Beverly Arts Center Celebrates 50 Years of Fine Art

The Beverly Arts Center (BAC) is 50! In honor of that milestone, Fifty Years . . . Fifty Families, an exhibit of photographs by Diego Martirena, will highlight a cross section of families who have had an impact on the BAC.  

“These 50 families represent the thousands of people who have taken classes, come to concerts, volunteered their time, donated and supported this ever changing organization,” said Shellee Frazee, BAC Artistic Director.  

Twenty five photos set in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s will pay tribute to the early years of the BAC, and 25 photos will feature the facility, staff and artistic disciplines. The exhibit opens Sun., Sept. 9 with a reception from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Simmerling Gallery, and continues through Nov. 4.  

All year long the center has been celebrating its golden anniversary at various events and programs, and the fun will culminate with the BAC Birthday Bash on Sat., Sept. 29, 12 to 4 p.m., at the BAC, 2407 W. 111th St.  This free, all-ages event features birthday cake, children’s activities, and live music by the power pop rock and roll band Pat Egan and the Heavy Hearts. The birthday event and photo exhibit will be open during the Beverly Art Walk.  

Whether you’re a student of the arts or simply a fan, the BAC is a welcoming destination for live music, theater, art exhibits, films and literary events.  

The 400-seat Baffes Theatre is a great place to see music and shows. Coming up are Journeyman: A Tribute to Eric Clapton, Sat., Sept. 15; and Girls Just Want to Have Fun, a tribute to 1980s glam, dance and totally rad music with Lisa Rock and Sari Greenberg, Sat., Sept. 29, 8 p.m. preceded by the Get in the Groove pre-party with vendors and a costume contest, 6 to 8 p.m. 

Also showing in the Baffes Theatre are the BACinema film screenings of first run, indie, foreign and art house movies at 7:30 p.m. every other Wednesday and on selected weekends. On the film schedule this fall are the silent film classic “City Lights,” starring Charlie Chaplin as the Tramp, Wed., Sept. 5; “Driftwood,” an award-winning dialog-free feature film, Wed., Sept. 19; and four movies for Ominous October: “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari,” the first horror movie every made, on Oct. 3, the 1973 classic “The Exorcist” on Oct. 17, “Hereditary,” a special screening of the 2018 horror film starring Toni Collette and Gabriel Byrne on Sat., Oct. 20, and the 2010 film “Insidious” on Halloween Oct. 31 (October’s scary movies are not suitable for children). Regular movie tickets are $6 ($5 for BAC members) and popcorn is only $2. 

Supporting the arts in the community could not be more fun! The annual BAC Brewsfest, a fundraiser featuring craft beers, food trucks and live music by Harlem Natural, is the place to be Sat., Sept. 22. The BAC will be serving 40 brews from top breweries including Horse Thief Hollow, Open Outcry Brewing Company, Wild Blossom Meadery, Revolution, Sierra Nevada, Pollyanna, Church Street Brewing Company and Flossmoor Station.  

Voted #1 at the Battle of the Bands held in August, Harlem Natural explores the roots of classic rock, reggae, blues and jazz and adds new music to their play list every week. The band’s philosophy is “If you love it, we love to play it for you.”  Opening for Harlem Natural is winner of the Battle of the Bands People’s Choice, Analog Chain, an alternative rock band that focuses on music from the 1990s and beyond.
VIP admission is $50 and includes a Brewsfest t-shirt, private music reception, food pairings and beer sampling for one hour before the event opens. General admission is $35 and all attendees receive a commemorative tasting glass. 

For more than four decades, the Beverly Arts Center has been awarding some of the region’s most generous cash prizes for visual arts. Applications are now being accepted for the 42nd Annual BAC Art Competition and Exhibition, which is open to artists from within 100 miles of Chicago. The juried competition features a variety of 2-D and 3-D media and offers $5000 in prizes. The application deadline is Oct. 15 and the exhibit opens Nov. 10 with a reception and announcement of winners. Details and applications are available at the BAC website.  

For information about the Beverly Arts Center, to buy tickets or to enroll in classes, call 773-445-3838 or visit 




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