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Arts DuPage Month Promotes County As A Destination For The Arts

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DuPage County has dedicated the month of October to promoting the wealth of artistic offerings residents can enjoy without leaving the county.

October’s Arts DuPage Month is a community-wide celebration of the arts, created to encourage local residents to expand their relationships with the arts and culture in DuPage County. Inspired by the Americans for the Arts’ National Arts & Humanities Month (NAHM), the initiative shines a light on the entertaining and unique experiences available locally. Plays, concerts, exhibits, and more are all right here, just waiting to be discovered

The national celebration is a collective recognition of the importance of culture in America. NAHM was launched by Americans for the Arts more than 30 years ago as National Arts Week in honor of the twentieth anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities. In 1993, it was reestablished by Americans for the Arts and national arts partners as a month-long celebration, with goals of:

FOCUSING on equitable access to the arts at local, state, and national levels;

ENCOURAGING individuals, organizations, and diverse communities to participate in the arts;

ALLOWING governments and businesses to show their support of the arts; and

RAISING public awareness about the positive impact of the arts and humanities in our communities and lives.

The arts are a national asset and should be available everywhere to everyone—and while a majority of the public believes this based on public opinion polling and other research, it’s often not their default way of thinking about the arts. National Arts & Humanities Month is an opportunity for everyone to help change public perception and promote the crucial role of the arts and humanities in promoting individual well-being, addressing trauma, connecting cultures, highlighting inequities, and making our communities healthier and stronger.

Arts DuPage Director Debbie Venezia recently said, “The goal is to really put a focus on arts and culture arts and entertainment, things that are going on in our local community.”

Throughout the month, local theaters, museums, and galleries will be offering discounts, special exhibits and other promotions to “encourage people to re-engage or discover” their local arts scene, There’s high-quality art offerings in DuPage County and you don’t have to go downtown to experience them. They’re right here.” Venezia explained.

Venezia said that even during the pandemic, the Frida Kahlo exhibit at McAninch Arts Center brought in visitors from all 50 states and 43 countries. The recent Andy Warhol exhibit saw visitors from every state and 23 countries, she added.

She mentioned the Jeff-recommended shows at Aurora’s Paramount Theatre and Oak Brook’s Drury Lane Theatre. The latter is offering $35 tickets to select performances of Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash through Oct. 22. Some other standout offerings for Arts DuPage Month include discounted tickets to Paramount Theatre’s “Little Shop of Horrors,” a 60th-anniversary reception at Village Theatre Guild in Glen Ellyn and the Fall Festival and Pumpkin Patch at Sonny Acre Farm in West Chicago.

Venezia hopes Arts DuPage Month will not only encourage spectators but also artists, to become part of their area arts scene. “Each town has its own personality, so for artists to get involved in that, it’s almost like low-hanging fruit… the audience is there… they’re waiting for you to do stuff,” she said. Artists creating, and then sharing their work, Venezia said, can help foster connection within communities.

Click the link for more information about Arts DuPage Month.

Local October Arts Celebration:

Locally, Gallery 200 is hosting a month-long display called “Artoberfest: Fall in Love With Art”

The gallery held an opening reception October 6 with art from local artists, Sue Tripp, Elisa Rijos, and Sharon Malec being featured.

Artist Marita Valdizan has created this three-dimensional butterfly sculpture which can be viewed at Gallery 200 (a great “Instagram” photo op as well, view the West Chicago Voice’s story about the other butterfly wings attracting local attention and going viral.) Gallery 200 is located at 103 W Washington, West Chicago and their hours are Thursday and Friday 2-6 pm, Saturday 10 am-4 pm, and Sunday noon-4 pm.


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