For that past couple of years, I have been searching to connect with others who have a strong passionate vision for helping to create the next great chapter in Naperville's cultural arts history.
About six months ago, I found a kindred spirit in Michelle LeBlanc, who opened the doors of the Naperville Cultural Center in Fall of 2005 www.naperculture.org . With her own vision, money, sweat and devotion, Michelle created a non-profit focal point for multi-cultural arts, language and experiences at the Naperville Cultural Center's home on the 2nd floor in the Main Street Promenade. The Center consists of a dance/yoga studio, multi-purpose rooms in which a variety of classes take place, a music studio for piano/instrument lessons and a small shop featuring original art and other merchandise representing a variety of cultures.
I encourage anyone who might read this to drop by the Naperville Cultural Center and check out all they have to offer. Even more, the Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and is always in search of members, volunteers and financial supporters.
Even more, I am presently working as part of a small planning team at the Naperville Cultural Center to develop a Naperville World Music Festival which promises to become on annual event and tradition not only in Naperville, but in all of Chicagoland.
During many discussions with my good friend, and former candidate for City Council, Matt Freeman and Michelle, we have hatched a long-term vision of ultimately creating a summer long festival with a permanent home to rival the North Shore Ravinia Festival and create world class arts opportunities for the Western Suburbs. Stay tuned, the first step toward the festival will be a fundraising event later on this summer, which will feature a variety of musical acts.
Ultimately, I can see this festival feeding into my ultimate dream of creating the ORIGIN Center for the Experiential and Collaborative Arts one day which will become the destination in the Western Suburbs for original and innovative arts experiences, education and performances. There is tremendous energy and talent within the Naperville community and the Western Suburbs and I believe so strongly that it is time to create a home that will be the progressive model for other communities across the country. When the STAR line suburban commuter rail is ultimately built within the next 10 years, the land near the Rt. 59 station where the STAR line will link with the BNSF, could be used to build this arts complex, making it easily accessible to the Western Suburbs as well as the city of Chicago via train.
Working together, as a community, we can make this vision a reality in creating an innovative world class arts destination.