By Cathriona Fey
BAPA Outreach and Community Improvement Coordinator
In June, the Beverly Area Planning Association kicked off the BAPA Friday Night Live Front Porch Concert Series in an effort to support local musicians and bring live music and a greater sense of community to Beverly/Morgan Park neighbors.
Artists took to the stage (or porch) every Friday evening to play to a small crowd gathered with lawn chairs and cold drinks. Each performance was streamed live through BAPA’s Facebook page for all in the neighborhood to enjoy, each event receiving thousands of views. As Chicago entered Phase 3 of its reopening plan and residents began making their way back to restaurants, parks, and other leisure activities, BAPA Friday Night Live brought some much–anticipated family-friendly summer fun to the neighborhood.
For the series, BAPA welcomed a line-up of talented musicians including, Matt, Zach & Tom; Megan Curran Combo; Michele McGuire + Steve McNamee; and Tom Rezetko,, Terry Morrow and Matt Rezetko. Each performance brought a different genre of music, energy, and new faces to the porch.
Neighbors of all ages enjoyed the performances, and gradually as the month went on, word spread and more people began attending these weekly shows. Artists were able to set-up a virtual tip jar or include online donation information for various community organizations so fans could show their support. With live music venues and bars unable to open due to COVID 19 restrictions, front porch concerts have become a way to bring the music to the fans and support musicians during these closures. In a community like Beverly/Morgan Park, there is no shortage of musical talent or fans and the success of the BAPA Friday Night Live Series came as no surprise.
“One of BAPA’s main missions is to bring our community together. Since we are unable to that with our traditional events, streamed concerts are a great way to fill the void. We have so many talented musicians in the community who haven’t been able to work, this concert series is a perfect fit for BAPA,” said Mary Jo Viero, BAPA Executive Director.
BAPA would like to continue to support local musicians and community efforts to bring entertainment to the neighborhood by extending the BAPA Friday Night Live Front Porch Concert Series throughout the upcoming months, weather permitting. Are you a local musician interested in playing on a porch? Do you have a front porch or gathering space that is just right for a four-piece Jazz ensemble or the velvety sounds of an acoustic set on a summer night? We want to hear from you. Contact BAPA at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a concert on your porch or to perform at one of these events; include Friday Night Live as the subject. BAPA will match musicians with homeowners looking to host.