Music, Theater, Classes: Fall into the Arts at BAC 

Whether you’re a fan of music or theater, or a dedicated student of the fine arts, the Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St., has a spot for you this fall.  

The 21st Annual World Music Festival Chicago arrives at the BAC Thurs., Sept. 19, 7 p.m., with a concert featuring Lankum and the Yandong Grand Singers. Lankum is a four-piece group from Dublin that combines traditional folk roots with contemporary undercurrents to forge music that is dark, mysterious and transcendental. Lankum channels a diverse set of influences and histories to create a beautifully rare thing: a songbook from and for the people. 

The Yandong Grand Singers is a choir formed by farmers of the Dong ethnic group from Yandong township in Southwestern China’s Guizhou province. The Grand Song of the Dong ethnic group is a unique polyphonic a cappella style. The Dong people, who don’t have a written language, pass along much of their history, culture and knowledge through songs that accompany their people throughout their lives. 

The BAC of one of 17 venues across the city to hose World Music Festival performances. Admission is free and available on a first come, first served basis.  

Other don’t-miss concerts are Great Moments In Vinyl performing Paul Simon’s “Graceland,” Fri., Sept. 13; The Cryan shames with Ronnie Rice, Sat., Oct. 5; and The Grateful String Band, Fri., Oct. 11. Shows are at 8 p.m.  

The BAC’s 2019-2020 professional theater season opens Oct. 12 and has been dubbed the “Season of Inclusion.” Each play presents theme such as race, sexual orientation, ethnicity or disability. 

“The season will take an in-depth look at stories that are frequently overlooked in society,” said Andrew Orrego-Lindstad, Director of Development for the BAC and member of the organization’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. “In collaboration with our Diversity and Inclusion Committee, we wanted to further explore and exemplify the values of diversity and equityWe’re happy it’s come to fruition with these incredible productions that will challenge how we perceive aspects of humanity.” 

Theatre productions are Topdog/Underdog” by Suzan-Lori Parks, Oct. 12 – 20; “Love Letters” by A.R. Gurney, Feb. 13 – 16; “Next to Normal” by Brian Yorkey, Apr. 16  19“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by William Shakespeare,  June 11 – 14; “Mothers & Sons” by Terrence McNally, June 25 – 28; and “The Good Body” by Eve Ensler, Aug. 20 – 23. 

Tickets to each production are $24 ($22 for BAC members). The $120 Theatre Season Flex Pass will allow purchasers to get six tickets they can use one for each production, all six for one performance, or mix and match.  

BAC School of Fine Arts for the fall classes start the week of Sept. 9, and feature exciting new coursework that inclues Art Start College Prep programming, Stage Combat, Chair Yoga, a Mural Workshop, and a Raku Firing Workshop.  

The Art Start College Prep program is a series of courses designed by Visual Arts Coordinator Jake Saunders, with the goal of preparing teen visual artists for the college application process of creating a portfolio through interviews. Students get the opportunity to study with working professional visual artists community with specializations in Foundations of Design and Art History, Drawing, Illustration, Painting, Ceramics, and Portfolio Building. For information, contact Saunders, jake@beverlyartcenter.org.   

Teens new to the craft of stage combat can enroll in Intro to Sword Play to learn the basics of sword play and different weapon styles, footwork and soft sparring. Additional Stage Combat coursework is available in workshops for teens and adults that cover basics of hand-to-hand, weapon work, and more as participants create fight scenes from stage and screen. 

Chair Yoga, a gentle form of yoga in which postures are performed while sitting in the chair or standing and using the chair for support, is open to all levels and beneficial for students with limited mobility who want to increase their range of motion.  

The Mural Workshop students will leave their mark on the BAC by creating a mural on the first floor of the building. The course guides students in the proper techniques for drafting, sketching, editing, drawing to scale, painting, and final touch-ups.  

Ages 16 and up can take the Raku Firing Workshop to experience the ancient Japanese ceramics technique where pottery is taken from an outdoor kiln while red hot and placed in a material such as sawdust or newspaper to cool. The workshop is presented as a National Endowment of the Arts Artist Residency and students will showcase their work in the BAC’s Simmerling Gallery in January.  

The School of Fine Arts offers private instruction and classes dance, visual arts, music, theatre, and more. Programming is partially supported through a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.  

Find complete class schedule at the BAC or online at www.beverlyartcenter.org. Register online, by phone (773-445-3838) or in-person.