The Bitter Jester Foundation for the Arts (BJFA) is based in Highland Park with an emphasis on bringing art & artists to the city of Highland Park and its residents. BJFA programs and events also encourage members of the surrounding communities to come to Highland Park, many for the very first time, to explore and experience all that the City has to offer. At its core, BJFA is an arts organization but everything BJFA does revolves around the social dynamic of building a vibrant local community and connecting people. Their grant will assist in producing live music and theatrical performances in Highland Park, including a summer music competition for 12-21 year-old musicians.
The goal of East on Central Association is to encourage artistic expression of the creative spirit through its journal and activities, thereby nurturing the arts in Highland Park. Besides publishing an annual art and literary journal, East on Central organizes community events to support the arts.
The mission of the Highland Park Strings is to provide community concerts free of charge where families, friends, and neighbors can gather for an afternoon of musical enjoyment at the highest level featuring top-notch soloists, many from the Chicago Symphony, others from the world stage, and gifted rising stars who are given the opportunity to shine. The Foundation’s grant supports three of their free Sunday afternoon concerts.
The Midwest Young Artists Conservatory (MYAC) is a top rated youth music ensemble program offering exceptional training in jazz, choral, chamber and orchestral instruction. MYAC offers a tradition of nurturing leadership that continues as a core value of their programs. Highland Park Community Foundation’s grant supports MYAC’s Sunday Soirees that are free and open to the public and feature the Conservatory’s award-winning chamber music groups. The Soirees provide performance opportunities for all MYAC student musicians who participate in the Chamber Music Program and, as a benefit to the community, offer pleasant free Sunday afternoon concerts.
The Music Institute of Chicago (MIC) is dedicated to transforming lives through music education. Founded in 1931, the Music Institute has grown to become one of the largest and most respected community music schools in the nation. Offering musical excellence built on the strength of its distinguished faculty, commitment to quality, and breadth of programs and services, the Music Institute is a member of the National Guild for Community Arts Education and accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Pre-collegiate Arts Schools (ACCPAS). The Music Institute offers lessons and classes, and concerts through its Community Music School, Academy, and Nichols Concert Hall. Funding provided by the Highland Park Community Foundation is used to support Musikgarten® scholarships. Musikgarten® is a world-wide leader in early childhood music education, music and movement, and music classes for babies, toddlers, and Pre-K age children. With support from the HPCF, MIC is able to offer full and partial scholarships for young children from low- and moderate-income households in Highland Park and Highwood so they can participate in Musikgarten® classes.
Pilgrim Chamber Players offers music-lovers in our community the opportunity to enjoy high-caliber Classical chamber music concerts. This year, Pilgrim Chamber Players is celebrating its 25th Anniversary Season with five new
and innovative chamber music concerts presented at the Highland Park Community House. The concerts, of great variety, will be performed by a diverse group of superb musicians who make the chamber music series such a special event.
The Art Center Highland Park (TAC) is dedicated to education in the visual arts through classes, outreach programs, gallery exhibitions, and events. TAC is a community-based organization that has been in existence since 1960, whose goal is to ensure access to the arts for all ages and cultural interests. TAC inspires everyone from children through seniors to achieve and transform their world through more than 400 classes offered annually. TAC also brings national and regional art of established and emerging artists to our galleries through 20 exhibits of contemporary art each year to the surrounding community and Chicagoland area. The grant from the Foundation is being used to support TAC’s Community Building initiative, which includes daytime, evening, and weekend projects and programming for low-income youth and families, seniors, and working adults from Highland Park and Highwood. Through this initiative, TAC aims to be a community hub for diverse communities to experience and participate in the arts.
The core mission of Uptown Music Theater is to help each unique person learn and grow their theatrical capabilities in a welcoming, safe, supportive, and non-discriminatory professional environment. Uptown Music Theater creates theatrical experiences that are meaningful, accessible, and inclusive. HPCF’s grant will be used to support Uptown Music Theater’s production of The Addams Family. The production will provide opportunities for everyone in our community to participate, including students, seniors, minorities, low-income residents, and those with special needs. The Theater Company will also accommodate residents who need a discount or free ticket to attend.