to do in the area — including grabbing a steak sandwich at the famed Home of the Hoagy, 1316 W. 111th St., and enjoying a cup of coffee at the Old Morgan Park Coffee Shop at 111th and Loomis.

“We have a lot of wonderful history for people to see, a beautiful bike trail and other amenities that are interesting to visitors and residents alike,” Robinson said. “Morgan Park is an older community, and we have to identify new housing and new opportunities to attract younger people who will want to keep our community sustainable.”

To find out more or to get involved, visit the Morgan Park Civic League on Facebook.

Blue House Expands Activities for MPHS Students

On Sept. 5, the Chicago Public Schools are back in session for the 2017-2018 academic year and that means the Catholic Youth Ministry Center at Morgan Park High School will open its doors to the 200 plus students who participate in the Center’s various programs and activities.

The Catholic Youth Ministry Center (aka The Blue House) is located at 1825 W. Monterey and exists to provide guidance for students attending Morgan Park High School. By promoting moral values, the Center reaches out to students, faculty and the community in the roles of advocate, counselor, teacher and friend. Since its opening in 1979, the Center has provided after-school drop-in with recreational activities, educational workshops, leadership training programs, community service projects and discussion groups.

“This will be a big year,” said Center Director Peggy Goddard. “We’re increasing the number of programs and activities and looking for creative ways to reach out to the greater community. The staff spent a lot of time over the summer doing improvements such as painting, work on the grounds and acquiring some ‘new’ donated furniture.”

The Center welcomes all students at Morgan Park High School regardless of religious affiliation. For more information about membership or programs, 773-881-0193.

The Quilters Trunk to Receive 2017 ANDi Award

The Quilter’s Trunk, a retailer of high quality fabrics, sewing machines and sewing supplies, will receive the 2017 ANDi Partnership Award from A New Direction Beverly Morgan Park (AND) at the organization’s annual benefit on Sat., Oct. 21, 7 to 10 p.m., Ridge Country Club.

The ANDi award is given to an individual, business or agency that helps AND fulfill its mission “to provide counseling, education, support and advocacy to individuals and families affected by domestic violence.”

The award will be presented to the The Quilter’s Trunk owner, Katie Nathwani, and store manager, Lisa Wilberding, in honor of their work with AND.

Since The Quilter’s Trunk, 10352 S. Western Ave., opened in 2015, Nathwani and Wilberding recognized that giving back to the community is an important facet of their business. They became active participants in Quilting Magazine’s One Million Pillowcases program, which encourages quilt shops around the country to collect handmade pillowcases for donation to charities of their choice.

The Quilter’s Trunk expanded the scope of the program to include hosting sewing events to create pillowcases, as well as to collect quilts for donation. To support victims of domestic violence, they chose AND as one of the recipients of the donations.

The quilts and pillowcases donated to AND are given to women and children served by the agency. Through daily contact with The Quilter’s Trunk customers, word spread about Nathwani and Wilberding’s program and the response has been remarkable. In its first 18 months with the program, The Quilter’s Trunk donated more than 200 pillowcases and 50 quilts.

“Quilters quilt out of love and are very generous with their time,” said Wilberding.”

Kristy Arditti of A New Direction, views the program as a way for men and women in the community to connect with and support the agency’s survivors. “Making things by hand is a lost art and we have been witness to the tremendous comfort these quilts and pillowcases have brought our clients.” Arditti said. “The feeling that they are worthy of such beautiful and painstaking creations is not to be undervalued. They also serve as a physical reminder that our clients are not alone and that they deserve safety and comfort.”

Jessica McCarihan, AND Board president agrees. “Our agency depends on community involvement like this to be successful. We are so grateful to The Quilter’s Trunk for supporting our agency in this way.”

The Quilter’s Trunk is the sixth recipient of the ANDi award. Others are The Women of the Castle; Amy Moran, Alphagraphics; Julie Partacz, Standard Bank; Katie and Patrick Murphy, Sweet Freaks; and Jean Catania and the Morgan Park Juniors.

Information about AND’s annual benefit is available at www.anewdirectionbmp.org. Tickets are $75 per person.